Archive 2012-2013 Weekly Bulletins

Dvash Primary 6/14/13
We are having a wonderful end to the year, and cherishing the last few days we have together with some dear friends who are not returning next year.Those who will be with us next year are already talking about what new activities they will learn when they come back. As always there is a feeling that something special has happened in the sharing of experiences with the children of Dvash class - their unique personalities and characters  and the preschool charm that they will sadly outgrow! Have an exciting summer before the next year begins!

Have a nice weekend, 
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 6/14/13
The year is winding down. The children are enjoying practicing the different skills they have learned. Everyone is getting along nicely and knows their way and their work in the class. It is a nice calm home away from home. Please send in bags for Monday to send home all the children's belongings. We will be sending a lot of items home over the next few days so we need something to put them in.

It has been a great pleasure and honor to teach your wonderful children this year. I look forward to seeing all my little friends who are returning next year and wish all the best to those who are moving on.

Have a great Shabbat & wonderful summer, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 6/14/13                                                                                                           
This week's Parsha is Parashat Chukat. The children have been following the Parshiot where the Jewish people have been traveling in the desert. This Parsha talks about how Miriam died and Miriam's well dried up. The people became very upset and rushed to Moshe Rabbeinu demanding that he get water for them. Moshe davened/prayed and Hashem told him to tell the rock to give water. Moshe was not sure which rock to tell and the people were getting angrier so Moshe hit the rock instead of talking to it and water came out.  Hashem punished Moshe for hitting the rock and not telling the rock, and was not allowed into Eretz Israel. We talked about how Hashem wanted Moshe to do exactly what He said because Moshe was on such a high level.

Primary Tzedakah Donation  - click here to see photos
We had a very special visit this week. The children have been busy all year collecting Tzedakah/Charity. This week we donated our Tzedakah to Camp Simcha. As was discussed previously in the bulletin, we told the children all about Camp Simcha earlier this year. Camp Simcha is a Jewish camp for sick children and children with disabilities. They cannot go to regular camp so they go to this camp for free. It is a very special place. The children collected money all year and on Wednesday this week, Ahuva Katz, the representative of Camp Simcha/Chai Lifeline in our area, came to the school. The children collected enough money to buy a snow cone machine to benefit the children who go to the camp from this area and also had money left over to give to the camp. Ahuva showed the children a video of Camp Simcha and our graduating Kindergartners presented her with the gift from the school. The children were very happy and excited about giving their Tzedakah to this wonderful organization.

Have a great Shabbat,                                                                                                                                                Morah Sorah Rivkah                          


Gefen/Toddlers 6/14/13
The time has come to say good bye to another school year. It amazes me every year how quickly time passes by. To me, as the teacher of the toddler class, it is a time of reflection. Thinking back on the first day of school, waiting in anticipation and wonder to get to know the new Toddlers. The names I have in front of me turn to life as I see them one by one walking through the doors of the toddler room. "They are babies," that's the first thought that comes to my mind every year. Then I say a silent prayer asking for patience and courage to be a good teacher to all the little ones.

During the course of the year the Toddlers, from the first unsteady steps grow into confident walkers. I think I should say 'runners.' They come running into the room to greet me and that truly warms my heart to see the confidence and faith they have in me. Of course there are the good days and the not so good days but every day is a new and important day to be with the little ones.

My thanks go out to all the parents for sharing your precious little ones with me. I am indeed grateful for giving me these wonderful memories that I will always have of your child, and hope that I have been able to give your child the confidence that he or she needs to go in search of knowledge and to dream the impossible dreams.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia


Dvash Primary 6/7/13

Rimon Primary 6/7/13
The children are doing a lot of Math and Reading work. Their minds are opening with all their new knowledge. The younger kids are feeling great about all their jobs and confident in the classroom environment.

Have a great Shabbat, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 6/7/13                                                                                                           We are learning about the holy work the Kohanim have. We are also learning about the not good Middah (character trait) of jealousy. We learned that Korach was jealous of Moshe. Korach questioned Moshe's leadership and even the Torah. We learned that Hashem gives the right job and place to every individual person.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah                          

Gefen/Toddlers 6/7/13
The Toddlers are enjoying the last weeks of school by doing lots of practical life work and outside play time. They baked cookies, sliced cucumbers, cleaned clementines, juiced oranges and sang songs they learned during the year.
On Friday we celebrated Omri's third birthday along with the Shabbat party.
The Toddlers had an enjoyable week this week.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia


Click here to see pictures of the After Care Ice Cream Party - what fun we had!

Dvash Primary 5/31/13
The ice cream party was a lot of fun, it was a challenge to keep the excitement bottled up the whole day! The warm weather has brought more cheerfulness to the class, and some talk about the end of the year, and summer plans. We plan to enjoy every remaining day together with our special friends at school.

Have a nice weekend, 
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 5/31/13
The children had so much fun at the after-care ice cream party. We also started to work on our special end-of-year project. It has been a very busy and fun week.

Have a great Shabbat, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 5/31/13                                                                                                           We are learning about how the Jewish people sent spies into Israel, and how they came back with a negative report about the land. We learned that it was very sad that the Jewish people did not trust Hashem after everything he did for them. We learned the importance of speaking positively about people and things as well as how important it is to always trust in Hashem.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah                          

Gefen/Toddlers 5/24/13
Last week on Friday the toddlers went on a field trip to Brookside Gardens to see the butterflies. They were all excited to see all those colorful butterflies flying everywhere so close to them that they could touch them. They also enjoyed playing outside and eating lunch under the big shady trees.
Thank you to all the parents for meeting with me to talk about their child.It was indeed a pleasure on my part and I hope it was helpful to the parents too.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Dvash Primary 5/10/13
We baked a cake this week and the children enjoyed putting their muscle into making a smooth batter. Some children had their first lesson on addition, others are making words with the movable alphabet and making words faster than before. The older children have been writing a composition, based on a  book we have read. All the  children participate in every morning Tefila with beautiful manners!

Have a nice weekend, 
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 5/10/13
The children were busy all week with new lessons. Some are up to the movable alphabet and some are working on multiplication and chains. Everyone is busy, happy, and having fun!

Have a great Shabbat, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 5/10/13                                                                                                                                              We are learning about Shavuot. We learned how Hashem gave us the Torah and how beautiful Har Sinai looked with all the flowers. We are counting the Omer faithfully everyday - were almost there!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah                                                                       

Dvash Primary 5/3/13
We learned about Leonardo Da Vinci this week. The younger children enjoy their polishing and washing activities. We had fun making our Judaic craft. Some children are learning more about telling time.

Have a nice weekend, 
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 5/3/13
The beginning of the week was dreary and drizzly and the end of the week is spectacular. Such is Springtime in Washington! The children are blossoming like the flowers. It is so wonderful to see them growing so beautifully and doing all their work and seeing them with their friends. They are all doing so well and the end of the year is fast approaching believe it or not.

Have a great Shabbat, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 5/3/13                                                                                                                                              We are learning about Yom Yerushalayim and the importance of Jerusalem and the holiness of the city and of Israel. We made a very sweet Kotel and the children really enjoyed making it. We hope you enjoy it too.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah                                                                       

Gefen/Toddlers 5/3/13
The Toddlers say a big "Hi" to Omri and Benyamin who joined the class this week. We hope they have a wonderful time with all their new friends for the rest of the school year. 
The week was busy as usual with the toddlers doing their practical life exercises, painting and learning to use the scissors. The weather was really beautiful the last half of the week and we have enjoyed playing outside.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Click here to see Yom Ha'atzmaut and *Spring Party* Photos

Dvash Primary 4/26/13
Many children have had a lesson on the trinomial cube and are trying to solve the puzzle on their own now. The beginner readers are working hard and enthusiastically to read smoothly. Discussing vocabulary cards with the 3 year olds is a special joy. We talked about participating in Tefilah without disturbing others and the children are singing beautifully.

Have a nice weekend, 
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 4/26/13
The children have been working hard all week. They are reading and washing tables and painting and doing the movable alphabet. It is really wonderful to watch them blossoming. Spring is here and the weather varies a lot. Please try to send in a jacket when it is cool. I know the kids think they will be fine but they do get cold when they are outside. Enjoy all the beautiful weather!

Have a great Shabbat, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 4/26/13                                                                                                                                              The children have been learning about Lag B'Omer and we continue to count the Omer every day. We continued to talk about Rabbi Akiva and his students and the lesson of 'Viahavta Lirayacha Kamocha'/'Loving your fellow Jew' that we learned from them. We also learned about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who hid in a cave and learned Torah. The children are looking forward to all the Lag B'Omer celebrations. Many of them have mentioned s'mores-yum! We learned about being good people and helping the elderly and helping our friends in the classroom.

Have a great Shabbat and a terrific Lag B'Omer, 
Morah Sorah Rivkah                                                                       

Gefen/Toddlers 4/26/13
The Toddlers were busy this week doing lots of practical life exercises. They were learning to slice cucumbers and apples and picking off the grapes from their stems and sharing them with their friends.The best part of the lesson was learning to wait patiently for their turn. But of course while waiting they get to eat slices of cucumber and apples. While some Toddlers enjoyed peeling the tangerines, some were busy helping to wash the utensils.The mornings were really really busy this week. We have also been enjoying outside play this week. The weather has been wonderful and we enjoyed every moment of it. 

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  4/26/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Click here to see Yom Ha'atzmaut and *Spring Party* Photos

Dvash Primary 4/19/13
Practicing for and performing for the graduation ceremony was thrilling for everybody. We all sat together to make our collage flags to take home and enjoyed that experience too. More children are beginning to read simple words while others continue to learn the sequence of numbers 1-100. The oldest children are adding fractions.

