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Grade 4-5


Grade 4-5 Teacher's Message

December 14, 2018

6 Tevet 5779

This week in Open Circle we focused on the giving and receiving of compliments. What is a compliment? How do we feel when we receive one? What do we say? How do we act? Students then chose a name out of a hat. Over the course of the week they needed to “watch” the person whose name they chose and then present that person with a compliment on Friday.

Research on final speeches began. Choices were obesity, vaccinations, bugs in our diet and whether or not dogs should have jobs. Ask your child what he/she chose. Everyone was provided with articles and books as well as a graphic organizer and a rubric that shows the scoring system. As many students are writing about the same topic, it was interesting to listen in on their conversations, especially when they did not share a ‘so what.’

Last week in class we watched Schoolhouse Rock as a review for nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Ask your child about them and encourage him/her to watch the videos again at home. You can find them on Youtube. They are a great tool as the tunes are catchy and definitely help as we determine parts of speech in school. Our current focus is adjectives and adverbs.

This week in Sefer Shoftim we focused on the structure of the storyline.  The people sin, then they pray to Hashem, then Hashem sends a saver, people relax, and then the sinning starts again….

We also learned who the judges were and how long they had been in their positions.

We learned about the importance of a comma in a sentence. We brought an example: “The son of the beautiful king”. And we asked: who is beautiful? Son of King or King? (Ben, the beautiful king, the king's son, the beautiful one.) Then we also explained the difference between ה’ הידיעה ל ה’ השאלה.

In Chumash we learned the encounter between Yosef and the brothers.  We also reviewed our skill work.

We talked about the fast of the 10th of Tevet that will be next week. What happened and why do we fast?  This is also a day of general devotion to the victims of the Holocaust.

In the Mishnah we learned about the declaration of the month and its importance in determining the festivals.

The 5th graders in Hebrew read a poem about the grandmother’s refrigerator. How surprising  when grandchildren come to visit their grandparents, the refrigerator is always full of food that they like, perhaps there are specials grandparents refrigerators?!

We finished reading a story about Rabbi Ben Dosa, his wife and curious neighbor. We had a chance to interview each of the characters. 

We read fun facts about food and searched for additional facts online.  Did you know that we spend 750 hours a year eating?!

We started talking about chocolate and learned a song about chocolate. Another fun fact - did you know that chocolate is the most popular flavor?!

This week the 4th graders finish their album about the class field trip. We worked on fixing grammar mistakes. We finished reading the story about Mr. Cohen and what happened to him.

December 7, 2018

29 Kislev 5779

Although we wanted our 5th graders to enjoy their time at Teva, we missed them very much and were glad to have them back in class!

This week was the kick off a very exciting project run by Gateways for Jewish Education and our 4th/5th graders will be participating along with other Jewish students from the various day schools in the area. Each class will be assigned a person with a special need who will come to our school to share about this need and the challenges that he/she faces each and every day. Students will be put into small groups and asked to design a prototype to help this person with his/her challenge. Along the way, the person will come into the class to answer questions and provide guidance. At the end of the project, one group from each class will be chosen to go to Boston and present their prototype in a “Shark Tank - like” presentation and a winner will be chosen. Other groups will be encouraged to attend and cheer their classmates on. To start off this fabulous program, our class received a box disguised as a Hanukkah gift which contained all of the materials we will need to get started. Please ask your child all about it!

Students finished their practice speeches this week and we shared them today. It was fun to hear about things like how clothing has changed over the years, the human brain, endangered animals and whether or not robots can think. I was so impressed not only with the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by the kids as they worked on their speeches, but also by the attention and thoughtful commentary they offered to their classmates when listening.  Our final speeches begin Monday. Topics chosen were vaccinations, obesity, whether or not we should eat bugs and whether or not dogs should work. Ask your child what he/she picked.

In Hebrew this week, our main focus for 5th grader was the story about Rabbi Chanina Dossa and his wife. They were very poor and they didn’t want the neighbors to know it. Every Friday the wife lit the fire in her oven, so neighbors could see the smoke coming out of the house and think that she bakes challot.  Please ask your child what miracle occured when the evil neighbor came to her house to check her oven. We learned the new words: embarrassed, was surprised, was hiding, understood, smoke, oven, curious.

