Bet Class Update
Dear Kitah Bet (2nd grade) Parents,
The Kitah Bet (2nd grade) students love learning! As you know, our curriculum covers Hebrew, Holidays (including Shabbat) and Introductory Judaic topics.
Hebrew has three general components: phonetic reading, vocabulary and basic classroom conversation, and Prayers/Blessings. Hebrew reading takes up about 80% of Hebrew instructional time.
In Hebrew reading, the students are just beginning Lesson 6. If you are unsure about the reading homework, or feel the assigned page is too difficult for your child, please select a page earlier in the book for your child to read to you. We want all students to feel success and to realize that everyone learns differently. Also, if you do a page other than the assigned page, please let me know by writing a note on the homework page. Always feel welcome to contact me.
In Hebrew classroom conversation, we are using sentences and vocabulary that we commonly need to use in the classroom. This intersects with the vocabulary taught in the reading textbook, thus reinforcing reading skills. Conversation is often reinforced through games, which the students really enjoy. Students have focused on “Bah” (in the), question words “Ma” (what) and “Mi” (who) and a short attendance conversation.
Right now, we are learning the following daily blessings: Modeh Ani, La’asok B’divrei Torah, and Ma Tovu. We will be adding to this list as the year continues. In addition, we will soon be learning blessings for Kabbalat Shabbat (the introduction to Friday Evening Services).
We have started a unit called The People of Israel. As part of this unit, the students made Israeli flags. The active creation of this symbol encourages the students to look closely at the flag, determining the location and relative sizes of the stripes and the Magen David (star). This interconnects with other parts of our curriculum - Simchat Torah and Jewish symbols.
For Rosh HaShanah – the students considered the theme of new beginnings. For Yom Kippur – we read and studied the story of Jonah, a story rich in new beginnings for both Jonah and for the people of Nineveh. For Sukkot, we have focused on the history, as written in the Torah, of how sukkot (huts) were used when we were in the wilderness after escaping from the Egyptians, and later, when we farmed in the land of Israel and needed shelter during the harvesting.
In Hebrew, we will continue learning and reinforcing reading skills. Conversation skills will add Shabbat vocabulary and reinforce question words and personal pronouns. The Shabbat vocabulary is part of the reading textbook (Lesson 6 and later) and will intersect with our November holiday unit – Shabbat. In Hebrew prayer, we will focus on prayers and blessing from Kabbalat Shabbat. In addition, we will learn Shema and start work on V’ahavta.
Our Judaic unit for November will be to continue our study of Israel people and culture. There will be another unit on Israel in the spring. Our holiday unit for November is Shabbat.
I look forward to another month of learning, growth, and community!
HaMorah Etta Bernstein
Bet/Gimel Class Update
Dear Bet/Gimel (2nd/3rd grade) Parents,
Instructional time in class is split between Hebrew and Etgar Yesodi.
Bet (2nd grade) students are on Lesson 6 in their textbook. Please look at the posting for Kitah Bet to see additional information and suggestions for helping your child be successful.
The Kitah Gimel (3rd grade) students have completed a review of basic reading skills. They also have started learning some of the more advanced reading concepts: endings, unusual vowels (such as Kamatz Katan, which they learn as sight words) and confusing letter/vowel combinations (such as “vo” in the word, Mitzvot.) In addition, the Gimel (3rd grade) students began working in their reading textbooks. The main emphasis of this book is reading Hebrew prayers fluidly. It also teaches basic vocabulary for both prayer Hebrew and Modern Hebrew. Modern Hebrew conversation is taught orally, using the vocabulary in the textbook and additional classroom vocabulary.
The focus of ETGAR YESODI is holidays. The students completed learning projects and activities for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This was achieved primarily by using the symbol of the Shofar and the concept of “Wake up!” For Sukkot, we focused on the Sukkah, how it is made and what we do. This year, because of the holiday schedule and MEA weekend, we devoted a limited amount ot time to this unit.
Our November unit concerns Rosh Hodesh and the Hebrew calendar. Why are the holidays on different days every year? Your child will learn that the Jewish calendar is linked to the Torah. It is tied to the phases of the moon and to the seasons of the year. We will study texts from the Mishnah about the celebration of Rosh Hodesh, the first day of the Hebrew month.
We will also be looking at the Hebrew birthday for each student. Expect your child to ask you whether he/she was born before or after sunset.
We look forward to another month of learning, growth, and community!
HaMorah Etta Bernstein