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Tu B’shvat and Finishing Perek Aleph!

Tu B’shvat

We celebrated Tu B’shvat on Monday with activities inside and outside the classroom. In the classroom we have been playing games, doing puzzles, and learning vocabulary all connected to the holiday. We had a guest reader, Jed in fifth grade, who visited our class to read us a Tu B’shvat book that his grandma wrote. The second graders loved participating in the discussion that he led!

Outside of the classroom we visited a Tu B’shvat fair in the gym with our buddies, and went to four stations of different Hebrew and Tu B’shvat related activities on the middle school floor. Ask your child which activities they enjoyed. 

Chumash: Finishing Perek Aleph

We finally finished the first chapter of the Torah which we started back in the fall! Students worked so hard to reach this amazing milestone!!! The first chapter describes the six days of the creation story, and each day gets longer, with more challenging vocabulary. Students were pushed to develop text skills and to work together to identify words, read, comprehend, and think about this challenging text. When we finished reading the Hebrew text, we had so many interesting questions to think about.

Why does the creation story happen in this order?

What can we learn about God and people from this story?

Was the world created for people, or are we responsible for the world?

Is God male, female, both, neither, something else?

If the Torah says all people are created in God’s image, what does this teach us about how we should treat all people?

Do you believe that God really created the world? Why or why not?

We had a chance to discuss these questions as a group, and also to respond to them in writing. Students were excited to express their opinions, and might enjoy continuing the conversation at home.

To celebrate, we danced with the class torah and watched a movie presenting the creation story with a popcorn treat. Video linked below if you want to watch again at home.

Social Studies

In our civics lesson this week the second graders learned about the three branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judicial. We discussed the roles of each branch, and how these are meant to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected and that the government is effective. In three rotating stations we practiced experiencing the role of each branch of government. Those on the executive branch talked about which potential rules they would veto or put into effect. Those on the judicial branch had to write about why potential laws would or would not be working properly. Those on the legislative branch had to create 3 laws 2/3 of them agreed upon, and know that they will be passed on to the executive and judicial branches for review.

The second graders had a blast debating potential laws that they think should be in effect and reviewing other laws to decide if they would be beneficial to the class community. Over the break, with your child make up some potential laws for your home and vote on whether they should be vetoed or passed!