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Grade 2-3


Grade 2-3 Teacher Message

December 14, 2018

6 Tevet 5779

In Hebrew this week, students officially welcomed the winter by writing what they like about the season on beautiful snowmen that will be posted on our bulletin board in the hall.

Second graders started to work on new unit “Dani and a pencil”.  Our new words for the week were: above, under, help, command, take, and give.

Third graders finished their album about the class field trip. We worked on fixing grammar mistakes in given sentences. We finished reading the story about Mr. Cohen and what happened to him.  We continue to work on reading skills by reading a small book every week.

This week in General Studies the students had their 2nd auction! It was fun to see them “outbid” one another for the highly popular items.  Please feel free to donate to our next auction (we have one every 30 days).

This week the students continued their math work, as well as iready.  The students are also spending time using flashcards and math games.

We spent some time this week writing about a “small moment” in their life. We defined  “going on vacation” is a big topic, “going to the beach” is a smaller topic, and that “building a sand castle” is a small moment.  They had to describe their small moment with as much description as possible. We will continue with this type of writing exercise.

The class this week in Open Circle completed a reflection sheet.  The sheets went home earlier this week so hopefully you were able to have a conversation about which area your child feels s/he needs to strengthen.

Our Readers Workshop genre now is biographies.  Please ask your child what biography s/he is reading.

Lastly, the children spent a great deal of time preparing for their performance in celebration of the 2nd graders receiving their Chumashim!  All the kids did such an amazing job and we are so excited to jump into Torah learning.

Mazal Tov!

Have a wonderful weekend.

December 7, 2018

29 Kiselv 5779

We hope you have all enjoyed your week of Hannukah.  The students have been excited to talk about their favorite foods with each other as well as how they are celebrating the holiday.

We have had a fun week working on Hannukah math, as well as Hannukah word searches, word scrambles and stories.  They really had fun “finding” 3, 4 and 5 letter words from the letters in “I love snow”.

We completed our “character study” in Readers Workshop and have started our biography unit. The students have all collected 5-8 biographies for their book bags-ask your child which biographies s/he chose.  

We are continuing our reading about building bridges and looking at all the different types of structures. Feel free to look and find pictures of bridges for your child to bring in to school (extra credit!).

In Open Circle, we had excellent discussions about being a bystander (a person who observes a situation and does not speak up or take action) and being an ally (a person who speaks up or takes action to help someone). I would encourage you to talk with your child also about these definitions.

In Hebrew 2nd grade students finished the second unit in the Shiri HaLama book, “Danny is scared”.  They did a review of learned vocabulary and played different games with these words.

3rd graders worked on their album about a class field trip, reviewed orally vocabulary words, and also practiced their reading. Our text this week is about Mr Cohen who lived alone. Every day he was sitting outside when kids came back from school. One day they came and he wasn’t there. Ask your child what happened to Mr. Cohen.

In Judaic studies, we learned all about  Chanukah and practiced for our Chanukah play.  We also discussed what is a “נס” (miracle)? Ask your child what they beleive constitutes a miracle.

We are so excited and are preparing for our Mesibat HaChumash. We are making posters and working on our chumash play. We cannot wait to see you at our performance next Friday, December 14 at 8:00.

November 30, 2018

22 Kislev 5779

Happy last week of November! Thank you for meeting with us last week for parent/teacher conferences.  It was great being able to connect with you!

We had another busy week of learning.  

The students are finishing up their fiction books in Reading Workshop.  They also have completed their paper bag book report or paper bag puppet!  They are starting to share these with their peers as well as making book recommendations to one another.

In science we started our engineering unit.  We started by defining technology and the students were presented with a mystery bag and had to decide what items were evidence of technology (any item that has been designed or modified to be useful to some person or group of people). The students were surprised to see everyday objects in the bags (scissors, sponge, eraser, paper clip).  Ask your child what s/he picked from the bag and if it was evidence of technology. Most of the students have never thought about the objects they use as technology. It is a terrific conversation to have with your child at home.

In Open Circle we talked a lot about teasing (the definition, what does it feel like to tease, what does it feel like to be teased) and read a great story called Spaghetti in Hot Dog Bun---please ask your child what the story was about and what s/he learned.  Each student also wrote in their journal about either a time when s/he was teased or when s/he teased someone and how it felt.

The students are still working hard on our Plymouth Puzzle but we have finished our Plymouth work --your child will be bringing all of that home today.

In Hebrew this week, the 2nd grade students continued to read about Shiri HaLama’s adventures.  This week their new vocabulary words were: עוזרת, תחת, על-יד, אבל, טובה, קטן .

Meanwhile, the 3rd graders 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.

