Weeks of May 22 and 29–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

We are learning the cursive letters and finding them very YUMMY!!! Here are the letters כ כ ך  Kof, Chof and Chof Sofit made out of Twizzlers!

On Wednesday May 24, we will celebrate יום ירושלים Yom Yerushalayim. 60 years that Jerusalem is reunited!!!

The holiday of  שבועות Shavuot is the next holiday after that  and we will celebrate it on May 30-June 1. We are so proud that we are learning all about the 10 Commandments! Memorizing them in Hebrew   AND we can write them in cursive!!

In order to honor the holiday of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah, the Martin J. Gottlieb School is issuing our Ten Commandment challenge to all students in Kitah Alef.  The challenge is to memorize all Ten Commandments in Hebrew. Students will first recite them to their Hebrew teacher in class the week of May 22.

All students who demonstrate that they have met the challenge will be HONORED at Shavuot services at the Jacksonville Jewish Center on Wednesday, May 31.   The students who are being honored will be called up to the bimah. They will recite the Ten Commandments for the congregation and receive a special reward.

On Tuesday, May 30 ( Erev Shavuot—a half day of school) we will have our Bikkurim ceremony in the morning.  We will wear white clothes  and bring fruit baskets for the needy.

חג שמח  Chag Sameach!! Happy Holiday! We will finish counting the Omer….49 days!!

We have lots of fun planned for the last few weeks of Jewish Studies this school year filled with reading and writing and singing and dancing!!

The students take their cursive Hebrew handwriting  very seriously!!  We will be well prepared for Kitah Bet!!!  And many of us are writing sentences!!

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua These weeks’ Torah portions are במדבר   ונש     Bamidbar V’Naso.   We are starting the next book in the Torah!!!

Ulichnie’s Update May 14th

 - by erinulichnie

Upcoming Dates:  Mark your calendars!

 May 17:  Field trip to Jacksonville Zoo-pack a lunch
May 29:  No school-Memorial Day
May 30:  Noon dismissal, wear white and bring fruit/veggies for Shavuot
May 31:  No school
June 1:  No school
June 5:  Father’s Day celebration @ 9:45-10:45
June 7:  Last day of school
Thank you for such a wonderful teacher appreciation week to all the parents and especially PTO.  You guys are the best!
Here are some fun moments from our Israel Independence Day celebration.
In word work, we have been working on first grade sight words, color words, and next week we will be covering number words.
In language arts, we have finished up our poetry unit.  Students learned how to write an sensory poem, acrostic poem, diamonte poem, and shape poem.  Now, we have started reading The Boxcar Children series.  We are making predictions, summarizing, making connections, and discussing vocabulary.  We are answering comprehension questions with our reading each day.
In math, we completed our unit on money.  Counting coins was difficult for most students.  This would be a great skill to work on over the summer.  We spent some time reviewing numbers to 100, including place value and estimation.  We are now working hard on double digit addition and subtraction.  We will finish the year reviewing and attempting to learn how to regroup with addition.

Counting money with grocery store ads

Science has been super fun the last couple weeks.  Students have been watching lima beans sprout and making observations.  We planted the seedlings and now are watching them grow quickly.  Mrs. Jaffa showed us how celery will change colors when you put it in water with food coloring.  One day last week, we taste tested different seeds:  peanuts, sunflower seeds, pomegranate, and snow pea pods.
In social studies, we have learned about saving and spending money and different careers.
Here is the stop motion video our class created with Mrs. Gutterman.  I love it so much!
We are also experimenting with the app, Morphi.  Morphi  is a tool that can be used to create projects for the 3D printer.  We used it to create our Mother’s Day bookmarks.
Thank you so much for coming to the poetry reading!
Some fun videos for moms from the Kid President.
Unexpected fun moments…

Weeks of May 8 and May 15–Jewish Studies Cursive!!! Etc.