4th grade students were working on their album about a class field trip.  They reviewed orally vocabulary words and also practiced their reading.

In Judaic studies, we continued working in Lehavin Ulehaskil. We are reviewing our Chumash grammar skills and the students are applying them to new words.

The students have been practicing the Chanukah song, Mi Yemallel, to be performed on Friday as part of our school Chanukah assembly.  We even learned how to sing the song in a round!

In this week’s parsha, parshat Miketz, we researched Paroah’s dreams, the brothers coming to MItzraim, and their interaction with Yoseph.

In Tefillah we have learned the difference between Hallel shalem and Hallel chaser. During Chanukah we say Hallel shalem.  As a reminder, the students use the Koren siddur. Please make sure your child has it in school. We plan to focus on the meaning of our Tefillot to help us better understand them and grow through a more meaningful Tefillah.

November 30, 2018

22 Kislev 5779

We missed the fifth graders this week but we are so glad that they had such an amazing time at Teva!

Fourth graders learned how to write a five sentence paragraph using the mnemonic “TIDE” which stands for topic/introductory sentence, 3 detail sentences and an ending/conclusion. It comes from the writing approach SRSD (Self-Regulated Strategy Development) which is an instructional approach designed to help students learn, use and adopt the strategies used by skilled writers. It is an approach that adds the element of self-regulation to strategy instruction for writing.  In addition,  we focused on indenting our paragraphs. We practiced writing several paragraphs in class and for homework as well.

Special thank you’s go out to Mindy Levine who treated our fourth graders to some really fun science activities and to Liza Silver for bringing in art with a special connection to our industrial revolution unit.

Ask your child all about it!

In Hebrew, the children read a story about the end of Tamar’s field trip. They practiced 3 verbs that expressed feelings: רואה, שומע, מריח . They came up with creative sentences using these verbs and given nouns. Students are creating an album about their own class field trip using photos from the trip.

Please note: Judaic studies highlights will continue next week.

November 16, 2018

8 Kislev 5779

As a connection to our unit on the Industrial Revolution, this week we did a fun lesson on technology as part of a contest that Scholastic is having for grades 3-7. Winners receive a $1000 grant for their classroom so we had to enter! We began by defining technology as an application toward a practical purpose. We brainstormed different technologies and how they affect our lives. We talked about the functions of a common technology - a smartphone. Then,  we learned about digital convergence which led to students being asked to create their own digital innovation. Groups brainstormed a new technology to solve a problem. How would it work? They sketched and labeled. These entries will be submitted to Scholastic. Thank you to Rina Hoffman for letting us know about this exciting opportunity!

The amazing Sue Schweber has been joining us once a week for our Open Circle. Sue brings in lots of fun activities and games to make our discussions come to life. In recent weeks we’ve been focusing on recognizing naming feelings and recognizing that not everyone will feel the same way about one particular issue. Students were given logic challenges to solve. This week we shared about the different feelings that arose during the logic challenges and how we might use positive self-talk when we’re feeling frustrated.  

Fifth grade math students began to practice multiplying decimals. Fourth grade math students continued their multiplication practice and also worked on rounding.

Finally, this week students were given the opportunity to practice writing a short speech without the help of a partner.

In Hebrew this week, 5th graders students started with independent work on a new story about a kid that ate a plum when nobody was around.  Ask your child how the father knew who ate the plum. We did review of the words that students learned for the last few weeks. We also started to work on past tense, the first past tense group is was, were.

4th grade students read a story about Avraham and Sara when they had to host guests in their tent. Students listened to the song that helped them to understand the story.

Students practiced independent work on the new story. The story is about a special place in Israel called Nachal Alexander. It’s a river in the center of Eretz Israel, close to Netaniya. There is a bridge above the river called Turtles Bridge because you can see soft turtles that live in the river from it. The turtles are 1 meter in length and about 50 kg weight. There are many hiking trails around this river.

This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Vayetze.  We watched a short video about the parsha and wrote down everything that we saw, thought, and felt.  The students brought tremendous conversation and perspective to what they viewed. We also learned about Yaakov’s dream and the chain of events.

