First Grade – Kitah Alef

Ms. Lewis and Morah Rachel

Week of Sept. 22–Jewish Studies שנה טובה

שנה טובה ומתוקה  Shana Tova U’metuka  Have a sweet and happy new year.  5775 will be a great one for Kitah Alef.


We had a great time with the letter Dalet and enjoyed our time fishing!  We also made a bottle of blue water  with fish swimming!!!  WE LOVED the letter Dalet!!


ה  The letter Hey   We finally will get to finish this letter and complete this book!!

הללויה Halleluyah!

הר    har  mountain

הרים  harim  mountains

הבהב  HavHav  a dog’s name and the sound a dog makes in Hebrew (BowWow!)

הלל  Hillel  a boy student in  Morah Shira’s virtural classroom

הדסה  Hadassah   a girl student in Morah Shira’s virtual classroom

המורה שירה  HaMorah Shira  the teacher whose name is Shira in the virtual classroom


ה the letter Hey (with a vowel that makes an AH  sound)   in the beginning of a word means THE _____

מזל טוב  Mazal Tov  Congratulations as we approach the completion of this book.  Much more fun to follow!!
Enjoy all the holidays and the yummy treat that others made for us.  Listen to the songs of the holidays!!

posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have No Comments

5th Week of 1st Grade – General Studies

THE BLOGS ARE BACK!!!!! Whew.  As most of you know, our blogs were down for the better half of this week :( that means Ms. Lewis wasn’t able to write all the detail that we usually share at the end of our week.  So, Ms. Lewis will do her best to remember…way back to Monday…but luckily we have plenty of pictures!

We enjoyed journaling everyday this week, except for Friday-we did a word search!  We always love to blow the Shofar for the month of Elul!!  We only have 2 more days next week to blow the shofars, then we come to services to see the shofar being blown on Rosh Hashana!

shofar shofar1 shofar2

We had our morning meetings and we started our days with the pledge and hatikvah.  Monday we enjoyed learning all about a new component of the Daily 5!!!  We learned all about word work.  We also reviewed read to self, but we are almost professionals now!  During our word work time, we made our T-chart (which we do for every component of Daily 5) and we even got to earn tickets for our participation!

ww We have continued to review word work this week and are looking forward to actually starting the activities and games next week!!  We get to use our spelling words when we do word work, so it also serves as extra practice!

We also got to go to art on Monday!


roshWe have enjoyed watching Mrs. Gutterman get the art wall ready for high holiday services!  Be sure to check out our work!!

We love going to PE on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!  We enjoyed music on Tuesday, too!

On Wednesday we had some great read to self time, we even made it to 4 minutes of stamina!!!  We are on such a roll :) we introduced something new into read to self time–we get WOW word bookmarks!  While we are reading, we get to write down words that interest us, or words that we don’t know!!  During our reflection time, we get to share some of our WOW words or even look them up!  If we like a word SO much, then it can even be added to our spelling list ;) once we got our bookmarks, we really enjoyed looking for special words while we were reading!!

rts rts1 rts2 rts3 rts4

It is so cool for us to be able to sit with our new principal, Rabbi Rogozen at lunch!!  What a treat.  It is his birthday tomorrow, so on Friday we sang Happy Birthday to him in the lunchroom!!


On Thursday Ms. Lewis recieved a package of ALL FREE BOOKS from Scholastic!!!!  When you order from Scholastic online, it gives Ms. Lewis points and she is able to put them towards books for our class.  We got LOTS of pink and orange books to add to our classroom library.  I would LOVE to encourage you to purchase books from our next order (online), especially in September when Scholastic offers so much for teachers and the classrooms :)

freebooks The books you individually ordered should arrive to school any day now!!  When we receive them, we will send them home :)

We also had a great AR day on Thursday.  Make sure to remember your books!

On Friday we had our spelling tests.  When we get our new spelling words, and homework packet next week, it won’t be due until October 3 (a half day).  We will have our spelling test that day too.  We will also get to play Homeworkopoly!!!!  Ms. Lewis put together a treat for us; its a monopoly game that we get to play ONLY if we complete our homework for the week.

hw1 We played for the first time today and had a BLAST!  We used our initials as game pieces and those of us who did our homework got to take a turn!


We enjoyed having recess, working in our math workbooks, and going to library Friday morning. We also LOVED sharing our show&tells.   After lunch on Friday we got to have a mystery reader…the clues were great and we guessed that it was………….

mrab Ashton’s Mommy!!  She read us an amazing book about Tzedakah boxes :)

We wrapped up our week with some Israeli dancing and it was fun to show our substitute, Ms. Iskowitz, our moves!!  Mrs. Mcveary went out of town, but she will be back on Tuesday; we will sure miss her!!



Next week is a short week, but we will still be busy!  We will have full days on Monday and Tuesday but will have a half day and no school the rest of the week for Rosh Hashana.

Please note our homework schedule: When we get a new homework packet on Monday, the entire thing will not be due until October 3rd.

