Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Math, Reading, Reminders

Highlights of the Week in SK

It’s been a wonderfully busy week in SK.  Here are some highlights of the week and some important reminders of upcoming events…

Both classes had their first meetings with their Grade 5 Reading Buddies this week!! Each child is paired with one or two Grade 5 students and every few weeks, we will meet in the library to read together, get to know each other, and to participate in some fun, community-building activities.  Be sure to ask your child to tell you about their new buddies!!

This week has been all about a favourite fall food, APPLES!!!  SK has learned about the Life Cycle of an apple, participated in a variety of apple math activities and we even did an apple taste test, comparing how 3 different kinds of apples look, smell, and taste, and of course choosing which one was our favourites; then we put the results in a graph.  The favourite in SK-A was Golden Delicious and the favourite in SK-B was Red Delicious.  They have also been talking about les pommes en francais…. Madame Maryse will share more about that later.

Today, JK and SK participated in a special Tashlich ceremony in preparation for Yom Kippur.  We gathered in the front yard, read the story “Tashlich at Turtle Rock”, and then each child drew a picture of something they wanted to throw away from this past year.  Then they balled up their drawings and threw them into the water to enter the New Year with a clean slate.  Thank you to Morah Susan and Morah Jaqui for organizing this meaningful activity.

In case you missed it, the video of our SK Back to School Night presentation and the slideshow are now uploaded to the “Back to School Night Videos” tab at the top of the Blog’s main page (and linked here for easy access now)…. Apologies that Morah Jaqui’s section is not in the video, but you can review the slides provided and send any questions you may have her way.  Thanks to everyone who was able to join us.  Once again, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to any of us!!


Monday, Sept. 25 – Yom Kippur (NO SCHOOL)

Tuesday, Sept. 26 – OJCS Terry Fox Run

Friday, Sept. 29 – Orange Shirt (Dress Down) Day

Shabbat Shalom and G’mar Chatima Tovah!

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Kindergarten, Math, Reading, Science

SK Summer Review

You thought you were done hearing from me, didn’t you?? Here’s one last post before I sign off for the summer…

When you receive your child’s report card, you may notice some suggestions and next steps to ensure your child is prepared for the start of Grade 1 in September.  I’ve collected some ideas and resources that you and your child can access through the summer to avoid the “summer slide”.  All of these are absolutely optional, but they are here should you wish to use them.

My Summer Workbooka collection of review worksheets for rainy days.


OJCS Summer Reading Challenge

Brigitte, our wonderful librarian, has created this amazing reading challenge that even SKs can participate in with their families.  Please review the document below for all of the information about which books to read and how to win your prize in September.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab


Clear the Board – Summer EditionUses this fun bingo board to read in a variety of ways throughout the summer.

Teach Your Monster to Read   This app is available for purchase on the App store ($6.99), and you can also download a desktop version that is free, though there may be some differences in the program.  We used this app in class and the kids absolutely love it!!  It covers everything from letters and their sounds to reading full sentences and short stories.

Kids Learn! Sight Words   This app is designed for iPads and is available for free on the App store, though there are additions available for purchase.  It combines fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension practice with entertaining, engaging graphics in a fun learning format.

Spelling Games for Kids   This app is designed for iPads or iPhones and is available for free in the App store.  It helps to hone your child’s spelling skills through a variety of games that feature over 900 words.


IXL – You can go back to this blog post in case your child has not already been accessing IXL at home.  They can continue working through the Teacher Suggested Skills or they can access the Diagnostic Arena to tailor activities to their skill level.  As a reminder, here is how to login:

Username: [firstnamelastname] – all lowercase, no spaces (ie. andreablack)

Password: math123  – This site has a lot of free options without having to sign up (though that could be an option as well) that can be divided up by grade level or by skills.

Check out Mrs. Cleveland’s amazing Mindful Math Resource page for more ideas and activities (please double-check the grade level as this page includes resources for K-8).


20 Outdoor Science Experiments – Turn your backyard into a Science lab with some of these ideas.

After building bird’s nests with Let’s Talk Science, there may be some budding ornithologists out there…. Your child can document the different birds they find in this printable Bird Book.

Find and draw all of the beautiful plants you find this summer in this Plant Observation Journal.


