As the the Elementary class adjusts and settles in to its new space, we have already gotten busy working. We finished out the last few days of Chanukkah with dipped wax candle making and a PowerPoint presentation put together by the children. These activities opened discussions about and helped emphasize the halachot of candle lighting on Chanukkah. Also, the children are gearing up to present their famous person research next week and are busy producing creative methods of sharing information with the class. Additionally, the second year students have been busy collaborating with other students to produce a play summarizing the information they learned in Parshat Bereishit.
1. How did Yosef reveal his identity to his brothers? Why was this so shocking? What lesson about responsibility does this story teach us?
2. How did Yakov behave when he was introduced to Pharaoh? What does this teach us about our attitude about events in life?
3. How did Yosef gain ownership of all the property in Egypt for Pharaoh? Why did he do this? What was going to happen in the future as a result?
With Hanukkah and the move imminent, the Elementary has been focused on continuing research, writing and math work from last week. We have also been applying problem solving and research skills to working out logistics of the move and making decisions about how to establish our new classroom in the new building. Students have been getting in the Hanukkah spirit through Hanukkah lessons, creative writing, singing and creative construction of menorahs. The children have also been working on helping our school community through getting personally involved in packing and other move preparations.
1. What did Yakov give to Yosef? Why? What happened as a result?
2. What did Yosef's brothers do to Yosef at first? Whose idea was this? What did they do with Yosef in the end? What did the brothers tell Yakov? How did Yakov feel after this news?
3. What happened to Yosef when he arrived in Egypt? Where did he end up? What job did he have? How was Yosef able to succeed despite having such bad things happen to him? What does this teach us about perseverance?
Brrr! Some of us are still shivering from our trip to Flag Ponds Nature Park! While we discovered that being out in cold weather for several hours requires proper attire, we also had a wonderful time exploring a variety of habitats near the Chesapeake Bay. In the swamp, tidewater forest and bay habitats in the park we explored, touched and observed dragonfly nymphs, shrimp, water bugs, swans, eagles, great blue herons, keely fish, blue crabs, skillet fish and pipe fish to name a few. Our naturalist, Gene, did a wonderful job guiding us in discovering and learning about the unique ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. We owe a special thank you to the chaperones who helped make this trip possible through their presence and driving services: Andy Boltax, Ami
Katz, Abe Sterne and Iris Yachin. Stay posted for the children's own words describing their experience in next week's bulletin.
Additionally this week, we continued and extended our president reports through experimenting with music and singing of all the presidents' names. We also extended our exploration of the natural world through studying and learning how to classify rocks, crystals and gems. We also studied leaf types, gathered samples of fallen leaves and labeled various leaf rubbings. Additionally, we began preparing for Chanukah through forming our own "natural" menorahs made from dirt and clay from the earth outside our building.
1st years: reading, vocabulary work,
2nd years: finished Parshat Bereishit!
3rd years: Bereishit 24:1-3, discussion of Avraham's beginning to search for a wife for Yitzchak
5th years: Berishit 47:1-6, Yosef's brothers meet Paroh
Mishnah: finished the first Perek of Berachot
Chanukah: beginning to discuss ideas related to the Chag
1. How did Yakov prepare for his meeting with Eisav? What does this teach us about how to prepare for meeting with people who may be difficult to deal with?
2. Who was the mysterious man that Yakov wrestled with in the night? What did yakov want from the man? What did the man tell Yakov and what was his explanation? How did Yakov describe this experience afterwards?
3. How did Eisav describe his wealth when Yakov asked? How did Yakov describe his family and wealth? What does this teach us about how to view what we have in life?
This week the Elementary was busy observing and exploring in preparation for our trip to the Chesapeake Bay next week. Specific species we investigated included discussions about crabs and zoo plankton. We looked at and defined various parts of trees and plants. Additionally, we explored jellyfish and bats that live in and around the Chesapeake Bay. We also discussed the inter-connectedness of humans and all of these living things in the food web and the affect of our actions on life in the bay. Other areas we explored this week were statistics, graphs and other practical math applications.