Since we will be using the Spelling Homework Idea sheet all year, I wanted to post it here for you to save!  This way you will have a copy, and I won’t need to waste the paper copying it every week :) Thank you Mrs. Mitzmacher for the scanned photo!!


Please get in touch with Ms. Lewis if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments :) Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the weekend!

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Week of Sept. 15—Jewish Studies ד





Yes, here he is!!!  גבריאל  Gavriel!!!!!


הסידור שלי  HaSiddur Sheli  MY PRAYERBOOK

PLEASE note that the yellow Siddur should be back at school on MONDAY, 9/15.  Thanks to everyone for enjoying this project and for completing it. Even if you have not completed your family assignment of taking photos, etc., the siddur needs to be back in our classroom on Monday.  Send in the remaining photos as you finish (with the page number on the back) and we will do the gluing for you. We are all so excited to use our personalized siddurim.

אריאות  Ariyot , our letter lion, is introducing out next letter.  Keep up with us–it’s fun!!



דן  Dan   a boy  in Morah Shira’s virtual class

דינה  Dina    a girl in Morah Shira’s virtual class

דבש  devash   honey

דג   dag     a fish

דגיג  dagig   a little fish

דגים  dagim   many fish



posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have No Comments

4th Week of 1st Grade – General Studies

We were so productive on Monday!  Ms. Lewis was worried about our schedule, because we had so much to do, but our first graders handled it like champs!!!

We started our morning with our usual journal and morning meeting.  Last week our journal questions were focused on how we help animals, today it changed to ask how animals helped us!  While we were in our morning meeting, we got to pause for our shofar blowers!


When we wrapped up our morning meeting, we headed to the library to try to Skype with our friends from North Carolina again…..and guess what? It worked!!!  We finally got to meet our friends.  We are looking forward to working with them and making Dot-trading cards with Mrs. Hallett in the library.

skype2 photo 1 photo 2

Next we got to have an early snack.  We read a really great ‘H’ book for our A-Z challenge that Maytal picked out for us!  It was a Horton book, we all love Horton :)

After snack, we REALLY started our day!  We started Daily 5 by reviewing and then we did our first block of Read to Self.  We tried our very best to keep our stamina (concentration) for 2 whole minutes!  When we practiced last week, we only made it 20 seconds ;) but we pulled through and made it!!  Ms. Lewis was so proud!!!

d51 d52 photo 3 photo 4

When we finished our 2 minutes, we quietly went back to our seat for reflection time.  Before we reflected, we talked about what it means to reflect!!  We said that when we reflect in the classroom, we talk about what went well, what went bad, and how we feel that we did as a class and individually.  Not everyone gets to share their reflection everyday, we take turns!  So we reflected on what worked for us, and what maybe needed some improvements; Ms. Lewis called on a few people and she was so impressed with our honesty!!!  Some of us even admitted that we didn’t keep stamina, and that Read to Self is kind of hard.  Ms. Lewis reassured us that this is going to take practice and that is why we are starting with a little at a time!

When we finished Daily 5, we did science from our textbook-it was our first time!!  We had lots of fun though, we talked about the parts of a tree!  We are also excited to be able to go to Mrs. Jaffa for the first time this year, we get to do that on Wednesday.   After science, we got to go outside and play for just a bit before it was time to go to art.

We went from art right to lunch, and then back to class to start math.  We began with our POTD, we got smelly stickers today!!  Then we worked in our workbook.  We worked until it was time to go to Jewish studies!

Tuesday was going to be a quick day!  We had 2 resources-PE, and music.  We started our busy day with our morning routine.  When we finished, we started with Daily 5.  We jumped right into read to self.  We got our books, found our spot, and aimed to keep our stamina for 2 minutes, just like yesterday.  Unfortunately, we only made it about a minute.  We came back to our seats to reflect on what went wrong, and how we can change it.  Ms. Lewis then gave us a choice: did we want to try again or move on?  We chose to try again, Ms. Lewis was impressed with our decision!  When we tried for the second time, we were flawless!!  We did great :)  We reminded ourselves that this process takes time and everyday we get to practice!  Ms. Lewis know we will keep getting better.

We then moved on to science.  We pulled out or textbook and talked about the needs of a tree!  It was really cool.  We discussed how a tree needs sunlight, food, water, and room to grow!  Then we talked about how a tree gets all the things it needs.  Before we knew it, it was time to go to PE.  When we came back, we enjoyed snack time!

We started math after snack with our POTD.  After our POTD, we took a short test on number bonds.  We did a great job!  The biggest challenge is reading the directions so we know what to do with the problem ;)

After math, we were supposed to have recess, but it was very wet outside and it was still raining!  So we voted to play freeze dance in the room.  We even made a cha-cha line!

photo-29 Then we were off to lunch.  From lunch, we went right to music.  Then we came back to get our folders and head to Jewish studies.

Wednesday morning we came in to start our work.  We loved having Morah Liat bring our older friends in to blow the shofar during the month of Elul!