My Jewish has some fun free games to practice vocabulary.

Here is a Padlet that has a variety of Hebrew stories that kids can listen to and if you can read Hebrew, there are some activity suggestions under each story as well.

Practice Hebrew vocabulary and listen/watch short stories found at this Learning Channel for Kids playlist.


Posted in General Studies, Kindergarten, Math, Reminders

SK Measures Up!

Over the last few weeks, SK students have been busy investigating and exploring the concept of measurement!!  We started by using non-standard units of measurement to measure and compare the length, height, and width of different objects found around our classroom.  We even had a special Measurement Hunt where the kids chose different objects around the room to measure with their chosen unit of measurement (cubes, legos, paperclips, shoes, etc.) and then they documented their findings in a chart.  We also had the opportunity to try measuring with rulers and many students were able to find the measurements quite accurately!!  We also explored others types of measurement such as weight, capacity and temperature; through sensory and hands-on experiments, the kids compared a variety of objects and determined if they were heavy or light, empty or full, hot or cold, and so on.  Check out the photos below….

This Friday, June 23rd is our last Dress Down Day of the year!  We will be following the JKs lead and collecting tzedakah for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.  Don’t forget your loonies and toonies!!  That afternoon, we will be joining the whole school to watch the Grade 8s vs Staff Baseball Game.  Please ensure that your child has a hat and is dressed appropriately for the weather as we will spending a good part of the afternoon outside!

Next Tuesday, June 27th, by popular request, SK will be having a special Pyjama Day to celebrate the end of our year together.  The kids can come to school in their summer cozies, bring their stuffies, and we will have a special treat!!

As we wrap up our year in SK, we will be sending home the kids’ work and other things at school between now and next Wednesday.  If you know that your child will be ending the year a few days early, please let us know so that we can ensure that everything gets where it needs to go!


Friday, June 23 – Dress Down Day for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation

Tuesday, June 27 – SK Pyjama Day

Wednesday, June 28 – Last Day of School (NOON DISMISSAL)

Party Popper Emoji (U+1F389)HAPPY BIRTHDAYParty Popper Emoji (U+1F389)

to Jacob K who turns 6 on June 21st

and to Morah Dawn who celebrates on June 29th!!

Posted in General Studies, Kindergarten, Science, STEAM

Let’s Talk Science…. Nifty Nests!

This morning, Senior Kindergarten participated in our final Let’s Talk Science lab of the year.  This time, Farah and Madalina, students from the University of Ottawa, introduced the topic of nests to the kids and we were astounded by their ideas and observations as they discussed what kinds of animals build nests and what materials they use to build them.  Then we played a Guess the Nest game and even though some of the questions were really tricky, these super-smart kids got most of them right!!  To wrap-up our learning, the kids were tasked with building their own bird’s nest out of the materials they were provided, but with the extra challenge of using a clothespin (to simulate a bird’s beak) instead of their hands.  Check out some pictures of the process:

You may have some blossoming birdwatchers on your hands now as Farah and Madalina challenged the kids to look for birds’ nests around their neighbourhoods or to build an outdoor next and see if any creatures make it their home….. If your child finds or builds any nests, please share the photos in the comments!!

I want to send a huge thank you to Farah and Madalina for all of the amazing sessions this year and for inspiring our little scientists!!

Posted in Chagim, General Studies, Jewish Studies, Kindergarten, Reminders

Mapping Out Our World….

Over the last little while, Senior Kindergarten has been exploring maps and how we use them to find our way around.  We have compared maps and globes, discovered how symbols can help us to read maps through a variety of in-class activities, and learned about the Cardinal Directions, North, East, South and West.  Many of you may remember using “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” to help recall the different directions, but the SK kids have an updated version, so make sure to ask them about it!!!  They have also been discovering our place in the world, from the city we live in to our province, country and continent and exploring different kinds of houses around the world as well as their own homes.  Last Friday, they put their practice to use as they followed a map and directional clues to complete a Scavenger Hunt around the school.  They worked together to find and decipher the 8 clues and received a special sweet treat as their treasure at the end.  Way to go, SK!!

