Weeks of February 20 and 27–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

We had a wonderful 100th day last week and realized that we are truly 100 days smarter than we were at the beginning of the school year!! We each wrote 100 Hebrew letters and then……. without any help, we came up with 100 Hebrew words in a very short amount of time!!! WOW!! WE are 100%!! מאה אחוז May-ah Ah- chooz!!!

And, of course,  we’re still kvelling over our memorable חגיגת הסידור Hagigat Hasiddur !! For Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday (and every Friday from now on)we are using our beautiful new siddurim.   Once again, we thank our parents for all their efforts. We LOVE our personalized prayer books!!


See BELOW for extra credit opportunity !!!!  It’s for everyone and it’s fun!!


A secret surpise happened this past week. We were almost finished with the letter ס Samech when…..סבתא Savta a grandma read to our class!!! It was a great secret!! איזה סוד Aizeh sode!!!! SH-H-H-H!!!  Thank you to Shmuel’s Savta!!!תודה רבה סבתא דפנה     Todah Rabah Savta Dafna!!


אריאות Ariyot brings us a new letter in the coming week

ע Ayin with words like:

ענן עננים anan ananim cloud clouds

עין עינים ayin aynayim eye eyes

עיגול עיגולים eegool eegoolim circle circles

מעיל עם כובע meh-eel im kovah coat with a hat (hood)

נעל נעלים na’all nalayim shoe shoes

עוגה oogah cake

Notice that this letter is as quiet as the Alef!

And there is ONE STUDENT with a name that begins with this letter….עילי!!!!   Eli!!!

And we made the letter with our bodies too!!


*************EXTRA CREDIT*******************

If you are reading this, thanks for doing so!! Your child can get extra credit in Jewish Studies if they draw a picture of CLOUDS עננים ananim that they see in the sky. Maybe a cloud looks like something special to them, like a shoe or an animal or a cake or whatever they see. Please send the sketch to class by Friday, February 24!! 🙂


מזל טוב  MAZAL TOV to our students as we finish another book of

אריאות Ariyot.  We are completing the 3rd book and are  now ready for the 4th!

 (EXTRA CREDIT  to many students  for their creative clouds!!  THANKS for reading!!)


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!)

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

PLEASE check out Voicethread….. fun stuff for all!!  NEW SONGS!!


The portion of the week פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavua for this coming week is משפטים Mishpatim about the various laws we live by.   The following week is תרומה Terumah which includes the story of how generous the Children of Israel were when contributing to the building of the Mishkan.

Ulichnie’s Update February 16th

 - by erinulichnie

We have been super busy the last few weeks.  Haggiat HaSiddur, TuB’Shevat, and the 100th day of school were all very successful.  Thanks to Morah Rachel and Morah Hannah for all of their hard work!  Parents, you did a beautiful job creating the Siddur covers.

First graders have been learning about words with /oo/ like book and school.  We also are focusing on long /e/ words like green and please.  We learned that a verb is an action word or something you can do, like swim or think.  We are still working on capitals and punctuation in our writing.  In reading groups, we have been reading a lot of great new books that were recently added to our leveled library.  We are still focusing on non-fiction.  In the library, we are researching an animal and writing a report.  We will later created a presentation.  These will be posted to your child’s blog.  Writers are including information about diet, habitat, a diagram, and other fun facts.  We are also working on non-fiction in writer’s workshop.  We wrote about seahorses last week.  This week, writers are coming up with their own informational or how to topics.

In math, we celebrated the 100th day of school as secret agents.  We dressed up is disguises, wrote our numbers with invisible ink, made an explosive with vinegar and baking soda, made a snack with 100 items, and searched for clues.  In the end, we found Zero the Hero on the playground!  Thanks for creating such adorable T-shirts!

We have also been working on place value.  We are building numbers with base ten blocks, writing numbers in expanded form, and counting tens and ones in numbers.  We have been playing place value games with dice, dominoes, spinners, and online games, too.  I love it when I say, “Time for math,” and our class shouts, “Yay!”

We worked with Mrs. Gutterman and created a cross curricular unit involving language arts, science, art, technology, and Jewish studies.  Students read about Picasso, learned about his guitar art work, studied sound in science, and created working guitars.  Check out this video to see the finished product!


In science, we learned about the ear, sound, and vibrations.  In the lab, we created different sounds using glass jars filled with water.

In social studies, we learned about people who are in charge and presidents and patriots in our Studies Weekly magazine.

Week of Feb. 13–Jewish Studies ס

 - by Morah Rachel

מזל טוב  MAZAL TOV!!

WOW!!! What a wonderful, memorable Shabbat it was.   Thank you again for all your efforts!! We are so proud of your (our) kids!!

