Ms. Mallette and Mrs. Pappa's second-grade classes experienced a distance learning version of our beloved Camp Read-A-Lot on the last day of the 2019-2020 school year. Students set up tents or forts in their living rooms, bedrooms, or even their backyards, and dressed in camping attire ready for a fun last day together. The excitement began the day before as Ms. Mallette and Mrs. Pappa packed their cars and headed off to each student's home to make Camp Read-A-Lot deliveries. Our second-grade teachers were deeply moved by their warm welcome from each student and family and somewhat overwhelmed with emotion at being able to see each student in person after 66 days apart. On Friday, each student "Zoomed" from their tents equipped with a flashlight, goody bag, and the most exhilarating energy. Just as in previous years, the classes heard stories from our "Reading Rangers," Mrs. Shales and Mrs. Helvey, all while snacking on camp treats. The 2nd graders also enjoyed some camping review lessons. They ended the day with awards highlighting all of the special qualities each teacher found in our extraordinary group of resilient second-grade students.
Oakwood faculty and staff had so much fun delivering surprise packages to each of our 32 graduating seniors on Saturday. The Class of 2020 was greeted with a celebratory yard sign, as well as a care package containing their cap and gown, a mug with the class of 2020 names on it, a custom cookie created by an Oakwood faculty member, a senior class photo, a "Virtually the Best Senior Class Ever!" t-shirt, a book of "High-Fives" from Oakwood Kindergarteners, and much more to commemorate an unforgettable final year at Oakwood. We're grateful for their resiliency and dedication and wish them the best in their future endeavors! Congratulations Class of 2020!
As the school year comes to an end, some of the annual events we were looking fondly towards are not on the calendar due to the shelter in place order. One of these events is the "A Little Song and Dance" performance. However, Mr. Potter has a little surprise to share with his amazing students and the entire Oakwood community. He has created an incredible video of his students performing "Tuxedo Junction."
It's no secret that Oakwood teachers have worked diligently to keep the continuity of everyday school life for our students as they learn remotely. Elementary science teacher Ms. Pompa is no exception. She has always felt it important to reward students for being good examples to their classmates. Before we moved to online learning, Ms. Pompa would secretly select students in each grade and reward them for modeling the character word of the month. They would receive the Secret Student award for their efforts, and the entire class would receive a "high-five".
On Friday, April 24th, as a tie-in with their history unit, Oakwood 2nd-grade students celebrated Pioneer Day: Zoom Style. While it looked much different than it had in previous years, Ms. Pappa and Ms. Malette wanted to ensure that even though the school is currently practicing Oakwood Away From Oakwood remote learning, the children were still able to learn about pioneer life in the 1800s interactively. The teachers were pleased to see that the students still had a great time dressing up with costumes they found at home. Students read their pioneer adventure tales to their classmates, ate some homemade pioneer snacks, and even danced a pioneer jig.
Congratulations to Kate Jackson whose Science Fair project titled, "Finding Fibonacci: Does separating leaves by the Fibonacci Golden Angle optimize average sun exposure per leaf?" received an Honorable Mention award in the Biological Science & Engineering category at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Championship which moved to a Virtual Model this year. Kate's project had previously placed 2nd at the South Valley Science Fair, an event at which Oakwood was also recognized by being awarded "Best School." Congratulations Kate!
Each year Oakwood 4th-grade students complete a book report project that includes picking a book of their choice to read, writing a three-paragraph summary and a paragraph reflection, and creating a t-shirt to represent the book they read. They depict a favorite part of the story on the front of the shirt, on the sleeves they put the book characters, and on the back of their shirts, they show a theme or motto from the book. The project is typically wrapped up with a t-shirt fashion show where the students model their shirt design, walking the "runway" to a fun script they wrote. This year, with the current shelter-in-place occurring, the 4th-grade students put on their shirts for a Zoom share with their classmates, where they discussed protagonists and antagonists, along with flat, round, dynamic, and static characters. The class also talked about their favorite part of their books and if they would recommend it to others. We love that Oakwood teachers present curriculum through their own inventive methods, inspiring students and keeping them engaged in their learning. Great job 4th grade, your shirts look fantastic!
Oakwood High School senior Valerie Doan is one of two local college-bound women who will receive scholarships this year from P.E.O. Chapter WJ in Morgan Hill. The scholarship selection is based on academic achievement, strength of character, non-scholastic activities and financial need. Morgan Hill Chapter WJ is one of 3 P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) chapters in the South Bay region. P.E.O., www.peointernational.org , which provides financial aid to women worldwide for undergraduate and graduate studies, has been a pioneering force for women's education since 1869. Congratulations, Valerie!
During their remote learning lessons, the Oakwood Kindergarten classes have finished their Christopher Columbus history unit. As a bonus activity, they could re-create one of Columbus' boats, the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria, and either a telescope or a compass, with their family. Many of them have been acting out the journey at home, and we love the video that this Oakwood family created to commemorate their experience.
At Oakwood, we believe that balance is essential. While we engage in remote learning, students enjoy spending time in their online classes, but it is also vital for them to learn and create offline as well. In art class this week, Oakwood Elementary students were given the assignment of creating a color wheel by using found objects around their homes. The outer ring was to showcase primary and secondary colors, while the center objects represented neutral colors. We think they did a fantastically colorful job!