We got back to our morning meeting.  We talked about the date, days of the week, the month, and even the season!  We sang the pledge and the hatikvah and then we did something crazy……..
desk1 desk2

We moved our desks!!  First we pushed them out of the way, and then Ms. Lewis helped us put them in our new spots.


Then we were off to the science lab–for the first time this year!!!

sci1 sci2 Sci

We went right from science to PE.  Then, Ms. Lewis FINALLY got us back and we got to have snack ;)

After snack we started Daily 5.  We did some reviewing and then we jumped into read to self.  We made it up to 3 whole minutes today!!  Ms. Lewis was SOO proud!  It is hard to be still and focused for so long, we have been doing some great work!

d58 d589 d567 d43

When we finished, we reflected and some of us even took AR quizzes on the books we chose from Ms. Lewis’ library.  We also wrote down the name of our book and we illustrated our favorite character!


Then we went to recess, for just a little bit.  We washed our hands and then headed to lunch!  When we got back, we did a weekly reader.  Our weekly reader was about an author named David Shannon.  He wrote books and his main characters name was David!  Some of us even knew the books he has written :) Then we played a lightning round of freeze dance and headed to pack up for Jewish studies

Thursday we were excited about our first AR day!  However, we do it right before lunch, so we had some time! We responded to our journal question and had a silly morning meeting where Ms. Lewis only called us by our last names.  We said the pledge and hatikvah and were off to PE!

When we came back, we had a yummy snack!  Then we started a special social studies lesson.  First, we listened to/read a book.

9112 9113

It was a book about a man who loves to walk on ropes!  He wanted to walk between the Twin Towers that were in New York.  He was sneaky and able to connect a rope to walk on, but he got in trouble afterwards.  Plus, at the end of the story, the Twin Towers were gone!  We talked about what happened on September 11, 2001, but since we are in 1st grade, we very briefly talked about the bad guys who broke the building, and we talked more about he heros that helped that day!!

We even made cards.  Ms. Lewis is going to give the cards to firefighters and they will be so happy!

9116 9115 9117 9118 What a mitzvah :)


After social studies we jumped into math.  We took a test!!  Our test was cumulative, and we talked about what that meant.  A cumulative test means that we’ve already learned what we are going to take a test on, it’s kind of like a review!  When we finished, it was time to take our very first AR quiz in 1st grade.  We used our iPads and took our time.  When we were finished, we took our score and our book to Mrs. Hallett!  She looked at our score and helped us pick a new AR book for our quiz NEXT THURSDAY.  Then we were off to lunch!

When we got back from lunch, since we had such a busy morning, Ms. Lewis let us have recess until Jewish studies!  Unfortunately, we had to come in early because we weren’t showing community of kindness to all of our friends.  So instead of playing, we had to have a talk about how we can include everyone at recess and we talked about how to be nice at recess, too.  Then we got our folders and headed to Jewish studies.

Friday morning we got to do something different, and fun!! We started our morning by labeling the parts of a plant, then we colored in the flower!  Then we got to do a dot-to-dot, and even a math addition mystery picture!  What a treat.  Ms. Lewis and Mrs. Mcveary want to say Todah Raba to Mrs. Kaye and Mrs. Brodsky for staying with our class while we took a faculty picture.  We all got to take a whole-school picture and then we were off to library.

We came back form library and had snack!  Our shofar blowers also came!

photo 1 photo 3 Lily brought her very own shofar for the first time!  Morah Liat was extra proud of her :)

We got to watch Magic School Bus while we watched..such a great day!!  We like to do at least one special treat on Fridays :)

After snack it was time to take our spelling tests!  Ms. Lewis LOVED getting pictures and videos this week of everyone doing their spelling homework!!!  It looked like so much fun.  (PARENTS-If I did not get pictures or videos from you, don’t stress!  As long as the kids did their homework and practiced their words…that’s all that matters!  I trust you.  I always tell the kids that I can tell if they practiced or not, based on how they do on their test!) Mrs. Lewis tested us out in the hallway while Mrs. Mcveary stayed in the class.  While we were in class with Mrs. Mcveary, we made artist statements that are going to hang in the halls during Rosh Hashana!!!  We used our best handwriting and punctuation.  They we got to start show and tell!

Before we knew it, we were off to lunch.  Right after lunch, it was time to get our pictures taken!!  We had been very careful of our clothes and hair all through lunch, and we didn’t even go to recess because we wanted to stay pretty and handsome for our pictures!  We finished our pictures and came back to pack up, get our folders, and then go join Morah Rachel and Morah Hannah for Israeli Dancing.


Next week we will have another normal week.  We will get new spelling words, and new math homework.  Don’t forget to be reading, too!

During Daily 5 we are going to introduce another component, while we keep working on read to self!

If you have not brought your headphones in, please make sure to do so.  We will start to use them soon.

As always, let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments!!  The door is always open :)

Shabbat Shalom!!

posted by pamelalewis in General Studies and have Comments (2)

Week of Sept. 8—Jewish Studies

It was great seeing most of you at Open House this past Thursday evening.  Thanks for being involved in Kitah Alef !!! Hopefully, you are learning along with our students!

