/Expected Student Outcome: Think

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.

IMG_1975

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.
IMG_1993
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.
____________________________
Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter • Typhoon

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.02.43 PM

P.S. Check out the elementary’s new T-shirts which feature our 5 expected student outcomes!

IMG_6650

October 19th, 2017|

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.

FullSizeRender

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.

IMG_0458

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

Walkathon

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

20170929_OCSI_Elementary_Teachers

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

October 19th, 2017|

We want our students to think

At OCSI, we want our students to think. We want our students to think critically and Biblically. So, we ask our students to…

  1. brain-1294854_640Imagine, analyze, and evaluate art, in part by applying artistic principles.
  2. Consider what it means to live Biblically.
  3. Persist in order to solve problems.
  4. Assess their writing.
  5. Think about history and current events in light the Biblical principles.
  6. Consider (a) the interconnection of language and culture and (b) the importance of humility, love, and discipline when communicating across language/culture barriers as host or guest.
  7. Solve problems by applying patterns, use sound reasoning, and critiquing the reasoning of others.
  8. Analyze how scientific conclusions can be influenced by assumptions, carefully examine claims, and weigh evidence, including Biblical evidence.
  9. Evaluate performances and creations (their own and others’) in terms of quality, purpose, worldview, and beauty.
  10. Think about strategy, synthesize key concepts, and evaluate their own motivation in matters of health, fitness, performance, and competition.
  11. Analyze alternative solutions, synthesize ideas, and evaluate their product, process, and workplace ethics (in part, by applying Biblical principles).

To help students grow as thinkers, we use a variety of strategies, including:

  • Asking open-ended questions.
  • Having students share how they came up with their answers.
  • Classroom discussion.
  • Emphasizing the value of creative solutions.
  • Inviting students to solve real world problems.
  • Asking students to connect what they study and what the Bible teaches.

Says Michael Essenburg, superintendent: “Our world needs thinkers. Our world needs thinkers who make positive impact. I’m glad our students are growing as critical and Biblical thinkers.”
FullSizeRender
During the October 2 staff meeting, staff discussed what they want our students to think about.

October 5th, 2017|

Student scientists inquire, create, and communicate

At OCSI, we want students to understand the world, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to create products and solutions. Sixth through 10th graders demonstrated all of these competencies at the science fair Friday. Projects included such topics as insect behavior, neuroplasticity, and using food scraps to grow new food.

In preparation, students had followed the scientific method, posing a question or problem, forming a hypothesis, conducting a procedure, collecting data, and drawing a conclusion. Then they created a display. Friday they set up their displays at Sera-En (a facility next to the school) and used their displays to present their findings to peers, teachers, and judges.

The world is full of problems to be solved and questions to be answered. How can we clean up oil spills most effectively? How does the wording of a question influence how people answer? How does temperature affect battery life? Science is one of the ways we can solve problems and answer questions.

We want OCSI students to do science well in order to live in God’s creation with awe and wonder, to care for it, and to help others by solving the problems.

__________

Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter • Typhoon

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.02.43 PM

January 13th, 2017|

Questions drive learning

When we have a question, we are motivated to learn. We listen, read, ask more questions, write, and talk with others to find out the answers we want to know. These are some of the questions that secondary students at OCSI are working on answers for:

  • What does it mean to be healthy?
  • What is science?
  • How can I make a design that is both visually appealing and effectively communicative?
  • How do you retain what you have studied?
  • How can we use algebraic expressions and equations to model real world situations?
  • Where and how could the building method or process be used in everyday life?
  • What is a computer?
  • What is morality and how is it determined?
  • How do the stories we hear and tell reflect and affect what we believe?
  • How are we connected?
  • How do geography, climate, and natural resources affect the way people live and work together?

What about you? What good questions are you thinking about?

________________

Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.02.43 PM

September 16th, 2016|

Students are learning

Megan2

Mrs. Roe (right) gives feedback to Government students who are collaboratively analyzing primary documents.

School is back in full swing, and students are busy learning. This week as I walked through high school classrooms, I saw students achieving OCSI’s Expected Student Outcomes.

I saw students…

  • Understanding God, His world, and their place in it: Twelfth grade readers learned about the interaction of plot, description, and narration.
  • Thinking critically and Biblically: Twelfth grade historians analyzed primary documents.
  • Collaborating with others, respecting them as God’s image bearers: Tenth grade readers built off each other’s observations to understand a text.
  • Communicating truthfully and effectively: Ninth grade writers learned how grammar makes communication more effective.
  • Creating ideas, products, and solutions: Twelfth grade Bible students began planning a presentation.

Thank you to everyone who has a part in creating this learning community:

  • Thank you, parents, for entrusting something as important as your children’s learning to us.
  • Thank you, teachers, for working hard to help students learn.
  • Thank you, students, for using every opportunity to learn.

The 2016-17 school year is off to a good start!

