A new batch of third graders did not waste any time before diving into the new school year. In the short time we have spent together we have covered many topics. In E.L.A, we reviewed what complete sentence are made of as well as how to identify fragments, statements, and questions. Just yesterday we had our very first Grammar Quiz. During our reading lessons we began to read our class novel called The Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing. In Math, we learned of many ways to represent digits. We practiced identifying and rewriting numbers to and from standard, model, word, and expanded form. Now we are learning to find the value of digits within other numbers. In Social Studies, we are learning what makes a community strong and safe. This topic is helping us to start building our own class community.
In Science, 3rd graders learned about characteristics of living things.
Our first graders were absolutely amazing this week. In Reading we discovered character and setting in the story "Gram and Me." In Science, we explored the growing cycle of plants and trees. We learned how writing a list could help us be more organized. We're really learning alot.
The highlight of the week were our "All About Me" posters. First graders took much pride as they introduced themselves to the class. It was interesting to hear them share their favorite stories and activities. Such richness and diversity makes our class so special.
We had a busy week of school reviewing our Hebrew letters and vowels. We are ready for the Holiest Day of the year “Yom Kippur. “We learned all about the 10 Days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and what we should be doing during these days. We enjoyed making many projects in honor of the holiday and hope you will use the lamented Parents Prayer that is customarily given to children on Sunday the eve of Yom Kippur. The children know Sunday is a mitzva to eat and on Yom Kippur adults fast. We learned and acted out the story of Yona the prophet which is read at the afternoon service on Yom Kippur. We know we can’t run away from Hashem and Hashem always accepts sincere repentance.
Shabbat Shalom and an easy fast.
Morah Spiegel and Morah Rebecca
Middle School Math
6th grade performed wonderfully. We completed our first unit of Numbers and Operations and I look forward to starting the next. 7th grade continues to behave well and perform successfully academically. The honors portion of the bunch has also completed its first unit of Numbers and Operations and is ready to move on to the next. 8th grade has finished their first unit as well and the honors students are following closely behind since their unit is a bit denser than that of the regular 8th grader’s. However, I believe that slow but steady the 8th grade honors will win the race. This week I’m especially proud of Eva, Mark, Ethan, Madi, Gabby and Asher from 6th grade for showing consistency and performing extremely well academically, Yaffa and Tyler from 7th grade for working so hard throughout the week to keep their grades up and Taylor and Rachel from 8th grade for keeping up with the work.
Middle School ELA
I love teaching middle school! It is a lot of fun being able to discuss topics in depth and read challenging novels with the students. I am very excited for this school year. It has its challenges, and we have to adjust to a new way of doing school and schoolwork. I believe that we can get through it, though, and that at the end of everything we will grow stronger!
In 6th grade, the students are learning about the writing process. Last week, they did pre-writing and drafting on a story about winter. This week, they revised and edited their writing. We hope to publish by Friday! We also continued reading our novel, 'Fish in a Tree'. I am particularly impressed by Mikai and Oren's writing!
In 7th grade, the students are learning about parallel structure. We also read our class novel, 'The wonderful story of Henry Sugar.' In grammar, we also practiced finding the central idea and supporting details for non-fiction articles. Mrs. Hazen is particularly impressed with you, Leora Mirocznik, and how hard you are working this year!
In 8th grade, the students took most of this week to complete the Stanford test. They also continued reading their novel, 'The gift of the Magi'. Mrs. Hazen is proud of all of her 8th graders, and of how hard they worked this week!
Kindergarten and First Grade:
This week in Kindergarten Judaics we learnt about the letter Bet. The students all know the sound Bet makes , B and know how to draw a bet with a bouncy ball and a bench for Bentzi to sit on! This week we began to learn about mitzvot and aveirot! We discussed that mitzvot are the things Hashem wants us to do and aveirot are the things Hashem does not want us to do. All these mitzvot and aveirot are in the torah. The children came up with so many great examples of mitzvot and aveirot! We also read a special book called Aliza in Mitzvahland, we all loved seeing the wonderful pictures of all the mitzvot that Aliza found.
This week we also learnt about the holiday of Yom Kippur. We learnt that this is a very special day when Hashem seals our judgement for the whole year. There are a few special things about this day. We do not eat or drink, we do not smear lotion, we do not take showers or wash our hands up until our knuckles and we do not wear leather shoes. The children had a lot of fun making non-leather shoes and putting rubber rings by their knuckles where we can wash our hands to.
Shabbat Shalom and Gmar Chatima Tova!
This week in math we worked on rounding numbers up to a million, find factors and multiples.
In ELA we worked on correcting sentences, identify subjects, predicates and writing personal narratives.
In Social Studies we are reading and discussing land, water and resources of the United States.
In science, with Ms. Belli, students learned the process of Photosynthesis.
The holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, revolves around the concept of Teshuva, repentance. It is a day we confess our sins to ourselves and to Hashem and make plans to better our lives, our relationships and our commitment to Torah. In Psalm 130, King David speaks about the impossibility of being sinless and shows appreciation to Hashem for giving us the opportunity to do Teshuva. King David then says, “כִּי־עִמְּךָ הַסְּלִיחָה לְמַעַן תִּוָּרֵא, For forgiveness is with You, in order that You be feared.” For many years I struggled with understanding this verse. If Hashem forgives our wrongdoing, how does that lead us to fear him?
I recently found a wonderful explanation from Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892-1953). When a person has nothing to lose, there is no reason to be nervous or worried. If there is no concept of repentance, then as soon as a person sins there would “nothing to lose,” the chance for perfection having already disappeared. Such a person has no fear of Hashem and no fear of sinning further. It is precisely because we do have the chance to fix past mistakes that we are nervous that we properly take advantage of this opportunity.