Our yellow prayerbook,  HaSiddur Sheli, is a wonderful project that we hope you and your child will enjoy creating.    It will be a prayerbook to treasure in the future.  Once again, if more help is needed, please see the info on the blog post below titled HaSiddur Sheli or on the papers that were attached to the yellow prayerbook that your child brought home. Once again, the prayerbook must be returned to school by Monday, Sept. 15th.  If more time is needed for the photos, please send them in (numbered on the back so we’ll know which page to glue it), but we need the prayerbook by MONDAY, 9/15.  *** Please don’t photograph your child or color in the Siddur on Shabbat!!!

אריאות  Ariyot our letter lion introduces each of our new letters. SO FAR, we know:

א  alef

ש  shin

ב  bet (with a dot in its belly)

ב vet

Reviewing the stories and circled pages helps our students remember what we’ve learned.  That’s the homework each night (except for Thursdays— NO HW!! Ariyot books don’t come home that night!!)

Enjoy our video of how good it is to be in HaMorah Shira’s virtual KItah Alef (טוב בכיתה–Tov BaKitah)

Since we are in the month of Elul, we hear the shofar each day.  We love our shofar blowers!!!IMG_2938


Our next letter we will learn is ג  Gimel!!!!

Guess which one of our students has a name that begins with this letter!!  His picture is above blowing the shofar!!!.

גבריאל  Gavriel!!!

We get to meet more friends in our virtual class and more words with this letter like:

גדי   Gadi    a boy in Morah Shira’s virtual class

גילה  Gila    a girl in Morah Shira’s virtual class

גג   Gag    roof

גב   Gav   Back  (on a body)

גב של גדי  Gav shel Gadi    back of Gadi

גב של גילה Gav shel Gila    back of Gila

גן  Gan   playground

At this point we are also introduced to vowels that makes the sound–

EEEEEE      and meet new friends:

בינה  Bina   a girl in Morah Shira’s virtual class

אמא  Ema    mother

Keep up the good work…. reading, reviewing and getting the yellow Siddur project done.   We appreciate all your efforts!  We LOVE this class!!!

posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have No Comments

HaSiddur Sheli–My Prayerbook

We are very excited about the creation of a siddur (prayerbook) by each of our students.  This project is designed to enable our students to see themselves on the pages of the siddur and make it more meaningful. The addition of your child’s photographs and drawings will give new meaning to the text.



SEE LETTER THAT CAME HOME TODAY WITH THE YELLOW HASIDDUR SHELI prayerbook.   We also discussed this at Open House this evening.

PLEASE help us by taking pictures of your child doing things that illustrate or dramatize the prayers listed on the left in the letter. The page numbers in HaSiddur Sheli are on the far right circled.  We offer a list of suggested photographs as examples.  You may use what we suggest or better still, be creative and come up with your own.  Parents from Kitah Bet can assist you if you have questions… they did a great job last year!!

Please either glue the pictures on the correct page in the siddur or label the picture  and we can glue them here at school.  THE  YELLOW SIDDUR MUST BE RETURNED TO SCHOOL by MONDAY  9/15.   Additional time will be given to your family to complete the assignment, if needed.  Pictures can be sent in at your convenience.  However, we need HaSiddur Sheli– My Prayerbook at school on that Monday!!!

We thank you in advance for your time and effort in making this project a success.  You are helping make the tradition come alive for your children.

Luckily, technology has enabled us to do this assignment easily at home.  If there are difficulties, don’t worry!  Let us know how we can help!!!

Todah Raba!  Morah Rachel and Morah Hanna

posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have Comments (2)

3rd Week of 1st Grade – General Studies

We hope everyone enjoyed the 3-day weekend! We started our week on a Tuesday, which was a little confusing..but we got it under control!  We started our morning with a journal question and we jumped into our morning meeting when we were finished. When we were finished, we were on a mission.  We had a huge mission to organize our classroom library.  Last week we seemed to have some issues keeping it organized, like putting the books back properly, putting them in the right spot, and even keeping it neat.  So, today, Ms. Lewis said it was our job to organize it so that we would own it.  If we ‘owned’ the library than Ms. Lewis hopes that we will respect it more!  It was organized chaos, but the ending result was fabulous!! d51 d52 d53  d55 d56 d57 d58 After organizing, we were able to see which books we need more of! When we finished, we also reviewed how to pick a good fit book and what it means!  We also reviewed how to read a book, and what the teachers and students do during Read to Self time.  Tomorrow, we are going to try to reach a stamina goal of 2 whole minutes!!  We tired today and made it 20 seconds ;) we will see how this goes! Then we were off to PE.  When we came back, it was time for snack-and we read ‘Pinkalicious’-what a great choice! After snack, we started math.  We began with our POTD.  When we finished, we took out our textbook to begin our new unit, number bonds!  We started this with Mrs. Yegelwel, so we mostly were able to review!  We went through number 5-10 and made stories and all the number bonds possible!  We even got to write on the board, everyone got at least one turn!


