Welcome to Papa ʻEhā

ʻAnoʻai Kākou

We, Kumu Roxanne  Kala and Kumu Kaulana Hokoana, welcome our Papa ʻEhā ʻOhana to the 2018-2019 school year.

To begin, a few highlights about us!

We are from Puna. We grew up in the Pāhoa area. Kumu Kalaʻs ohana is deeply rooted in the ahupuaʻa of Kaualeau/Opihikao and Kumu Hokoanaʻs ohana is deeply rooted in the ahupuaʻa of Keonepoko. Kumu Kala attended Pahoa High School with Kumu Hokoanaʻs mom and aunties, and Kumu Hokoana attended Kamehameha Schools Hawaii.

We have degrees in elementary education. Kumu Kala earned a bachelorʻs degree in elementary education from Pacific Lutheran University and a masterʻs degree in education from UH-Hilo. Kumu Hokoanaʻs bachelorʻs degree in elementary education and masterʻs degree in education technology are both from UH-Manoa.

Our teaching backgrounds have always been in upper elementary. Kumu Kala has taught grades 3 and 4, and Kumu Hokoana has taught grades 4 and 5.

Outside of school, we have similar passions! We love the ocean, traveling, and shopping. While Kumu Hokoana can be found browsing the clearance shelves at Target, Kumu Kala can be found paddling in the open ocean near Hilo One, Hilo Paliku, and Hilo Hanakahi.

Our grade level blog will be the central place of information as we journey through the school year together. We honor our parents/ʻohana as their childʻs first teacher, and we appreciate all that you do in the home to support learning. We look forward to opportunities of building, learning, and growing with you in this 2018-2019 school year.

As you browse through our blog and learn more about the 2018-2019 school year, you may have more questions. We welcome your questions, thoughts, and comments because we value your manaʻo and believe in being transparent as possible. Please use the sheet of paper sent home with your child to list any questions or comments. Another method of communication is to email or call us. Our information can be found on the contact page.



The Engineerʻs Design Process

Our entrepreneurial project focuses on an invention or hands-on product each business will market to the “sharks” in April. To guide their creation process, we will follow an engineerʻs design process. As a heads up, you will see this engineerʻs design plan in their next homework routine for mathematics.

Click on link: Engineerʻs Design Process


It is important to know that the acronym STEAM means Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Take a look at the pictures below to see how these areas of learning are connected!











Guest Speakers: Learning from our KSH ʻOhana


Papa ʻehā is blessed by KS ʻohana who are small business owners or know people in our local and global communities who want to share more about their passion and experience. I want to apologize to my 4A ʻohana that I was unable to follow through on my plan for Saturday keiki job shadowing opportunities. Instead I have partnered with Kumu Kanani, our beautiful librarian, to bring more local small business owners to our school.  In the first and second trimesters on Wednesdays, I invited several ʻohana members to our classroom to share. In the third trimester, Kumu Kanani and I will feature several more Hilo businesses on Wednesdays in the library. 

In February, 

Today 4A was invited to an event that featured successful business owner David Fialkow, who invests in small businesses and enjoys working with young entreprenuers. While his talk was addressed to high school students, 4A could relate to his story of entrepreneurship! He highlight several major points:

  1. An entrepreneur is passionate about what they love to do.
  2. Entrepreneurs are thoughtful when they pitch their business or product. They are also thoughtful and creative in how they design or redesign their product.
  3. Entrepreneurs need grit and perseverance because they make lots of mistakes and will struggle a lot. Theyʻve probably struggled in school too, but they never give up!
  4. Entrepreneurs are bold and believe in themselves because what theyʻre doing might be new and different.
  5. Entrepreneurs are visionaries and learn to pivot or change when things donʻt always go as plan.
  6. Entrepreneurs build relationships with people because those relationships could lead to greater things!

Hereʻs what 4A had to say about their visit with David Fialkow and his friend, Steve:

In January, Damonʻs dad (Ron) shared that business can start anywhere! His business started with a dare and a motivation to make something delicious taste even better! We learned about marketing with cost and profit margins. We also learned that sometimes keeping things small and simple is the best way to go.

In December, we had Madisynʻs dad ( Nalu) share his passion retail and graphic designing. We made hats and learned about the placement and colors. From Madisynʻs uncle, (Justin) we learned how to be in competition with ourselves by striving to improve from within!




