“Pint-Sized” Surveyors!

 - by arielnewton

Wow! It is such an amazing experience to see first graders take control of their learning and use “professionalism” while implementing what they have been practicing across curriculum and in new environments. This week we had the opportunity to visit the kindergarten and second grade classrooms to present personalized surveys and analyze data. Our students came up with original survey questions to share with their peers, presented their surveys one-by-one to each class, and gathered their data. Afterwards, we came back together to create unique pictographs, tally charts, and bar graphs to represent our data. Next week, we will culminated this experience by presenting our research to our own class and analyzing our results.


Weeks of March 19 and 26–פסח כשר ושמח Happy and Kosher Passover

 - by Morah Rachel

Pesach is fast approaching and we are getting ready!!!  We want to wish all a Happy and Kosher Pesach!!

We are practicing, learning, creating and CLEANING for Pesach. Thanks to Ms. Gutterman for her help in making our Matzah plates.

We know that our “Ambassadors” from Kitah Alef will shine at your family’s Seders!!  We are so proud of them and how much they’ve learned about Pesach.  Enjoy!!

*********KITAH ALEF’S MODEL SEDER !!!*******************

Please remember that our Model Seder is on Tuesday, 3/27 at 1:00 PM .  Also thanks to anyone who wants to help set up our seder….come at 12:30!!!   This is going to be a memorable (and perhaps lengthy) afternoon!!!  WE LOVE TO SING!!!!

NOTE:   There are no hot lunches that week….before Pesach!!!

אריאות  Ariyot    Practice reading is the most important part of Kitah Alef!!!

We will be moving ahead with the letter ש  Sin.  Imagine a dot on the left side!

Words with the letter ש     sin :

משחק mesachek   plays for a boy

משחקת  mesacheket  plays for a girl

משחקים mesachakim  plays for many

שמח  sameach  happy for a boy

שמחה   s’mecha  happy for a girl

שמחים   s’mechim  happy for many

ישראל  Yisrael   Israel

ששון עושה Sasson (name of a boy)  o-seh   Sasson does

גילה עושה  Gila  (name of a girl)  o-sah  Gila  does

מעשים טובים   Ma-a-sim Tovim   Good deeds

שמלה  simlah   dress

שמלות  s’malot   dresses

יד שמאל yad s’mole    left hand

רגל שמאל  regel s’mole   left foot

שק   sak   bag

שערות  s-ah-rot   hair

If time allows before Pesach, we will hope to finish the alef bet with the letter ת Tof!!

אריאות  Ariyot   Yes, we are completing the 4th book of Ariyot .  Mazal Tov!!

ת  Tof is the last letter  and we learn words like:

תודה todah   thanks

תורה תורות  Torah  Torot    5 Books of Moses

תעודה תעודות te-u-dah   te-u-dot  certificate (s)

אותיות o-tee-yot   letters

תנועות te-nu-ot  vowels

מתנה מתנות  matanah  matanot  present (s)

חוברת חוברות  choveret  chov-rot  workbook (s)

תפילה תפילות  tefila tefilot  prayer (s)

There is no “test” at the end of this letter….. BEWARE!!! OR GET EXCITED!!  Cursive is coming!!   WOW!

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua  The Portion of the Torah. is צו Tzav. and the Shabbat before Pesach  is called Shabbaat Hagdol  THE BIG SHABBAT before Passover.

Week of March 5th – Graphing and Analysis

 - by arielnewton

This week in math we have been growing our knowledge of graphing and analysis. Students have been active participants in class surveys, collecting data, and creating pictographs, tally charts, and bar graphs. This has all been done in anticipation for the implementation of a very exciting project. Next week students will be visiting the classrooms of kindergarten and second grade in order to collect data for their survey projects. This will help his put our knowledge to the test will also building confidence in our ability to speak and present in front of other students and grade levels. We have been practicing “professionalism” in preparation for the  implementation of our survey questions with our next-door neighbors. Look for pictures and video analysis of our results in upcoming weeks!







Week of February 26th – Read Across America!

 - by arielnewton

Our first grade class has made so much progress this year in their reading. Student sight word acquisition, fluency, intonation, and recognizing the elements of a sentence when we read aloud are just a few aspects of reading which we have been focusing on this quarter. To celebrate our great successes thus far, we have been busy creating audio books to share with our peers and family. We are eager to share these with you in each child’s blogfolio in the upcoming weeks!

Our first graders were especially excited to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Read Across America day! We reread so many of our favorites from Dr. Seuss while also being introduced to some of his later work. We completed poetry exercises and used our crafty sides to transform into Thing 1 and Thing 2. Overall it was a fun day filled with tons of reading and creativity!



