December 12

Senator Marc Gold

Dear Grade 5 families,

Just a quick note to remind you that we will be welcoming Senator Marc Gold to our classroom next Wednesday. We have covered Parliament and the Senate as part of our first unit in the Social Studies program. Senator Gold will be visiting our classroom and delivering a bilingual presentation as part of the Sengage program which coordinates senators’ visits to schools around the city. We are encouraging our students to think of relevant questions for our guest speaker.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

All the best,

Melissa and Aaron

November 19

Scholastic Book Fair!

It’s that time of year again! The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to OJCS December 3 – 6.


As you can see, there are many different times to visit the fair:

  • Dec. 3 from 12:00 – 5:00
  • Dec. 4 from 8:00 – 5:00 AND 6:00 – 9:00 (during PT Conferences)
  • Dec. 5 from 8:00 – 5:00 AND 6:00 – 9:00 (during PT Conferences)
  • Dec. 6 from 8:00 – 2:00

As a class, we will be going to the Book Fair on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 9:25 – 10:05. Students are welcome to check out the books before then and make a wish list, or make purchases before this visit as well. If you want to come join while we’re at the Book Fair, please mark your calendars! Students can bring their money to school on any day, but it would be best if they have it on Thursday when we’re there all together.

In the past, there have been some students who spend the majority, if not all, their money on ‘chachkas’ rather than on books. If you’d like to make sure a specific amount is spent on books, please just send me a quick note and I’ll keep an eye out 😉

Continuing this year will also be the Teacher Wish List! Your children’s teachers will be posting lists of books they would love to have added to their classroom libraries. If you would like to make a donation to the school through the purchase of a book, we would all be extremely grateful!


As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns. Hope to see you at the Book Fair!

November 15

OJCS Strategy Lines

You’ve likely heard of our 6 North Stars, but do you know that we have 5 strategy lines that help guide us there (champion the well being of each person, challenge assumptions, be open to critique, include student voice, work is part of a unique Jewish learning journey.)

Today during our P.D. Day, the teachers are spending time reviewing these strategy lines and working to bring them to life in our school.

Including student voice can happen in many way, but without empowering our students to use their voice in respectful ways, they won’t know how to use it.


October 16

Please Join Us! Kabbalat Shabbat

We will be having 4 Family Kabbalat Shabbat experiences, and we would love for you to join us!

Please mark these dates in your calendar:


Grade 5 Family Shabbat:

November 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

February 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm


Grades K – 5 Family Shabbat:

February 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

June 12, 2020 at 3:15 pm


Hope to see you there 🙂

October 11

It’s Voting Season!

Last week our middle school students ran for various positions on our Knesset (student council). We listened to their speeches and then went through the private voting process.

Today, it was our turn to run! Five well-deserving candidates gave speeches to their peers for the position of Class Representative. It’s not always easy to speak in front of the class, and they all did a great job! Although there had to be one winner, I was so impressed with the support and camaraderie all the students showed each other.

Next week, as the Canadian population prepares to vote, our students will also have the opportunity to have their voice heard. With grade 5 students at the lead, they have been researching the various parties, their leaders, MP candidates, and platform highlights. They will share this information with students in grades 3-8 on Thursday, October 17th, as the OJCS participates in the Student Vote Canada 2019. 

We’ll definitely keep you posted on the results. It will be interesting to see how our students feel compared to the rest of Canada!


October 4

Homework – October 4, 2019

Reminder! Math Test on Tuesday, October 8th. See this post for all the details!


If you would like to run for Class Rep for Knesset, please let me know by Monday. You may start bringing in posters for our class starting on Monday. Your speech (1 – 2 minutes MAX) must be shown to me by Thursday.

Speeches will be on Friday, October 11, and we will vote that day as well.


Good luck!!

