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3rd Grade Blog                                                        December 3-6, 2017

 

JUDAICA

On Sunday, we talked about rules, such as rebuking yourself and loving others, that come from parashat k’doshim in a section known as the Holiness Code. Each student was given a card with a guideline and they had to become an “expert” on it. They presented their cards and offered discussion questions which we talked about as a class. As we were doing this, we formed a list on the whiteboard of clear and brief summaries of each holiness guideline.

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                             November 29, 2017

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, we were getting more connected with Judaism with a focus on the shehecheyanu. We brainstormed ways that we feel connected to other people and discussed how that could help us connect to God. I explained that the shehecheyanu is a prayer that is said on special and happy occasions. We repeated the prayer together and as a class we compiled a list on the whiteboard of  “shehecheyanu moments” - we were very creative with it! We shared three case stories of students who told of moments when they said the shehecheyanu. Students in class took on the role of each of the students and we had meaningful discussions after each one. We agreed that saying the shehecheyanu can make a moment in time more kadosh, or connected to God. 

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                                    November 19, 2017

 

JUDAICA

On Sunday, we had the chance to complete the lesson that we briefly began on Wednesday. The students were told to think of someone special to them and we created a running list of characteristics of those people. We usually think people are special because of the ways in which they care about us and try to help us, just as God cares about us and tries to help us. I taped posters around the room with the headings “Parent,” “Friend,” “Rabbi,”  and “Teacher.” We participated in a "gallery walk" where the students went around to each poster and wrote things this person does that makes them feel special. Each student took a look at their peers' and teachers' responses and then we discussed them. We learned that we relate to God by understanding our relationships with special people in our lives and we can listen to God by relating to people.  

          

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                                         November 12-15, 2017

JUDAICA

On Sunday, we spent a lot of time talking about how sometimes when we face a challenge, it is hard to notice God, or we might feel far away from God. We talked about ways to strengthen our relationship to God when God feels hidden or far away. Our madrich Jacob did a wonderful job telling the story of Jacob and Esau and we discussed that Esau may have felt mad or tricked and that Jacob might have felt guilty and upset as he ran away. We also told the “Jacob’s Dream” story and everyone was surprised that God came to Jacob when he least expected it.

On Wednesday, we had abbreviated class time due to an awesome program about sleepaway camp - specifically, the 3 URJ camps in our region: Eisner, Crane Lake and 6-Point Sci-Tech! If your children seem interested or would like to know more about the sleepaway camps that were discussed in the program tonight, please contact Karen Trager! Since our time was short, we briefly discussed how our relationships with one another help us have a relationship with God.

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                                  November 5-8, 2017

 

JUDAICA

On Sunday, we wrapped up our unit on Torah! It was exciting to the students that we finished something and that they were able to recall so much of what we have learned since the beginning of the year. This lesson was a wrap-up and review lesson, so we began by recalling our topics and what we learned about them. There was ordinary vs. special or holy, the lesson on giving and getting gifts, kashrut (holy eating), tochecha (how to tell someone when he or she did something wrong), not accentuating others’ weaknesses (stumbling block lesson), Shabbat, the Sabbatical year, and loving your neighbor. Each student was assigned a page in our “Holiness Book” to create. Some students worked on the fabulous cover and others worked together with students who struggled to remember exactly what we did in certain lessons. At the end of class, we were left with a wonderful book comprised of words and illustrations on everything we have learned so far. On Wednesday, we started our unit on avodah, which means the work that we do to find sacred connections to God, community, and self. We had a really fun time participating in a scavenger hunt throughout the synagogue. We talked about how connecting to God can be very difficult and sometimes we have to look for God in special places that may remind us of God. The scavenger hunt took us throughout the sanctuary to the ner tamid (eternal lamp), the book cart, the bimah, a mezuzah, and finally we were led right to the Rabbi’s office. The  Rabbi was nice enough to spend the remainder of the class time answering the students’ questions about her personal relationship with God and how she has developed such a special relationship with the synagogue and with God. This was such a fun class!