Did you know in 2015, the state of Hawaii was ranked 12th as the most entrepreneurial state!!!!

This past week, I learned that the entrepreneurial movement in Hawaiʻi is HUGE, and 16% of small businesses are located on the Big Island.

Thanks to Aunty Kanoe P.- Koaliʻs mom, 4A learned these facts and more about entrepreneurs. In addition to sharing about the entrepreneurial movement in Hawaii, Aunty Kanoe is helping 4A connect with local business in Hilo to conduct “job shadowing”.  Parents, I will share more about this opportunity soon!

Not only is Aunty Kanoe helping 4A students understand the entrepreneurial movement, she is also helping me! Aunty Kanoe introduced me to Hiplan- Hawaii Island Business Plan  Competition: http://hiplan.biz .  

Here are a few newspaper articles in the West Hawaii Today about the event:

10/22/17 article:HIplan in high gear- West Hawaii Today

5/19/17 article: Competition offers $25,000 for best business plan | West Hawaii Today

Yesterday, 10/21/17, I attended the Hiplan competition in Kona at Hale ʻIako located on the grounds of the NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority) to learn more about  business plans, proposals, and how entrepreneurs “pitch” their business  to a panel of judges. My focus was to learn how I could bring that concept to our “Shark Tank” event in April. Many of the entrepreneurs and UHH business major college students I met were  excited to hear that the concept of entrepreneurs was introduced to elementary students.

While the movement of entrepreneurs/small businesses has caught my attention, another eye-opening discovery on the Saturday is the importance of recognizing our ʻike Kūpuna  or the intelligence, ingenuity, innovations, skills and talents of  Hawaiian people from the past and present. Then teaching 4A students through this project to utilize that ʻike Kūpuna and become ʻŌiwi Edgers or Native Hawaiian Keiki who can use their passion and cultural identity to make a difference in our community! 

I will share more about this connection in future blog posts  and our student-led conferences in November.

The beauty about our school is that we get to learn from aunties and uncles in our KS ʻohana! Uncle Sonny is one of those highly skilled and talented individuals!

4A students spent Wednesday morning (10/18), exploring and designing their business logo or trademarks with Uncle Sonny P. Students focused on the characteristics of: balance, SIMPLE, 3-syllables, soft colors, and being unique. Uncle Sonny shared ideas of how to include their product and focus on their targeted audience or customers when designing their trademark. An experience that has transformed scribbles into meaningful designs that represents the beauty of each group!


An up and coming ʻOiwi Edger is KSH high school senior Alexia I. She  is partnering with 4A to complete her Senior Legacy Project.

Hereʻs a quick letter from Alexia to our 4A ʻOhana: Letter to Parents



Dispersal Series

Now that weʻve learned about the creation and formation of our islands, we wondered how our islands were populated with different types of plants, animals, and insects. Theses wonders led us to the big idea of Dispersal…. and  learning about the three “Wʻs” and “Mʻs”.


This week in 4A, we are EXPERIENCING each method of dispersal

Monday- WIND

After watching Bill Nye the Science guy, keiki focused on this question:

How do I make the paint move and dance across the page using only a straw?

Tuesday- Wings

After watching another episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, keiki focused on this question:

Which paper airplane design will fly the farthest?



How did plants and animals survive the long distance travel across the vast Pacific Ocean?

Today we played a game called “Dispersal Bingo”. We infused the classifications of Endemic, Indigenous, Invasive, and Introduced in our game play. The purpose of the game was not only to figure the method of dispersal and its classification. The purpose was to understand that the pictures I showed of each plant and animal was the adult form and not the form they were dispersed. For example, we looked at the naupaka kahakai plant, and I questioned the students if this planted floated here to our islands. Some said yes, no, and others were confused. After much discussion, students understood that the seed of plants were dispersed here. For some insects, like the carnivorous caterpillar, which is endemic, it arrived in our islands in itʻs larva stage.

After playing Bingo! I sent students on a seed scavenger hunt to find the seeds and spores of various plants on our campus. Near our Kīnau building, we observed the seeds of the naupaka and puakenikeni plant. We felt and observed the spores of the kukui tree, hapuʻu tree, and lauae fern.

Bingo Play Time!


Seed Scavenger Hunt