________________
Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.02.43 PM

August 26th, 2016|

Students think critically about their learning in student-led conferences

1st

As her teacher looks on, a student reports to her mother what she has learned in 1st grade.

Friday’s student-led conferences were exciting! Why? Because students and parents had good conversations about learning. 

4th

A 4th grader shares her learning portfolio with her parents.

One elementary teacher said, “The students did a great job of communicating.” A middle school teacher commented, “The parents were so encouraging.”

5th

A 5th grader discusses his learning.

To prepare for these student-led conferences, students selected samples of their work, assessed what they had learned, reflected on what made a piece of work satisfying or challenging, and set goals. Students then presented their findings to their parents.

MS

A middle school student assesses what he would do differently on his geography project the next time.

As you can see, student-led conferences required students to do a significant amount of critical thinking. At OCSI, we want students thinking critically about their learning. We want them thinking about what worked well and what could be done better next time because we know this will help them both now and in the future.

HS2

A high school student presents her learning portfolio to her parents.

Thanks to all who worked to make this day a success!

April 2nd, 2016|

Student scientists inquire, collaborate, create, and communicate

Student scientists prepare to present at the high school science fair on Friday.

Student scientists prepare to present at the high school science fair on Friday.

At OCSI, we want students to understand the world, to think critically, to collaborate with others, to communicate effectively, and to create products and solutions. High school students demonstrated all of these competencies at the science fair Friday.

 
Projects included such topics as aquaponics, the gravitational slingshot effect, and DNA testing.

Projects included such topics as aquaponics, the gravitational slingshot effect, and DNA testing.

In preparation, students had worked in groups to pose a question, do research, perform an experiment or build a model, and create a display. Friday they set up their displays at Sera-En (a facility next to the school) and used their displays to present their findings to peers, teachers, and judges.

 

A student scientist explains her project.

A student scientist explains her project.

Four guests from Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) judged the projects, listening to each group’s presentation, asking questions, and offering feedback.

 

The judges listen to a presentation.

The judges listen to a presentation.

The world is full of problems to be solved and questions to be answered. How can we more efficiently grow more food? How does the electricity I use every day work? Could Wolverine really exist? Science is one of the ways we can solve problems and answer questions.

 

A scientist demonstrates how the muscles and tendons of the hand work.

A student scientist demonstrates how the muscles and tendons of the hand work.

We want OCSI students to do science well in order to live in God’s creation with awe and wonder, to care for it, and to help other by solving the problems.

March 5th, 2016|

Debates hone students’ skills

A student presents his argument while his opponent takes notes.

A student presents his argument while his opponent takes notes.

At OCSI, we want students to think critically and Biblically, and we want them to communicate effectively. This will prepare them to succeed in college and career, and to be citizens who can serve their communities, their countries, and the world.

 

Students prepare their rebuttals.

Students prepare their rebuttals.

This week 11th graders began a debate tournament in Bible class. First, students researched reasons for the affirmative and negative of 15 different questions. The debate topics included questions ranging from “Should students be graded on their handwriting?” to “Should governments ever restrict free speech?”

 

A student delivers her rebuttal.

A student delivers her rebuttal.

Then the debate began. A pair of students was assigned a question and the affirmative or negative. Each student had 1 minute to present his or her argument. After each pair had presented their arguments, they had 5 minutes to prepare a rebuttal. Then each pair faced off one more time, with 1 minute each to present their rebuttal.

 

Classmates vote on a debate outcome.

Classmates vote on a debate outcome.

Following the rebuttals, the class voted on the winner, and the guest judge made the final decision.

 

The judge considers his verdict on a debate outcome.

The judge considers his verdict on a debate outcome.

At the end of the tournament, the classes will debrief what made for effective arguments and how the skills they practiced will help them in life.

Thank you, Mr. Calvin and Judge Reddick, for helping equip students to walk with God and impact the world for Him with their thinking and communication skills!

February 27th, 2016|

Students engage in hands-on science

Students read the directions for dissecting their crayfish.

Students read the directions for dissecting their crayfish.

At OCSI, we’re excited about hands-on learning! Why? Because it is engaging. And when students are engaged, they learn more effectively, remember more efficiently, and become more interested in learning in general.

 

Students locate external structures on the crayfish.

Students locate external structures on the crayfish.

This week 7th graders got to do hands-on learning as they dissected crayfish. Having already dissected earthworms, they were more experienced and less squeamish as they tackled the crustaceans, according to teacher Mr. Stelly.

 

Mr. Stelly gives some pointers.

Mr. Stelly gives some pointers.

Students located external features and internal features, and used a microscope for a closer look. One of the highlights was removing the stomach and trying to identify the creature’s last meal.

 

Students dissect a crayfish.

Students dissect a crayfish.

“This is actually really interesting,” one student said. That is a student who will go back to his science textbook with even more interest. Can’t wait for the frog and rat dissections!

 

Students use a microscope to examine some parts of the crayfish.

Students use a microscope to examine some parts of the crayfish.

February 20th, 2016|