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5th Grade Blog                                                            January 6-9, 2019

HEBREW

Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed the break.  The students continued to work on the Keddushah prayer. Check your child’s homework calendar for his/her assignment, and sign their homework calendar after they finish their assignment.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

We began the class with eyes closed, humming Hinei Mah Tov to get focused.  Then, the students imagined what it would be like to be forced to leave their home, what they love about home, and if it would be the same when they returned.  We spoke about the powerful feelings that the Jewish people had when they were forced to leave their homeland of Israel and how we have kept the feelings in prayer.

The class wrote about what they knew and then learned about Israel.  We reviewed the Land of Israel Time Line about the promise of Israel, how we were exiled for 2,000 years and our return to Israel.  Students looked at texts form the Bible and determined where the Jewish People were for each text.

Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                           January 2, 2019

JUDAICA

The students learned about the Kaddish Prayer.  They learned that Kaddish means "holy" as well as that the prayer is an an expression of utmost praise and adoration of G-d.  The class did an activity where they organized words into three columns containing the common themes they figured out to be: Cities in Israel, Jewish Holiday Foods, and things we do or see in the synagogue.  The Kaddish Prayer functions as a boundary between different parts of the religious service just like the titles in the columns make boundaries so that the words make more sense.  We reviewed that, of course, the Kaddish is also a prayer to remember people who have passed on.  The students listened to me read the meaning of the Kaddish in English.  Then, we discussed the main idea/theme of this prayer. 

Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                            December 16-19, 2018

HEBREW

 

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

Have a wonderful break.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Sunday, the class learned about the final part of the Amidah where we give prayers of thanks and peace.  We discussed why we say thank you and how saying thank you helps us to appreciate things more.  

Students wrote a definition of stealing.  Then they read a text: "People steal when they enjoy the benefits of the earth without giving thanks to G-d," and answered questions about the text. Students then read prayers that showed what we are thankful for: (Avodah) G-d's relationship with the people of Israel, (Hodaah) G-d's daily gifts, and (Sim Shalom/Shalom Rav) the hope for peace.

Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                          December 9-12, 2018

JUDAICA

On Wednesday we discussed what it means to need something versus what it means to want something. We transitioned into discussing choices and free will, which led us to address the meaning of becoming Bar/Bar Mitzvah. 

Lexi for Michele

 

The class learned about the three blessings of praise found in the opening section of the Amidah:  Avot v'imahot, G'vurot, and K'dushah.

First we brainstormed the Amazing Things That G-d Is Capable of Doing such as creating people, the world, mountains, stars, etc. Then we spoke about how the list made us feel.  We spoke about miracles that had happened in their lives.  Several students shared their personal stories. 

We reviewed how we learned last class that we praise G-d before asking for something.  The students rotated among 3 stations.  In their small groups, the students read each of the three blessings and answered questions on their student worksheets.  

Michele

 

HEBREW

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

5th Grade Blog                                                   December 2-5, 2018

HEBREW

The students continue to practice reading the G’vurot. 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, I introduced the Amidah prayer. Students worked in pairs to list steps on how they would approach their parents to ask for something important.  Students prepared a plan in order to get their requests met. I explained that we are doing something similar when we pray.  We approach G-d with the right attitude. We compared steps during the Amidah prayer to steps when approaching parents for things we need.

We reviewed the structure of the Amidah, which includes Praise for G-d, Requests for the individual who is praying and Thanks and appreciation to G-d.  I told the class how this prayer is a central part of the worship service.  They learned that the word Amidah means "standing" and that when we rise up on our toes, we are lifting physically and spiritually toward G-d and being like angels closer to G-d.  In Tefilah, the rabbi mentioned being on our toes like we are angels and this further reinforced what was taught today. 

Michele

5th 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 how prayer can effect how we act in everyday life.  

The class volunteered information about a time they prayed and what they prayed for.  Then we put these prayers into categories: Something I want for myself, Something I want for someone else, Something I hoped would happen to me, Something I hoped would not happen to me, and Something I thanked G-d for.  We discussed other possible categories of prayer as well.  I spoke about the difference between how young children tend to pray by asking G-d for favors/things but as you get older, prayer tends to be more meaningful.  Some students mentioned praying for people to recover from an illness or hardship. 

