Grades 4-5 Teacher Message
January 17, 2020
20 Tevet 5780
What a busy week we have had! The children continued their felting project through the Finding One’s Voice program. We were also fortunate to welcome the Understanding Our Differences program this week. We learned about chronic medical situations, including diabetes and hemophilia. We heard a presentation from local Sharonites Ethan Ravid and Yoni Saltzman. As student council members, we also got to prepare food and serve a complimentary breakfast for the rest of the school at the Mercaz Snack Shack. Ask your child which job he/she did to help make this run so smoothly!
The children are finishing up their reading essays and are eager to move on to the next book. We also put closure on the research we had been doing on colonies. Next up: Which of the colonies have you always wanted to go to? The students will be using their skills of persuasive writing and knowledge of specific colonies to create a travel brochure. We also read a scholastic news, with a feature article on how computers save information about us the more we browse. The students used a new online feature for scholastic news, including a video and final game.
In math this week, we’ve focused on the distributive property and composing and decomposing numbers to help us when we solve problems. Understanding that there are multiple ways to solve any problem is crucial to having a good number sense. Ask your child to show you 3 ways to solve 18x21. We introduced some new math games, including Multiplication Battleship and Phase 10. Games are such a great way to play with numbers and learn at the same time.
In Hebrew this week, we started a new Chaverim B’Ivrit 6. This workbook is all about food. It’s the most popular unit among students. We started the book with reviewing two different binyanim: piel and hephil. We discussed how in each binyan there are few subcategories. Each subcategory has its own features. We focused mostly on conjugating these verbs in past tense. All the verbs in one subcategory have the same vowels and have the same rules of conjugation.
Students are continuing their writing projects about an object. Stay tuned!
Both classes began new parshiot this week - grade 4 is now learning Parsaht Vayishlach and grade 5 is now learning Parshat Vayechi.
We have made tremendous progress in the book of Yehoshua - an interesting story about crossing the Jordan, and we compared this to leaving Mitzrayim. We learned about the concept of "strong and brave" and the power of Yehoshua leading the people.
We learned a lot about this week’s parsha and its many interesting details. Who is Moshe and who is his family?
In T’filah, we explored how we can use this time to talk to Hashem on our own and with the group prayers.
January 10, 2020
13 Tevet 5780
Happy New Year and welcome back to school!
We started back to school on the right foot by cleaning up our classroom and making sure that all our materials are well-organized so that we can access the items we need to be successful.
In math, some students are working on multiplication with multi-digit numbers, while others are focusing on PEMDAS (order of operations). For social studies, this week we researched the colony of Maryland. Did you know that the colony was approximately twice as big as the state of Maryland is today? Parts of the land eventually became part of Pennsylvania and D.C.
In language arts, students are finishing up their books from December, including Frindle, Janitor’s Boy, War with Grandpa, and Maniac Magee. As they read, the students are pulling out information about specific characters and proving character traits based on evidence of what the character says, thinks, and does. Next assignment: they will be writing an essay about one character which will compare the character to the beginning and end of the book.
The students have all chosen their next book talk books on mystery or adventure. Please check in with your child to make sure he/she is on track with the calendar they have developed for reading at home. The book talk presentations will be during the week of February 10.
We have also played some new games, including “Doubles”, “Hide the Thingie”, and “Ball Toss”. The social-emotional goal of our gameplay is to establish ourselves as a community of learners who need to work together for everyone’s success.
Reminder - we are beginning to prepare for the Science Fair (Wednesday, February 12). Please make sure your child has filled in the survey indicating what he/she would like to study.
In Judaic studies this week, we learned about the tribes of Israel. Each student researched a tribe and taught us a lot of interesting facts. We learned about the history of the Jewish people, the siege of Jerusalem that began on the 10th of Tevet and ended on 9th of Av three years later.
We learned more about the parts of prayer and its importance. Both classes continued in Chumash - grade 4 is finishing up Parshat Vayetze and grade 5 is continuing Parshat Vayigash.
