Posted in General Studies

The latest news from 1A & 1B


  Tu B’Shevat

Grades 1-3 spent the afternoon working on special activities together. The children were split into mixed age groups for the afternoon. They loved travelling to different classrooms to work at each station. #We Learn Better Together


In honour of Tu B”Shevat, Brigitte read a wonderful book. Everyone loved it!

Both classes also got together to plant some salvia seeds from JNF. The seeds were attached inside the top of a pencil. It was funny to put the pencil into a cup of soil.





The children said good bye to Morah Andy last week.  They each made a special page for a special class book for Morah Andy. She took time to look at each page and read the messages the children wrote.


The children enjoyed a second Zoom call with children from different parts of Israel. They took turns presenting slides they made about their favourite foods. Our next Zoom call will take place on February 27th.

This week we read a story called Mimi’s Dream House. After reading the story the children were asked to draw their perfect dream house. The children let their imaginations run wild. They wrote about their dream houses and displayed them in the class.The students loved this type of writing.



It is so much fun to watch the students read each other’s work.

Kiran has been helping out in Grade One and SK classes on Mondays and Tuesdays over the last month and a half. He is a student at Algonquin College, and he is a natural fit in the SK and Gr.1. We will be sad to say goodbye to him this Tuesday.

1A and 1B recited a poem at the Rosh Chodesh Assembly this morning. They did a great job!


(Poem for Rosh Chodesh Adar)

Kitah Alef is a special place,

See the big smile on each face.


Hebrew, French, English and the Arts

We learn Judaics to fill our hearts.


Adding and subtracting is challenging but fun,

11 + 10 is 21.


We play games, sing a song,

Lots of fun all year long.


Books to read, poems to say,

Learning new things everyday.


Reading, writing, spelling too. 

So much to learn, much to do.


We work as partners, small groups or a team

In our classroom, outside and in the gym


1A & 1B are the best team,

Every day our teachers beam.







Posted in General Studies, Grade 1 Reading

Happy Hanukkah!

The children had a great week getting ready for Hanukkah. They made beautiful chanukiahs with Morah Andy. Morah Ada and the classes got into the spirit by making spinning dreidels, lego chanukiahs, and dreidel snowflakes

Grade 1 and 2 lit the candles virtually with schools from all over Canada and Israeli through our Etzbah Hagalil Partnership!

                                     Kitah Alef Shabbat

Both 1A and 1B love celebrating Shabbat together each Friday.





What is Amplify reading?

Amplify is the new reading platform (the umbrella company) that the OJCS purchased licenses for this year to use as a pilot project to enhance our current reading programs. We bought three programs for our school through Amplify, each explained below.


1. mClass – DIBELS 8 assessment 

2. Boost Reading (K-3)

3. Boost Close Reading (Gr. 4-8)

Why did we choose Amplify? 

This program aligns with the ‘Science of Reading’. The Science of Reading research shows the need for students to have word recognition skills (such as phonemic awareness, decoding skills through phonics, and reading fluency) and language comprehension (including knowledge of vocabulary, morphology, and syntax) to read and comprehend text. 

1. mClass is the system that allows us to run the DIBELS 8 Assessment with all of our students in Grades K-3. 

What is DIBELS?

DIBELS ® (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a set of procedures and measures that assesses the acquisition of literacy skills. They are short (one-minute) fluency measures used throughout the year to monitor the development of early literacy and reading skills. In Grade One, the DIBELS 8 assesses different skills, such as letter names, phonemic awareness, letter sounds, decoding, word reading, reading accuracy, and reading fluency. The classroom teacher does the assessment individually with each child.

Results of these assessments help us identify who is below, at, or above grade level in each skill. We can tailor our instruction in small groups and resource support accordingly. 

2. Boost Reading is the reading program license we purchased for students K-5. Boost Reading is a literacy acceleration and remediation program that uses adaptive technology to deliver personalized learning instruction for K-5 students. The engaging world of Boost Reading adapts to each unique reader. 

Can my child use this program at home?

Yes, please! Boost Reading adapts to your child’s needs, so you don’t need to, and you should NOT assist them with their learning. Once they log in, they’re ready to start using the program. Some students will begin with a placement activity that helps the program match them to the best content. To ensure the most accurate placement, students must complete each activity independently. Your child can have fun playing the Boost games and improve their reading skills.

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Ruach

A peek into Grade One

On Tuesday, the Grade One classes took part in a Let’s Talk Science workshop called the Tree of Life. Science students from the University of Ottawa taught us about the different characteristics of animals. We then had fun sorting and classifying the plastic animals. This was the perfect introduction to an upcoming research project about animals in the winter.

We also had the chance to make our own Tree of Life.

In a unit on Data Management we have been making graphs and interpreting the data. Corn seems to be the favourite vegetable in Grade One. Cherries are a favourite fruit in 1B while 1A seems to prefer peaches.