The  class got into groups and read and answered questions about praying.  The Text Study they worked on spoke about doing everything they can to make prayers come true and how ill people are more likely to do better when a group of people are praying for them and care for them.

Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                           November 18, 2018

5th Grade Family Education Program

We had a family program today. The students and their parents learned about the V’ahavta prayer and the concept of love in the Torah. We talked about G’milut Chasadim and V’ahavta L’rei-acha Kamocha. We talked about the unique value of each person created in the image of God and how everyone could be part of our community and contribute to our society. The students wrote letters to people they love, and decorated their own cookies.

        

Please continue to practice reading during the break.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Yifat and Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                        November 11-14, 2018

HEBREW

The students are working on G’vurot. We will start to read the Chanukah blessings soon. Please check your child’s homework folder for specific homework assignments. As always, make sure to sign after they finish doing their homework.

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

5th Grade Blog                                                          November 4-7, 2018

HEBREW

This week the students are going to finish reading the Avot V’Imahot. Some students are already starting a new prayer, which is G’vurot.  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, students completed their Social Action Projects and are designing posters for their cause.  Some students were absent last class and did a lot of good work to catch up.

On Sunday, we reviewed how the past and present effect the future. A couple of students gave examples. The class brainstormed ideas of various ways to do good for others, and ways to follow through on these ideas.  The students created their own Social Action Project.  They wrote the name and purpose of their project, the steps to carry it out, who will do the project and when it will be completed. 

We talked about the possibility that these may be good projects for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah project, and they can begin to implement it sooner.  Some ideas were:  finding homes for pets, donating to cancer patients, helping to clean the oceans, making/giving blankets to the homeless, reading and donating books to CCMC, and volunteering to help people with employment.

Michele

5th Grade Blog                                                              October 28, 2018

JUDAICA

The class listened to Debbie Friedman's song "And the Youth Shall See Visions" while reading the lyrics.  In groups, they answered questions about the song by highlighting key points and writing ideas. Then we discussed their responses as a whole group. The song talks about what we learn in life, responsibility and good choices, and the relationship between how what we do now will effect the future and how the past also effects the future.  

We spoke about how as Reform Jews, we have the responsibility to be like prophets for our world today to "point out injustice and take action to stop it."  We spoke about how we can improve our world.

Michele

 

HEBREW

This week the students will continue to practice reading the prayer Avot V’Imahot. Please remember to check your child’s homework calendar for his or her specific assignments. Do not forget to sign their homework calendar.

Yifat

5th Grade Blog                                                           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 Avot V’Imahot.  As always, please do not forget to sign the proper box on the calendar after your child finishes practicing.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, the class reviewed their worksheet of their Jewish values and what they had rated as important and not as important.  Then we read a page about What G-d Wants From Us According to Isaiah.  The article basically stated that if you go through Jewish rituals - for example, fasting for Yom Kippur and lighting candles for Shabbat - if you are not a kind person who helps others, G-d will not appreciate it. We discussed this and spoke about how as Jews we should help others to see problems and we should help fix them.  The class volunteered examples of when they served as role models to others. We spoke about how we felt and why we wanted to be role models.

On Sunday, the 5th graders rated their values on the following topics:

Celebrating Shabbat
Giving money to the poor
Helping someone find a job
Keeping kosher
Being nice to other people
Going to services
Studying torah
Comforting mourners
Respecting parents
Fasting on Yom Kippur 

They rated these values on a scale of very important, important, not very important, not important and not sure.  We put a chart on the board tallying up the votes for the rating on each topic.  Then we went through each topic and discussed it in detail.  Students explained why they felt topics were the degree of importance that they chose.  There were a lot of similar responses: Giving money to poor (tzedakah), being nice to others, and respecting parents were viewed as important, while keeping kosher seemed to be least important to the students.We all learned a lot about the students' values.