AND now back to our regularly scheduled class….. 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!!!  Very appropriate for this week, as this Friday we will get to use our new Shabbat prayerbooks with our personalized covers for the first time!!!

In honor of Tu B’Shevat, we made edible trees and ate them!!! YUM!!

By the way,  just like in the word

טו Tu

in our holiday that we just celebrated

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

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.  We used Twizzlers to practice the vowel!!

פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavua  The Torah portion of the week is יתרו Yitro…. named for Moshe’s father-in-law who gave him the idea of a court system. We also reviewed the 10 Commandments that were given.

We had a wonderful 100th day last week and realized that we are truly 100 days smarter than we were at the beginning of the school year!!  We each wrote 100  Hebrew letters and then……. without any help, we came up with 100 Hebrew words in a very short amount of time!!!  WOW!!  WE are 100%!!  מאה אחוז  May-ah Ah- chooz!!!

Week of Feb. 6–Jewish Studies נ ן MAZAL TOV מזל טוב

 - by Morah Rachel

Best wishes to Kitah Alef  and our families as we reach our Haggigat HaSiddur!  YES, IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!

Yes,  and here is our latest blogpost just in time for this special week!! We are so excited about our celebrations this Friday and Shabbat.  Looking forward to seeing you!! We are so proud of what our students have learned and can’t wait to share it with you & the entire congregation.  We will be kvelling!!!  (SO Proud!!)

מזל טוב  MAZAL TOV    Best wishes to all our families!

תודה רבה  A VERY Special thanks to Lisa Hunt, Melanie Setzer  and Lois Tompkins for helping with siddur covers, supplies , etc. etc.   Also thanks to Rivka Ohayon for the Hebrew names.  And of course a BIG THANKS to Morah Hanna for all her extra work!

If we forgot to mention anyone,  let us know!  We LOVE appreciating parents!!! Also our thanks  goes to Robyn Waring for her patience and help this and every year!

We will be doing a bit of regular classwork this week….  don’t worry!!


Here are the answers  (one more time) to Frequently Asked Questions:

1. When do we have to be there?    

On FRIDAY MORNING 2/10, PLEASE be in the chapel  seated by 8:30 AM. It will last for approximately an hour. 

On  SHABBAT MORNING 2/11,  we will see you in the main sanctuary by about 10:30 AM.   Please sit with your child wherever you want until the Torah recessional (the Torah parade back to the ark) when Kitah Alef students will join the parade!  (We sent home a diagram of the sanctuary so that you can see where your child will be standing on the pulpit and then you will know where to sit for best viewing.)   We encourage all to come earlier (especially if you have a part in the service) so that you can sit with your child  in the main sanctuary.  And the whole family can kvell (be proud) of the adult’s participation in our service!!

2. What to wear?? Shabbat clothes are appropriate both mornings.

3.  How long is the presentation? Approximately one hour on Friday morning.  Our presentation on Shabbat morning should take about 15 minutes  and then there will be a light kiddush afterwards at around 12.   ENJOY!  There is free babysitting on Saturday for the littler ones if needed during services.

4.  Can we take pictures/videos???    YES on Friday morning…. NO on Saturday morning.  (no pictures or videos on the Sabbath)

5.What part do I have?

Adult Parts in Service:  (Aliyot and the Torah service should begin a little before 10 AM!!) Please don’t miss your part!!

Aliyot    2nd Steven Neihaus,    6th  Ben Setzer  7th Jeremy Millrood

Prayer for our Country– in English   Whitney Kevin and Jill Goldstein Volk

Prayer for Israel–in English   Nan Kavanaugh and other parents of religious school students

Ashrei —Older siblings of our students (can choose Ashrei OR Eyn Keloheynu  Let us know which OK??

Eyn Keloheynu– Older siblings of our students (Please inform your older kids  they can do one or the other!!! Let us know!!!)

Adon Olam–Kitah Alef!!!

Kitah Alef students don’t have to be nervous for any of this because we are well prepared.   Neither does an adult!   If a parent needs to practice their part in the service, we will be happy to help you ! Let us know!!

6. What about the  new Siddur (prayerbook)  and the covers?

They are beautiful and unique.  WOW!!  PLEASE Don’t take them home!!!

PLEASE NOTE:     When you enter the synagogue on   Shabbat morning , you can pick up your child’s siddur from the table in the Main Lobby and take it with you to your seat.  Towards the end of the service, the Rabbi will ask you to stand at your seat and give the siddur to your child. Folded inside the siddur will be a paper with the parents’ prayer that will be recited from your seat.   Hugs and kisses after the parents’ prayer will be perfect!   The new siddurim will NOT be going home with you.  We will collect them after services and they will be happily used each Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat at school!!!

If there are any concerns about Friday or Saturday morning, please let us know.  We want these mornings to be memorable and meaningful…. and NOT stressful.

