Week of Jan. 15—Jewish Studies–3 weeks to go!!

 - by Morah Rachel

YES!!  Three weeks until our חגיגת הסידור  Haggigat HaSiddur  Celebration of  receiving our new Shabbat Prayerbook!!!  Thanks to everyone who has already been helping and we look forward to all our families participating in siddur cover decorating and taking parts in the service for Saturday, Feb. 3 in the main sanctuary.  The students are ready!!

Here are our missing pictures from the last 2 weeks!  Well worth the wait to see our famous boys with the names that start with Mem    מ and our friends with the letter נ Nun


נ נועם נקיטה            מקסים מאיר משה

Maksim (special appearance!!), Mayer, Moshe                      Noam and Nikita!!

AND now …….. The new letter is…..

ס   Samech  (don’t get it confused with the final Mem!!!)  With words like:

סבא Saba    grandfather

סבתא  Savta    grandmother

סוד    sode    secret

כיסא kee-seh  chair

סלט חסה salat chasah  lettuce salad

סנאי  s’nah-ee  squirrel

סוס   soos     horse

and of course, the word סידור Siddur!!!




By the way,  just like in the word

טו Tu

in our holiday that we will be  celebrating soon

טו בשבט  Tu B’Shevat (15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat) Jewish Arbor Day,

we have learned a new vowel that makes the sound  u or ooo

ו  imagine the letter vav with  a dot in the middle OR 3 dots on an angle underneath a letter.  It’s fun to make this one out of Twizzlers!!!

We have had the best time doing all kinds of fun things with Ms. Gutterman.  Here are some trees we made on our ipads for fun in honor of Tu B’Shevat while we were working on some other surprises that will be shared at our Haggigat HaSiddur.

THANK YOU MS. Gutterman for all your patience and hard work to help us create these surprises!!!

Weeks of Dec. 18 and Jan. 8– Jewish Studies in ’18 חי

 - by Morah Rachel

(Almost!!!) Welcome to 2018……………….  Hope you will have a relaxing vacation and a happy(secular) new year!!!

We hope that you are treasuring your golden pasta Chanukiyah that we made for you.   It also comes alive  on your child’s blog. THANKS to Ms. Hallet for helping us!! Check it out!!

חגיגת הסדור  Haggigat HaSiddur—- Only a month or so to go!!

We are very excited as we  get ready for our big days, Feb. 2 and 3!!  An email will be coming to you about all the facts you need to know. Here are the basics:

  1.  Friday morning, Feb. 2 at 8:30 AM-9:30 AM.  Just for our Kitah Alef and guests.  We will have our own morning prayer service in the chapel with our students leading the prayers  and afterwards, our students will perform a Hebrew play about the Torah portion of the week.   Many Kodak moments!!! Photos, videos, allowed. We will  each receive a bag of goodies with Leagrams, sweets, etc.
  2. Saturday morning, Feb. 3 as part of the regular Shabbat service (9-12 pm) at the  Jacksonville Jewish Center, we will join with the Religious School 1st graders in the main sanctuary to sing some songs, lead a few prayers and receive our new personalized prayerbooks.   No photos or videos allowed on Shabbat. Kiddush will follow the service.

Both of these events will be memorable!!!

Parents have a few responsibilities…..(watch for an email with more info about $$ etc.)

1.  decorating child’s siddur cover  (time and place to be announced for parents to work together on this!) Our theme is the 10 Commandments.

2. participating in the Shabbat  service.  (One adult  part per family…. first come first serve for assignments in either  English or Hebrew!)  Let us know….

3. AND/OR whatever you want to do to help.

NO STRESS!!!  We will give you lots more information about this simcha.  Just wanted to make sure that the dates are saved on your calendars!!!

—--מזל טוב ל  MAZAL TOV to……..

משה, נועם, שמעון, יוסף, אסתר שנדל  Moshe, Noam, Shimon, Yosef, and Esther Shendel

They all got extra credit for turning in the answer to the question on our blog….

How many candles are needed for the the entire Chanukah holiday????

The correct answer is….. 44!!!