In Sefer Yehoshua, we learned about the division of the land and how Kalev receives Hebron.  We read about the death of Yehoshua and the oath of the people.

In Chumash this week, 4th graders had an overlap with our parsha and learned about the story of Yaakov and his dream.

5th graders explored the text when Yoseph announces to his brothers that he is their brother.  He tells them not to be scared and that they should take whatever they need.

Both classes reviewd vav hahipuach and vav hachiboor as well as hey hayidiyah and hey hashealah.

November 9, 2018

1 Kislev 5779

This week we watched and analyzed a speech on homework by a fifth grader. His “so what . . “ was that homework should be banned. We continued our practice of looking for facts, a hook, observations, personal examples, repetition and a call to action. However, this time students were not provided with a list as I wanted to see what they would remember from doing this previously. Students were then provided with five topics to choose from which included dessert, camp, television, cell phones and bedtime. With a partner they chose a topic and then decided on their “so what.” They worked together to write a mini-speech, defending their point of view and offering a call to action. We shared these speeches in class and offered constructive criticism in preparation for our individual speech writing.

We worked on another small moment story using the same story from last week, Green Pants. This time we focused on the individual feelings of the main character and students wrote small moments featuring just those feelings.

On Tuesday morning 4th and 5th graders made a quick trip to the voting polls in Sharon to see what the voting process is all about. Prior to the trip, we briefly discussed some of the ballot questions and I answered student questions. One question that came up a lot was why we are able to vote in a privacy booth.

Finally, I introduced spelling. I went through student work to find misspelled words and each student was given an individual list. If I was not able to find 10 misspelled words, I used the Dolch sight word list. We will be doing this periodically throughout the year. Packets will be sent home Monday and will be due on Friday in time for the quiz.

This week we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Kislev! We learned about the specials T’filot for Rosh Chodesh.  We also participated in a beautiful T’filah with grades K-5 led by our amazing students.

This Shabbat we will read Parshat Toldot.  In addition to understanding the basic storyline of the parsha, we mostly explored the heroes of the parsha and tried to understand what the relationship was between them.

We talked about the fact that there is not enough information to understand who Eisav truly was. This time, we gathered information from the verses without referring to midrashim.

We came back to roots and skills in a Hebrew text. What do you do when there is an unclear word? First of all we look for what its basis is and remove the initial and final sounds.  Then we use the shoresh to help us understand the word.

Yediot klaliyot - we learned about the importance of prayer in Tzubor and how much power it has.

Mishna -  grade 5 studied the two מזיקין,  - the ox and the pit and the difference between them.

We also learned that we have to take responsibility for what we are doing.

Navi - we learned the story of the daughters of Tzelofchad. We compared the book of Joshua chapter 27 to Bamidmar  in chapter 27. It was very interesting to see the connection between the chapters, despite the distance between the years and these cases. We learned to look for similarities and differences in the chapters and compare them.

We worked in groups and each group contributed more information.  It was an interesting and instructive experience.

In Hebrew this week, the fourth graders read a story about Tamar and her friend going on a picnic with the class. One girl forgot her lunchbox, and Tamar shared her food. The kids in the story played games about people from Torah. Our students practiced by making riddles about people from Torah and also solved someone else’s riddle. Students completed sentences with different conjugation of  the verbs. We talked about adjectives and matched them to nouns.

The fifth graders read a story about an 80-year old grandmother who cooks and bakes challot by herself. Students listened to a story about Thanksgiving traditions in one family. Then they completed a cloze activity, practicing their comprehension skill and learned new words. They wrote about their own Thanksgiving traditions, some students made up their own traditions, like to play hide and seek after the dinner. On Friday students started to make a research about Israeli famous chefs.

November 2, 2018

24 Cheshvan 5779

This week we had some fun with speeches! Students were put into pairs and asked to write their own ‘mini-speeches’ on kindness. A checklist was provided so writer’s could make sure that they included a hook, lots of repetition, statistics, personal examples and a call to action. After this first attempt at writing, groups shared their speech drafts with the rest of the class who then provided constructive criticism. Audience members learned how to critique in a positive and helpful way and speakers learned to accept that criticism. An unplanned lesson was also taught. We learned that when using quotes or information from another person, we need to give that person credit. Next, we watched a young boy give a speech on the need for longer recess. We analyzed his crafts and made suggestions as to what he could have improved on. We learned that although all speeches should have the same crafts, they can be written in lots of different ways and still accomplish the same goal.

