March 27

OJCS Storytime – The Week of March 30th

Marcel The Shell – The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been

by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleisher-Camp

 

This week’s activity is to make your own Marcel!!

You will need…

  • A shell or a rock
  • Googly eyes (or make your own out of paper and marker)
  • Small decorations for your shell or rock that you make or find around the house (mini clothes, mini shoes)
  • Any kind of bread for a bed!
  • Glue (hot glue works best but only under supervision!)

Glue the googly eyes onto your shell or rock and decorate in any way you can imagine.  Feel free to share pics with me at b.ruel@theojcs.ca and I can post them up!

If you want more Marcel, here are some hilarious and adorable videos…

March 26

Media Balance and Keeping Your Focus

For this lesson you are playing a short online game.  You will need to play on a laptop or computer.  It won’t work on a tablet or device.  So if that isn’t possible, just read through the rest of this post.

Play the Twalkers Game: Click Here!

This game teaches us when is the right time to be on your phone or device and when it isn’t.  Most often, too many things happening at once is incredibly distracting and can throw you off your focus and balance.

Think about how the game made you feel.  Was it a bit too much like your actual life right now?  Were you overwhelmed?  Was it difficult to play well and accomplish the required tasks when you were distracted?

I think many of us experience this feeling of overwhelm when we are trying to do too many things at once.  It is important to remember to prioritize and stay calm in the face of all that is thrown at us!  This video will offer you helpful advice on how to manage your time and keep focused.  Once you’ve watched it, I want you to post a comment on this page explaining at least one strategy from the video you will use to help you stay on track. 

March 23

What is Advertising?

Take a minute and write down a list of 5 things you’d like to get for your birthday.

Is your list done?  Good!

Now read over your list and ask yourself… how do I know about these things?  Did I find out about them from a commercial that played before a video I watched on YouTube?  Did a YouTuber I like play with one of them on a video?  Did I see it in a magazine?  A catalogue?  Did I see poster of it somewhere?  Did I read about it online?  Or while I was playing a video game?  All of these places are places we see ads, which is short for the word advertising.  Advertising is any kind message that is designed to sell you something or make you want to buy something or ask your parents to buy you something.  It is important that we learn how to identify what is an ad because we want to be the ones to decide what we need or want.  We don’t want other people putting those ideas in our heads for us!

When companies create advertisements, they often try to link what they are selling with happy feelings or amazing powers or abilities.  So even though I know in my head that eating a cheese string won’t help me defeat a dragon, the commercial shows a child doing just that.  So now we all think that eating cheese strings will make us strong, even if that isn’t the truth.

Much of the time, an ad is a commercial that plays before a video.  Here are examples of commercials that try to make you want to get junk food.  We all know junk food isn’t good for us, but you’d never know it watching these commercials!  For each commercial, think about the message that it is telling you about the food.  Is the commercial telling you the food will make you better at sports?  Will lead to adventures?  Will make you popular?  What are the messages?  Are they true?  Can those products do those amazing things?

Below is an example of an ad you’d see in a flyer, a magazine, or online.  It is just a static picture with words, but it is also selling us an idea.  The idea here being that playing with lego turns us all into superheroes and leads to amazing adventures!  I’d love to be a superhero but I know that Lego can’t make me into one.

This ad is for Rice Krispies.  It is selling us the idea that Rice Krispies cereal is super fun to play with.  Which it isn’t!  It also making a kid connection to trucks, which kids love.

So here is your task today.  I want you to choose to make your own ad for a product YOU invent.  It could be a toy, a junk food, anything you like.  Draw a picture ad or take a photo ad.  If you are really good at making videos, you could even make a commercial.  Remember, advertisements make big claims about what a product can do or how it can make you feel even when it isn’t true, so use that when you create your ad.  By creating your own ad, you can experience for yourself the kind of tricks companies use to sell their products.

There is no need to submit it to me, but if you know how to email the finished product to me, then you absolutely can and I can post it on this page so that others can see your work.  My email address is b.ruel@theojcs.ca

Have fun!