Don’t worry if you and your child missed this opportunity.   There will be many more chances in other blog posts in the future!  Keep reading!!!

אריאות  Ariyot  We are thrilled to be learning more letters in the Alef Bet.   Before we move on…. here’s the picture that we promised of our friend with the letter ל   and a picture of us eating……

גלידה  G’lidah   Ice cream will be here soon.

Also a BIG surprise….  soon …….here’s all 3 of our friends with the letter מ

משה, מאיר , מקסים   Moshe, Mayer, Maksim

Now we will move on to the next letters:

נ  Nun  ן   Nun Sofit   Final nun

Two students are special this week….. Their names start with our new letter!

נועם     נקיטה    Noam and Nikita!


Other words  with these letters are:

מנגן menagen   plays an instrument for a boy

מנגנת  menagenet  plays an instrument for a girl

שכן  shachen   boy neighbor

שכנה  sh’chenah  girl neighbor

שכנים   sh’chenim  neighbors

כלי נגינה  k’lay neginah   musical instruments

נדנדה  nadnayda   swings (on the playground)

שולחן  shulchan  table

גן  gan   garden

פרשת השבוע ו   Parshat Ha Shavuah    Portion of the Week  for the next few weeks:

ויגש  Vayigash

ויחי  Vayechi

AND we start a new book of the Torah in January:

שמות  Shemot    Names…. It’s the name of the 2nd book and also the name of the portion

Week of Dec. 11— Jewish Studies חנכה שמח Chanukah Sameach

 - by Morah Rachel

Happy Chanukah!!!  It’s going to be a great week  (8 days)!!!



To our loyal readers….. here’s your chance!!! Please have your child write down the number of candles needed for the whole holiday of Chanukah. Please have your child bring in the written answer to Jewish Studies.  Once again…..

How many candles are needed for the holiday of Chanukah???


אריאות Ariyot Our letter lion has also reminded us

לקרוא Leek-row!! TO READ!!!

Soon we will have  the photo of our special girl with the letter ל


לילה   Lelah!!

Our new letters are:

מ Mem

ם Mem Sofit (final mem) YES another final letter!!!

Words like:

מילון milone dictionary

???? מילים עם milim im ??? words with question marks?? like:

מי me who?

מה mah what?

כמה kamah how many?

למה lamah why?

מלך melech king

משפחה mishpacha family

שמש shemesh sun

שמים shamayim heavens

ים yam sea

AND our very special people that start with our  new letter……

picture to follow!!


פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua  The  weekly portion of the Torah continues.   This week is  מקץ  Miketz all about Joseph interpreting Pharoah’s dreams.


Thanks to Ms. Hallett for helping us out with our latest blogposts for Chanukah!  Check out your child’s blog folio soon and see the “singing”gold Chanukiyah.

חגיגת הסדור   Haggigat HaSiddur   Our Celebration of our new Prayerbook

Lots of information will be coming your way about our big event on 2/2 and 2/3.     It will be a Friday and Shabbat to remember!!  FYI Adult parts in the service for  our Haggigat HaSiddur  on that Saturday morning need to be distributed.  If you want to read Torah or Haftarah or lead Ashrei, it’s a good idea to start practicing!  Please,  let us know what one parent per family would want as a part in the service.  We have Hebrew parts, English parts, and non-speaking parts.  First come … first serve!!  Let us know  and we can help you practice and learn your part. There’s time to learn if you want a challenge!!

Visiting Friends and Weather Forecasting!

 - by arielnewton

We’ve completed another eventful week in the first grade. On Monday we celebrated our hard work in Literacy by sharing and reading our non-fiction books with Mrs. Nessler’s second grade class. Our class not only enjoyed reading with their friends, but also shared the reading strategies they’ve been using each day.  Our class wrote down questions about their books to share with their partners and to start new discussions. The second graders loved comparing what they’ve been learning to the strategies they learned in the first grade.