Have a nice weekend,                                                                                                                               Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 4/19/13
The children were so happy after the wonderful graduation ceremony. They were so proud of themselves and we most assuredly were proud of them!  We got back into our routine quickly after the ceremony and the Kindergartners learned about worms and wrote sentences about them. Some of our fours also wrote a little bit about worms too. The children have been finding a lot of worms on the playground so they were very interested. We enjoyed some leftover cake from the party and spend lots of nice time outdoors.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer


Rimon and Dvash Judaics 4/19/13
We are beginning to talk about Lag B'Omer, the 30th day of the Omer. The children are counting the Omer, the 49 day counting up to Shavuot, when we got the Torah. We learned about Rabbi Akiva and the sad deaths of his 24,000 students (who were on a very high spiritual level and were punished for not being sensitive enough to their friends). We learned that we all must be nice to each other and work on being good friends.

Have a wonderful Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Gefen/Toddlers 4/19/13
 We celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut in our class this week. We sang Degel Tov and Am Yisrael Chai. We also baked a cake and chopped cucumbers and tomatoes for a salad and had a party in the class room.

The weather has been beautiful this week and we have been enjoying playing outside. We have also been learning new Hebrew songs and reading lots of stories.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  4/19/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 4/12/13
We had a wonderful busy week. Many children are getting new Math lessons, and practicing what they have just learnt. We are looking forward to singing to the parents at the graduation Yom Ha'atzmaut ceremony.

Have a nice weekend,                                                                                                                             Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 4/12/13
The weather this week was beautiful and the children have really enjoyed being outside. Our spontaneous Spring day was a real hit and a big treat for all the kids. The moon bounce was endless fun and we had amazing face painters. I am sure you all saw the products of this when they came home! The ice cream was yummy and the kids ate it all very quickly.

Please remember to put sunscreen on your child if s/he is particularly sensitive to the sun. We are outside about 20min in the morning and up to 40min in the afternoon.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer


Rimon and Dvash Judaics 4/12/13
We are learning the Parsha this week which talks about Brit Milah and the sin of Loshon Hara (speaking badly about someone). We also spoke about Tzaraas which is a skin condition which appeared on a Jewish person or their house or posessions when the they spoke Loshon Hora in the times of the Beit Hamikdash.  We learned that it is not nice to speak against our friends and it is also not nice to listen to someone who is speaking against our friends. This is a very nice lesson for this age (or any age) as it helps the children start to learn to speak positively about people.

Have a wonderful Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Gefen/Toddlers 4/12/13
The weather has been really beautiful this week and the toddlers are using it to the fullest. 
For us, the teachers, the playground is a place for  learning the finer details about each and every child. We observe the children and see how they walk, talk, invite, decline, engage and make transitions. We try to find that one small but important bit of information that only play time provides us with. It helps us by giving us the insights into a child's development and aids us in helping the child with the support and guidance they need.
Spend some out door time with your toddlers and enjoy the wonderful weather and hopefully all of you are going to have beautiful memories for the future.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  4/12/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 4/5/13
The children had a wonderful first day back at school after the break. We heard about the adventures that some of the children had in their travels. We talked about swamps and deserts. 
In the next few weeks we hope to do some indoor gardening and learn about parts of a flower.

Have a nice weekend,                                                                                                                             Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 4/5/13
Hope you all had a great break. We spent a lot of time counting our Tzedakah and we have raised $58. This includes money from last year. We are going to give it to Chai Lifeline. I will be in touch with them to see what they need most and hopefully someone from there will tell us and will come and pick it up and meet the children. Keep on sending in Tzedakah. It is a big Mitzvah and the children really enjoy it.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer


Gefen/Toddlers 4/5/13
Welcome back to the last quarter of the school year. It is spring and we are busy in the class cleaning and organizing our materials. The Toddlers enjoy washing tables and sweeping the floor and picking up the materials and putting them back on the shelves.
This is a wonderful time for the parents to get the toddlers involved in the activities. By getting them involved you are indirectly helping them learn about order and organization. Start with a simple activity like cleaning and organizing their toy box and enjoy the time spent together.

Shabbat Shalom

Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  4/5/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 3/22/13
This week we did a lot of cooking. We baked a cake which we enjoyed for snack. We made Charoset and Matzah ball soup. The children are excited about the Pesach break. Hopefully when school resumes the weather will be warm enough for more outdoor activities and lessons.

Have a nice Pesach break,                                                                                                                             Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 3/22/13
The children have been so busy with all their work. They really know what they are doing and interact with each other and the materials quite independently. They are all excited about the upcoming break. We have been hearing everyone's Pesach plans! We have been busy making Haggadahs and learning our songs for Pesach.

Have a great Shabbat and Pesach,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 3/22/13
This week has been all about Pesach. We want the children to have a real understanding of Pesach and the Seder. We  have gone through the Seder a number of times and Morah Levona has been teaching them many songs. I think you will be surprised by how much they know. The children should be able to sing most of the four questions if they don't get too shy. They also know Dayeinu and many other songs. Have them tell you about Pharoah in pajamas in the middle of the night and all the Makkot. 

Have a wonderful Pesach and a restful spring break,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Check out pictures from out trip to the Matzah Factory this week. If you are able to send in any that you personally took to info@alefbetmontessori.org, that would be great. Thanks.

Gefen/Toddlers 3/22/13
The Toddlers had a very special Seder meal this Thursday to celebrate Pesach. First they listened to the story of Pesach and sang the songs that they have been singing the past couple of weeks. Then they all sat at the table and enjoyed a lovely meal of boiled eggs, Matzah, Charoses, celery, and of course lots of grape juice.
Happy Birthday to Moshe who turned two this week. A happy and enjoyable Pesach to all and hope to see you all after the break.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  3/22/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 3/15/13
We have been discussing more about mammals and their characteristics. We had interesting conversations about what different mammals can do.We are also making a cute craft for Pesach. 

Have a nice weekend,                                                                                                                             Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 3/15/13
The children have been doing a lot work in the school. They are washing tables and doing the subtraction strip boards. It is wonderful to have a mixed age group in the classroom. Everyone is busy with different things and there is so much to look at and learn. The older children love helping the younger ones. Remember the playground is muddy and it is Spring so please send the children in with rubber rain boots. It makes everything easier for everyone.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Rimon and Dvash Judaics 3/15/13
We are busy learning all about Pesach. The children are learning the order of the Seder and the many songs which go with it. They are also sampling parts on the Seder. On Wednesday the braver ones tasted horseradish sauce to try out Maror. Their reactions were very funny. Some wanted more and some wanted to spit it out. They also dipped celery in salt water. They are really learning so much. Hopefully they will share it with you!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Gefen/Toddlers 3/15/13
The Toddlers continued to talk about Passover this week. Morah Marcia related the story of Passover and the Toddlers enjoyed acting out the story. Especially the part when Moses says " Let my people go" and the Pharaoh says "No, no, no I will not let them go". We also talked about the different types of food found on the Seder plate. We have a wooden Seder plate puzzle as a work on our shelf and the children love to do it. We continued to sing the Pesach songs and for our art project, we hope to start on our Matzah covers next week.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  3/15/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 3/1/13
We are looking forward to the warmer brighter spring days outside! We talked about the lost city of Machu Picchu, in South America. Some of the older children have been introduced to division, while others are doing well with their handwriting practice. Everybody loves their individual sewing projects and are coming up with more and more original ideas for their next project.

Have a nice weekend,                                                                                                                              Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Click on link to our Photo page to see pictures of the Dvash class doing yoga this week.

Rimon Primary 3/1/13
The children loved sharing about their Purim activities this week. They have been very busy. We have some who are working on world maps, others are doing addition strip boards and others are doing distance games with the brown stair and the red rods. Everyone is happy and hopefully feeling better.

Have a restful Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Primary Judaics 3/1/13
Purim is over and we have started Pesach. We are reviewing the timeline of the Jewish peoples' decent into Mitzrayim/Egypt and subsequent enslavement. We will go through the Makkot/plagues again and then start on the Seder and the Haggadah.  Here comes Pesach!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Gefen/Toddlers 3/1/13
Now that Purim is over the toddlers are busy getting ready to celebrate Passover.They are also listening to the Passover songs and hopefully they should be able to sing at least a line or two.

We have a very popular song in the toddler room, and that's "little bunny foo foo" Everyone loves that song.No matter what they may be doing at that time when they hear the song they drop everything and come running to the carpet not so much as to sing the song but to do the actions. The part "bumping them on their head" is the favorite of all.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary Zayit Judaics 3/1/13
Purim Party
We had a lot of fun at the Purim party on Friday. The 4th years did face-painting for the primary kids, and both had a great time. We did lots of art, or just playing games, and enjoying each others' costumes. Then we had a parade, and party!
Parsha 
This week's Parsha is Ki Tisa. In it, the Torah speaks about counting the Jews by collecting a half-shekel from each one, and then counting the shkalim, rather than counting the Jews themselves. It then talks about the last part of the Mishkan to be described, the Kiyor, or wash basin.  It also talks about the Jews creating the Egel Hazahav, the Golden Calf, and then, of Moshe breaking the Luchot when he saw the Calf. We learned about how the Jews did Teshuvah, repented, and how Hashem forgave them.
Pesach
And now we are on to Pesach! It is coming and it's less than a month away!

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Miriam

Rimon Primary 2/21/13
There have been a lot of sick children, and sick teachers and sick parents!! May everyone have a Refuah Shelaimah! (a complete recovery!) We have been very busy with Purim. The week was exciting with the children really looking forward to each new detail of the Purim story. We made projects and Graggers and baked Hamantaschen. We also were busy with our Montessori work as well. We had many lessons on handwashing as this seemed a good skill to review. Many of the children are working on their handwriting. The younger children have started with triangles and shapes which they really enjoy.

Have a wonderful Purim and restful Shabbat!
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Dvash Primary 2/14/13
Depending on their stage in writing, the children have been practicing the letters they know or the patterns they like on the large chalkboard or on paper with a pencil. Those that have learnt enough letters to make simple words are using either the movable alphabet or paper to write lists of words. After much practice of writing words, the children are able to read phonetic words. We have also started making our surprise Purim project.