Reminder for 2nd grade families:

Save the date for Mesibat haChumash on December 14 at 8:00!


November 16, 2018

8 Kislev 5779

We had a great week of learning.  The second and third graders have had fun working on Thanksgiving work:  word searches, reading comprehension questions, grocery store math, deciphering codes, and more.

During reading workshop, the students have been introduced to paper bag book reports/paper bag puppets.  Each student will need to choose on of his/her books from his/her book bag and in class will complete a paper bag book report or a puppet. Please ask your child what s/he wants to do.

The second graders were introduced to Dino Math--and have had fun playing.  Both grades are enjoying Word on the Street and Big Boggle.

Please also ask your child about Open Circle---we have Open Circle twice a week for 15 minutes and as you already know, cover many topics.  Our next topic is “destructive behavior”.

Students continue to work on creating complete, interesting sentences.  They also have had time most days to work on Lexia or iready. The second graders are starting to become more proficient in logging onto their accounts and getting right to work!

Reminder that book orders are due by November 20th (completed form and check).

In Hebrew this week, 3rd 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.

2nd graders started a new story about Shiri HaLama that comes to the class, and Danny  is scared of her. Danny is a new character that will accompany throughout our book.

A big thank you to Marcus family for hosting Shiri at their home for the long weekend and fixing her saddle. We can’t wait to see who is going to host her this weekend.

This week's parsha is Parshat Vayetze.  We explored the story of Yaakov's dream and examined what we know and what we feel and how this is connected to what was happening for Yaakov.

We also learned this week about  יחיד ורבים הלכה כרבים. We have learned the importance of hearing everyone and making a decision that fits most.

In Chumash, 2nd graders finished their first Hachana L’Chumash book (Yashar Koach!) and will be continuing next week with examining roots and words.  Meanwhile, the 3rd graders are continuing to move forward and understand more. One of the obstacles we faced this week was that the words of the Torah do not always fit with our common sense.  However, how can we still make sense of what is written and apply it to how we live our lives today?

We are looking forward to seeing you next week at parent/teacher conferences.

Save the date: Mesibat HaChumash for our second graders is on Friday, December 14, at 8:15am


November 9, 2018

1 Kiselv 5779

We had a fantastic trip to Plymouth Plantation this week.  The students took their knowledge from their work in class and really appreciated the hands-on exhibit in Plymouth.  Here are just a few of the observations that were made: “The winter wetu had many types of animal fur”. “A canoe was made from a tree in 5 days”.  “You can catch a skunk”. “Wampanoag children did not have chores”. Some of the questions you can ask your child are: what types of vegetables/herbs did you see? Did you see a musket?  Why was a llama in the barn? Describe a game that the children played in the 1620’s.

It was terrific that the rain held out, and although it was a busy time of year to go, we were able to get to all the exhibits.

Thank you to Emunah Homa, Lytal Kaufman-Grob, and Sarah Cheses for driving.

Open Circle this week had us focusing on “speaking up” (look at the person, speak slowly and clearly, express ideas in a respectful way), and “expressing angry feelings”.  At home you can talk to your child about expressing angry feelings. Maybe share with your child situations that make you angry and ways you express anger. Encourage your child to always use words that are not hurtful, rather than actions to express his/her anger.  The following books relate to the topics we discussed: The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater and Roberto Walks Home by Janice Harrington.

Please remember that the students have homework from general studies every Monday and Wednesday. Many students are either forgetting to complete their homework or forgetting to bring it back to school.  If you could help remind your child, it would be appreciated.

In Hebrew this week, third 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 2nd graders have a new addition to our class. Her name is Shiri and she is a llama. Students were very excited to have her, since we don’t feel comfortable to leave her at school for a long weekend, she might go home with one of the second graders. Few more details about Shiri, she speaks only Hebrew and she is vegetarian.

We read a story about Shiri and how the class was surprised to see her. We talked about the difference between Lama (why?) and Llama (as an animal). Just like in English, there are words in Hebrew that are written from the same letters and sound the same but have a different meaning.

During T’filah, we continued to learn about more parts of the Siddur, focusing on prayer 18, the need to ask and speak with Hashem.

On Rosh Chodesh Kislev, we all prayed together with singing and dancing. Rabbi Cheses honored us and explained to us the month of Kislev and the Hallel prayer.  We learned about the importance of respect and respect for friends.

We explored deeper Hebrew skills when studying a Chumash text. We tried to identify and dismantle all kinds of words so that we could pull out the root and understand the word.

