We’re thankful for a roof גג Gag—Week of Sept. 18 and 25

 - by Morah Rachel

שנה טובה Shana Tova!! A Happy New Year!!! (greeting on Rosh Hashana  the New Year)

גמר חתימה טובה G’mar Hatimah Tovah!!  May you be sealed for good in the book of Life

(greeting on Yom Kippur The Day of Atonement)


*** We will be baking honey cake on Monday, Sept. 18 at 1:30 PM in the gym if you want to join us.  Sorry for the late notice and if you can’t make it…. don’t worry!!  (Let us know if you can come. ) We will have other opportunities to bake with us through the year.  ******


After a crazy week,  our class is very thankful for many things……especially at this holiday season…..including a roof over our heads!

Get ready….. a new letter is here!!!  Some of us have been really looking forward to this one…..

 ג  Gimel!!!!

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

HIGH HOLIDAYS are here and we are ready!  We know the names of the notes of the Shofar.  We will be very ready for the new year 5778!!!  And we will eat apples and honey this week thanks to PTA!!  We will  throw away  all our “bad things”  symbolically using breadcrumbs in to the pond.  This is called תשליך  Tashlich  and it really happens on the first day of Rosh Hashana around 6pm at a body of water.  Join us the Center if you like on Thursday at the pond and we will provide the bread!!!

We will be going on a Sukkah Hop on Tuesday,  Oct. 10 at about 1:30 PM.  If you would like us to come and visit your sukkah in the neighborhood, please let us know!!  (Thanks in advance for your hospitality!!)   We have a few drivers that signed up already, but we could always use more!  It’s a great afternoon and learning experience for everyone who “hops” with us!!

And continue reading our blog!!!!  And continue reviewing the letters and vowels found on the circled pages in Ariyot (the orange workbook).     Practice is key!!! And bringing Ariyot to school everyday is extremely important to our success!!

We appreciate you and the roof over our heads—the school’s, our homes’ and HaShem’s goodness.

Bet and Vet—– The importance of a dot –Week of 9/11

 - by Morah Rachel

As we prepare ourselves and our homes for Irma, our prayers are for everyone to be safe and healthy.   No matter what happens, we will forge ahead…… in Jewish Studies!!

In Ariyot,  we are now back on track in the alphabet…. we are learning the letters ב Bet ( imagine a dot inside) and ב Vet.   We call them twins…. they look exactly alike but one has the dot in the middle.   Whenever you see this dot in a letter (it’s called a דגש Dagesh Emphasis), it means the harsher sound…. B  not V.

Don’t we just love enjoying all the fun stuff with Ariyot??  Maybe you need to know more details about our class!!  Don’t worry…. you’ll get to see all this in action and know much more when you attend Back to School Night  this Thursday evening 9/13 at 7:15 PM.    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!!  Please read and listen to our books and CD’s from our class library and return the next day!!!

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)

The story with this letter has Barak so excited that father is coming home…. especially when father brings him a balloon.


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 called  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
We have some excellent shofar blowers in this class.  Perhaps, we are just full of hot air!!



What happened to the letter ב Bet? Week of 9/4

 - by Morah Rachel

We know our Hebrew Alphabet!!! And the first letter we learned was א Alef!!!


Yes, the next letter in Hebrew should be  ב Bet.  However, in our Tal Am Hebrew curriculum, they were so wise to teach us the letter ש Shin next, so we could learn words like:

שבת    Shabbat

שלום  Shalom

ראש השנה  Rosh HaShana The Head of the Year… Jewish New Year

שופר  Shofar  A ram’s horn blown on Rosh Hashana

Don’t worry!! The NEXT letter we learn is definitely  ב BET!!   And we are learning about Rosh Hashana too!!!

We are so proud of our students in Kitah Alef and their enthusiasm for Jewish Studies!!! Thanks to all our families for reviewing the circled pages in אריאות Ariyot.   The homework (reading with an adult or older sibling) should  not take more than 10-15 minutes.  When a CD and Booklet come home from our library, it should be read (and listened to) also with an adult and then returned the next day to our class. Reading is fun and productive!!!  (CD could be listened to in the car and booklet could be read on the way to or from school)

We look forward to meeting new “friends” in Morah Shira’s “virtual” classroom!!!

ש  The letter Shin  dictionary words 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 made the letter with our bodies!!

