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 and I can post them up!

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

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 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 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.


November 20

The Scholastic Book Fair Is Almost Here!!!

Today Grade 2 had the opportunity to hear about some of the books that we will have available at our Scholastic Book Fair from December 4-6.  The books they were most excited about (of course) are the Dav Pilkey offerings.  He has a great series for beginning readers called Dragon that they were all eager to get their hands on.

We then sat in the storytime area to hear another book that will be at the fair called Bruce’s Big Move.  This book was laugh out loud funny for me and the kids.

Every student will have a scheduled time to visit with their class.  Parents can visit at any time – drop-offs, pick-ups, or during the day.  Parents will also have the opportunity to attend when visiting the school during parent-teacher conferences.  It is also open to the community, so come one, come all.  It will be a great opportunity to pick up some Chanukah gifts!  If you want to help out, please get in contact with Jaimee Mitzmacher who is our PTA chair of the event.

See you there!

June 5

Emma is Librarian for a Day!

I was lucky to have some very special help in the library today.  Emma won our teacher raffle prize of ‘Librarian for a Day’.  And what an amazing librarian she was!

First she chose books to read to the Early Beginnings preschool JK class.  The kids loved hearing her tell them a story.

She even let them vote on their second book.  She knew they’d like to be able to choose for themselves.

At recess she worked with our Grade 1s on making bookmarks, which turned out beautifully.

She then did a book display in our upstairs hallway which all of her classmates will be able to see.

She then checked in a cart of books and shelved them!

She also created a beautiful Rainbow Magic Book Display.

It was a great day and so much fun!


January 31

Learning About Coral Reefs with the Kinders

One of the best parts of my week is when I get visited by our K1 and K2 classes for storytime.  They’ve been working hard with Morah Yaffa learning all about oceans and sea life.  After a conversation with a kinder during morning care who talked about his upcoming vacation to a place that has a coral reef, I decided it was the perfect topic for our next storytime.

The book we read, Coral Reefs by Jason Chin, is gorgeously illustrated and talks about both the science and the importance of reefs to the ocean.  The kinders were fascinated by the illustrations and asked lots of questions and shared some of their own knowledge on oceans and on food chains, which was quite impressive.

They then had a chance to examine real coral and see the tiny polyps that comprise coral.  They were very into it and we had so much fun exploring this topic.  Can’t wait for next week!

November 22

Well-Being Book Series with Shannon

I got the opportunity to collaborate with our wonderful school counselor Shannon for a Well-Being Book Series session for our Kindergarten to grade 4 classes.  It was Kindness Week at the OJCS and the focus today was empathy.  Our students got to learn a very valuable lesson about the meaning of empathy and how it feels to ‘stand in someone else’s shoes.’

We started off the session by reading each group a book.  For our K and 1 groups we read ‘When I Care About Others’ by Cornelia Maude Spelman.  It is a very simple book but a valuable teaching tool for younger students.

For our grade 2 to 4s, we read a beautiful book called ‘The Three Questions’ by Jon J. Muth about a boy who is trying to answer three important questions;

  1. When is the best time to do things?
  2. Who is the most important one?
  3. What is the right thing to do?

After reading the story Shannon discussed the word ‘Empathy’ with the students and then did an exercise where they took turns standing on a pair of shoe prints and imagining what others would feel in made-up scenarios.

The kids loved the exercise and the stories.  I am really looking forward to working more with Shannon on this book series and can’t wait to choose books for our next session!