This skill does not come easy, especially when it comes to reading from the Chumash.  We learned that there are some words that are not usually spoken, but that we only find in the Torah

This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Toldot.  We talked about the relationship between Rebecca and Jacob. About the task that was white to bring food to Yitzhak. About the difficulty that Isaac had in identifying Jacob. We tried to identify ourselves by different games.

November 2, 2018

24 Cheshvan 5779

At the beginning of the week students got their Hebrew reading book and workbook, called Shiri HaLama. There are many fun stories about a llama named Shiri. Students will learn their vocabulary through this book. They will practice their reading, writing, and comprehension through it. This week they learned words like big, beautiful, see, children, kids, and teacher.

Third 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.

In Parshat Shavua, we explored who Sarah was. Why does this matter? Who, in the Torah, is called an important person?

We talked about the Cave of the Machpelah and learned who was buried there.

We tried to understand the mindset of Eliezer (Avraham’s servant) and what he said to Hashem.
We talked about the large amount Avraham paid in order to purchase the land officially.

Ask your child to share the different opinions our students had as to who is Yitzchak’s wife.

In Yediot Klaliyot, we talked about the need to ask permission to have something that is not ours, like food. We began to divide the types of foods according to different categories.

In Chumash this week, the 2nd graders learned new words in Sefer Bereshit. We learned how to deconstruct a word into root and end. The students did a great job memorizing the roots of the words we’ve studied.

We learned about letters י (yud) ן (vav) נ (nun) ה (hey), hidden letters in words.

The third graders learned to take a word and break it up. We looked for similar words and reviewed the material with “Who said to whom?” questions in the Pesukim.  For example, who said to who, "Do not go over your servant".

We learned and repeated the difference between the “ ה” question and the ” ה”  knowledge letters in specific words.

This week the students continue to work hard in understanding what the Pilgrims went through when they came here in 1620.  They are able to identify similarities and differences in how they lived and how we live today. Everyone is getting excited for our field trip next Tuesday--please remember that your child needs a disposable lunch and drink as well as to dress for the weather since Plymouth Plantation is an outdoor place!

We had our first auction last week and although not everyone “got” what s/he wanted, at least everyone was able to get something. Please feel free to donate items to the auction (books, lego kits, gel pen kits, craft kits etc).

Each child is also working now with another student during Readers Workshop---each of them reading the same book and identifying the ways in which the character changes.  It is a skill that takes practice and the students are doing a great job working together.

Remember that your child can go on iready or Lexia at home----

Please ask your child how his/her tree has changed outside (s/he will know what you are talking about!)

Congratulations to the RED SOX!!!  Remember to “fall back” this weekend.


October 26, 2018
17 Cheshvan 5779

The second and third graders continued to compare life in Plymouth in the 1600’s to life today.  The third graders are also working on a timeline, beginning when the Pilgrims left England in November of 1620 and continuing through the grueling months and ending the following November. The third graders are also working on placing the 13 colonies on a map.

Most of the students have completed their iready diagnostic and have started their iready work.

Please remember that both Lexia and iready can be worked on at home.

In Open Circle we have talked about ways to get calm when you feel upset.  We also discussed positive self talk. At home, ask your child to explain to you what positive self talk is and give you and example.  Encourage your child to use positive self talk when s/he seems discouraged about learning or trying something new.

In Judaic studies, both classes explored how to relate to prayer. For example, by focusing on our Tefliot and holding off on conversations with friends, we can relate to our prayers on a deeper level.  Or, while saying תפילת שמונה עשרה, we should stand with our legs straight until you finish to relate to the prayer.

We learned the meaning of the blessings of ברכת הנהנין and when we say each bracha.

We learned about the importance of the siddurim and how they are treated.

This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Vayera.  We tried to understand the magnitude of Avraham's faith.  We learned about different symbols in the parsha - Tent, tree, 3, laughter, sun)

We learned that although Avraham was ill, he was waiting for guests.

We learned that ה’ actually came to visit Avraham.

We spoke of Abraham's power to speak with ‘ה to try to save Sodom.

Why did Lot come to Sodom in the first place?

In Chumash, 2nd graders worked on separating roots from the add-ons of each word.  The 3rd graders learned about the conversation that Avraham had with Hashem about the promise to have a child.  We discussed that Sarah was in her tent and overhead the conversation

In Hebrew this week, we 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 pantomima.

Our second graders were working hard to accomplish their goal of writing script letters. They had their script test on Wednesday. I’m very proud of them for successfully  achieving the goal! We had a mini ceremony and each of them got a certification of their success.

October 19, 2018

10 Cheshvan 5779

Happy Autumn! The weather has certainly changed, so please make sure that your child has layers.  The classrooms’ temperature varies between hot and cold throughout the day and the students definitely need to have clothing available for them.

