Sunday, January 13, 2019

PK and K/Kitah Gan 2018-2019

1-13-19

Hello Gan Class Families!

Today we were able to meet with Cantor Ken with just the Gan Class students.  We started to prepare for Kabbalat Torah which is taking place on February 9th during Synaplex. He helped us to practice some songs that we will be singing that morning.  Below are the links so that you can practice at home.
Al Shelosha Devarim (Pirkei Avot, 1:2)
It is a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18)
We love our visits with Nitzan.  We asked her if there was football in Israel and she shared that what she calls football is really soccer for us.  She said that there are some people that play American Football but it is not as popular as it is here.  She helped us learn new words that were connected to Tu B'shevat and shared that in Israel strawberries (called toot) only grow in the winter!  We finished by playing two new games, one to help us learn about the things we do to celebrate Tu B'shevat and another to learn a game that children in Israel might plat. Our  study about Tu B'shevat helped us think about our favorite foods that come from trees and well as mitzvot we like to do.  We also got to do some planting.  Bina and Jo helped us plant some parsley which will grow just in time to use for Passover!

In our next meeting, we are very excited to be participating in a Tu B'shevat Seder which Nitzan has put together for us.  It will include some delicious fresh fruits to enjoy.  In preparation of Kabbalat Torah on February 9th we will be working on an art project that will be on display that morning.  

Cantor Ken showed us something very special that was visiting Temple Israel this weekend.  It was a Haftorah scroll.  He opened it up and let us take a peek inside.  Ask your students how the inside of a Haftorah scroll looks different than a Torah scroll.


There is no class next week. I look forward to seeing you all on January 27th!


Michelle

1-6-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

Happy New Year! I heard about all of the super exciting activities that you all had planned for vacation.  It sounded like everyone had a great time!

Today we started to learn about Tu B'Shevat which will take place in two weeks.  Cantor Ken helped us to sing some songs about trees and we were able to use hand motions which was very silly and fun.  We read a story about all of the different kinds of trees and starting to think about all of the things that trees provide for us.  There were no new letters today but we practiced identifying our letters and their sounds and we did get to practice our yoga skills by making the letter shapes with our bodies.  We are very flexible! Our new Torah story is Noah's Ark.  So many of the Gan Class students already know this story which is excellent.  Something new that we learned is that God asked Noah to bring two of every animal but seven of the Kosher animals.  We also added up all the time that Noah and his family were on the Ark and even though it only rained for 40 days and 40 nights, they were on the Ark for more than a year waiting for the water to go down. That's a long time!

Next week we will be working on a Tu B'Shevat project and other activities to celebrate the trees.  We will also get to meet with Cantor Ken to start practicing for Kabbalat Torah which will take place on February 9th.  He will be teaching us some special songs to share with everyone.

Nitzan played a giant memory game with us to help us review all of the words that she has helped us to learn so far this year.  The students were really good at the game and had remembered many of the words. Ask your students which ones they remember and how many pairs they were able to collect.

Below are some pictures from our class today.

See you next week!


Michelle

12-16-18


Hello Gan Class Families!

During Tefillah today, Cantor Ken helped us start learning the V'ahavta which we recite right after the Shema.  He said that when we sing it, we will be using special notes that are in the Torah called Trope.  It is very exciting to get to learn new prayers and this was great timing because we were hard at work today practicing the Shema and piecing together all its parts in order. We finished our study of the story of Cain and Abel.  All of the Gan Class students can share details from all three of the stories we have experienced so far and today we made our third story illustration.  It shows Cain and Abel together.  Cain is the one with the vegetables and Abel is the one with the sheep.  Sam's dad was Mystery Reader today.  He shared a silly story about Noah's Ark to get us excited for our next Torah story.

When we return in the new year we will begin our Study of Noah's Ark.  We will also spend our first two weeks in January preparing for Tu B'Shevat!

We traveled around the building as detectives today looking for Mezzuzot.  Ask your students which ones we saw, where they were and what they looked like.

Below are some pictures from our class today.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.  Enjoy a restful break and see you in 2019!



Michelle

12-9-18



Happy Hanukkah Gan Class Families!

It was so great to spend Hanukkah with all of the Gan Class students today.  We were very excited to celebrate with the whole school in the Social Hall.  The Men's Club served us some delicious latkes and we played dreidel together after we lit the candles.  Cantor Ken helped us sing all of our favorite Hanukkah songs!  At snack time Bina and Michelle made us a special treat, soufganiyout!  They were delicious and very messy.  We also got to make our very own dreidels using legos!  Together we read the story of the Macabees and how they fought against the Syrians wanted the Jewish people to worship the way that they did.  We learned that after the fighting was over and the Macabees had won, a miracle happened and the oil in the ner tamid lasted 8 days when there was only enough for one.

