Grade 8: The Great Debate

This week students are submitting topics for our class debate. Once we select a topic as a class, teams will be created and collaboration will begin.

Today we will spend time analyzing a portion of a political debate. Students are being asked to observe and report on the effective strategies and tactics that each candidate used.

Teams will divide up the debate responsibilities amongst their peers. One member of each team will be responsible for the following roles:

  • Opening statement
  • Presenting the argument
  • Rebuttal
  • Crossfire questions
  • Closing Statement

As explained the in the document below, students will earn a group grade for the debate as well as an individual mark. Please re-read the rubric as you begin to prepare for the debate. Each student is responsible for conducting research, analyzing and finding credible sources (expert testimonies, statistics, etc.) citing their sources, preparing at least three main points, and developing questions prior to the debate. We will review the essential elements and skills necessary to create a strong debate in class.

Debate strategies and information can found in the Google Slides presentation below:

Grade 8 Debate Unit

Please note that the students will need to work diligently in-class and at home to adequately prepare for their debate!

Grade 8 Debate Assignment/Rubric

Individual Debate Graphic Organizer

Debate Group Graphic Organizer

Due Dates:

October 13th-Individual Graphic Organizer

October 26th-27th- Group Graphic Organizer/Debate Presentations

Parents: Virtual Back to School Night (9/23)

Dear Parents,

Welcome to our “Virtual Back to School Night” at OJCS! If are unable to make it to our live Google Meet discussions, please check out the video presentations below. Each presentation contains expectations, a curriculum overview, behaviour management policies, homework policies, distance learning information, and contact information.

Click the link below to access the Middle School Distance Learning Schedules: Distance Learning Schedules


Grades 6-8: Accessing the Library Online

This year, students will access the library online to reserve books! After students have reserved a book, Mr. Washerstein will deliver the book to you during English class. When you are finished, you can return your book to Mr. Washerstein.

Click here to view our library catalog: OJCS Library Link

It will then ask you to log in.  Your login is the first letter of your first name, then a period, then your last name.

Example: b.areader 

Everyone’s password is the same: books


How do I reserve a book?

Step 1: Select a book

Step 2: Click the holdings tab

Step 3: Click the reserve button




Grades 6-8: Moving Forward During a Pandemic (Due: Friday 9/18)

Reflection is essential in order promote personal growth. Today we will spend time discussing mindful moments.

The purpose of this activity is to reflect upon your experience over the past 7 months. Our lives have changed in various aspects for better or worse. How can we learn from these experiences moving forward?

Click here to access the assignment:

Moving Forward During a Pandemic Assignment Sheet

Grades 6-8: Welcome Back Middle School Students!

Welcome back! We are excited to begin a new school year filled with learning, personal development, and critical thinking. Today we spent the first three periods discussing expectations, changes, and other essential information that every middle school student should be aware of. As questions arise, please reach out to your teachers as soon as possible!

Click the link below to access and review our presentation:

OJCS Middle School 2020

Grades 6-8: Language Arts Summer Review

Check out some of the summer reading recommendations from Brigitte: Summer Reading Recommendations

In addition, for those who want to practice their writing skills over the summer, check out these writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts

Students are encouraged to post their writing pieces on their blogs over the summer.

Grades 6-8: Wrapping Up The Year

All parents should find their way to campus at some point on Thursday-Friday, July 2nd-3rd from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM to pick up all your children’s belongings and to drop off anything that belongs to the school (like LIBRARY BOOKS) at curbside in front of the school. 

All desks and lockers will have been emptied, bagged, and labeled and members of the Admin Team will be there to assist.

Grades 6-8: Public Speaking Finalists

All of the speeches this year were incredible! Each and every student should be proud of their accomplishments. As a judge it was incredibly hard to choose who would be moving on to the finals.  Remember that these events are opportunities to grow and further your develop your learning skills. Later today I will be sharing individual rubrics with each student.

The 2020 Middle School Public Speaking Finalists are:

Grade 8

    • Ari Kotkowski
    • Talia Cherun
    • Jessica Ages

Grade 7

    • Jenny Peters
    • Maayan Shrem
    • Yamaya Newman

Grade 6

    • Audrey Baker
    • Maya Spanglet
    • Samara Spivock



  1. When are the finals?

The Public Speaking Finals will be held on Friday, June 12, 2020.

The Grade 4 & 5 Public Speaking Finals will be held from 9:00-10:30AM

The Middle School Public Speaking Finals will be held from 11:30 AM-1:00PM


2. Can family members, friends, and other loved ones watch the finals this year?

Yes! We will be sharing more information throughout the week as to how we will be broadcasting the 2020 Public Speaking Finals.