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:, 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!

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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, 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 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 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:

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.



April 3

Before You Go!

Happy Friday and Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Last time I wrote was 2 weeks ago, 2 days into our emergency remote learning environment. I can’t believe how much we have learned over the last 2.5 weeks, and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the OJCS family. Our students have navigated these unusual circumstances so well, jumping right in to attending classes online, working virtually with their peers, and being patient, eager participants in class. With all the uncertainty going on in the world, the routine of school with the grade 5 students and my colleagues has been a calming force. Although it will be nice to have the Passover break, I will definitely miss our morning homeroom check-ins (and I think my cat, Ayla, will miss the kids too 😉)

If you haven’t read Mrs. Reichstein’s post about tips for the Passover break, I highly encourage you to do so, especially if you will need to continue working from home while your child is on break. Also, I’ve created the document below with ideas and links for things your children can do while we’re away from school. These are all suggestions! Nothing is assigned for the holiday. And especially after all this remote learning, I’ve tried to keep many of the suggestions “tech-free”.

If you do complete any of the activities, please take some pictures! We’d love to see what you’re doing over the holiday to own your own learning, showing ruach, and living #TheOJCSDifference.

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Chag Pesach Sameach!

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March 19

What a month these two days have been!

Thank goodness it’s Pyjama Day tomorrow!  Bitmoji Image

We have finished Day 2 of our new Distance Learning program. It has had its tricky moments, but from my perspective, it has been amazing. I’m so impressed with how engaged the students are, how quickly they’ve gotten into the flow of our new routines, and how they are all owning their own learning. We even had a dance party!!

If you have any pictures to share, please add them to the comments! We’d love to see what their “classroom” looks like these days.

We’ve already learned so much, and we’re still working out the kinks. Hopefully tomorrow will run smoother than today and so on. We are obviously limited to what we can see and hear from this side of the computer screen, though. So if you haven’t already, please fill out this feedback form to help us make any necessary tweaks for next week.

Here’s the slideshow the students and I went through, so you have a better sense of what the expectations are and how we hope this will all work.

Here’s to another great day of learning tomorrow!

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March 15

Things From School

Good evening Grade 5,

What a crazy couple of days it’s been! I hope you’re all safe at home and had a restful weekend. The next few weeks will be interesting for us all, and more information will be coming about this week, but for now, I just wanted to offer a little information for tomorrow. First, there is nothing you NEED from the classroom, so if you can’t come, don’t worry!

If you are able to come to school tomorrow, here are a few things I recommend you take:

– a math textbook

– your general studies binder

– a book or two (or more) from our classroom library

And if you have some extra space…

– your snow pants and other outdoor winter gear that you don’t need in your locker

– your Innovation Day project board

– any old lunches or snacks that shouldn’t be left for the next 5 weeks in your locker 😜

Speak to you all very soon!
Mrs. Thompson


March 6

Reminders for Next Week

Don’t forget that Book Club folders are due on Tuesday. 

Our Math test will be on Wednesday on addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals. More practice sheets will be coming home today – due on Monday

Students must complete their Innovation Day reflection post on their blog – due next Friday. Here is a checklist of everything that needs to be included. Check here for even more detailed instructions. 

The most exciting reminder for next week is that it is Ruach(Spirit) Week! Each day, students are invited to come to school in different costumes!

Monday: Crazy Hat/Hair Day (they should still wear their uniform, but wear a crazy hat or do their hair in a crazy way)

Tuesday: PURIM! Come dressed in your favourite costume

Wednesday: Class Theme Day (our class has chosen “Through the Decades” as our theme. Students should come dressed in any clothing from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 2000s)

Thursday: Favourite Book/TV/Movie character

Friday: Wear a pair-Bring a pair Pyjama Day (in addition to wearing our pyjamas to school, we are asking students to bring in NEW childrens’ pyjamas that will be donated to charity.

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January 23

Heartwarming Story

I shared this Twitter thread with the Grade 5 students today. They all loved it so much and asked me to post it here so they could share it with their parents (keep scrolling, it’s about 20 tweets long).

From this heartwarming story we were able to make some important connections to our class as well.

Whether you are a new student from another country, a new student from another school, or even a student who has been at the school for many years, fitting in and being accepted by your peers is important. Just like the students in this story, our class is filled with students who like many different things, sports being a common one. But we all come with varying skill levels. It can be intimidating, or even unenjoyable, to play a sport or activity where you don’t feel as skilled or accepted in the game as others.

Just like the students in Newfoundland, it is our job as a school family to notice those who are choosing not to play with us, find out why, change our game around to either help them improve, or just make everyone feel included. Even more so than that, find out what they enjoy doing and are good at, and play that instead! At OJCS, our North Stars and Jewish values show us every day that Each person is responsible for the other and We learn better together!

Can you think of any other areas of school life, or outside of school where this lesson can apply?