Fifth graders learned about exponents and had another review of double digit multiplication. Fourth graders are now having to solve some word problems where they are asked to choose between multiplication and division. They are also focusing on place value.

Students have been working on a packet about the states and capitals in the Northeast region. A game went home so that they can practice in preparation for a quiz.

In Hebrew, the fourth graders learned a new story about Tamar and her friends. This story is about a dog.  The children learned words like scared, to pet, and to see. Also there were new words like hungry, thirsty and tired.  We practiced orally all the verbs and completed assignments in Chaverim B’Ivrit.

5th graders started the week with a fun song about a lady with many baskets that got on the bus. It is humorous song with many names of different foods.  We continued with the Arik Einshtein song “Adon Shoko”. Students listened to the song, answered comprehension questions and created their own version, but in the feminine  form. Students loved to sing the song along with the video clip. We are still talking about food, so they took a virtual tour at the bamba factory and learned how bamba is made.  We also learned a special bamba song along with a complete listening comprehension activity.

In Judaics class, we took the opportunity to delve deeper into learning some of the parts of our T’filah.  We talked about Pzukei Dizimrah (פסוקי דזמרה) and Shema (שמע ישראל). We explained that the verses of Pzukei Dizimrah function as a way to praise Hashem. The Shema was recited before the death of our father Jacob, by his sons. The Shema is the kingdom of Hashem in the world.

We talked about Birchot  hanehenin (ברכות הנהנין). We left off this week talking about, which Branch came before the food? Stay tuned until next week to learn more!

In Navi, we learned about Joshua and the conquest of the land of Israel and the division of the land. The division was carried out by Goral, and two and a half tribes (shvatim) who settled on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

We asked: Why did the sons of Joseph each receive an inheritance for themselves?  

In Chumash, the 4th graders learned about the pasuk "And he put it under his head"(vayasem merashotav) בראשית כח יא. ? Who did this? What did he do? Where did he do it?

We learned new roots and the students were assessed on their knowledge of these roots.

The 5th graders also had a successful week.

We learned the story about the brothers and the understanding of how different the Hebrew language in the Torah is from spoken Hebrew. Many verses we learned needed to be translated into simple Hebrew before we could understand what was happening in the text.

For example: “And the house of Pharaoh heard" (וישמע בית פרעה).  We were perplexed - what, Pharaoh's house heard? This is not a logical statement.  But as we review the words through a different lens, we learn that this means that the men of the house of Pharaoh heard.

October 26, 2018

17 Cheshvan 5779

As a connection to determining the author’s “so what  . . . ?” in non-fiction texts, this week we watched a speech on kindness by a 10-year-old girl. Students were asked to look at her “craft.” Did she cite personal examples to get her message across? Did she use facts? Did she repeat herself? Did she make observations to support herself? Did she end with a call to action? What was her ‘so what?” or message to her listeners? We will continue to listen to/watch/read various speeches and then students will be writing their own based on a non-fiction topic that they choose.

We read “Billy’s Booger a Memoir (sorta) by William Joyce “and his younger self” as a read aloud as we continue to write about small moments. As a child, Billy enters a contest and writes a story but doesn’t win. He is extremely upset and disappointed until the school librarian chooses to put his book on the library shelf because all of Billy’s friends are requesting to read it. Billy quickly learns that even though he didn’t win the contest, he’s still a winner after all.

Fifth graders finished their unit on decimals. Skills covered include: changing decimals to fractions and vice versa, ordering decimals, rounding decimals and adding and subtracting decimals. They completed an assessment.

Book orders were sent home and are due by next Wednesday, October 31st.

In Hebrew this week, 4th graders read a story about how to make olive oil by hands. We learned new words, like: pick, knock, and olives. We went over question words and then wrote questions about the story. They came up with very creative questions like, “Is it boring to make olive oil by hands?”  I’m sure the answers will be creative as well. We practiced our new vocabulary with different games, even with pantomime.

