October 18

Student Vote 2019

We had a great turnout for our Student Vote yesterday! The grade 5 students prepared and delivered! It was a long morning, where lots of patience was needed, but they stepped up to the challenge and were true model students and citizens.

We started the morning learning how to fold and initial the ballots to ensure they were all “kosher” and hadn’t been tampered with. They also witnessed and confirmed that the ballot boxes were empty before they were sealed.

And then the fun began! We welcomed all the classes from grades 3 to 8 into our room, presented important information on the main party platforms, and then worked as Poll Clerks and Deputy Returning Officers to guide voters through the voting process.

 


We can’t wait to share the results with you, after the polls close for the rest of the country, on Monday evening. We will be counting the votes on Wednesday so stay tuned!

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!

 

September 18

How We BYOD

I can’t believe we’re already into our third week of school and this is my first post. I take it as a good sign that we’re so busy and engaged in class that there hasn’t been any time for an update!

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been documenting our learning!

One new addition to our school policy this year is the soft launch of our Bring Your Own Device initiative for grades 4-8. Understandably so, there has been lots of conversation about what this means in terms of screen time for our students. I thought a good first step would be to show you how we’ve been using the devices in grade 5 to help enhance our learning. Technology is being integrated in meaningful ways, not simply for the sake of using a device. While we may have these devices in our classrooms, they are by no means being used ALL the time, and we are pretty deliberate about what they are used for.

First, we’ve made a few additions to our weekly classroom jobs. This summer I read, Who Owns the Learning by Alan November. In this book, he talks about the Digital Learning Farm, and how by giving student’s jobs within the classroom that are integral to the learning, they will take more ownership of their learning and become meaningful contributors to the class culture. This fit in perfectly with the work I, and a cohort of OJCS teachers did, last year with Silvia Tolisano. This matches our own OJCS North Star that We own our own learningTherefore, three new jobs in our classroom are the researcher, the documenter, and the habit finder. The researcher helps answer our questions in the moment when they come up. I am the first to admit that there is A LOT I don’t know. In our classroom, students are curious and if questions come up we don’t know the answer to…the researcher will find it for us! The documenter captures the learning happening in the room and in the school. They take pictures and videos of important learning. This is great practice for when we launch out Student Blogs (grade 5 students did this last year, if you’d like to read more about it. The habit finder pays special attention to how we are following the 7 habits in our classroom, captures these moments and documents it for us. These will be great examples to share with the whole school at our monthly Rosh Chodesh assemblies.

 

Let’s see what some of our documenters have captured so far!

 

We were introduced to EdPuzzle, a place where we can watch videos and answer questions to check for understanding. These “flipped lessons” will most often be watched at home, but we did a quick lesson in class to make sure everyone knew what to do.

 

 

We also spent some time practicing our Math critical thinking skills by choosing a question to answer, solving it with our partner, and then documenting our thinking process on Flipgrid. We used the video feature and also the new whiteboard feature to create tutorials. By focusing on what we learned and what we found challenging, we’ll be able to use that learning for next time!

 

 

 

 

We also started reading our first class novel, Wonder, by R.J Palacio. We’ve already had some great discussions about friendship, acceptance and kindness. Even though some of us have already read this book before, we know that books are like gifts (simile alert! We also started talking about literary devices 😉). You can find something new each time you open it!

Finally, today students started watching video feedback from me on their first paragraphs. Using Screencastify, I was able to record myself editing the students’ work, offering tips and suggestions for improvements they could make. This personalized feedback allowed students to focus on the specific skills they are working towards, and make any necessary changes at their own pace. Afterward, one student said she couldn’t believe how helpful it was to be able to have the video open in the corner of the screen, while her document was open as well. She was able to pause the video at appropriate times and edit her work as necessary.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg! It’s so exciting to see how much we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time. It’s clear that this is going to be a great year!

October 16

Traveling Across the Country

Who says you need to get on an airplane to travel across the country? Thanks to Canadian Geographic Education, we got to experience the map of Canada like never before.

And what was even better (in my opinion) was that students were able to identify how this activity would benefit a visual and kinesthetic learner! Love how this is becoming more and more a part of their vocabulary and how they are starting to make choices for themselves to use the tools they need to be their best.

 

September 28

Homework September 28

  1. Problem of the Week – due Friday Oct. 5 (please keep self-evaluating. It’s helpful for me to get your problems just right for you!)
  2. Writer’s Workshop Wednesday – Due Wednesday Oct. 3 (topic: tell your Ottawa Tornado story)
  3. Social Studies quiz on the provinces and territories – Thursday Oct. 4 MAKE SURE YOU COMMENT ON THE BLOG POST HOW YOU WILL BE STUDYING AND WHAT YOUR QUIZ WILL LOOK LIKE

Shabbat Shalom!

Mrs. Thompson

September 20

Oh Canada!

Social Studies in Grade 5 explores the people and systems that are important to Canada, both in the past and today. In order to know our present, we must also know our past. Therefore, the two major social studies themes this year are Indigenous Peoples of Canada and Government.

This past week we have been refreshing our memories of Canadian provinces and territories. Given all the work we’ve been doing about knowing ourselves as learners, each student will be selecting the study method that will work best for them, and they will also each be creating their own quiz that reflects the type of learner they are.

Here are some resources that can help you as you study. Please comment below with the strategy you intend to use to study or any useful sites you come across that can be helpful to your peers.

 

Quiz Links:

Click on the correct province

Click on the correct province

Type the names yourself

Drag and drop the province in the correct space

 

Study tricks:

Mnemonics of provinces

Provinces song