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02 Sep

It has been a fantastic first week of school. The children have entered school each day with smiles and ready to learn all about Ezra and their Keshet class. Please remember to send your children to school with water bottles and enough food for TWO snacks and lunch.

Below is some information on what we have been doing in class this week. Enjoy!!!!

This week during Tefillah the children learned about some of the Teffilot we say in our daily service. We began with the Modeh Ani. This is a prayer that is said first thing in the morning as we wake up. When we say this Tefillah we are thanking G-D for allowing us to open our eyes and wake up. Ask your child the difference between the words Modeh and Modah!
The class was also introduced to the Ma Tovu. In addition to learning the tune to this beautiful Tefillah they also learned about it’s meaning. This is a prayer we say as we enter a shul, and pay a compliment.
The final prayer we focused on this week was the Shemah. The children were taught why we begin this prayer by closing our eyes and taking a deep breath (because we are  trying to concentrate). The meaning of this Tefillah is to remind us that we have One
In Circle time we focus on the calendar. Days of the week, months of the year, date, and weather. This is done each morning in both Hebrew and English! We sing songs, count numbers, make graphs, and use movement to help reinforce these skills.
During our first circle the class was introduced to two of my, “apple friends”. One Apple I really liked. We went around the circle and complimented this apple. Telling it how lovely, and beautiful it was, how much we liked it, etc. The other apple was not my friend. I did not like it and I told the children I did not want them to like it either. We went around and insulted this apple. Telling it how ugly and yucky it was. I then asked the children how they thought the apples felt. When I cut the apples opened the one we liked was beautiful, crisp  and juicy looking. The apple we didn’t like and were unkind to was brown and spotted and yucky looking. The children were asked to think about how they feel when they are complimented and then again to think about how they would feel if they were insulted. Our insides feel very much like the apples insides. We are working on being kind to one another and paying compliments.
The children have also been exposed to a great deal of Hebrew vocabulary. In preparation for our Ha Mishpacha Sheli program children have learned the words for …
Family – Mishpacha
Father – Abba
Mother – Ima
Brother – Ach
Sister – Achot
House – Ba’it
Some other vocabulary learned this week was…
Left – Smoll
Right – Yamin
Head – Rosh
Hands – Yadiam
Legs – Ragliam
Shoulders – Ketafayim
Stomach – Beten
Children have also begun their Hebrew programs. Each grade level has a workbook to refer to. Kindergarten children are learning about the Alef Bet letters and the sounds they make. The most fun way we have of doing this is Alef Bet Yoga!!!!
All children are learning how to properly hold and use their writing utensils through the Zaner- Blozner Handwriting program. Children have learned specific vocabulary that ties into writing. For example; vertical, horizontal, forward circle, backward circle, and slant lines. They were also introduced to how to properly use the lines on paper. “Tall letters” go from the top line to the base line, “short letters” begin at the mid-line and bump the base line, while “tail letters” begin at the mid-line and go below the base line.
While using this program Kindergarten students are also developing their letter/sound recognition, (Phonics), as well as proper formation of the letters. They have been learning about the short and long vowel sounds for /a/ and /e/. Ask your child to show you the hand signals for the short versus the long sounds. First grade students are also reviewing letter/sound recognition as well as learning how to properly space letters within their words as well as words within their sentences. 
We have been focusing a great deal of our time on school expectations, classroom routine, how to treat others. The children have been introduced to our Behavior Chart and the meaning of its colors. The have also been introduced to some new vocabulary. 
SLL (school listening look). This is the look that children are expected to have when their teacher (or peer) is sharing information. You can also use this at home (HLL- home listening look). 
These terms tie into the Open Circle program we will be using throughout  the year. This program talks about and teaches children important social skills necessary to be a successful learner and community member. Please help us reinforce these skills by using what you can at home. 
One of the really fun activities we got to do this week was making our own class t-shirts! After reading The Rainbow Fish…or as well call it “The Keshet Fish” we talked about kindness, sharing, and respecting others. The children were reminded that, we too, use these concepts at Ezra. As a reminder we wanted them to make something special. We used an amazing form of Japanese art. Real fish (frozen and a bit stinky), were used. Children painted the fish and then made prints on t-shirts. We had gotten the fish from Rabbi Amanda who had done a lesson with the middle schoolers on Kashrut. When the Keshet students learned that some of the fish were kosher and some were not, many of them only wanted to paint a kosher fish for their shirt!
Lastly we ended the week by meeting our new emissaries, Raz and Yotam. The joined us for our morning free choice and they taught us a Shabbat song, (Shalom Alechem)
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom, 
Morah Beth and Morah Miriam!
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