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We want students to think critically

Information is important, and thinking critically with and about information is also important. We want our students at OCSI to think critically.

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What, exactly, is critical thinking? The authors of Making Thinking Visible identify activities that make up the thinking we want to happen:

  1. brain-1294854_640Observing closely and describing what’s there.
  2. Building explanations and interpretations.
  3. Reasoning with evidence.
  4. Making connections.
  5. Considering different viewpoints and perspectives.
  6. Capturing the heart and forming conclusions.
  7. Wondering and asking questions.
  8. Uncovering complexity and going beneath the surface of things.
  9. Identifying patterns and making generalizations.
  10. Generating possibilities and alternatives.
  11. Evaluating evidence arguments, and actions.
  12. Formulating plans and monitoring actions.
  13. Identifying claims, assumptions, and bias.
  14. Clarifying priorities, conditions, and what is known.
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OCSI secondary students did this recently, for example when…
  • 6th grade historians observed how apple slices they packed in salt were preserved and considered connections to why and how the ancient Egyptians preserved the bodies of their dead.
  • 7th grade scientists considered the question, “How are these molecules the same, and how are they different?”
  • 8th grade mathematicians were asked to explain why they wrote the problem they did, what the parts mean, and what kind of answer would make sense.
  • 9th grade historians learning about Hammurabi’s code came up with examples of modern civil and criminal law cases
  • 10th grade Honors English students made connections between themes in the novel and issues in modern life or current events.
  • 11th grade AP English students constructing argument essays, researched both sides of their chosen issue.
  • 12th grade Bible scholars gave presentations on a Biblical perspective of an issue, including ways the Bible can be misused regarding the issue.
  • High school woodworkers, completing technical drawings and beginning construction of their scroll saw puzzles, learned to problem solve when issues arrive on a project or in life. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur. Students (woodworkers) then have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, students (woodworkers) can use their planned details with logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.
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Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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P.S. Check out the elementary’s new T-shirts which feature our 5 expected student outcomes!

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Daily 5 classroom library arrives

We’re excited! Why? Because 1200 new books have arrived for K-5 classroom libraries! The books cover 60 topics and support our Daily 5 literacy instruction.

Says Megan Roe, elementary principal, “At OCSI, we value reading. These new books will help students engage with topics they are interested in. Each topic includes fiction and non-fiction.”

 

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Focusing on increasing student thinking

OCSI Connections:

brain-1294854_640OCSI focuses on thinking. We focus on increasing students’ ability to think both critically and Biblically. It’s good to see…

  • PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.
  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 7th grade scientists considering the question, “How are these molecules the same, and how are they different?”

  • 11th grade AP English students constructing argument essays, researched both sides of their chosen issue.

  • High school woodworkers, completing technical drawings and beginning construction of their scroll saw puzzles, learned to problem solve when issues arrive on a project or in life. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur. Students (woodworkers) then have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, students (woodworkers) can use their planned details with logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.

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It’s also good to see staff thinking about how to help OCSI be an even better school. On the October 9 professional day, for example, staff used rubrics to assess how OCSI is doing on governance, home/community relations, personnel, instructional program, student care, and values/character formation.

Additionally, the School Improvement Steering Committee has been meeting weekly to review input from students, parents/guardians, and staff; and to write reports on how OCSI is doing. These reports will be published and made available to you before our accreditation visit in March 2018.

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As you think about upcoming events, please keep the following in mind:

  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences – no school for students
  • 11/11: Walkathon and PTF’s Holiday Market—see you there!
  • 11/13: OCSI Holiday – no school
  • 11/22: Professional Day – no school for students
  • 11/23-24: Thanksgiving vacation
  • 12/6: Christmas Program, 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/15: 12:30 dismissal.
  • 12/16 – 1/3: Christmas vacation

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Did you know that…?

Thank you for the privilege of assisting your with the education of your child(ren)! Please contact us with your questions and concerns.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Superintendent

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Meet our elementary staff! They love your kids, and they love learning.

Students are thinking!

Elementary Connections:

It has been such a joy to see our elementary students asking questions and thinking critically in the classroom, on learning trips, at camp, during chapel, or even at recess. I am always impressed by how well our students question, think deeply, apply a Biblical perspective, and solve problems. Here are some of the ways I’ve seen this so far…

  • brain-1294854_640PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.

  • Kindergarten students exploring their five senses through an apple investigation and reflecting on how happy they were that God created them with five senses to explore His world .

  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 1st and 2nd grade students sharing prayer requests and learning they can pray for anything.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 5th grade scientists asking questions and making predictions about the chemical reactions between sugar in watermelon and yeast.

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Thinking critically about the world around us and looking at this world through the lens of a Biblical perspective are skills that we all want to cultivate and grow in our children. Developing these from a young age means that children will be better at making decisions, seeing patterns, and classifying information. Want to know more about how to encourage critical thinking in your child? Check out this article.

Upcoming dates to remember:

  • Saturday, 11/11: Walkathon & Holiday Market

  • Monday, 11/13: No school (OCSI Holiday)

  • Wednesday, 11/22-24-: No school (Thanksgiving Break)

  • Wednesday, 12/6: Christmas Program (grades 1-5), 12:30 dismissal

  • Friday, 12/15: PreK & Kindergarten Christmas Program, 12:30 dismissal

Thank you for the privilege of educating your children!

Sincerely,
Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Megan Roe

P.S. Join our annual giving campaign. One way you can do this is by coming to our Holiday Market.

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We want more and more people to know Jesus

In Japan, few know Jesus. So it’s exciting to hear the testimony of a fellow Christian. Check out the video!

OCSI, we want our students to know Jesus. So…

  • We provide Christian teachers, Bible class and chapel, and biblical integration across the curriculum.
  • We focus on helping students understand God/His world and to think Biblically.

And God is blessing His work! For example, a student (who last year shared that he wasn’t a Christian) now shares that God plays a role in our world. And 2 students recently accepted Jesus into their hearts.

Thanks for praying:

  • Praise God for providing a middle school math/science teacher.
  • Praise God that parents are attending a Bible study on parenting.
  • Ask God to provide a bus driver.
Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Superintendent

P.S. Meet our elementary staff!
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