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!
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!
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 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!