Principal’s Message: Fun February Happenings at Oak Lake Community School

Staff and students are excited to welcome the second month of 2021—February is here and it is a cold one! The new year began with two weeks of remote learning for our Grades 7 and 8 students, and we were glad to have our entire school community back together under one roof. To celebrate, all students and staff enjoyed a hat day that hid long hair and badly-needed haircuts!

Despite the challenging times, OLCS Student Council worked hard to lift everyone’s spirits with a Mental Health Week the last week of January. Students were encouraged to wear their brightest colours to symbolize happiness and joy, and lots of smiles were seen as students participated in a school-wide Blackout Bingo activity. Staff members were delighted to receive beautiful yellow carnations that provided a bright spot in their day and on their desks. A mindfulness colouring contest was held to encourage students’ creativity and focus on the present moment. Student Council also sent home a mental health wellness sheet to help families practice self-care.

I Love to Read Month has also been bolstering our spirits while promoting a love of reading. Students from K-8 are doing many extra activities to support literacy such as silent reading, guess the mystery reader, and making our own bookmarks. Some fun Dr. Seuss-themed dress up days are scheduled for the end of the month.

Although our classrooms look a bit different these days, what hasn’t changed is our desire to learn, make friends, and have fun. Each classroom has submitted a report to update the community on all the fun and learning taking place.

The Kindergarten/Gr.1 classroom has been loving school and keeping busy! Along with learning our letter sounds, sight words and how to read, we are also learning some sign language! In math we have been practicing our counting so that we can count to 100 on the 100th day of school which is scheduled for later in February. To embrace our Manitoba winter, we decided to have fun in the snow and use different coloured spray bottles to learn all about mixing colours! We have also been enjoying learning all about where we live and how special our community of Oak Lake is to us! 

The Grades 1 and 2 room has been staying very active this past month! The students have been given the opportunity to sign up to be the “teacher” and read a book of their choice to the class! This has been going very well and Mrs. Wallace is so proud of their accomplishments in both reading and presenting. They also take turns leading our calendar time. As well, all students get their chance to be the Star of the Week, where they present pictures, stories, and other special items. to the class about themselves. Thank you to the parents who have helped out tremendously with this!

We will be having our classroom Valentine’s Day party this week. We will be making special crafts and eating some yummy snacks as well as many learning activities centered around this theme. We are taking a “tour” of Canada in our Social Studies class. We have learned about the various provincial flags and some very interesting facts about each province. We are also learning about animals and living things in Science which has tied in nicely to each province and its wildlife. We are excited to have a virtual tour of Oak Hammock Marsh, which happens at the end of the month!

Mrs. Hey’s Grade 3 class have been enthusiastically completing our novel study on the fabulous book, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Students have worked diligently to create a class comic book version of the novel. Mrs. Wenstob has prepared many exciting activities for “I Love to Read” month and Grade 3 students are in a reading frenzy to complete all of our reading bingo slots.

The Grades 4/5 class has been eagerly exploring poetry in ELA this month.  We have been learning about the elements of poetry through deciphering the lyrics to our favourite songs, writing various types of poems and reading poetry from famous Canadian poets.  Currently we are writing a poem called “What Home Means to Me”.  This poem will be entered into a Canadian contest that supports the Habitat for Humanity organization.  Each of our entries will result in a $10 donation to our local Habitat build. Our class is very excited to be able to donate $190 to this extraordinary cause through the power of our words! 

The Grade 6 class has been engaged in their learning since returning to school in January. Some of the highlights so far have included developing creative writing pieces designed to uncover the “top-secret” reasons for some of our school rules. We have also been working hard to create snow sculptures. We began by filling four-foot by four-foot plywood forms with snow and then began carving various designs into the blocks that were created. Take a drive past the north end of the playground and have a look.

After Christmas break, Mr. Korol’s Grades 7/8 class did two weeks of remote learning. During this time, the Grades 7/8 students completed a design project as part of their forces, structures, and stability unit in Science. Students were assigned to create a bridge using 100 popsicle sticks and white school glue. The most successful bridge held 27 science textbooks, totalling 67.5 lbs. We might have some futures engineers in our midst. In Social Studies, Grades 7/8 students chose a contemporary or historical figure who has made a difference in our world. They designed square paper plates that included a biography, photographs, and inspiring quotations from people such as Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Hayley Wickenheiser. These plates will be on display in the school and on the school Facebook page—be sure to check them out!

Staff have felt very appreciated this past week with all the treats and acts of kindness from Parent Advisory Council in honour of Staff Appreciation Week. A huge thank you to our families for their ongoing support and willingness to follow all the COVID rules and procedures. This has helped to ensure that our students and staff are healthy and attending OLCS each day. The world might be uncertain right now, but we are so grateful to continue to come together in-person as a school community.