Sunday, December 15, 2013

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, December 15...


During Circle Time today, we talked about an important Hebrew word - Kavod. Kavod means "respect" or "honor" and showing people Kavod is one way that we treat our neighbors the way that we want to be treated.

One way that we show God Kavod is by being respectful during T'filah (prayer services). Our madrichim help us with this by helping us following along in our siddurim (prayer books).

Did you know that this year we're using brand new siddurim? They are just like the blue Mishkan T'filah Siddurim, except they are made just for kids like us!

Back in class, Mrs. Bernstein asked us for examples of how we can show Kavod to others. When we shared an example, Mrs. Bernstein gave us a heart.

After that, it was time for the Shabbat Boogie!! It's great to get up and moving during class.

To end our day, Mrs. Bernstein took us on a scavenger hunt around the synagogue. We visited lots of cool places in the synagogue. Some of them were familiar, and some we'd never seen before. We're excited to get to know our building even better in the coming months. We can't wait for school to start again on January 12!

Grade 1

To begin our day, Mrs. Milgrom visited our classroom to talk to us about the importance of listening to our madrichim. Some of us are having a difficult time showing our madrichim kavod (respect). We like to play with them and it's hard to listen when they ask us to stop and focus on class instead. But, after our conversation today, we feel confident that we'll do a great job starting next semester!

In Kehillah, we had Havdallah, which is where we celebrate the conclusion of Shabbat and the start of our new week.

We also enjoyed animal crackers for snack - yum!

In T'filah, our madrichim help us find our place in our new Mishkan T'filah Siddurim (prayer books) for Children.

After T'filah, we rehearsed for Consecration. Don't forget to help us practice our songs and our lines for the D'var Torah at home, especially over Winter Break!

In Art class with Mrs. Schulgasser we worked together a free flow creative mural. We practiced working as a team to create one cohesive piece of art. In doing so, we needed to not only communicate well together, but also make sure that we showed kavod to each other's ideas and personal artistic space. It was challenging, but we had fun!

Grade 2

Grade 2 had a great day! Now that we know so many Hebrew letters and vowels, we're able to follow along in the Hebrew during T'filah. Our new siddurim (prayer books) are great!

It is hard to believe that we're already half way through the year. Mrs. Ehrenreich helped us review the letters and vowels that we've learned so far and we're really excited by how much we know!

She also gave us mid-year awards. Everyone got an award that recognized how we are each unique and positively contribute to our classroom.

To end our day, we played a review game. We each got a Hebrew letter and if Mrs. Ehrenreich or one of our madrichim called out our letter we got to get up and do a crazy dance. We can't wait for school to start again on January 12!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, December 8...

Grades 3 & 4

The 3rd and 4th grade had so much fun at their retreat this weekend!! They began their weekend with Shabbat dinner with their parents. The theme for the retreat was superheroes. Throughout the Shabbat evening service we stopped and talked with our parents some of the qualities a superhero needs and what makes us superheroes. After, we said goodbye to our parents for the night, we started a program with our teams that were split up into colors. The colors were green, orange, pink, salmon, yellow and blue. Each station had a different clue to take us to the next station in our scavenger hunt. Each station had a different challenge. One challenge we had was to put a prayer or blessing in order in ping pong balls. The station had a twist because we either had to move the ping pong balls with just our nose or even our feet! In another station we made Jewish symbols out of legos and in another station we even learned how to set up a Shabbat dinner table! Each group wrote a song about superheroes and got to sing it in front of everyone. Each station also had a secret in that room that we did not know about the temple. Did you know there is a door to the temple basement in the kitchen? Or that the Havdallah objects are kept in the cupboards by the ramp in the sanctuary? 

After our scavenger hunt, we got to get into our pajamas. There was a popcorn machine and we got to eat popcorn while we watched The Incredibles until bed, don’t worry we didn't go to bed too late. The next morning, we got fresh pancakes! We could choose between plain, chocolate chip, banana or even chocolate chip AND banana pancakes. They were so good! We had some free time and some of us even started a football game with a stuffed animal. Our next activity was more stations with our teams. In one station we had to make a human knot with bandannas and untangle ourselves without speaking, at another one we had to throw beanie babies across to the room each other, but what made it tricky was there were four beanie babies going around at once! The two other stations were having to make a house out of rope without overlapping or doubling the rope and we had to walk across a grid onto squares, but only one path could make it to the other side. With every activity that we did, we studied a Jewish text that spoke to the superhero quality that we learned about in doing that activity. Sadly, after this it was time to take a group photo and say goodbye. We had so much fun! Hopefully, there will be another retreat soon! 

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Grade 5

T'filah was pretty empty this morning as the Grade 3 & 4 students weren't at Religious School. We are really jealous that they got to go on their Retreat this weekend and can't wait for ours!

In Art class, we each got a part of the G'vurot (the section of the Amidah that talks about what God does for us that is heroic). We then took the part of the G'vurot that we were given and drew superheros that exemplified the heroic quality mentioned in the prayer. It was fun to learn more about how to draw people and it was great to be creative and come up with a way to visually depict what we are studying.

After Art, we spent time working with the G'vurot in Hebrew. We practiced both decoding (reading) and chanting the G'vurot and had to unscramble the flashcards to put the parts of the prayer in order.

Grade 6

In Mr. Solomon's class, we started our day with Hebrew Through Movement. At this point, we are able to give each other instructions completely in Hebrew. Our understanding of the vocabulary and our pronunciation is quite impressive!

We also began talking about the Hebrew root yud-tzadee-alef which has to do with leaving or being taken out. This root appears in many words in the Torah service, because we are taking the Torah out of the Ark! It also appears when we talk about how God took us out of Egypt.

With Ms. Killam, as our exploration of Israel continues, today we focused on understanding the ancient and modern timelines of Israel. One area that we looked at in particular is what nations have had control over Israel in the past and what that has meant for the Jewish people living in the Land of Israel.

Each of us took a different part of the material and designed a short presentation to teach our classmates what we learned. In this way, we divided and conquered - much like the theme of today's learning!

We also got a special treat - ice cream! Each day we work together to earn marbles for our Marble Jar. We earn these marbles by fulfilling our learning brit (contract). When the jar is full, we get to celebrate. This is the second celebration we've had this year!