June 27

I wish my Grade Five students a Wonderful, Healthy Summer

Shalom Yeladim,

schools out

Hard to believe that this year is over. I had a pleasure teaching you grade 5 students in the last few months and must say that this has been a wonderful but also a very challenging time. 

Distance Learning was challenging but at the same time it brought us closer together despite the physical distance. I am glad that I had a chance to see you a few days ago at the entrance to your home and I hope that this coming September we can all go back to class. I wish you a healthy, joyful summer and can’t wait to see you in 3D.

Attached please see a list of resources to help you continue to progress in Hebrew:

Cartoon to help with basic Hebrew reading     (Basic Hebrew reading exercises) 

TeachMeHebrew      Terrific site full of Hebrew grammar exercises, songs, dialogs and more. 

  Hebrew by Nemo    Excellent App with the most essential words and phrases in Hebrew 

Short Videos in Hebrew        Movie Trailers Dubbed in Hebrew

 Hebrew 101                    Videos to teach Hebrew and free podcast lessons

Sending you a big, loving hug,

Morah Ruthie



June 25


It was so amazing driving around yesterday to see all of you! We get to ‘see’ you everyday, but nothing beats a face to face reunion.

I can’t believe the final days are here. I am currently sitting in my classroom, and there is one very important thing missing…YOU!

It has been a year we will all remember. Whenever people ask how it’s been teaching online and working from home, my response is always how lucky I feel to get to continue spending my days with my students. It’s definitely not what we would have envisioned, or even what we would wish for, but in the end, I am so glad I still got to spend the last 3 months with all of you.

Before you go, a few reminders. All parents should find their way to campus at some point on Thursday-Friday, July 2nd-3rd from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM to pick up all your children’s belongings and to drop off anything that belongs to the school (like LIBRARY BOOKS, Math textbooks, any other classroom books you’ve borrowed) at curbside in front of the school.  All desks and lockers will have been emptied, bagged, and labeled and members of the Admin Team will be there to assist.

I hope that over the next 2 months you will do a few things:

  • take a technology break!
  • play outside
  • be kind to yourself
  • be kind to your parents…especially if they are still working!
  • READ!!!
  • breathe
  • relax
  • SMILE!
  • explore
  • Have Fun!

Gonna miss you

May 28

Maccabiah Games – June 5, 2020!

Our incredible Knesset members, and devoted faculty Maccabiah Committee, have been working tirelessly to plan a fun, engaging, family virtual Maccabiah Games day!

I will be sharing the teams in homeroom, but wanted to share some information with all of you.

The schedule for the day will look as follows:

9:00-9:30 AM- Opening Ceremonies
9:30-10:00 AM- Team Meetings
10:00-10:30 AM- Snack
10:30-12:00 PM- GooseChase Missions
12:00-1:00 PM- Lunch
1:00-2:00 PM- GooseChase Missions
2:00-3:00 PM- Closing Ceremonies

As you can see, there are two time periods for GooseChase Missions. GooseChase is a digital scavenger hunt app, where missions are listed and participants are challenged to complete them by uploading video, image or text responses. We want this to be a family event, where parents & siblings can all participate in the fun GooseChase missions together during the GooseChase times. However, we understand this may not be possible for all, and students can still participate on their own, or with their siblings. We recommend you download the app ahead of time – you can create an account or play as a guest.

Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $15, 000, which will be matched this year by a generous donor! You can make donations by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/maccabiah2020, and are encouraged to share it with family and friends as well.

Each team’s Google Meet links and GooseChase game codes will all be shared closer to the date. Once students find out their teams, they are also encouraged to wear their team colour on Friday June 5.

It is sure to be an amazing day!

May 13

A Virtual Math Quiz – May 19

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about this one. In my Twitterverse, different educators are saying different things about assessment during this time of remote learning. As Dr. Mitzmacher mentioned in his last Weekly Parent Update email, we are in the process of discussing what report cards will look like for us at OJCS. After reading the different opinions online, and beginning to have conversations with my colleagues, here is where (I think) I have landed.

We began learning from home 9 weeks ago. We have been in “class” together for 7 weeks (we were on Passover break for 2 weeks) We have been learning A LOT during those 7 weeks. Have we gone a bit slower than we would have if we were in school? Yes. Have I been doing my best to check in with everyone to get a sense of what each child understands and where they may still need support? Yes. Would I be giving a cumulative assessment if we were still in school and had done all the work we’ve done? Yes. So why not at least try to do something for students to show what they know?