Next week we will be learning some new letters as well as practicing the ones we already know.  We will also finish up our study of the story of Cain and Abel so that we can start with a new story when we return in 2019!

Nitzan shared with us what it is like to observe Shabbat in Israel.  Ask your student about how Shabbat is different in Israel than it is here.  Many students were really surprised about some of the differences.

Below are some pictures from our class today.

Jo and I would like to thank you all for the very generous and thoughtful gifts.  It is truly our pleasure to spend Sunday morning with your students.

I can't wait to see you all next week for our last class of 2018.



Michelle

12-2-18



Happy Hanukkah Gan Class Families!

Today was full of Hanukkah learning!

Nitzan shared three new words with us.  Two were treats that we enjoy on Hanukkah and the third was the Hebrew word for candles.  We learned that in Israel, there is no school or work during Hanukkah and that it is a time to think about who our heroes are.  Today's mystery reader was Roy and Sophia's dad and he shared a really cool new book about Hannukah in Alaska which featured a moose.  We practiced the blessings, some of our favorite Hanukkah songs and which way to light the menorah.  Most importantly we got some good practice in playing dreidel.  Hopefully the Gan Class students are ready for a most amazing holiday!

Next week we will celebrate Hanukkah together with the whole school!  The Men's club will help us enjoy some special Hanukkah treats together.  We will also have a chance to play some Hanukkah games together in our classroom and study the story of Hanukkah.

During Tefillah, Joanne, the Aleph Class teacher, shared a super fun fact.  There is only one Jewish Holiday that takes place in two different months.  Ask you student if they remember which one it is.

Below are some pictures of our time together this morning.

I look forward to seeing everyone next week for more Hannukah celebrations!


Michelle

11-18-18



Hello Gan Class Families!

It was such a lovely morning in the Gan Class.  We were very excited to start learning about Hanukkah.  Together we explored some of the blessings we say when we light the candles each night.  Students created a guide with pictures to help us learn the blessings.  They were so excited to see that the Hannukah blessings have something in common with the Shabbat blessings we learned a few weeks ago, they all begin with the same six words!  During Morning Meeting every day, we have been practicing counting in Hebrew.  We count how many students are in the class and how many teachers are in the class and how many people we have in the room altogether.  This week we got to practice counting to 10 and we are getting really good.  In our Morning Meetings, we are also getting exposure to the Hebrew months and year. To help us learn our letters, students practiced tracing and writing them on white board marker sleeves.  Bina, Jo and I were so amazed at the concentration everyone used and how great the letters were looking.  Keep up the good work everyone!

Our next class is December 2nd and we already know that Hanukkah starts that night!  In class we will be focusing our learning on Hanukkah traditions.  We will complete our guide of Hanukkah resources, practice how to put the candles in a menorah and which way we will light them and we will make sure everyone is a dreidel spinning pro!  We will also complete our study of the story of Cain and Abel by creating an illustration of the story.

During Tefillah today, Cantor Ken helped us sing many songs for Hanukkah.  Ask you student which one was their favorite!

There is no class next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I look forward to seeing everyone on December 2nd.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday!


Michelle

11-11-18



Hello Gan Class Families!

It was so lovely to spend Veterans Day together.  This morning, we made some cards to give to the Veteran's we met at our Veterans Day Program and practiced how to thank them for their service.  The cards were super cute!  Coby's mom was our Mystery Reader today and she brought with her our very first Hanukkah Story of the year! We were very excited to learn that Hanukkah starts in just a few weeks.  Our new Torah story is about two brothers names Cain and Abel.  Cain, a farmer gives God some vegetables as a gift.  Abel chooses to give God his very best sheep.  God likes Abel's gift better which makes Cain really mad.  They fight and Cain kills Abel.  When God asks Cain where Abel is, Cain lies and says he doesn't know.   God tells Cain that as his punishment it will be hard for him to farm and that he will have to leave his home and become a wanderer.  

Next week we will have our Aleph Bat Centers to help us practice our letters.  Also, Nitzan has some exciting places in Israel to tell us about which we got a preview of today! This video helped our students to get an overview of what the land of Israel looks like.