Michele

               

Photos by JJ

5th Grade Blog                                                       October 14-17, 2018

JUDAICA

On Wednesday, the 5th grade students learned about two prophets (Jonah and Jeremiah) who were both reluctant to speak G-d's word to people.  To show how difficult it can be to tell people to improve their behavior, the class listened to a story about graffiti. The parents in the story wanted their children to tell their friends they should respect property and to tell their parents that they put graffiti on the walls of the school.  We spoke about whether they felt it was their responsibility to say anything, how their friends might react if they did say something... 

The class broke into two groups. One group focused on Jonah and the other group focused on Jeremiah.  They read the background and texts of their prophet and wrote about their prophet's personality.  They wrote how they reacted to being G-d's spokesman, some facts of their life, important statements/quotes, the prophet's actions and what the prophet learned. Then a spokesperson from each group shared with the class.

On Sunday, the 5th grade students learned about the prophet, Elijah.  First, the class brainstormed about what they already knew about Elijah.  Some students mentioned opening the door for Elijah to enter the house during the Passover seder and how we have a glass of wine for him.  Then, I read a brief text about Elijah and the students added to their knowledge. Some things they learned were how Elijah exists at least in spirit, he is a symbol of hope, and has courage to stand up to people like kings and queens. They wrote down at least two facts from what I read and then they each shared what they had learned.  After that, the class broke up into small groups, each reading two different stories about Elijah and answering questions.  We got together again as a whole group and the different groups shared.  

Michele

 

HEBREW

Today in class we continued to review all the letters and vowels. The students had a short quiz on vowel pronunciation. They  finished the review packet and are ready to start their first prayer. 

On Wednesday we will have a break from Hebrew. The students will have music and we will talk about Israel. 

Yifat

5th Grade Blog                                                          October 10, 2018

JUDAICA

Today the 5th grade learned about prophets and how prophets are close to G-d, let people know what G-d wants (better people and world), and how the prophets listen to the people. JJ and I role played the part of prophets, saying how the world needs more prophets who will speak G-d's word because, since we prophets have so much to say and have so many places to be, we are exhausted.  

The students then went in search of a new prophet.  They interviewed the prophet, Samuel, and learned that he became a prophet because his mother made an agreement with G-d that if G-d allowed her to have a son, she would have the son serve G-d. Samuel was successful because he built a close relationship with the people and they trusted him. Samuel's work was difficult because the people wanted a king and G-d felt challenged by this. The students agreed that the best part of being a prophet is the relationship with G-d and making a difference in the world. 

They also interviewed the prophet, Ezekiel, and learned that he became a prophet because G-d came to him sitting on a throne in a chariot and called him the son of Adam. He was successful because he gave people hope when they were exiled from Israel.  It was difficult to push people to behave better so that G-d would forgive them and let the people return to Israel.  The students agreed that the best part of being a prophet is being close to our amazing, extraordinary G-d and knowing how much G-d loves the people of Israel.

We brainstormed qualities of secular jobs like a veterinarian as compared to a prophet. Then the students began to make prophet want ads.

Michele

5th 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. 

We will start to work on our first prayer next week.

Yifat

 

JUDAICA

We started learning from the Chai Curriculum, beginning with the section about Torah. The fifth graders learned about Tanach, the Hebrew Bible, and that Tanach is an acronym formed from the 3 sections of the Bible: Torah, Nvi-im, and Ktuvim.  Then, the class learned and reviewed What is in the Tanach?  Students worked in 2 groups (Torah and Ktuvim), with our madrich JJ facilitating one group and me the other. 

In the Torah group, the students played Five Questions with their favorite figures from the Bible. Then they discussed which figures were most interesting and why. Lastly, students learned about three forms of the Torah - in the ark on a scroll, in book form as part of the larger Hebrew Bible and as the book called Chumash

In the Ktuvim group, students learned Ktuvim was the "ch" in Tanach and that Ktuvim means "writings" and includes songs they know.  Students picked out and sang songs that they like and we also read the translations of the songs.  

Michele

5th 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.

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 - The House on the Roof: A Sukkot Story by David A. Adler and Marilyn Hirsh - gave a brief explanation of the holiday, and asked some comprehension questions.   The 5th graders worked together to make a long chain, which is 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

5th Grade Blog                                                    September 16, 2018

HEBREW

It was great meeting you all on the first day of school. This week we will have a short review of 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