I can’t pretend we’re in school and that everything is the same, so there will have to be certain adjustments made to this assessment. I’m researching and brainstorming with my colleagues on how this can look so that the assessment is personalized and fair, and delivered in a way that meets the needs of all students in our class. We’ll try it out, and like everything else, we’ll learn from how it goes.

Our quiz will be on two-digit by two-digit multiplication, long division (3 digit divided by 1 digit) and checking your quotient with multiplication. Here are some videos reviewing the various strategies. Students can use whichever strategy they are most comfortable with. 

There are some things you can do to make the reviewing and studying portion of this experience a little more engaging and fun (even if the students won’t agree) that will also take you away from the screen:

  1. Make an obstacle course with different ‘pit stops’. At each stop, students need to solve a multiplication or division problem before they’re allowed to move on to the next obstacle.
  2. Take chalk outside and solve equations on the sidewalk. Leave a few for your neighbours and then check their work to see if they’re correct!
  3. Challenge yourself to make real-world word problems that use multiplication and division. Write them down, record them, or call up a friend and see if they can solve them.
  4. Knowing our multiplication facts will undoubtedly help with this assessment. Take a skipping rope and practice your facts (try not to just skip count *pun intended* but say the whole fact equation out loud. For example: “three times five is fifteen”) If skipping isn’t your thing, take a basketball and dribble, or a tennis racket and bounce against the wall.

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments! The best ideas come from collaboration. After all, we learn better together.

And if you would still like some paper and pencil examples to practice, there are many to choose from here. 


Category: Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
May 12

Grandparents Day – My Coronavirus Time Capsule Reflection

Yesterday was new, exciting, frustrating, exhausting, special and priceless.

Morah Ruthie, Mr. Pollowin, Mme. Jones and I worked with the students to create trilingual books for their grandparents and special friends, using bookcreator.com, where they were able to add text, upload pictures, record sounds and create beautiful ebooks to share.

At around 9:30, slowly but surely, the grandparents started to join our Meet, and we were able to welcome them, and even played a game together! It was so special to have guests from all over the world.


The morning didn’t go off without its hiccups, though. In order to protect our students, people outside of OJCS (anyone without an ojcs.ca email address) aren’t allowed to join our Meets without being given access by the teacher. I thought I had created a work-around by creating individual meeting rooms for each student, and directly inviting their grandparents as guests ahead of time. I was wrong. Bitmoji Image

When everyone broke off into their own rooms, there was a lot of frustration and confusion about how to join together. For this I apologize!

BUT some great things happened anyway. One of our main goals, both when learning in school and at home, is to help students become resilient, resourceful, independent problem solvers. Many students came to me and asked for support, others called their grandparents on FaceTime and shared that way, while others even set up elaborate computer/laptop/iPhone viewing contraptions. All in all, I hope everyone was able to see their book; from those who I heard from, they highly enjoyed them.

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Here is a tutorial on how to share your ebook with your family members. If anyone has any tips or suggestions for Android users, please let us know in the comments!

Thank you to all who came and joined our class, and to all the parents and grandchildren who acted as tech support at home 🙂

May 8


Shalom Kitah Hey!!!

I hope you had fun with your Grandparents this morning.

We will continue with our Virtual Siddur.  If you have already completed with your group, Baruch She’amar, please start recording the Ashrei.

Don’t forget, to explain what the Ashrei is about in your recording.

Helpful links:


Ashrei Link


Looking forward to YOUR AWESOME videos.




May 4

Grandparents Day

As you likely know, Monday, May 11th is Grandparents Day, and it will look a little differently this year. Normally, grandparents and special friends come to school and participate in activities with the class. It is always such a fun morning, learning and sharing together. Students enjoy showing their family members where they learn and creating things together. This year, we obviously won’t be able to do it person. However, we see this almost as a gift! There are often students whose grandparents live far away or don’t have any family members who are able to join in person. With our new virtual format this year, we really hope everyone will have someone to share with!

We have an amazing activity planned and will be working on it all week, with the finishing touches happening together  on Grandparents Day. Therefore, if you have not already RSVP’d to Staci, please do so! All you need to do is send her an email with the guest’s email address and she will send along the invite. Her email address is: s.zemlak-kenter@theojcs.ca

Please let us (or your child) know if it will be a grandparent or another family member or special friend who will be joining, so that we can tailor our special surprise accordingly.