Sunday, September 21, 2014

What Happened on Sunday, September 21 in Grades K-2...


Today was curriculum day, which meant our parents came to Sunday school with us! In the Sanctuary, Cantor Lawrence led us in prayer. He taught us to be thankful for all the miracles that happen in our lives, including waking up in the morning, getting dressed, and coming to TEE.

Then, while the parents went to meet with our teachers, a staff member from Camp Wise came to visit. He told us about camp and how fun it is! He asked how many people have been to Camp Wise, and many of the Madrichim and even some of the students raised their hands.

We watched a video about Camp Wise. Some of the people in the video were are students at TEE! Camp sounds like a ton of fun!

Back in the classroom, Mrs. Bernstein read us a story about Rosh HaShanah and how it is a time when we focus on apologizing for things that we did that weren't the right thing to do. Afterwords, while eating apples and honey, we wrote down apologies on pieces of paper and dissolved them in a bowl of water, just like they did in the story.

Grade 1

Today was curriculum day which means we got to come to Religious School with our parents!!! We started with T’filah and enjoyed praying with our families.

After T'filah, the parents stuck around in the Sanctuary for introductions to the school and our faculty, while the students headed to the social hall for a special Kehillah. Camp Wise came to do a presentation to encourage us to go to Jewish overnight summer camp. The presentation started with all of the TEE students and madrichim who have gone to Camp Wise leading us in a song called “Red Wagon,” because it is often sung at camp. After our “repeat-after-me” song, we watched a brief video of all that Camp Wise had to offer. The video was so cool! It included horseback riding, swimming, zip lining, a lake and Shabbat services. Then we got the chance to ask the Assistant Director, Andy Saltzman a few questions about camp.

In class with our parents, we drew pictures of what we consider a blessing in our lives because our Grade 1 curriculum involves blessings and being thankful for things in our lives. It was great learning with our moms and dads!

Grade 2

Grade 2 started our day with T'filah. We talked about Rosh HaShanah, and Rabbi sang a silly song to describe that the new year is like a circle, and that we have a chance to do the next cycle better!

After that, we had Kehillah. We learned a lot about the cool summer camp, Camp Wise! We started by doing a fun dance which they learn there, then we watched a cool video. When the camp presentation was over, we had a snack of graham crackers and water. 

When we got to class, our parents got to sit in with us! We talked briefly about our fun-filled weekends, then we talked about Rosh HaShanah and it’s correlation to Yom Kippur. Did you know that Rosh means head and Shanah means year? 

Last, we did a fun activity with our parents - we learned about the foods we have on Rosh HaShanah while eating them! We’ll be prepared to help our parents get these foods ready on Thursday when Rosh HaShanah comes. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, September 14...

Grade 3

Did you know that each week in Mrs. Zaas' class we get to earn candy?! She puts a she'elah (question) on the luach (board) and if we participate, we get to take a piece of candy. 

After answering the she'elah on the luach, we created a class brit (agreement). We made sure to use positive language to talk about what we would do to make our classroom a place where everyone can learn.

In Mrs. Gabay's Judaics class, we started by creating a bulletin board for our classroom. We made Jewish stars that included our favorite things, to help us get to know each other better.

Then, we looked at the months of the year and talked about which chagim (holidays) are in which months. Tishrei is right around the corner and there are a lot of chagim in Tishrei! For most of us, our favorite month is Kislev, because Chanukah comes during Kislev.

In Hebrew with Mrs. Zaas, we used Hebrew Through Movement (also called Total Physical Response - TPR) to practice hearing Hebrew words. LaShevet means "to sit," and as you can see, Mrs. Zaas used that command in a pretty silly way today!

Grade 4

Today in Grade 4,  we started off by going to our T’filah services. After T’fillah, we went to Kehillah where we started off by singing Israel’s National Anthem, Haktikvah which means, “hope.”  After a snack of pretzels, all of Grade 4 students had an art project which centered around G’milut Chasadim which means, “Acts of Loving Kindness.” While Mr. Stone and Mrs. Abrams teach different curriculum, both of their classes look at G'milut Chasadim, albeit through different lenses. As we'll have one teacher for one semester and the other teacher the next semester, this was a great theme for our art project. 

Our art project was to decorate puzzle pieces with words or pictures to represent an Act of Loving Kindness we did to someone else or an act of love and kindness done to us. After our art project

In Hebrew we started learning about the different brachot (blessings) that we say over food. This will come in handy as each week, Mrs. Milgrom asks us what brachah (blessing) we should say before snack. Next, we spent time reviewing final letters. In Hebrew, some letters look one way at the beginning or in the middle of the word and different at the end of a word. Often tricky, these letters are worth the review!

Grade 5

In T'filah with Cantor Lawrence, we talked about life and death choices, which ties in with the themes of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

Then, we had some time with our friends during Kehillah, which we love!

In Miss Silverstein’s class, we read Devarim 34:10 and talked about prophets. The questions we were trying to answer were: 1. Who is talked about?; 2. What word is used to describe them?; 3. What did this person do?; 4. What comes next? 

The prophet we read about specifically was Moses. 

Afterwards, we talked about God's role and the prophets' roles. After doing so, we began to create want ads for prophets, giving us the chance to explore what qualities we believe are necessary for someone to have in order to be a good prophet.