1st Years- Hebrew Reading, Gematria, Pre-Chumash work, vocabulary
2nd Years- Bereishit 5:1-32, Discussion of the ten generations from Adam to Noach
3rd Years- Bereishit 23:7-20, Discussion of the sale of Maarat Hamachpeilah
5th Years- Bereishit 46:8-30, Discussion of Yakov’s descent to Egypt and initial greeting of Yosef
Navi- 3rd Perek of Shoftim- The Shoftim cycle playing out with Otniel and Ehud
Mishnah- Torah Shebaal Peh concepts, First Perek of Brachot
Elementary Program Field Trip - November 12 Read all the information on the Director's Desk.
This week the Elementary continued their regular work. Additionally, they explored the optical art of Vasarely, which uses straight lines to create the visual effects of curves and three dimensions. The children experimented with the ancient Jewish numeric system of Gematria through guided work and math conversions. The children have also been enjoying a variety of books and literature through independent reading. They have been using these books as inspiration for follow up compositions of their own story writing. The children have also explored using cinquain and quatrain forms of poetry. The third year students have just finished Parashat Vayeira and have begun planning a siyum showcasing elements of the Parashah in creative ways. We have also begun singing Chanukah songs in anticipation of the upcoming holiday.
1st Years: Reading, prefix work, chumash vocabulary
2nd Years: Bereishit-19, Kayin's punishment, jealousy and the following generations
3rd Years: Bereishit-24, 23:1-9, G-d's promise to Avraham, Avraham's family and Sarah's death
4th Years: Bereishit 45:26-28, 46:1-7, Yakov's reaction to the news that Yosef wants him to descend to Egypt, G-d's reassurance that it is for the best to descend to Egypt
Navi: Shoftim-20, The importance of passing national history to the next generation and the cycle of Shoftim
Mishnah: underlying concepts of Torah Shebaal Peh, review of Brachot 1:1
1. How many descriptions of Tefillah does the Chumash give for Yitzchak and Rivkah before their children are born? Why is Tefillah so important in the lives of the Avot and Imahot? What can we learn about how to daven from the examples in this story?
2. How does the Torah describe Yakov and Eisav respectively? What was their order of birth? Which parent preferred which child and why? How did Yakov buy the firstborn status? What was important about being the firstborn?
3. How did Yakov get the brachot from Yitzchak? What was the difference between the berachah for Yakov and the berachah for Eisav? How did Eisav react when he heard the berachah had been given to Yakov and why?
This week in Elementary we have continued pursuing our various areas of studies. Some highlights included learning about Pointillism and looking at examples from Surat. We then started creating our Pointillist styled works. Other explorations were made into the history of ballistics and racial integration of professional sports. The children also worked on understanding and producing geometric designs in three dimensions. Additionally, children looked in to some of the science and geography of sports.
1st years: Hebrew reading, Chumash vocabulary and skill work
2nd years: Bereishit 4:1-4:9. The story of Kayin and Hevel
3rd years: Bereishit . Completing the story of Akeidat Yitzchak
5th years: Bereishit 45:19-28. Discussion of the bringing of Yakov to Egypt and the beginnings of exile.
Navi: Shoftim 1:1-36, 2:1-10. Jewish conquest of Canaan and loss of identity in the land.
Mishnah: Berachot 1:1-2
Parashat Chayei Sarah
1. What was Avraham's challenge in dealing with Ephron? How did the timing of this challenge make it even more difficult? How did Avraham conduct himself? What does this teach us about communicating with others?
2. How did Eliezer refer to himself when talking to Betuel? Why would Eliezer emphasize this about himself? What can we learn from this story about focusing on goals and missions?
3. What was Yakov doing when Rivkah first saw him? How did she react? What does this story teach about the experience of tefillah?