In Hebrew this week, students finished their Chaverim B’Ivrit 5. The closure of the book is to write a story about an object. The story has to be related to the students’ life in school or outside of school.
Our last story in Chaverim B’Ivrit was about Hershale and the coat. Hershale wanted to go to a fancy party at a rich man’s house. When his was wearing his ripped coat, the guards didn’t let him in. However When he borrowed a coat from his wealthy friend, the guards let him in. He couldn’t eat anything. When the guests asked him why he wasn’t eating, he took the soup bowl and poured it into the pocket of the coat saying that the coat deserved the food. We talked about the values and moral of the story - don’t judge a book by its cover.
December 20, 2019
22 Kislev 5780
This week we continued learning about Chanukah. We prepared a project about Chanukah and practiced for our Chanukah lighting in school on the first day.
In Yehoshua, we learned perakim aleph and bet, and we will be starting perek gimmel after vacation.
It’s been wonderful watching the children grow in their ability to write divrei torah. As the weeks progress, the task has become more familiar and easier for us.
We explored new laws of tefillah, such as how we pray and why.
In Hebrew this week, students practiced fixing spelling and grammar mistakes. I typed all the sentences that students wrote on their quiz on Friday. Then, in the beginning of this past week, they worked in groups to fix (or not, if the sentence was correct) all their mistakes. They learned it’s not an easy job to do.
Students are still working to answer questions about Hadasa and her snow gear that was all over the house. They are learning to type in Hebrew on their Chromebooks - it takes time to get used to the Hebrew keyboard!
We are working on past tense. Students were changing sentences from present into past tense. Reminder: all sentences in homework should be in past tense.
In open circle, Sue provided the kids with some more brain teasers. They were able to continue practicing how to work together and solve as a group. What happens when group members don’t work so well together or some members don’t help?
In general studies, I was very pleased with the work that the students put into their book talks. Everyone took the assignment seriously and worked hard to complete their organizers on time. Writing note cards was a new experience for all of the kids and it was a very personal thing; write the notes that you think will help you and remember that everyone’s notes will be different. Before presentations, we talked about what it means to be a good audience member, focusing on listening skills and asking thoughtful questions and/or making positive comments. How could we offer suggestions in a kind way so that the presenter would learn for the future?
The rest of the week was very much a catch up. In science we did an activity about ecosystems. We also worked on completing our reading books and fictional pieces. Some kids will need to finish when we get back from break.
During the break, please take some time to talk with your child about the upcoming science fair. This year our classwide theme will be the human body. Students can choose which of the five senses they would like to work on. Our focus this year will be more on research and testing our hypothesis many times and less on intricate experiments.
Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!
December 13, 2019
15 Kislev 5780
This week we completed our first science experiment of our oil spill unit. Greentown, a fictional town, was trying to find out why animals and plants were dying. The town tested the ph level of water and soil around the town three years prior and all was fine. Fourth and fifth grade ‘environmental engineers’ tested new samples and tried to determine the cause of the pollution.
In grammar, we learned/reviewed possessive nouns. Ask your child to tell you the rules.
Fifth graders are moving on to PEMDAS or order of operations in math. Fourth graders are mastering multi-digit multiplication and are starting to move on to simple long division problems.
We had our second class auction on Friday. This time, in addition to individual items, students could work together to purchase class prizes such as a class movie for 15 tickets each or extra recess for 15 tickets each. It was nice to see everyone working together.
A reminder that book talks are next week!
This week in Judaic Studies, we prepared a project on Chanukah. We made amazing Chanukkiyah models and did in-depth research. We found many new facts and learned a lot about the history of Chanukah. Some were based on halachic sources and some of them were just interesting facts. For example, did you know that in Israel, more than 17 million donuts are eaten during Chanukkah?!?
We learned about this week's Parsha and prepared amazing Divrei Torah. We have progressed in our Chumah studies. In Navi we studied perek 2 in Sefer Yehoshua.
