Innovation Day is TOMORROW!

Good Morning!

This is a friendly reminder that you are invited to our classroom tomorrow (Thursday) morning from 9AM-9:45AM to see the amazing projects that we have been working on!

Other Reminders:

– If you have not yet, please sign and return the permission forms for student blogfolios.

– The Grade 8 Students are hosting a student raffle this week! See the posters below for details!

Vroom Vroom to the Makerspace We Go!

We went on an adventure today… All the way to the OJCS Makerspace!

Mr. Ray greeted us and explained some of the different leadership roles we would be able to try out today while building. We were given a bag of materials and told to get started. He reminded us that we celebrate mistakes and failed attempts! That’s how we learn best!!

Some of us figured out right away that the goal was to build a car… and some of us needed to work with the materials first. After 5 minutes of building, Mr. Ray showed us a short clip of a video to help us assemble the wheels.

We worked together, problem solved, and built cars!


“When I was making the car, the elastic band didn’t work… but it was still really really fun!”


“The hardest thing was when we put the elastic on the bottom because it kept falling off. I’m not sure how we will fix it, but I know we can figure it out!”


“I liked being the Lead Mechanic because I really enjoyed building stuff.”

Stay tuned for next week when we race the cars!

Globally Collected Soil

As we wrapped up our Science unit on Soil, we FINALLY had the chance to look at all of the bags of soil that have been arriving in the mail over the last month! It started with a quick tweet & a share on Facebook by one of our Grade 3 parents… and voila! 7 bags of soil from around North America!

We started the activity by looking up the various places on the map. Two students were in charge of using Google to show the locations on our SMART board and 2 students were in charge of then finding it on our classroom wall map.


It was great to see the class work together to find the locations and make connections to places they have been!

Then we reviewed the various types of soil that we have been learning about and started passing around the bags! The students were able to touch the soil and look at it through the bag, then they needed to determine which type of soil it was.

We were so excited to see and feel the very clear differences among all of the different soils!

A VERY BIG THANK YOU to every who mailed us bags of soil! This activity would not have been possible without you!



Soil, Water, and Mud… OH MY!

We have been learning about Soil in Science class this term… and this week, we took the learning outside!

We collected soil from the ground right outside our school and got ready for our first soil related experiment.

Step 1: collect soil from outside and put it in a clear plastic cup

Step 2: make predictions about what will happen right when we add water to the cup and what will happen once it sits for 24 hours

Step 3: pour the water & mix it up! (then let it sit overnight)

Step 4: record our observations

It wouldn’t be a true Science lesson if we didn’t find ways to integrate our Scientific Study of Words (aka Structured Word Inquiry). So before we even made predictions, we looked at the word <prediction>.

Right away we noticed the prefix and the suffix <-ion>. We also learned what a bound base is!

Here are the predictions we made…

What will happen when we put water in the soil cups?

Ron: The soil will be all mushy and soggy, the dirt will dissolve and turn the water brown 

Yaara: the dry soil will become wet like mud

Ella: The soil will turn into mud

Solly: It will turn into mud

Miko: The soil will move to the top of the cup 

What will happen to the cup of water and soil if we let it sit for more than 24 hours?

Ahron: The dirt will be like a sponge an absorb all the water 

Ollie: The dirt will absorb the water 

Elise: The dirt will absorb the water, but there will still be water in the cup

Abby: There will only be a little bit of water 

Galit: The soil will turn to mud

Reuven: the soil will become liquid, then mud, then just be wet soil

Raz: the soil will turn mushy

Boaz: The water will spread all around the dirt into the different parts and the soil will be mushy 

Naama: It will turn into mud 


We let our cups of water and soil sit overnight and then went back to see what happened!

Of course, we did another word investigation…

I was SO impressed that the students noticed the double suffix right away! We know that the <at> in observation comes from the suffix <-ate>! Ella was able to tell us that the base word means to look or to see something.

We were able to see the different layers of the soil and noticed that heavier particles sunk to the bottom of the water, while lighter bits floated to the top.




Reminders and Notes:
-Friday, November 4th is a 3PM Dismissal
-You can follow along with our learning on our class twitter account. We post smaller snapshots of our day on there!
-You can stay up to date on the general happenings at OJCS / OJCS Student Life by subscribing to the OJCS Student Life Blog!

Global Maker Day is Coming!

Global Maker Day is coming and we need your recycled goods!

