November 15

OJCS Strategy Lines

You’ve likely heard of our 6 North Stars, but do you know that we have 5 strategy lines that help guide us there (champion the well being of each person, challenge assumptions, be open to critique, include student voice, work is part of a unique Jewish learning journey.)

Today during our P.D. Day, the teachers are spending time reviewing these strategy lines and working to bring them to life in our school.

Including student voice can happen in many way, but without empowering our students to use their voice in respectful ways, they won’t know how to use it.


November 10

Structured Word Inquiry

One of my goals as a teacher is to help students see that WE ALL have areas where we shine, and areas where we may not be as strong.

One of those ‘not so strong’ areas for me is that I am a terrible speller. This can be pretty embarrassing as a Language Arts teacher. Fortunately, I’ve developed tools and strategies that work for me over the years. I know how important it is to ensure things are spelled correctly before pressing send or publish. So I read, and reread my work over and over, even for something as simple as a text. Spellcheck and predictive text have been blessings in disguise for me. I often know when something just doesn’t look right, and so I check dictionaries and definitions to make sure I’m saying just what I want to say.

You can imagine my excitement then, when Mrs. Reichstein, our director of Special  Education, told me that English spelling is not just a guessing game. There are rules and strategies, that if you know them, you almost always can spell a word correctly!

I needed to learn more.

I started working with her one on one last year, and began learning a few new rules that just BLEW MY MIND. I knew these invaluable strategies would be helpful to my students as well.

Last week, she started coming in to teach our class some of these rules, and the energy during her lessons is palpable. There were so many “Aha” moments, and we can’t wait to learn more!

Here are some of the rules we’ve learned so far through investigation:

We learned a few tips to help us as we go…

We’ve started a running record of prefixes and suffixes to help us as we write…

And we’re keeping track of questions we have so that student voice guides each lesson, showing that we own our own learning…

This past week we learned that to make the letter C say |s| it must be followed by an E. But as Mrs. Reichstein tells us, don’t take her word for it! Be investigators! Can you find words that don’t follow this rule? We already thought of “fancy” and “science”. Can you think of any more?

As you make discoveries, please comment below. Or if you have any questions, comment and let us know! We’ll add them to our question board and share our discoveries about why they may break the rule.

October 28

The Student Blogs Are Live!

Over the last 4 (short) weeks, our students have started learning about the different functions of their blogs. They’ve created avatars, started writing posts, embedded images, and have even gotten some comments from other students around the world!

We have been able to do all this because we are participating in the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge!

There are so many things I love about this program.

  1. Students are EXCITED to blog! Every day they come in asking me if we will be working on our blogs today. Imagine…they want to write…and document…and publish their work for a global audience!
  2. Students are learning important skills, such as keeping themselves safe online, interacting respectfully with others, editing their work to a point of being proud to share it with the world, and are making important decisions about what to share and why.

If you scroll down on the right hand side of this blog, you will see links to our student blogs.

Read them, comment on them! Here are some of the rules we’ve come up with when commenting that we’d like you to follow:

  • 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 28

A Full Week Full of Events!

Tomorrow, Tuesday October 29, we will be taking school photos. Please remember to wear your white uniform shirt!

geralt / Pixabay


Friday, November 1, is our first Grade 5 Family Kabbalat Shabbat at 2:30 pm in the chapel. We hope you will be able to come.

RJA1988 / Pixabay

Friday is also our first early Friday dismissal. The school day ends at 3:00 pm. Then, on Friday November 8, we move to our 2:00 pm Friday dismissals.

October 18

Student Vote 2019

We had a great turnout for our Student Vote yesterday! The grade 5 students prepared and delivered! It was a long morning, where lots of patience was needed, but they stepped up to the challenge and were true model students and citizens.

We started the morning learning how to fold and initial the ballots to ensure they were all “kosher” and hadn’t been tampered with. They also witnessed and confirmed that the ballot boxes were empty before they were sealed.

And then the fun began! We welcomed all the classes from grades 3 to 8 into our room, presented important information on the main party platforms, and then worked as Poll Clerks and Deputy Returning Officers to guide voters through the voting process.


We can’t wait to share the results with you, after the polls close for the rest of the country, on Monday evening. We will be counting the votes on Wednesday so stay tuned!

October 16

Please Join Us! Kabbalat Shabbat

We will be having 4 Family Kabbalat Shabbat experiences, and we would love for you to join us!

Please mark these dates in your calendar:


Grade 5 Family Shabbat:

November 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

February 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm


Grades K – 5 Family Shabbat:

February 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

June 12, 2020 at 3:15 pm


Hope to see you there 🙂

October 11

It’s Voting Season!

Last week our middle school students ran for various positions on our Knesset (student council). We listened to their speeches and then went through the private voting process.

Today, it was our turn to run! Five well-deserving candidates gave speeches to their peers for the position of Class Representative. It’s not always easy to speak in front of the class, and they all did a great job! Although there had to be one winner, I was so impressed with the support and camaraderie all the students showed each other.

Next week, as the Canadian population prepares to vote, our students will also have the opportunity to have their voice heard. With grade 5 students at the lead, they have been researching the various parties, their leaders, MP candidates, and platform highlights. They will share this information with students in grades 3-8 on Thursday, October 17th, as the OJCS participates in the Student Vote Canada 2019. 

We’ll definitely keep you posted on the results. It will be interesting to see how our students feel compared to the rest of Canada!


October 7

Math Video

I have created a math tutorial video, reviewing everything for the test tomorrow. There are other videos to watch on EdPuzzle if you’d like more specific details on a particular topics, however this one covers it all!

Go to

Click login

Select Login as a student

Then select login with Google and sign in to your school email account. You will find the video, Ch.2 Test Review, there. It’s a long one…but it’s worth it 🙂