Sunday, May 12, 2019

PK and K/Kitah Gan 2018-2019

5-12-19

Hello Gan Class Families!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Bina taught a lesson today about God.  We read some stories to think about how we connect with God including a silly story called God is in My Pizza. Afterwards, we made illustrations about what we think God looks like and shared them with the class.  Everyone has a different idea about what God looks like and we decided that maybe God doesn't look the same for everyone and maybe God might look different at different times to the same person. Liora's mom was the Mystery Reader today.  She read us a book about Yom Ha'atzmaut which was about a painter that was supposed to paint a mural.  He spent so much time thinking about what to paint by traveling around Israel that his dog Ezra made the painting instead! To practice our new letters pay, zayin and tsadee we tried the Aleph Bet Yoga poses and they were tricky.  We reviewed all of our other letters too which took a long time because we know so many!

Next week will be our end of year celebration.  Please make sure to review the information Robin sent out the activities. We will have some time in class to wrap up a few things as well and we look forward to hearing a final Torah story and practicing our letters together.  

Nitzan helped us to think about something special we learned about Israel this year.  Ask your student what they chose and drew about. 

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you next week for our last class together!


Michelle






5-5-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

Today was a great day!  We went a little off script with our daily plan but it was worth it. Please remember that on Sunday, May 19th we will be participating in the end of year celebration.  Please check out the information Robin sent out with the details.

Tefillah was extra special this morning.  It was a session of drumming Tefillah.  We worked on beats and patters in prayer and practiced using different parts of our bodies to pray.  We used drums and shakers and Cantor Ken added his guitar to our prayer too.  The anticipation for our Mystery Reader was high and students were delighted when Rabbi Liben literally jumped into our classroom.  Before reading to us, we shared all sorts of knowledge with him about planets and Israel and holidays and much more.  He was very impressed with all the things we have learned this year.  After the story we got to ask him some questions.  We learned that the upcoming holiday of Shavuot is the closest thing to the Torah's birthday and he shared two different stories about why we eat dairy on Shavuot.  He told us about Kosher Torah's and we made a connection with Rabbi Liben because he has Tefillah with the adults on Sunday morning at the same time that we have Tefillah with Cantor Ken in the Sanctuary. We thanked him for his time and the tons of information that he shared before setting out on an adventure.  We went to check out what was going on in the Temple this morning.  In the Social Hall, we found that Sisterhood was doing a mitzvah.  They were setting up a rummage sale so that they could raise money to provide scholarships to people that want to do Jewish things, make dinners for people that need a healthy dinner and have programs that people can enjoy during the year.  We then got to explore the kitchen.  We noticed that some of the cabinets are labeled MEAT and others are labeled DAIRY.  The pots and pans were huge, much bigger than the ones at home.  Most excitingly, we saw a giant walk in refrigerator where we keep all the food for simchas.  On the other side of the Social Hall, we met a teenager named Nathan who was collecting electronics to be recycled.  Two mitzvahs in one room!  Another stop on our exploration was the coat room, that had no coats but that meant that we could see the Temple archives, where all of the Temple history is kept.  In the Main Office, we ran into Phyllis who makes many of the Shabbat lunches.  She asked everyone their name and what they would want to have for lunches on Shabbat morning.  She shared a secret with us - there will be marshmallows at lunch this Shabbat!  Our tour ended in the Rabbi's office where he showed us pictures and let us ring his meditation bell.  It was a very exciting morning.

Next week is our last regular class period.  We are looking forward to a final lesson with Nitzan and working on our newest letters, pay, tzadee and zayin to better understand the sound they make and the words that start with those letters. 

After reading The Perfect Prayer with our Mystery Reader, Rabbi Liben,  Jo shared how and why they say the Sh'ma in ASL.  It is a very special story that you can ask your student to share with you.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you next week!


Michelle

UPDATE:
In Sunday's Gan Class Update one of the things that I encouraged you to talk to your child about was Jo knowing the Sh'ma in Hebrew.  While Jo does know the Sh'ma in Hebrew, the story of how they know the Sh'ma in American Sign Language is what I was hoping your child would share with you.  I apologize for any confusion.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

See you Sunday!