We are beginning to collect items for the OJCS Global maker day on October 20th. We are looking for any cardboard boxes (think cereal boxes), toilet paper tubes, stir sticks, popsicle sticks, and plastic tubs (think yogurt containers, sour cream tubs, etc.), and any other items to help with our creativity. *please make sure that the items are clean before sending them in!

More general information (schedules, challenges and prizes) coming soon!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Morah Lianna or our OJCS Makerspace Team; Josh Ray, Mike Washerstein or Faye Mellenthin.

JDAIM Challenge

This year a Grade Three parent inspired me to involve the whole class in the JOIN Challenge for JDAIM month. I thought of a cross-curricular project that would excite and engage all the students.


In Science, we designed and built our STEM structures ( 3D Architectural Models).

Here is a peek at some of our buildings.


In Social Studies we created our own ideal community and made our own maps.




The students decided to create a radio show talking about inclusion and kindness. They wrote and recorded what inclusion and kindness mean to them. They loved recording the radio show so much that I think we will launch our own OJCS News Radio or podcast.

OJCS Radio 3A & 3B  


Here is a presentation Livia and Nikki made.

We didn’t win the JOIN Challenge, but we had so much fun creating the ideal community and recording our radio show. Perhaps the students should pitch their inclusive community to Mayor Jim Watson and some city planners. A teacher can dream!

Special thanks to Yossi for inspiring this project.



Global Maker Day 2021

This past Tuesday was Global Maker Day 2021. The students in third grade loved taking part in a day full of collaboration and creativity with schools from around the world. 

3A and 3B loved using their design thinking skills on Global Maker Day. There were four different STEM challenges to choose from: make a ramp, a math board game, an egg drop protective device, and an artifact that students could use for social and emotional learning. 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.

I was 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.



We ended the day by making Flipgrid videos of our work and sharing them with other students. We tweeted out some pictures and received lots of attention from the Global Maker Day organizers.

Global Maker Day was a success. We were inspired to be innovators, problem-solvers and share our work globally. Perhaps we should start researching patents soon.


Innovation Day Wednesday March 24th

You are invited to Innovation Day next Wednesday, March 24th at 2 pm. Please join in virtually to learn about Structures and Forces. We will be playing a game of Are You Smarter Than a Grade 3 Scientist!? Individual projects will be posted on your child’s blogfolio on Innovation Day.

If you are unable to join us at 2 pm please don’t worry. We will be recording the presentation and posting it to the class blog later in the day. All of the projects will be posted on your child’s blogfolio on Innovation Day. You can then enjoy visiting the blogs at night and discussing the projects in the evening.

News from 3A & 3B

The month of November sped by this year. We were so busy learning and developing good work habits that time just flew. Our social studies projects were finished and recorded for our friends in Taiwan and Israel. We hoped they liked learning all about Ontario.

Four students recited the poem, I Dream a World, by Langston Hughes. This video was part of the Remembrance Day Assembly.

The classes also spent Remembrance Day talking about Peace and what it means to them. They wrote peace similes and put all of their work together into an iMovie.

Multiplication was introduced and students loved learning how to multiply through equal groups, arrays, skip counting, and repeated addition. The children who already knew multiplication were challenged with some problem-solving activities.

3B also had fun connecting with a grade 4 class in Tennessee, and playing a mystery number game. 3B taught the game to 3A and had fun with the game during one of our Friday community meets. 3A will be connecting with the same class from Tennessee for a future mystery number game.


In Language Arts, we have been reading the novel Mr. Popper’s Penguins. The classic novel by Richard and Florence Atwater is lots of fun to read and is exposing the students to rich vocabulary.

The students have also been working on their first blog post. It is amazing to see how much the students can write when given the freedom to write about a subject they love. All the students have been engaged and excited to write this way. One boy said, “This is so much fun to write this way”. The topics range from animals to cars, the human body to covid-19. I am so excited to see the students so motivated to write each day. I cannot wait for them to publish their work.

Our plants grew beautifully in class. We only had a few incidents of overwatering and moldy beans. The class took part in a STEM challenge last week to design and build a device that could water the plants. The classes were filled with 8-year-old engineers building and testing their devices. I manned the hot glue gun and made holes with scissors. The students learned to persevere, be patient, adapt their designs, so the watering devices ultimately succeeded. Yes, we had some water on the floor, but the joy on the students’ faces was well worth it!


This week we will be taking part in the Chanukah Door Decorating Challenge, and recording our song for the Chanukah Family Program. We are taking part in a special CBB Ruach experience this Thursday morning.