There has been a lot of talk about how we are living through history these days. The things we document about our experiences learning and working from home will be read and analyzed by students and historians hundreds of years from now. Just as we learn about events and lives of people in the past, their journals, pictures and accounts help us better understand what life was like.
Many students have already taken the opportunity to write journals of their own, but last week we talked about the things we thought would be important to document and how.
Here’s a quick video of the collaborative brainstorm we did on Jamboards:
And our final image of all the suggestions:
Fortunately, we launched our student blogs this year, with this exact (well, almost exact) purpose in mind. We wanted to give students a platform where they could keep track of their thoughts, learning and experiences at this point in time. It will always live there, as a resource for them, and others, to look back at and learn from.
Taking all the suggestions from the students, and also being inspired by this post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, I created the following image for students to use as inspiration for documenting their experiences. I hope this will bring some fun and smiles into what we know is a less than ideal time.
As you may or may not know, Ottawa is the 4th Canadian city I have lived in. And in each city, one of the first things I do is join a book club! In my opinion, there is little that is more enjoyable than sitting with friends, discussing a book. Knowing that I will be meeting with others to share my thoughts and opinions helps me focus in on different details and take notes on things I think are worth sharing.
Way back in January, we launched the first round of Book Clubs in our class. The feedback from students was just as I hoped it would be…THEY LOVED IT! As soon as we finished, many asked if we would be doing another round in term 3.
Well here we are, in term 3. However, things have changed a bit. Since we’re not in school and don’t have multiple copies of the same book to share, we are going to change things slightly and do an Any Book Book Club. For this term, students will get to choose any book they’d like to read. It could be a book they have at home that they’ve always wanted to read; it can be a book you order online that can be delivered in time (we will be having our first meeting on May 7, so there’s still some time to order); it can be an ebook that you download to your computer or tablet (the Ottawa Public Library has tons of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download for free! You can even get a temporary library card if you don’t already have one.)
The only rules are that it needs to be
a book you’ve never read before, and
a book that is both age and reading-level appropriate.
I have prepared individualized book lists with suggestions for each students’ reading levels that I will be sharing with them individually today. They do not need to choose a book from this list, but it’s a great resource in case you are looking for some suggestions. If students choose a book from home, I ask that they share the title with me to ensure it’s a good choice. Everyone needs to let me know what their book choice is by Monday, April 27th.
Each student will also get a copy of the slideshow below. They will be able to edit the slides directly to keep track of their work, and have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers in fun ways (I hope 😜)
Especially now, we can make an impact with Survivors. If you feel comfortable please read all 6 Holocaust Survivor (see attachments below) bios. If you have time it would be wonderful if you are able to write a personal letter to each one of them. I understand you many cut and paste a part of your letter but after reading the different biographies, I hope you will comment on their personal stories. (Suggestions: talk about your family, what you did over Pesach, hobbies, share what life is like at home, and please ASK them questions as well as Advice). Please use one google doc for all 6 survivors.
If you do not feel comfortable, please write to different letters to the residents of the Lodge.
The idea of this assignment is our North Star – being responsible for one another.
Due end of class Friday, April 24. When you finish writing the letters, please watch some of the episodes of the Anne Frank Diaries Online: Do you feel any connection after watching some of the videos? (Since the subject is the Holocaust, if you do not feel comfortable watching an Anne Frank Video, please write a journal entry, how you felt during Pesach vacation).
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.
I little while back I wrote this post about whether or not we should be memorizing our facts. The verdict is still out, however my own opinion is that I don’t believe memorization is the best strategy. But, I do think that it is extremely important to practice! I gave a few suggestions for practicing your facts at home in that post, however, while we are learning from home over the next few weeks, and especially while we are in our Multiplication and Division unit in math, practicing at home will be very important. Here are a few different ways to practice.