In Hebrew, students read a mini-article about November’s weather in Israel. November 2019 was the hottest and dry month for the past 10 years. The experts are saying that global warming is the reason and this will worsen in the future. Students searched the weather in Israel today and compared it to weather in Boston. Fun fact, on Tuesday, the weather in Sharon was the exact weather in Tel-Aviv. For Tel-Aviv 18 Celsius (65 F) is typical weather for December. However, is 65 Fahrenheit typical for Sharon (Massachusetts) in December?!?
Students had a dictation of all the words from their homework assignment from the beginning of the year. They remembered most of the words, which is amazing - some words are pretty difficult. This fact proves that this type of homework assignment is meaningful and effective.
Students read a book about Hadasa who wanted to go outside and build a snowman, but couldn’t find her snow gear. Ask you child what happened to Hadasa when she finally was ready to go outside.
One of the most important news from Israel, Knesset 22 was dissolved since two political party leaders couldn’t form the Knesset. Unfortunately, Israel is going to elections for the third time during one year. This situation has never happened in Israel.
December 6, 2019
8 Kislev 5780
We had another short but productive week! Everyone completed reading Tehya’s Pollution Solution in preparation for our science unit on oil spills. We learned about the job of an environmental engineer, ecosystems, and the steps to the design process.
Sue Scheweber joined us for Open Circle as she does every Monday. This week the kids were given a brain teaser; how can you move a pyramid of 10 pennies into a circle of pennies? Rules were provided and kids had to work together in groups. Ask your child how to solve.
Everyone is well underway with their fictional pieces. Some students are completing their story arcs while others are drafting two different beginnings or editing and improving first drafts. Our goal is to be finished by winter break.
In math, fourth graders are continuing to learn how to solve two digit by two digit multiplication problems. Fifth graders are reviewing multi-digit multiplication and long division with multi-digit divisors.
In Judaic Studies this week we delved into studying the Book of Yehoshua. We read chapter one and talked about the new leader Yehoshua. We explored why he was chosen and what HaShem promised him. How many times does the text mention the power and encouragement given to Yehoshua?
Also this week we learned and started saying the bracha "veten tal umatar."
We started a Chanukah project. Stay tuned as the weeks progress leading up to Chanukkah!
In Hebrew we started to discuss the weather, since there is a lot to discuss. We learned new words, like slush in Hebrew, that is actually a new word in Hebrew. Ask your child how to say slush!
This week we learned a new song, perhaps some of you are familiar with the song “כאן נולדתי” . This song has few words that we learn now like כאן, מקום. We went over the song, which has a few hidden motives. The most important one is David Ben-Gurion’s vision to make the desert green. In the song they sing that his vision came through. They also sing about serving the country. In the last verse of the song, students recognized the mitzvah ofהכנסת אורחים (welcoming the guests).
Students read a story about Tamar’s class who did fundraising for the children’s hospital. Different classes sold different items and the class who collects the most amount of money will get a badge “good to do good”. We discussed what students think about fundraising and what would they do if were asked to come up with fundraising ideas.
November 22, 2019
24 Cheshvan 5780
We missed our 5th graders this week but are so glad that they had such a wonderful time at Teva. It was a lot of fun hearing all about their trip and the exciting things that they learned.
Fourth graders did a lot of work in preparation for Thanksgiving. Homework on Monday was to pretend that they were turkeys and write a paragraph to convince the turkey farmer not to kill them. They turned their paragraphs into turkeys which are hanging outside of our classroom on a bulletin board titled ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ Please check it out.
On Wednesday we broke up into three teams and did Thanksgiving research on 40 questions. The team that cooperated the best earned 5 tickets each. Then, each team was given tickets for the number of questions that were answered. Can you answer any of the questions? You’ll get your chance because every 4th grader was given a set of cards to take home!
Approximately how many tons could the Mayflower hold?
What happened to the ship, The Speedwell?