Week of March 12– ר Resh Why is this a favorite letter???

 - by Morah Rachel


After the letter ק Kof (WE loved the story of the voices of the animals at the zoo!!) comes…..

ר  Resh!!

רחל   (Morah) Rachel LOVES this letter…….and the energetic story of the gorillas…… that’s why it’s her favorite letter!!!

Here are more words we are learning:

היום קר hayom kar  today is cold

גורילה  gorilla

אדון גורילה  adon gorilla  Mr. Gorilla

גברת גורילה g’veret gorilla  Mrs. Gorilla

מערה  ma’a-rah   cave

רעש   ra-ash  noise

רץ  ratz  runs (for a boy)

רצה  ratza  runs (for a girl)

רצים ratzeem  runs  ( for many)

גר   gar  lives (for a boy)

גרה  garah lives (for a girl)

גרים  gareem live (for many)

רוקד roked  dances (for a boy)

רוקדת  rokedet dances (for a girl)

רוקדים rokdeem  dance (for many)

פסח כשר ושמח Pesach Kasher V’Sameach    A Happy and Kosher Pesach


We are busy preparing for Pesach.  We love singing the songs from the Seder.  And learning words like:

בני ישראל  B’nai Yisrael  The children of Israel

המשפחה של משה  Hamishpacha shel Moshe   The family of Moses:

יוכבד  עמרם  מרים  אהרון  Yocheved, Amram, Miriam, Aharon –Moses’ dad, mom , sister and brother

פרעה  בת פרעה   מצרים  Paroah, Bat Paroah, Mitzrayim       Pharoah, Pharoah’s daughter , Egypt

מלך העולם Melech Haolam    King of the Universe

חג האביב Chag Ha-aviv    Holiday of Springtime

חג החרות  Chag Ha-cherut   Holiday of freedom

חג המצות  Chag Ha-matzot   Holiday of matzahs

עבדים  avadim   slaves

בני חורין  b’nai choreen   free people

חמץ  chametz   all the leaven we have to not eat and get rid of on Pesach.

We will search for the Chametz in our classroom before Pesach.. This is true Spring Cleaning!!!!

*********KITAH ALEF’S MODEL SEDER !!!*******************

Please remember that our Model Seder is on Tuesday, 3/27 at 1:00 PM .  Also thanks to anyone who wants to help set up our seder….come at 12:30!!!   This is going to be a memorable (and perhaps lengthy) afternoon!!!  WE LOVE TO SING!!!!  This is a great opportunity to take video or photos of us in action.

NOTE:   There are no hot lunches that week….before Pesach!!!

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua  The Portion of the Torah.   We are beginning the next book of the Torah….called ויקרא Vayikra  Leviticus and the portion is called the same thing!!

Week of March 5—Jewish Studies KOF?? ק

 - by Morah Rachel

Thanks SO MUCH to the moms who helped us bake our hamentashen;

Natalie (and Nicole), Olga, and Stella    Special thanks to Morah Sara (Lauri Simmons) who really showed baking skills!!

We had a great time on Purim!!!  כל הכבוד Kol HaKavod  All the honor goes to PTA for a great carnival and yummy snacks.  WOW!!!!


אסתר חנה    אסתר שנדל   נועם     צליה מרים   ושמעון

Esther Hanna, Esther Shendel, Noam, Tzelia Miriam and Shimon

For some terrific jokes/riddles for the month of Adar!!  They got the extra credit from reading the blog!!! Watch for the next time and everyone can get it!!

אריאות  Ariyot continues…..

the new letter Kof ק with our bodies!!!

Here are words once again from this fun story:

מקשיב   maksheev  pays attention for a boy

מקשיבה  maksheeva   pays attention for a girl

מקשיבים  maksheevim  pays attention for many

מקליט  makleet   records (a voice or sound) for a boy

מקליטה makleeta    records for a girl

מקליטים  makleetim  records for many

קול  kol   voice

מדביק  madbeek    glues for a boy

מדביקה   madbeeka  glues for a girl

מדביקים  madbeekim  glues for many

קוף kof  boy monkey

קופה  kofah  girl monkey

קופים  kofim   monkeys

קופץ  kofetz   jumps for a boy

קופצת  kofetzet  jumps for a girl

קופצים  koftzim  jumps for many

צוחק   tzochek    laughs for a boy

צוחקת  tzocheket  laughs for a girl

צוחקים  tzochakim  laughs for m

In the story, whatever the children do, the monkeys copy them.  Until the end, when the monkeys are unable to read like the children.