We worked on this until lunch.  Then we went to lunch and right up to music! After music we came back to get our folders and pack up for Jewish studies. Wednesday we started our morning with the journal question, our meeting, and daily 5.  During daily 5, we wrapped up our spelling assessments!!  We are excited that we will finally be getting spelling homework next week :) when we finished with our testing, we did our first trial of Read to Self.  It wasn’t a REAL trial, but it gave us a good idea of how it should go.  Ms. Lewis let us pick our own books–then Ms. Lewis let us read some of the book to her so that we could really decide if it was a good fit book–then we got to find our cozy spot and start our ‘pretend’ stamina. photo 1 photo 3 photo 4

We put our good fit books in our seat sacks so that we will be ready to roll tomorrow!  Then we were off to PE.  When we came back, it was time for snack.  During snack, we read an ‘I’ book called ‘I repeat, Don’t Cheat!’  It was a great book with a hidden lesson ;)

After snack we moved on to math.  Of course, we started with our POTD.  Then during the rest of math, we worked (mostly) independently in our workbooks.  We were showing off our skills with number bonds.  When everyone was finished, we had a little bit of extra time and we got to play a round of freeze dance! Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we got to go to recess!

photo 5 We enjoyed playing, and also looking at a cool science thing Ashton brought last week for show and tell.  We came back inside and got our folder.  We started packing up for Jewish studies then Morah rachel met us in the hallway!

Thursday we did something different.  We took a break from our routine to get some fun stuff ready for Open House!!  We started our morning with a special journal–a letter to our parents!!  We are so excited to get the special responses on Friday morning when we get to school :)

We moved on to a quick morning meeting before we headed to PE.   When we came back from PE, we had a quiet snack time.  Ms. Lewis was giving out one more spelling assessment to help us all get our own, right fit, words for our spelling next week.  We have been talking about how much fun our spelling homework will be!!

After our working snack period, we moved on to a science lesson.  We talked about our 5 senses.  We were pretty familiar with our senses and what they did, so we illustrated our senses and glued what the sense was to which body part we use!  They are on display on our science bulletin board.

After science we started AR discussion.  We are so excited!!  Everyone is going to start taking AR quizzes.  OUR AR DAY WILL BE THURSDAY–ALL YEAR.  This means, that every Thursday, we will take an AR quiz on the book we checked out the previous Thursday.  You will have 1 week to read your AR book, 2 weeks if it is a chapter book!  There are books that we can take AR quizzes on in Ms. Lewis’ room, but those we do whenever we want.  The AR books we get from Mrs. Hallett we only take quizzes on on Thursdays.  After we take our quizzes, we get to get a new book!  Mrs. Hallett would be happy to talk to anyone who has questions about AR!  So after we talked about all the ins and outs of AR, we headed to the library to meet Mrs. Hallet.  She told us what color label we should look for and off we went!

photo 1 photo 2

We were off to lunch next.  When we came back from lunch, we had another fun thing to do for our Open House!  We made clouds with our names on it.  We thought it would be sooo funny to give our parents ‘homework’ when they came to Open House.  So, when everyone comes to open house, it will be their job to write 5 adjectives that describe their child, then we get to glue it and put it together on Friday morning!  It also allowed us to have a fabulous lesson about adjectives ;) Then we got to go outside until it was time for Jewish studies.


I wanted to take a minute and give a special thanks to everyone who came to Open House!! It meant a lot to Mrs. Mcveary and I, and to our kiddies that you came to see the start of our journey this year!


On Friday morning, we enjoyed reading the responses that our Emas and Abas wrote to us in our journals!!  We also had a lot of fun putting together our adjective clouds!!  Then we started our morning with our meeting on the carpet.  We were visited by our older friends to celebrate the month of Elul!

Shofar1 Shofar

Then we were off to the library!  We were excited because we were going to be learning about Dot Day!!  We read the book, The Dot, and then we tried to skype with another class from North Carolina.  We even went to Google Earth to look at their school.  When we started to skype, we learned that they were a first grade class in their own library!!

dot dot1 dot2

Unfortunately, we had some techincal difficulties.  We will reschedule soon so that we can continue to work with this other first grade class!

When we got back from library, we were able to have a special snack outside!  We were celebrating Gabe’s birthday!!  His mom and grandma came to help us celebrate.  We had popsicles, popcorn, and Gabe even brought some sports balls for us to have at school!!! We were SOO happy :)

gabe1 gabe3 gabe2 We couldn’t fit candles into the popsicles for gabe to make his wish, so his mom brought bubbles!  He had to pop the bubbles for his wish to come true!

When we wrapped up our celebration, it was time to come inside for show and tell!! We love getting to share what we love :) We also did our ticket drawing!  Congratulations to Kyra, Kagan, and Sophia for being the lucky winners.  They got to pick a treat from our treasure box!  Then we headed to art.  This was a make-up art class because we didn’t have school on Monday.  Then we were off to lunch!!


We were so excited to come back to class because we had our very first mystery reader today!!!!

We were given clues, and we tried our best to guess…but we couldn’t figure it out!  We were excited to see…..