The 5th graders read a conversation in a restaurant. We learned new vocabulary related to ordering a meal in a restaurant. We are still talking a lot about food. What are the less popular food? Guacamole, sushi, broccoli, eggplant.

Students wrote a dialogue between the customer and the waiter. We did research as to what is the most popular food among our 5th graders.  Surprisingly - salad was in the top 3, along with pizza and pasta!

This week in Judaic studies, both classes learned about behavior in the בית הכנסת.  We need to show respect for the place, for the prayer, and for the Torah.

We talked about the importance of prayer.

We talked about the obligation to wash hands before praying, especially after touching your shoes.

We learned about the importance of the blessings of the Torah (ברכות התורה).

When do you say them and why ?? (“לא תשא את שם ה’ לשווא”).

In Mishnah, 4th graders began a “מסכת ברכות”.

5th graders learned about the way in which Mishnah is taught and how it was created. We learned Mishnah א of Nezikin - the difference between a mistake and a crime.


Grade 4

We learned more about the importance of looking at the word and understanding the root and the additions.

We learned about the story of Jacob and the dream and Jacob’s connection to Hashem.

Grade 5

We progressed in the story of Yosef and the brothers. We talked about the difficulty that Yosef had in front of the brothers and his desire to confess to the fear of reaction.

This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Vayera.  We investigated four characters and their similarities in the story - Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Lot.

The students were so excited because they got to make a presentation to their classmates!
Lastly, we spoke about the mitzvoth in the parasha.

October 19, 2018

10 Cheshvan 5779

In Hebrew this week, the 4th graders read story about a beautiful place in Israel called Neot Kdumim. In Neot Kdumim, there are no new machines to make olive oil.  Rater, the people use old techniques. There are animals and trees that were mentioned in Torah stories. It’s a very special place near Jerusalem. The students wrote a story about their own trip.

The 5th graders continued our unit is about food and this week we read a story about mann - the food that bnei Israel ate for 40 years in the desert (Shmot tetzain). We learned about different flavors, sweet, and salty. Then we analysed restaurant advertising ads. Students created their own restaurant with ads and special dishes. We talk a lot about food in the class. Fun fact- our students love pizza for dinner!

In general studies this week, we continued to practice determining main idea and the author’s  “So What?” by using another website called NEWSELA. This is a very difficult skill and one that we will continue to practice.

In math the 5th graders learned to add and subtract with decimals. They also worked on rounding decimals to different places. On Friday they were given a chance to play some fun games in order to practice these new skills. Fourth graders continue to work independently in their books with a focus on multiplication and division fact families. They were able to play a fun practice game as well.

As a class we have been working on recognizing complete sentences, run ons and fragments. Students played a game called “Cookie Conundrum” to practice.

Morah Batya joined us for a special lesson on writing small moments. She read a wonderful story called Jabari Jumps  which is about a boy who overcomes his fear of jumping off the diving board. Students thought about their own “small moment” when they overcame a fear and quickly wrote a few details about the experience. We will write several of these over the next few weeks and then students will choose which one they would like to elaborate on and make into a full story.

Finally, students are doing a great job in Read Across America! Almost everyone is on the map. Just a reminder to choose whatever books your child would like within the genre. Level, doesn’t matter. Just encourage your child to read!

In Chumash this week, the 4th graders have been intensifying their Hebrew language skills. We delved into understanding words in the text - primarily the beginning and final parts.  I sent a practice booklet home. We learned from the word "land" the meaning of belonging to the land and connected to the land.

The 5th graders practiced breaking up a word according to its structure, including prefixes/suffixes, noun/verb. The students were challenged by translating words into Hebrew and acquiring vocabulary. I sent a skill booklet for home practice.

We learned about the importance of appreciation for what God gives us and about the meaning of the blessing. We learned about numbers in Judaism, such as 1 - the name, 2 - Shabbat candles ...

We learned about the meaning of the morning blessings and the blessing that Asher Yatzar.

Parshat Shavua

We talked about the difficulty in understanding how Avraham left everything and did the commandment of the name "Lech Lecha". Get up, leave everything and go. But, where?? Not really clear.

The students were asked to think about what would be most important to them if they left home on a distant journey.


We deepened our understanding of how the Mishnah is built. We began Brachot Mishnah I - When do we read the Shema?