 - by Morah Rachel


Cursive homework continues!!!!  We are so proud of our beautiful handwriting!! It’s sooo fun!  We love writing carefully in our  writing notebooks!  We will soon be writing the letters ג ר ה ב ב  Gimel, Resh, Hey, Bet and Vet. etc.   WOW!!! We are moving very quickly —approximately one letter a day! We are being sticklers about HOW to write each letter.  Most letters are based on the letter Resh…. starting from the top like a crescent .   Cursive writing homework  should be fun and not last more than 5-10 minutes each night.  Reading should continue at home of all the old Ariyot books.   Reviewing means remembering!! (And of course reading our cursive stories as well!!!!)

The little blue writing notebook is called a מחברת Mach-ber-et and we are enjoying writing in it in cursive Hebrew!!!


We want to thank you and the PTA for the wonderful week we had the last  few weeks.  We feel very appreciated!!!

תודה רבה  THANK YOU ALL for the wonderful treats and generous gifts we received during Appreciation Week.  We LOVE this class and  don’t want the year to end!! (Really!!!)  From Morah Hanna and Morah Rachel     🙂

יום העצמאות  Yom Ha-Atzmaut !!!! Israel’s Independence Day

We also had a wonderful day last Tuesday for Israel’s 69th Birthday…  we ate yummy felafel,  played, sang and even prayed at the Kotel (the Western Wall in Jerusalem) with Rabbi Tilman.  We wrote our own personal prayers on paper and placed them between the stones.


May 14……. Mother’s Day,  Lag B’Omer  and Morah Hanna’s Birthday!!!!

We wish all of our moms יום האם שמח Yom HaEm Sameach!! Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday May 14!!  Hope you enjoy our little gift & song!  We appreciate you not just one Sunday a year but everyday!!! We say thanks for being such good moms to our students and for helping us out in Kitah Alef!!

Happy 33rd Day of the Omer   לג בעומר AND…….

יום הולדת שמח למורה חנה  Yom Huledet Sameach l’Morah Hanna!!!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful Morah Hanna!!!!


פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavua—

The Portions of the Week in the Torah are…

אמור Emor for May 8  We review the holidays for the year

בהר בחקתי Behar-Bechukotai for May 15. We learn about Sabbatical years…. for us and the land!!



Ulichnie’s Update April 23rd

 - by erinulichnie

Upcoming Dates:  Mark your calendars!

May 12:  Mother’s Day poetry @ 9:45-10:45
May 2:  Yom Ha’Atzmaut – wear blue and white
May 17:  Field trip to Jacksonville Zoo-pack a lunch
May 29:  No school-Memorial Day
May 30:  Noon dismissal
May 31:  No school
June 1:  No school
June 5:  Father’s Day celebration @ 9:45-10:45
June 7:  Last day of school
Thanks to all who were able to make it to our model Seder.  Our class was amazing!  The talent show was a big hit, as well.

In word work, we have been learning about words with the bossy r, in words like car and storm.  We also learned about compound words.

In language arts, we have been reading books that teach us how to be persuasive, to help us with our writing unit.  We also wrapped up our author study of the Magic Tree House series.  Now, we are moving on to reading poetry.  Students will also be writing different types of poetry.  Last week, we wrote sensory poems about color to extend on a book we read, Hailstones and Halibut Bones.  We have also been learning about how to research online in the library with Mrs. Hallett.  Students researched dogs on the World Book for Kids website.

In math, we have been moving quickly.  Students learned how to tell time to the minute and worked on fractions.  Now, we are learning how to count money.  Homework was difficult last week, thanks for helping your child.  Please continue to work with them at home on counting coins.

In science, we learned about simple machines.  We discussed gears and pulleys.  Our Bricks for Kidz in school field trip was lots of fun.  Students built cars and powered them to actually drive.  They also made a vehicle that ran on a pulley.  Last week, we learned about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling for Earth Day.

We have also been enjoying exploring with some of our new classroom materials Mrs. Gutterman gave us.  We are learning to work together to solve problems and be creative.  Thanks, Mrs. G!

Weeks of April 24 and May 1–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel


Here she is…… שרה   Sarah!!!!  Finally, we got to her letter!!  Imagine that there is a dot on the left side for the letter Sin.