Instead of a traditional Tefillah experience today, students were introduced to some of the Veterans that are a part of the Temple Israel community.  They shared with us a video to help us learn about Veterans which you can view here and let us ask questions about their lives. Ask your students to share some of the things that they learned about our Veterans.

Below are some pictures of our time together this morning.

See you all next Sunday! 


Michelle

11-4-18



Hello Gan Class Families!

I hope you all enjoyed an extra hour of sleep last night and that waking up to a sunny morning was just what you needed to start an amazing day.

Today we were so excited to meet our very first Mystery Reader.  Most weeks we will have a Mystery Reader join our classroom to read us a story at the end of the day.  Our Mystery Reader today was Robin!  She shared with us a story called Chik Chak Shabbat.  When Nitzan was with us she helped us learn some hand motions that people use in Israel to say "wait" and "enough".  We practiced them by playing a game of Simon Says.  To finish our study of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, students illustrated Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden after the Snake tricks them into eating from the Tree of Knowing out to Tell Good from Evil.

Next week we will read our next story which will be about Adam and Eve's two sons.  We are also looking forward to learning some new letters.  We will be learning the letters het, hay and gimel.

In the Sanctuary this morning while we were waiting for all of our friends from the Aleph and Bet classes to join us, some of the Gan Class students asked some amazing questions.  Cantor Ken helped answer them.  Something that they were curious about is who gets to sit on the chairs that are on the Bima.  Ask your students if they remember who gets to sit on the Bima and if they remember what side they sit on.

Below are some pictures of our time together this morning.

There is Religous School next Sunday.  I look forward to seeing you all then!


Michelle

10-28-18



Hello Gan Class Families!

We were so excited to have Nitzan back with us in class today. With her, she brought three new words for the week and they were words that cool kids in Israel use.  You can check them out in the pictures below. Nitzan helped us write our names in Hebrew on name tags that we can use when we have visitors to our classroom.  While some students opted to have her write their Hebrew names, others asked her to write their English names using Hebrew letters.  Something that students were surprised to learn is that Nitzan's name is the same in English and in Hebrew and it means bud, like a rosebud.  We took a special trip to visit the Chapel today.  It's a space in the building we haven't seen before.  Students called it a "mini Sanctuary" when we discovered that it had many of the same things we can see in the Sanctuary.  Rabbi Liben happened to be there and helped us to see the Torahs and shared some information about how the Chapel is used.  We thought is was CRAZY that there are more services in the Chapel each week then there are in the Sanctuary.  Back in our classroom, we started to learn about the blessings we say on Shabbat.  Students helped us remember the blessings for challah, Shabbat candles and wine.  We noticed that all of these blessings start with the same six words so they must be really important.

During our class next week, we will continue to focus on the Shabbat blessings to help us remember what we are thanking God for when we say them.  We will also illustrate the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
We were so lucky today to unexpectedly meet up with Rabbi Liben in the Chapel.  He helped us make observations about the space and just like in the ark in the Sanctuary there was a shofar inside the Chapel ark. Every student got to try to blow the shofar.  Ask them what sounds the shofar made when they tried!

Below are some pictures of time together this morning.

See you all next week!


Michelle

10-21-18



Hello Gan Class Families!



I am so glad you found us in our new learning space.  I look forward to seeing you all in the Orange Room from now on!

Today we worked together to make an illustration of the story of Creation.  Students drew God sleeping after creating everything we need in six days.  In our new Torah story we met Adam and Eve who live in the Garden of Eden.  While they are there, God provides them with everything they need and there is only one rule - don't eat from The Tree of Knowing How to Tell Good from Evil.  The snake tricks them into eating from it and as a punishment, Adam and Eve have to leave the Garden of Eden forever.  They will have to work hard for their food and will no longer live forever. Together we explored three new letters this week.  Tav makes the sounds t- and begins the word torah.  Caf makes the sounds k- and begins the words kelev(dog) and kippah.  Nun makes the sound n- and begins the words ner tamid(the light that hangs above the ark) and nerot(candles).



During our class next week, we will welcome Nitzan back from Israel. We haven't seen her since September and the Gan Class students are curious to ask her about her visit home and learn the new words she brings us each week.  We will also explore the blessings we say on Friday nights as part of our study of Shabbat.
We started to practice Aleph Bet Yoga for the letters we have already learned.  Ask your student to show you some of the poses and try to guess what letter they are!

Below are some pictures of time together this morning..

See you all next week!

Michelle

10-14-18


Hello Gan Class Families!


