Sign In Forgot Password

4th Grade Blog                                                           January 6-9, 2019

HEBREW

Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed the break.  The students were asked to work on the Shema prayer during the break. I am happy to say that we finished the prayer today and I am very proud of all the students who practiced during the break.

Today, we started to read the V’ahavta prayer. Check your child’s homework calendar for his/her assignment, and sign their homework calendar after they finish their assignment.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

The students completed the Scavenger Hunt from last week where they match clues to the Blessings of Wonder (sight, smell, and taste).  Then, we reviewed the answers.  

The class had a brief overview of the Tu BiShvat holiday, and we will be expanding upon that during the Fourth Grade Family Program.  This holiday is the "New Year of Trees"-Jewish Arbor Day.  I gave a couple Fun Facts about the trees' birthday and how the Hebrew letters when you add them together equal 15.  The holiday is on the 15th of the month of Shvat which occurs here in January or February.  We also discussed how Israel has a Tree Planting Festival where Jews around the world plant trees in honor or memory of loved ones and friends. Lastly, the class drew trees using cubism and colored them in with markers.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                           January 2, 2019

JUDAICA

The students learned about Blessings of Wonder (blessings for sight, smell, and taste).  Students walked around the room and wrote on posters about Awesome Things that they saw, smelled, and tasted, along with what their reaction was to these things.  After sharing what was written, we discussed how "awesome things" inspire awe, reverence, and wonder - all feelings that are connected to G-d.  The class learned that these blessings all began with the same 6 words: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, acknowledging that G-d is supreme and the creator of the world.  The class began a Scavenger Hunt where they had clues to various blessings and had to identify which blessings would fit the clues.  The class identified prayers that they were already familiar with like Hamotzi and the Borei P'ri HaGafen.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                       December 16-19, 2018

HEBREW

This week is our final week before winter break. Please finish reading the Yotzer Or prayer. As always, remember to sign your child's homework assignments calendar. 

Have a wonderful break.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Sunday, the class learned that Shabbat happens every week and that they can begin their participation of Shabbat by lighting the Shabbat candles and saying the Kiddush blessing. The theme of this blessing is holiness.  

The class described how they prepare for special celebrations and how they feel once they are at the celebration.  We discussed what would happen if they did not attend the celebration and if it would go on without them.  Then we spoke about Friday evening services and students answered questions about holiness: When was a time when you felt G-d was very close to you?  What have you done to help or take care of another person? Lastly we discussed the main themes of the Kiddush blessing and why it is important.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                          December 9-12, 2018

HEBREW

The students are still working on Yotzer Or. Their goal is to finish the prayer before the break. Please remember to sign their homework calendar after they finish their assignment.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday we took a deeper look at the Sh’ma and its blessings to better understand what it is that we are saying when we recite the Sh’ma. We learned new vocabulary and read a story that helped us better understand what the Sh’ma means to us. 

Lexi for Michele

For the majority of the class period on Sunday, the students were in the Sanctuary learning about the 3 URJ Northeast Summer Camps (Eisner, Crane Lake and 6 Points Sci-Tech).  During the last part of class, the students tried to answer Hanukkah riddles (I did not make these riddles up :) The class enjoyed solving a Hanukkah Crossword Puzzle as well.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                       December 2-5, 2018

HEBREW

The students continue to practice the Yotzer Or. We also practiced how to say the Chanukah blessings. Please remember to sign your child’s homework calendar after he/she finishes his/her assignment.

Happy Chanukah!

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

We had a fun Hanukkah Celebration on Wednesday in class!  I read a book about Hanukkah and students broke up into 2 groups and played dreidel.  Of course we had a lot of delicious food! Thank you to you all of the families for bringing in treats for the class!  A special thank you to the 4th grade room parents for the awesome tea, to Karen Trager for the beautiful Hanukkah candles and to Rabbi Kari for the lovely card and treats. 