אריאות  Ariyot   Yes, we are completing the 4th book of Ariyot and finishing the Alef-Bet!!  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!!!  Cursive is coming!!   WOW!

ספירת העומר  Sefirat HaOmer  Counting of the Omer    From the 2nd night of Pesach  we count each day until we reach the holiday of Shavuot.  We are anticipating receiving  the 10 Commandments!!!  We include this in our daily prayers.  Ask your child what day of the Omer is it today??

תפילות Tefilot Prayers   At this point of the year, we are checking to see if our students can chant and read the prayers we have learned this year.  We are also learning more about these prayers with Rabbi Tilman.

יום העצמאות Yom Ha-Atzmaoot   Israel’s Independence Day  is approaching next week on May 2.  Listen for some great songs about Israel’s Birthday on the 5th day ( ה Hay)  of the Hebrew month of Iyar.  We will wear blue and white on Tuesday, 5/2 in honor of Israel’s 69th birthday!!

Don’t forget that the Community Wide Celebration for Israel’s birthday will be on Sunday, April 30 from 12-3 at the JCA.  Come Dance and Have Fun !!!

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavua  Portion of the Week

TWO Double Portions ….. lots to learn…. תזריע מצורע Tazria-Metzora

אחרי מות  קדושים Acharei Mot-Kedoshim


Week of April 19—Jewish Studies ש Sin…. Happy Pesach!

 - by Morah Rachel

Hope you are having a wonderful Pesach!!! We know how proud you are of your children…..we’ve heard great things about how they participated in your own Seders!! We’re kvelling!!

Now back to work….. On Wednesday… April 19th!!  Enjoy eating Chametz 🙂

אריאות  Ariyot!!!!

We just completed the letter  ר  Resh

רחל וריינה הדסה ומורה רחל  Rachel, Rayna and Morah Rachel  LOVE THIS LETTER!!

We will be moving ahead with the letter ש  Sin.  Imagine a dot on the left side!  We have 1 girl who is so happy to have this letter at the beginning of her Hebrew name!!  שרה  Sarah!!!

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


Next week we will commemorate Yom HaShoah… to remember the Holocaust.  AND THEN……

יום העצמאות Yom Ha-Atzmaut…. Israel’s Independence Day!!!

Listen for lots of fun songs as we celebrate Israel’s birthday on  ה איר Hey Iyar the 5th of the Hebrew month of Iyar!!  We will wear blue and white on May 2 in honor of Israel’s 69th birthday!

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavuah this week’s Torah portion is

שמיני Shemini where we learn about Kashrut!!

Ulichnie’s Update March 26th

 - by erinulichnie

It has been a while since my last post.  Please forgive me for the length of this post, we have been so busy!

Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday, April 4:  Model Seder for first grade @ 1:00
Thursday, April 6:  Talent and Art Show-first grade performance
Friday, April 7: In school field trip-Bricks for Kidz
Monday, April 10-April18:  Spring break
Friday, May 12:  Mother’s Day poetry reading @ 9:45-10:45
Monday, June 5:  Father’s Day celebration @ 9:45-10:45
TBD field trip to Jacksonville Zoo

Pictures from Purim…

In word work, we have been working on sight words and words with ch, sh, and th.

Wiki stick for word work

In reading, we have been reading the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborn.  So far, we have read Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, and Mummies in the Morning.  We are practicing visualizing, or making pictures in our mind, as we read about different times and places.  We are also working on comprehension questions and learning new vocabulary words as we read.  We even wrapped each other up as mummies.

In writing, we are continuing to write opinion pieces.  We are learning to write reviews.  Students have reviewed books, movies, toys, games, restaurants, and more!  Our next unit will be writing fiction.  Writers have also been writing letters and comics during daily 5 time.

In math, we just finished up multiplication and division.  Students solved problems using manipulatives, pictures, skip counting, arrays, and story problems.  Now, we will be working on fractions.  Thanks for keeping up with homework!