Some learning is happening this week with our new letters:

נ  Nun  ן   Nun Sofit   Final nun

Our special friend …. his name starts with our letter….נח  Noach

and 2 more friends’ names END with nun sofit    איתן   בנימין  Eitan   Benyamin

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

This week’s Torah portion…is בשלח Beshallach and it will be

שבת שירה Shabbat Shira  The Sabbath of Song and of course… it is our

חגיגת הסדור  Haggigat Hasiddur!!!  What a simcha !!!

Ulichnie’s Update January 30th

 - by erinulichnie

Upcoming events:

Feb. 20 – Presidents’ Day
Mar. 24-Conference Day
In reading, we are continuing to work in small groups during Daily 5 time.  We are working on reading comprehension and summarizing.   Students have also been learning about the elements of nonfiction texts.  We have discussed the table of contents, glossary, index, headings, special print, photographs, and captions.  We also read a biography about Pablo Picasso this week to tie in with a project with Mrs. Gutterman.

In writer’s workshop, students are continuing to write nonfiction.  Students are writing informational or how to writing.  We wrote about how to blow a bubble this week.  Yes, I broke the rules and let first graders chew gum and try to blow a bubble.  We focused on using transition words in our writing.

In math, we are continuing to work on addition facts with Rocket Math.  We had a lot of fun learning about graphing.  We also reviewed numbers to 20 and worked on comparing numbers.  We will start learning about place value soon.
In science, we learned about gravity, weather, and sound.  We went to the science lab on Thursday.  Here are some photos from our ball drop STEAM activity.
We learned about the ear, hearing, sound, and vibrations in the science lab.
In social studies, we learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We wrote about ways to make the world a better place.
Our class participates in “Maker Monday” with Mrs. Gutterman in the art room.  We get to learn through hands on activities.  This week we created a marble drop and marble maze.

Week of January 30–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

OOPS!! Here they are FINALLY…. our friends who start with ל and  מ

לוי     Miya  מיה Levi

Now we will move on to the next letters:

נ  Nun  ן   Nun Sofit   Final nun

One name of a student is special this week….. his name starts with our new letter!

נח  Noah!!!!


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     בו   Parshat Ha Shavuah    Portion of the Week is Bo

In our  latest book in the Torah (שמותShemot  Exodus),   we hope that you are enjoying the colorful pictures and the descriptions of the pictures by your student ORALLY in English and a few names in Hebrew. We know these portions well because we learned these stories around Pesach time!! Look for the first of the 7 plagues!!!

טו בשבט Tu B’shevat   The 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat…. Jewish Arbor Day

In honor of Tu B’shevat, Ms. Hallet helped us draw and label in Hebrew the parts of a tree on our iPads using Wixie.   THANKS once again for all your help!!  You can see them on your child’s blog!!!

Many thanks to Stacey Goldring,  our extraordinary naturalist, who took us on a tiyul (hike) around the school’s property in honor of Tu B’Shevat.


חגיגת הסידור

THANKS to all who helped with the Siddur cover decorations!!! If you haven’t finished your child’s cover, there is still time.  Let us know if you need help!!!   The Siddur and the personalized cover will be special gifts you give to your child on Shabbat morning 2/11.  Let’s keep them a surprise!!!

Many of you will find your child’s Hebrew part for our Tu B’shebat play in their white folder.  This is just for them to practice reading–No memorizing needed!!! Their parts are highlighted.  We will practice reading also here in school.

Week of Jan. 23–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

OY! Do we have fun in Kitah Alef!!!!!



In honor of Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of the month of Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day, you should be hearing lots of songs about the parts of a tree.   We made a tree and labeled the parts on our laptops and even labeled Morah Hanna with all the tree’s parts.


עץ Etz  Tree!!!

In honor of Tu B’Shevat, we are looking forward to this Wednesday 1/25, to go on a nature hike with our favorite naturalist, Stacey Goldring!!  Make sure your child wears sneakers!!! (Or as she says….. dress for the great outdoors!!)  Thank you in advance to Stacey for being such a great guide!!

גלידה גלידה G’lidah g’lidah!!! ICE CREAM for the letter ל Lamed!!

מ ם Mem and Mem Sofit (final Mem) are letters that are fun and that we are working on this week…   see last week’s post for words with Mem.

Here’s a picture of the 2 who were not in a photograph before for our 2 letters….ל מ

לוי     מיה

Levi and Miya

חגיגת הסידור  Haggigat HaSiddur  The celebration of receiving a new Shabbat Siddur

We’re getting excited for our big days!!!

PLEASE note that there are 3 different times available  to decorate your child’s prayerbook cover at school:  Wednesday afternoon, 1/25,   Thursday morning 1/26 and Sunday morning 1/29.