Have a nice weekend,
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 2/14/13
Some of the children are making world maps. Others are doing the stamp game and others are busy polishing and washing. Everyone is busy, busy.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Primary Judaics 2/14/13
We are learning the Purim story about mean King Achashveirosh and Queen Esther and the wise & holy Mordechai.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Gefen/Toddlers 2/14/13
The Toddlers have been very busy doing lots of practical life exercises this week.Juicing oranges, cutting cucumbers, polishing shoes, washing tables and washing dishes.
At circle time they are singing the Purim songs and listening to the Purim story. Maybe with a little prompting they might tell you the names from the story.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary/Zayit  2/14/13
See New Elementary Bulletin Section

Dvash Primary 2/7/13
The older children learnt about  teeth, and had fun making  a made a replica of their mouth. They felt their teeth with their tongue and then made each tooth with clay. The children have been working with shapes, colors and sounds, and the youngest children are enjoying making flower arrangements for the class.
Have a nice weekend,
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 2/7/13
The week went by very quickly. The children are learning more and more everyday. We have some new readers which is very exciting and our younger set are very busy with lots of practical life. We are doing a lot of sewing and hopefully some of our projects will be coming home soon.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer
 
Primary Judaics 2/7/13
Since the Shabbaton is coming this week we talked about Shabbat and how important it is for us. We went through some of the special things we do on Shabbat and we did a little project. We are moving right into Purim which is around the corner. Please please send in the liter bottles so your child can do their project.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Elementary/Zayit  2/7/13
Parent-School Communication Folders
This Friday ends my stay at Alef Bet Montessori School in the elementary class.  It has been quite a learning experience for the students and for me.  I have supplied each student with a parent-school communication folder.  The students take home papers they have completed and the folder is to be returned the following day.  Some students said that their parents have no time to look at their work.  I suggest that parents remove the papers from the folder and place them in a container to be looked at later.  The folders need to be returned to school, if the system is to work.  I was very pleased that the students introduced me to their parents after ice skating.  Our work on courtesy is paying off!
Weekly Spelling Test
I have also started a weekly spelling test.  The students get their words on Monday and they are tested on Friday.  Many of the students do not want to study the words at home, so I have given them the option of studying and working with the words at school.  The spelling tests have been to circle the correctly spelled word.  This is incorporating two skills into the spelling test.  They need to remember how to spell the word, and to recognize if the word is spelled correctly.
Current Work
Students are completing and taking home their reports on vertebrates this week.  They are starting their study of the U.S. Presidents and African Americans this month.  Students are working on poems about themselves that will be given to the new teacher.  

Patty Barshay

The Elementary Class has said goodbye to Patty Barshay, as she will be traveling to India in the next couple of weeks. We are grateful to Patty who could help us to move the class forward. Her incredible work with the children on the materials, and Grace and Courtesy has been noticed well. 
Christine will be taking the time to work with the children for the rest of next week, and welcome Pat Kruse, as she joins our classroom on 2/19. The children prepared a gift for Patty and a performance and said a beautiful goodbye. We are very proud of them.



Dvash Primary 1/31/13
We have started making our clown craft for Purim - thank you for sending in 1 litre plastic bottles in. 
The children have been learning about parts of a plant/ tree. We had an interesting discussion outside, about why a tree has roots, trunk, branches and leaves. ( mostly to help keep the birds nests safe from harm! )
It can get very muddy outside, so long rubber or snow boots will keep your child's socks and pants/tights clean and dry.

Have a nice weekend,
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 1/31/13
Last week on Friday we had a lovely Tu B'Shevat party. The children enjoyed singing songs with Morah Levona. The children have been busy all week with  projects and water practical life. We have been wiping up a lot of water!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer
 
Gefen/Toddlers 1/31/13
It was celebration time in the toddler room last week.We celebrated Tu Bshevat - The new year for the trees with lots of activities. The toddlers baked cookies in the shape of trees and flowers.. We also made a fruit salad with apples,grapes oranges and bananas.Learned the names of the fruits both in Hebrew and English and sang the  songs "Tu Tu Bshevat" and "Atzei Zeitim Omdim".

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Primary Judaics 1/31/13
This week's Parsha is about the giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments. We talked about what some of the different commandments mean and how we see them in our life. For example we wouldn't steal another child's toy and we should be respectful to our parents (I made sure to emphasize that one!) :)
 
Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Elementary/Zayit Judaics 1/31/13
Chumash
The elementary children have been learning or reviewing the 300 most important Chumash words. They are divided up into groups of 12 words. You will hear more about these words in the coming weeks. If they learn these words, they can translate the vast majority of Sefer Beraishit.
Projects
I hope you enjoyed the flower pots or bird feeders. I am so sorry they were forgotten last Friday. The flower pots were for Tu B'Shevat and the bird feeders were for Shabbat Shira- ask your child if he remembers the story of the birds in last weeks Parsha.
Weekly Parsha
We learned this weeks Parsha, as well. Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, heard about the Jews leaving Egypt, and came to see them. Then the Jews arrived at Har Sinai, got ready to accept the Torah, and then heard the 10 commandments.
Ask your child for more details!

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Miriam

Dvash Primary 1/24/13
A few of the children have been practicing  a play "the little red robin " which they will perform for the class. They are excited about making their costumes. The children who read the book about Lionfish have made a lion fish. Others have been working with more challenging puzzle maps, and practicing forming simple words with the movable alphabet.

Have a nice weekend,
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 1/24/13
The children joined the polar bear club this week. To get some fresh air in this cold weather we walked around the school like polar bears. Rosy cheeks and lots of smiles were seen. The toughest polar bear kids played tag outside with Morah Sorah Rivkah and the other polar bears went back inside with Morah Ofer. Everyone had a lot of fun!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer

Primary Judaics 1/24/13
We learned about Kriat Yam Suf this week. This was when Hashem split the sea and the Bnai Yisrael, the children of Israel walked through and then the Yam Suf crashed down on Pharaoh's army! We made a project of the Yam Suf splitting.
 
Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Rimon Primary 1/17/13
We are very sorry to say goodbye to Ben. He and his family are going back to Eretz Yisrael and his last day is this Friday. We will miss him. The children have had a lot of energy this week with all this rain. They really miss going outside to play. Everyone is doing well and we are having many sandpaper letter lessons. Flags are also very interesting now and we study what countries the flags represent. The class is doing very well.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer
 
Gefen/Toddlers 1/17/13
There is a lot of excitement in the Toddler room on Friday mornings.The shabbat activities come out on the shelves and when the little ones walk in to the room, they know it's Friday.We have the shabbat basket, the puzzles, the shabbat story books and of course the box with the shabbat soup making objects are all out for them to do.
We start the morning by reading the story "Good Shabbos". Then we sing the songs and say the brachcha on the candles, the kiddush and the challah.The most look forward to activity is the shabbat soup making group activity. We have a pot in the middle of the circle and the children sit around it and every one gets a turn to add an item to the soup pot. They pick an object like an onion or carrot or celery, add it to the pot and get to stir the soup while we all sing the song " Put some carrot in the pot,Stir it up till it's nice and hot"
That is the most fun part of the morning every one enjoys.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Primary Judaics 1/17/13
We are continuing with the makkot. The children of course are very interested in the story and feel that Pharoah was pretty silly not listening to Moshe Rabbeinu when he told him to let the Jewish people go. Really what more did Pharoah want?? The children are very logical because they certainly wouldn't put up with all these makkot!

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Elementary/Zayit 1/18/13
Exciting News
Next week, Morah Christine will be travelling to Nebraska with her children. As they area World Ice Dance Competitors. She will miss our class and see them next week.  More info TBA.

Dvash Primary 1/10/13
The children are practicing writing patterns and letters on the large chalk board. They have been preparing wonderful snack for their friends. Some of the older children are sewing a patchwork quilt of the map of the world. Many new lessons have been given so that more materials can be explored, and  in the afternoons we have been playing gentle music while we work. The children also receive grace and courtesy lessons on what to say to their friends if they are upset, or if they want something from them. The children love to work with Morah Levona and practice their Hebrew.

Have a nice weekend,
Morah Farhana & Morah Jordan

Rimon Primary 1/10/13
We are enjoying the beautiful weather! The children are working hard and the feeling in the classroom is one of cooperation and community. We try to emphasize that we are all responsible for one another. The children love to clean up after themselves with their child size crumbers and sponges. They have really gotten good at it. A few children express tiredness during the day so please make sure they get to sleep at a good time every night. We are really having fun learning together.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer
 
Gefen/Toddlers 1/10/13
The toddlers had a good week with lots of work and outside play. Continued to paint and bake muffins.
We have got a giant book of the ten little monkeys jumping on the bed. Don't we love the actions in the song!!
Especially when the monkeys fall of the bed. May be one day when we are not feeling shy we could sing the song and act it out for you.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Primary Judaics 1/10/13
We have started the Parshiot(Torah portions) of the Makkot(plagues). This is a very exciting time and the children are very interested in all the Makkot. We sing some songs which we will again sing around Pesach time. We try to talk about the Makkot in a way that the children appreciate how awful they were for the Mitzrim without making them overly frightening. I am sure they will tell you about them. They will bring a project home next week with all the Makkot.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Elementary/Zayit 1/10/13
Math & Geography
This week has been a very busy math week.  Students are working on all four of the processes of arithmetic. This work is very important in that it helps to reinforce the math facts and it helps to keep the processes in the long term memory.  Along with math there is state work going on.  After our Redskin's loss last week I brought in football helmets of all the teams and the students are identifying the helmets with the team and with which city and state it plays in.  
Outer Space
Last Friday the students were introduced to the eight planets of the solar system.  We will be explorers of these planets over the next few weeks.  
Writing
Stories written before the winter break are going home on Friday.  Please be sure to see what they students were writing.  Many were not edited, instead these were the rough drafts of a story.  The writing process involves just getting ideas down and getting the flow of a story.  The next step to do the re-writing and polishing up what needs more explaining and what needs more descriptive details.  The next story writing activity will involve the second and third steps.
Mrs. Parson
Mrs. Parson has re-introduced geometry lessons and the study of the shapes.  She continues with the music lessons and has done Montessori geography lessons with the students.  
New Snack Program
The new snack program is working out very nicely. Please check the Snack Calendar to see which weeks are your turn if you have not done so.

