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May 20: Holidays, Events, and Plenty of Fun


In reading, we are working our way through Seedfolks. As we read, we are studying real-world connections to the characters. For example, as we read about Leona each student chose a noteworthy woman from history to research and write a biography about. As we read about Tio Juan who spoke a native Guatemalan language, we learned about endangered languages and people/projects that are attempting to document these languages for preservation.

We have reached the final stages of our argumentative essays in writing. This past week, the students incorporated a counterclaim and a quote. They also wrote their conclusion and then peer edited their classmates essays. Following peer editing, they review the suggestions, made revisions and submitted the essay to Sarah for final editing.

During social studies, we are moving forward in our study of Ancient China. We learned about the first recorded dynasty, the Shang, and the archeological evidence that showed why they are credited with the first form of written Chinese characters. The students created watercolors inspired by Chinese art and calligraphy. We are currently studying the second dynasty, the Zhou, from which the ideas of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism emerged.



The 5th graders have been busy working on their end of the year project, The Food Truck Challenge. It has been so exciting watching them work, create, and compromise with their partners. Seeing their math skills and creativity come together is yielding a result better than I could have imagined. I am so proud of them. We are so excited to share our work with you on June 10th.



In Judaics we have been performing our latest artistic expressions of the Torah text surrounding the drama of Joseph testing his brothers to see if he can trust them again. Students dug deep into the emotions of each character using clues in the text. It was so fun to see their plays, hear their songs and marvel at their art and tech based projects! I was so impressed by their usage of Hebrew quotes and confidence in sharing them in front of each others. We also acted as movie critics while watching the Netflix movie “Joseph King of Dreams”. Students picked out specific scenes that were different from the Torah text and thought about why the director chose to make these changes. It was very cool to see how the students felt empowered to be the Torah experts in their close analysis  of the movie. I hope this skill continues with him whenever they watch a movie that is based on a Torah story. We are now working on writing kushiyot (text based questions) as we finish up our Joseph unit. Next week we will begin our in depth study of the Kippah!

Shabbat Shalom,



The 5th graders  have been learning about famous Israeli singers. It was so fun to hear them singing Hebrew songs and reading their presentations in Hebrew about their famous singers. In addition, they practiced grammar concepts in Hebrew verbs. Week before Israeli Independence day like each year we learned life’s story of people who survived in Holocaust and who defensed Israel. We watched video  in Hebrew and discussed difficulties that people faced there and ways how they handled it.

Last week students had  ” Avant Assessment”  which is an online proficiency based assessment to better understand students’ different levels. 

Shabbat Shalom!