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 our very own Rabbi Rogozen!!!!!  He read us a great book about a little boys summer vacation in the west, with cowboys!! It was a really cool book :)

When Rabbi Rogozen left, we had time to play a little freeze dance before we went to meet Morah Rachel for Israeli dancing!


Please NOTE that class picture orders are due on Monday, September 8th.  We will be taking class pictures on Friday, September 12.  

Next week we will be coming home with spelling homework for the first time!  This means we will have spelling, math, and reading homework–wow, such big first graders!

Have a great weekend :) we look forward to another fabulous week starting on Monday!!

Shabbat Shalom

posted by pamelalewis in General Studies and have Comments (3)

Week of September 1–Jewish Studies ב ש

שלום כיתה א Shalom Kitah Alef!  These  weeks we are moving  forward!  We are so proud of our students and appreciate the reading and singing that you are doing at home.  It shows!!!  Keep reading this blog for lots more information!!!

אריאות Ariyot continues to introduce us to new friends. We are so proud of everyone in our class (and Morah Shira’s virtual class)

ש  The letter Shin is what we  worked on this week.  Words in our dictionary include:

שחר    Shachar   A boy in the virtual classrom

שרונה Sharona   A girl in the virtual classroom

שחור  Shachor   black

שלום  Shalom   hello, goodbye and peace

שבת  Shabbat    Sabbath

שבת שלום  Shabbat Shalom   a peaceful Sabbath  (greeting)

המורה שירה  HaMorah Shira  is the teacher in the virtual classroom

We are thrilled how  many of our students are really trying hard in Jewish Studies.  Not only are we learning Hebrew and prayers and  beginning Rosh Hashana materials, but they are doing mitzvot!   Helping other students, reminding teachers of stuff that we need to remember and just being kind to each other.   WOW!

  Don’t we just love playing on our Smartboard and iPads and enjoying all the fun stuff with Ariyot??  Thanks to Kim Glasgal Levy, Ms. Hallet and others for making this happen (again!!!).  Don’t worry…. you’ll get to see this in action when you attend Back to School Night on thisThursday evening 9/4.   See you there!!

Many of our parents are learning along  with us as we learn the alef-bet.  Keep up the good work!  Reading at home is so important for all to succeed!!

To push a little bit ahead…. here’s the next letter we are learning:

ב BET!!!  (Imagine it has a dot in the middle) With words like:

ברק (Barak) a boy’s name (like the President’s!)

בית (bayit) house

בלון (balone)  balloon

אבא (abba)  father

סבא (sabba) grandfather

שבת (Shabbat)

And then there’s more…..  This letter has a twin… almost the same but one difference:

ב Bet (with a dot in the middle) and Vet (without dot)  We  can identify words with Vet like:

צבע   Tzevah    color

צהוב  Tzahove    yellow

לבן  Lavan     white

סבתא  Savta    Grandmother    (This is what Morah Rachel and Morah Hanna are called by their grandchildren!!!  We LOVE being a Savta!!!)


We are working on becoming better people throughout the new year.  Hopefully this will be evident at school, at home and wherever we go.

טוב  Tov   Good

לא טוב Lo Tov    Not good

We hope to fill up the good side of our scale with good deeds and not fill up the “not good” side EVER!!!  We are working on this daily (even after the holidays!!).

Here are some useful words we will be learning for the New Year:
ראש הנה   Rosh Hashanah   The head of the year
שנה טובה  Shana Tovah       A good year  (greeting)
שופר   Shofar       A ram’s horn used to announce the new year
מחזור  Mach-zor   Special prayerbook for the High Holidays
תקיעה  Tekiah One long note blown on the shofar
שברים   Shevarim  Three shorter notes
תרועה  Teruah  Nine really short notes
תקיעה גדולה  Tekiah Gedolah  One really loooooooong note
posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have Comment (1)

2nd Week of 1st Grade – General Studies

Welcome to Week 2!!  We are about to really dive into first grade this week.  Ready…Set…Go!!!!

We came in on Monday morning and got right to work.  We started with a journal question about how to care for a pet!  We had some great suggestions–giving them water, food, exercise, love, and shelter!  After our journal we headed to the carpet for our morning meeting.  Ms. Lewis was SO impressed by our carpet behavior!!  After only a week in 1st grade–we did awesome!

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After we did the pledge and hatikvah, it came to our attention that we hadn’t filled out our ‘Classroom Rules’ poster last week–we were having too much fun :) So we took a couple of minutes to brainstorm our most important rules, and we combined a few too!  This is what we came up with…

photo 2 When we were finished, we started our day!

Mrs. McVeary gave us our very first introduction to the Daily 5.  The Daily 5 is our new literacy program!  There are 5 components to the program, one of them we already do..but we will discuss that in a minute.  Today, we were introduced to learning how to pick a ‘just right’ book, or a book that is just right for us!

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We heard a really silly story from Mrs. McVeary about how she was going to ballet, but needed to put her shoes on first.  Mrs. McVeary went through all the shoes she had in her bag and we realized that certain shoes weren’t ‘the right pick’ for doing ballet!  It helped us connect to picking a book that is just the right fit for us, and only us!

