Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kitah Hey Update

Fifth graders learned about Simchat Torah and discussed reasons we celebrate the Torah. Our conversation focused on reasons we keep rereading the Torah year after year. Students brainstormed many thoughtful reasons including: to remind us of our history, to keep learning new lessons from the stories, to practice reading Hebrew, and to relate to the lessons of the stories differently each year according to what is happening in our lives at that time.

Students also reviewed what we would like our classroom community to look, feel, and sound like. From there, fifth graders created a class Brit, consisting of five rules, and signed that they agree to follow our class contract.

We also started to learn about the Jewish value of preserving one's dignity and the dignity of others. We framed this lesson within the context of bullying and what we can do to feel that we, and the people around us, are respected. During this discussion, a student brought up the rainbow flag at our school. Fifth graders discussed how all who choose to join our community are welcome. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Gimel Goings On

Shalom Gimel Families!

It was great to see everyone yesterday after all the wonderful Chagim!

As usual it was a very busy Sunday morning…

Morning Work
This week’s morning work was a journal entry where students had an opportunity to write about why the communities they are a part of are important to them and what values they think are important in a community.  This activity was in preparation for our first Torah lesson later in the day.

Hebrew Morning Meeting
Students enjoyed greeting their friends in Hebrew with the words ,”Boker Tov.”  Different students took turns to take attendance, read the schedule of the day in Hebrew, do the Hebrew days of the week, be a Hebrew meteorologist, read the Hebrew date and tell the season in Hebrew.  Of course the highlight of Morning Meeting is the ever popular Hebrew counting game!

Hebrew Activity Centers
After an introduction to the Barachu prayer as a whole group,  students participated in 3 Hebrew activity centers in 10 minute rotations.  This week's centers were Hebrew Reading where they worked on their decoding skills, Tefillah, where they continued to practice the Barachu in small groups, and Hebrew games.  This week's game was a Hebrew reading connect 4 game.

Homework this week is to practice reading the Barachu prayer that we worked on in class, and students are encouraged to call the Google Voice number, listed on the homework calendar, about once a week.

We joined with the dalet class in the Sanctuary for Sunday morning prayers and Gimel students did a great job leading the Barachu!

This year we will use the book Jewish Values in Exodus as the basis for our Torah study.  Students will study different Jewish values through some of the stories in the Book of Exodus and connect them to how we live our lives, and how they are important in our communities.  Some examples of these values are courage, leadership, justice, gratitude, commitment, forgiveness and giving.  A variety of methodologies will be used - journal writing, reading, art, games and technology - to name a few.  This week students were introduced to this curriculum with a lesson on community where they used their journal entries from the morning to talk about the importance of community in small groups and as a whole class.  On the weekdays students will be offered various craft materials to make a picture of their ideal community.

Closing Circle
We ended our day with a closing circle where each student stated in Hebrew what they liked about the day.  Tefillah and Mischak Ivrit (Hebrew Game) were the 2 highlights!

See everyone on Tuesday or Wednesday!



Second Grade

Phew!!  We made it through the Fall Holidays.  At my house it’s time to put away the Sukkot decorations until next year and begin looking ahead to the next adventures and celebrations.

It was wonderful to host the Tuesday kids in my Sukkah. As we munched on Veggie Sticks we heard some stories, decided which historical figure, celebrity or family member each of us would invite into the Sukkah, sang songs with my husband Dubi, and heard stories about Sukkot in Israel from Bar.

It was great to see some of you at Temple Israel for Simchat Torah-always such a fun time for kids-and on Shabbat immediately after the holiday. 
I hope that everyone enjoyed sharing information about the Hebrew names in your families on Sunday morning.  The kids are very excited about learning them.  While the adults were learning about different ways to create wimples the kids were busy making nametags for the classroom desks.  Thanks to Bar many of the kids have their names written in Hebrew as well!

Despite being so busy with all of the holidays we have also begun our Hebrew curriculum.  We have learned the letters Shin ש, Bet ב, and Tav ת.  For some of the students this is a review while for others this is new material.  We have also learned two vowels which make the “ah” sound-and have practiced putting the letters and vowels together to read sounds and simple words.  We can read the words שבת, Shabbat and בת (bat), daughter or girl.  The students have begun using cards that they can manipulate for reading exercises and games.  Ask your kids the “tricks” for remembering the sound of each letter.  Each child has a binder with these cards in a special pouch.  Look for the binders to begin coming home with short homework assignments.  The work is meant to reinforce what is learned in class and should take no more than 5-7 minutes. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gan Class Update 10-15-17

Hello Gan Class Families!

