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

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:, 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.

Bitmoji Image

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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