Thursday, February 22, 2018

English Communication

Speaking only in English is an expectation at OCSI. It's the language of instruction and the language of communication for the students and staff. Developing a strong ability in English is the number one factor for academic success at our school. The students in 5.1 and 5.2 are used to using English for listening, reading and writing in the classroom. However, situations to generate chances to speak in English between students are also needed.

Speaking is English is a big focus in my class! I will be posting some photos and videos here of some of the activities we have been doing in class to promote speaking only in English, speaking a lot of English, and speaking richer English, between students.
This video is of a games time that we have about every two months. They're fun for the kids and are actually still educational since the games are highly social! Some students also come occasionally at lunch for Games Club. More games will be introduced throughout the year!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

3rd Quarter

The school year is half-finished and we are now into the 3rd Quarter! The students did some excellent work on The Phantom Tollbooth in the 2nd Quarter, including on the travel brochure they did for the group book report. The persuasive essays were also well-done. The emphases were, 1) to follow the 5-paragraph format with a thesis and three supporting points, 2) have a researched fact for to support each of the three reasons, and 3) practice researching reliable sources and cite them accordingly. It's a good start to their academic career.

In the 3rd quarter the book we will be reading through in class is Tuck Everlasting. Just as with The Sign of the Beaver and The Phantom Tollbooth, we will watch the movie as a class at the end of the quarter (the 2002 version). In writing, the topic will be biographies and every student will have a chance to read a biography on a famous historical figure and report on him or her. Additionally, students have already begun work on a personal memoir and I have been impressed with the amount of care and interest they are showing. In Bible class we have begun a new unit titled Last Days of Judah and will study the historical kings of Judah, especially the connection between those who obeyed God and the benefits they received.

The 3rd Quarter also has some special activities such as Service Week, which will be next week. Grade 5 students will have a chance to participate again with Athletes in Action. In addition, Reading Week begins Feb. 26th and runs until Mar. 2nd. There will be special events each day, including dress-as-a-character, Cat in the Hat day, Guest Reader, and the 5th Grade Read-In. Of course, Missions Month, the Cultural Fair, and Student-Led Conferences all occur in the 3rd Quarter.

Even though it doesn't happen until the end of the school year, now is when we want to start thinking about the Kansai trip at the end of May. There will be an information session this Friday, February 9th at 5:30 in room 306. If you are unable to attend, the information presented at that time will also be sent home with students. We are also looking for parents who are willing to chaperone, although we will not know how many are needed until we know how many students will go on the trip.

Big things are happening! The students have demonstrated positive growth and work habits and I am looking forward to great results from them!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Comings and Goings

5.1 was sad to say goodbye to Lawson Beams, whose last day at OCSI was September 15, 2017. Lawson and his family had been here for five years and had made a lot of strong friendships. He and his family will be missed!

On a happy note, 5.1 welcomed a new student, Saadiq Glover, to OCSI on September 19, 2017! The students are excited to have a new friend and we all hope Saadiq feels at home here very quickly.

Welcome, Saadiq!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Elementary Camp at Ishikawa!

Elementary Camp is coming soon! This year it will be from Oct. 3rd - 5th, Tuesday to Thursday, at Ishikawa Shonen Shizen no Ie.
The website for the nature center can be found here

It is also possible to visit the camp ahead of time. There is a nice series of walking trails, for example. Doing so may help your son or daughter feel more comfortable about attending the camp, if you think that is a concern.

 A permission form and packing list came home on Friday, Sept. 8th. Please check the packing list carefully for things to bring and for things to avoid. Also, the permission form should be signed and returned as soon as possible. As mentioned previously, meals will be provided by the staff and we will not require parent volunteers.

 Here is a copy of the camp letter in case you need another copy.

Elementary Camp is a great time and I'm sure this year will be too!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A New School Year in 5.1!

It's a new year for 5.1 and a new group of leaders have entered their final year of elementary school! They look ready to achieve a lot of progress, don't they?


Some parents asked about accessing some of the resources the students use at home. There are some links already in the banner of this site: ABCya has a lot of learning games that the students enjoy. BibleGateway is a great resource for bible study, including many different translations in many languages. FreeRice is a fun site where students can answer level-based trivia questions...but the most interesting aspect is that for each correct answer they earn rice that is donated to the World Food Programme to help people around the world. Jupiter is the grade book that is used at OCSI. You can check your child's progress at any time KidsDiscover is the site with resources for the new Social Studies material that we are using from this year. The texts that are used in class are there and can also be used interactively. MyMath is the McGraw-Hill workbook that OCSI uses at the elementary level. It is possible to access the entire workbook and additional learning resources online. RenaissancePlace is where students can take AR tests and everything else related to the Accelerated Reader program. SumDog is a great site for really fun Math games where the students can even compete with each other. TreleaseOnReading is full of fantastic support and encouragement for continuing to read-aloud to your child at home. Writer's Workshop is the writing program used in the elementary grades at OCSI. It's a good program and highly respected in education. Do you have any suggestions for others that could be added?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Open House

A big thank you to everyone in 5.1 and 5.2 who was able to attend the Open House on Sept. 1st! Here is a link to the information we presented. Please let us know if you have any questions.