פרשת השבוע   ויקהל פקודי Parshat HaShavua- Portion of the week from the Torah… This week we have 2 portions  Vayakehl and Pekuday.  Sometimes we have to double up the portions so that we can finish the Torah  in a year.

You should be hearing lots of    פסח Pesach Passover songs….. we are really going strong and will be ready for our Seder on Tuesday, March 27 at 1:00.  SAVE THE DATE!!!

Our First Graders Continue to “Blossom”!

 - by arielnewton

This week in Science, we have been studying living things and plants. We understand that all living things require specific features and conditions to grow healthy and resilient and that they also provide us with many essential things. In a mystery science activity, students learned the importance of water for plants and what it is about dirt that plants really need. We observed how roots behave when they initially take shape from a planted seed and how different plants obtain nutrients from the soil or other outside influences. To celebrate what we’d learned about the three layers of soil and their properties, our class created “edible dirt” cups and labeled/discussed their appearances and importance. In order to eat their “sweet soil”, students had to share what they knew about each layer of soil in their cups. The first grade was strangely excited to have the opportunity to ingest their “edible dirt” and had so many great ideas for experiments which they could conduct at home in the future.

This week we also had the opportunity to learn some West African dances, as Crocodile River Music visited our school. Please enjoy the photos of our activities and events below.



Quick Reminder:

Just a friendly reminder to all parents that daily instruction begins at 8:15 each day. Children are permitted in the classroom at 8:00 and by 8:15 we have begun Reading Workshop! Thank you for your continued support!

So Much to Celebrate!

 - by arielnewton

We kicked off this week by celebrating the 100th day of school on Tuesday and acknowledging how much math curriculum we’ve covered in first grade! We participated in interactive tasks, games, crafts, workouts, STEAM activities and more! On Tuesday night we showed off our STEAM knowledge by participating in Maker Con. It was exciting to see first grade students so comfortable and familiar with the STEAM curriculum. Our critical thinking skills have developed so much over the course of this school year.  Back in the classroom, we have been doing great things in Reader’s Workshop. Students have grown so much in their ability to decode unknown words within their fiction and non-fiction readers. With this in mind, we have been shifting our focus to story comprehension strategies.  Readers are working hard to reread portions of their stories which they do not fully comprehend the first time and have begun making “mind movies” for the pages and chapters they are reading.  To conclude the week students participated in a guided nature tour in which they learned about our environment, it’s many benefits, and our roles as conservationists. Please enjoy photos from our busy week below.


Weeks of 2/19 and 2/26–Jewish Studies in Adar…… HA HA

 - by Morah Rachel

פורים שמח Purim Sameach!! Happy Purim!  During the Hebrew month of Adar there’s a lot of fun and we’re all happy!!  Notice that 2 days are especially fun—Tuesday 2/27 is Yom Hafooch (Backwards Day) and Thursday 3/1 is Purim!!  See below for costume info.

MARK YOUR Calendars: *****************************************************    (AND READ BELOW for extra credit opportunity!!!!)

פורים  Purim!!!!

  1.  Of course, the Purim Carnival on Sunday, 2/25 is always a blast!! We have a booth…. come putt with us!! Check out our decorations. Thanks as usual to PTA!!!




Kitah Alef is excited to bake אוזני המן Oznay Haman (Hamentashen) and we would love to have helpers!! Grandparents, parents and friends are invited to help us.  Hint:  DON’T WEAR BLACK!! Please let us know if you can bake with us and we’ll see you in the gym on Monday.


               3. On TUESDAY, 2/27 is YOM HAFOOCH    YAD SDRAWKCAB  (BACKWARDS DAY ) for Kitah Alef in the afternoon.

We are really enjoying all the Purim activities in our class.  Everything’s upside down!!! Especially on Tuesday, we will be doing everything backwards…. your child can bring pj’s etc to change into for the afternoon.  Our Jewish Studies class is upside down!!!


4.   And of course on Thursday, March 1 the whole school will be celebrating Purim.  Costumes are encouraged!!! It is a mitzvah to hear the megillah…. Wed. PM and Thursday AM.

We are learning about the characters in the  מגילה Megillah  The Scroll of Esther.

אסתר  Esther the queen

אחשורוש  Ahashvarosh the king

המן   Haman   (Rash, rash, rash!)

מרדכי  Mordecai, Esther’s cousin

We will make our mishloach manot baskets in the style of Jackson Pollock….. thanks to Ms. Gutterman.  We LOVE Action Jackson!!