Michelle






4-28-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

It sounds like everyone had a great Passover and a fun vacation week.  We are in the final stretch of our year together and it is so hard to believe that we have only three more classes.  On Sunday, May 19th we will be participating in the end of year celebration.  Please check out the information Robin sent out with the details.

Today we got to count the Omer together for the first time.  Cantor Ken helped us count the days and say the blessings.  Today is the 8th day of the Omer, we have been counting for one week and one day. We will count the Omer until Shavuot.  Ntizan helped up learn about Yom Ha'atzmaut which is Isreal's Independence day.  She helped us to compare Yom Ha'atmaut to July 4th and we discovered that there are lots of similarities.  Fireworks and barbeques are ways that both holidays are celebrated.  Togehter be made a cake (it's styrofoam so that it can hang around longer) with 71 candles.  Each student counted out 7 candles with Hebrew numbers. We also got to hear a new Torah Story.  In this story we met Isaac's sons Jacob and Esau.  Esau is older and is supposed to get a special birthright and blessing.  Jacob tricks Esau and Issac and ends up with both.  Something that we talked a lot about was a birthright.  Students reflected that it was unfair that only one child would get all of the stuff their parents have.  It was a great conversation and we saw another way that things are different today then they were when these stories occurred.

Next week Bina will be teaching a lesson on God.  This is part of her Madrichim Program and she has been working hard to put it together so I know it's going to be great!  We will also learn our remaining letters.  There are only a few left - zayin, tsadee and pay!  we will be doing an art project to help us remember a word for pay. 

Bay and Avi's dad was our Mystery Reader today.  He read a story called Meg Goldberg on Parade.  This story is a fictional story about an Israel Parade that he has been too in New York City.  Ask you student to share with you about what the parade is like in real life and in the book.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you next week!


Michelle







4-7-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

It has been a beautiful Spring weekend.  I hope you have been able to enjoy the lovely weather.  We even noticed that some of the flowers are beginning to grow when we took a peek out the windows today!

During Tefillah, Cantor Ken helped us to prepare for Passover.  We have practiced the 4 Questions, Learned to sing songs from the Haggadah and reveiwed the story of Passover so we are ready!  In our classroom we got ready for Passover by making an afikomen holder, reading a story about the different ways to eat matzah called A Sweet Passover, and we got a special Counting the Omer project to take home.  Bina taught us the letter samech which makes the sound s- and we alss illustrated the ten camels from our Torah story last week. It was a busy day. 

When we return after April Vacation and Passover, we will be welcoming some guests into our classroom. We have invited Pre-K students to check out the Gan Class for the day and we have lots of great activities planned.  We are super excited about a birthday party for Israel with Nitzan and an extra special Mystery Reader!

Today Nitzan helped us to experience the way Passover is celebrated in Israel.  Ask your students to share a way that Passover is different in Israel than we observe it in the United States.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you all on April 28th.  Have a Happy Passover. 


Michelle






3-31-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

It was such an exciting weekend at Temple Israel and I am so glad that so many of you were able to take part in our Artist-in-Residence weekend.  

We were so excited to learn two new letters today.  It means that we have almost learned them all!  Today's letters were koof and resh.  Koof makes the sounds k- and begins the work keshet which means rainbow.  Resh makes the sound r- and begins the work rimonim which are the bell-adorned decorations that are on many of the Torahs in our sanctuary.  Today we heard a new Torah story.  This one was about Sarah and Abraham's son Isaac and how he finds a wife.  A servant is sent to find a wife for Isaac and he creates a test to see which person would be the best choice.  The servant chooses Rebekkah because she is kind and helpful.  She makes sure that the camels have all the water they need, something that none of the other people he met did.  This week's Tefillah was extra special.  It was with Josh Warshawsky, our Artist-in-Residence and with all of the students in K-3.  We loved singing along with Josh and learning new melodies. We all got to sit on the bima too!  