This week in the Elementary we were busy exploring the origins of written language. Students experimented with making their own pictographs, clay tablets and creating their own language. As an extension of this study, we have scheduled for a demonstartion from a sofer (Jewish scribe) in a few weeks.
The children have also been researching the Solar System and constellations. The children have begun planning creative ways of showing what they have learned.
Also, the children have begun exploring forms of fiber arts through finger weaving with a variety of materials.
This week we celebrated October birthdays with a cake baked by the birthday children for the class.
With the success of the bake sale last week, the funds have been raised to help offset the cost of our trip we have scheduled onto explore the Chesapeake Bay at Flag Ponds Nature Park. The fifth year students did a great job of developing leadership skills through organzing the school and coordinating the logistics of the sale. All the students had a chance to participate and actively engage in helping turn an idea into reality as a group.
1st Years: Pre-Chumash skills- Work with Hebrew nouns, verbs, prefixes and reading
2nd Years: Bereishit 3:6-21, Discussion of the mistake of eating from the Eitz Hadaat.
3rd Years: Bereishit-34, 22:1-8, Discussion of Avraham's treaty with Avimelech, Beginning of discussion of Akeidat Yitzchak.
5th years: Bereshit 45:10-18, Discussion of Yosef's plan for bringing his father and brothers to live in Egypt.
Navi: Introduction to Navi and Shoftim
Mishnah: Discussion of history and personalities of major Tannaim
Parshat Vayera discussion questions:
1. What character trait did Avraham display at the beginning of the Parshah? Why did this become the most important character trait for Avraham? What did this have to do with him discovering G-d on his own?
2. In response to the prayer of whom does the Chumash say G-d saved Yishmael? What reason does the Chumash say Yishmael deserved to be saved? What lesson can this teach us about changing our actions?
3. What did G-d ask Avraham to do to Yitzchak at the end of the Parshah? Why was this particularly confusing to Avraham? Did Avraham tell anybody about this mission? What happened in the end and what did this show about Avraham? What lesson can we learn from this story?
Dear Elementary Parents,
We are finally on our road, and the school year is progressing well.
This week, the Elementary has been busy with many big projects and important discussions.
Bake Sale - Field Trip
All of the children have rolled up their sleeves and helped out with the bake sale we are running to raise money for our trip to Flag Ponds Nature Park. The students have coordinated a naturalist led program to explore the Chesapeake Bay. They hope to have the chance to get a hands on experience of the bay and the life within it.
Writing Reports & Written Language
The students are also working on reports about famous people including Presidents, First Ladies, authors and athletes. They have been gathering research in preparation for making presentations in clas.
We have also begun discussing the story of written language. The students are learning about the development of the alphabet from cave drawings and pictographs.
The children have also had important class discussions regarding how to make collective group activities work more smoothly. The concepts of compromise and allowing others to voice their opinions respectfully were emphasized.Many of the children were very interested in discussing their attitudes towards animals in response to Parashat Noach. This, again, gave the children the opportunity to share their thoughts respectfully and listen respectfully as a group.
Chumash round up:
First years: Pre-Chumash skills of identifying nouns and prefixes in Hebrew and Hebrew reading practice.
Second years: Bereishit-3:6- Discussion of the creation of Adam and his life in Gan Eden.
Third years: Bereishit-26- Discussion of Avraham banishing Hagar and Yishmael and their survival on their own. Discussion of Avraham's treaty with Avimelech.
Fifth years: Bereishit 44:32-45:13. Discussion of Yosef revealing his identity to his brothers.
Parashat Lech Lecha discussion questions:
1. How does the Chumash introduce Avram? Does it tell us anything about his personality or how grew up? Why would the Chumash leave Avram's early years in mystery?
2. What was the "Brit Bein Habetarim?" What was Avram afraid of and how did Hashem reassure him?
3. What is the meaning of the name Avraham according to the Chumash? Why is Avraham given this name?
Thank you for putting the newsletter together!