Next, with Mrs. Zamir, we took attendance and talked about the importance of bringing in tzdakah, which we collect every week. Afterward, we said the blessing over the study of Torah, then began to learn about Philosophical Inquiry by reading Bereshit Chapter 9:1-7. Philosophical Inquiry engages students around questions of meaning in dialogue with the resources of our tradition, specifically parshiot (Torah portions), that raise complex questions about how we should live our lives. In this way, Philosophical Inquiry connects Jewish learning to the development of Jewish identity and with each student’s individual struggle to respond to the question “how should I live?” This approach does not seek to introduce philosophy as a history of ideas, but rather, to engage young people in philosophy as a form of life wherein they deliberate together around questions of meaning as they seek to make sense of their experience in the world. Students are encouraged to raise meaningful and complex questions that carry implications for their lives. The portion is all about Noah, and how after the flood, God allowed humans to eat meat. To begin, we raised questions that we had about the text. Then, we talked about foods and what we liked and didn’t like, what we ate as babies, and what we could eat or not eat that would make us better people. 

Towards the end of Hebrew, Mrs. Zamir passed out our textbooks. This year, we will be focusing on the Amidah, so today, we read a story about David's harp, and looked at several root letter combinations that are central to the opening line of the Amidah, "Adonai s'fatai tiftach."

Grade 6

Grade 6 began our day in T'filah and then headed to the Social Hall for Kehillah (Community Time). Cantor Lawrence led us in HaTikvah before we had snack and got a chance to catch up with our friends.

In Hebrew with Mr. Solomon, we got a chance to get some energy out through Hebrew Through Movement (also known as TPR - Total Physical Response). Utilizing modern Hebrew vocabulary, Mr. Solomon helped us reinforce our Hebrew learning by hearing and reacting to commands in Hebrew. So far we've learned LaKoom (stand up), LaShevet (sit down), LaLechet (walk), La'atzor (stop) and maher (fast).

After using our auditory learning to practice our Hebrew, we turned to a worksheet to help us decode the Hebrew words. As it is the beginning of the year, we're starting off by reviewing the Shabbat morning prayers that we already know. Today, we looked at Yotzer Or, which we also say together in T'filah.

In Ms. Killam's Judaics class, we began with an activity where we each got a slip of paper and had to find our matches. We formed groups of three, where one person's slip of paper had someone's name on it, another person's had a nickname and the third person's had a description. This opening activity connects to the theme of our Count Me In curriculum, "Every person has three names: one his or her father and mother give, one others call him or her, and one s/he earns for him or herself" (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:1.

Then we watched a video about Shmuli Bling, an Israeli who definitely earned a name for himself. Ask your student how!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, September 7...


As today was our first day of class, Mrs. Bernstein made sure to have a coloring activity out while all of us got settled in the room.

Then, in the social hall, Cantor led Kehillah. We sang HaTikvah, joined together for Havdallah and sang happy birthday to everyone who has a summer birthday or who will have a birthday in September. We got a tasty snack of animal crackers, but only after we said Mizonot, the brachah (blessing) over crackers.

In T'filah, we used special siddurim (prayer books), just for kids. These are the same prayers that adults sing in their services!

Back, in the classroom, we played Shimon Omer (Simon Says) and learned a new Hebrew word: rosh, which means head.

At the end of the day, we did an art project where we wrote about our favorite things on a Star of David. Mrs. Bernstein will turn these into name signs for us that we'll use each morning when we come into the classroom.

Grade 1

Today has been a great first day! To help us learn all about Rosh Hashanah, we started off with a coloring project that helped us become familiar with the different items and symbols of the chag (holiday).

In Circle Time, we learned how to say "good morning" in Hebrew - Boker Tov. Did you know that if someone says "Boker Tov" to you, you respond "Boker Or"? We also introduced ourselves with our names, favorite food, what we did over the summer, and what we like to do. This helped us get to know one another better, which is important as we grow together as friends in our class.

After Circle Time, we went to Kehillah where Cantor Lawrence led us in HaTikvah, Havdallah and we sang happy birthday in Hebrew to everyone who has a summer or September birthday.

Then, we went to T'filah with Grades K-2.

After Kehillah, we went back to the classroom where we spoke about Tzedakah, and why we give to people in need and we listed some people who might need.  We'll collect Tzedakah every week and then at the end of the year, it will get donated to a charity of our choice! After a discussion about Rosh HaShanah, we made a brit or an agreement, with rules for how we should all behave in the classroom to make sure that everyone can learn. After making all our rules for the classroom to make sure we have a great year, we all signed it.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Rosenthal came in and read us Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashana because. Afterwards, we got a chance to take out books at the library so we could enjoy reading at home! It was a great first day and we cannot wait for next week!

Grade 2

To begin our first day of class of 2014, we helped Ms. Evans get to know our names as she took attendance. We also shared a fun activity we did this summer!

Next we had Kehillah. Cantor Lawrence led us in HaTikvah, Havdallah and we sang happy birthday to everyone who had birthdays over the summer and who has a September birthday. During Havdallah, we got to smell spices and see one of the sixth grade students hold the candle.

In T'filah, we got to meet our new cantor! He was a lot of fun and he did funny dances while we were praying.

When we got back to class, we made name tags with crayons, and on the back we drew something we enjoy doing. This will help all of us get to know one another more, as we hope to make friends with everyone in our class.

At the end of the day, Ms. Evans had us tell her all about Beresheit, which was the focus of our curriculum last year. This helped us remember what we learned, and prepare for our year ahead, which will focus on the next book of Torah - Shemot. To help get us started, Ms. Evans read us two stories about Moses, who is one of the main people that we'll learn about in the book of Shemot.