Tomorrow we will review what we learned today, and we will even learn more about Daily 5!  The introduction to Daily 5 in the classroom is a bit of a lengthy process, but in order for the philosophies to stick, we introduce them slowly and with lots of reviewing and practice.

We got to enjoy snack after we finished our Daily 5 for the day.  During snack, we actually do one of the components of Daily 5, listen to reading!  After snack we started math.

During math we did our first ever ‘Problem of the Day.’  We will do one of these every day to start our math block!  When we complete the problem, we get a sticker–sometimes they are special smelly stickers!!  After POTD, we started to work in our textbook.  We zipped through unit one, which involves learning about numbers zero through ten!  We were professionals :) The beginning of our math unit is mostly a review for us, which is great!!

When we were finished with math, it was time for art!  Then we went straight to lunch.  After lunch, we got to enjoy some time on the big blue playground.  When it was time to line up, we came back inside to get our folders and head off to Jewish studies.

Tuesday we were busy!  We always have music after lunch on Tuesday, so we usually have a busy morning.  We started our day with a journal question, then our morning meeting.  During our morning meeting we talked about the date, weather, and the season.  We did the pledge and hatikvah then we moved on to start the Daily 5.

photo 1 photo 2 We started by reviewing what we had learned yesterday.  We reviewed how to pick a ‘good fit’ book and we also reviewed the 3 ways to read a book.

We even learned about Read to Self-one of the components of the Daily 5.  While we were being introduced to Read to Self, we practiced different way to sit while we read…it was so cool, because we can even sit under tables, with lots of pillows, or in the middle of the floor!!!

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When we finished with Daily 5 for the day, we took some time to make name-plates!!  Our name-plates will be our ‘headers’ on our blogfolios..but more about those later :)

We were off to PE and then came back to enjoy snack.  We read a ‘T’ book today for our A-Z Book Challenge!!  We are doing great.  After snack we had a ‘blog’ time block!  We got to work with Ms. Lewis to update and post some artifacts to our blogfolio!!  We are in the process of posting 2 artifacts this week; check them out and leave us comments!

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This is a real treat for us when we get comments to our own blogfolio.  One of our artifacts is a picture from our first day of school, we even wrote our name by ourself!  The other artifact is a goal we have made for 1st grade–we took a picture of our writing and then we talked about it!

After our blog session, it was time to take the STAR test with Mrs. Hallett.  This test helps Ms. Lewis and Mrs. Mcveary figure out our proper reading levels.  It also helps them guide our learning!  We worked on the STAR test until it was time for lunch.  Then we went to lunch, headed to music, and came back to get our folders and pack up for Jewish studies.  (I told you Tuesday’s were quick and busy!)

Wednesday we had another busy day!  We started our morning with our journal, but we didn’t have as much time as usual because we went to a Rosh Chodesh assembly!

20140827_090610_resized 2014-08-27 12.59.14_resized photo 2 photo 4 photo 1 photo 5 photo 3 rosh We got to see the shofar being blown too, it was really cool!

When we came back to class, we jumped right into the Daily 5.  Before we TOTALLY jumped in, we needed to do something fun since we had been sitting in the sanctuary for awhile.  So, before we started Daily 5, we all took our shoes off!!!!!!

rosh2 Why not take your shoes off to review Daily 5?! :)

We reviewed how to pick a good fit book, the 3 ways to read a book, and we also reviewed what the students do and what the teachers do during Read to Self time.  We did some role playing and acted out the correct way to read to self and also the wrong way.  Then, we put our shoes back on and got ready to go to PE.  When we got back from PE it was time for snack.

After snack we started our math.  We started with the problem of the day, which we mostly did on our own!! Ms. Lewis was very impressed since it was only our second time doing it.  When we had finished our POTD, we got out our workbook.  When we do workbook, we work independently, or on our own.  Workbook reinforces what we learned in our textbook!  So it is usually a good way for Ms. Lewis to make sure we understand what we are learning!  When we all finished our math, it was time to go to lunch!

After lunch we got to go to the courtyard to play for only 5 minutes.  We had a visitor coming to talk to us!  Mrs. Wayne came to talk to us and introduce herself.  Mrs. Wayne is our schools new counselor!  She explained what her job was and how she can help us.  We were so happy to welcome her to our school! She even read us a little story!

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When Mrs. Wayne left, we got our folders and packed up for Jewish studies!

Thursday we started our journal and had our morning meeting before it was time to go to PE.  During our morning meeting, our friend Jacob had an announcement to share with us.  He told us that he id going to go to kindergarten for the rest of the year.  We talked about how Jacob came from South Africa and their Kindergarten is more like pre-school, so he needed to have kindergarten before he comes to first grade!  Our friends who had Mrs. Yegelwel last year told Jacob about all the fun he would have!!  We also talked about how we would all still be friends, even though Jacob was going to a different class.  We are excited to see him in the halls, at lunch, and sometimes at recess!!  When we were finished with our morning meeting, we headed to PE and then came back for an early snack.  After snack, we got to work!

