Dear OHS Families,
We had a great end to January with some beautiful concerts by our fourth grade orchestra and fifth grade orchestra and chorus. It was exciting to see our students in some of their first concerts. Big thanks to Mrs. Trombley and Mrs. Haskitt for guiding our students on these musical endeavors.
Another highlight of January was our PTA book discussion on the first part of Unselfie. The evening was filled with lively conversation and open sharing. Anmarie led us through the sections and discussion topics skillfully. It was great to have so many in attendance to talk about some important and timely topics. We owe big thanks to Bridget and Dawn and the PTA for supporting and organizing this with Anmarie. If you were not able to join our first meeting on Unselfie, I hope you will consider joining our next discussion. We will send out word when we have a date.
Unselfie is all about building empathy in our children and it fits perfectly with the social-emotional learning happening in school. In the last weeks, we welcomed PTA-sponsored special presenters who worked on social skills topics with our fourth and fifth graders. Our students came away with some ways to handle different difficult situations. Thank you to Missy McGuire and Karla Connors, who organized the presenters on behalf of the PTA. Our whole-school work with CARES assemblies, the Second Steps lessons in classrooms, and the new MindUp curriculum help support the development of the social-emotional side of our students.
Along with these more formal character-building lessons, you will find social-emotional teaching and learning across different curricular areas. During my observations of classrooms in January, I had opportunity to see this in action. In kindergarten, students were determining the voice to use in reading quotations based on clues about how the characters were feeling. In first grade, students were reading emotions of characters through illustrations and inferring feelings based on isolated statements from texts. In third grade, students were identifying the feelings of the character to help deepen comprehension and analysis of text. While these lessons will help build reading skills and comprehension, they will also build skills in helping students interact with one another.
Enjoy the start of February!