Marching into Spring at OLCS

Spring has sprung and there’s definitely some spring fever in the air at Oak Lake Community School! Students and staff are eagerly anticipating spring break, which runs from March 29-April 2. Students will return to classes for a short week on Monday, April 5, with an administration day scheduled for Friday, April 9. Despite the difficulties of living, learning, and teaching through a pandemic, the time seems to fly by at Oak Lake Community School. It takes more than COVID-19 to stop us from learning, making friends, and having fun. Keep reading to find out how the students in each classroom have been learning and growing over the past month!

The Kindergarten/Gr.1 class is very excited that spring is here! We have been taking our learning outside, reading books and making patterns with sticks, rocks, and pine cones. From turning into leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day to writing about how to catch the Easter Bunny, there is never a dull moment in the K/1 classroom! We are very excited to come back from spring break and start learning more about plants and trees, how they grow, and why they are so important. 

The Grades 1 and 2 classroom has had a very busy month.  We entered a colouring contest put on by CJRB.  We did not win, but we were given some beautiful books for our classroom and also a few extra copies to share.  The students decided to give one book to the library and one to the Grade 3 class.  They presented this book by making a video reading it and signing the inside cover.  On March 25th, we had our virtual Agriculture in the Classroom day. We watched videos about different producers in Manitoba and completed a sticker and food group circle matching foods to the correct food group and producer.  Students were asked to bring cheese, crackers and carrots in their lunches and we talked about where these foods originated from.  We also had a virtual live tour of the Siemens’ egg farm in Rosenort, MB.  We were allowed to ask questions as the tour was happening.  We learned a lot about chickens and egg production! 

The Grade 3 students continue to work hard every day. Recently, they have learned all their upper and lowercase letters in cursive handwriting. Students are now doing their daily planner message in cursive. In social studies, students created papier mache globes as part of our exploring the world unit, and have completed their first poster research project on a country of their choosing. Farm animals have been our focus in French this term. In math, students have flown through their division unit and will be moving on to telling time after spring break.

The Grade 4/5 class is “Zooming” through the pandemic!  With the support of a federal government grant, New Horizons for Seniors, we are very fortunate to partner with our local seniors and create lasting virtual connections. Our project, “21st Century Seniors: Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit” is designed to build relationships between student and senior, sharing mentorship opportunities over our virtual meetings on Zoom. Seniors were outfitted with iPads, Fitbits, and various activity supplies for each meeting.  Students look forward to “Zooming” with their partner twice per month. We have enjoyed many different activities including reading their shared novel, completing step challenges and comparing our Fitbit stats, and even playing Yahtzee!  We have gained many skills through our project, but most importantly it has given us an opportunity to build positive relationships with community members during a time where it is most needed.

Mr. Maksuta and the Grade 6 class were excited to welcome a student teacher in the second week of March. Miss Marcie Cruickshank is a first-year education student at Brandon University where she is enrolled in the senior years stream. Miss Cruickshank is from Virden, MB, and students report that she is a great student teacher and they are really enjoying learning with her. The Grade 6 students are investigating outer space in a science unit, studying World War I in social studies, and angles in mathematics. Soccer games and walks keep the students busy and active during outdoor gym.

In Grades 7 and 8, students have been learning about calculating surface area and volume in math. In ELA, Grade 8s have been watching videos of slam poets performing their compositions as well as writing their own slam poems. Poets write slam poems to discuss an issue they are passionate about using strong language with force behind their words. In social studies, students recently completed a study of the early peoples and have moved on to learning about Mesopotamia. Science class is especially exciting lately—students are using Minecraft EDU (a computer program/app) to build their own cities complete with water systems and utilities. In outdoor gym classes, they are staying active by playing kickball and soccer.

Hello from the OLCS Library! We have had a busy year learning new things in the library program. We now have an online (OPAC) system where students and parents can log in and reserve books.  This is making it easier for students to browse books that are on the shelves; all while not being in the library in person, or from the comfort of your couch! February was I Love to Read Month.  There were many pages, chapters and novels read for chances to win many prizes.  We dedicated one week to Dr. Seuss Week and even had a day where we dressed as our favourite book character.  

Now as we head into Spring Break, we are hosting a virtual bookfair.  It is running until March 26/21. Check out the following link to shop online:

Spirit Week is a March tradition at our school. OLCS Student Council planned an exciting week to raise everyone’s spirits the week before spring break. Activities and dress-up days included:

            Majestic Monday: wear your formal clothes

Team Tuesday: wear hats and jerseys from your favourite teams. The entire school participated in a Hike for the Homeless to raise awareness and collect non-perishable food items.

Wacky Wednesday: wear your wackiest, non-matching clothing

Throwback Thursday: favourite 80s and 90s clothing and a Pizza Hut hot lunch

Fuzzy Wuzzy Friday: comfortable pyjamas and sweats and school-wide Blackout Bingo

Other news:

Kindergarten-Grade 8 report cards will be sent home prior to spring break with parent-teacher interviews held on Friday, April 9.

Congratulations to Mckenzie Masson in Grade 5! She was the lucky winner of a bike helmet in Fort La Bosse School Division’s bus safety colouring contest.

Better Together Take Home Kits, funded by the Emergency Community Support Fund via the Oak Lake and Area and Foundation, have been sent home on a monthly basis since January, with April and May kits to follow. Every month, OLCS families receive a package with different activities, games, physical and mental health resources, and recipes to try out at home. A challenge is always included with prizes up for grabs. Students and their families are excited about the monthly take-home kits, and we know that we are truly better when we support each other!    

We’re pleased to welcome back Megan Lanouette, speech language pathologist, from her maternity leave. Megan’s positive attitude and friendly nature have been missed over the past year. We extend our gratitude to Carol McInnis, a dynamic speech language pathologist, who filled in during Megan’s absence.

Thank you for taking the time to read our school news. As a community school, we greatly miss our in-person connections with our community. Stay safe and healthy, and with your ongoing support and interest in our children’s education, we look forward to brighter days ahead!