On that note, we do go outside everyday. Please remind your child to wear/bring appropriate clothing for outdoors.

This week our class really started learning about why the Pilgrims came here and what the voyage was like on the Mayflower.  Ask your child what a “necessary” was, and the similarities and differences of school today and during colonial times.

Our Open Circle curriculum this week focused on a “school listening look”, and identifying feelings.  We have had many helpful discussions on both topics and the students have been developing positive habits during this time.

The students in both grades have been enjoying our games and have also started iready.

This week we studied the importance of T’filah. We talked about what it means to speak to Hashem. Why?  How? We understand that Tfila is one of the critical ways for us to have a connection to Hashem.

We studied about Mode Ani and Birkat Asher Yatsar that we say after we use the restroom and how thankful we are that our bodies work just as Hashem created them.

In Yediot Klaliyot, we used the numbers 1-12 and found the connection to Judaic studies.  For example, one is Hashem, two was the Shabbat candles. It was hard work, but we had a good time and created a long list.

2nd graders keep working on their Chumash skills and trying to remember new words from the book.  We also reviewed the rules of yachid and rabim.

3rd graders studied verbs in the story about Avraham and the melachim.

We will be reading Parshat Lech-Lecha this Shabbat - the story where Abraham left his family. We tried to imagination this situation and how much belief in Hashem Avraham must’ve had in Hashem to go on this journey.  We looked at the map to see the path Avraham made.

In Hebrew, 2nd grade continue to work on script and practice their reading skills, they have been practicing spelling the words only by hearing.

3rd graders read a story about a beautiful place in Israel called Neot Kdumim. In Neot Kdumim there are no new machines to make olive oil, they use old techniques. There are animals and trees that were mentioned in Torah stories. It’s a very special place near Jerusalem. Students wrote a story about their own trip.


October 12, 2018

3 Cheshvan 5779

We had a great week of learning.  

In our character study, the students have been collecting books for their book-bags, practicing partner reading and have started using post-it notes to communicate with their partners.

We have started learning character trait vocabulary (loyal, responsible, brave etc), and the students are beginning to use these words to help describe characters in their books.

This week we went outside to draw our trees that we drew last month.  The students noticed lots of changes (leaves falling off, color changes) and enjoyed getting outside.

Why did the Pilgrims leave England?  What were the conditions like when they came to America? Who helped them?  These are all questions that we have started asking and answering. Please ask your child these questions!

The students have been writing “fall” stories.  We have been practicing using nouns, verbs, and correct punctuation.

Math continues with addition and subtraction for grade 2 and mental math and estimating for grade 3.

In Hebrew, the 3rd 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.

The 2nd graders continued to work on script.  On Wednesday, the students were quizzed on it.  Please ask your child to show you his/her work. They all did an amazing job!

We worked very hard this week in Judaic studies.  In Chumash we worked to understand the Lashon Hakodesh and practiced the skill of differentiating nouns and verbs.  The 2nd graders are pulling apart words to find the shoresh. The 3rd graders learned about Avraham and the angels that visited him.  Why did we need 3 angels?

We also started to study our yediot klaliyot with a focus on the calendar and reviewing the months in order.  The students found their Hebrew birthdate.

We learn about Noach and the various problems he encountered with building the inside of the teyva.  What parameters did Noach need to think about to plan for the inside structure? The kids worked in teams to show different designs that were possible and explored why Noach chose what he did.

The kids knew that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights - but they were actually on the teyva for a total of 150 days!

This week was Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.  We started the day by davening in the beit kinesset with the 4-5 class.  The change of scenery was very nice and it was a great experience to review opening the aron kodesh and talking about the sefer torah (just like we did before Simchat Torah).

As part of our behavior system, the second and third graders earn tickets. Each month we have a “store” or an auction. If you have items that you which to donate...please do!! Some ideas would include games, lego kits, popular books, craft-kits, glitter anything!

*******************We need drivers for:***********************************

**********Plymouth Plantation Trip November 6**********************

October 5, 2018

26 Tishrei, 5779

Happy October!  Although our weeks have been short, we have had a lot of learning in 2-3!

The students are working on identifying nouns and verbs in sentences and making sure that they are writing complete sentences on their own.

They have been busy choosing new books for their “reading book bags”.  Some of the class favorites so far are: Fly Guy, Hilo, Mercy Watson and The Bad Guys.  Ask your child what s/he is reading.

The third graders are excited about working in their math book and the second graders are enjoying learning some new math games and strategies.

In Open Circle, last week the students completed a self assessment and chose a goal to work on.  This week we are starting the unit “managing ourselves”, as we begin with calm breathing techniques.

