There is always something happening at Pono! Read about our field trips, visiting teachers, classes, and special events.



The Pono newsletter gives you the opportunity to be part of the students' exploration and discovery. What did we do this week? Read on!

Come And Follow Me...

"Where do geologists like to relax? In a rocking chair!" Young Pono friend Jasper opened his geology lesson with a joke, but then got serious about teaching us about rocks and minerals! He brought in a variety of examples, including a Herkimer diamond and Iceland spar, and explained their unique properties. Jasper also taught us about the Mohs scale of mineral hardness and invited everyone to test the samples he had brought in. It was a very informative and interactive really rocked!


Artist and illustrator Bek Millhouse met with the older children, who refined their medieval lettering designs. They learned the difference between serif and sans-serif lettering, realizing the one is very old and the other modern. The students also discovered that each of their letters tells a personal narrative. They're looking forward to the application of color and gold ink in the coming session. 


Our Pono engineers had a lesson with Dr. A about tension and compression. The older children worked together to design and test paper spans, or simple bridges. 


Pono parent Heather Stewart shared her expertise during a makeup class for the older children. The children sketched designs on templates and then Heather demonstrated a different makeup application on each child. Then it was time for the children to try their hand with the different tools and makeup Heather provided. By the end of the lesson, the children had undergone dramatic transformations! Keep an eye out for some of these looks on Halloween!


Bek Millhouse brought the designs the younger children had created in their previous class on frottage and showed them how to use their artwork to create winged creatures. The children cut, taped, and made a variety of birds and butterflies with colorful textures. 


This week the younger children explored the world of insects with Dr. A and examined her extensive collection of insect specimens. Science lessons at Pono are always hands-on!


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...

This week in math, the youngest children practiced writing numbers and played more games with Maysaa that required counting to twenty. The intermediate group added tens, hundreds, and thousands, and played a game that had them find the doubles of numbers one through ten.

Our other math groups had the opportunity to practice and reinforce the mathematical concepts from last week: counting by twos, fives, and tens in the context of shoes and beads; solving and writing their own algebra problems; working on generalization of subtraction as removal, as difference, and as used to find missing addends and subtrahends in the context of ages and timelines; and working on place value, regrouping, equivalence, and how to record inventory in the context of a T-shirt factory.


Madelyn taught the younger children about animal tracks. They made their own tracks by molding play dough to form prints for various animals, including deer, squirrels, rabbits, dogs, mice, rats, opossums, and raccoons. They'll be ready to identify any tracks they spot on our next nature walk!


Our young Pono friends measured and mixed ingredients for trail mix to take on their camping trip. They would needs lots of energy for their expedition and this tasty and nutritious snack was a great energy booster!


Let's go camping! Our young Pono friends helped Madelyn and Kate pitch a tent in Marcus Garvey Park and then Madelyn showed the children her camping gear. They learned why they would need a sleeping bag, flashlight, poncho, first-aid kit, mess kit, and a compass on a camping expedition. The children then enjoyed sharing stories and eating their trail mix around a "campfire." They had such a good time they asked if they could spend the whole day in the tent!


Our young Pono friends enjoy creative movement in the Pono space, as well as time for quiet exploration. 


It was a rich week in literacy with Julietta!

Our youngest literacy group explored a new pattern book in which the sight words got and on were repeated. They played word detectives with those words and used letter manipulatives to practice writing the sentence A _______ got on, choosing their own word to fill in the blank.

Our mixed-age group learned about consonant blends and digraphs. They used magnetic tiles, dry erase boards, and finger tapping to practice hearing and writing them.

Some of our older students had a word hunt using the words eat, please, and funny and other members of the -eat, -ease, and short vowel + double consonant + y spelling families. Others enjoyed more book club time.

All of the older children spent time on word stress, suffixes, doubling consonants, spelling shifts for plurals, and/or new spelling families in their word study books.


Kate and the young Pono amigos talked about what they enjoy about el otoño, or autumn. Then the children painted small calabazas and turned their pumpkins into colorful works of art.


Here We Go, Pono, Here We Go...

This week the older children visited the MTA Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center and met with Dennis Tierney, the community liaison for the 96th Street Station area. Dennis answered the children's questions about NYC's transit system and explained the work being done to construct the Second Avenue subway. The children also had turns operating a subway simulator and discovered it takes a lot of skill to keep those trains running smoothly!


On Wednesday we headed to the Bronx for a workshop at the International Center of Photography at The Point. Our instructor, Alicia Clarke, explained the equipment in the darkroom, demonstrated how to mix the chemicals used in the film developing process, and then guided the children to make and develop their own photograms. The students were thrilled when they saw the images appear in the developer!


On Friday the older children took a special long field trip to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island. Our guide Stephen S. talked about the history of flight, and particularly Long Island's role in aviation history and space exploration. The children learned how the Wright Brothers operated their airplane, how a plane lands on an aircraft carrier, and why the Apollo Lunar Module on display at the museum never made it to space. They especially enjoyed sitting in a Revolution Mini-500 helicopter and in the nose section of the first jet aircraft flown by El Al Airlines. They also watched the film Journey to Space, about NASA's plans for an expedition to Mars, in the museum's dome theater. And just as the journey is often as important as the destination, the children had a great time commuting on the Long Island Railroad and having dinner together at a pizzeria in Mineola!


Mentorship Fridays...

The students took their field trip to Long Island on Friday. Tune in next week for the latest updates on the Friday Focus chemistry class; the comic book team; and our resident songwriters!