In what city of Holland did most of the Pilgrims settle before deciding to go to the New World?
Approximately what fraction of the Plymouth residents were alive after the first winter there?
Finally, we spent time completing our story arcs and getting started on writing our first drafts. We practiced our multiplication skills and tried to get in some extra time on Lexia.
In Judaic Studies this week, we continued learning about brochot. When are different blessings said and what are the different categories of blessings. There are blessings on food, blessings on mitzvot, and blessings on thanks and praise to HaShem.
We made progress in studying the Book of Yehoshua.
We learned a lot about Abraham and Sarah. What did Sarah’s tent look like and what was important about it? We learned how Yishmael did teshuva. We learned about Eliezer and his mission for Avraham.
In Tefillah, we dealt with parts which we are not as familiar with. We learned about the importance of the verses of Ashrei - who wrote them and when we say them.
We continue to learn about the books in the Beit Midrash Library.
We learned about the bracha of Hafrashat challah.
We learned about the famous "Shabbat Hebron" in Israel.
In Hebrew, the students continued to work on their creative writing about their preschool years.
They continued to work on the story about the lost rabbit using only past tense.
New from Israel: As you’ve heard before during the last update about politics - Benny Gantz got permission from Reuven Rivlin to form HaKnesset in 21 days. The due date was at midnight on Wednesday. Benny Gantz couldn't form HaKnesset because of different political visions of different parties. What is going to happen now? Now, any Knesset member can apply to be prime-minister. R. Rivlin will decide to approve or not his position. If yes, he/she will have 2 days to form Knesset. If it doesn’t work out, Israel is going to election for the third time in one year. Stay tuned….
November 15, 2019
17 Cheshvan 5780
Our speeches are complete! Over the next week I will be typing them up and they will be on display during parent/teacher conferences. Please be sure to stop by the 4/5 bulletin board. Some students may choose to read their speech aloud at a Shabbat Ruach. We will let you know ahead of time so that you may be sure to join us.
This week we began writing realistic fiction stories. On Tuesday we read Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats as we learned how to create a story arc to show the rising action, big problem, falling action and solution. The kids then worked in their notebooks generating a list of ideas to write about while including in their lists their thoughts (a little hard to explain so ask your child!). On Wednesday we created both internal and external traits for our main characters and then we “dug deeper” and gave that character other characteristics. This particular class is SO excited to write and couldn’t wait to share their ideas with one another. We ended up working silently for 20 minutes and then spending 10 minutes sharing and helping one another. If we could only have writing for an entire day, everyone would be very happy!!
All fourth graders learned how to multiply two digits by one digit this week. Some students were able to move on to two digits by two digits. PLEASE, make sure your child continues to practice facts at home. Not knowing the facts slows down the work. A child can understand the process but will continue to get the problems wrong if he/she doesn’t know the facts. Fifth graders reviewed multi-digit multiplication and learned about exponents.
Please make sure to check in with your child regarding his/her book talk. As always, let me know if there is something I can help with.
In Hebrew this week, we started a new project. Students learned the song אני חוזר הביתה דורון מזר
This song has a few very important words that we have been learning. We even video taped a clip of us singing this very famous song, stay tuned!
Students continued to work on their creative writing about their preschool.
We read a story about a little bunny that got lost , then they started to use google classroom to watch an authentic video about the lost bunny with the famous kids’ entertainer Dod Chaim (my kids loved him when they were little). They answered questions using google classroom. They enjoyed to use technology to complete the assignment.
Mazal Tov to Moreh Arye on the bar mitzvah of his son, Maoz, in Israel.
November 8, 2019
10 Cheshvan 5780
This week we began reading our realistic fiction chapter books. Students could choose between The War with Grandpa, Maniac Magee, Frindle and The Janitor’s Boy. The reading is broken up by parts and as they are reading, students are expected to note character traits and support their ideas as well as note important things that the main character says, thinks and does. This will tie nicely into our next writing unit of narrative fiction.