As we have been learning about the weather, its features, and forecasting, our class also had the opportunity to visit the science lab and collaborate with Mrs. Jaffa. During our visit, we learned about weather tools and made “Silly Weather Vanes”. The kids got extremely creative… and silly! Check your student’s portfolio for pictures of their final creations! We are ultimately working towards the completion of a weather forecasting green screen project. We have been working very hard and are getting closer to becoming experts each day!

Next week, I will continue sending home individualized sight words lists for you and your child to review each night.  Moving forward, a new list of five words will be sent home weekly in each students folder.  These lists will always be reinforced throughout the school week.  Thank you again for your continued support!

Week of December 4–Jewish Studies Final letter?? ך

 - by Morah Rachel


אריאות  Ariyot  We are thrilled to be  in our new purple book. On the Ariot Cal we can enjoy these new letters online.

AND there’s more!!!  This is the first time that we meet 3 different versions of a letter.

כ כ ך Kaf (with dot in center), Chaf (No dot) and Chaf Sofit (final Chaf found only at the end of a word)

Our new letter, כ , (with a dot in the middle) Kaf,  has lots of new words like:

כד  kad  pitcher

כדים  kadim  pitchers

כותב   kotev  writes for a boy

כותבת kotevet writes for a girl

כואב  ko-ev  hurts

כחול  kachole  blue

כיתה  kitah  class


כ Chaf has words that we are learning like:

בוכה  bocheh  cries for a boy

בוכה   bochah cries for a girl

כוכב kochav  star

כוכבים kochavim  stars


ך   Chaf Sofit can only be found at the end of a word like:

איך  Aich?   How?

כך Kach    That’s the way

It also appears often in our prayers!!! In the  ואהבת V’Ahavta especially!


Hopefully, we will  be learning about a tall favorite letter……   ל Lamed

and a favorite student of ours who has a name that begins with this letter!!!

לילה  Lela!!


We love this tall letter with  words like:

ילד  yeled  boy

ילדה  yalda  girl

חולה   choleh  sick for a boy

חולה   cholah   sick for a girl

אוכל   o-chel  eats for a boy

אוכלת  o-chelet eats for a girl

חלה   Challah  special twisted bread for Shabbat

גלידה  g’leedah   ICE CREAM  (a very tasty word this week!!)

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua  The  weekly portion of the Torah continues וישב Vayeshev about Joseph’s dreams and what his brothers did to him!!!

A surprise Chanukah gift was made for you this past week and here are photos of us working with Ms. Gutterman.  You’ll have to wait and see the finished product for Chanukah!

A Busy Week and the Start of a New Month!

 - by arielnewton

Our week back from Thanksgiving Break was jam packed with fun activities and learning!  As we have been practicing our addition and subtraction facts in math, we decided to celebrate with Mathematician Bowling! Students enjoyed our outdoor class, where they put their math fact knowledge and agility to the test.  We created number bonds and subtraction equations to represent the number of “pins” each of our classmates knocked down.  Although we were very focused and competitive, our class always used good sportsmanship and problem solving skills to make our game successful! We’ve also been developing our critical thinking, problem solving, and partnership skills by creating abstract sculptures using materials from the STEAM room.  To conclude our week, students celebrated Shabbat with a Mystery Reader, Show and Tell, and Lela’s birthday celebration.  What a fun way to kick off the start of a new month!

Click on the pictures below to enlarge and see the entire span!

Starting next week, students will have a list of individualized sight words sent home in their homework folders.  Each week, a new list of words will be sent home to be reviewed.  These lists will always be introduced, reinforced, ands assessed at school!  Thank you in advance for your support as we continue to develop successful reading habits with our first graders!

VIP Festivities!

 - by arielnewton

We had such a wonderful time celebrating VIP Day this week! Students had the opportunity to spend time with their special guests while participating in Israeli dances, creating fall thankfulness wreaths, and viewing the DuBow Preschool performance. What a wonderful way to finish our short week before Thanksgiving. We want to thank everyone who participated in making today’s events so successful!




Making a Splash in First Grade!

