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January 10, 2019 — A Shehecheyanu to 2020

Hebrew with Rimma and Tomer

Dear families,

Happy 2020!!

It was great to see the kids after the winter break.

This week we continued to explore the Unit “The trip of our classroom “. We studied related vocabulary to this topic,  discussed how students and, teachers prepare for the field trip , how to make plans, what to take and how to extend invitation, how to behave on the bus,  what is forbidden and what we can do on the bus.

We enjoyed singing along גברת עם סלים ״  “  (Lady with baskets full of food) and enriched our food related vocabulary.

You can hear this song with your kids here

Judaic Studies with Ariana

It’s been wonderful to see the students back in school.
The first week we made sure to play community building games and icebreakers to get better acquainted with our new groups.
We have also returned to our Chumash studies. We continue to explore Abraham’s journey through the land of Canaan.
This week we learned Parshat Vayechi, this Torah portion discusses the blessings that Jacob gave Yosef’s sons prior to his passing.
We discussed the importance of blessings in general and each child drafted the kind of blessing he or she would say if he was Yaakov or a blessing they wish to formulate to bless themselves.Really nice and deep thoughts were shared as a result of this activity. We reflected on the power of blessings in general and how they are an important part of Jewish liturgy.
This Friday, the children will have a workshop with Caitlin from “Repair the World”. We will discuss the topic of Food Justice and food waste.
This will be the opening activity for our “Social Action” project coming up in the Senesh week of service.
We will need a few parent volunteers to accompany us to deliver sandwiches for the hungry.Stay tuned for more information on this meaningful activity!

General Studies with Hilary

Dear Third Grade Families,

What a week (and a half) of change! First with the start of a new year.Then, more importantly, with the mixing of half groups. Third Graders rose to the occasion, and have smoothly transitioned into their new half groups. While we enjoyed our week from school, we definitely missed each and every one of the members in our third grade community!

As community builders, each half group participated in two separate activities to strengthen our bonds — one by showing how each individual comes together to create a whole, and the other is how communication can help us to achieve our goals. In our first activity as a new half group, each student received a puzzle piece. They were asked to design it any way (with the Orange Group using warm/fire colors, and the Purple Group using cool/ice colors), and include their name big and bold. After they finished, the half group needed to work as a whole to put the puzzle together. We found out that the hidden shape (of the puzzle) was a heart, because without one piece of the puzzle our community [or the heart] is not complete!

In Social Studies, we are continuing our study of Rosa Parks and the Bus Boycott. After listening to a read aloud of Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni, we examined another historical document, written by members of the NAACP, which outlines suggestions for how one should act on the buses in Montgomery after the supreme court ruled segregated buses to be unconstitutional (click here to see document). We delved into our mini-writing project. Third graders are writing diary entries from the perspective of someone riding the bus with Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 — the day Rosa refused to give up her seat. Some students put themselves in the shoes the bus driver (James Blake) or the police officer who arrested Mrs. Parks, while others decided to create a character who could be young or old, a colored person or a white person, male or female. In their diary entries, students zoomed in on the moment that Rosa Parks said “no,” using their five senses to imagine what it was like in the moment. It is challenging to put oneself in the position of someone else, and we are so proud of the third graders for working hard through this challenge.

Click here to watch a video about the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Click here for a video of Pete Seeger singing We Shall Overcome

In math, we have delved into our multiplication unit. At home, students should be practicing their flash cards every day — especially for the 6s and 7s times tables. We have discussed a few strategies for how we solve multiplication problems:

  • an array (a group of objects in rows and columns)
  • repeated addition (adding the same number multiple times in order to find the product of the multiplication equation)
  • drawing equal groups (the first factor of an equation is the number of groups, the second factor in an equation is the number within a group)
  • number line (the first factor of an equation is the number of jumps you will take, the second factor of an equation is how big of a jump you take)
  • skip counting (the first factor tells you how many skips to make, and the second factor is the number you count by)
  • using a fact you know (if the problem is too hard, think of a different equation that can help you with the current one)
    • 7×8 is REALLY hard, but 5×8 is easier. So I’ll multiply 5×8, as well as 2×8, and then add those products together

During this time, we have started working on one new game and one reinvented game. Both of these games are ones you can play at home with your student!

GAME 1: In circles and stars, we are working on pictorial representations of a multiplication fact, as well as writing out repeated addition. To play this game, you need two six-sided dice and a piece of paper. After rolling the dice, one of them will represent the number of stars you will draw (# of groups), and the second die represents the number of stars in each circle (amount per group). This activity goes to the next level of complexity when using a 10-sided die, which means there will be higher numbers multiplied.

GAME 2: To play “Multiplication Top It,” all you need is a deck of cards! Right now, we are only using 1-10 (an ace card equaling one). We play this game with three levels right now:

  • Level 1
    • Use cards 1-10, and split them evenly between two people — 20 cards per person
    • Each player flips over two cards
    • Multiply the two cards in front of you
    • The player with the higher hand wins the cards if that round
    • To win: end the game with all 40 cards!
  • Level 2
    • Use cards 1-10
    • Each person flips over 1 card
    • Multiply those two cards together
    • The person who says the correct product first wins the hand
    • To win: end the game with all 40 cards!
  • Level 3
    • Use cards 1-King
      • Jack = 11
      • Queen = 12
      • King = 13
    • Then follow the rules of Level 1 OR 2

The first level of this game is all about practice and is less time sensitive. The second level is all about automaticity of our math facts. It is sort of like practicing with flash cards — but FUN!

Topics to talk about with your student:

  • Provide an equation for your student — can they turn it into a story problem?
  • Why was Montgomery Bus Boycott successful?
  • In what way have you stood up for your rights, in 2019? How can you be an upstander in 2020?

Shabbat shalom,

Hilary