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Kindness Week

Community Building

This week we have been focusing on kindness- how we can spread kindness at home, in school, and the greater community. Second graders heard the story Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson, a story about a girl named Maya who moves to a new school and the main character Chloe chooses to be unkind to her. Maya attempts many times throughout the story to befriend Chloe, but Chloe continues to choose to be unkind. As we discussed how we thought the story would end most students predicted “They will make up and become friends”. However, the story closes with Maya moving away, Chloe realizing her unkind behavior, and never having the chance to be kind to Maya. We were all surprised that this book had an unconventional ending, and learned that this can truly happen- we can lose the opportunity to be kind and must think before we act.

In the end of the story the teacher has each student choose a rock, say a kind act they did, and drop it into a bowl of water to see the ripples. Second graders shared that the water ripple signifies how one kind act can lead to others. We each chose a stone and shared kind things we want to try and do this week. These acts must be something that we wouldn’t regularly try, but could make a difference in someone’s day. On Friday, the second graders received their stones back, and we talked about whether that kind act was completed, how it felt to complete it, and what effect they think it had. We look forward to continuing learning about kindness beyond this week!

Try this activity at home: find a rock outside, share a kind act you have done, and drop it in to see the ripples. This can give your child ideas for kind deeds they can do, and highlights celebrating kindness!


Kindness Buddy Time

We had a special Kindness buddy time with our 6th grade buddies.

Social Studies

In second grade the focus of social studies is on communities in Brooklyn. An important community represented in Brooklyn is the Chinese community, and with the Chinese New Year on January 25th, we delved into learning about this vibrant culture. In our celebration of the Chinese New Year on Monday, we learned how to make origami lanterns with hidden new year messages inside, and made our own red envelopes. We even received lucky coins for our red envelopes! We were thrilled to invite special guests, Hagai and Jinah Kamil, to share about the Korean New Year. They came dressed in traditional Korean formal attire, called hanbok, and taught the class about the Korean traditions celebrated for the new year. The second graders were brimming with questions about the Korean culture, language, and of course food. Afterwards as we ate oranges which symbolize good luck in the new year, we read a book called Sam and the Lucky Money which combines our learning of the Chinese New Year and kindness week.

Ask your child how this story had both information on the Chinese New Year and the lesson about kindness!


Yahadut: Tzitzit

We introced a new ritual object into our classroom, the tzitzit. We got to try them on, compared them to a talit, and counted the knots and strings. We saw that there are 8 strings and 5 knots. Thiese numbers, added together with the alpha- numerical value of the word tzitzit in Hebrew, add up to the number 613, the number of mitzvot in the Torah. We brainstormed and wrote down kind mitzvot that the tzitzit can remind us to do each day.

Kindness Activities

To introduce Kindness Week, we read the book “It’s a Mitzvah”, about all different kind deeds we can do in our community. Students were also asked to brainstorm their own ideas for how we can be kind in school. Many students wanted to make cards thanking people who work hard and help us in the building. In honor of rosh chodesh Tu b’shvat we started to create a kindness tree in our classroom, made up of positive ideas.

Hebrew: Yud is for Yom Huledet

We learned the script letter Yud, and focused on the topic of Yom huledet, birthdays. Students wrote paragraphs about when their birthdays are and how old they are. Some students challenged themselves to add additional sentences about a family member’s birthday. During speaking exercies we practiced asking eachother when are birthdays are and how old we are.


If you want to practice at home with your child you can ask:

Asking in feminine form:

Mata yom ha’huledet shelach? (when is your birthday?)

answer: yom ha’huledet sheli b….(insert name of month)

Bat kamah at? (how old are you?)

answer: ani bat sheva/shmonah (I am 7/8)


Asking in masculine form:

Matai yom ha’huledet shelcha? (When is your birthday?)

answer: yom ha’huledet sheli b….(insert name of month)

Ben kamah atah? (How old are you?)

answer: Ani ben sheva/shmonah (I am 7/8)