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!!

December 1

Scholastic Book Fair – Get Your Read On!

Even COVID can’t stop our love for reading and the Scholastic Book Fair! The only thing it will stop is us having the fair in person…and perhaps a few less cat posters and ice cream erasers purchases 😜

This year, our Scholastic Book Fair will be held completely virtually. To access the sale, please click here. You will find hundreds of books to choose from, and we are always happy to help make recommendations for your child.


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November 30

Blogging Bingo Challenge

Every year, students participate in a Blogging Bingo challenge to inspire them to write on their blogfolios more often. Right now, all students posts things to their blogfolios that their teachers ask them to; some students independently write posts of their choosing; and some students want to write more but don’t know what to write.

In an effort to inspire and spark creativity while also building new tech and media literacy skills, we have created this Blogging Bingo Challenge.

Students can work on this challenge throughout the whole year. There are some rules, though….obviously!

  1. All posts must follow our guidelines of what makes a quality post in order to be counted towards the challenge
  2. All comments must follow the guidelines of what make a quality comment
  3. Writing and drawings cannot be rushed just to complete the task

And for added incentive, here are the prizes!

5 posts – free Gotcha!

10 posts – Homework Pass or Teacher for the Period

Whole board – Chapters Gift Card]

Happy Blogging!

November 8

Commenting Rules!

Every year since we have launched student blogfolios at OJCS, I look forward to the Student Blogging Challenge. It is such a great way for students to become familiar with their blogs and see the power of connecting with students all over the world (as I blogged here).

Due to COVID-19 creating unpredictable classroom environments for so many, the Blogging Challenge has been put on hold for this year. But that hasn’t stopped us from continue to add new posts to our blogs, showcasing the various things we’ve been working on in class. Some students have even gone above and beyond to blog about their personal interests on their own.

One important aspect of blogging is recognizing that the things you say and share have a global audience. Commenting helps us feel heard and appreciated and adds value to our work. It also helps to hold us accountable for the things we’re posting online, and increases motivation to post something we have edited and are proud to share with the world.

This week, we began to discuss what makes a quality comment. We’d love to share this with you so that you can begin checking in regularly on our student blogfolios and leaving your own quality comments!

To find all our student blogfolios, scroll down on our sidebar until you see them all listed.

We’d also like to remind you of our commenting rules:

  • Address the author by their blogging name (that means use their alias if they are using one, even if you know their real name)
  • Be polite
  • Be appropriate
  • Agree or disagree with the blog and tell the author why
  • Add an opinion or thought that could help the blogger improve
  • Give details and ask questions
  • If you are a parent of the blogger, please comment with your first name only to help continue keeping our students’ identity safe.

Feel free to share these blogs with your family and friends. It is so exciting every time someone gets some love and attention on their blog 🙂

October 22

Your Voice Matters!

It’s that time of year again…Knesset Election time!

Tomorrow students will be voting for their Knesset executive. There are tons of amazing candidates from all of our Middle School classes. Then, next week, students in grades 3-8 will have the opportunity to run for Class Rep. Think you are interested in being our grade 5 class rep?? Your voice matters!

Let your teacher know by Monday, October 26th if you are interested in running for class rep. From Tuesday, October 27 – Thursday October 29, you can campaign in our classroom and hang posters (they must be approved by the teacher before you can hang them up). During that time you can also write your speech, letting your peers know why they should vote for you! Then, on Friday October 30, we will listen to all the speeches and vote for our class rep! Again, make sure to send your speech to Miss M or Mrs. Thompson before next Friday. They shouldn’t be more than 90 seconds 🙂

There will be one class rep from 5A and one class rep from 5B. Can’t wait to hear what you have to share 🙂

September 23

5B – Back school night

Hello Grade 5B families,

Please see below the Grade 5B General studies video. This is the detailed, extended version of my recording which gives a little more information. The shorter version I will share tonight in our Back to School virtual meeting.

Please see the below slides document from Morah Ofra detailing the 5B Hebrew curriculum and protocols

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Thank you and hopefully ‘see’ you tonight!

Miss Mellenthin and Morah Ofra


September 13

One Week Down…

We made it through week 1…and it’s been great!

Whether students were learning from home or in school, and teachers were teaching in the classroom, Israel or asynchronously, we have been getting to know each other, building community, learning new routines, and slowly but surely getting into the swing of “going forward at OJCS.”

As you may be aware already, this class blog will serve as our main mode of communication to you and to our students. We will share exciting things happening within the classroom, samples of student work, homework, and general thoughts for discussion. With that, let’s do a quick tour to make sure you are familiar with how best to use this space.

First, in order to ensure you never miss an update, you can subscribe to receive email updates whenever something new is posted. To do this, scroll down on the main page just under the yellow Pages menu, where you will see a section to subscribe by email.

Simply type in your email address, click subscribe, and you will then receive a confirmation email. That’s it! Now you will always know when something new is posted.

If you have any questions or comments about any of our posts, please feel free to comment directly within the blog, if you feel it’s appropriate. We would love to make our blog come alive with discussion and commentary!

Should you want to navigate through the blog on your own, the main page will always show the most recent posts at the top. Alternatively, you can navigate through the blog using the categories. These are found just below the subscribe button, and you can click on any category to filter which posts you see.

With the reality of the world and the new COVID-19 policies the school has put in place (read them all in the Parent Handbook, page 19-20), it is likely that students will be spending extended periods of time at home, but may be well enough to continue their learning. Whenever students are learning from home, they are expected to follow along with our Distance Learning schedule. There will be times when they will be live with their teachers and classmates through Google Meet, and other times when they may have tasks to complete independently. If and when this scenario arises for you, the distance schedules can all be found under the Grade 5 Distance Learning Schedule menu link.

We are looking forward to what is sure to be a year like no other…and we can’t wait to go through it in collaboration with all of you!

September 6

A Little French a Day Will Brighten Your Way!

Improve your French language skills throughout the school year by engaging in fun independent learning activities.  Madame Raymond (your new French Core teacher) has prepared a Google Slide Presentation to show many ways in which you can learn on your own.  Please go through the Slide Show and review all 7 activities.  I’m sure you will love learning French and showing your teacher and parents how you are making an effort to improve your language abilities this year.  Below this presentation, you will find the following Google documents: a book report, a video report and a record sheet.  Enjoy the presentation. Travaillez-fort!

Click here for the book report

Click here for the video report

Click here for the record sheet