Have a nice weekend,
Mrs. Barshay

Elementary/Zayit Judaics 1/10/13
Siddur & Chumash Party
The First Years have been working hard at learning to read, and are ready to receive their very own Siddur. They are also ready to receive their very own Chumash! In addition, although the Second and Fourth years have been learning Chumash, we would like to present their Chumash to them, in a formal setting. And so, we are planning a Siddur/Chumash party, January 29th- to which you will be invited - formal invitations to follow, this is a "save the date" announcement!
Current Judaic Studies
We have learned quite a bit this week in Judaics, in Elementary. The first graders are learning many skills to prepare them to begin learning Chumash- they are so excited about this!  The second graders are learning Lech Lecha. They have been learning about all of Avram's travels, and have now started learning about the first world war, which happened in Avram's time- 4 kings against 5 kings! The 4th graders are learning Parshat Vayeishev, which talks about Yosef being sold to Mitzrayim. We also have been working on reading fluency with many of the children. Some children have been learning the Jewish months of the year, and other important Judaic facts.
Weekly Parsha
We learned the Parsha this week- a continuation of the story of the Jews in Egypt. Mosheh went to Paroh, threw down his staff and it turned into a "Tanin", etc, but Paroh did not listen to Mosheh's request to let the Jews go. So the first 7 of the 10 Makkot were put on the Egyptians, to get Paroh to let the Jewish people go. Despite the incredible destruction of Egypt by these Makkot, Paroh still refused to let them go. The children have learned several details about these Makkot- see what they remember!

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Miriam

Dvash Primary 1/4/13
How nice it is to be back at school.The children were happy to see their friends again and were keen to get back to the materials they were working on before the break. 
please send your children with mittens or gloves so they can enjoy their time outside at recess.

Rimon Primary 1/4/13
Everyone was very happy to be back at school and we were all very happy to welcome them. Two things to remember. When we ask for flowers in the snack list they are for the children to do flower arranging so we need the flowers on Monday when you bring in snack. Thanks so much they just love it.

Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah & Morah Ofer
 
Gefen/Toddlers 1/3/13
Welcome back to the second half of the school year.It was good to see all the toddlers happy and eager to be back in school.
A warm welcome to Ariella and Noam who joined the class this week. We are all happy and waiting to show the two of you all the fun stuff we do in our class.
We are in no hurry for the transition period to be over.So take all the time you need to be comfortable in your new environment.

We started baking and singing and reading stories and doing lots of work and we are getting better each day.

A belated Happy Birthday to Shaya who turned 2 on the 25th of December.

Shabbat Shalom 
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Primary Judaics 1/3/13
We finished the book of Bereishit and just started Shemot. We will be discussing Baby Moshe and moving into the slavery in Mitzrayim/Egypt and the Makkot/plagues! Stay tuned, I am sure the children will have a lot to say about these next parshiot.

Also we are having tzedakah again so please send your children in with tzedakah. We have decided to collect our tzedakah this year for Camp Simcha which is a wonderful camp for children with illness/disabilities to give them a time to have fun like other children. I have explained this to the children and I will show them a video of Camp Simcha. Knowing where they are sending their tzedakah makes it more meaningful to them. You can google Camp Simcha if you want to see more about this amazing camp and all the wonderful  people involved there.

Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Elementary Zayit 1/3/13
Dear Parents, 
Coming back to school after almost two weeks of being away is always an adjustment for students. Our elementary students are adjusting to changes in the classroom design as we have received new shelves just this week! This is in addition to the changes in staff. Because children are flexible, I have no doubt that settling in to new teachers will be fine. Miriam Singer, Patty Barshay, Christine Parsons, Sandra Katz are providing the students with the atmosphere that we cherish and with the best interest of the students always in the forethought. 

Now that our kitchen is well equipped and koshered, we would like to make snacks at school. Each week one family will receive a list of items to purchase for the class. Those items need to be in by Monday morning. Some of the products are basic ingredients because we plan on cooking and baking in the classroom. 
The first week the Herman family is responsible to buy the snack list. Miriam Singer will be handing the list out to the family in charge of snack for the following week. To see your turn please click here on Forms & Handouts for the Snack List January 2013. 

Students are beginning the study of the United States. Each child is researching the states and learning the postal abbreviations of the states. They have also been introduced to the five classes of vertebrates and they are researching animals and how they live. 

Ice Skating began on Thursday for the first time. We boarded a school bus and it took the class to the Cabin John Ice Rink. Children were very excited, were helped to put on their skates. We had a private rink, just for lessons. We had 2 instructors, one for those who are just beginning to skate and 1 for those with some experience. The beginners learned comfort on their skates, "marching", "sliding" and falling. Those with more experience learned how to stop, how to skate without lifting their feet, and how to improve their basic skating. They all were involved and excited to skate, and were only sorry to stop! 
Please send your child with mittens, bike helmets (so that they can learn backwards safely) and for girls (double layers on their legs or sweat pants) - they will be sitting on the ice and it gets very cold. 
We will all look forward to seeing how the students progress in their skating skills during this session. 

During Parsha we spoke about the Parsha of the week, Parshat Shmot. This is a very exciting Parsha, as it speaks about the beginning of the slavery of the Jews in Mitzrayim, the birth of Moshe, his growing up in Mitzrayim and then running away to Midyan, and how Hashem asked him to go back to Mitzrayim to lead the Jews out. There are so many details to learn! Why did Paroh want the Jews to be slaves? Who were the midwives that delivered the Jewish babies, and didn't kill them as per Paroh's request? Who took care of baby Moshe when he was very young? Why did Moshe have to run away from Mitzrayim? What did Moshe say when Hashem asked him to lead the Jews out of Mitzrayim, at the burning bush? Ask your children- they should know!
Have a great Shabbat!
Ellie Lichtash, Patty Barshay, Miriam Singer, Christine Parsons and Sandra Katz

Dvash Primary 12/20/12
It has been a busy week of chalkboard writing, writing patterns and writing sounds. Some of the older children are making "the river Nile" showing the countries it passes through, and the animals that live in it. Others have started new sewing projects.

Rimon Primary 12/20/12
The children have been so busy with Chanukah and learning new lessons that we can't believe we are at the end of December!   The Chanukah party was so much fun and the children really enjoyed it. We have a new blackboard in our class so the older children can practice making patterns which we use in handwriting. The children watched Morah Ofer put it up which was very exciting. We have a new lesson squeezing orange juice which has been very popular with everyone. Lot's of vitamin C is being consumed!
Just reminders to send in flowers when it is your turn for snack. We use them for flower arranging which is very popular. The children really love it and it makes the classroom beautiful. Don't forget to send in clothes for your children if they bring their spare clothes home. Sometimes we have accidents and we don't have clothes to put the children into. Thanks so much!

Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer
 
Primary Judaics 12/20/12
We have been very busy with the story of Chanukah which of course is very interesting to the children.  We went back to  Parsha Mikeitz whch continues with the story of Yosef and his brothers. The children learned what a famine is. One of them said a famine is when there are no grocery stores. We also talked about how Yosef put the money back in the grain bags and it frightened the brothers because they thought they would be accused of stealing. It is amazing how much they understand and remember.
 
Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Gefen/Toddlers 12/20/12
The Toddlers have been very busy this week doing lots of new work. Like learning new songs and washing tables and baking cookies. They have also enjoyed playing outside this week.
Thank you to all parents who were here for the Chanukah party last week.The little ones enjoyed having their parents in the class singing the Chanukah songs together.
Have a wonderful winter break.
Shabbat Shalom

Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary Zayit 12/20/12
Creative Writing
   This week the children have been doing a lot of creative writing - you may have been hearing about "MICE" stories and "cookie" stories. 
   MICE stands for Milieu, Idea, Characters and Events, and some of the 4th graders are working on stories using common elements: they chose an underground milieu, an obstacle to overcome, a ten-year-old boy, and an earthquake. Each student writes his or her own story, working in the common elements.
   Cookie stories are circular, like the children's classic "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and its sequels. Many of the children have been writing and illustrating cookie stories, including "If You Give a Ninja a Sword" and "If You Give a Pop Star a Microphone."
Thank You
As this is my last week at Alef Bet, I would like to thank the Alef Bet community for the opportunity to get to know this wonderful group of kids. And thanks, too, to the PTO for the thoughtful Chanukah gift.

Best wishes,
Melinda Melone
Elementary Zayit 12/13/12
We've been very busy preparing for Chanukah. Some favorite works have been in geography, which includes science. We've been building simple machines with K'nex, using and testing hypotheses about the work various levers can do. We've also done demonstrations, called command cards, on density and the perpendicular vs. oblique rays of the sun. In math, on 12/12/12, we celebrated "Dozens Day" and did measurement and word problems using 12s and 144s.

Happy Holidays!
Ms. Melone

Dvash Primary 12/7/12
We had a wonderful time playing outside when the weather was warm earlier this week. We do go outside every day, so please make sure your child has a coat for the days that are surprisingly cold.The children were very proud of the fundraiser project they made and the poem they made for it. 

Rimon Primary 12/7/12
Thank you to all the parents who came for conferences. The children have really been enjoying this lovely weather. It is like the springtime! On the subject of weather, we try very hard to encourage independence in our children. This is a foundation of Montessori. If your children cannot put on gloves (which most of them can't) please try to send them with mittens. They can put them on themselves and they are warmer. This is also true for boots. Make sure their boots are ones they can pull on themselves. It makes a big difference for them to be independent and it helps getting 22 children out the door faster as well! Thank you so much for your help in this.
The older childern have been making world maps and the younger children have been using the map puzzles in the classroom. They are very interested in where they live or where their mothers and fathers may have traveled. We also worked very hard on our project for the Gala so we hope you saw it when you attended.
 