The children are very excited to visit the Scholastic Book Fair next week. The flyer with some of the featured books came home in the note totes yesterday. 1A and 1B will visit the Book Fair on Thursday December 7th.

Save the date for our Family Chanukah Celebration. We have already started to practice the song we will be singing. It is a terrific one.

Posted in French, General Studies, Jewish Studies

Special days in Grade One

Global Maker Day

This past Tuesday was Global Maker Day 2023. The students loved taking part in a day full of collaboration and creativity with schools from around the world. 

1A and 1B loved using their design thinking skills on Global Maker Day. There were four different STEM challenges to choose from: make a monster, a game, a new playground, or build a 3D school model. Special thanks to everyone who sent in all the recycled materials. There was more than enough cardboard and containers for the building.

There was a buzz in the room as the students chose their groups and started to brainstorm. With materials and tape in hand, the building began, and absolutely everyone was engaged and having so much fun.

Morah Ada and I were amazed at all the different building that was going on in the class. The students collaborated as they tested and adapted the designs to meet with success. Students presented their STEM challenges to the class. They were so proud of their final products. Global Maker Day was a success. We were inspired to be innovators, problem-solvers and share our work globally. 

A visit with Ottawa Firefighters

The JK, SK, and Grade One classes had special visit yesterday afternoon. A group of Ottawa firefighters from our local Station 23 came to talk about fire safety with the children. Firefighters discussed their roles as community helpers. The students also learned about making fire exit plans at home.

The children were excited to go outside and get an up close look at a real firetruck and learn about all the gear firefighters need to use.

One of the firefighters just happened to be the father of a SK student, which made the visit extra special.





Posted in General Studies

Reading homework begins today. Hooray!

                                                                           English Reading Homework

Your child will be bringing home a book to read tonight. The children are so excited!The book bag should be in their note tote. Your child should read the book and then record the title on the reading sheet (great printing practice). Please return the book tomorrow so your child can get a new book.

Happy Reading!



If for some reason the note tote does not find its way home tonight you can read a story online with this link

Posted in 1A, General Studies, Science

Scribble Bots and a Special Day 1A

Scribble Bots in 1A

We had so much fun in the Makerspace last week. Mr. Ray challenged us to make a Scribble bot. He told us that we would need to use our engineering skills to make a moving robot. He told us the materials for building would be three markers, a plastic cup, a motor, a battery pack, and lots of tape. First we made a plan of what we wanted to build.

The next step was to start building. It took lots of patience to attach all of the parts. We had to tape our markers inside the cup, making sure everything was stable. There was a lot of trial and error with attaching the battery pack wires to the motor. Mr. Ray helped us problem-solve and get our scribble bots ready to scribble.

The scribble bots started to move and scribble. It was so exciting to watch them move and scribble on the paper. Take a look at them in action below.



A special Day in 1A

There was a special surprise in the library today.  Melanie came to enthrall us with her performance of Opera Mouse.

You can see more info about the show here:
This afternoon there was a wonderful Shavuot Assembly on the front lawn of our school. It was beautiful to sing and gather together in the sunshine. The students donated lots of food to the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank.
We finished off the day with a frozen Menchies treat. Yum!



Posted in 1B, Jewish Studies, Ruach

A Model Seder to Remember

Kitah Alef’s Model Seder took place this past Monday. It was a memorable day: many children said it was their favourite day of the school year. Moreh Saar and Morah Ada were so proud of the children. They read and sang so beautifully. We hope the children sing beautifully as they celebrate together with family at the Seder tonight.


Wishing everyone a Chag Pesach Sameach!

The Grade One Team




We found the afikomen!


Posted in French

French Update

Hello Parents,

More than one month has gone by, and lots interesting and fun things have been happening in our french class. As you already saw, I sent home the booklets we created with the kids regarding the classroom vocabulary and some letters of the alphabet. Please practice reading the new words with them and the expressions (voici, vois). We also had our first quiz on this topic. We have started a new vocabulary topic (the fall), including the colours and numbers. We are also learning to sing 2 songs related to autumn (l’automne est là , and la valse de l’automne)

We watched a short film related to autumn ( and next week when the weather is nice, we will go out to collect leaves practicing our vocabulary. We will continue to learn new sounds mostly vowels so that the students can read the words. Next week I believe the accounts will be ready for Je lis as well.

I wish you all a relaxing holiday!

Posted in 1A

Shana Tova!

Wow! what a great start to our Kitah Alef this year!

We have already learned so much and the year has just begun. We are getting to know each other, both students and teachers, we are learning how to read in 3 languages, we are gaining new vocabulary every single day, we have our routines down packed and we are having lots of fun doing all this…

As you know, we also had some special guests visit our classroom last week…

We want to invite you to follow us here, on our blog to see photos and learn about what is happening in our classrooms throughout the year.

Please check out our back to school page above for information about our curriculum, homework, behaviour management, communication and more.

We wish you all a Shana Tova Umetuka and we are looking forward to this wonderful year together.