 

March 23

Become a Fact-Checker – Part 2: A Little Help From My Friends

Last week we tried a new technique called ‘Lateral Reading’ to help us become better fact-checkers.  This week we are going to learn about various websites that are out there that can help us find out if what we have heard or read is factual or not.

You are going to read the following article and visit 3 of the 10 sites that are listed and take some time to explore them.  Top Ten Sites to Help Students Check Their Facts by Jennifer Snelling.  I want all of our OJCS middle schoolers to become proficient at using these sites.

I have heard that there is a Tic Toc video going around that claims that an asteroid is going to hit Earth next week.  I want you to visit snopes and find out if this is true or not.  I mean, this is a serious claim!  Our lives may be in jeopardy (or not!)

In the comments on this page, I want you to post which three sites you explored as well as what you discovered about this asteroid.

 

 

March 20

OJCS Storytime – The week of March 23rd

Today I have a special guest… my daughter Eleanor!  We are reading another favourite; ‘The Secret Life of Squirrels’ by Nancy Rose.  Nancy Rose is a photographer who makes mini rooms and scenes on her back deck and places food in those little sets for squirrels to find and then she snaps a perfect photo when they are in the the right position.  She says it sometimes takes thirty photos to get one good one!

Your activity this week is to ask permission to use a camera, any kind of camera (on a phone, a polaroid, etc…) and to practice taking photos of animals.  These animals can be in your backyard or your own pets.  Notice how tricky it is to photograph them while they are moving!  If you get one you’d like to share, your parents can email them to b.ruel@theojcs.ca and I will post them on this page!  Have fun!

This photo is from Yulie.  It is a great photo of her cat Decy!

Here is a beautiful photo of Sophia’s super cool Gecko Lizzy!

This is an adorable photo of Sadie’s hamster Parsnip!

Wow!  Sophie got an action shot of a squirrel in the wild!

Here is a beautiful photo of Jonah’s beautiful dog Arik!

Here is a great picture of Kayla’s adorable cat!

Rachel made her own story.  So amazing!

 

March 18

Online Sharing Safety Game – Share Jumper

Lower School Digital Citizenship Lesson Week of March 16th

Everyone enjoys connecting with others online (especially when we are all stuck at home!)  This game is perfect for all of us right now because in a simple and clear way, it explains what kinds of information is okay to share online and what kind of information isn’t.  The only way to get your jumper higher and higher is to make the right choices about what is okay to post online.  If you make a wrong choice you get sent back down!

Make sure you read each question carefully.  It will help you to make the correct choices.  THIS GAME IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH IPADS OR OTHER TOUCH SCREENS.

Now have fun!!

Click here to play: Share Jumper Game

For anyone who might struggle with the game, watch ‘We the Digital Citizens’ for a refresher on online safety!

March 17

Become a Fact-Checker… Part 1: Reading Laterally

There is a constant stream of misinformation and disinformation out there about a lot of world news and this is especially true about the Coronavirus.  Misinformation is false or inaccurate information that is often posted deliberately to deceive.  Disinformation is false information put out through certain politicians or governments to deliberately deceive.  Unfortunately, both misinformation and disinformation are frequently accepted as truth and widely shared by people who have believed what they’ve read without looking further afield for confirmation of the information.  As the false information spreads, it causes a lot of very confused ideas and can even wrongly influence public opinion.  It is in itself very much like a virus that spreads and infects the mind.

By becoming a fact-checker you can help stop the spread of the disease of misinformation!  The first step to becoming a fact-checker is to use your head!  Critical thinking is an essential skill of the fact-checker.  If something doesn’t sound right to you, it very often isn’t.  That feeling that something you’ve read is off should be the first indicator that you need to research further.  Researching outside of the suspected piece of information is called ‘Lateral Reading’.