We have one student in our own class who has a name that starts with the letter ש Shin–

שמעון Shimon!!!

How full is your bucket?!

 - by jacklyn.kallman


How full is your bucket?!

We have been working on building a classroom community and read a book called How Full is Your Bucket?  Ask your child what “bucket fillers ” and  “bucket dippers” are.  This concept has been so successful that we are suspending the “class dojo.” I am so impressed with our amazing first graders! They are trying so hard to be the best they can be and follow the classroom rules that they created!

Some of these  rules are:

  • Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
  • Always show kavod (respect) for others.
  • Please raise your hand to speak and use your listening ears when others are talking

Looking forward to a great year with your children!


FIRST GRADE ROCKS!!! Ms. Kallman and General Studies

 - by jacklyn.kallman

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for the warm welcome! Your children have been working really hard this past week. Don’t be surprised if they come home and take a nap! I know I did.

Please check their red folder each night and initial the calendar. This lets me know that you have checked for any important information. Also, please return the forms in the blue folder  (that you received at “Meet and Greet”) by this Monday.  We are having a blast learning about our friends in 1st grade through “all about me” activities. Next week I will be sending home our daily schedule and Take Home Tuesday Folders. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

First Week of Jewish Studies–August

 - by Morah Rachel

    שלום כיתה  א Shalom Kitah Alef    Hello, First Grade!!!

We are  so excited to welcome  our students and our colleagues, Ms. Kallman, Rabbi Rosenblum and Ms. Scharf-Anderson, to the best grade ever!!   We appreciate your patience as we learn and grow together! Our first day of school was one to remember….. a solar eclipse and Morah Rachel’s birthday.  WOW!!

PLEASE NOTE:   Our Jewish Studies class blog gets updated early on Sunday mornings .   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 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 2 proud students who have names that begin with א —–

Esther Hana  אסתר חנה

Esther Shendel  אסתר שנדל

See their picture below!!!

Please note 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!!  Please don’t worry if you don’t see the orange Ariyot workbook coming home on Thursdays.  That’s because there is no HW in Jewish Studies on Thursdays—that’s the day we, the teachers, check  the work in Ariyot!!

We pray each day in our Jewish Studies class.   Once a week on Tuesdays, we pray with Rabbi Rosenblum and we look forward to her joining us.  We also pray on Thursdays with Hazzan Holzer in the chapel and will be taking part in the Torah service there.

:)  On Thursdays, after praying, we have הפסקה  Hafsaka or recess with our friends in 2-5 grades!! Can’t wait to see our siblings and make new friends outside!!

Also, we have a fabulous library in our classroom and the students occasionally get to check out a book and matching CD.  PLEASE read and listen with your child and then RETURN the book and CD the next day.  That way, everyone will get a turn to read the books!!  These books are a great way to learn along with us.

It’s been a great first week and we’re looking forward to more fun ahead!!! !

End of the year!!! :( Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

Our last blog post of Jewish Studies for this year  🙁

The school year has flown by!! We have enjoyed every moment with this fabulous group!!  Don’t forget over the summer to read, write, and speak Hebrew.  Also, even if we are not at school, Shabbat and Torah readings continue!!  See you at shul???

We have enjoyed our Torah service on Thursdays with the Chazzan. Each one of us has had the opportunity to be called to the Torah and say our full names in Hebrew and say the blessings.  Thanks to  Chazzan Holzer for leading us!!

Check out their blue writing notebooks to see what they can read in their own cursive handwriting.  We’ll be writing lots more in cursive from now on!!  Please use their blue writing notebooks to practice cursive reading & writing over the summer!

Thank you to Rabbi Tilman for davening with us on Tuesdays.  We appreciate you taking the time to be with us and answering a lot of  our questions!!  We wish you all the best in the years to come!!!  Good luck in New Jersey and with the new addition to your family!!!


להתראות  L’hitraot……. See you later!!!


To our sweet כיתה א  Kitah Alef class and loyal readers:

Thank you for the generous gifts that you so kindly gave us.  We appreciate all your kindnesses!

We have truly loved teaching this class and expect great things from them in the future.  Thanks also to the wonderful families who have been so supportive.

באהבה B’Ahava   With love,

מורה רחל ומורה חנה  Morah Rachel and Morah Hanna

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!!