Next week we will be finishing up our study of Passover with some crafts, games and activities.  It is going to be super fun for everyone!  We will also have the opportunity to learn about one more new letter, samech which makes a s-sound.

Today with Nitzan we made a puzzle map of Israel.  Nitzan showed us some of the special things on the map.  Ask your student about some of the features we learned about the geography of Israel.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you all next week.  


Michelle






3-24-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

It was a beautiful day today.  I hope you got to spend some time this afternoon enjoying a delightful Spring day.

Now that Purim has come to an end, our Celebrations study is focusing on the upcoming holiday of Passover.  During Tefillah, we practiced the Four Questions and several other Passover songs.  After snack we read the story of Passover and discussed all of the miracles that took place in the story.  We learned about the 10 Plagues and the way that the Jewish people were able to escape from Egypt.  Together we reviewed our Torah Stories and took an second in-depth look at our newest story about Abraham and Sarah.  We illustrated the main idea of the story by drawing Sarah, Abraham and their son Isaac.  To help us learn our Hebrew letters, we worked with flashcards and whiteboards,  Jo led our Aleph Bet Yoga and then we played a group game to identify the sounds of letters in some new Hebrew words.

Next week we will be reading a new Torah story.  This story will be about Isaac and how he finds someone to marry.  We will also continue to learn about Passover by studying the four questions.

Today's Tefillah was was the Aleph class in the Green Room.  Because we were in a different space, we had to be careful not to put our siddurim on the ground.  This led to a great conversation about being respectful of texts that have God's name in them.  Ask your students to share with you what we learned happens to books with God's name that are too old to use anymore.

There are lots of great events at Temple Israel next weekend.  It's going to be amazing!  I hope to see you there!

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you all next week.  


Michelle






3-17-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

What an exciting day! Purim has begun at Temple Israel!

Our morning began with a special Tefillah.  We used percussion instruments to enhance our praying.  We learned about rhythms and practiced using the different instruments to create them.  We got to use small round shakers, individual drums and we all got to try using a big drum which was almost as tall as the Gan Class students.  As promised, we met some new people during our Torah Story study.  Abraham and Sarah were told by God that they would be the start of a nation with more people than there are stars in the sky, but they were old and didn't have any children.  One day, three strangers walked by and Abraham invited them to be his guests.  Because Abraham and Sarah were so nice to them, the strangers said that Sarah would soon have a child.  Sarah laughed because she was too old to have any children.  The strangers were right, Sarah did have a child and she named him Isaac.  To finish our study of Purim, we participated in something that we do on Purim, giving Mishloach Manot.  We put together a basket of goodies for each student to give away to their families.  They were shaped just like hamentashen and the filling was games and toys, candy and fruit!

Next week we are looking forward to practicing our letters during Aleph Bet Centers so that we can practice all of the letters we have learned.  We will also be starting our study of Passover which is only about a month away.  

After snack we ready one of my favorite Purim stories called Purim Superhero. It is about a boy named Nate who has to pick a costume to wear on Purim.  He must choose between being an alien, which is what he wants to be, and being a superhero like all the other boys in his class.  Ask your student to tell you what Nate chose and why.

Just a quick reminder that Wednesday evening at Temple Israel is the Purim Dinner and Megillah reading.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you all next week!


Michelle







3-10-19


Hello Gan Class Families!

Thanks for braving the weather and one less hour of sleep to join us this morning!  Hopefully this is the last snow we need to see before warmer weather comes our way. 

Today we finished up our work with the Tower of Babel by illustrating a picture to represent what happened in the story.  We also got a preview of what is coming up in our next story.  Students were excited to hear that we will be meeting some new people, Abraham and Sarah.  During the later part of our day we heard the whole story of Purim.  There were lots of big words but we stopped the story often to review what was happening.  We used the illustrations to help up figure out that the story took place a long time ago because of what people were wearing and how they got to the palace and we made observations about how Esther was different than the other people that wanted to marry the king.  We thought it was very funny that Haman had to announce to all the people that Mordecai was the one that the King wanted to honor when it was Haman's idea. Every student went home with a rose today.  Our newest letter was vav.  The Hebrew word for rose is vered.  This vered should help remind us of the sound v-.  We have very few letters left to learn  are practicing the ones we have already worked with each class period.

