March 4

Jesse Miller Recap

On Monday, March 1st,  Jesse Miller of Mediated Reality came to speak to our students and parents.

I was lucky enough to participate in all three sessions, and it was incredible to hear how he adjusted the message to fit the age and stage of the group he was speaking to. I want to share my big take-aways, but don’t even know where to start!

There was an overarching theme throughout all three sessions…


We will never go back to a time when technology didn’t exist, so rather than fight it, we need to accept that it’s here and learn how to live with it. When speaking with the parents, Jesse shared a story from when he was a boy in grade 5, taking the bus from his elementary school in Westmount, QC, to McGill University where his parents worked. His parents helped prepare him for this responsibility by equiping him with the tools he would need in case of an emergency….a quarter in case he needed to use a payphone, a plan for what to do if someone unkind spoke to him, who the safe people were to speak to along the way if he needed help…

The online world may be new, but it doesn’t need to be that different. We need to teach our children how to navigate it safely. We need to equip them with the tools and skills to help lead a balanced life. We need to help them understand what is appropriate and what is not…and why!

  • Using your computer during class a really fortunate tool to have. Chatting isn’t appropriate because you may miss out on important information, or it can take time away from using your class time appropriately when the teacher is available to help you. Closing tabs or telling your friends you can’t talk is a life skill that will help you BALANCE your responsibilities.
  • Playing games and chatting with people online is fun and can help you build relationships, but if it gets inappropriate, there are people you can speak to, without punishment, who can help you. Choosing to be an upstander is a life skill that will help you BALANCE your relationships.
  • Sharing some information about yourself online can have value. Documenting your learning is clearly something we value at OJCS. Protecting our identity is also something we value. Being respectful is definteily something we value, both on and offline. Who you choose to be online is important – what are you telling the world about who you are as a person? Teaching our children how to safely share and behave online is a life skill that will help them BALANCE their reputation.
  • Just as we set rules and boundaries for when screens can be used and HOW they should be used in school, rules and boundaries can be set in the home as well. If you’re going to allow children to be online, make sure they are “participating with the screen, not isolating with the screen.”
  • And finally, we should meet our children where they are. Their interests may not be ours, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn. Jesse gave the analogy of the “hockey mom.” Some mothers (and fathers) never played a game of hockey, or even watched a game of hockey before their child started playing. After going to game after game, many of those same parents are now experts, yelling from the stands as soon as any player is off-side. If your child loves Fortnite or Minecraft…play with them! Learn what it’s all about, see what interests them about it, and learn the rules so that it can become something you share together, not something you don’t undestand and can’t relate to.

If you were part of any of Jesse’s sessions, what were your big take-aways? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback 🙂

March 1

Math Test – Algebra – Thursday, March 11th

We will be finishing up our Algebra and Patterning unit this week and as always, students are given ample time and preparation to revise and get ready for the end of unit test on Thursday, March 11.

Here are some review videos of all the concepts we have learned for this unit:

Vocabulary Review

Evaluating Expressions

* This video has two examples with exponents. You DO NOT need to know exponents. Watch the first two examples until 2:10

Solving Equations (Balancing)

Reading Inequalities

Solving Inequalities

* This video has one example at the end with negative numbers. You DO NOT need to know this. We are only using whole numbers. Watch the first three examples until 4:15

Graphing Inequalities

Writing Equations from Word Problems


Students are encouraged to use IXL algebra and patterning recommendations and assigned tasks from Miss Mellenthin and Mrs. Thompson, alongside paper practise. Here are the worksheets to print if you prefer paper copies (5B have copies in their bags):

To help you study at home, here is a study planner, as well as tips for how to study!

Early next week we will also be sharing a full review package.

As always, there will be check-in sessions in class with the teacher and peer mentoring opportunities. If you need to reach out, please do not hesitate!


Miss Mellenthin and Mrs Thompson

Category: 5A, 5B, Homework, Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 22

Parent Evening Event – Safely Navigating the Online World

Even before COVID-19, we’ve been living in a world where social media plays a large role in the way we communicate – for our children too! With lockdowns, school closures, and the need to physically distance, many of us have increased the amount of time we spend online, as a family and as individuals. With this has also come concerns around the amount of screen time for our children, and how to best support them as they navigate an increasingly online world. Jesse Mille of Mediated Reality, is a national social media awareness expert, and he will be holding a parent information evening on Monday, March 1st at 7:30 pm to address parental fears and minimize stress around screen time, discuss perceptions around technology addiction, and answer all your questions. 

This is a workshop that shouldn’t be missed! Mr. Miller will also be speaking to our students (4-8) during the day on March 1st, so the evening is encouraged for parents only. 

Please register here for this incredible event, or click the link in the flyer below. 


February 9

Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month

February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), In Grade 5, we spend lots of time throughout the whole year talking about acceptance and inclusion, not just now. However, a reminder is always a good thing.

While we will be spending time doing activities throughout the month in school, one additional innitiative is the Youth Leadership Award Challenge. Students are encouraged to work on their own, with siblings or with friends to come up with an idea for how to create inclusive programs, spaces, or virtual spaces in our community for people of all abilities. We have begun brainstoming in class, but all students are encouraged to participate in this important event. Please see the poster below for all the details.


February 5

Would You Go Here?

I came across this article about a school in the Netherlands called Agora. It is a fascinating model where there are no classrooms, no curriculum, and the teachers are more “coaches on the side” than teachers at the front of the class (espcially since there are no classrooms!)

As I was reading it, I kept wondering…what would our parents think of this? What would our students think of this? What would our teachers think of this?

Rather than wonder, I’m here to ask! Let’s start a conversation.

Hey students! Would you want to go to a school like this? Do you think this kind of environment would work for you and your learning style? Do you think you would be productive? If you were completely in charge of your own learning, what would you learn? Does this remind you of anything we do in our school? If we could have elements of this in our school, what would that look like?

Hey parents! Would you choose to send your child to a school like this? What elements appeal to you? What would you find challenging as a parent? As you see in the arlicle, progress is measured in a very different way than we’re used to. How would you respond to that?

Hey teachers! This model sounds like so much of what we strive for in our school…(North Stars alers!) student voice, ruach, a floor but no ceiling… Could you see yourselves giving up the control as the teacher at the front of the room? The students at Agora are at least 12 years old. What would need to be true of your teaching now to prepare our students for a school like this?


Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share? Please comment below and let’s start a conversation!!

February 1

What’s the ‘Matter’ in our World?

Good morning and welcome back to in-person learning! It was so wonderful to see the students today, not just their heads with cool backgrounds, or minion avatars 😉

Today we will be launching our final Science task for our Matter unit, which will be an integrated project with Language Arts. Students will be exploring some real-world examples of changes in matter, and how those changes can have both positive and negative implications for our environment.

This will be a chance for students to demonstrate their understanding of physical and chemical changes, research skills (including writing a bibliography), media literacy knowledge, and oral presentation skills. In addition to doing their own research, both classes will also be watching the documentary, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. If you have not yet seen this film (it’s on Netflix) I highly recommend it.

Although this will be an in-class assignment, please talk to your children about their work. Have a look at our slides and what is required of them. Over the next few weeks, here are some things you can discuss at the dinner table:

  • What issue have you chosen to explore for your science project?
  • What have you learned so far?
  • Did you know that…. (and share some of your own knowledge with them)
  • If you come across any articles that you think would be interesting to them, or our class, feel free to comment with the link below.

January 31

Choice Board 1

Choose activities from the Choice Board when you complete classwork ahead of time. Completing activities of your choice will help you improve your language skills at the same time as earning points.