Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tuesday PD: Hawaiiki Rising by Sam Low


What: Book reading and signing in Hilo of Hawaiiki Rising: Hōkūleʻa, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance by Sam Low, producer of the award winning film, The Navigators – Pathfinders of the Pacific, and crew member on three Hōkūle’a on three voyages, from 1999 to 2007, and  author of many articles on the canoe and her meaning to Polynesians.


June 4, Tuesday 

  • 10 – 12 noon, Walmart Hilo
  • Volcanoes National Park, “After Dark in the Park”

June 7, Friday ʻImiloa Astronomy Center 7 – 9 pm with Nainoa

June 8, Saturday Basically Books 2 pm

Book excerpt:

Hawaiki Rising tells Nainoa’s story for the first time. How he searched the heavens to find patterns lost in time that once allowed his ancestors to find their way accurately across thousands of ocean miles without charts or instruments. Here too is Nainoa’s great mentor, Mau Piailug, from the tiny Micronesian island of Satawal, as he joins forces with Hokule’a’s Hawaiian crew to not only recapture their pride but to help pass on his own seafaring heritage. “Our great teacher, Mau Piailug, taught us to travel always with seram,” says Nainoa, “with the light. He taught us that voyaging aboard Hokule’a was a kuleana, both a privilege and a responsibility: that a voyager sets out to discover new worlds and new values and to bring them home to nourish the spirit of his people.”


Tuesday PD: Free YA and classic Audiobooks


What: SYNC is a site that highlights YA audio books. During the summer, they pair up a contemporary young adult audiobook with a classic audio book for FREE.  The download periods are below, but as long as you download it to your computer, you can listen to it forever. I am only now listening to Whale Rider from last summer.

Other Information:

Get a text message or email when the new titles are released.

Here’s the list for this summer:

SYNC Titles
Summer 2013

May 30 – June 5, 2013
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, read by Rebecca Gibel (AudioGO)
The Tempest by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

June 6 – June 12, 2013
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren (HarperAudio)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Audio)

June 13 – June 19, 2013
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton (Scholastic Audiobooks)
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, read by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)

June 20 – June 26, 2013
Once by Morris Gleitzman, read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio)
Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Dion Graham (christianaudio)

June 27 – July 3, 2013
Rotters by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Jim Weiss (Listening Library)

July 4 – July 10, 2013
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 11 – July 17, 2013
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

July 18 – July 24, 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 25 – July 31, 2013
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, read by Charlie McWade (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, read by Steve West (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2013
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, read by Dan Weyman (Macmillan Audio)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2013
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, read by Katherine Kellgren (Brilliance Audio)
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio)

Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2013
Sold by Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre (Tantor Audio)
Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie, read by Tavia Gilbert (Blackstone Audio)

He Nuʻukia Lāhui Hawaiʻi

nuʻukia lahui

He Nuʻukia Lāhui Hawaiʻi is a document produced by KS that sets out a series of vision statements that project a big picture of Hawaiian vibrancy. It is a call to all of KS, not just education to actively support this vision for our people.

Vision Statements

As a vibrant Hawaiian Society, that includes all people who share
and actively support this vision, we…
1. Live in a spiritual world of great richness and complexity.
2. Demonstrate the kuleana to mālama ‘āina for Ka Pae ‘Äina
‘o Hawai‘i and support other efforts throughout the Pacific
region and the larger global community.
3. Are supported by ‘ohana that are nurtured by and
contribute to a larger community network.
4. Are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of
nä känaka, ka ‘ohana, ke kaiaulu, ka lähui, and kö Hawai‘i
Pae ‘Äina.
5. Express ourselves in our ‘ölelo makuahine.
6. Foster various behaviors, practices, and perspectives
consistent with and contributing to a Hawaiian worldview.
7. Convey our own histories in our own voices.
8. Express ourselves through our artistic traditions.
9. Reflect our ancestral heritage daily.
10. Are creative, innovative, and firmly rooted in tradition.
11. Lead and control our own governance and institutions.
12. Facilitate learning that enables the highest levels of
human achievement.
13. Are committed to enhancing the socio-economic
conditions of our people.
14. Are engaged in sustainable economic activities that
enhance the well-being of our people.
15. Actively communicate, engage, and exchange with the
global community.

Connection – 

So why do I need to know this? As part of the Alana project, I need to remember that this project, at least in this stage is sponsored by KS for KS teachers, so I need to incorporate these ideas seamlessly into the framework.


I already have connections to most of them but 13 is not really my focus and our ʻolelo makuahine is not as big in the project because I want to get people about their own content areas first. This is a place marker, though to talk about my critical attributes of this project.