For Open Circle, we have been focusing on perspective taking. We read a book and discussed how minor characters in the story were affected by the main character’s actions. Afterwards, kids were asked to write about how their behavior during rotation time affects their classmates. (Most said that their talking only affects the teachers!) So, we did a fun activity with Sue Schweber where students were timed while they wrote a sentence and a set of numbers. Next, they had to write the same sentence again, but after every letter they were distracted by having to write a number. Of course, it took much longer. The kids could then recognize how distractions can affect the amount of work produced. They were asked to reflect once again, re-read what they had previously written, and answer again.
The rest of the week was dedicated to math, finishing up our speeches, learning more about the original colonies, preparing for our science unit by reading, and doing a little Lexia and iReady.
Book orders for November have gone home. Please return them by next Wednesday if you are ordering.
Finally, a reminder to check in with your children regarding the first Book Talk assignment.
In Hebrew, we are working on our new project about preschool. Don’t forget to email me your child’s baby/preschool picture if you haven’t already.
We read a new story and watched an authentic video about a little rabbit that got lost. Students practiced listening comprehension while answering questions about the video content.
This week we went over different groups of verbs and how to conjugate them in past tense. I sent home a few templates to keep it at home and use it to complete homework assignments. Starting next week, students will write sentences only in past tense.
In Chumash we are continuing with Parshat Veyetze and are studying from the text.
In this week's Parsha we learned about Avraham and are doing our own research on new and interesting facts about his life.
We learned about Joshua and the difficult task he has leading the Jewish people and the way HaShem gave him support and guidance.
We learned about "The Sefer Agadot." which Chaim Nachman Bialik wrote. He collected all the Midrashim and legends in Judaism.
Next week Moreh Arye will be traveling to Israel to celebrate his son Maoz’s bar mitzvah. Mazal Tov and have a wonderful trip!
November 1, 2019
3 Cheshvan 5780
The first “Book Talk” assignment was sent home on Tuesday. Please be sure to read through it with your child. Book choices are due by Friday, November 8th and need to be humorous fiction (and a book that they haven’t read before). Talks are due on either December 16th, 17th or 18th. Organizers are due for a check one week before the talk. Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.
Our final speeches are underway. The kids have been much more independent in filling in their organizers and not one child has asked me how he/she should get started. Everyone has just jumped right into their writing knowing that they need to find that creative way to hook their listeners in.
Fifth graders are working on adding and subtracting decimals. Fourth graders remain in various places and are all moving towards learning two-digit by one-digit multiplication.
This week, in anticipation of starting our first science unit on oil spills and the environment, we focused on technology. What is it? Does it have to be electronic? Ask your child about it.
We shared a book in class called “You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist!” by Jacqueline Morley. Each week we’ve been doing some research on the colonies. This story helped to tie that information together in quite a funny way.
Finally, in Open Circle, we have been focusing on recognizing the perspective of others. On Monday, the kids were put into partners and given the chance to act out little skits. Afterwards, they had to talk about each person’s perspective of the event. On Wednesday, everyone was asked to write about their behavior during rotations and how it can affect others during learning time.
In Hebrew this week, students finished their long projects of writing riddles about themselves. The books will go home next week.
We started to work in Chaverim B’Ivrit and we talked about the word “written”. We analyzed different signs, students practiced making their own signs, and we hung the signs in the proper places around the school.
Students started a new project. This time they are going to write about their preschool. I gave them an example of my preschool. It was in Russia (just a “few” years ago), and had about a hundred kids, ages 1-6. Elementary school starts at the age of 7. However, schools are not separated into elementary, middle and high, but rather everyone is in one building. There were also no half day programs. Preschool was free, just like public school. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are provided so there is no need to bring a lunchbox. We took a nap in the middle of the day on bunk beds and it was so much fun! I can’t wait to see what your kids remember about their preschool years. Your child might come home with questions about his/her preschool.
P.S. Please email me a picture of your child from preschool or an early age
In Chumash this week, the fourth graders learned the story of Yaakov's dream.
