This week we are taking a dive into the beautiful world of patterns! We started today with AB patterns and had a great time practicing, continuing, and inventing our own! I am very excited to see what patterns will be coming to our classroom tomorrow for “Tacky Tuesday”!


We also had a fabulous time parading our costumes and playing games at the Purim carnival.

innovation day!

A huge ‘kol ha’kavod’ to JK for their first innovation day! What a fun morning! Thank you to all of our guests for popping in to experiment with us!

Leading up to this morning, JK was heavily invested in learning about what makes objects sink or float. They learned about density, and even conducted an eggsperiment – no, wait, an experiment – to change the density of water so that an object that sank (an egg haha) was now able to float! Check out the booklets your children brought home in their backpacks to re-create the experiment at home! Their main challenge was to build a popsicle stick raft to get their dinosaur across the water table. As the joke goes… Why did the dinosaur cross the river? To get to the other side.


form – a shapey social and emotional learning journey

This week in JK, we continued to our second element of design: form. We learned that a form is a shape, which is what you get when your line connects back to itself, and no longer has a beginning and an end. We started on Monday with a review of the basic four 2-dimensional shapes, circle, triangle, square, and rectangle, and then learned their names en Français! Cercle, triangle, carré, et rectangle. We also learned the names and features of some more complex shapes: Oval (ovale), heart (coeur), star (étoile), and diamond (diamant).

Purim is coming up, so we made silly clown door decorations by folding, cutting, and stamping. We even made our own pom-pom hat toppers!

We looked at the shapes of everyone’s mouths when they were trying to express “being silly” and discovered that each mouth has a shape. We extended our learning by exploring feelings, and noticed that the whole face can change shape with different emotions. For example, your cheeks squish to the sides when you are happy and smile, making your head wider, and when you are surprised or scared and your mouth opens, it makes your face longer because your chin goes lower. We traced different ’emotions’ stencils and looked at eyes and eyebrows, and mouths and talked about what their different shapes might mean.

We read and discussed the story “How are you Peeling? Foods with Moods” by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers, focusing on two very important things. First, the ability to look at someone’s face and decode/figure out their emotion based on the shapes of their features (eyes, eye brows, mouths…). We discovered that some emotions have similar shapes and that you can feel more than one feeling at a time, and that’s okay! Second, that the best thing to do when you are having BIG feelings (and small ones too!) is to talk about it.

We looked at photos of people in various scenarios and discussed what they might be feeling or what might be happening to them based on their facial expressions and what else is going on in the photo. It was perfect timing, as we have been having some new friendships forming, and other friends feeling left out, and we had a really good chat about that.


Another way that we explored the concept of form included a new gym warm up: yoga. We explored the forms our bodies can make (and some that we can’t!). Check out this Alef Bet yoga to practice at home.

We have also been experimenting and learning about our Innovation Day theme: Sink/Float. Can’t wait to share it all with you on Wednesday, March 20th from 9:00 am to 9:45 am!


upcoming events!

We’ve got some exciting things happening here at OJCS that will carry us to the end of March! See flyers below for more details.

Wednesday, March 20th: Innovation Day
Please join us in our classroom from 9 am to 9:45 am to experiment with us and hear about our scientific investigations!

Monday, March 25th to Thursday, March 28th: Ruach week!
No school on Friday, March 29th.
There is a Grade 8 raffle happening that week as well, see flyers for info on ticket prices and prizes!
Here are the daily themes:
Monday: Our class costume theme is “מה שבא לי”. Borrowing from one of the themes of the Purim holiday, ״ונהפוך הוא״, we are taking a phrase that we have worked hard on flipping around – ״לא בא לי״ – and are flipping it into “מה שבא לי”! This is also the day we visit the school wide Purim carnival, please see the flyer below asking for donations of gently used toys for prizes.
Tuesday: Tacky Tuesday. Wear your most mis-matched clothing!
Wednesday: Wild West! Yee haw cowboys and cowgirls! Let’s practice our cowboy hustle!
Thursday: PJ Day, also dress down day! Bring your toonies and loonies in support of the Humane Society!

the “end” of the ‘line’

Your children are proudly bringing home their stories, zip line kits, and final ‘line’ study today. We discussed how lines can be short or long, straight or curved, have arcs or corners, and even all of those things in one line! The one thing to remember is that a line has a beginning and an end. Yesterday we painted using pipe cleaners to give an interesting parallel-lined texture to our picture frames. Today, we traced a beautiful continuous line drawing (yes, just one line!) to make a Shabbat themed window hanging. Next week, we will see what happens when the beginning and the end are connected… stay tuned!

Arts Integration in our JK Classroom

I love art. One of my favourites is abstract because the beauty can come from so many aspects. Lines, shapes, colour palette, textures, patterns, contrast, and especially because each time I look at an abstract piece, I discover something new. A lot of the art we do in our early childhood is exploratory. We are investigating, experimenting, and testing what materials can and cannot do, how they interact, how we can compose them on a surface or in a space (yes, art includes building!). This is called process art. Check out this article for a deeper insight into process art, as I cannot have written it better myself.

Art is not just visual. There is music, dance/performance, architecture (including engineering) and design, even math and literacy follow patterns and have their own language and beauty. I admire all types of creativity and artistic expression, which are so important in the early years and I highly encourage and support them in my classroom! That being said, I am happy to formally introduce you to an important piece of the JK program: Arts integration.

When I completed my Master’s of Education, my final project drew on many of the courses I had taken as well as my decades of teaching experience. It is a ‘Ted Talk’ style presentation about arts integration in a Junior Kindergarten setting, weaving together an arts curriculum with the trilingual program here at OJCS. I talk about my personal teaching philosophy and elements of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which I use to create experiential learning opportunities for each and every student. Let me know if you’d like to hear it, I’m happy to share! This is what I use for my everyday curriculum design, and it helps each student really connect to and deepen their learning experiences – each in their own special way.

Here in JK, we have been integrating the arts since the very first day of school. We have done many crafts, process art projects, and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities. We have gained music with Moreh David, but sadly, lost our official art period. So, I have begun formally teaching the 7 elements of design: line, form, texture, pattern, light, space, and colour, and will be investigating and integrating these elements into our curriculum over the next 7 weeks, seeing how they connect with what we already know, and exploring where they can take us.

We kicked off this past Monday with the first element – ‘line’. We learned that lines have a beginning and an end. They can be straight or curved, and go in many directions, and even switch directions in the middle. We read the story “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson and each student got to be author and illustrator of their own version of the story! Check them out here.

On Tuesday, we explored ‘line’ through a scientific lens and created zip lines – one of our favourite things to play with in the playground. We used paper towel rolls, straws, different types of string, and feathers as decorations to create the bodies that travel along the zip line. We learned new concepts and vocabulary (zip line, trolley, gravity, weight, speed, and friction). We experimented with different materials (for the zip line) to test friction and discovered that a rough rope creates a lot of friction, causing the body to go slower, and a smooth rope creates less friction, therefore the body goes faster. Each student will be bringing their zip line kit home at the end of the week and they are super excited to show you!

Today, we learned a little bit about cowboys, specifically line dancing! We learned the steps to the ‘Cowboy Hustle’ and you can practice at home with your child(ren) using this helpful video.

Your children are so excited to see what else is in store for them tomorrow and Friday, and we will continue next week with the element ‘form’. 

See you tomorrow evening at the Semaine de la Francophonie celebration!