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As I start preparing for my action research, my Alana CBE project, I realize that the work ahead of these teachers is going to be huge. This is not a kick back and have a cruise summer kind of class and I have more in the framework than is humanly possible. I weighed the idea of paring down, but today I talked to my moenahā expert and my Hawaiian culture guide, Kilohana Hirano, and he is fine with the full umeke. Then I saw this excerpt as I was going through my reader. This blog post by Irvin Scott entitled “Fostering Teacher Expertise: Reflections from an educator at Gates” reconfirmed what I have always believed, that there is no magic “easy” button in what I am trying to do.

there is no pixie dust for great teaching. Super-powered classrooms require hardworking, learning-oriented teachers, and support systems that fortify those teachers with tools, better feedback on their performance, and resources and opportunities to collaborate with their peers. It’s not magic; it is a matter of many people working together to achieve a shared goal—that all of our students will be successfully prepared for their futures. (Scott, 2013)

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Tuesday Opportunity: Twitter as a PD Tool

Twitter as a free PD Tool

I talked about Pinterest a couple weeks ago, so today is Twitter’s time to shine as another free PD tool. Watch this really quick introduction to the power of Twitter as a PD tool

The key to finding sources of information, like the video says is to use hashtags to search, so here’s a graphic from Teach Thought that will help get you started.




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CCSS mana’o

I’m not sure how to use this, or which hat of mine I would use it for, but I want to note it down for later thought.

CCSS is being adopted/adapted for KSH and I will begin some side work on creating curriculum aligned to CCSS and CBE. CCSS aligns with Danielson, and done proficiently, both lead teachers to distinguished based on a more constructivist pedagogy. As an instructional coach, I get that.

But put on my other hat, that of reading specialist, I worry about those students who are already so behind that the Matthew effect is in full effect and as they move forward in our system, they actually fall farther and farther behind, even despite our best efforts. I must look to the voices dominant in this realm – those people whose passion is the reaching of reluctant secondary readers.

Here’s an excerpt from Kylene Beers on some words of wisdom regarding CCSS as quoted in Professor Nana’s blog:

“My own CCSS (Critical Core School Standards) that might have a chance of creating students who are indeed college and career ready reads like this:

All administrators and teachers will work together to create in all students a passion for learning, a joy in discovering, a tolerance for risk, the stamina to try again, respect of others, and belief in oneself. Schools will be seen as communities of learning where at the end of the year children are saddened to leave, count days until the next year begins, and “I want to try it” is heard far more than ‘Is this for a grade?'”


So why is this quote, of everything I read today, so important?
I need to understand the students I am creating curriculum for.
As a former AP teacher who made sure that I flunked my students at least once in the year perhaps for my own cognitive dissonance moment, I have to remember that AP students have their own built in survival mechanisms that keep them from shutting down when the going gets tough. I cannot only write curriculum for those students who will learn regardless of who stands in front of them. I must write for those students, true, but also for the students who struggle and everyone in between.

I can only create rigor and bring out critical thinking if the why of the unit is connected to the students. I need an appropriate hook, but it needs to be more than a metal shiny thing that skims the water with no sustenance attached. And staying with that metaphor, I need valid intentions for why I am trying to hook them in the first place. It needs to be a win win for all, including the teacher and the nerd and the struggler, etc. They have to “want to try it.” The challenge with CCSS is that I am trying to prepare them for a college and career experience that may not even exist right now, so we must teach through culture. I cannot think of anything else that is solid enough to hold on to. I think for our students the passion and joy will come from the culture. I may be far off base, but I need to try it.

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Angela Maiers – she of passion and habitude and soft tofu once again did her hard sell for PASSION. I am not against passion. I think it’s easy to speak to the choir and get the amens if that’s what you need. But why would we be in education if we had no passion? Is it the lavish paychecks and the scrumptious benefits? Scowling, moody 13 year olds only charm for so long if we are not passionate about seeing beyond their facade and really creating a relationship with these sometimes foreign creatures who we will entrust with our future. I have not been in this business for over 20 years if I had no passion, so although I’m sure she is a powerful vessel for her cause, and pleasant to the eye, I always feel a little light headed when I hear her speak. Like someone served me strong Kool Aid and cotton candy when really I wanted a steak.

Rant aside, I’m on a mission to learn and use everything, so what can I take away and use?
1. WOW- the work I do with teachers, and therefore the work those teachers do with students needs to be WOW – worthy of the world.

2. Passion’s root is suffering, we need to see difficulty and challenge as a positive goal and not an obstacle (without going into victim mode, I assume).

3. Imagine audaciously

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