The fifth graders continued learning in Parshat Miketz.
We learned about Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan and which Tefillot are added during this time of year.
In Navi we are working on Sefer Yehoshua and discussing what qualities a leader has and what he accomplished. Who appointed him as a leader, when, and why? We are working on timelines from Jewish history and making posters to display in school.
This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Noach. We learned about Noach’s family and the flood.
October 25, 2019
26 Tishrei 5780
I wish that all of you could be in our classroom during speech time. For the past three weeks we’ve been working on writing practice speeches and there is such excitement in the room because everyone is so invested and wanting to share every single idea with everyone else! There are so many skills being taught as we write, including some of the following: paragraphs (introduction, details and conclusion), writing crafts, transitions, thinking about the audience and how you as a writer can best appeal to them, research, and speaking skills.
Fourth graders continue to work on multiplication and division facts in their workbooks. Additionally, they are now working with patterns, skip counting, ordering and rounding. PLEASE continue to have your students practice facts at home. Fifth graders are able to convert fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions. They are now working on ordering comparing them.
We reviewed/learned when to use commas in a series, to set off the name of the person being spoken to, to set off a tag question and to separate introductory words. We will continue to practice and review this as we do with all of our grammar skills.
As the holidays are over, and the students have shared their stories and experiences, we are ready to get back to a regular school schedule. We began with learning the blessing for rain, mashev haruach umored hageshem. We discussed how important rain is and discussed the story of Choni Hamaagal - who he was and why he was chosen to pray for rain on behalf of the people. We are learning about stories of winter in connection to Judaism, for example the story of Choni Hamaagel and rain.
We continued to progress in Chumash and in our workbooks. We enjoy working on our weekly dvar torah on the parsha. We are doing research and asking questions without always having the answer. As we begin the reading of the Torah again we are reviewing the names of the parshiot by heart.
We were very excited to hear that finally B.Netaniyahu returned the rights to form the Kneset, because he couldn’t form the Kneset with himself in place as prime minister. Now, the president R. Rivlin gave permission to Beny Gantz to form the Kneset. We are staying turned to know who are the parties that will join his leadership.
In the past two weeks, students have been working on finishing their riddle books. They came out great
We started Chaverim B’Ivrit by learning new expressions, “מזל ש..”, “חבל ש…”. Students practiced saying and writing sentences using these words. We watched a video with a fun song about how lucky I am that I’m me and not anybody else.
October 11, 2019
12 Tishrei 5780
In this very short week we reviewed how to construct a paragraph as we continue to prepare for writing our argumentative essays. The assignment was to write about whom you think everyone should have as a guest in their sukkah and why. The kids did an amazing job using supporting details that truly connected to their main idea or theme. Some students chose celebrities while others chose to stay a little closer to home. I won’t give anything away! The essays will be hanging in our sukkah. Please check them out!
Kids were placed in partners and groups to watch a speech about why kids need recess which was written and delivered by a boy of about 8 years old. They listened for his crafts (repetition, personal examples, observations and facts).
In math fifth graders are working on converting decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals. Fourth graders are working towards finishing their books through chapter 3. This includes multiplication and division facts review, rounding, and some place value.
Finally, we did a bit of review on Columbus Day and we continued our work on the 13 original colonies.
In Hebrew this week, we continued to work on the riddle book. Students had to describe themselves - including the color of their hair and a connection between their hair color and something in nature or food. It was hard for students with light brown or blond hair to find items in this color, although they were creative and came up with good examples!
We finally finished a long story about Itai’s summer. Personally, I feel that summer was a long time ago with all this cold Sukkot weather upon us. They can’t wait to go back to their Chaverim B’Ivrit books.
In Judaic studies, we learned about Yom Kippur, teshuva (repentance), and how important it is to ask forgiveness from our friends.
Our class showed chesed for the greater Young Israel community by preparing and packing cookies for after the Yom Kippur fast.