Today, we marked Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot, where it is traditional to go on hikes, have picnics and bonfires, and other celebrations.  Along with Junior Kindergarten, this morning we enjoyed a special picnic outside with our own version of pareve “s’mores” while listening to a Lag Ba’Omer story and having a singalong with Moreh Saar on guitar.  We have also been talking this week about ways we can show Ahavat Yisrael, or love, kindness and respect for others.

We will continue to count the days of the Omer until Shavuot, which is coming up in a few weeks!!  In honour of Shavuot, we are collecting non-perishable items for the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank until May 25th.  It would be wonderful if you could send any donations between now and then to school!!  All items donated should have a visible, reliable hechsher (COR, MK, OU, etc) and please make sure to check the expiration date.  Check out the poster below to see what items are needed most, but any and all donations are appreciated!!


Monday, May 15 – OJCS Generations Day (please ask guests who will be joining virtually to make sure they have some paper, pencils and markers ready on Monday morning)

Friday, May 19 – Dress Down Day supporting The Cure

Monday, May 22 – Victoria Day (NO SCHOOL)

Friday, May 26 – Shavuot (NO SCHOOL)

Posted in Chagim, Kindergarten, Reminders, Science, STEAM

Pesach is Coming!!! (information about the JK/SK Seder included)

שִׂמְחָה רַבָּה, שִׂמְחָה רַבָּה
!אָבִיב הִגִּיעַ, פֶּסַח בָּה

SK is having so much fun getting ready for Pesach!! From learning songs and the Mah Nishtana to putting together their very own Haggadot, from reading so many stories and playing games on the SmartBoard, we have been truly blown away by all they have been learning about this chag!

This coming Tuesday, April 4, we will be having our own special Seder in the morning with JK!! Sorry parents, this event is for the kiddos only, but we promise to share pictures!!

Each student is asked to bring the following to school on Tuesday (in addition to his or her snack/lunch):

  • 1 hard boiled egg, peeled and wrapped in plastic wrap
  • 1 or 2 small pieces of celery
  • 1 piece of romaine lettuce

The remainder of the Seder foods will be provided by the P.T.A.  We will serve horseradish, egg matzah, grape juice, and NUT-FREE charoset. Should you have any concerns regarding food allergies, please provide your child with his or her own Seder food.

Your child is welcome to come to school wearing fancy holiday clothing, but because this is not a Dress Down Day, we ask that they bring their school uniform to change into after our celebration. Please note that drop-off will still be outdoors so whatever they are wearing should fit comfortably under their outdoor clothing.  If you have any questions, please reach out.

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join us for Innovation Day in SK yesterday!!  The students worked so hard on all of our Water Cycle projects and they were so proud to share what they had learned and created with you. Check out the picture gallery below and if you haven’t been able to get the “Water Cycle Song” out of your head, you can find a link to the video here.


Tuesday, April 4 – JK/SK Seder

Wednesday, April 5 – Friday, April 14 – Passover Break (NO SCHOOL)

Monday, April 17 – Return to School

Posted in General Studies, Kindergarten, Reminders, Science, STEAM

Innovation Day is almost here!!!

This year’s INNOVATION DAY is less than 2 days away!! It is a day to celebrate STEAM here at OJCS, so make sure to join us on Thursday, March 30th at 8:45 am to see what SK has been busy exploring and learning.…. while the poster below says the day begins at 9:00 am, we are shifting slightly to not overly affect the SK’s schedule and so that anyone with older students has time to visit those classes as well.

Please bring your child to the school’s front door for drop-off (as you would on a rainy day) as close to 8:30 as possible and we ask that you wait outside the school as your child gets settled for the day.  Once the 8:45 bell rings, you are welcome to make your way to our classroom and your child will show you their individual experiments as well as the ones we did as a class and fill you in on their learning.  We will wrap up with a quick song before we send you on your way (which should be no later than 9:15).

We kindly ask that you limit visitors to no more than 2 people per child as space is limited in our classroom.


Friday, Mar. 31 – Dress Down Day: don’t forget to send in donations for the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank!

Tuesday, April 4 – JK/SK Seder (sorry this event is for the kiddos only, but we will send more info soon!)

