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Shana tova from the 8th grade class!

Shanah tovah umetukah from the 8th grade class! We have had a wonderful two weeks together since you last heard from us.


English and Social Studies

Students have been beginning the school year building on their knowledge of literary elements, the building blocks for strong literary analysis. We have been making our way through stories of Gothic Literature and have been excavating them for plot, setting, and symbolism.

In Social Studies, students have been exploring the worlds of pre-Columbian indigenous cultures while simultaneously working on note-taking and self-organizing skills. Students have a test coming up on Friday, October 4, in which they will demonstrate their ability to organize new information, an important skill in preparing for the rigors and independence of high school learning.


High School Placement

This past week some 8th grade students heard from the admissions director at Poly Prep and asked great questions about curriculum, advisory, and student teacher relationships. Check the Google Calendar for information about tours and info sessions taking place next week, including Brooklyn Friends, Brooklyn Tech, Brooklyn Latin, and Frank McCourt. The weekend of October 5th/6th is also the NYC HS Fairs. Many tables have current students available to speak about their experiences and opportunities to collect schedules, literature, and brochures. (Tip: Dress comfortably – the hallways You can find the HS visits/tours calendar here.

You can access the High School Resources page on the website here: https://www.hannahsenesh.org/high-school-resources/

As always, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns, or to set up a meeting to discuss high school placement: mdorfman@hannahsenesh.org



The 8th grade has been hard at work investigating all of the laws of exponents. I think most students would agree that fractional exponents, particularly negative fractional exponents, have been the most challenging especially when a combination of the exponent laws have to be applied. Regardless, our 8th graders are definitely up for challenges! They’ve also learned about how these laws extend to scientific notation and how that is used to express very large or small numbers. 

Scientific notation is also used quite often in the real world. Astronomers, geologists, physicists, doctors, microbiologists, engineers, and chemists are just few of the many careers that utilize scientific notation on a regular basis. Scientific notation is also an integral part of Nanotechnology, which has led to great advancements in areas such as medicine, agriculture, solar power, and water purification. There are even developments underway using Nanotechnology in an effort to combat climate change. Math truly is everywhere around us!


Dear parents,

For the last two weeks, we have started practicing daily conversations at the beginning of each class. As you can see in the video below, the students are very engaged and enthusiastic.

In addition, we have started looking at the colors and shapes in our world, and discuss our clothing choices and the importance of clothes in general.

I wish everyone Shanah Tovah uMetukah and a wonderful and safe year!



Judaic Studies

It’s been a powerful two weeks of learning about provocative tefilot connected to Rosh haShana, concluding with mini projects from all the 8th graders. Projects included music videos for the prayers “Unetaneh Tokef” and “Avinu Malkeinu” as well as episodes from the Dr. Philistine Teshuva show and Talmud-style explorations of texts. We also began a new unit — finishing the Torah. Students did a close reading of the story of Moshe hitting the rock (Bmidbar 20); wrote text-based responses to the story; and then spent time peer-editing to produce their best work. (See below for photos!)

Shana tova to all of you!