We have progressed in our Chumash studies.
We learned about the Succah and its laws. We prepared creative and fun Succah decorations. We can’t wait for you to see them!
We opened a Torah scroll and saw what Parashat Haazinu looks like, since it is written in two columns.
September 27, 2019
27 Elul 5779
This week we added the website ‘Wonderopolis’ to our list of non-fiction sites. This site is different in that students can choose their own articles based on interest. We continued work on looking for the main idea and supporting details. Next, we will be focusing on books. All of this will be leading up to writing our own argumentative speeches. More to come . . .
We continue to review how to write a complete 4th/5th grade sentence using capitalization where needed as well as appropriate punctuation. We also reviewed nouns and adjectives.
In math fifth graders continued to review long division in preparation for turning fractions into decimals. Fourth graders worked in their math books on the multiplication facts. Please continue to have your child practice at home as well. All of the students are doing a fantastic job in class!!
In judaic studies we learned about all kinds of interesting Seforim in Judaism.
We learned about the important commandments in this week's parsha and about the consolation that Moshe says to the children of Israel after all the curses in the parasha have passed.
We enjoyed Kahoot games which the students composed and reviewed with the class everything they learned about the month of Elul and Rosh Hashana.
In Chumash, we have progressed in our work of understanding Rashi's thoughts and commentaries on the verses.
We participated in a demonstration by Rabbi Naftoli and Mrs. Chanie Minkowitz on shofarot from different animals. We explored what sounds each makes and what is the difference between various types of shofarot. There are different opinions, halachot, and minhagim exploring which shofarot are kosher for blowing on Rosh Hashana. Each student also got to make their own shofar!
In Hebrew this week, students finished their projects about the rules in the class - they worked so hard to represent their rules!
They continued to work on their riddle book and we worked on the story about Itai’s summer.
Also, the most important part of this week is that we are keeping track of the latest news in Israel. As you know, last week there were elections again. We discussed it every day, and couldn’t wait to be informed as to who will receive permission from president Reuven Rivlin to form the 22nd Knesset. The majority of the class said it would be the party Kahol Lavan, however, Rivlin decided to give the right to the Halikud and appointed Netanyahu as the leader to form the Knesset.
Make sure to check out our SmugMug page for pictures of all the wonderful happenings in the classroom!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!
September 20, 2019
20 Elul 5779
It was great to see so many of you at Back to School Night. If you haven’t done so already, please return the three question form regarding things we should know about your child.
This week we did a lot of work on writing complete sentences with proper capitalization and punctuation through both worksheets and some fun games. Ask your child to tell you the meanings of both subject and predicate.
Fourth graders began work in their math books. The first unit is a review of multiplication facts. I’m so impressed with how well everyone is doing. Everyone has great strategies to use when figuring out facts that they don’t know. Fifth graders did a review of both multi-digit multiplication and division.
We had two Open Circle meetings this week. In the first we discussed how our behavior dictates what people think of us and what we are allowed to do. In the second we discussed using non-verbal hand signals in class and their benefit.
Book orders are due next Friday with a check made out to Scholastic.
In Hebrew this week, we read a book called “the riddle” (hida). This book is about students in a new class. The riddle is to figure out who is the student after giving few clues. Students started to create their own riddle book about themselves.
This week the students started a new story. The story is about Itai’s summer in 2019. We talked about how to compare this year’s experience with last year. What was similar and what was different?
We finished the project of presenting our classroom rules. It was great to see their creative posters and a little play presented for each assigned rule.
In the beginning of the school year we started a new tradition in the class - I read out loud a small book every Friday. Ask your child what was the book about on Friday!
In Judaic Studies, we learned new roots and repeated old skills when delving into Rashi.
We learned about this week's Parsha and that there are commandments that relate only to the Land of Israel. In Tefilah, we learned about עלינו לשבח (we must praise) and how the Amida is said. We opened a Torah scroll and read from it. We also learned the different ways to repent (seven ways), who repents (everyone), when (until Yom Kippur) and why (???). Kol Hakovad to our students. We have done much work on Elul and New Year. We began to prepare our own D’var Torahs. It was a busy and fun week - we can’t wait for next week!