Becca

 

HEBREW

Let me start by saying what a great service we had on Friday night, November 1st, together!  The 100% attendance was truly appreciated, and the students did a wonderful job with their participation.  Many thanks to everyone for your assistance and for attending the dress rehearsal. 

Class on Sunday was a strong Hebrew day, where we learned lamed, mem, and kaf.  We have completed our worksheets to page 15, and to page 13 in our books.  

On Wednesday, we wrapped up the majority of our high holiday coverage.  We had a good discussion and read more about Yom Kippur and Sukkot.  We will only spend about 10 minutes next class on Simchat Torah.  These were short sessions, combined with our Hebrew work.  We have covered our worksheets to page 17 and the students have gotten new ones to page 20.  We also worked in our text books with word blending to page 13. 

Enjoy Shabbat and see you Sunday.

Mr. Z.

3rd Grade Blog                                              October 29-November 1, 2017

 

JUDAICA

Today we spent time learning about Parashat K’doshim, loving your neighbor. We started with a potentially problematic situation that could happen on the soccer field and we discussed the possible problems with the situation and also possible suggestions in order to handle the situation in a nice way. This led really well into our discussion on loving your neighbor. I put the quote  “Love your fellow human being as you love yourself” (Vayikra/ Leviticus 19:18) on the board and we took a few minutes to talk about what this may mean and examples that we have seen in our own lives. The class was then asked to create on their own examples of how we “love our neighbors.” We made sure that the students understood that this idea was not just about loving a neighbor, but rather loving all of those around you. The students shared at the end what they created and what they have learned and ways that they planned to start or continue doing this in their everyday lives.

Becca

 

HEBREW

In class today, we did a very short Hebrew review on the letters and vowels. We did a little more word blending in our Hebrew book. Rabbi Tuling visited us to get to know the students in our class. As a reminder, our 3rd Grade First Friday Community Shabbat Service, Siddur Presentation and Dinner is this Friday, November 3. Your child will receive his/her siddur and will help lead the service singing a few special prayers and songs. Becca and I hope to see everyone there; services begin at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner.

Mr Z

3rd Grade Blog                                                    October 22-25, 2017

JUDAICA

On Sunday, we spent time doing a review of what makes us holy. We finished up some work in our tip book on how we treat others who make mistakes, or how we rebuke others. We also played a game where the class was split into two groups, and each group had madrichim to help them. They were tasked with coming up with a list of as many creative things that they could that they feel are “holy.” After 3 minutes, the groups shared what they had and they only received points for unique ideas that did not appear on both groups’ lists. On Wednesday, we discussed the sabbatical year and how it is the 7th year where we allow the land to rest so it can keep providing for us. We then did a writing activity where we each pretended to be a piece of land and had to write about how we felt during the sabbatical year when we were allowed to rest. A lot of the students conveyed how thankful and relaxed they were after working hard to grow crops for the people for six years. It was a fun activity for the students to understand why such a year exists.

Becca

 

HEBREW

On Wednesday, we covered some Yom Kippur and Sukkot readings together. We also studied the blessings recited during these holidays. We continued learning our new letters, mem and lamed. The students have received worksheets, pages 4-18, and have worked through page 15. We are working on the first two lessons in our text, Shalom U'vrachah. We will continue our progress and be finished with holiday studies by next week.

On Sunday, we worked on learning Hebrew letters this whole class, with great help from several madrichim.  We reviewed bet, shin, tav, hay and vet.  We began to learn mem and lamed as well.  We will continue wrapping up the last few holidays and reinforcement of the new letters for our next class or two.  We have gotten to page 15 in our handouts, and we will use our books for additional material.

Mr. Z.

3rd Grade Blog                                                     October 15-18, 2017

HEBREW

We had a concluding discussion on on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  We learned about the normal traditions and customs of the holidays. We also reviewed Hebrew letters we have covered so far.