To read laterally, the first thing you can do is use Google or another trusted search engine to search for information about your source or the author of the information.  Searching about your source can often reveal within seconds if the source is trustworthy or not.  But when it comes to social media, often the person responsible for posting is just a regular person and there won’t be information available about that person online.  So the second way you can read laterally is to search for more articles about the information you suspect to be false.  So when someone told me that Justin Bieber was so dumb he didn’t know how to eat a burrito properly and was photographed eating it sideways, I thought, hmmmm, that doesn’t sound right to me.  I typed Justin Bieber Burrito into the Google search bar, and the first article was about how the photo was a hoax.

Another example of this is that I received an email suggesting that I stay away from spicy food to avoid the Coronavirus.  I immediately thought that sounded wrong and did a quick Google search Coronavirus Spicy Food.  The first article was about how that information was completely false.

So now is your opportunity to try lateral reading.  Here are three social media posts that are either misinformation or are real information.

Step 1: Look at all of these social media posts.  Which ones immediately seem off to you and why?  Which one do you immediately trust and why?

Step 2: Do some lateral reading.  How long did it take you to determine how true or false this information was?

Step 3: Answer step 1 and 2 questions as a brief comment on this blog post page.

Step 4: Teach your parents and grandparents how to do this too!  That way we can all fight the virus of misinformation!

Post #1 – From the account of Facebook user Michael Conniff

 

 

Post #2 from the Twitter verified (blue checkmark) World Health Organization account

 

Post #3 from Twitter, user Allison Pearson

 

March 16

OJCS Storytime – Week of March 16th

Welcome to the OJCS Storytime!  I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful book and the suggested activity!

To make a tent at home, drape big blankets over tall objects (like the side of your couches and tables).  Fill it with pillows.  Decorate inside and out.  Eat snacks and read books in there!  And be sure and bring your own Pip (favourite stuffie or doll) into your tent and have lots of Lulu & Pip adventures.

February 5

Books on Inclusivity for JDAIM Month

The month of February is JDAIM- Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month.  The right book can really help foster more awareness and kindness in our students.  I have created a book bin with books on this topic for reading buddies that you can find at any time in the library.  I have also created a short list of some of our most on-point titles;

Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor.  This lovely book covers various kinds of differences and how every individual has so much to share.

Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin and John Archambault.  A beautifully poetic book about a blind child developing confidence in his own abilities.

Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco.  Patricia Polacco has to be one of my all time favourite children’s authors.  She has so many titles that deal with themes of children struggling because they are different and then finding the support they deserve in their teachers and friends.  It is about how much each child is capable of, no matter what the obstacle may be at first.  In this book, our protagonist struggles with dyslexia but with the support of a compassionate teacher is able to learn to read.

I’m Wendy Blair, Not a Chair! by Carolyn MacDiarmid.  This book is about not letting your disability hold you back.  This was written and published by The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.

You’re Different and That’s Super by Carson Kressley.  This book was written by one of the original Queer Eye crew and is a hilarious and adorable book about how special it is to be different.  A storytime favourite.

We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio.  We can’t end a list like this without including something by Palacio.  This picture book brings home the main message in the novel Wonder for a younger audience.  Beautifully illustrated.

 

February 3

Exploring Non-Fiction With Grade 1

Grade 1 visited the library on Friday for a workshop on exploring non-fiction.  We started off by discussing what some of the differences are between fiction and non-fiction, and grade 1 were already ahead of the game there and understood it quite well.  Non-fiction is a book that focuses on real events and real information.  It is a book we use to learn about something in most cases.

We moved on to talking about some unique parts found in most non-fiction books…

  • The table of contents
  • The glossary
  • The index

I showed them some examples of how we could utilize these parts of the book.

I gave the students a comprehensive walking tour of the non-fiction section of the library.  After that, we played a scavenger hunt game.  Students were given a slip of paper with a subject and a Dewey Decimal number on it.  They were tasked with using what they had learned to locate it.

We all had a lot of fun and grade 1 may now be even more proficient at searching non-fiction than the rest of the school!