September 13, 2019
13 Elul 5779
This week for math we did a review of operations. Students had the opportunity to practice multiplication facts by playing Multiplication Battleship. Then, they worked on triple and quadruple addition and subtraction problems with and without regrouping.
Ask your child about Newsela. Our first reading unit of the year is non-fiction. We will be using several online sites for kids to read various articles on a variety of topics. This week students read with a partner and then reported in their journal what the article was about and what the author’s intent was. This unit will tie into our writing unit which is writing argumentative speeches. More to come . . . . . .
We reviewed/learned the difference between a complete sentence, a fragment and a run-on. Students did some worksheets in class and played a game called Cookie Conundrum to practice these skills. We talked a lot about what a 4th/5th grade sentence is and expectations for their work.
Finally, Sue Schweber joined us for our first Open Circle. We reviewed what Open Circle is and the unwritten expectations for how it will run. Sue will be joining us once a week for the next several weeks.
In judaic studies and Hebrew classes, we started working in our Chumashim using the lehavin u’lehaskil workbooks as a resource to understand the p’sukim leaned. We reviewed some of the rules from last year.
We also began discussing the concept of the seven steps of teshuvah (repentance) and compared the relationship between Elul and Yom Kippur.
This week’s parsha is Ki Teitzei, through which we learn many laws.
The students read a story about Itai’s summer. Actually, Itai is Morah Mayan’s son, and the story is real about his last summer! Next week students will read a much longer story about Itai’s adventures. Then they will be asked to reflect and compare the two versions. We started to work on classroom rules. Students worked in groups and they are preparing a poster for each rule and a little play to present the rule.
Students also wrote about their favorite activities in Ivrit class.
September 6, 2019
6 Elul 5779
Welcome back! It was so wonderful to see all of the students’ smiling faces on Tuesday morning. The year is already off to a great start!
The start of the week was all about catching up with one another after a long break and reviewing classroom rules and procedures. Then, we jumped right into our work.
Every student was asked to write a bio poem. These poems gave me insight into your children (what they think about, how they feel, what they wonder, etc). The poems are absolutely beautiful and will soon be displayed in the hallway. We also worked on a fun math activity called “Figure Me Out.” Students needed to come up with eight questions about themselves that could be answered with numbers. Then, rather than just write the number, they needed to write a math problem. These will also be displayed. Can you “figure out” your child?!
We began our writing journals by writing personal goals for the year in addition to our hopes and dreams. Then, rather than write about our summer vacations in a traditional way, we wrote from the perspective our big toes (“How My Big Toe Spent It’s Summer Vacation”).
Finally, we began our iReady assessments.
We also had a very fun and productive week in Hebrew and Judaic Studies class. We discussed our summer adventures. Students were divided into groups. They decided on the name of the flower for their groups. This year students will be able to earn extra recess or free time by collecting points at each rotation in Hebrew. They prepared a group sheet to keep track of their points. We did this last year, and this year we are shifting to the students keeping track of the minutes!
Then students decorated their apples with a short blessing for Rosh HaShana. Please stop by our beautiful bulletin board in the hall, with one big apple with students names and many green apples made by students. The apples are filled with original blessings with unique decorations.
We discussed strategies of what it means to “start off the year on the right foot”. What do we want to accomplish? What will help get us there? We jumped right into learning about tefillah with an exploration of the brachot we say each morning. This week we commemorated a day of remembrance for Rabbi Kook הרב קוק ז”ל by reading his poem Rise Up the Leaf עלה למעלה עלה.
We did some review of the material from last year and created resource sheets for remembering Rashi letters.
Looking forward to a great year of learning with your amazing children!
August 30, 2019
29 Av 5779
We hope you had a wonderful summer! See you on Tuesday!