Posted in 1A, 1B, Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Reading, Ruach

Where did my flag go?!

Hello everyone, it’s another interesting week here in the first grade.

As a part of our morning routine, we take notes about the weather, debating whether it’s rainy, sunny, cloudy, etc. outside… One of the different weather conditions we talk about is windy (רוח). Unfortunately, 2 weeks ago, a big storm tore away the flag from one of the businesses situated across the 417, leaving us completely lost when it comes to determining the level of wind outside.

That is why the first grade decided to spring into action and use their hard earned vocabulary into use. We sat down and wrote a stern, yet firm, letter to the Customs and Immigration Union (look it up, this is the real deal), asking them to bring their flag back. We also took the liberty of drawing some nice depictions of how the loss of the flag makes us feel, and these are some of the results:


Now we just have to hope that if they don’t bring the flag back for their own national pride, at the least they’ll do it for the children!

I hope that there will be updates to follow,


Posted in 1A, 1B, Homework, Jewish Studies

Economics 101

Dear grade 1 parents,

As I’m getting used to the hardships of winter (clearing the snow from my car, every, single, morning, is a new one for me), I had the pleasure of sitting in my car for 15 minutes straight waiting for my fingers to thaw. During that time I came across a meme that really reflects my way of thinking about how school should be.



It reminded me that while my “I believe” is heavily influenced by this idea, I still need to communicate that to my surrounding. So here it goes:

Since I encountered this phenomena many, many times in the various jobs I had, I believe in the power of incentivizing and fear the impact of dicentivizing. Therefore, I try my best to include the former, not the latter, in my teaching.

That is why I added a new, 100% optional, incentive to do the homework, a game. The game reinforces only some of the words in the homework, offering sound and translations to several words. Please only play the game if the kids have done their readings and still have some time and energy to play the game.

I hope this makes the homework experience more enjoyable,


Posted in 1A, 1B, Jewish Studies

We tried so hard, and got so far….

In the end, it was all that really mattered!

Grade 1 has been working so hard on their Hebrew skills for almost four whole months now, last Monday they got to put  those skills to use in real life. We had our second meeting with a group of Israeli children who got to practice their English, while we practiced our Hebrew. We spoke about how old we are, what are our favourite sports and colours, what we like to eat and drink, it was a blast.

It was an amazing experience for the kids, who got to see how quickly they could use the Hebrew they know to express themselves in a coherent manner. Lastly, it was an amazing time for us Hebrew teachers, we got to see the fruits of our labor grow right in front of us. Trust me when I say, I’m one happy gardener…

From everyone in the grade 1 team.

Posted in Jewish Studies

A little taste of November

We, at last, finished the puzzle we created with 1A… and are excited to put it up…


We completed the Ah sound of all the Alef Bet and were able to follow along a story as we listened to a recording of it…


 Our class was filled with giggles as we practiced the Hebrew words for on, under and in –  Al, Tachat & Bah…


We continue leading our morning routine … and we are getting better every day… 

Posted in Jewish Studies

A Peak into a Language Detour

We have been just over 30 days at school now and when I think of the Hebrew my students knew when walking into my room the first day and how much they know now, I feel so proud of them. It is the immediate feedback that I get/give from/to them as we travel this language learning/teaching road that continues to evolve and stop at both foreseen and unforeseen intersections; planned and unplanned interactions. The light in their eyes and the smiles on their faces when they get the connection between words, which in turn allows for greater comprehension and recall, is one of the best feelings when teaching a language.

One such intersection happened this week, as we spoke about Seffer Bereshit, before reading the Parashat Shavuah. As we began to review the first two Parashot from the past weeks, I knew most of them could tell (if asked) that bereshit is at the beginning/the start… but I wanted them to understand the why and to be able to connect this word to other words we have used/learned… so… I wrote the word בראשית (BERESHIT) on the board and circled 3 letters ראש (ROSH) knowing that we used it during different parts of our learning already (Rosh Hashannah, Rosh Chodesh, Body part, Front of line etc…)

Then I asked (the way I do every day during our daily quiz): Mee Yodeah, mee Yoda’at Mah Zeh Rosh? (Who knows what is Rosh?)

