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17 Feb

We have had another lovely week. Even though we missed Morah Miriam terribly, we were so happy and lucky to have Morah Shira with us! Friendship week was a big hit and lots of children shared with me the wonderful acts of kindness they did for their friends! We will of course be continuing with these acts and hopefully they will share with you what they have been dong for others. 
Secular Studies:
Open Circle skills are continuously practiced and modeled throughout the day, and we continue to encourage you to use them at home as well. This week we revisited  the skills of giving and receiving compliments. Friendship week was a lovely way to focus on and implement all that we have been learning. 

Reading groups went back to normal this week. Four groups, each reading at their appropriate levels and focusing on skills that were introduced in the stories they were provided. For example: some children continued with a story online, Hannukah in Alaska. After listening to the story they were asked to think about how they would have solved the problem. Using pictoral and written documentation the children expressed their solutions to the problem of an unwanted Moose! Other groups are continuing to learn about cause and effect, as well as making predictions. Parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives are also being explored through the booklets and stories, and children are encouraged to use their creativity to answer some critical thinking questions. 

Things 1 were introduced to new sight words /they/ and /we/. Homework was fun this week. Children were asked to spell write their sight words in the air with their feet!!! While Things 2 were given their new Spelling words that focused on mixed vowel review. The children should not be able to identify what makes a long vowel sound (silent /e/) and when there is a short vowel sound. 
Things 2 are also continuing to develop their Language skills by working on identifying the naming and telling parts of sentences as well as special names of people, places, days of the week and months of the year all needing upper case letters.  
This week in math the Things 1 began learning about number bonds and the meaning of part-part-whole. With visual symbols as well as numerals the children created their own number bonds and saw how a whole can be made with a variety of parts. 
Things 2  are also using number bonds but in a more detailed manner. They are solving addition  and subtraction equations to 40 by making a ten. 
A new Social Studies unit has begun! We will be traveling the world to lean about different festivals, celebrations and holidays around the world. This week we went to Australia and learned all about the Fairy penguin Parade! Near Melbourne Australia, on Phillip Island hundreds of tiny penguins waddle and parade ashore for the onlookers. After watching a short clip of the cute little aquatic birds, we were prompted to research some of the different types of penguins. Did you know there are 17 different species of penguins ranging from only a few inches tall to 4 feet tall! The children learned why penguins can survive in the cold (blubber and special oils spread over their feathers) as well as some of their characteristics. White bellies, black or dark backs, and different patterns of feathers all help camouflage them against predators. They are aquatic (sea) birds meaning they do not fly, but swim and even toboggan! Look for your child’s penguin book that will share other interesting facts they have learned about these adorable birds!!!
Morah Miriam has been out for most of the week learning more about the TalAm program and is now off to a conference on Tefillah with other Ezra faculty. She will update on more of the curriculum upon her return. 
… a note from Morah Miriam…
The TalAm conference was wonderful; lots of ideas and motivational information.  There were Hebrew educators from Argentina, the U.S., Canada, Israel, and beyond.  All are very committed to Jewish and Hebrew education.  I had the privilege of learning with Tova Shimon, who founded TalAm in 1979.  I now have access to a new resource: AriotCal, and learned a lot about ITalam — the brand new internet based TalAm program.
It was also wonderful to see your children today (Thursday).  
We reviewed the Parsha (Yitro); we watched Saba Tuvia and Prince of Egypt.  I know that Morah Shira has also been reviewing the Parsha as well.  Make sure to ask them: what is your favorite Commandment? Hopefully they can name at least 4 if not all 10!
Please know that the children did very well at Whole School Tefillah — as usual!  
Friday: off to the Ramah Shabbaton and SLBC with Morah Jacquie, Morah Gail, and Rabbi Amanda!!!  
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