October 28

Genius Hour

Last week the students were introduced to Genius Hour. We started by watching two short videos (1 and 2) and this week we will be moving on to narrowing down our project choice, pitching it to the class, and then getting started. I am so excited to be doing this project with the students, and I think they are too! This project is completely passion driven and gives students the opportunity to learn about something they’ve always wanted to learn.

Here are some websites to help you brainstorm project ideas. The possibilities are really endless…all you need to think about is, “What interests me?” However seeing what other people have done in the past can be helpful in getting your brain turning. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to write down as many ideas that come to mind and slowly eliminate options until you are left with the best one! (If using the linked document, make sure to make a copy so you can edit)

If you come across any other useful links, please post them in the comments! Maybe parents can share their own passions and things they wish they had the time to explore to help us as we decide on our topics.

Grade 5 Project examples

One student’s project mixing two passions (candy and website building)

Scroll to the bottom of this page for ideas


October 19

A Class of Leaders

Today we held our class representative elections. We had a whopping 6 students running this year (and I know that at least 4 more people considered running at some point)! What I learned from this is that we have a class full of students who are ready to up their leadership game! Stay tuned, as we are going to find many other opportunities for grade 5 students to get involved in the school.

Congratulations to our co-class reps for this year!


October 15

Calling all Class Representatives!

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

Have you ever had an idea or heard your classmates talk about something and say, “I wish there was something I could do about this.”? Do you ever participate in the amazing activities our Knesset puts on and think, “I want to be part of THAT!”?

Well, your opportunity is here! This week, you can run for the grade 5 Class Representative. Here’s what you need to know to decide if you think you’re up for the job:

  • Class representatives are expected to attend 1-2 meetings a month at lunch and recess time
  • Class representatives must be good listeners who listen to the ideas of their classmates
  • Class representatives must be comfortable talking in front of groups and sharing ideas with the rest of the Knesset
  • Class representatives share Knesset updates with their classmates
  • Class representatives help organize Knesset activities (which means you sometimes don’t get to participate in the same way your classmates do)
  • Class representatives promote ruach in the school
  • Class representatives are positive role models

Do I still have your attention? If you’re interested in running for class rep, you can create posters to hang in our classroom (must be approved by Mrs. Thompson first) You will also need to write a 60-90 second speech about why you want to be the class representative (must be shown to Mrs. Thompson by Thursday Oct. 18) All speeches will be done in class on Friday, October 19th, after which we will vote!


Looking forward to a great election!


September 28

Homework September 28

  1. Problem of the Week – due Friday Oct. 5 (please keep self-evaluating. It’s helpful for me to get your problems just right for you!)
  2. Writer’s Workshop Wednesday – Due Wednesday Oct. 3 (topic: tell your Ottawa Tornado story)
  3. Social Studies quiz on the provinces and territories – Thursday Oct. 4 MAKE SURE YOU COMMENT ON THE BLOG POST HOW YOU WILL BE STUDYING AND WHAT YOUR QUIZ WILL LOOK LIKE

Shabbat Shalom!

Mrs. Thompson

September 17

Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic Learner…Which one are you?

Last Friday, we had our first session with Mrs. Reichstein. We filled out a survey in order to help in identifying which type of learner we are. It was fascinating to see students identify with the results. What was interesting is that not one person was completely dominant in one area. This is important in realizing that different strategies will work for each of us at different times and in different subjects. The important thing is to begin recognizing what works best for us as individuals most of the time.

Today, Mrs. Reichstein was back in the class, with three different stations. The goal was to now show students (and me) how the same task could be completed in different ways, depending on the type of learner you are. For example, when learning about the human body, a visual learner may benefit from looking at labelled diagrams of a skeleton or watching a movie about bones. An auditory learner may benefit from saying the names of the bones out loud and making connections to previous knowledge (“My patella is my kneecap.”) A kinesthetic learner may benefit from an interactive skeleton, where bones can be removed and replaced in the correct place.

We can apply this thinking to every task we do in every subject. As I mentioned, it is my goal to think of these various options ahead of time and offer multiple ways of achieving a goal. However, the ultimate goal will be for students to identify what strategy will work best for them and implement them for themselves whenever possible.

If you are interested in taking the survey yourself, here is a copy. Please comment below letting us know what you found out about yourself and how you see this helping you in your own life!

G’mar Chatima Tova

Mrs. Thompson

September 5

Building our Learning Community

Day two has come and gone, and it was just as successful as day one! We’re still learning our routines and new procedures, but who says we can’t have fun at the same time?

Group work is never easy, but today we spent lots of time discovering the importance of listening to others, working together, and finding similarities and differences that can be used to our advantage. We also did a fun, albeit messy, activity involving toothpaste and toothpicks. Want to know more? Check out the pictures below and ask your child what they learned? This discussion will no doubt be helpful to them as they write their reflection on this activity (due Friday). This is the first opportunity the students have to show me what their writing looks like. My message to them: take your time, be thoughtful, longer is not always better but you should include all your thoughts completely, and EDIT!) You also need to look through the Grade 5 Contract (which can be found in the Procedures and Expectations) and sign the back page, to be returned to school tomorrow.

See you tomorrow!

Mrs. Thompson

August 31

Happy New School Year!

The classrooms are decorated. The lessons are planned. All that’s left to do is welcome all of you on our first day of school. AND WE CAN’T WAIT!

Enjoy the last long weekend of the summer and we will see you bright and early on Tuesday morning!