Wednesday, April 5 – Friday, April 14 – Passover Break (NO SCHOOL)

Monday, April 17 – Return to School

Posted in General Studies, Kindergarten, Math, Reminders

SK celebrates 100 Day!!

Yesterday was the 100th day of school and SK spent the day celebrating in many different ways!! We started by reading a story called “William’s 100th Day of School” and then we did a special 100 Day workout – we warmed up by running on the spot for 100 seconds and then did 10 different exercises 10 times each…. Phew!! It was a great way to work out our bodies and our minds, never mind that it helped us practice counting by 10s!  Mr. Ebbs had a special 100 Day colouring project for the class and we spent the rest of the morning counting, measuring and comparing 100 different objects.  Did you know that 100 marbles are heavier than 100 cotton balls? Or that 100 chain links are longer than 100 unifix cubes?  SK does!!  We even had 100 Day activities en francais and ended our day with a 100 Day parade, counting 100 steps around the hallways and showing off our 100 Day crowns.  What a day!! Check out the pictures below from our celebrations….

Don’t forget, we are still looking for prizes for our Purim Carnival, so if you have any unused or unwanted toys at home, please send them into school before next Tuesday!

 Another reminder that next week is Ruach Week at OJCS!! Check out each day’s theme below….


Friday, Mar. 3 – 3:00 pm Dismissal

March 6 – 10 – Ruach Week

Friday, March 10 – 3:00 pm Dismissal

Thursday, March 16 – 2:00 pm Dismissal/PT Interviews

Friday, March 17 – PD Day (NO SCHOOL)/PT Interviews

Posted in General Studies, Kindergarten, Science, STEAM

Let’s Talk Science…. Solids, Liquids and Gases

SK spent most of the week inquiring about, observing and experimenting with the States of Matter.  We listed different examples of each state and learned their properties through activities and songs; we experimented with mixing more solids and liquids to create gases and documented our observations.  We even built a mini snowman and then watched to see how water can actually shift from one state of matter to another (snow, water, water vapour).  Below are some of the videos and songs we watched in class to enhance our learning and some pictures as well.

We culminated our learning by participating in another super fun Let’s Talk Science lab with Farah and Madalina from the University of Ottawa  AND we got to do our experiments in the OJCS Makerspace!!  The kids were introduced to everyday liquids and solids to determine their properties.  They used their hands and senses to explore different liquids, like water, oil and corn syrup, and then poured them out to see the differences between them.  Then they did a cool experiment where we mixed solids with water to see whether or not they would dissolve and ended with another experiment where we mixed solids (baking powder and sugar) with water to create a gas….. the kids loved experiencing this neat reaction and it sparked some really interesting questions…. make sure to ask your child what they observed and learned in Science this week!!

Move Like Matter Dance:

Matter Chatter Song:

3 States of Matter Song:


Fridays (from now until early March) – 2:00 pm Dismissal

Monday, Feb. 6 – Tu B’Shevat

Thursday, Feb. 16 – OJCS Winter Fun Day

Friday, Feb. 17 – PD Day (NO SCHOOL)

Monday, Feb. 20 – Friday, Feb. 24 – Family Day/Reading Week (NO SCHOOL)

Posted in General Studies, Math

Introducing IXL

IXL Online Math Forum

IXL is an online forum that provides diagnostics of learning skills, promotes review, mastery and extensions of skills through practice, as well as providing students, teachers, and parents valuable information on student’s progress through grade data points.  We have just introduced IXL in the classroom and there will be a handout in your child’s backpack today that explains how to log in with your child’s login and password; if you need a reminder or have not received the handout, please contact Morah Andrea.  We will continue to use this program in class, but practice time at home is also encouraged! For a more in-depth tutorial on how to set up the program for your child as well as highlights of the program, check out these blog posts from our Math specialist, Mrs. Cleveland:

IXL: Online Math Forum for Personalized Learning

IXL: Four Highlights to Understand



Fridays (from now until early March) – 2:00 pm Dismissal

Thursday, Dec. 8 & Friday, Dec. 9 – Parent-Teacher Interviews (2:00 Dismissal on Thursday and NO SCHOOL on Friday)

Tuesday, Dec. 20 @ 6:30 pm – OJCS Family Chanukah Celebration

Friday, Dec. 23 – Pyjama/Dress Down Day