the results are in!

We discovered that:
– the sun faded the paper (maybe it burned it!)
– the tape and the rocks left shadows
– the sunscreen is very thick and we scraped off a bit to find the paper was still very black underneath

Some questions we still have:
– why did the sunscreen stay white on the paper when it does not do that on our skin?
– would it also work if we use a different kind of sunscreen?
– what if the paper was in the sun the WHOLE day?? The sun moved and our paintings were in the shadows for a bit
– comment below with your own questions!

In conclusion/Now we know: Sunscreen works! Please consider sending your children with a sun hat and sunscreen already applied in the morning, or send a labelled tube/bottle for them to apply before going outside in sunny weather. Please practice with them at home so that they can apply sunscreen independently or with a little guidance. Thank you!

Call for donations

Shalom families,

As Shavuot approaches, OJCS is getting ready to celebrate. One of the things we have been doing as a school is an annual food drive in support of the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank. Please click here for more information about this wonderful organization in our community.

This year, they are asking primarily for donations of paper towels, instant coffee, crackers, canned salmon and tuna, and canned vegetables. We are collecting donations (in our classroom) up until June 10th.

Thank you so much for your support!

Settling in and upcoming events

Shalom families! As your wonderful children continue to settle in and get used to our new space, I continue to be amazed at their resilience and ability to adapt to new things. Kol Ha’kavod!

Our day-to-day schedule has changed slightly, please see our ‘class schedule’ page for more info.

And now for the fun stuff!

Tomorrow (Friday) we will be having a family style Kabbalat Shabbat with Dr. Mitzmacher from 3:05 pm – 3:45 pm and we hope you can join us!

HOMEWORK ALERT!!! Monday morning, May 13th, we will be welcoming grandparents and special friends into our classroom (virtually!). We will be having a show and tell as part of our activities. Please have your child select an item to bring to class that reminds them of their grandparent(s). You can send it in tomorrow (Friday) or on Monday.

Thank you for your collaboration!



This week JK explored the element of design “light” through a scientific lens. We studied light, light sources, darkness, shadows, and learned about the upcoming eclipse on Monday. (Reminder: Monday early dismissal at noon!)

Next week, we will explore the element of “space” which includes both outer space and physical space. I will be talking to JK about the upcoming move to KBI after Pesach, and we will be discussing their thoughts and feelings, and collecting their input on what toys and games to bring with us to design our new classroom space! If you haven’t already talked to your child(ren) about the upcoming move, please consider this weekend as a great opportunity to do so. Quinn, the school social worker, will be running a workshop on transitions to help strengthen the learning environment in the classroom and to help the children prepare for the move to KBI. If you wish to opt your child out of the workshop please let me know before April 11th as this is when our workshop will take place. We will be talking about change, and playing games that focus on transition (change), as well as their favourite things in the classroom that will be coming with us.

Shabbat shalom and have a lovely weekend!

Homework Alert!

This week we are focusing on the element of design “light” – what excellent timing as we are about to experience a solar eclipse! This morning we explored light, light sources, darkness, and shadows. We also discussed how the moon revolves around planet Earth, which also revolves around the sun, and had a visual demonstration of a solar eclipse using a flashlight, a basketball, and a smaller ball. Spoiler alert: this ties into next week’s element “space”!

The homework tonight is to replicate the demonstration (please watch this video if you’d like a refresher) and have your child describe it to you. They can also bring in a flashlight or small directional lamp (such as this if you have one – please do not buy one) to have a turn explaining it to their peers.

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!

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!

Upcoming events and Francophonie!

Dear families,

Please note the following upcoming dates and special events:

Thursday, February 15: Winter fun day! It is also a dress down day. PJs welcome. Please send extra socks, mittens, and a change of clothing just in case. We will be spending a lot of time outdoors and want to ensure everyone is comfy and dry!

Friday, February 16: No school for students, PD day

Week of February 19th: No school, reading week

Week of March 4th: Semaine de la Francophonie. An exciting week with a French focus!

Thursday, March 7th: Francofête! All students are asked to wear blue jeans and a white top. Please practice this song with your child(ren) so that they have as many opportunities as possible over the break to be their amazing selves! Here are the lyrics. Performance begins at 6:30 pm in the gym. Please drop off your child(ren) to their classroom no later than 6:20 pm. More details to follow – after reading week.

Homework alert!

We have been getting ready to celebrate Tu Bi’Shevat (**special homework after photos**). We’ve done some beautiful art, read stories, learned some songs, and learned about Shivat Haminim. Here’s another story from our very own amazing librarian, Brigitte, that you can enjoy at home together. We also started germinating some beans and lentils, and we will be planting them on Thursday or Friday, depending on how long their roots get.

HOMEWORK: This Thursday, January 25th, in honour of Tu Bi’Shevat, we will be having a “favourite fruit” show and tell. Please send your child with one or two types of fruit that they enjoy, packaged separately from their lunch and snacks. Please leave stems, peels, and seeds/pits as we will be exploring each fruit as well. Thank you!

This Friday, January 26th, we will be having a dress down day in support of JNF. Please send a loonie or a toonie. See flyer below.