Dear Kitah Gimel (3rd-grade) families,
We are consistently impressed by our students' energy and enthusiasm they bring to class. We are excited to continue the second half of our year together and build a strong Kitah Gimel community!
In Debby’s class we continue to grow our Hebrew vocabulary and understanding of the language. Through games, individual work, and group activities, all of the students are improving their ability to read with comprehension. They are also improving their sight reading as we spend some time each lesson working on short lines or verses from the Siddur. Ask your student to read the Ain Kelohainu Shabbat prayer to you. This was a great example of when the kids realized they were reading something that was familiar and discovered they could actually read it with some understanding. It was a fun “aha” moment for many of them.
In Polly’s class, students began the second semester by celebrating Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees! We learned about the history of planting trees in Israel and some of the amazing technological innovations that help Israeli farmers grow food in the desert. In the next unit, we explored Shabbat and its many rituals and traditions, and students made connections between our class and their own Shabbat experiences. We read the creation story from the first chapter of the Torah, Bereshit, and looked at the work of three different artists who depicted the seven days of creation in their own, unique styles. Students then had the opportunity to create their own Shabbat artwork in their journals. Now, as we approach Purim, we will read the story of Esther’s courage and reflect on our own courage with “What would you do?” scenarios. Over the next few classes we will have fun dressing up, playing games, and shaking our graggers!
Thank you for your continued support throughout this challenging year. We wish your family well and hope you are staying safe and warm!
Polly & Debby
Dear Gimel/Bet (3rd/2nd-grade) Parents,
This class continues to make excellent progress in Hebrew reading proficiency and practice. We continue to stress new letters and vowels each week, working on phonetic reading skills. For Gimel, the third graders are learning some of the more advanced phonetic reading skills. Bet is continuing to complete work in the first volume of Z’man Likro. Part of the reading curriculum is T’filla. Students review some of the prayers they learned last year. In addition, they are learning longer prayers, found at the end of every chapter in their brown textbook, the New Siddur Program Bk. 1. Most of these prayers have tunes, so you may have heard your students singing some of the prayers at home.
Students have also been learning about Israel. Last week, we “visited” Tel Aviv. I think their favorite city, so far, is Jerusalem. As we “visit” areas of Israel, the students learn about the different cultures within Israel. In every unit, they express surprise about something, ask terrific questions, and have lively class discussions.
Students continue to learn about the holidays. We will soon start our Purim unit, followed closely by our unit for Pesach. Holidays provide such a rich source for learning. The students learn about things from symbols to history to religious laws and observance to the wide variety of Jewish customs in our community.
I always enjoy communicating with parents. Please let me know if you have questions.