Mr Z

 

JUDAICA

Sunday’s lesson was all about tochecha or rebuking others. Jacob, one of our madrichim, and I acted out a scene in a grocery store where I publicly humiliated and blamed Jacob for knocking over a display of sodas. I reacted unfairly and the students noticed. The students discussed better ways to treat a friend when he or she makes a mistake. The Torah has a special rule about how to tell someone that he or she did something wrong. Each student was asked to give a piece of advice to some make believe aliens who were having trouble treating each other well. We put the tips into a book so we can always remember how to correctly treat others. 

On Wednesday, we discussed Shabbat and melacha, or what not to do on Shabbat. We started by writing down roughly what our schedules look like during the week and concluded that they are very busy, which is different than how Shabbat is supposed to be. The students then drew individual pictures or wrote about their ideal Shabbat and how they specifically would make the day holy and relaxing after such busy weeks, filled with school and extracurricular activities.. We were better able to understand the differences between what we do on Shabbat and what we do on other days.

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                    September 24-27, 2017

Hebrew

On Wednesday, we worked on reinforcement of the Hebrew letters we've covered so far.  These included bet, vet, shin, tav, hay and the vowel sound ah.  We covered our High Holiday book Mr. Z. got from the Library.  This gave the overall meaning and concepts for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, including a  sweet New Year, fasting, challah, praying, tashlich (throwing bread into the water and casting away our sins), and apples and honey.  We will continue progressing in Hebrew the next few classes, as well as a little more holiday coverage.

In class on Sunday, we had a substitute, as Mr. Z. was out-of-town for his niece's wedding.  Gianna Michaelson and the madrichim did a wonderful job of working with the children reviewing the Hebrew letters and vowel we have covered so far.  We also began a library book based on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  We will continue our High Holiday story next class, along with some Hebrew work. 

Mr. Z. 

Judaica

The beginning of this class was dedicated to finishing up writing our skits and performing them. It seems like everyone had fun adapting The Book of Ruth and making it their own, and it seems to be a way to better understand/ remember the main ideas from the story. We even had one group modernize the story, which I thought was absolutely awesome and made everything more relatable. We focused the rest of the class on holidays that were either coming up or had just passed. The students led a brief discussion on Rosh Hashanah and what the holiday meant to them and Yom Kippur and why people fast. Lastly, we discussed Sukkot and the students understood the holiday as one that really brought communities together where people can invite others into their sukkahs and see the interconnectedness of humanity. We ended with a fun activity where we made corn decorations for the sukkah out of popcorn!

                

Please remind your children to bring tzedakah every week; every little bit counts!

Becca

3rd Grade Blog                                           September 17, 2017

Judaica

In this lesson we talked about Parashat Sh’mini and kashrut. We started by having the students come up with a list of foods that their parents don’t allow them to eat, like dietary restrictions, foods with allergens or candy and junk food. Then we made a list of foods that their parents encourage them to eat, like healthy foods, foods that are easy to prepare, or foods that everyone in the family enjoys. We broke into groups and read “The Laws of Kashrut.” We talked about why we think God gave us these rules and related it back to our last lesson on offerings and how we learned that giving gifts to God can bring us closer to God. As Reform Jews, we believe that following God’s commandments can bring us closer and it is our responsibility to learn about mitzvot. After learning, we must decide if we think following them will help us feel closer to God or bring us holiness. The students worked in groups to create their own creative, kosher Shabbat menu, with names of meals and what they are choosing. We shared our kosher menu ideas and talked as a group to support why exactly they were kosher. We ended with adding to our own definitions of kadosh or what makes us feel close to God.

Becca

HEBREW

We have continued our work on the same Hebrew letters, and touched upon hay, vet and mem in the new mix. We will continue with these letters in our next classes. We are studying our worksheets up to page 11, and continuing to page 14. We are reinforcing the first letters and vowel sounds. If your child is absent, please make sure they are practicing at home and keeping up with our class.