Have a great Shabbat and a Happy Channukah
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Primary Judaics 12/7/12
We have been learning Parsha Vayeishev. Yosef is given a beautiful coat by his father Yaakov. We made beautiful coats as our project this week. Yosef dreams that the wheat is bowing down to him and the sun, moon and stars are bowing down to him also. Yosef brothers are afraid Yosef wants to take over and they throw him first into a pit and then sell him to some traders travelling by. Then Yosef is sold to Potifar and Potifar's wife is very wicked and Yosef gets thrown into jail where he interprets the dreams of the baker and the butler. The children were very interested in this parsha and had lots of questions.

Have a a great Shabbat and a Happy Channukah
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Gefen/Toddlers 12/7/12
It was indeed a pleasure to have all the parents coming in on Wednesday for the conferences.I truly enjoyed talking to all of them in a very relaxed atmosphere.I learned a lot about each child through the eyes of their parents,and I hope that it will help me understand and make my relationship with each and every child more productive and enjoyable.


Responsive and reciprocal relationships help form a strong foundation for the early development of toddlers.Psychologists call it a "dance" Thoman and Browder (1987) in their book called "Born Dancing: How Intuitive Parents Understand Their Baby's Unspoken language" uses the dance metaphor to describe the back-and-forth communication between parent and child.When the toddler enters school the "dance" is extended to include the teacher.As their teacher I take the initiative to follow the rhythm and attune my self and support the dance.

Thank you to all parents and have a wonderful weekend.

Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Channukah

Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary Judaics 12/7/12

Elementary Zayit 12/7/12
Conferences
Many thanks to all of the parents who came for conferences – it shows the children how much you care about their education, and they loved reading the notes you wrote in their portfolios.
Channukah 
We’re focusing on Channukah, of course, preparing for the party next week, making menorahs and baking cookies. We’re having a visit Monday afternoon from “the shofar guy,” as the kids call him, who will be demonstrating how olive oil is made.
Our Week's Work
In between holiday preparations, we still have a little time for other work – math and English, history and science, music and PE are all regular parts of our days. You can see what your child is doing each week by going through the blue folder on Monday, looking at the work plans, and asking your child questions about some of their favorite abbreviations, like LBF, CC and MICE.
Communication & Upcoming Events
If you didn’t get a chance to come in for a conference, give me a call and we can set up a time. Hope to see all of you at the Channukah party next Friday morning – and happy Channukah!

Ms. Melone

Dvash Primary 11/29/12
The children enjoyed rolling out and baking cookies for their snack this week. Our Hanukkah art project is spectacular, and was a lot of fun for all the children to make. Everyone loves to join in with yoga.The older children have been labeling fractions. 

Rimon Primary 11/29/12
The children were glad to be back from their Thanksgiving holiday. We are heading into Chanukah time and the children are busy learning Chanukah songs with Morah Levona. They are also working on some menorahs which may come home this week or early next week depending on how fast they dry. Two children lost teeth this week. Very exciting. They look so cute with their gap toothed smiles. The other children were very interested in this.
Please remember that we do go out whenever it is not raining. That means that they need warm coats and hats and mittens. Please remember to put their names on their things so you will see them again!
 
Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Primary Judaics 11/29/12
This weeks Parshah is Parshat Vayishlach
 
We are learning about how Yaakov prepared to meet the wicked Eisav by doing 3 things. Getting ready for war, Tefillah/Prayer and giving him gifts. We then learned how Yaakov went back for the little jars of oil which he had forgotten because he got them from Hashem and anything we get from Hashem we have to treasure. We also learned that Yaakov fought the Malach/Angel of Eisav all night long and then made the Malach bless him.  The children thought that was very interesting. In addition, we learned that Rochel died giving birth to Binyamin and that Kever(the burial place of) Rochel is next to the road so that Jews could Daven for her help throughout history.

Have a great Shabbat
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Gefen/Toddlers 11/29/12
The Toddlers have been busy this week learning about Chanukah. We have been practicing saying the Brachot on the candles and singing the songs. Ner Li, Sivivon Sov Sov, and how many candles are some of the songs we have been singing at circle time. The Toddlers have also been doing a lot of practical life work like washing tables,squeezing oranges and setting the snack table. 

Shabbat Shalom
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Elementary Judaics 11/29/12
We are very excited because we have several exciting events coming up.
Siyum
The second graders have just finished learning Parshat Noach, and the fourth graders have just finished learning Parshat Vayishlach (just in time to read it on Shabbat!). Both groups have been learning this part of the Chumash since the beginning of the year, so they are very proud of their accomplishment. We will celebrate this milestone with a "Siyum"- a party for finishing a section of the Torah- this will be a party on Channukah. More details to come.
Siddur & Chumash Party 
Another great milestone will be coming up in January- exact date to come. We will have a combination Siddur party/Chumash party. The first graders will receive their first Siddur, along with any second graders who never formally received one. The first, second, and fourth graders will all receive a Chumash as well! This is a very important and significant moment in their lives and they are all very excited about it. You, the parents, will be invited, so we will get the date to you shortly. 
Channukah
We are also learning about and preparing for Channukah.

Shabbat Shalom
Miriam

Elementary Zayit 11/29/12
We've been busy
In the past couple of weeks we have been busy making our Gala project, celebrating our fall birthdays and beginning our preparations for our school Channukah party.
Channukah History
In history we have begun studying the Greeks and Romans, which has led to some interesting intersections with the Channukah story. We gave also been making great use of pin maps to explore both historical and current geography.
Math
In math we are focusing on multiplication and division with a variety of materials. These include the large bead frame and the checkerboard for multiplication, and racks and tubes and the stamp game for division. We are also exploring number concepts such as factors, multiples and squares of numbers.
English
In English, some students have been writing skits and stories, some working with the grammar boxes and some doing sentence analysis (and a few have been doing all three!)
Conferences
Mrs. Singer and I look forward to seeing you at conferences. Your conferences will be a chance for you to look through your children's portfolios, hear an overview of how they are doing in class, and ask questions. If you can't make any of  the Wednesday afternoon slots, please give me a call so we can arrange another time.

Best wishes for December!

Ms. Melone

Dvash Primary 11/21/12
The children enjoyed the lentil soup they  made last week.We baked muffins again this week for our snack. The children have been composing poems - some about balloons, clouds, birds  and  lions.They have been excited and have shared their Thanksgiving weekend plans.They have been doing a wonderful job cleaning up after lunch and at the end of the day.

ElementaryJudaics 11/15/12
Happy Birthday and Rosh Chodesh Kislev!
We are having our monthly birthday party/Rosh Chodesh party today- be sure to ask your child how it went, as there has been a lot of excitement building up to this event. 
Lessons from our Fathers
We have been learning Pirkei Avot weekly since the holidays, learning important Sayings from the Fathers.This week's lesson was on doing good deeds for G-d, not to receive a prize, but just to do the right thing. We had a good discussion about helping parents, as well, when told- and not only when there is a reward involved.
Parashat Toldot 
This week's Parsha is Toldot, which talks about Rivka giving birth to twin sons, Yaakov and Eisav, and how Eisav gave away his "b'chor" status for a bowl of lentil soup, and then how Yaakov received his deserved bracha from his father.
Weekly Shoresh Quiz
Please check in with your child about "shoroshim". I am giving them a quiz on shoroshim every week, as these are essential for Chumash translation skills. I am encouraging the children to review the shoroshim in school, and perhaps to take home to practice. I will let you know, via email, if your child needs to review more at home.
Thanks for your cooperation in this area.

Shabbat Shalom
Miriam

Elementary Zayit 11/15/12
The cold makes us hungry
The colder weather is bringing many changes to our elementary class. The trees and grasses and insects in the park around us are reflecting the seasons. The children are often hungrier in cold weather – it might be a good idea to let them pack an additional snack for after recess. Elementary children are capable of packing their own lunches, and it cuts down on complaints and wasted food to have them in on the process. We do not have a microwave in our building, so a thermos of warm soup, rice or pasta can be part of a good cold-weather lunch. 
Warm Winter Wear
Children also need warmer clothes this time of year – even when they say, “I’m not cold!” We do go outdoors in cold weather, and hats, gloves and warm coats are a good idea. If you want to send some spares of these items to stay at school, the children can keep them in their change-of-clothes boxes. Clothes in these boxes should reflect the seasons, too – if you sent in summer clothes at the beginning of the year, it might be time to bring those home and send in long sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. 
Soccer Ends 
This week also marks the end of our soccer season. Ice skating will begin on January 3, but until then dismissal on Thursdays will be 3:15 to 3:30, just as it is on Monday through Wednesday. Of course next Thursday there will be no school – enjoy the Thanksgiving break! 

Ms. Melone

Rimon Primary 11/15/12
 We have had a very busy week. We have had a lot of table washing and chalkboard washing this week. The children really do a wonderful job cleaning up after themselves at lunch with their special child sized clean up kits. They get more and more independent as the year progresses.The weather has been very cold so please bundle up your children so they can play outside comfortably. Also please, please label everything as the kids shed their clothes and don't always remember what belongs to who :).  We have been learning lots of songs in school and the children love to sing. They also have their favorites and request songs that they want to sing. I think singing is a wonderful form of expression for young children so have them sing some of their songs to you.
The titles of some of the songs are Mama Mama  (a real favorite), Horsey Horsey, Skiddley rinky dinky dinky, Too ey Tooey, Animal Crackers in my Soup and Animal Crackers which is a different song.  Have fun listening to them!!