October 3

The AYT Challenge

Yesterday I learned about Aseret Yemei Teshuva from Dr. Marcovitz. During the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we add a special prayer to our daily prayers to remind us to repent and ask for forgiveness. In order to participate in Aseret Yemei Teshuva in our school, we will be having an AYT Challenge, where we will all try to focus on positive speech and refrain from Lashon Harah for at least one hour each school day.

To start us off this morning, here was our whiteboard message:

Since the students didn’t know who they would be choosing, and they didn’t know about the challenge yet, it started off a bit rocky. Some people made faces or noises of disappointment when they looked at the name on their paper. Some people tried to guess who others had based on their reaction. But after our discussion, they realized that these small gestures, that they may think are silent and invisible to others, can still cause harm. They’ve decided that we should do these Kind Word activities every morning! We can all find AT LEAST three kind things to say to each other every day.

How can you bring the idea of Aseret Yemei Teshuva into your home this week? We’d love to hear your ideas!

September 4

Welcome Back!

Dear Grade 5 Families,

We are so excited to be back at school, with such an amazing group of grade 5 students. Some of us are new, some of us have been here before, but altogether, we’re going to be one amazing family!

There are a few things we wanted to point out in this post to start the year off all on the same page, as there have been quite a few new initiatives and policies added this year. Much of this is covered in the Parent Handbook, which you were asked to read, and then sign and return the form to school. If you have not done this yet, please sign it and send it to school with your children ASAP. 

Additionally, every grade 5 student must have a lock on their locker this year. If your child does not have a lock yet, please send one in with them this week.

Classroom Blog

If you have not subscribed to this blog yet, please do so! The blog is where you can come to read about all the exciting things happening in class, see pictures and videos of students in action, and perhaps even participate in some of our conversations! This is also where all the homework will be posted. If you are subscribed, you won’t need to remember to come check the blog, you’ll get an email update each time a teacher posts something new. To subscribe, simply enter your email under the Subscribe By Email heading on the right sidebar.

Bring Your Own Device

This year we began our soft launch of the Bring Your Own Device initiative at OJCS. An email about this went out in June, however here is a refresher of some of that information. A soft launch means that IF YOU WANT, and IF YOU HAVE a device already at home, students are encouraged to bring it to school with them. At this time, students are NOT required to bring a device to school, and we have plenty of iPads to lend should someone need one. However, next year, for the 2020/2021 school year, all students in grades 4-8 will be required to have a device, so you may want to start thinking about what the best device will be for your child.

As students become the drivers of their education, making room for them to explore areas of personal interest and document their learning will be essential.  With every student having access to their own device, they will be able to personalize the tools that work best for them, organize and keep track of their work at school and at home, and better develop Now Literacies.  While we leave the choice of which device your child should bring to you, there are some requirements and suggestions we would like to make.









We do understand that some students may prefer tablets/iPads over laptops.  We would like to point out, however, that there are some word-processing functions that do not work as well on a tablet (paragraph formatting, spell-check, etc.)  Additionally, some web-based programs, such as Edublogs, lose some of their functions when working on tablets.  While all devices meet the minimum system requirements/hardware specifications, the school recommends that students beginning in Grade 6 have a laptop device available to maximize their learning experiences.  If you choose to proceed with a tablet, here are the device requirements:







Homework Policy

All homework will be posted on the Grade 5 Blog, under the category “Homework”. You simply need to click on this to see any and all homework that has been assigned to the students. We will also be working with students on developing their own systems for tracking their homework, either online or written down.

At the end of last year, teachers and administrators spent time discussing OJCS’s homework philosophy, based on feedback from current research, parents, students and teachers. This resulted in a new Homework Policy, posted to our blog as well.

School Behaviour Protocol

All teachers, administrators, students and parents at The OJCS are expected to follow our North Stars and 7 Habits. Here are a few helpful links to understand this better.

School Expectations

Student Guide

Parent Guide


As always, we are all here to answer any questions, whenever they may come. Looking forward to a fun, exciting year full of learning and growing together.



The Grade 5 Team