 - by arielnewton

This week in Science, we have been learning about “water”, including ocean and freshwater habitats.  Through our investigations, we were able to distinguish the differences between ocean and freshwater salinity levels, animals and plants, and even explored pollution and environmental health.  To further enrich their knowledge of the earth’s surface and landforms, students completed a STEAM activity in which they developed a model of the earth’s surface and used it to discover an important principle about how rivers flow.  Through this interactive lab, students attempted to solve the mystery, “If you floated down a river, where would you end up?” By implementing guided experimentation and self-discovery, we were able to understand where rivers flow and what their starting and ending points have in common.

Enjoy pictures of our teammates completing their experiments to visualize how rivers flow.


יויו Can you read this??? Weeks Nov. 20 and 27 Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

Wishing all of our families a Happy Thanksgiving this week!!  We give thanks everyday for our wonderful students and their sweet families.   We really do sing each day…. מודה אני  Modeh Ani (Modah Ani for a girl) as we are thankful for so many things in our lives!  Hope to see y’all on Tuesday at VIP Day at 9 AM.

We have enjoyed playing with our friends during recess.  We swing together, climb together and slide together!

We also love to dance together on Friday afternoons.  Come join us when we Israeli dance with our VIP guests on Tuesday!!

אריאות Ariyot Our Letter lion

For the letter ט    Tet last week, we made………….

טוסט  TOAST !!!!   It was yummy with a little honey on it!  (Luckily, it wasn’t burned!)


The next letter we are studying is the letter  י  yod   with words like:

יד  yad   hand

יושב  yoshev  sits for a boy

יושבת  yoshevet sits for a girl

יויו  yoyo   YOYO!!! 🙂    You CAN read this!!!   (Imagine a dot above each vov)

חגיגה  chaggigah   celebration

By the way, our   חגיגת הסידור Haggigat HaSiddur Celebration of the Siddur  is on Friday and Saturday mornings  2/2/18 and 2/3/18  SAVE THE DATES— More info to follow!!

חידה  chidah   puzzle

AND we have a student with that letter in the beginning of his name!!!!

יוסף Yosef!!!!!!

פרשת השבוע   Parshat HaShavua Torah  Portions of the week:

ויצא Vayetze   Jacob’s dream of a ladder and Jacob having lots of children

וישלח Vayishlach  Jacob & Esau reuniting… Jacob’s name is changed to Israel


חנוכה שמח Chanukah Sameach Happy Chanukah!!    Yes, before we know it it will be that time again!!

We will learn lots in our חנוכה שמח  Chanukah Sameach  Happy Chanukah workbook.    Just ask any of us soon which is the correct way to light the  חנוכיה Chanukiya and we will show you  how!!

We are learning words for the holiday :

יהודים Yehudim  Jews

יונים  Yevanim  Syrian Greeks

בית המקדש  Bet HaMikdash  The Holy Temple

אסור  asoor   forbidden

פסל  pesel   idol

נס נסים  nes,  nisim    miracle (s)

שמן  shemen   oil

חנוכיה   Chanukiyah    Chanukah  9 branched candleholder

סביבון  sevivon    dreidel

לביבות   levivot   latkes

ספגניות  sufganiyot    jelly donuts

Thanks to Mrs. Gutterman for helping us make our golden pasta Chanukiyot.  תודה רבה  A BIG THANK YOU to Morah Hanna and her handy, kind husband, Moshe Bendit, for getting all the materials ready for this project every year.   WOW!!!   You will soon enjoy these treasured gifts for years to come.

“When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking!”

 - by arielnewton

Last week, our first grade class was introduced to the long A vowel teams. This is yet another concept that is invaluable to students as they begin to decode tricky words within their leveled readers.  I first introduced the vowel teams ai, ay, and a_e  by the sounds they make.  We brainstormed words with these patterns and wrote them in a 3-way sort, completed a poetry study, and ended the week with long A word dictation.  The kids identified long A vowel teams in everything we read and were excited to share what they had learned.  Your children might have even introduced you to the song, “When Two Vowels Go Walking”.  Our class has been requesting this song and video every morning and has done an amazing job of learning the lyrics and singing along.  I have linked the video below for you and your child’s enjoyment!

Vowel Teams Video