In science, we have been so excited about our butterfly life cycle unit.  Students have been making observations each day in our butterfly observation journals.  We watched our larva change into pupa and then to butterflies.  It was an amazing project!  We released our butterflies last Thursday.  It was bittersweet, because the kids really were sad to see them go.  We even held up flowers and watched as the butterflies used their proboscis to feed themselves.  It was amazing!  Here are a few pictures and videos from our experience.  Mrs. Gutterman also completed several projects with our class.  Students learned about symmetry and how butterflies contract their wings to fly.

Animation of student created symmetrical butterflies with student photos.

Butterfly ball model gif

First Grade Butterfly Unit


Weeks of March 27and April 3–Jewish Studies פסח ר

 - by Morah Rachel


On Wednesday, March 29, we look forward to a special guest visiting our class and teaching us about the map of Israel.   She is Dana Marmari…. Our Community Shlicha, Israel Emissary!! Pictures will follow!!

We are continuing in Ariyot……. and enjoying every minute.

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

ר  Resh!!

רחל וריינה ומורה רחל  Rachel V’Rainna V’ Morah Rachel

We have been waiting for this 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!!!!

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, 4/4 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!!!

And when we return after Pesach, we will finish the alef bet  and move on to Hebrew cursive!!


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

צו Tzav.  That Shabbat (4/8) has a special name called

שבת הגדול  Shabbat HaGadol  The Big Shabbat right before Pesach begins.  🙂

Week of March 20–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

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

Melanie, Marissa and Whitney

We had a great time on Purim!!!

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.

And more  אריאות Ariyot  We are still working on the letters צ   ץ   ק  Tzadee, Tzadee Sofit (final)

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 m

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 Pesach songs….. we are really going strong and will be ready for our Seder on April 4 at 1:00.  SAVE THE DATE!!!

Ulichnie’s Update

 - by erinulichnie

Next week is spirit week.  Here is the schedule:

  • Monday-P.J. Day bring a pair to donate and wear a pair (don’t forget tennis shoes for P.E.)
  • Tuesday-Nerd or Hippie Day, first graders don’t know what either one of these are you may have to explain 🙂
  • Wednesday-Jersey/team attire day
  • Thursday-Super hero day
  • Friday-Shabbat clothes and crazy socks day
  • Monday-Purim costume day

For word work, we have been working on words with the vowel combinations /oa/ and /ow/, which make the long o sound in words like boat and mow.  Then, we worked with words with the long a sound, with /ai/ and /ay/ in words like rain and day.  We are continuing to work on learning how to identify nouns and verbs.  We have also introduced pronouns, adjectives, and helping verbs.  This week we focused on contractions.

We celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday this week.  Mrs. Yegelwel came dressed up to read to us.  We all read and enjoyed some Dr. Seuss favorites.

For writer’s workshop, students wrapped up our non-fiction unit and started our new unit on opinion writing.  To wrap up non-fiction, we  created posters to accompany our animal projects we have been working on.  Now, we are learning how to state our opinion on a topic, provide reasons to support our opinions, and incorporate transition words.  I know, exciting stuff, right?!  Students are writing reviews; this week, we reviewed our favorite book.  We also wrote about our robot that we created in art.  Students used the app Chatter Pics to bring their robot to life.  These will be posted to student blogs soon.

We are making great progress in math.  Students have been working on double digit addition without regrouping.  We created story problems and solved each others problems.  We have been using base ten blocks to add.  Students worked on adding 3 numbers, and we were introduced to odd and even.  We are continuing to grow with Rocket Math.  Please keep practicing at home!  It will really pay off in second grade.

There has been some great excitement in science this week.  We are observing our caterpillar each day in class.  Students are recording observations in a journal.  We are learning butterfly vocabulary, like larvae, pupa, chrysalis, proboscis, and metamorphosis.  It is so fun to watch the class come in to  check on their caterpillars each morning.

In social studies, we are reading and discussing the Studies Weekly magazine each week.  We recently read about some of our national symbols, including The Liberty Bell, The Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, and Uncle Sam.  Students learned about patriotism.  We also read about some of our national monuments and memorials, including The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, and The Jefferson Memorial.