Primary Judaics 11/15/12
This week is Parshas Toldos. We continue with the lives of Avraham and Sorah and Yitzchak and Rivkah. This week we talked about how Rivkah felt the baby moving inside her back and forth. She was worried about this and went to speak to Shem (Noach's son) to find out what was the matter. He told her that she was carrying twins. At this point one of the children said "Was he a doctor or something?"  Then we talked about how Yaakov and Eisav were born and Eisav was very red and hairy. Eisav grew up to be a bad man and Yaakov was good. We made lentil soup to remember how Eisav sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils. The children wanted to hear the entire story but had to wait to hear how Yaakov put a hairy goat skin on his arm and pretended to be Eisav to get the blessing and how Eisav was so angry. Some of the children enjoyed the soup and others passed on it.
 
Have a great Shabbat!
Morah Sorah Rivkah
and
Moreh Ofer

Gefen/Toddlers 11/15/12
This week the toddlers started learning something new. They are learning to bake their own muffins . Everybody was seated so nicely round the big table and was watching and listening and most of all following directions so well that we the teachers could not believe that this was the toddler class.
 
First we line up at the wash basin and take turns to wash our hands. Then we sit at the table with our hands on our laps and wait for our turn. They all got to hold the egg,feel the muffin mix (each one got a little bit of the mixture in their hands) and took turns stirring the batter. We simplified the process for the first lesson. The next time we will be adding one more step for the children to do. Our class room was filled with the lovely smell of baking when we came back from the playground.After lunch we all had a muffin to eat.
 
In this exercise the sense of touch,taste,smell and the skill of holding a spoon and stirring within a bowl was introduced to the children in a fun way.
We are sure that we are going to enjoy more baking time in the near future.
 
Shabbat Shalom
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Dvash Primary 11/15/12
We enjoyed having parents in our class to observe last week. We are now learning songs to sing at the Channukah party, and making our surprise item for the fundraising auction. We have been learning the charachteristics of living and non-living things.

Elementary Zayit 11/8/12
Zayit Observations
We were very grateful that none of the big trees around our building were affected by the hurricane, and we could return to school last week. This week we have been visited by parents and an observer in Montessori training. Thank you to all the parents who were able to come and observe, and to the ones still to come. If you missed the chance to observe, but would like to do so, you can call Ms. Melone to arrange an observation. 
History Research  Projects
We are wrapping up our history unit on ancient Mesopotamia and moving on to the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. The children presented the results of their history research in timelines, Fundamental Needs Charts, and oral and written reports. 
Chemistry
We have also been doing a lot of chemistry, including working with models of atoms and molecules and doing command cards (step-by-step, hands-on demonstrations of scientific principles) involving solutions and suspensions. 
A Big Birthday Plan
We are looking forward to our first quarterly birthday party, which happens to coincide with Rosh Chodesh, on Thursday, November 15. The students with fall birthdays have planned the celebration and will provide a menu of treats for after lunch and fun activities for the class. 
Communication
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give me a call. 

Ms. Melone

Gefen/Toddlers 11/8/12
Timely Toddlers
It feels wonderful to come to school regularly.  The toddlers have been good at it.Coming to school every day and on time.Coming to school on time gives the little ones a feeling of walking into a room that is relaxed and comfortable.It gives them that little extra time to look around and absorb their surroundings.It is amazing to see them standing at the door with their lunch box or back pack in their hands, looking around as if searching for something that is familiar to them.It also gives the teachers time to greet them and welcome them to the room.
A Familiar Word 
As their teacher I always make it my priority to greet every child and say something familiar to them.It may only take a minute or two but that makes a big impact in their small world.Coming to school should be a beautiful experience to the little ones and I hope as their teacher and you as their parents we could make it happen for them.

Shabbat Shalom
Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

Rimon Primary 11/8/12
Our week has been very busy. We have really enjoyed having our parents come into the classroom. The children liked to show their parents what they are doing and other children enjoyed having the extra attention. It is nice to have a full week of school where the children can really get into a nice working pace. From one of our kindergartners who is writing in her weather journal to our littlest children who are polishing away, the class is buzzing with activity. Please remember that the days are unfortunately getting cold and the children spend time outside if it is not raining. They need hats and gloves and warm coats. Please, please write their names on everything! Also send in clothes for changing which are warmer for the winter. Thanks and we love working with your children.
 
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Dvash Primary 11/8/12
This week we baked fresh berry muffins for snack. The class is making a Jungle Diorama  and every one is contributing jungle animals or plants made out of art materials. We already have wonderful banana trees and birds and fish. We also have  a secret door for those who want to leave the jungle! It was interesting to hear the older children talk about the elections, and voting, amongst themselves.

Primary Judaics 11/8/12
In Parsha we are learning Chayei Sarah. In this Parsha Eliezer goes in search of a wife for Yitzchak. We talked about how Eliezer was looking for a woman who would do Chesed and be very kind. When he got to the well a nice girl helped give water to all his camels. I asked the children "What do you think Eliezer thought about Rivka being so nice and giving the camels water?" One little girl immediately replied "that she would make a great wife!"  She really was listening that's for sure.
 
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Sorah Rivkah

ElementaryJudaics 11/2/12
We are learning lots of Chumash,  lots of Hebrew vocabulary words, and lots of grammar- but mostly we are having a good time doing it all. We have great discussions when we learn about the week's Parsha, as well as with the Pirkei Avot we are learning. The children are all engaged, listening, asking and answering- I love the discussions!
This week's Parsha discussed Avraham receiving a Brit Mila- at 99! And then the Parsha discussed the 3 Melachim coming to visit Avraham. One of them was sent to heal Avraham, one to announce that he would have a  baby with Sara in a year's time, and one to announce that Sdom would be overturned. Then we learned that Avraham prayed for Sdom- so we learned how powerful prayer is. And we learned that Avraham understood that 10 righteous people in the Sdom is the bare minimum- and from that we learned the power of community, and then, by extension how Hashem loves the community of Jews, and the power of a Minyan, and then the power of us praying together as a group at school. We learned about the Akeidat Yitzchak- how Avraham was willing to sacrifice his only son for Hashem, but that once Hashem - and Avraham- saw that he was really willing and able to do it, the Malach stopped him, and told him to  sacrifice a ram instead.

Shabbat Shalom
Miriam
Elementary Zayit 10/25/12
The Olive Class
As you may know, the classes at Alef Bet have been named for the fruits of Israel, with Gefen, Dvash and Rimon being the first three classes. As of this week, our elementary class has decided that we want to be called the Zayit (Olive) Class. (It was a lively discussion and a close vote, with wheat coming in second.) 
Plant Study
This discussion fit in nicely with our study of plants! This week some students have been exploring types and shapes of leaves, while others have been  making slides for the microscope by dissecting leaves and flowers. Still others have been observing our beautiful park setting and doing nature drawing.
Classroom Observations
Observations are starting soon, and I hope all families will have a chance to observe. If you haven't signed up for observations yet, see elsewhere on the website for the schedule - spots are still available.  We will also have observers from the Washington Montessori Institute during this time; one of the professors will be observing for a day, and one of the elementary trainees will be observing for two weeks.
 
I hope you are all enjoying the fall weather as much as we are, especially during recess and PE!
 
Ms. Melone 
 
ElementaryJudaics 10/25/12
The children have been learning prefixes and suffixes in Hebrew, both with Mrs. Hertz and with me.   We have started to learn Pirkei Avot. It is, as we learned, an essential part of Jewish life- to learn what the sages advised us to do in our interactions with other people. We have also continued on with our Parsha learning. The children are starting to get a quiz on approximately 5 "Shoroshim" per week. This quiz will be on Thursdays.  Shoroshim are the root words on which much of Hebrew is built. By learning these root words, they will greatly increase their vocabulary and translation skills. We have also learned about the Parsha of Lech Lecha (this week's Parsha). We learned about Avraham leaving his homeland, and going to Canaan- the future Israel. We learned about his adventures with Lot, his nephew, and the war with the kings, and then Hashem's promise to Avraham that he would have children to carry on Judaism, and that they would, in the future, receive the land of Israel.

Be Well,
Miriam

Rimon 10/25/12
The children are busy working away. The younger children are really enjoying washing tables and scrubbing mats. Everything is child sized and accessible to them. I recently got a child sized carpet sweeper for the classroom. Our carpet has never looked so beautiful!  Our movable alphabet is getting a real workout with all our pre-readers.
 
Wednesday was a very sad day for the Washington area. Rabbi Kalman Winter who was the head of the Vaad of Washington as well my family's Rav passed away. Our families have been very close for many years.It was a tremendous personal loss as well as a loss for all of the Jewish people. I did not now how I could come back into the classroom on Wednesday afternoon. I took a deep breath and walked into our classroom. The children saw me and yelled and they all came rushing over and gave me a giant group hug (squash). I was so deeply touched and grateful toward the warmth and sweetness of your wonderful, sweet little children.

Have a great Shabbat,
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer

Dvash 10/25/12
We baked banana bread - the younger children enjoyed smashing banana's and measuring and mixing - We had the bread for snack the next day. The children have also been making Tostitos snacks to eat - filling the scoops with salsa and cheese. They plucked grapes yesterday, and having been making sandwiches everyday for their friends who stay at school late in the afternoon. What responsible chefs we have! They also wash the used utensils and bowls.

Other than all the  eating we have been doing, there has been a flurry of flower arranging and cloth washing. We read a story about "Silvia's shoes" and the younger children have been continuing their polishing and sewing activities. Others are making words or sentences with the movable alphabet, and we had a practical lesson involving fractions - observing how apples, cucumbers and bananas can be seen whole, or in half.