Next week will be participating in a drumming workshop during tefillah!  Jeff Kottler who has been with us during Synaplex will be helping us to learn to include drumming in our prayer!  We will also be finishing up our Purim Project which will be something everyone can share with their families.  Next week is the Purim Carnival.  It will take place directly after Religious school in the Social Hall. 

Today we started our project for Purim.  We painted plates to make into hamantashen next week.  First we had to make the perfect color.  Ask your students which colors we mixed together.  You might be surprised!

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you all next week.  See you at the Purim Carnival next week!

Michelle












3-3-19



Hello Gan Class Families!

It sounds like you all had a very exciting February Vacation!  Now that we are back, we have a bunch of Sunday's in a row to learn about Purim and Passover.  It will be a super exciting time.

Today we started to learn about Purim by discussing what we already know about Purim and some of us know a lot!  We talked about dressing up and special shaped cookies and making lots of noise when you hear Haman's name.  We will use this as a jumping off point to learn new things about the holiday in our upcoming classes.  Nitzan came back from Israel last weekend and today she shared with us pictures from her trip.  We noticed lots of similarities between the pictures of Nitzan's time in Israel and things that we have here in our own homes and daily life.  There were some differences too.  Nitzan and her family live in a building with other apartments for other families to live in.  Many of us live in houses with yards. Nitzan's house has couches and tables and a TV just like we have in our homes.   There were lots of pictures of her family and the places she visited including the beach! In our Torah story lessons, we worked on to of our storied.  First we illustrated the story of Noah's Ark.  Students could use an example drawing as a model or come up with something original that shared information about the story.  Then we practiced creating towers without speaking to our peers just like in the Tower of Babel story.  This was hard.  First, we were each making our own towers and there weren't enough blocks for all of the towers to get tall.  Then some of us started to work together.  We were able to build a taller tower but it was easy for it to fall down.  During our reflection, students shared that it was hard to build without talking because you couldn't ask for help or tell someone else what to do.  In a second trial, talking was allowed and the tower was much bigger and was built in much less time.  

In our next class we will be focusing on our study of Purim.  We will explore the story and work on a special project to help better understand the ways we celebrate Purim.  We will also finish our study of the Tower of Babel Torah story.

Nitzan shared with us an exciting video about the spacecraft that Israel is sending to the moon. Ask your students about some of the things that they learned about the spacecraft and what it's job is when it gets to the the moon.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  



See you all next week.  Stay warm in tomorrow's snow storm.


Michelle






2-10-19


Hello Gan Class Families!


Kabbalat Torah was amazing!  The Gan Class students were so spectacular singing their songs and joining in on the Torah procession.  I hope that you all enjoyed the day and are looking forward to many more simchas.

Today we heard our new Torah story about the Tower of Babel.  The people wanted to build a tower to reach the sky so that they could be higher than God.  God did not think this was a good idea and made it so that that people could not use their words to communicate.  The tower could not be built well and it crumbled.  The people couldn't talk to each other so they all moved away. Bina helped us to review all of the letters and their sounds. We practiced out Hebrew letters through Aleph Bet Yoga and by using dot markers to trace the letters.  The big excitement of the day was conducting a Science experiment




.  Last week, Nitzan taught us about the Dead Sea and today we got to see why it is easier to float there.  Each student had two cups.  One was a control sample with just regular water.  When we put our gemstones into this water, some floated and some sank.  After a while, they all sank.  Our second cup had water mixed with salt.  We did the mixing ourselves and the ratio of water to salt was similar to the Dead Sea.  We observed that the water looked different,  It wasn't clear, it was cloudy.  When we poured the water from our bottles into the cup, some goopy salt was left behind. When we put the gemstones in the salt water they all floated!  This is because adding the salt to the water created a mixture with a higher density. The gemstones were more dense than the regular water so they sank but they were less dense than the salt water so they floated! 

