(718) 858-8663

Second Grade Autumn Spotlight

Happy Autumn Senesh Community!  Please read on to learn about what our second grade scholars have been creating this month in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Hebrew & Judaic Studies, Math, Science and Social Emotional Learning.

General Studies – Jacob


The second-grade writers have been hard at work crafting their personal narratives, stretching out each moment, and writing with rich descriptive detail. This week we completed our first draft or “sloppy copy,” and each pod feels proud of their accomplishments. Next week, we will begin revising our writing and working to make our good writing great!

In coordination with the upcoming election, we began an investigation into what it means to be a citizen and the process of voting to elect community leaders (politicians) to create or change laws. While using second-grade friendly language, we discussed that a citizen is a community member and that citizens have very important rights and responsibilities. The second-graders then worked to consider the many communities they are a citizen of and, if they were able to vote today, what laws would they vote to create or change. As expected, it was a great mix of things such as pleas to save the environment and laws for the rights of unlimited candy consumption. We will continue this unit throughout the election. Next week will discuss the role of the president as the elected leader of our country. Throughout the unit, we will maintain the democratic and school values Elu v’elu or openness, which is described as, “we seek to understand diverse perspectives and embrace those with different ideas and backgrounds.”


Hebrew and Judaic Studies – Ariana


We have been learning so much in the past few weeks.  With the Jewish Holidays behind us we shifted our attention to our future Torah studies.  In celebration of Simchat Torah we learned about the differences between an Ashkenazi and a Sepharadi Torah.  We noticed that the Torah doesn’t have any vowels in it and that in order to get to a specific Torah portion you need to roll the Torah parchment until you get to the portion that you desire.  We discussed that the Torah can also be described as Chumash which comes from the word chamesh (5). This alludes to the five books within the Torah. This year we will focus on the learning of Sefer Bereshit, or Genesis. Students explored their own Torah connections. Some of us have names that appear in the Torah, and some of us have siblings or parents with a name that matches an important Torah personality.  Students then drew their favorite Torah story with great detail. Finally, we discussed the components of the Tanakh (Torah, Nevi’im and Ketuvim).

In the next two weeks we will be learning about how a Sefer Torah is written. We read the story “Sofer: The story of a Torah Scroll”. Students were impressed with the fact that a sofer can skillfully write such a long sefer with a use of a quill feather and special ink.  On Friday Phyllis made a special visit to our class with Senesh’s real Sefer Torah. It was exciting to see the Torah up close. One of the things we observed was that there are no vowels in the Torah. We are already excited about the opportunity to read from the Torah when we get to 4th grade!

In second grade week we end each week with a story from the Parasha or or the weekly Torah portion.  This week we enjoyed hearing one of our favorites – the story of Noah’s Ark!In Hebrew we have finished the Aleph bet in print. While brainstorming words we know with the letters in question.  We are practicing writing syllables and short words we hear on our dry erase boards.

These past weeks we used the chrome books to record ourselves reading some of the words we chose to write with specific Hebrew letters we were given.  We are working on remembering the Aleph Bet order as well as reviewing our vowels too.

This week we started learning our script letters. We wrote in our new choveret Ktav letters Aleph, Taf, Hay and bet.  We are excited to share that we celebrated three birthdays.

Happy birthday to Ethan, Lavi and Toby.  We look forward to learning together in the weeks ahead!

Math, Science & Social Emotional Learning – John


The last two weeks have been an exciting and busy time for our second grade learners in math, science and social emotional learning.  We have been reinforcing our strong scaffold with place value up to 1,000 with the addition of three-digit numbers with and without regrouping.  Each of our three pods have utilized different strategies using concrete manipulatives, pictorial number representations, and abstract word problems to flex their creative mental muscle as future problem solvers of the world.  Our second grade scholars are always enthusiastic about integrating technology in the classroom with their Chrome books as we challenge ourselves with online mini-games like the subtraction Maze, and Space Guardians to support and enrich our learning.

Our future scientists started their year with an exploration of their five senses as they observed and made predictions about the changing and constant size and shape of solids and liquids.  As the leaves begin to color, we will continue with our unit on the water cycle exploring the precious necessity of every stage as our source for life.  This unit will include multiple opportunities for project-based learning and 3D crafts, which illustrate the essentiality of precipitation, accumulation, evaporation and condensation as a continuum for our existence.

In our social emotional learning sessions, we are examining the importance of inclusion, acceptance, tolerance and cultural diversity through the important essential question, “Does being different make us weird?”  In our read aloud of “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Gils Andreae, students have the opportunity to reflect on comprehension questions to generate real world text-to-self connections for challenges they may have had to overcome in their lives and the importance of friendship.  Through our close readings of the text and song, students use details and imagery to understand the ranging emotions of the characters at the annual African Jungle Dance.

Stay tuned for our next blog in early November as our days become shorter, our hearts and minds keep growing.



Music with Heidi

Second Graders have been practicing reading, saying and playing quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes, sixteenth notes and quarter rests. They creatively organize them into more and more complex four-beat measures to build new rhythmic patterns. This musical play enhances their mathematical understanding of how parts make up a whole. They are also playing with a mechanical metronome to learn about tempo. And they are getting better and better at creating polyphonic rhythms using their Music Rules Rap.