November 30

Digital Citizenship Meets The OJCS Reading Challenge!

This year the OJCS Reading Challenge is designed to make reading fun, encourage our students to reach for new reading goals, and to teach digital citizenship while connecting globally.

We will be getting students to participate in the class creation of tweets, instagram posts, youtube videos or tik tok videos (whatever social media formats the teacher prefers, the accounts are owned and regulated by the teacher and are professional (not personal) accounts).  These posts will share their class reading goals and accomplishments in fun and creative ways.  The class will then check those posts regularly for likes and words of encouragement from around the globe.  They may even be able to  connect with other schools participating in their own reading challenge.  Students will also use their blogs as a place to post book reviews and to blog about their personal reading goals.  They can even embed or link the class social media posts directly to their blogs!

Class goals could include a certain number of books read by the class each week or each month, a certain number of books of a specific genre or a variety of genres read, etc…  These goals are determined by the teacher or decided as a class and can change week to week or month to month.

Students love being online, so this is a way for them to practice their digital citizenship with post creation (spelling, hashtags, using photos and videos in posts) and take pride in their reading accomplishments, as well as get global props and encouragement.
The end-of-year prize is a classroom movie party for each class that participated regularly.  The library will provide popcorn and candy for each class.
September 4

The Library Catalogue Has an Exciting New Feature

Over the summer the library catalogue was updated with an exciting new feature – the reading level values for the books in our collection.  At OJCS we use Accelerated Reader as a way for students, teachers, and parents to track reading improvement and progress.  By making our catalogue searchable with AR values, students will be able to challenge themselves when making book selections.

Here is how you use it;

Click on the library catalogue link below:
Search any book in the search bar.  The AR score is immediately visible on the bottom.

You can see the reading level in point value for this book next to the AR icon.

If you click on the record you can even see the quiz number attached to that title.

The quiz number is in the line with all of the study program information.

You can also search our catalogue by reading level range.
Click on the SEARCH tab.
Enter the min and max reading level and click search.  You can also add in a SUBJECT or a KEYWORD.
This tool is very quick and efficient to use and something that parents, teachers, and students can all benefit from learning.  Happy searching!
May 16

The OJCS Rocked the Reading Challenge!!

The OJCS is incredibly proud of all of our students and teachers who put in a big effort for their classroom book tallies.  As a school, we read over 6300 books in English, French and Hebrew!!!

The OJCS has never had so many books in circulation.

What a typical grade 3 book returns pile looks like. Photo by student Jack Greenberg.

I am very excited to announce that the entire school will be treated to a pizza party on Friday June 14th.  Because of that, this 80s throwback has been stuck in my head for weeks!

Students should be very proud of their amazing accomplishment.

January 17

The OJCS has read over 2170 books so far!

The OJCS Reading Challenge is in full swing and every class is doing an incredible job.  Books are flying off the shelves in the library.  I’ve never seen students so excited about reading and sharing about what they’ve been reading.  Students have been posting book reviews on our catalogue and also sharing flipgrid videos.  There has been a tangible shift in reading culture at the school and everyone is working hard to continuously motivate the kids.  The kids are also working hard to motivate each other.

Each grade is reading books that are appropriate for their age and grade level, so of course, the older the kids, the bigger the books and the longer they take to finish.  Here are our numbers so far…

Grade 8 – 26

Grade 7 – 68

Grade 6 – 72

Grade 5 – 56

Grade 4 – 330

Grade 3 – 945

Grade 2 – 261

Grade 1 – 397

K – 15+

These numbers are enough to bring tears of joy to a librarian’s heart.  I need a tissue.

November 29

‘I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…’ Fun Creative Writing

One of my favourite picture book artists right now is French artist Benjamin Chaud who worked with French author, Davide Cali, to create a hilarious series of books about excuses.  The one I read with our grade 3 and 4 students is called I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…

After reading the book to students I set them to work creating their own silly excuses and doodles in just 10 minutes.


They then got the opportunity to share their excuses with the class, which they were all very excited to do.

They had so much fun with this activity and it was so easy to pull off.  Their amazing excuses are on display in the hall downstairs.  Make sure to check them out so you don’t get fooled when you hear them in class.

November 21

Let the OJCS Reading Challenge Begin!

This week we launch our school-wide reading challenge!

Each teacher will decide on the number of books they want their class to aim to read from Nov 19th to May 1st as a group sum total.  This number should be a challenge but still very much attainable.

There is a list of categories that will be handed out to help direct student choices across a wide range of genres.  Each student (and teacher) will contribute to this class total, and when a book is finished, that student will post a brief book review on the school’s new library website (if the book was a library book.)

The prize is an end-of-year pizza party where there is the optional component that students can come to school dressed as their favourite literary character.  The second piece of this is that the students who meet or exceed reading from all of the categories will be recognized for their hard work and contribution to the class at an end-of-year assembly. 

We are so excited to get going!