We learned about the difference between a "bull"(shor) - a harm that can move and a “pit"(bor) - harmful in one place. We also learned about the different "tam", "moad" and "crime."


October 12, 2018

3 Cheshvan 5779

It was great to finally have a full week of school!

For our non-fiction reading unit, students spent time not only looking for the main idea/topic of a text or article, but also the sub topic as well as supporting details. They were also asked to start thinking about how an author presents information and what pops out at them or grabs their attention. Was it the pictures? Was the story interesting? Maybe there was a graph or a chart.

Fifth graders continued with their unit on decimals. We reviewed changing decimals into fractions and fractions into decimals. Then, we learned how to order decimals from least to greatest. Fourth graders continue to work at their own pace in the books, focusing on the properties of multiplication and relating multiplication to division.

We continued to review how to write complete, thoughtful sentences with full detail and proper punctuation. Students worked on activity cards in class determining whether sentences were run-ons or fragments.

We had a fantastic trip to Slater Mill. The students were so well prepared from the work that we did in class. They asked wonderful questions and impressed our tour guides with their prior knowledge. Thank you again to our drivers: Mindy Levine, Janet Leibowitz, Miriam Marcus and Adrea Gerber.

In chumash this week, the 4th graders continued in Parshat Vayetze.  We learned about Yaakov’s dream. We discussed why the angels were going up and down and how this was significant.

The 5th graders spoke about the argument between Yosef and Yehduah and how Yaakov felt about it.  We continued to explore why it was so hard for Yaakov to send Binyamin to Mitztrayim.

In celebration of Rosh Chodesh, we started to work on Yediot Klaliyot.  Both classes are studying the calendar and the specific length of each month.  

We started to jump into Navi by first understanding where Navi fits in to the full Tanach.  We debated the question - Who can be a navi? Does a navi have to be Jewish?

Ask your children - Why was it such a big deal that Yehoshua took Moshe’s place?

This Shabbat we will read Parshat Noach.  We discussed how Noach was a tzadik for his generation.  What does that mean - “for his generation”?

Hashem had to push Noach to build the teyva over the course of 120 years.  Why didn’t he say anything to anyone else?

In Hebrew, the 4th graders continued in Chaverim B’Ivrit.  We started our week with new words: forbidden, allowed, and need.  We had discussions regarding what is forbidden and allowed in the classroom, during recess, and on the bus. It was funny -  our students were not sure what the rules are on the bus since they don’t ride the bus on a daily basis!

Students were excited to get their first homework packet.  The best part of it is that they can decide which days to work on it which also allows students to practice the skill of time management.  We had a long conversation about the whole process, I’m sure it will increase their motivation toward homework.

Meanwhile, the 5th graders started Chaverim B’Ivrit 6 for this year. We started our week with a story about a kid who ate only chips (french fries) until he spent a few days at his uncle’s restaurant and  tried every day a new dish. We learned new words like smell, flavor, tasty, and to cook. Ask your child, what do people eat in Alaska?

We learned an idiom from the story : “על טעם וריח אין להתווכח”  which means don’t argue about smell and taste preference.

At the beginning of the week students got their homework packet.  Please help them to organize their schedule. They have to practice at least 2 days a week.

Our chuggim started this week! Some choices were Yoga, Board Games, Cupcake Decorating, outside games, Ask your child what he/she did.

October 5, 2018

26 Tishrei, 5779

In general studies we started our math program. Fourth graders are working on recognizing division as the opposite of multiplication. They are also learning that there are fact families so that they can use multiplication to solve division problems. Fifth graders had a review of fractions and learned how to convert fractions to decimals and vice versa. We played a lot of games to master this skill and we practiced doing long division. We also spent a little bit of time learning how to order decimals and fractions.

In preparation for our field trip to Slater Mill we have been reading all about how the Industrial Revolution got started. We covered what factories made, workplace conditions, child labor, the nation’s first railroads and some inventions. We also learned about big business, Andrew Carnegie and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

As preparation for our individual non-fiction studies, students have been reading lots and lots of non-fiction books and articles as they look for the main idea and supporting details. Each student was asked to pick one topic that he/she would like to research.