It was so wonderful to see everyone today for the first of many classes in a row this fall! We had an amazing day.

We began our morning with Tefillah in the Sanctuary. For the first time, we used the siddurim. Cantor Ken showed us that the Siddur opens from the opposite side as a regular book.  We did an amazing job following along with the pages and we are looking forward to learning many the prayers this year.

Our new letters this week were tav and dalet.  Tav makes the sounds t- and begins the word torah.  Dalet makes the sound d- and begins the word degel which means flag.

Bar taught us lots of new Hebrew words!  We played two new games which required us to learn the Hebrew words for many of our body parts. We already knew some of the words but were excited to learn new ones like the word for ear, ozen.  In our silly game, partners had to touch hands to knees and elbows to toes by following the Hebrew commands.  

Today we enjoyed our very first Torah Story.  We read the story of Creation and learned about all the things G-d made when creating the world.  It took six days of work to create the world and on the 7th day, G-d rested.  

Today we studied things that are special about the Torah.  Our lesson had us travel to the Chapel where we were able to look inside one of the Torahs!  We practiced standing while the ark is opened and saw how the Torah is dressed.  Each student held the yad and used it to point at the letters inside the Torah as we learned that the oil on our fingers can hurt the special paper of the Torah.  It was super lucky that as we were asking questions about how the Torah was made, Rabbi Liben walked by on the way to his office.  He was thrilled to join us and share his answers to some very insightful questions. Something that was very interesting to the Gan Class students was that every Torah, everywhere in the world has all of the same stories!

I look forward to seeing you all next week for Aleph Bet Centers, an opportunity to study the letters we have already learned through games and activities.

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


Kitah Dalet Update

Hello families! Today Fourth Grade had an action packed day, starting with a great presentation by Bar, our Israeli shin shin. We researched together about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was captured and released by Hamas 6 years ago. The kids asked a lot of great questions about what happened and tried their best to grasp the concept of captured prisoners.

We continued our morning discussing questions about God, the first being, "How do we know there is a God?" We broke out into small groups and discussed answers from different Rabbis, and then added our own thoughts as well.

We ended our morning with Hebrew, practicing and reviewing Ashrei. As always, please continue practicing a line every night for homework!

Kitah Aleph

Kitah aleph students shared their hopes and dreams for the upcoming Hebrew school year. The children wrote about a variety of topics that they would like to learn more about this year. These topics included: reading Hebrew letters, writing Hebrew letters, learning more Hebrew words, learning about the Jewish holidays and about Jewish history, learning more Hebrew songs and prayers and learning more about the land of Israel. In class today, the children played some games with our shinshin, Bar, to learn Hebrew words for different body parts. They learned that rosh is the Hebrew word for head and yad is Hebrew for hand. Other body parts we practiced included the Hebrew words for knees, feet, nose, elbow and fingers. The children also sang a Hebrew version of the song, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." We reviewed the letter bet, that looks like a ball in a box. The children practiced greeting each other with the phrase, boker tov, good morning since the word boker begins with a bet. The new letter today was the letter tav which begins the word torah. The children also were introduced to the letter shin and will spend more time learning about shin next week. Shavua tov to everyone! Joanne

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kitah Hey- Diana's Update!

Dear Kitah Hey families,

The fifth graders have been busy learning all about the recent holidays and sharing their knowledge with one another in class. We started out last Sunday with a fun zumba themed tefilah session led by Katie, a 6th grade teacher. This was a fun new way to wake ourselves up and connect to prayer.

The students also had a chance to decorate our very own sukkah in the Temple Israel courtyard! Students traced and cut out hands on construction paper and wrote about what they are thankful for.
The students then were able to hang these up, along with decorative fruits and vegetables to create a warm and festive feeling.

This afternoon, our students had the opportunity to visit Rabbi Liben's home. The fifth graders were taught how to shake the lulav and etrog in preparation for the upcoming holiday. They had a great time. 

With all of the holidays coming at once, I realized I need to change the Hebrew Calendar that was sent home in the students' Hebrew binders last week. We will soon start learning the prayer, Ein Kamocha, in class. Students will be asked to practice one new line of the prayer for homework each night (excluding shabbat, holidays, and vacations). Because we did not meet in class on Columbus Day weekend, this homework will start this coming Sunday, October 15th. The new calendar we will be using is below, as well as a link to that will take you to a recorded video of this prayer and its melody.