We started by reviewing daily 5.  We reviewed all the usual-3 ways to read a book, the ‘I-Pick’ chart, stamina, etc.  We had a great time reviewing!  Ms. Lewis was so proud of all that we have remembered, we have been working hard and it’s clearly paying off! We also did some role playing to show good and bad examples of Read to Self.

When we finished daily 5, it was time for math.  We were taking our first test as big first graders!  We talked about how to take a test before we started.  We reminded everyone that we don’t talk, that we keep our eyes on our own paper, and that we try our best!  We got to use our privacy folders for the first time too, they are plain now, but soon they will be decorated by us!

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After we finished our test we did a really cool weekly reader all about apples!!  We learned how apples grow, who eats them, and also how they rot–eew!!  After we finished, we got to play freeze dance..but just until lunch, only about 5 minutes! We were freezing with some funny faces ;)


We went to lunch and got some energy.  We were very busy this morning, so Ms. Lewis let us go to the big blue playground for recess!  We did a lot of work, which involved a lot of sitting and concentrating–Ms. Lewis was proud of how well we did! We eventually came back inside to get some water–our faces were all so red! We did some good playing.  We got our folders and headed off to Jewish studies.

Friday morning we started our day with our journal and morning meeting.  During our morning meeting, we had shofar blowers come to see us!  We will get to hear the shofar for the whole month of Elul!  If we have a shofar at home, and have permission, we can bring it in to blow in the morning with our older friends!

photo 1 photo 2 kay  After we wrapped up our morning meeting, it was time for library.  Check out our blogfolio to see what we learned about!  It is so, SO important for us to remember to bring our books EVERY Friday–otherwise we can’t check our new ones.  If we are still reading our book, that’s okay!

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Next week, we will start learning about AR quizzes and we will get our first batch of AR books..but we will learn more about that next week.

After library, it was snack time.  Since it was such a nice day, and we were having recess right after snack, we had snack outside!!! What a treat :)

photo 1 photo 2 snack After snack and recess, we had a special art time!  Mrs. Gutterman wanted us to finish a project, so we got to go to art twice this week!!  Another treat!!!

When we came back from art, we started math.  We made our own math stories!  We used the format that we have been learning from our POTD book.  We got to illustrate our problem, write the number sentence, and write a complete sentence to show our understanding of the problem!  They are on display on our math bulletin board in our classroom, come check it out!

add1 add3 add2 mathb

Off to lunch!

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We came back from lunch and we got to do show and tell, finally!!!  On Friday’s it seems that all we care about it show and tell ;) it’s a lot of fun!  What a great way to end our week. We got our folders and headed off to do some Israeli dancing with Morah Rachel and Morah Hannah!!


Just a friendly reminder, to PLEASE make sure you send snack for your child–we have it everyday.

We hope to see you THURSDAY for Back to School Night :)

Next week is only a 4-day week, but we will still be busy!  We will be moving on in our math to start learning or reviewing number bonds!  We will also continue our work in Daily 5!  Our spelling is coming along, we are almost ready! Thanks for your patience as we get the year started.

Please let Ms. Lewis know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!  Have a great 3-day weekend :)

Shabbat Shalom

posted by pamelalewis in General Studies and have Comments (2)

Week of August 25–Jewish Studies

PLEASE NOTE:   Our Jewish Studies class blog gets updated every Sunday morning early in the day.   It’s a great way to keep up with what we’re doing in our Jewish Studies class.  If there are questions, even after reading the blog, please contact us!!!   NO STRESS!!  We want everyone to enjoy this wonderful time!!!

We have been singing and learning lots  the past week and it  will continue this week.  The letter א Alef  is at the beginning of words like:

אריאות ariyot (our Hebrew letter lion)

אבא abba (dad)

ארון  aron (cabinet)

אדום adome (red)

אני anee (I)

We also have many proud students who have names that begin with א —–

See their picture below!!!


Please note once again that the pages that are circled in Ariyot are the ones to practice with your child for homework.  Those are the pages that we have completed in class and these pages should seem somewhat familiar to your child.  Enjoy!!

Our class will enjoy periodically  working  on our iPads and on our Smartboard!  Thanks to “Morah Galit” who is volunteering to help us!!!  Alefs and Ariyot are everywhere!!!  Even with Morah Hanna and Morah Rachel!!

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Plus, we  got to make and eat an Alef out of Twizzlers!!! YUM!!!



We pray once a week with Rabbi Tilman and it has been a pleasure for all of us!  We also pray on Thursdays with Hazzan Holzer in the chapel and will be taking part in the Torah service there.   :)IMG_2879

On Friday afternoons at about 3:25 PM in the chapel, we would love to have “Mystery Readers” read in ENGLISH OR HEBREW to both Kitah Alef and Kitah Bet.  If you are interested,  let us know a date that works for you and we will try ! to work it out.  It’s a great opportunity for parents or grandparents to be with us!

posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies and have Comments Off