Sunday, March 6, 2016

So Much to Celebrate!

With winter nearing its end I can confidently say that all of us at OQS have been far from dormant! The past couple of months have been full of activity and productivity. We have all experienced the joys of collaboration as we revel in the afterglow of our first math night.
Math night at OQS was a spectacular co-sponsored event. The PTO worked closely with the district math teacher leader- Ross McGee to organize a night where family members, staff and community members came together to play math games. These games were the same games that students use in their classrooms to help gain fluency with numbers. Many parents are not familiar with the “new math” and how it's being taught. They are often mystified when trying to help their children with homework. Most will agree that the way math is taught today is vastly different than the way we learned it when we were in elementary school. By bringing families together to enjoy and learn math through games we are able to help parents become better equipped to assist their children at home with homework. All of the games and materials used to play them went home with parents so that they could replicate them at home. It was truly amazing to see so many families laughing, smiling, and engaged in positive interactions with numbers! Because of its overwhelming success there is a second math night in the planning! So, stay tuned as to the date and time sometime this spring! You will not want to miss out on it!
Another very successful PTO collaborative event was our ski program. Even though Mother Nature was not very cooperative we managed to get in three ski days! We are very lucky to have such a large number of committed parent, staff, and community volunteers to help with this program. Students who stayed at school were able to choose between an indoor activity (board game day, movie day, arts and craft day) or outdoor activity (sledding day, forest exploration days).
The excitement doesn’t stop there! Children are constantly presented with engaging learning opportunities here at OQS. Ben, the therapy dog is back this year and spending time in every grade level. He spends his time listening to students read to him and snuggling up close to get lots of positive strokes! Ms. Thomas' kindergarteners are rehearsing a play written by Ms. Thomas herself! They are creating the costumes and rehearsing for their upcoming performance at a PreK-2 community meeting on March 23rd. Mrs. Bishop’s class will be making their own maple syrup this spring using trees tapped on our OQS property. This coming week we will be visited by a dogsled team. Several classes are learning about the famous sled dog race held in Alaska called the Iditarod. Classes will be able to see the dogs and ask questions of the musher. New furniture has arrived! If you enter of a 4th or 5th grade classroom you will notice all of the desks have been replaced with beautiful, new, round tables. No doubt this new arrangement with be conducive to greater collaboration and teamwork. The students took great pride in rearranging their classrooms! We are planning on adding more tables next year for other classrooms.
With the arrival of spring just around the corner the pace of activity is sure to continue with bursting exuberance! April is "I Love to Read month!" Our librarian, Mrs. Peterson, and our ELA teacher leader, Madeline Carlock along with a PTO member are hard at work planning a month filled with exciting reading opportunities from “wear your words day” to our first spelling bee. Stay tuned for more information about these events!

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