I need to digress, to explain that during our daily quiz, students are allowed to call out the answer – the person I hear first, sits down and is not allowed to answer aloud any more – this way, everyone gets to shine, and everyone gets to hear correct answers even if they do not remember… so it is a wonderful and fun way to review our increasing vocabulary.

The second the question was asked, a collection of voices called out happy to share their knowledge: “head!”  While some pointing to their own Rosh – saying the word in Hebrew. What a wonderful feeling! Then we moved to the challenging question, where else did we meet this word before? Now the room was still abuzz… but the answers were with question marks at the end of them and went in different directions… not really understanding what I was looking for…. They were thinking in English… searching for ideas from their past knowledge in the language they are more proficient in….  So I had to refocus them and remind them we need to search our brain for the Hebrew we know, and that I am actually looking for the word ROSH to be part of the memory (not only the meaning itself)… I gave a hint to think of our Tishrei holidays… now someone called: “ROSH HASHANNAH!” This got someone else association going as she called: “ROSH CHODESH!”

YES! they are in their Hebrew brain drawer now… 😉

The challenge was not over… now I asked them to look around the room and think what other word has a similar meaning (it also has the letters ראש in it). Curiosity peaked…. it was actually very quiet…. and again, they needed some hints – it is part of a routine song we sing daily… it is part of of the shavuah (week). A few more seconds… and as they were searching around the room, few students called at once: ראשון! (Rishon! Sunday!)  WOOHOO!

Now I added ראשון  to the board, beside the word בראשית and with their help circled the same 3 letters – ראש!

This discovery of course begged for more questions:

Me: Mah zeh RISHON?

Students:  FIRST!

Me: Lama Sunday Zeh Yom Rishon?

Students: Because it is the FIRST day in the week! It is the start of the week! It is like a number!

Me: Nachon! (True)! Mah od milah Le’RISHON? (What’s another word for Rishon?)

Students: ROSH! ROSH! ROSH!

Me: Lama yesh ראש be’Rosh Hashanah? (Why does Rosh Hashannah has the word ROSH in it?) (raised hand please)

Student: Because it is the first holiday of the year.

Me: Be’Ivrit?

Student: Rosh Hashanah RISHON ba’shanah!

Me: Yofi! Lama Yesh ראש Be’Rosh Chodesh?

Students: It is the first day of the month. It is Alef like ONE!

Me (not letting them get away with it ;): Be’Ivrit?

This is not an easy recall… we give time to think… to struggle… to search…

student: Yom ….  Rishon ….. ba… Chodesh (a bit hesitant…)

Me: METZUYAN! (excellent)! Lama yesh ראש be’Bereshit?

Students: “Because it is the first!” “It is the Rishon!” “It is the start of everything…”

Me: Az mee yodeah Mee Yodaat, Mah Rosh Hatorah?

Students: BERESHIT!

Connections made… for now! Successful detour! We will definitely need to return to this road again and again in order to not require a guide!

This is one example of the importance of digging into the language we learn. Learning a language is understanding it, not only memorizing words! We use many words throughout our day – a lot of routine words that the students are getting used to and understand more and more. it is these opportunities, to take words out of the familiar context and together discover it’s meaning(s) that allows our students to more easily fill up that ‘other language drawer’ and open it when needed.

This takes me back, to our daily quiz (חידון יומי)… as it provides the opportunity to work on the quick recall of a word, which one can only do once one knows the meaning with no context.  NOT AN EASY TASK! …and guess what… The students LOVE this challenge! If I forget to do it, they ALWAYS remind me.

Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies

Happy Hanukkah

We want to wish everyone a very Happy Hanukkah!

We can’t wait to have a fun filled week celebrating together at school and at home.