Gefen/Toddlers 10/25/12
Two months into the school year and the toddlers have settled into the routine so beautifully.It is a pleasure to see them take work out and enjoy doing them.
The last two weeks we have been working on building our cooperation  and coordination skills together.These are skills the toddlers learn only by doing them over and over again in their day to day activities in the class room.
What are these activities?
Having snack as a group.
Group art projects
Circle time
Holding on to the rope while going outside(this is a perfect example of cooperation and coordination going hand in hand)
Taking turns walking to the snack table
Waiting patiently for their turn to kiss the Torah or to put the penny in the Tzedakah box
The list goes on and on.
A word to Mom and Dad   " involve your toddlers in your activities around the house and enjoy the moment with them"

Shabbat Shalom

Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia
Elementary 10/18/12
New Activities
We’re enjoying having a full week of school, since our environment is full of new activities! Some of the more popular new works this week have been playing the piano, working with magnets and building models of molecules.
The Science of Geography
Magnets and molecules fall under the Geography area of the Montessori elementary curriculum. Montessori geography includes not only maps, but also earth science, chemistry and physics. Children are encouraged to explore how the world works through the geography “Command Cards,” which are hands-on science activities. One command card a group of students did just before the holidays involved grating and squeezing red cabbage, to use cabbage juice as an acid-base indicator. The students added vinegar to one test tube of cabbage juice, and a baking soda solution to another test tube of cabbage juice, and were delighted to observe the color changes. This led back to our continued study of atoms, molecules and chemical reactions.
History Projects
Our history projects are also in full swing, with students making dioramas and timelines, writing reports, and drawing charts. One Montessori history material is a Fundamental Needs Chart, a poster that shows some of the ways that a culture met its basic physical and spiritual needs. Students research a culture, such as ancient Mesopotamia, and then draw pictures on the chart to show how that culture met its needs such as food, shelter, clothing, spirituality and art. Over time, as students do charts for various cultures in different times and places, they develop the ability to compare and contrast cultures, as well as to discuss how all humans are connected by our similar basic needs.
Please Send Outerwear
As the weather gets cooler, please try to add a sweater or jacket to the daily list of water bottle, backpack and indoor shoes. We go outside for recess, PE, and other lessons such as nature walks and nature drawing. It’s wonderful being located in a park! I hope you all are enjoying the fall weather at home, too. 
Ms. Melone
 
ElementaryJudaics 10/18/12
We had a great time making milkshakes to celebrate Rosh Chodesh- we blended the ice cream, milk, ice and, if we wanted, chocolate syrup - and then enjoyed the drink! 
We of course, learned about Rosh Chodesh, and added Hallel to our tefillot. In general, the children are all learning the tefillot, and learning their Chumash and reading and Hebrew speaking skills, and are enthusiastic about the lessons, both with Mrs. Hertz and with me. The first graders are learning many pre-Chumash skills, the 2nd graders are learning Parshat Noach in depth, and the 4th graders are learning Parshat Vayishlach. The discussions that we have, and the questions the children raise, are very impressive.
The children love to play Hebrew speaking games with Mrs. Hertz, as they learn nouns, and prepositions, etc.
Be well
Miriam

Primary Judaics 10/18/12
We started Parsha Breisheit last week and made a very big project with all the days which Hashem
created. They were "in order" when we put them together but busy hands rearranged some of the plates.
Rest assured that the children learned the correct order of the days of creation.This week parsha is
parshas Noach. We learned about the mabul and the teivah and the Tower of Bavel. Ofer and I spoke
to each other in two different languages at the same time so the children would understand how Hashem
mixed up the languages and no one understood each other. They thought it was very funny.
Morah Sorah Rivkah

Rimon 10/18/12
Our first week back at school has started with eager children and teachers. The children got right back
into their routines and were happy to see each other. Please remember to send in the children's indoor
shoes. They are a very important part of our Montessori environment. This becomes even more important
as the days get colder and wetter. So please send them in as soon as you can. The children are very
interested in all they are learning. We are having many lessons and the children continue to learn and
grow each day.Our pink tower and movable alphabet are getting a real workout! There are very shiny
candlesticks and shoes with all our polishing and we are learning how to clean up our lunch place-mats
and tables with some special tools which fit very nicely into small hands.
Morah Sorah Rivka

Dvash 10/18/12
The new children were thrilled to get their first lessons on the water activities, (flower arranging, washing cloths, hands etc) and have been engrossed in them since. Other children have been manipulating shapes, and matching them. Many have started learning the sounds of the alphabet, or building words.It is beautiful to see friendships forming, and conversations being had between children who are different ages.
Please remember to send spoons and forks with your child's lunch if they need them.
Morah Farhana

Gefen/Toddlers 10/18/12
Circle time is an important part of the morning in the toddler class. This short 10 to sometimes 15 minutes of the morning is the time so much information is absorbed by the toddlers.We sing songs we read a story and we also do the rituals of the prayers.The singing and the reading aloud plays an important part in the development of the toddlers language skills.When we sing songs like "If your happy and you know it clap your hands" or Old Mac Donald had a farm,we are not only learning the songs but at the same time we are opening up the toddlers minds indirectly to learn about sequences.Sequence is a form of order and order is an important part in every day life.

Reading a loud helps the toddlers language development and effective read a loud supports this development.Reading books that play with sounds is an important part in helping the toddlers to be aware of the different units of sounds in speech.

So this is to all the toddler parents,spend some read a loud time with the little ones and see how much you all enjoy it.

Shabbat Shalom

Morah Sharmaleen & Morah Marcia

oct 19 montessori

Rimon 9/20/12
The children had a great short week. Some of them were tired from Rosh Hashana, but we all got back into gear very quickly. We are having new lessons and reviewing old lessons. Everyone is making friends and are all happy. The children love apple notes, so please keep sending them in. We sent more home so you can continue writing them. We are learning about Yom Kippur and how we need to say sorry when we've done something wrong or hurt someone.
Elementary 9/20/12
Classroom Progress
With the holidays upon us, we won’t have a “normal” school week until mid-October. Still, we are making great progress in building our class community and settling down to academic work. We’ve been having lessons in botany and chemistry, clay sculpture and making musical instruments, all at the students’ request and following their interests. In English, we’re focusing on grammar boxes and sentence analysis, and Hebrew lessons have started in reading, vocabulary and writing. Math lessons have included the negative snake game, multiplication on the checkerboard, division with racks and tubes, and addition on the large bead frame.
"Monday" Folders
Of course, not everyone had all of these lessons. To find out which lessons and other works your child is experiencing, you can check the weekly work plan that comes home in the blue folder each week. Whether the “Monday” folders come home on Monday or Wednesday, they usually contain the past week’s work plan, some finished work, and the child’s goal(s) for work at home for the week. The folders should return on Friday – and on our first Friday, they all returned but one. This was an excellent start and a good sign for the class’s level of responsibility.
Communication
If you have any questions about your child’s work, or any messages for the elementary staff, you can call the main school number and leave a message on extension 20. You can also write a note and give it to Mrs. Singer in the morning or Ms. Melone in the afternoon. We will get back to you as soon as possible.I will also be giving each family a call in the next week or so, just to check in and make sure I have the best numbers and times to reach you.
It’s really been a joy to watch the children settling into their new environment and discovering their work patterns. We’re off to a promising start for the school year.
Enjoy the holidays,
Ms. Melone
Dvash 9/20/12
This short week, the younger children worked with color tablets, painting, and polishing excersises. The older children have been looking at numbers, and making designs out of metal insets and sensorial material. Thank you for sending a hard plate with your child to have lunch on!
The next thing you can do to make lunch an interesting experience for them, is to have them prepare/assemble their lunch at school. If they have a sandwich that requires putting together, you can show them how it is done, and the next day, give them all the ingredients and utensils, so they can make their sandwich at school (put cheese in it, or spread cheese in it etc).
 
