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December 20 — Chag Sameach and a Happy New Year

Hebrew with Rimma and Tomer

During the past two weeks we were working on our Hebrew play , memorizing lines, performing songs, dancing, learning vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and most importantly gaining fluency and confidence.

It enables us to express ourselves creatively and spontaneously in different ways, to share our ideas for dance movements, to add more creative lines in Hebrew and just to have fun. We learned and strengthened our connection to Israel through Classic songs and educational program that every child who grew up in Israel familiar with. We enjoyed acting and singing and it was a productive and exciting way to learn Hebrew. We hope that you enjoyed it as well. !!! חג אורים שמח וחופשה נעימה

Here you can see a few videos from the performance

Judaic Studies with Ariana

The third grade students have learned about Chanukah. We saw multiple videos describing how the heroic Macabees fought the Greeks and recovered the Temple in Jerusalem. We heard about the miracle of the oil and how we eat fried foods to remember this miracle in Chanukah. We practiced the blessings we recite during candle lighting as well. 

In honor of this holiday, we created a Chanukah Cookbook with recipes from all around the world. The children can’t wait to cook with their families. There is also a page for you to include your own Chanukah family recipe. Happy cooking! Wishing you Chag sameach!

General Studies with Hilary

Dear 3rd Grade Families,

Winter break is here, and we hope you have some fun plans in store. Here are some areas that we have delved into over the past two weeks:


Throughout the week, we have been learning more about how to draw bar models, and how their use supports our understanding of real-world examples. It can be hard deciding which operation we are supposed to use in a word problem, and drawing a bar model can help clarify the goal. Bar models are used throughout the grades, at Hannah Senesh, and we want to teach them the basics of bar modeling know so that it can be supported in older grades as it becomes more complex. When we come upon a word problem, there are three main steps we need to take:

  1. Read the problem carefully
  2. Draw a bar model
  3. Solve the equation (using an algorithm or other strategy)

After reading the story problem, students will think about if the problem is looking for the whole number or the part — similar to a number bond that thinks about the part and whole. As the students work to insert numbers into the bar model, they will be closely reading their story problem making sure they understand the question as well as which section of the problem is focusing on the part and which section is talking about the whole.

Attached are pictures to represent the two bar models we have focused on — Part-Part-Whole bar models and Comparison bar models. One student said bar modeling is, “An easy and fun way to break apart the word problem.” Another described it by saying that, “Bar modeling can help you tell if it’s an addition or subtraction problem.”



Last week, students tried their hand at letter writing. This was directed towards a seventh grader, and we discussed how people can write letters to get to know one another better. We passed it along to the grade this week, and are crossing our fingers that we get a response!

This week, we started our new mini-unit — perspective writing. We thought about a story we know pretty well, Because of Winn-Dixie and discussed how the story is told from Opal’s (the main character’s) perspective. But what would happen if the story was told from someone else’s point of view? What if the story was told from Otis’ perspective, or Miss Franny Block’s? How would the story telling differ? Throughout this week, they explored this writing, and worked on using skills learned earlier in the year for narrative writing, to add to their piece. They thought about using juicy/descriptive language, add dialogue or onomatopoeia (sound effect), and expanding on the moment in order to paint a picture for the reader.This will go hand-in-hand with our writing in the first part of January, where students will think about the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott from someone else’s perspective.


Book clubs are moving along right now! We are working on how to think deeply about a text, and how to effectively communicate with those in our group. A few students really rose to the occasion, taking on the position of group leader.

Social Studies

We started our study of Civil Rights. For Third Grade, our focus is on Rosa Parks and Montgomery Bus Boycott, with the goal of building upon students’ prior knowledge of the movement from previous years. As a way to build context, we started by exploring voting laws through the centuries. In it, we noticed discrimination dating back to the beginning of our federal laws (in 1783). Issues that are STILL occurring in America in 2019! Students then studied DBQ pictures that represent the Jim Crow Laws and Segregation. We talked about how the Jim Crows Laws existed primarily in the South, and how they affected the daily lives of people of color — specifically African Americans. Students made observations, asked questions, and reacted. Their overall reactions were of confusion, sadness and anger over the unfair treatment. “It doesn’t matter the color of our skin — underneath, we’re all people!” Our main topics of conversation revolved around pictures of boycotts, soda shoppe sit-ins, a clip from Hidden Figures, water fountains, movie theaters and hotels. We also discussed leaders of change during the Civil Rights movement, who were Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks.

Conversation Starters:

  • Why were these laws in place, preventing people from being able to vote? Who are the different people unable to vote?
  • Some of these voting issues are still happening today. What is at least one thing that YOU can do to try to change voting for the better?
  • Practice your multiplication tables during various times together, be it while getting ready for bed, commuting to/from school, at the dinner table, during bath/shower time, etc! We are now working on our: 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s and 10s

Shabbat shalom, and have a WONDERFUL winter break!