At this time, I would like to take a moment to wish each and every one of you, and your families, a happy, healthy, sweet and productive New Year. L'Shanah Tova and an easy fast for Yom Kippur to all.

Mr Z 

3rd Grade Blog                                             September 10-13, 2017

Hebrew

On Wednesday, we began our work on the Hebrew letters bet, tav and shin, and learned the vowel ah. Your child has been given a set of worksheets, pages 3-11, to study from, and that we will be using over the next three to four classes.

We had a productive morning on Sunday with our class. Most everyone was present, and we covered a lot of important ground - including staff introductions, safety and security procedures, the value of respect for staff, property and Temple, the fact that our school is nut free and all snacks must also be nut free, Hebrew books and supplies and how our year will work. We will complete a short ice-breaker activity next class, and will begin our Hebrew study and High Holiday work as well.

I am always accessible for any questions or concerns you might have. Please email me at  MrZ@kolhaverim.org, or all me at 860.693.9521 /h or 860.539.7042 /c.

Mr. Z

 

Judaica

Wednesday's lesson started with me showing the students an unidentified wrapped box and asking “If this were a present for you, how would you feel? How would you feel about me?" After writing a few responses on the board, we transitioned into how this relates to Judaism. We discussed that the first portions of Vayikra/ Leviticus have to do with sacrifices brought to God in the Temple in Jerusalem in ancient times. The Temple is no longer standing in Jerusalem and we do not sacrifice animals or grains to God, so why do we still teach about this and is it relevant today? We said that one way we still give gifts to God is prayer. And we can understand sacrifice as “offerings” or korban. To reinforce and connect this idea better, I read a passage about a gift-giving exchange and had some students act it out. We ended by saying that perhaps when we offer ourselves to others and to God, we come closer to God, and perhaps, God comes closer to us.

On Sunday we introduced the Torah track of our CHAI Curriculum, and focused on introducing Vayikra/ Leviticus through teaching about the word k'doshim or holiness. We started off by handing each student 2 index cards with words written on them. On each side of the room, the title "ordinary" and "special" were posted on the wall. The students were asked to take a few minutes to really think about their words and then tape them under the category they felt was best! We had a discussion about holiness and were surprised (and delighted!) to find that some students had a different way of thinking on certain cards. Some students offered that maybe a pencil could be considered special or holy because it comes from trees, which give us life.

                 

We learned that there is a difference between things that are holy and things that are not; however, sometimes holiness is really based on an individual's specific opinion or understanding. We then discussed what the students felt was holy to them in Judaism. We ended class with two students acting out a passage I read about Moses sharing a message from God, asking us to behave in a holy way. At first, they thought this was silly, but also understood what was happening and how it related to k'doshim.

I hope everyone had a good day today - and just a reminder to please bring a contribution for tzedakah next time! It is so important that we collect enough money to really make a difference this year.
 

Becca
 

3rd Grade Blog                                             September 6, 2017

3rd Grade Hebrew

We had a good first day of class together, and it was great to meet all of the children. We covered some of the basic rules and procedures today including safety, security and respect. We will continue this conversation on Sunday as well. It was a pleasure to see the interest of parents who attended the first day of school in our curriculum and plans for the year.

Mr. Z

 

3rd Grade Judaica

Tonight was an awesome first night! I got to meet the students in third grade first and they seemed very excited to be together again. We began the class with a little introduction of myself so the students could get to know me a bit more! We then followed with a Starburst icebreaker where each student got two different colored Starbursts and the flavors corresponded with a question the students could answer about themselves. I also designed a Jenga game where I wrote some Judaism-related as well as getting-to-know-you questions on the blocks. Although the time was short, I feel as though we got to know each other a bit and I am so excited for this year!

If you ever need to contact me, please feel free to at becca@kolhaverim.com. I will see everyone on Sunday morning!

Becca

Mon, January 22 2018 6 Sh'vat 5778