Remember to wear your Chanukkah clothes for Monday… (PJ, Shirt, Sweater, Ribbons, or blue and white).

Bellow is a Slide show with the Brachot and songs for Hanukkah if you wish to enjoy together.

…and finally, THERE IS NO HOMEWORK THIS COMING WEEK! Light up the world with Kindness…




Posted in French, General Studies, Jewish Studies

Popsicles, Pals and Pick-Up

Dear Parents,

On Tuesday, June 22nd, OJCS will be hosting Popsicles, Pals and Pick-ups. It is a chance to spend some quality time together while adhering to distancing guidelines. At 9:00 1A will meet at the blue play structure and 1B will meet at the side of the school (Picnic Table area facing JCC). Each group will spend half an hour either playing on the play structure or eating popsicles and signing yearbooks, then switch.

Please read the important instructions below:

  • As directed by the province of Ontario, all parents in Grade One who plan to stay must complete the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Screening Tool and ALL students attending will need to use the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Screening Tool before arriving;
  • No additional guests or siblings may attend the cohorted events;
  • Parents of students can drop-off their child(ren) as the events will be heavily supervised;
  • As is mandated by the provincial regulations, masks will be worn when children are not snacking;
  • Hand sanitizer will be made available;
  • This is a wonderful opportunity to return any items that belong to the school (i.e. library books, textbooks, novels, materials, etc…).
  • Your child’s belongings will be ready for pick-up while you are on campus from the gym door facing the OJCS parking lot.  Volunteers will bring your child’s items to you.

We understand attending these Goodbye events could be challenging for some families for a variety of reasons.  Please know we have been guided by Ministry guidelines regarding Health and Safety and a day-event ensures enough supervision to meet these requirements.  Let us know if you require a different pickup time and we’ll be happy to make an arrangement outside of school hours.

    Excited to see you on Tuesday, June 22nd!!!

Bitmoji Image

Posted in French, General Studies, Jewish Studies, Ruach

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut. The day will be filled with RUACH and special activities. Take a peek at what’s been added to the schedule. Please wear blue and white tomorrow. You can add blue and white ribbons to your hair or add a flag to your cheeks with face paint. Be creative and show us RUACH!!

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Posted in Jewish Studies

WordArt as a conversation starter…

אָבִיב הִגִיעַ פֶּסַח בָּא

I am always searching for new ways to get my students speaking (Hebrew of course) in class.  These days I am participating in a digital pedagogy course to increase student proficiency in exactly that – speaking Hebrew.  This week I was introduced to the use of WordArt as a fun way to review/introduce vocabulary and encourage discussion. The idea of Word clouds/art is not new to me; however, in the past I used it more as a decorative tool at end of units, to show the vocabulary we learnt.  This time it is used as a review tool and a conversation starter. 

We will begin by looking at the shape (see bellow):

  • What is it?
  • What is it made out of?

At this point I will show them that when you put the cursor on a word it expands to help find the words… go ahead try it… 😉 

  • What words do you see/recognize? etc…
  • Lets think of the 4 names of Passover that we learned this week.. Each name is made of two words: 
    • Can you find them?
    • What word repeats itself in every name?
    • What other words do you see?
    • Which of the four names do they suit best? 
    • Can you also find words to build a sentence from a song we learned?

In class, this will all be done in Hebrew of course, working on use of learned vocabulary and use of (simple) full sentences.  I am looking forward to seeing how this will work…. 

Posted in Jewish Studies

Tu Bishvat Same’ach

What a fun day we had today with Kitah Bet. We heard about Eliezer Ben Yehuda and some of the words he invented, we excercised in Hebrew and danced as trees. Morah Batya lead us in guided drawing and then we created some beautiful trees with fruit and vegetables for our snack. We even had ALL our teachers (yes! even the English and french teachers) read us a story in Hebrew. What a special day! Even during online learning!

Bellow is the Slides we used with all the links to the videos/stories, etc as requested by some of our stidents.