If you’re confused or have even the smallest question about all this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!!!  Also, remember if you (one adult per family) want a part in the  Shabbat service on Saturday, 2/11, please let us know.  We’re here to make all this a wonderful experience and not stressful for anyone!!!

Week of January 16–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

We promised this picture…… and here it is….

לאה רבקה ולו

Leah Rivka V’Levi

Leah Rivka and Levi(sorry to say he was absent that day!!)   both start with our letter ל

חגיגת הסדור  Haggigat HaSiddur—- Only one month to go!!

We are very excited as we  get ready for our big days, Feb. 10th and 11th!!  An email will be coming to you about all the facts you need to know. Here’s the basics:

  1.  Friday morning, Feb. 10th at 8:30 AM-9:30 AM.  Just for our Kitah Alef and guests.  We will have our own morning prayer service with our students leading the prayers  and afterwards, our students will perform a Hebrew play in honor of Tu B’shevat. Many Kodak moments!!! Photos, videos, allowed. We will  each receive a bag of goodies with Leagrams, sweets, etc.
  2. Saturday morning, Feb. 11th as part of the regular Shabbat service (9-12 pm) at the  Jacksonville Jewish Center, we will join with the Religious School 1st and 2nd 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)

1.  decorating child’s siddur cover  (time and place to be announced for parents to work together on this!)

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!!!

טו בשבט  Tu B’Shevat   the 15th day of the month of Shevat is Jewish Arbor Day. This year it falls on the secular calendar on February 11th.   REMEMBER THAT DATE!!!

(Not only will it be the tree’s birthday, but it will also be Shabbat Shira and our Haggigat Hasiddur!!! WOW)

WE LOVE TREES!!  We are  starting to sing and talk about trees!!!

עץ  אילן  etz   ilan      two words for tree

עצים  etzim   trees

אילנות  ilanot  trees

פרשת השבוע  Parshat HaShavuah  Portion of the Week

We are now in the 2nd book in the Torah שמות Shemot. Names..and that means we are learning all about Moses and the Children of Israel in Egypt.   We remember all this from Pesach!!


אריאות Ariyot Our letter lion has also reminded us

לקרוא Leek-row!! TO READ!!! 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 person that starts with our  new letter……

picture to follow!!!!

Ulichnie’s Update January 13th

 - by erinulichnie

We have been hard at work since returning from winter break.   Please email or call me anytime if you have questions or concerns.

In spelling, we are working on r blends.  This week we worked on words with gr, pr, and tr.  We also learned that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.  We practiced identifying and sorting nouns.  Here are a few games we played this week on our laptops.



In reading, we have been reading books by Lois Ehlert.  We also studied her art style in art class.  We love her use of watercolor, cutouts,  and collage in her books.  We even made our own version of a leaf person, from her book Leaf Man.  Students wrote to describe their creations.  Keep reading at home!  I am seeing huge growth in our readers.  Keep it up, way to go, parents!

In writer’s workshop, we started a new type of writing.  Students are writing nonfiction pieces.  We are focusing on teaching topics.  Our topics ranged from ballet to lizards.  First graders know a lot of stuff!  Students have changed from storytellers to teaching readers about a topic.
In math, last week we wrapped up our measurement unit.  Students learned how to measure length, weight, and capacity.  For capacity, we measured water, sand, and made a gallon bot.  Here is a funny video we watched.

In social studies, students learned about the concept of past, present, and future.  We also read about changes in transportation in our Florida Weekly Studies magazine.

In science, we went on a nature walk and collected leaves.  We also got to explore with our Makey Makey kit.  Students used apps to play games when they completed circuits.  Super fun!



Weeks of January 3 and 9– Jewish Studies כך

 - by Morah Rachel

Welcome to 2017……………….  Hope you had a relaxing vacation and a happy new year!!!

Before the break, we had the privilege to Skype with an author, Michael Rosen.  Here is a photo of us chatting with him and his cute dog.  THANKS to Ms. Hallet for organizing this for us!!


Lots of information will be coming your way for our BIG event, חגיגת הסידור Haggigat HaSiddur, celebration of getting our Shabbat prayerbooks on Friday morning, February 10th  in school and on Saturday morning, February 11th in the main sanctuary of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  SAVE the DATES!!!

אריאות  Ariyot  We are thrilled to be  in our new purple book. On the Smartboard we enjoy practicing what we know about the letters.

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)

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 V’Ahavta especially!


אריאות  Ariyot  Our letter lion next introduces us gleefully to:

ל Lamed

We have 2 people in our class who have this letter at the beginning of their names!!

לאה רבקה    לוי

Leah Rivka and Levi!!!!  (Picture will be forthcoming!!!)


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 HaShavuah  Torah portions these 2 weeks are

מקץ Miketz

ויגש Vayigash  All about Yosef and his brothers….. who didn’t recognize Yosef!!!