Sunday in class we talked about why we pray and how it is important to practice prayer to help us be comfortable when we communicate with G-d. We discussed various situations about "What would happen if..." you did not practice/become familiar with an activity before you were involved in that activity?  An example is, "What would happen if I showed up at my Bar/Bat Mitzvah and had never been to services?" Students brainstormed responses to this question and then wrote their own "What if" situation on an index card.  The class shared their responses.  Then we found what we had in common, what made experiences more comfortable/successful, etc.

Then, we spoke about Keva, which is the fixed order and words in our religious service.  Students volunteered prayers they are very familiar with and brainstormed reasons for praying (giving thanks, asking for something, well wishes to someone ill..). We also spoke about when we pray (lighting candles, holidays, services...). After we become familiar with prayers, we feel comfortable and happy.

I read a story about a boy who questioned why he had to attend services when it was always the same routine.  The boy spoke to people about this and learned that services can become a habit in which we find comfort in the community of being with other Jewish people while praying.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                        November 28, 2018

JUDAICA

We began the Avodah section in the Chai Curriculum.  Avodah is the work we do to find sacred connections to G-d, community, and self to find meaning in our life.  The class focused on learning Kavanah, which is deeply focused concentration and comprehension.  We discussed the card game Concentration and what makes it difficult.  Then volunteers spoke of activities that they are interested in and why it is important to concentrate when they did these activities.  Further discussion was about when during these activities was it was easy or hard to concentrate.  

I spoke about how it takes concentration for prayers to be meaningful and how praying can give you a feeling of joy and connection to G-d. The class listened to the Mi Chamochah prayer and we spoke of the miracle of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.  We discussed when we experienced a miracle and how it made us feel.  

Lastly, students got in groups and worked together to answer questions about Kavanah and miracles (how after the first time a miracle occurs we may start to take the miracle for granted).

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                          November 18, 2018

HEBREW

The students continued to learn how to read the Yotzer Or. Please continue to practice reading during the break. Happy Thanksgiving.

Yifat

4th Grade Blog                                                          November 11-14, 2018

HEBREW

The students are still working on the Yotzer Or prayer. Look inside their folder for specific homework assignments. We will start to read the Chanukah Blessings soon.  Please make sure your child comes prepared to class and do not forget to sign their homework calendar after they finish their assignments.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, the class briefly shared special Jewish rituals in their lives. I assessed students' prior knowledge of the ritual for planting trees in Judaism and why.  Then the class read from The Circle of Jewish Life  how it is a traditional Jewish custom to plant a tree on the day a baby is born.  In addition, the class leaned that this birth ritual connects directly to the child's wedding because parents cut branches from the tree and use them to hold up the huppah (wedding canopy).  

The class got into groups and discussed three questions about what the ritual of planting a tree says about:  a newborn baby? a child who is ready to marry? and life being like a circle?  Then we got together and shared the answers as a group. Lastly, the class invented a ritual to connect two life-cycle moments. One of the ideas was to plant a tree for birth and cut down the tree in death. The class listened to and examined the lyrics of All My Life's a Circle by Harry Chapin. They sang along as well.

                 

Sunday we began our Life Cycle unit, based on The Circle of Jewish Life, our textbook. We listened to the song "Circle of Life" from the movie The Lion King,  and briefly spoke about the lyrics and the movie.  Students then responded to the question: How is life a circle? We agreed that everyone goes through a series of important life moments and the next generation typically goes through the same life moments. Students then brainstormed and recorded their responses to: What are the "Big Moments" in people's lives? In small groups, students worked on coming up with Jewish rituals for these "Big Moments." Finally, students chose one ritual to work on, and then continued independently to draw, write a poem or choose another way to explain the ritual they feel they know the most about. Results were shared with the class. Thanks to Melissa Durkin for substituting today.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                            November 4-7, 2018

HEBREW

This week each student is working on one of the 3 following prayers: Modeh Ani ,  Barchu or Yotzer Or. Please check your child’s homework assignment to know exactly which prayer he/she is working on. As always, sign their homework calendar when they finish their homework.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, the students completed answering their questions from Sunday and wrote arguments supporting whether or not to take over Canaan/Israel for the Israelites.