Judaics Elementary 9/13/12
Rosh Hashanah
We have been busy learning about Rosh Hashana, and the month of preparation before Rosh Hashana, known as Elul. Elul and Rosh Hashana are opportune times for becoming closer to Hashem, and improving ourselves. We also spoke about the shofar, and how and when and why it is blown- to remind us that G-d is King, and to remind us to return to Him. There are 100 shofar blasts on each day of Rosh Hashana, so we spoke about how those are divided up. We spoke about customs for Rosh Hashana, from the well-know apples dipped in honey, to the less well known eating carrots and pomegranates and fish-heads (ask your child why) We spoke about the process of real teshuva- of mending our ways- saying sorry is one step, but it must be accompanied by repairing the misdeed if necessary, and a commitment not to do it again. We also spoke about Tashlich, and the custom of going to a river to symbolically rid ourselves of our sins.
Shofar Factory
We had a wonderful visit from jcrafts, an organization who comes to schools to teach children Judaic topics. He came to show us what animal the shofar comes from (a ram), and what constitutes a kosher shofar (it needs to come from a kosher animal and have a horn with a hole in the middle). Then he showed us how to make the hole, by cutting off the end and drilling a hole in the last part, and then how to sand the shofar down and put shellac on it, to make it shiny. Each child then had the opportunity to do the last two steps with their his/her own special shofar. Then of course we got to hear the sound of the shofar, and the sound of the very long shofar. It was all done with great drama and enthusiasm, and kept the children enthralled.
Chumash and Ivrit
The second and fourth years have also have been learning Chumash with me, and we are all enjoying it.
All the children have begun to work with Mrs. Hertz, learning Hebrew language, reading and writing. More details to come about this in the future.
Be Well,
Miriam
Judaics Primary 9/13/12
We had a wonderful visit from jcrafts, an organization who comes to schools to teach children Judaic topics. He began by showing us different types of horns (man-made) and came to show us what a shofar is- that it is a horn from an animal. Then he spoke to us about which animal it comes from- (a ram), and what constitutes a kosher shofar (it needs to come from a kosher animal and have a horn with a hole in the middle). Then he showed us how to make the hole, by cutting off the end and drilling a hole in the last part, and then how to sand the shofar down . Then of course we got to hear the sound of the shofar, and the sound of the very long shofar. It was all done with great drama and enthusiasm, and kept the children enthralled.
Be Well,
Miriam
Dvash 9/13/12
What a wonderful week we had! The children are comforted by repeating the activities they know and enjoy, and are now getting lessons on new things in the classrooms. Because they have many peers in the classroom there are many opportunities to share a thought with another child. Just being in the classroom is an exercise in confidence and vocabulary.
Please look in the Judaic section for information on Rosh Hashana cards.
Thank you for sending a plastic plate in your childs back pack for lunch.
Shana Tovah,
Farhana
Gefen Toddlers 9/13/12
This week the Toddlers continued to talk about Rosh Hashana, ( the birthday of the world). We learned Rosh Hashana songs. L'shanah Tovah and Apples Dipped in Honey. Pretended to blow the shofar and made the tunes that go with blowing it. We also learned the colors of the apples in English and Hebrew.
On Thursday we celebrated Rosh Hashana in our class room. We ate apples dipped in honey and cup cakes and sang the songs we have been singing last week. For our art project we made honey bowls and cards to take home.
Shana Tova to all
Morah Sharmaleen
Elementary 9/13/12
Special Events & Soccer
In our first full week of school we have had two exciting special events in a row. On Monday we had a shofar-making workshop, which explained where shofars come from and how they’re made. Each student sanded and shellacked a shofar to take home. On Tuesday, many of our families enjoyed a hayride and apple picking at Homestead Farms. These events will be followed up by lessons on the holidays and on fruit and seeds.
Another special day is Thursday,when our after-school soccer program takes place. Please make sure that your children have sneakers or cleats with socks (Crocs or dress shoes will not work for soccer). They also need to bring their water bottles. Pick up after soccer is from 4 to 4:15, and you should park and meet your children at the soccer field.
Monday Folders
Due to the excitement of the shofar workshop on Monday, not everyone’s first Monday folder made it home that day! Still, our Monday folders should be coming home on the first day of the week each week from now on, and should return to school each Friday morning.
Math
In September, we have all been practicing memorizing our math facts. In order to pass the addition facts quiz,the students have to get 20 single-digit addition problems correct in two minutes. When they pass addition, they move on to subtraction, then multiplication, then division. Practicing these facts makes doing longer problems, (such as multiplication on the checkerboard, or division with racks and tubes,) much more manageable. We will have math facts quizzes every Friday in September – some students may pass all four this month, others may take all month to pass addition. Then we’ll take a break for other math skills, and return to memorizing facts in January.
Hebrew
We have also begun our Hebrew lessons. Mrs. Hertz, our Ivrit teacher, will be giving daily lessons and doing cooking and other projects to help increase or maintain the students' fluency in speaking, reading and writing.
Communication
In addtition to beginning our academic work, our class is doing a wonderful job of learning new routines and making new friends, in order to build a real community in our elementary program. If you have questions or messages for the elementary staff, you can call the mainschool number and leave a message on extension 20. You can also write a note and give it to Mrs.Singer in the morning or Ms. Melone in the afternoon. We will get back to you as soon as possible, and it would be helpful if you gave us the best phone number and time to reach you.
Shana Tovah,
Ms. Melone
Elementary 9/6/12
Were off to a great start! This year our History curriculum will focus on Europe and Asia. Next week we start learning about Ancient Mesopotamia.
Upcoming Events:
Apple Picking this Tuesday
Soccer on Thursday
Morning Drop Off :
There will be a staff member at the foot of the stairs at 8:15 each morning. Please do not let your children out of the car until you see the staff member. If you arrive earlier than 8:15, please keep your children in the car, or park and get out with them.
Reminder:
Please send indoor shoes and socks, as well as Kippot for boys, every day.
Have a great weekend,
Ms. Melone
Judaics Elementary 9/6/12
We are off to a great start in the Elementary. We have been doing our Tefillot, and reading individually in the Siddur. We have also talked about the Chumash and reviewed what a Chumash was as well as Shorashim/root words in Chumash. The children decorated beautifully our Chumash flashcard boxes, where we will put current Shorashim and Milim/words that we are learning in Chumash, as well as our Ivrit Milim/modern Hebrew words. The cards are color-coded for these three categories. In Group Lessons we have begun to learn about the month of Elul, how it is a whole month to prepare for Rosh Hashana. We talked about how when you have a special event, you take a long time to prepare for it. Because of the importance of planning for the new year we take the whole month of Elul to prepare.
Have a wonderful Shabbat,
Morah Miriam

Rimon 9/6/12
What a busy week we have had! We started on Tuesday with our “old timers.” These are the children who were in the class last year. They were so happy to be back in school. They were met with a few new surprises. First and foremost they have a new Morah in the classroom! They all know me from last year as I substituted for Miriam many times and I was also one of their parsha teachers . We had a lot of fun last year together. We also rearranged the room a little bit. The children came into the classroom with the room arranged the way it had been last year and then together we changed the language shelves and the art shelves. The children really liked being part of the moving process.
On Wednesday the rest of the class arrived. The new children were warmly welcomed by their classmates. The older children helped the younger children find what they needed and everyone was busy working most of the morning. The youngest children love to watch the older children work. It is really an amazing process.
I am getting to know all the children. This week is a week for new experiences and getting settled in. If you have any concerns about your child please let me know. Remember to bring in indoor shoes if you have not yet had the chance as well as change of clothes with your child’s names clearly written on them.
I am looking forward to a fun filled year in class Rimon!
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Morah Ofer
Dvash 9/6/12
Welcome to class! The first few days have been interesting for our new friends. They have been discovering where all the supplies and activities are in the shelves. They have gotten to know returning students who have helped them and made friends with them.
For all children staying for lunch- it will be nice if your child brings a plate to put their lunch on. They will bring their plate home to be washed and bring it back to school the next day for lunch.
If your child naps in the afternoon, please let us know.
Gefen 9/6/12
Welcome to the Toddler community. Marcia, Efi and I extend a warm welcome to all our toddlers and their families and wish them all an exciting and an enjoyable school year.
The first two weeks is transition time for the toddlers. Of course we understand how hard it is for the toddlers to leave their mom or dad at the door and also how difficult it is for the parents to hand over their precious little toddlers to the teachers. It is for this reason that we have the transition time. A time to get to know each other a little better. A time to communicate with each other what ever doubts and fears we may have.
So please do not hesitate to come and talk to us what ever concerns you may have. We will be very happy to talk to you.By doing so we hope to give the toddlers and their parents an enjoyable and an unforgettable first year school experience.
Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Sharmaleen
 
Below you will find a description of each class with attached photos from this week.
Dvash 9/27/12
We have been doing a lot of food preparation every day. Today we washed grapes and the three year olds plucked them for group snack. The four year olds made cream cheese sandwiches.
There has been a lot of water activity-washing dishes, washing hands, and scrubbing tables.
Rimon 9/27/12
We had a very short week this week. We spoke about Yom Kippur and that the children's job on Yom Kippur is to listen nicely to their parents while their parents are fasting so the fast will be easier for them.
We also talked about saying sorry when we do something wrong. The children had lots of ideas about why we should say sorry. We also told the story of Yonah and the whale. We are getting ready for Sukkot and are sending home an edible Sukkah, Yum!
Morah Sorah Rivkah
Dvash and Rimon pictures:

PicasaWeb Slideshow


Gefen Toddlers 9/27/12
The toddlers continued to sing Rosh Hashana songs last week and this week. They also continued to work with the Rosh Hashanah materials and practiced saying the blessings on the round Challahs, Kiddush and the candles. The toddlers were introduced to the Sukkot materials. They shook the Lulav and Etrog and pretended to build their own Sukkah for the holidays.
Chag Sameach,
Morah Sharmaleen
Morah Marcia
Gefen Pictures:

PicasaWeb Slideshow

Judaic Elementary 9/27/12
We have been busy learning about all the Jewish holidays. We learned about Yom Kippur. We learned what restrictions adults have on Yom Kippur and the extra Tefillot that are said. We also read the story of Yonah and discussed it's lesson- that Hashem is always waiting, and waiting for us to return to Him. We are also learning about Sukkot-the Lulav, Etrog, and the Sukkah, and the laws and customs that go along with them, and finally Simchat Torah and it's joyfulness. In Chumash we have put an emphasis on Shorashim/root words for verbs that will help the children develop greater independence in translation.
Mrs. Singer
Elementary 9/27/12
Popular Work of the Week
Three of the most popular works of the past week have been in the area of geometry: chess, the “Box of Sticks,” and the Constructive Triangles. Chess is considered a geometry work because it gives children concrete experience of angles and spatial reasoning. The Box of Sticks is a constructive, creative work in which children build shapes with sticks of different lengths, fastening the sticks to a “plane” (flat surface, like a corkboard) with pins. This work is used to introduce types of lines and polygons, types of angles, and other geometric concepts included in our geometry nomenclature booklets – but at first, it’s just fun to see what kind of shapes and patterns one can make with sticks and pins! The Constructive Triangles are introduced as a sensorial exercise in primary, and are used in elementary to explore concepts of congruence, similarity, equivalence and area.
Lessons
In addition to geometry, lots of work is happening in biology, especially with the microscope. Many students are enjoying looking at slides, and some are beginning to draw what they see through the microscope. The next step, after this careful observation of prepared slides, is for the students to begin making their own slides, usually from plant materials. There have also been requests for lessons on fruit, seeds and flowers.
Coming Up
In October, we will have some new shelves delivered for our classroom, which will allow for a wider variety of materials to be available for lessons and work time. Our Fall Birthday Committee will be planning the first of our quarterly birthday parties, and a number of interesting history projects are well under way, as we continue our study of Mesopotamia during October. The class is also discussing some longer-range plans, such as putting on a play and having a “Math Party” on Pi Day (March 14-15).
Communication
I have begun making check-in phone calls, so that you will have a phone number to get in touch with me after school hours, and I expect to be able to reach all of our elementary families soon. As always, you can also call and leave a message on Extension 20, or give a note to Mrs. Singer or myself.
I hope your Sukkot is an enjoyable and relaxing family time.
Ms. Melone
Elementary Class pictures:

PicasaWeb Slideshow

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