We are back from a month of chagei Tishrei and are ready to jump into learning!

With the holidays behind us, we have spent a great deal of time focusing on Chumash.

The second graders are working on the Hachana L’Chumash with a focus on individual nouns and differentiating between verbs and nouns in the text.

The third graders reviewed verbs and nouns and singular and plural words.  We learned this week about the story of the Angels and Avraham. The Chumash says that he was “sitting in the heat of the day.”  We explored the meaning of this wording. We also discussed the Angels multiple jobs as they came to Avraham.

We also continued to add in new parts to our T’filah each morning as the children grow as daveners.

The fall is definitely here so we are learning new Hebrew vocabulary words that are related to fall.  Check out our bulletin board in the hall to see what your child loves in the fall. The most popular fall activities are Thanksgiving and jumping into piles of leaves.   Second graders are working on writing script and reading skills.

Please note:

-If you have an etrog to spare, please send it to school.

-Don’t forget to check out the “Oneg Shabbat” sheet coming home with your child for Shabbat.


September 21, 2018

12 Tishrei, 5779

It was great to see so many of you at Back To School Night.  One of the things that we did not cover was the auction/shopping we have each month.  The students get tickets for “doing the right thing” (this includes work habits, behavior, helping others etc).  Once a month we will either have a shopping day or an auction in the class. If you would like to donate, we do take both new and gently used items (pencils, lego kits, books, puzzles, etc).  Just send in the items with your child and we will set them aside---thank you!

This week in Jewish studies we talked about experiences from the beginning of the year. We engaged in what it means to show repentance during the Ten Days of Repentance.

We talked about Yom Kippur and the difference from the other fasts.

We explored the different parts of the prayers. We learned about the laws of Sukkot and the Four Species and watched a short video about Ushpizin and we learned about the importance of joy in the holiday.

In hebrew class, we are still talking about summer. During the previous week we read a story about a 3rd grade boy.  It was great to compare his summer to their own summer. Every student wrote a short story about their summer and special activities that happened during this amazing time of the year.  We also read a poem about summer, mostly focused on summer food. We discussed what we like and what we don’t like in the summer, answered questions and drew our favorite summer food. Stay tuned for the 3rd grade classroom favorite summer foods, I think I know … do you?

Our 2nd graders are the most hard workers so far, they read every day, practice new words, participated in the whole class discussions and stay on top of every assignment they get. Toward the end of the week we started to review script.  I heard it had been their favorite activity in 1st grade. Yashar Koah and don’t slow your pace!

The students are reviewing what nouns are (many of them forgot!), and we just started brainstorming writing ideas for Writing Workshop.

Our first unit in Readers Workshop is character development. You might have heard from your child that they have to read books from our class library for this unit. They are correct!! We want the students exposed to as many characters as possible and then be able to discuss the changes that are made to that character.  It is an important skill and we will be working on this for the next few weeks.

Third graders got their math books and they are excited to dive in. The second graders are reviewing addition and subtraction with games and worksheets.

Third graders started cursive and the second graders got a new print book.

As discussed at Back To School Night, please talk with your child about what s/he likes to eat and how much!  It would also be helpful for some students to know what is for snack and what is for lunch.


September 7, 2018

27 Elul 5778

Wow we are off to a great start in 2-3!!

This week in general studies, the students are learning the new systems and protocols in our classroom as well as getting to know their new teachers.  This week the students had a great time creating “something” out of a coffee filter, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and stickers---please ask your child what his/her group created (and come see our pictures in hallway bulletin board outside our room).

It was also a lot of fun seeing what everyone brought in for their brown-bag and making a guessing game from it!  The third graders were so happy that they had another chance to use their imagination for this assignment!

During this first week of Hebrew class, we started with a short introduction and welcomed 2nd graders to our 2-3 classroom. Students created goals for the new school year wrote them on colorful apples symbolising Rosh HaShana.  Make sure to 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 is focuses on eight norms. Students worked in small groups to create a poster for each norm and presented their norm to the rest of the class.

In Judaic studies, we spent this first week getting to know each other and preparing ourselves to jump into Chumash learning which will be a large portion of the curriculum this year.  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.

Each topic this week was interesting and really made the kids think.  It’s going to be a wonderful year!


Your child is welcome to have a water bottle in the classroom to use during the day.  We have set aside some times when they can refill their bottles and we are working hard on the clean up when need be!   The students also have both a morning and afternoon snack, so make sure they have plenty of food to eat. They get very hungry during the school day.

Even though we started on Tuesday, this week was very busy, interesting, and filled with learning!

We were so happy to greet the students and begin many new procedures.

Shabbat Shalom!