In Hebrew, the students been working on creating their own self portrait, defining their favorite activities, food, friends, and what they would like to get for a gift. Ask your children what they wrote in last question, and what they like about themselves.  We found this was a challenging question!

Students are learning fall vocabulary, practicing it in different activities.  We learned a fall song focusing on the beauty of foliage.

In Judaic studies, the 4th graders spent a great deal of time exploring the role of Rashi as a commentator.  We delved into how Rashi thinks and the types of questions he asks and how he interprets the text. One of the key texts from Parshat Vayetze we discussed this week was, “And behold! Hashem was standing over him.”

Meanwhile, the fifth graders discussed the dialogue between Yoseph and his brothers and the fear that their father Yaakov would die if something happened to Binyamin.

Some of the students this week put on mini-presentations to explain the Chumash learning they did - what a great way for us to learn the psukim!

Next week both classes will begin learning Sefer Yehoshua in Navi.  In mishna, the students are learning new vocabulary, in addition to asking questions about the psukim to understand the halachot.

Just a reminder that our field trip to Slater Mill is next Friday. We will be leaving school around 8:45 and returning around 1:30. A thank you in advance to our drivers!


September 21, 2018

12 Tishrei, 5779

We began our study of the Industrial Revolution by reading The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The Onceler realizes that he can make more Thneeds if he builds a factory rather than make them on his own. Soon, he becomes rich, not caring that his factory is slowly destroying the environment. Students were asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of his factory. Then, they met in groups to read about the changes to America at the start of the Industrial Revolution and reported back to the class about things that they learned.

Wonderopolis is a great non-fiction website for kids. They enter in any topic and all sorts of great articles come up. New vocabulary is highlighted and then students can play games with the words. This site was introduced as we delve into our informational unit.

Do you know all of the states and their capitals? We are starting to learn them!

In Ivrit, the 5th graders started the week with a new text about second language acquisition, how it exercises our brain and enlarges the grey matter of the brain. Ask your children why they think it’s important to start learning a second language at young age.  We had a classroom discussion in particular about Hebrew language in our life.

The 4th graders are still talking about summer, we can’t let it go so easily after we’ve been waiting for our amazing New England summer after so many cold winter months. We read a poem about summer, answered questions, and talked which foods we associate with summer.

Toward the end of the week, all students created self-portraits using words to define themselves. Our plan is to finish it next week and post it on our bulletin board, so stay tuned!

On Friday we continued our mini drama club.  The club is optional, however it has become a hit! Friday is full of surprises and students will be able to choose 2-3 activities during the class.

In Jewish Studies we talked about experiences from Rosh Hashana and what we did on Rosh Hashanah night.

We continued to learn about portions of the prayer and the laws of the תפילת שמונה עשרה.

We opened the Holy Ark and said, "Avino malkenu".

We blew the shofar. We saw a short video about the preparation of the shofar and the cycle of the year.

We learned about the special prayers and the Selichot. We talked about the Ten Days of Repentance.

We learned about the laws of the Succah and the Four Species and built a succah model on a truck.

Shabbat Shalom!


September 7, 2018

27 Elul 5778

Welcome back to school! It is wonderful being able to see and work with all of your smiling children once again! Our first week was great!

In General Studies, we played several “getting to know you” games. Our job system was explained and students had the opportunity to apply for those jobs. We learned new classroom systems and created two bulletin boards. When we return from the holiday, we will dive right into our new curriculum.

In Hebrew, students created goals for the new school year and wrote them on pomegranates  symbolising Rosh HaShana. Check out our bulletin board in the hall!

We worked in mixed grade groups on the norms of the classroom and read an interesting book emphasizing the importance  of good manners and respect. The book focused on eight norms. Students worked in small groups to create a poster for each norm and present their norm to the rest of the class.

In Judaic Studies, we’ve had a great start to the year and spent this week getting to know each other.  In Chumash we reviewed some of the skills from the previous year. It is wonderful to see how prepared and excited the children are to jump right into their text learning!

We also learned about Rosh Hashana and the repentance process. We have learned that  the Rambam says – It is very important to understand before we do a sin. First, we must understand there's a problem.  Then we can move from there.

Mazal Tov to the 4th grades for beginning their study of Mishna!

Shabbat Shalom!