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Fairy Tales and Yom Ha’atzmaut

Yom Ha’atzmaut

We celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut with the rest of the school. In the morning we attended the school tekes led by the fifth and sixth graders, followed by an Israeli snack of Bisli. Then we had four stations  with the third grade students and teachers:

  • Israeli games with Shira and Hillary
  • Yemenite folktales with Aliza
  • Dancing with Ilana and Sammi
  • Hamsa making with Jessica and Julie

Ask your child which of the four games we learned about was actually invented in Israel!

Repahel’s parents came in to tell us about Mishel’s family’s story of immigration from Iran to Israel. We saw photos from life in Iran and Israel, and learned two Israeli songs.

We learned a dance with the Shinshinim which the school will perform at the Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2nd. Students took home flyers today with all the info.

Please sign up by Tuesday to participate!

Writing and Reading

We have been combining reading  and writing by reading many original and fractured fairy tales to learn more about how fairy tales are written. We have studied original stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. We identified the elements in a fairy tale, like the setting, characters, problem, solution, and lesson. Then, we read remade fairy tales based off these originals and wrote about the changes these authors made. As we have discussed why authors might change a fairy tale, we too are thinking about how we would change a fairy tale. Over the next few weeks we will be delving into writing our own fractured fairy tales and using the techniques authors have used to make changes to their work.

Over the weekend head to the library and pick up some fairy tales. The more fairy tales the students read, the more ideas they can have for their own stories!

Guest Teacher!

We are so lucky to have parents who are experts in areas that can benefit our classroom community. This week Leo’s mom, Lindsay, came to class to teach a civics lesson. Second graders learned about the branches of government, the challenges in listening and responding to differing opinions, and the value in considering other points of views. We were given topics such as “pizza is a better lunch than nachos” and wrote down our reasons as to why we agree or disagree with this statement. Then two students shared their differing opinions and had the option to say “I respect your opinion, but I am going to keep mine” or “I respect your opinion and I’d like to change mine”. We enjoyed hearing the different reasons and practiced respectful listening. Following this, we discussed what you can do when you disagree with someone that will show them that how they feel is important as well. Second graders shared that they can compromise, try something new, or take turns. Thank you Lindsay for enriching our learning experience!


In April we started our new science unit on soil.  The students began by sharing their previous knowledge about soil and then closely investigating soil samples.  Before Pesach break, they each prepared a bag with soil and a variety of items that red worms like to eat. We learned many interesting facts about red worms and everyone received a few healthy worms to put in his/her bag.  Ask your child what was in the mini compost bag! After the break, we checked on the worms and were surprised to see how much they had already eaten.

We continued our soil study by focusing on three main types of soil: humus, clay, and sand.  Students examined dry samples and the effect of water on soil. They attempted to roll each type of soil into a ball and predict what would happen when the balls dried.  This simulated the effect of weather on different soil types. We read and discussed how different soils and environments support the growth of different types of plants.  Students then conducted a smear test on paper with each wet sample. We learned about the various layers of the earth and each student began to recreate the layers (ground, topsoil, subsoil, and bedrock) using different soils and gravel on cardboard.  

Art/Science connection: In art class, students planted flax and indigo seeds which we are tending in our classroom under a grow light.  So far, a few of the flax plants have already grown. It’s exciting to everyone to check their development daily.

Special thanks to Nava, Cyrus and their parents for taking such good care of the class worms over Pesach break.