Wednesday, December 13, 2017

5th Grade Update

Fifth graders have been busy!  They finished reading and singing the Vayehi Binsoa without a teacher and sound beautiful! To celebrate, students played a game of Around the World to practice Hebrew reading fluency.

We also continued our discussion about personal satisfaction and thinking about what is important and meaningful that makes our lives great. What are we truly grateful for? Please see an attached photo of what students brainstormed for what they are thankful. Fifth graders went deeper during this week's conversation. They also made an art project that reflects what they are really thankful for in their lives.

Midweek, students had a grand finale to the elective unit! They reflected on what they learned, partook in fun activity stations, and sang Hanukkah songs together. They had a blast!

6/7th Grade Update December 13, 2017

Happy Hanukkah from the 6th and 7th grade class! 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we brought in the holiday of Hanukkah with festive singing with the Rabbi and Cantor, as well as with lighting the Hanukkah candles. We also participated in a school-wide project to create Hanukkah centerpieces. learning about the meaning of the letters on the Hanukkah dreidel, and decorating centerpieces with these letters. 

We also continued our social justice B'nai Telem curriculum, further exploring our current unit: inclusion. 

To begin, we discussed the framework that we're approaching each unit. For each unit, we start by exploring the topic itself, then exploring what the topic means to each of us, leading to exploring Judaism's perspective on the topic. Once we have an understanding of the unit, we then participate in a hands-on service project to physically do something to further this cause, and then reflect on the unit and the project as a whole. 

Throughout this week's lesson, we discussed how this lesson fits in to the greater theme and framework of our class. Particularly, we moved into further discussing this topic of inclusion in Judaism. We studied a prayer called "Asher Yatzar", which discusses being thankful for bodies functioning the way they need in order for us to live. We discussed times that we might not have been able to function the way we may have hoped, such as when we break a bone, and talked about ways we may have adapted to not let this inhibit us. Though this prayer is typically said after using the restroom, we studied the meaning behind this prayer, understanding how it is applicable to our daily lives. 

In future classes, this will lead into a greater conversation about the ways that Judaism allows for similar types of inclusion. 

Finally, we divided the class in half as the 6th grades continued their Trope lessons with Cantor Ken, and the 7th graders discussed their own Hanukkah practices and played trivia about Hanukkah. 

Wishing you a wonderful Hanukkah and holiday season, and looking forward to continuing the celebration as a class next week. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

4th Grade Update

This week we worked hard to solve our first ever Hebrew crossword puzzle! All the clues and answers are from the Amida. We also played some Hebrew hangman, and the students had fun guessing the phrases. 

In anticipation of Hanukkah, everyone grabbed a name from a hat and made a nice card for that person. We can’t wait for Hanukkah to start and light the candles!!

Madrichim Update

These past few weeks the third graders have been practicing their beerkot hashachar in class and tefillah. We have also been having conversations about courage and miracles. As a class, we have started our new bucket filler activity where the kids write compliments about each other and get to take them home at the end of the day.-Rachael Greenberg

Monday, December 11, 2017

Second Grade Update

On Sunday mornings we often begin class with a little spoken Hebrew before T'filah at 9:20.  We have been asking each other "How are you?" in Hebrew, and have learned that the question is slightly different for a girl or a boy. ("Mah slomech?" or Mah Shlomcha?")  We have learned some of the replies such as "Bseder" (OK), "Tov" (Good) and "Mitzuyan" (excellent). 

This week in Hebrew the students played some new reading games.  We played "Four in a Row" (which is in their text on page 43) and a game with words written on Popsicle sticks where you don't want to pick a bumble bee by accident.  The students were all excited about reading and many of them were paired with students they do not normally work with-a winning situation all around!

 I hope that you are all looking forward celebrating Hannukah because your children are all VERY excited!  We've talked about the story and the miracles of the holiday,  and on Sunday we practiced the correct way to put the candles in the Hannukiya and in which direction to light the candles.  Everyone came up to the whiteboard to fill in the candles for different nights and "light"them in the correct direction. Ask your children if they remember how to do it. (The candles are put in starting from the right side and the newest candle is lit first.)  Some of the students began sharing the different way their families give Tzedekah during the holiday, I am looking forward to hearing more.

Gimel Goings On

Shalom Gimel Families,

Happy Hannukah!

Students continue to make progress with their prayer reading.  

We have studied up to line 11 of the Birkot Hashachar.  

You can be very proud of your student’s enthusiasm and hard work.

Through our Sunday morning meeting and closing circle on Sundays
students are also getting some exposure to modern Hebrew and Hebrew counting.

We continue to explore the value of chesed (kindness) and
this week students listened to another story about being bucket fillers before writing compliments to 2 classmates.

This week students completed a journal entry where they wrote down 3 things they are looking forward to about Hannukah.  
Many students are excited to light the Menorah, eat latkes and sufganiyot, play Dreidle and spend time with family.  
At the end of the day, students made centerpieces for the community dinner this Shabbat.

During the week students have been having fun in their electives.  
The discussion last week focused on the theme of publicizing the miracle of Hannukah.  
Students have enjoyed reconnecting as a class at the end of the day sharing something about their elective.

Upcoming this week
  • The final week of electives.
  • First and second night of Hannukah.  Students will participate in a school-wide Menorah lighting.
  • On Sunday there will be an all-school Hannukah celebration sponsored by the Men's Club.
  • In Hebrew, students will learn 2 new lines of Birkot Hashachar.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week and Chag Sameach!



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gan Class Update 12-10-17

Hello Gan Class Families!

In just a few short days Hanukkah will be here!  I am sure your home is full of excitement.  We have spent the last several weeks preparing.  During Tefillah, we have practiced the blessings and songs.  I heard many students singing them throughout the day.  Today, Ann shared with us her personal menorah and some dreidels she has collected over the years....she even had one in Braille!  She taught us how the candles are placed into the menorah and the way we are supposed to light the candles (the newest candle first).  We discovered how many candles we will need for to have to light the candles all eight nights by putting out eight menorahs with the candles for each night.  When we counted together we reached 44!

Bar has started to teach us about the different geographical areas of Israel.  Today we learned about southern Israel which is made up of mostly desert.  We acted out several things you might do in southern Israel during a fun game.  Below is a picture of the drawings students created to show the different things you might see in the desert areas of Israel.  Can you guess what they are?  

Our new letter today was het.  Het makes a ch- sound and begins the word challah.  Students are continuing to practice letter recognition skills in class together.  

Today we read another story about Noah's Ark.  This one had more details about why Noah needed to build an ark, how many animals were on it and how long they had to stay on the ark.  We learned that Noah brought at least two of every animal.  He actually brought SEVEN of each Kosher animal. And even though it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, the animals and Noah and his family had to stay on the ark much longer than that as they waited for the water to go down and the land to become visible.  Another new detail was that Noah sent two different birds to see if it was safe to leave the ark.  One came back with nothing and Noah knew that they could not get off yet.  The second, a dove, came back with an olive branch which showed Noah that there was land available. Next week we will make illustrations in our workbooks to help us remind us of the details of this story.

Next week we will be focusing on Hanukkah!  We will join the whole school for a Hanukkah celebration and participate in lots of holiday activities.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the Gan Class.