The class had their debate and the students seemed to really enjoy it.  Joshua and Caleb presented their side speaking about their confidence and bravery to take over the land.  The Ten Scouts presented their side saying how they are afraid and are small like grasshoppers.  The Israelites presented both groups with further questioning before coming up with a verdict.  Joshua and Caleb won.

On Sunday, the students re-read the text about scouting out the land of Canaan to see if they would be able to take over the land and later give the land to the Israelites.  Joshua and Caleb think they should take over the land and will be successful doing so.  The ten scouts think it wouldn't be a good idea to attack because the people who live in the country are powerful and the cities are well protected.  The ten scouts see themselves as  grasshoppers compared to the people of Canaan.  

Students broke into groups:
 1-Joshua and Caleb        2-Ten Scouts        3-Israelites (the jury)

They answered questions and began forming arguments for their group. Eventually, the groups will have a debate and the Israelites will choose the winner.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                            October 28, 2018

JUDAICA

We observed a cup filled halfway with water.  The class determined whether they saw it as half full or half empty.  Then we discussed how people can see life as positive or negative depending on their perspective. The class broke out into groups to read a text about
G-d telling Moses to find men to scout out the land of Canaan/Israel.  Jacob and Caleb had a very different view than the Ten Scouts about whether or not Canaan/Israel was a safe and good place to live.  The students answered questions about the article and we discussed our answers. 

HEBREW

This week the students will continue to practice reading the prayers Modeh Ani or Barchu. Please remember to check your child’s homework calendar for the specific prayer he or she is working on. Do not forget to sign their homework calendar.

Yifat

4th Grade Blogs                                                     October 21-24, 2018

HEBREW

Now that we finished reviewing the Hebrew letters and vowels, it’s time to start our first prayer of the year. The prayer is called Modeh Ani. As always, please do not forget to sign the proper box on the calendar after your child finishes practicing.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, we reviewed why Israel was an ideal place and that we feel G-d's presence when we are in Israel.  The class then had the task:  Tell by writing, making a song, writing a poem, drawing etc. what it would be like 500 years from now when you are visiting a 4th grade class and telling that class why Israel is special. We put the results on the bulletin board in the classroom.

4th graders learned more about Israel on Sunday.  They learned that Israel is the land of "milk and honey" and that when you are in Israel you can feel G-d's presence.  I showed the class a 5-minute video of many places in Israel and discussed how a place the size of New Jersey can have such varied landforms and climates.  The class had time to think about what they love and why they love the thing or place.  Then the class shared their ideas and we made a list.  Afterward, the two madrichim, Ben and JJ, pretended to be a rabbi and an Israelite.  They spoke of there being lots of varieties of fruit/veggies and plants in Israel and how it is a mitzvah to work the land in Israel.  They also spoke of how G-d watches over people and they feel safe and how Jerusalem is the center of the world.  After this, Elliot Rozenshteyn and Ben Field, who have both been to Israel, spoke about their impressions and answered questions.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                             October 14-17, 2018

JUDAICA

The 4th grade students are continuing to learn about Am Yisrael.  Jewish people are all members of Am YisraelAm Yisrael is made up of different types of people with various roles and functions in our community.  

On Wednesday, as a class, we read the song Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avinu Chai and translated it to "the Jewish People Lives. G-d Continues to Live." Then the students tried to figure out what the words meant and we discussed it as a class.

To make Am Yisrael more personal, the class designed a shield containing words and pictures about: 1. what their family brings to the Jewish Community, 2. how they celebrate their favorite Jewish holiday, 3. what makes their family feel connected to Israel, and 4. what makes the student feel most connected to Yisrael. Then students shared.  

On Sunday, the 4th grade students learned about Eretz Yisrael/The Land of Israel.  We discussed why the land of Israel is important to the Jewish people - birthplace of the Jewish people, spiritual and religious place, etc.

We looked at the world map and a cloverleaf map and discussed where the center of the world is in each map.  The students learned that maps are subjective as to what the center is, due to the perspective of who designed the map.  Israel is the center of the world for us.