In our next class, we will try to build a tower without communicating just like the people in the Tower of Babel story.  We will also start our study of Purim, which will take place in March.

For the very first time, we used siddurim during Tefillah.  Cantor Ken showed us how to care for them and some of the special features of a siddur.  Students loved looking at the pictures and finding letters that they have already learned. Ask your student how the Religious School siddurim are different than regular books and the siddurim adults use on Shabbat morning.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

Our next class will take place on Sunday, March 3rd.  Enjoy the February Break!



Michelle

2-3-19

Hello Gan Class Families!

Our much anticipated Kabbalat Torah is taking place this Shabbat Morning!   The links to the songs we will be singing are listed below for any last minute practicing this week.
Al Shelosha Devarim (Pirkei Avot, 1:2)
It is a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18)

Henry's sister Olivia was our Mystery Reader today! She is in 3rd grade and she did such a great job sharing a family favorite story and making sure to show us the pictures.  Nitzan taught us about the Dead Sea.  Lots of the Gan Class students already knew something about it and everyone was excited about floating in the Dead Sea. A special video showed of lots of facts that were new to us and Nitzan and Jo both shared some personal experiences as well. With the Aleph class we practiced what to do if there is an emergency at Temple Israel.  We practiced safely walking away from the building with quiet voices.  We were careful to listen to the directions of adults and took attendance to make sure everyone was with us just like we would in a real emergency. Everyone did a great job and we will continue to practice ways to stay safe at Temple Israel throughout the remainder of our year together.

Next week we will be conducting a Science experiment to extend our understanding of the water in the Dead Sea.  Nitzan will be in Israel so she won't be with us but we will be sure to take lots of pictures to share with her when she gets back.  We will also have our Aleph Bet Centers.  It will be our last class together before February vacation so it is super important we get this practice in.  We will be using craft materials and games to help us with our letters next week.

Today was the World Wide Wrap, a day to help people learn about teffilin.  Cantor Ken wore his tefillin during teffilah today and told us all about it.  We even got to see what the inside looks like.  Ask your student to share some of the new information they learned as well as a connection they made to something we already know about.

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you on Saturday for Kabbalat Torah!


Michelle










1-27-19

Hello Gan Class Families!

It sounded like there has been some practicing at home for our upcoming Kabbalat Torah!  I know that the Gan Class will sound terrific on February 9th.  If you need the links to the songs, they are below.
Al Shelosha Devarim (Pirkei Avot, 1:2)
It is a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18)

Today we practiced for Kabbalat Torah in the Santuary!  Everyone stood on the bima and we sang loudly without help from Cantor Ken or our teachers.  Jo even taught us how to sing one of our songs in Sign Language and we are really great at it!  With Nitzan we finished up our learning about Tu B'Shevat.  We learned that on Tu B'Shevat there is a seder, its not the exact same as Passover but we did make some great connections between the two.  There are four cups of wine or grape juice in both but the ones for Tu B'Shevat represent the seasons and are four different colors.  There are also three types of fruits that we eat at a Tu B'Shevat seder, ones that we can eat the whole fruit, ones that we can't eat the outside but we can eat the inside and ones where we can eat the outsides but not the innermost part.  We brainstormed what kinds of fruits fit into these categories during morning meeting.  We were very excited to join the Aleph Class for a special Tu B'Shevat project.  Please stop by the display case in the lobby to see our hand crafted tree!  Each of us made our very own leaf to share our appreciation for all the things we get from trees.

Next week we will be working with Cantor Ken to get ready for Kabbalat Torah, it's the last time we will meet before the big day.  We will continue to practice our singing and also get a preview of what will happen during the service so that we are well prepared. We will also be finishing up a special project.  Students were asked to think about how they are like God for our project and we will get to discuss our thoughts about that next week.

Students worked on a special art project using fancy canvases and fancy paints.  These will be part of a project for Kabbalat Torah on February 9th. Students were inspired by something in our Torah stories.  Ask your child what inspired them!

Below are some pictures from our class today.  

See you next week!

Michelle

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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