The portion of the weeks     פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavua  are

תצוה  Tetzaveh

כי תשא Ki Tisa


And more  אריאות Ariyot


Beginning the new letter Kof ק

Here are words from this new fun story:

מקשיב   maksheev  pays attention for a boy

מקשיבה  maksheeva   pays attention for a girl

מקשיבים  maksheevim  pays attention for many

מקליט  makleet   records (a voice or sound) for a boy

מקליטה makleeta    records for a girl

מקליטים  makleetim  records for many

קול  kol   voice

מדביק  madbeek    glues for a boy

מדביקה   madbeeka  glues for a girl

מדביקים  madbeekim  glues for many

קוף kof  boy monkey

קופה  kofah  girl monkey

קופים  kofim   monkeys

קופץ  kofetz   jumps for a boy

קופצת  kofetzet  jumps for a girl

קופצים  koftzim  jumps for many

צוחק   tzochek    laughs for a boy

צוחקת  tzocheket  laughs for a girl

צוחקים  tzochakim  laughs for many

The monkeys copy everything the children do…… except the monkeys can’t read!! An adorable story for all to enjoy!


Here are photos from Kitah Alef:  Our 100 Words for 100th DAY!!    יום מאה   Yom May-ah  (We could have written a 1000 words!!!)

And a tiyul with kindergarteners with a special visitor Stacy—- our beloved naturalist who taught us lots about nature!!!




(Thanks for reading all the way down here!!!)  🙂

Please send in with your child a nice silly joke or riddle  בדיחה Bedicha… knock, knock or otherwise.    Be Happy  It’s ADAR!!

Week of Feb. 12–Jewish Studies Tzadee,Sofit פף צץ Pay, Fay Sofit

 - by Morah Rachel

PLEASE join us when Kitah Alef will be baking  אזני המן Oznay Haman HAMENTASHEN ON MONDAY, FEB. 26TH AT 1:30 pm in the gym.  All are welcome… no experience needed.  Suggestion…. don’t wear Black… flour will be everywhere :).   Let us know if you can help us bake!!!

Here is a picture  of our beautiful Siddur covers.  We will LOVE using them every Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat!!  They are truly treasures and we appreciate all your efforts!

And so it continues….  WE HAVE A NEW ARIYOT… IT’S BLUE!!

Here are the letters we are learning and reviewing:

פ פ ף  Pay, Fay and Fay Sofit (final Fay) are our latest letters!!!!  WE LOVE these letters!! Check out all the words we know with these letters!

Note that the Pay has a dot, Fay does not!  Other words we are learning are:

פיל פילה פילים peel, peela, peelim    boy elephant, girl elephant, elephants

פילון  peelone   baby elephant  (our favorite!!)

פנים וגוף panim v’goof     face and body

פה  peh   mouth

אף  off   nose

טיפה טיפות  teepah  teepote   drop/s  (raindrops or little drops of something)

פלפל  peelpel    pepper

מלפפון  m’lafifone   cucumber

ציפור עם כנפים  tzeepor im k’nafyim    bird with wings

In this sweet story about the elephant family making and eating dinner, we will enjoy doing the same!!!  We learn that you have to eat your veggies before you get dessert!

פודנג  pudding   (chocolate is our favorite!)

In honor of this letter…….. we made delicious  salad.

סלט של פילים Salat Shel Pilim…. Salad for Elephants  made with yummy lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.   Ask them about the recipe!!!


More words that we know with this letter:

פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavuah Torah Portion of the week

פורים Purim our next holiday—-You will be hearing lots of singing & fun for this holiday!!

תפילות Tefilot prayers

More words for the letter Fay:

עפיפון  Afeefone   kite

טלפון  Teleephone    phone

עף  off     flies for a boy

עפה   offah    flies for a girl


אריאות  Ariyot continues…..

צ  ץ    Tzadee and Tzadee Sofit (Final Tzadee found only at the end of a word)

This sounds like the tz in Tzedakah!!

עציץ   atzeet    plant

צב   tzav    turtle

צבי   tzvi   deer

ציפור   tzeepor   bird

צובע  tzoveh-a    paints for a boy

צובעת    tzovah-at   paints for a girl

צובעים    tzove-em   paint for many

מצביע    matz-bee-ah   points for a boy

מצביעה  matz-bee-AH   points for a girl

מצביעים   matz-bee=im  points for many

מצלמה    matz-leh-ma   camera

מציר      mi-tzayer   draws for a boy

מצירת   mi-tzayeret   draws for a girl

מצירים    mit-tza-yi-rim  draws for many

Hebrew reading and reviewing with your child is getting more and more important each week as we progress through the alef-bet.