This concept can be better understood with the following analogy. In the early 90’s, my favorite baseball team, the LA Dodgers, were not very good. One year, the last game of the season was against their arch-rival, the San Francisco Giants. For the Dodgers the game was meaningless as they were winding down an unsuccessful campaign. The Giants, however, were dependent on winning this game to make it to the playoffs. The Dodgers defeated the Giants soundly and we excitedly celebrated knocking out the Giants from the playoffs. For us Dodger fans, it was the highlight of the year. As I think back to that moment, I recognize that the Dodgers performance was nothing to celebrate. The Giants were under tremendous pressure knowing that this was an opportunity not to lose. The Dodgers on the other hand, had nothing to lose. Since the Dodgers had zero pressure, their win did not display any courage or fortitude. When a person has nothing to lose, there is no reason to be nervous or worried. Only by truly recognizing that we can change for the better will we indeed have skin in the game.
Some of our great Torah leaders looked noticeably different during the period of the High-Holidays. They truly felt the opportunity for improvement and were nervous and worried that they not allow the opportunity to go to waste. They truly embodied the words of King David,” כִּי־עִמְּךָ הַסְּלִיחָה לְמַעַן תִּוָּרֵא, For forgiveness is with You, in order that You be feared.”
May we all merit to optimize this opportunity to do a proper Teshuva, repentance.
Wishing all a meaningful Yom Kippur
Middle School Social Studies
This week in 6th grade Social Studies, we examined the geography of the Eastern Hemisphere, generally, and the Fertile Crescent, specifically. The star student was Madison Graham.
This week in 7th grade Social Studies, we discussed America’s geography and the American Indians. I would like to commend Yaffa Bareket for her overall performance in class.
This week in 8th grade Social Studies, we reviewed the lead-up to, and the causes of, the Civil War. Eliana Volfson impressed me with her scholarly skills.
The first day of school was very exciting. It was very nice seeing everyone again and made me really look forward to another year of teaching and growing! I am looking forward to exploring the wonders of Jewish History with a new group of students as well as continuing further with my current students. I expect that my students will learn to look beneath the surface and find out what really happened instead of taking anything at face value.
This week, the 7th grade is learning about how the world was created and how it became the modern world we know today. 8th grade is continuing their review of last year's material and is covering the first Jewish Kings.
This year, I am teaching 5th grade, and I am very excited to be doing so!. The current 5th grade is the class I first taught when I came to SIHA. They were in 2nd grade at the time. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years already! I’m looking forward to the school year.
This week, the 5th grade learned about different types of sentences in grammar. They practiced their writing by finding central ideas and key details in informational texts.
They continued to read their class novel, Maniac Magee. I am happy to say that it appears as if the 5th grade is enjoying the book so far!
In Math the 5th grade learned about Factors and Multiples. They also learned about Prime Numbers and Prime Factorization.
In Social Studies, the 5th grade continued to learn about the geography of the world. They focused on the North American continent and its climate.
In science, with Ms. Belli, students learned how the Circulatory and Respiratory System work together to keep an organism alive.
The second-grade class had a great week! We got a lot of work done these past few days. On Tuesday, the students took their first spelling test. In ELA, the students have been working on identifying the different types of sentences. We also began reading our class chapter book The Chocolate Touch and the children began coming up with topics ideas for their personal narratives they will be writing. In math, the second-graders have been hard at work rewriting three-digit numbers in expanded form. On Thursday, September 17, we celebrated Michael Groys’ seventh birthday!
In science, with Ms. Belli, students learned what we get from plants and how important are plants in our daily life.
Middle School Boys
We had a great week. We began learning all about The holiday of Sukkot. If you ask your son how tall a sukkah can be, he will tell you in a flash.
We also began learning about the Amida and how we can ask Hashem absolutely anything! especially apropo before Yom Kippur. Shana Tova.
The boys got their first taste of Gemara Elu Metzios. A הוה אמינא and מסקנא were discussed as well as the difference between Yiush and hefker.
In learning about Yom Kippur, we saw an amazing story about forgiveness and discussed how Hashem deals with people who overlook injustices done to them.
I am so proud of kindergarten this week. They read their first two books and did an amazing job! They have been working hard on learning all about the sounds the letters make and how to write the letters correctly. In math class they are starting to be able to subitize within 5 very quickly! They also finished learning all of the 2D shapes and they had a lot of fun brainstorming how they can make each shape out of play-doh. They are very excited to bring their shape monster books home next week to read to their family. In science they learned all about their sense of touch and sight. They used their sense of touch to describe different textures and their sense of sight to go on a scavenger hunt around the playground. They found so many objects! In social studies they watched a video and then our puppet Charles taught the class all about following the rules, being honest, and about responsibility.
Middle School Science
6th graders learned how the scientists use the term"Topography" to describe the shape of a geographic area.
7th graders are learning the differences in the properties of matter, density, mass v. volume.
8th graders are learning how to determine whether something is living by identifying the characteristics of life.
Ms. Belli’s 8th graders are discovering and learning how minerals are formed and their characteristics.
8th Grade Business
8th grade had their first business meeting today!
During that business meeting, we covered student government, fundraisers, and yearbook.
The 8th graders elected their first student government!
Congratulations to Orian Cohen, class president,
Gabriella Schwartz, Vice-president,
Yosi Malka, treasurer,
Rachel Dym, the secretary.