Today was our very first time enjoying Aleph Bet Centers.  This is always a fun way to practice our letters.  Students used cookie cutters and Play Doh to shape the letters, used dot markers to practice writing our letters, played a game of Aleph Bet Go Fish to practice naming our letters and played Aleph Bet Adventures, a Candy Land type game, to help us recognize our letters.  We are now experts at shin, tet, dalet and lamed.  In the Sanctuary, Cantor Ken showed us the Torahs again.  They looked much different from when we saw them just after Yom Kippur.  They were dressed in pretty colors instead of white.  He showed us the yad and the ner tamid which we will study later in our year.  It was a great way to practice standing when the ark is open and an amazing opportunity to ask questions about the Torahs we have at Temple Israel. Each student illustrated their own Story of Creation book.  Together we focused on learning the things that God made on each day of Creation.  As we were working, there were some excellent questions about God that were answered by other students.  I was so impressed at how thoughtful our Gan Class students are!



During our class next week, we will meet Adam and Eve who live in the Garden of Eden.  We will also learn three new letters, tav, caf and nun.
During Tefillah today, Jo taught us how to say the Shema in Sign Language!  Ask your students to show you what they learned!  It was very cool.

Below are some pictures of time together this morning..

See you all next week!

Michelle

9-30-18


Hello Gan Class Families!


Today we experienced our very first Torah story.  It is the story of Creation.  We learned that God created the world in one week.  For the first six days God was very busy making all the things we need and on the seventh day, God rested.  We call the seventh day Shabbat. Nitzan shared that she is going to teach us three Hebrew words every week.  This week she taught us three words that are about the holidays.  She taught us the words fro dance, family and cycle. The posters she has made for these words will hang in the hallways upstairs so that everyone can check them out.  Cantor Ken helped us to prepare for tomorrow night's Simchat Torah festivities.  Our class will join with the Aleph Class to lead a song during the first hakafa.  The song that we will lead is Torah Torah and we sounded GREAT as we practiced.  I just know that tomorrow night our class will be the stars of the evening.  After leading our song, we will join in and dance with the Torahs.  Cantor Ken showed us some of the ways that we could dance - it was very silly! I can't wait to see all your dance moves tomorrow.

When we meet again in two weeks, we will revisit our first Torah story and create a craft to help us remember all the things God made.  We will also have our first Aleph Bet Centers where we will get to practice the letters we learned today through games and activities.
Something new that students learned about was Hoshanah Rabah, when we ask God to provide the rain we need for our crops to grow.  We joined the rest of the school in the Sukkah to "beat the willows", a tradition where we hit the willow branch of the lulav against the ground five times.  When we do this it makes a special sound. Please ask your students what this experience was like and what sound the willows make when we hit the ground with them all together.

Below are some pictures of our adventures today.

There is no class net week due to Columbus Day weekend.  Our next class together will be on October 14th.  I hope to see many of you tomorrow evening, starting at 6:45pm for Simchat Torah.

Michelle



9-23-18

Hello Gan Class Families!


Today was such a fun and bust day.  It was so wonderful to have everyone together in the classroom for the first time and I just know that it is going to be an amazing year!

Today was about making new friends.  We met lots of new student friends as well as teacher friends in the Gan Class.  A special friend we met was Nitzan.  She lives all the way in Israel and will be with us all year to help us learn about Israeli culture, geography and more.  Today she helped us play a get to know you game where we all shared our favorite foods and animals.  Nitzan's favorite animal is a turtle and she likes pizza just like many of the Gan Class students! Together, as a class, we created a class brit, or contract, about the important ways we should treat others in our class.  Our whole Gan Class community signed their names to the bottom promising to be kind, helpful, respectful and responsible. Thank you to Charna Westervelt, and Sisterhood at Temple Israel for helping us make some creative decorations for the sukkah.  Many of you got to see our beautiful creations at the end of the day but if not, hopefully you will be able to stop by the sukkah during sukkot to see the various decorations made by our Religious School students.  

Next week we will get to hear our first Torah story.  It is the story of Creation and we will learn about all the things that God made in just one week. We are also looking forward to learning some Hebrew letters. Our first letters will be shin, tet, lamed and dalet.
During Tefillah, Cantor Ken was kind enough to let us take a peak at the Torahs.  Students got to stand with Cantor Ken on the bima as he shared some information about how they are dressed and decorated. When we see them again in a couple of week they will be dressed very differently.  We counted how many Torahs there were in the aron kodesh.  Ask your student to share with you how many there were.

Below are some pictures of our adventures today.

I look forward to seeing you all for our class next week!

Michelle

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