(718) 858-8663

4th Grade News: October 18

Last Friday we celebrated twenty five years of the Hannah Senesh Community Day School. A highlight of the day was fourth graders having the opportunity to interview Jonathan and Rebecca Katz. I have to say I was really proud of the students, both in terms of the questions they developed and their engagement during the interviews.

Jonathan was one of the founding parents and his daughter Rebecca was in the first graduating class in 2002. Students had prepared questions ahead of time, and each child had the opportunity to ask one of them. We learned of Jonathan’s vision of a Jewish Day School where learning was fun and child centered, of the many generous donors who made starting a new school possible, and the strong commitment of many people in getting everything done that needed to be done. When asked if he every wanted to stop the planning, he said “No!”

We heard from Rebecca that there were seven children in her second grade class, eight in her graduating class, and that she had Nicole as a teacher for several years (teachers moved up with their classes in the early years)!

Our focus in Social Studies has been Columbus’s quest to find a route by sea to the riches of China, Japan and India. On both a globe and maps we have been able to see what he did not know- that the journey was far longer than he had expected and two continents lay between him and his destination. Next week we will move on to other explorers.

In math we are beginning some work with multiplication, focusing on factors. This work benefits from fluency with multiplication facts, so we will be playing games to practice those.

This week’s highlight will undoubtedly be the Sukkah Sleepover, but since this post is due on Thursday at 4:00, we will have to report on that next time!

       The month may be full of three day weeks and special activities, but the 4th grade scientists have been making the most of their time in science! The fourth grade has been focusing on teamwork through various team challenges. The students have made pipe cleaner towers, saved Fred (ask your students to explain this one if you haven’t heard about Fred yet!), participated in many building challenges with blocks, cups, and popsicle sticks, built spaghetti towers to support a marshmallow, and completed a Sukkah challenge to create the longest paper chain possible out of three pieces of paper. Most importantly, throughout all these challenges, students have participated in discussions aimed at helping them become better team members.
    Working with others is really hard! At the dinner table, it would be great to start sharing moments where you had to work with others during your day. It is important for the 4th graders to know that this is something that will always be challenging- even in their adult years. Feel free to email me if you would like more specifics on discussions we have had!
     We will be switching over to the scientific method soon, but teamwork will continue to be a theme throughout our year.

We learned a song “הצריך הזה” and then created the list of the things that we need to do in school and at home. We practiced and focused on the use of the word Need with a following infinitive. This was useful for increasing our accuracy and memorization and helped us to build confidence with producing verbal the language)

Here is the link for the song:


In addition, We started a new unit “Family and Friendship “ .We discussed what is a friend and came up with ideas that friends are people that we feel close to, people who have similar interests, people who care about us, and we can trust. We brainstormed how can we spend time with a good friend and read a short poem about different types of friends: friend of everyday, friend of shabbat, friend for any time or friend of the moment, friend who always gives and more. We will continue to discuss what friends do for each other and what makes a good friend?

יֵשׁ חֲבֵרִים שֶׁל שַׁבָּת

יֵשׁ חֲבֵרִים שֶׁל יוֹם-יוֹם



Hebrew with Tomer

The 4th grade heritage students are finishing up their passport project and practicing related vocabulary. We practice their fluency in a ‘real time’ situation. At the same time, we are going over the current holidays trying to expand their vocabulary while connecting different symbols of the holiday to nature and our surroundings. 

Judaic Studies

It’s been a lot of fun in fourth grade.
After learning about Rosh HaShana, we went together to perform Tashlich.
It was beautiful and meaningful to see all students engaged in this important mitzvah to seek a new beginning and work towards self improvement.
This past weeks we have been learning all about Sukkot. We learned the blessings we recite when dwelling in the Sukkah as well as the blessing we recite when we shake the Lulav. We spent time learning about the 4 ha minim, the four species, their significance as well as the fact that one can only perform the mitzvah when we have all 4 species together. This symbolizes that the Jewish people are at their best when there is unity. Likewise, we learned that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful and just like all different species are essential to perform this mitzvah so is each and everyone of us.
We also learned about the Ushpizin, the spiritual guests that visit our Sukkah every year. Fourth grade spent time learning about the Modern Ushpizin or different Jewish personalities that have made multiple contributions to Israeli society.
Each student was assigned a person to explore and learn from. Each child will share with their parents what they have learned about this person at our 4th grade Sukkot breakfast and enjoy some quality chavruta learning in honor of the occasion.



Music-Heidi Siegell

Our fourth graders have been perfecting their rhythm-reading abilities. Every class begins with a body percussion pattern, which students figure out how to write together later in class. They also create their own body percussion for measures of music they compose themselves. Students applied what they learned about reading rhythms to the traditional  Yiddish riddle song, Tumbalalaika, which they will be performing for our special guests on Kesher Day.