Amanda and Daniel
Dear Parents of the Elementary Class,
We have sent an important letter today to your email account.
If you haven't received it, please contact the office, or the elementary class.
Please read it and share with us your thoughts.
Shana Tova and Gmar Chatima Tova,
Dear Parents of the Elementary Class,
We have an opportunity to go to Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania on September 23 as a part of the celebration for Sukkot.
We will meet at the school, ready to leave at 8:15 am. The cost of the the trip will be $42 per child (that includes entry and ice cream).
We will be returning by 4:30 p.m.
We will need to know if your child is participating by September 12. (If ordered by September 15 save $5).
The children will need to bring a school shirt, an extended lunch box or some $20 to purchase food.
We are looking for chaperons and drivers. If you are interested please contact us at elementary@alef....org
8/30/2013Dear Elementary Parents,
Greetings from the Elementary. We have had an exciting first week. Each day we have learned more about working together, communicating, and respecting each other. Our goal is to have a strong community of individuals with the skills to interact respectfully in group discussions and to listen attentively to ideas from others.
One area we feel strongly about is nutrition and its role in our lives. We hope to guide the children in making positive nutritional choices as well as understanding how it affects their body. Please encourage your children to make their own lunches in order to be a part of that process. They may need guidance and assistance in the beginning; however, the independence and choices are key in the Elementary child's development.
A few of the interesting things we have been exploring are:
-buoyancy and boats
-Rosh Hashana and the shofar
We look forward to a great year together.
Amanda Hess and Daniel Moses
Welcome Back to our Elementary Students - Recap
We are so excited to start a new school year and are happy to have you with us. Our Elementary class started Tuesday 8/27/2013 at 8 a.m.
We missed some of you at the Back to School Night for the Elementary Class. Here is a short recap:
· Communication with our school - We mainly communicate via emails. If you have not received an email from Ellie Lichtash , or info@alef....org, please contact me to add you to the e-mail list. info@alefbet is checked each day even if Ellie is out of the office, by other office staff: Janel and Miriam.
· Elementary class messages should be sent to Elementary@alefbetmon.....org
· Start time of El class is 8:15a.m.
Drop off is between 8 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Pick up is between 3:30 to 3:45 p.m.
· Please check the Parents Page on the left side bar on the website for Director Desk and Bulletin updates. You will find the list of items that you need for school – such as Indoor Shoes!
· Snack List – will be posted on google doc, from Janel by Friday.
· Vision: we shared our vision of expanding the school and hoping to find a new location for the year 2013. This might happen mid year, as we are actively looking for facilities.
· Introducing - Miriam Singer, our Level Educational Director, and new staff members Rachel Sharon Hebrew Support staff.
· Updated Calendar is on the web. Use Yellow copy from the office (replace the blue copy).
· Educational Night – Oct 16, and October 30 and December (TBA) Guest Speaker Peter Davidson.
· Extra Curricular Activities – for Elementary are on Thursday between 2:30 and 3-30 p.m.:
soccer, Ice Skating and baseball.
· Ms. Hess is the teacher for the Elementary Class ages 6 – 12 (1st through 6th grade), Support Staff – Daniel Moses and Rachel Sharon, Sandra Katz.
· Miriam Singer is the Level Educational Director .
· Office staff includes: Janel Herman, Business Manger (on all questions of payments, contracts and so forth), and Ellie Lichtash, Head of School. We are looking to hire PT Office Associate.
· Make sure to pick up a School Shirt for your child and for yourself (used on Field trips and school activities.
· Volunteer’s List for the year to the PTO – be sure to sign up for 2 items on the list
· Please notify your teacher: If a parent is travelling or if there is a change in the house such as- Grandma is in town, someone close is going through a family crisis or procedure – please let us know. Your child’s emotions are dear to us, and every little change in the house affects her/him.
Alef Bet Montessori Staff