I passed around a book with pictures from Israel and the class learned of the diversity of climate and geography in Israel - there are deserts, cities, rain forests, mountains, water...  and I showed a map of the United States and told the class how Israel is about the size of New Jersey.  

Lastly, the class colored a map of Israel to show water, mountains, land, etc.

Michele

 

HEBREW

Today in class we continued to review all the letters and vowels. The students had a short quiz on vowel pronunciation. The students received a review packet to complete, which is due on Wednesday. This is our final review. On Wednesday we will have a break from Hebrew. The students will have music and we will talk about Israel.

Please make sure your child finishes his/her review packet and you sign their homework calendar. 

Yifat

4th Grade Blog                                                              October 10, 2018

JUDAICA

Today the 4th grade learned about The People of Israel (Am Yisrael).  Our ancestors became known as the People of Israel when we received the Torah at Mount Sinai.  We learned that we don't have to live in Israel to be part of the People of Israel, and it is a mitzvah to visit or live in Israel. I spoke briefly about Birthright Israel and I asked students if they had been or are planning on visiting Israel. I then played the part of Moses and we role played going to Mount Sinai (the bimah in our case) and receiving the Torah from G-d because we promised to share commandments, holidays etc. with our children and all future generations, in order to ensure that Judaism survives.  

The students tried to imagine what it would feel like to experience receiving the Torah from G-d at Mount Sinai.  Then they drew pictures, made a collage, or wrote a poem to express what they felt and how it feels to be part of Am Yisrael, and shared their work.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                             October 3, 2018

HEBREW

The students are still reviewing the Hebrew letters and vowels. We practiced how to pronounce the letters with the different vowels. Students, please continue to review and practice the ones that you still have difficulty with. 

As always, parents, please remember to sign your child's homework assignments calendar. 

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

The fourth graders learned how to look up Biblical citations.  For example, Exodus 3:11 means that Exodus is the name of the book of the Bible, 3 is the chapter, and 11 is the verse.  The students worked in pairs to be Torah Detectives, where they found the English names of the five books of Torah in order, created a mnemonic device to remember the order of the 5 books of Torah (for example: Good Elephants Like Nice Dogs - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and found verses and discussed what some of the readings mean. It was a great learning experience for everyone to familiarize themselves with the Torah.

Michele

4th Grade Blog                                                          September 23-26, 2018

HEBREW

Shalom Parents,

This week we will review the Hebrew Aleph-bet and Vowels. Please check your child's folder for homework assignments. Remember to sign your child's Hebrew homework calendar after he/she finishes his/her assignment.  

Chag Sukkot Sameach

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, I read an article about Sukkot and the students took notes.  They made questions from their notes, formed teams and then the class played a game of asking each other questions.  Each team earned a point for each correct answer.  The article included how long Sukkot lasts, when it took place, what Sukkot celebrates, what the sukkah is made from, symbols of Sukkot, etc. The 4th grade class solved puzzles about Hidden Holiday Messages in addition to the above game.

 

On Sunday the class made decorations for the Kol Haverim sukkah.  We had a variety of fun supplies available and I gave the students a few ideas, such as fruits and fall themes. The students made their decorations while I read them a book about Sukkot - Tikvah Means Hope by Patricia Polacco - gave a brief explanation of the holiday, and asked some comprehension questions.   The 4th graders made beautiful, individualized decorations which are now hanging in the sukkah. The class seemed to enjoy the activity and even the madrichim and I contributed some decorations.  

See you on Wednesday,

Michele

Grade 4 Blog                                                September 16, 2018

Hebrew

It was great meeting you all on the first day of school. This week we will review the Hebrew Aleph-bet and vowels. Please remember to sign your child’s homework calendar after they finish their assignment.  

Shanah Tova,

Yifat 

 

Judaica

It was so nice to meet many of my students and their parents!  I am excited for this school year!  Today, after introductions, I had the students use the name plates that I made, and we  basically got to know each other a little. We played a few icebreaker games and I learned more about the students' interests and personalities. The madrichim are terrific!  They are helpful, participate, and have great ideas!

See you next Sunday.

Michele

Wed, January 16 2019 10 Sh'vat 5779