Weeks of Oct. 17 and 24—Jewish Studies חג שמח ו

 - by Morah Rachel

We missed y’all very much and are glad to be back —safe and sound!!! Hope that your fast was meaningful and easy……and the hurricane didn’t cause too many problems!

And now (no time to catch your breath!!) ………………..

חג שמח  Chag Sameach!  Happy Holiday!  This week,  starting on Sunday evening, 10/16,  will be the holiday of  סוכות Sukkot.

Please come to services during the holiday or at least eat a meal in a Sukkah or visit the BIG Sukkah at the Center and see our beautiful fruit hanging!!

חג הסכות Chag HaSukkot!  The Holiday of Sukkot is one of our favorites!   We will celebrate all 8 days!!  It is a wonderful,busy time of year in the Jewish calendar and we hope it is even more enjoyable with our students singing and reading!!  Even though there seems to be little class time, at home our lessons are reinforced by reviewing!!

Especially fun will be our Sukkah Hop on Thursday, Oct. 20th  

Thanks to those who will be driving….  we always could  use more!! Once again, thanks to our drivers!!!  Couldn’t hop without you!!

אורחים  Orchim  Guests   We will be guests in several  sukkot and and we say a BIG  תודה רבה  Todah Raba to our hosts in advance!

מינים 4  Arbaah Minim  the 4 species of the holiday that we shake are:

אתרוג  etrog  citron (like a lemon)

לולב lulav  palm branch

הדס  hadas   myrtle branch

ערבה aravah willow branch

We  learn the blessing and enjoy the shaking in all directions… God’s goodness is everywhere!

After a wonderful week of Sukkot eating, celebrating,  shaking the lulav and etrog comes:

שמחת תורהה Simchat Torah  Rejoicing in the Torah!! We will be marching and singing with the Torah as we begin once again from  בראשית B’reisheet, Genesis.  So proud of the 3 honorees at the Jacksonville Jewish Center….all are present or past Day School parents!!

שמחת תורה    YES!!! This year it will be on Monday evening, Oct. 24th and Tuesday, Oct. 25th.  We think that this is the best day of all to celebrate with the Torah.   Don’t sit through services…. DANCE!!!  We know how!!! We dance every Friday in Kitah Alef for Kabbalat Shabbat and enjoy this with ALL our teachers!  What a busy and fun time of year this is!

שמח  sameach   happy for a boy

שמחה  s’maycha  happy for a girl

We are all very happy to finish the Torah and begin it again on this exuberant holiday.

פרשת השבוע Parshat HaShavua   Portion of the Week

We will have a new book in our class.  Each portion that is read from the Torah each week has 2 pages to enjoy.  We will enjoy learning about each portion and coloring the pages.  We will do this in class on Fridays and if time doesn’t permit, it will come home.  Parshat HaShavua has to be returned to class the next week by Monday or Tuesday at the latest so we can work on the next portion.  The new book is……

בראשית B’reisheet   (In the beginning) Genesis is our first book of Torah portions and each week we will read along with the rest of the Jewish world the portion of the  week.  WE LOVE LEARNING TORAH!!!

אריאות  Ariyot    Get ready….. a new letter and a new book is here!!!

 (Sorry that this is such a long blog….. but trying to keep you up with our holidays and regular classwork.)

We are beginning our new book of————

אריאות  Ariyot       WOW!!!!  It is green!!  Halleluyah!!

(Please remember  the homework is to READ with your child!!! )

ו The letter vav continues to surprise us!  We love meeting:

אדון בלון  Adon Balon Mr. Balloon  and the always changing balloon that is

ורוד  Varode  pink!  (In this word, it is not only a letter but also a vowel!!)

Please note that this letter can be found linking words as the word AND!!!

אבא ואמא  Aba V’Ema    Father AND Mother

שחר ושרונה Shachar V’Sharona  Shachar AND Sharona

Ulichnie’s Update October 13th

 - by erinulichnie

I am so excited to be back!  I hope all of you and your families made it through the excitement of the hurricane and the holidays in one piece.  There was lots of excitement talking about it in  class.  I am looking forward to our Sukkah Hop next Thursday at 1:30.

In spelling and word work we are working on learning words with the short i  and short o sounds.  Students write words on marker boards, create rainbow words, played on the spelling city app,  and played a fun game where they “splat” the words to spell them.  We won’t have a spelling test next week, due to the short week.  We will have the same spelling words for 2 weeks.  So, our next spelling test will be on Friday, October 28th.

In reading, we are focusing on fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary in our groups.  Students are reading books on their level in small groups.  We also write about what we have read.  Keep reading at home over our holidays.

In writing, we have been doing great writing personal narratives.  We are focusing on using capital letters to start and punctuation to end our sentences.  Here is a great writing resource for students.  Students can select images and write stories to create books.


In math, our focus has been addition and subtraction.  We started Rocket Math a couple weeks ago.  Students are loving it!  I sent an information letter home on Friday.  The program helps students memorize addition facts through repetition and practice.  Each student progresses at his or her own pace.  As they reach addition goals, they move up to a more difficult level.  When you see math papers labeled keep practicing, you can practice those problems orally or written with you child to help them move up more quickly.  We also learned about fact families this week.

In science, we wrapped up our unit on space.  Students learned about constellations.  We went to the science lab and created our own constellations.

In social studies, students learned about Florida.  We completed a Weekly Studies magazine, discussed Florida geography and the Florida flag.

Please let me know if you need anything or have questions about what is going on in class.


Week of Oct. 3–Jewish Studies שנה טובה Shana Tovah!!

 - by Morah Rachel

SHORT WEEK but lots to do!!!!

…… so much happening in Kitah Alef!!  Including  new letters——

ד  Dalet!!

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

HEY!!  We are also beginning another new letter…..

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

Keep up the good work…. reading, singing and reviewing.   We appreciate all your efforts!  We LOVE this class!!!

Here are some photos from our class:

Gone Fishin’     דג דג דגים  Dag  Dag  Dagim    Fish, fish , many fish!

We fished with magnets.  We ate  fishing poles ( pretzel rods) and fished in water (blue frosting).  We caught some fish in a  bottle!!!  FUN!!!

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הפסקה Hafsaka    Break time

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Torah Service with the Hazzan!!

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ראש השנה   Rosh Hashanah begins this Sunday evening (10/2) and we wish all of our families in Kitah Alef a Shana Tovah–a sweet new year!

Hope you enjoyed your Rosh Hashanah treat and the singable card we made for you. Thanks to Ms. Gutterman for her help in teaching our class about a still life!!

תשליך Tashlich   The Throwing away of our sins —-on Monday afternoon, 10/3 is a great family event to start off the new year!  Come to our pond at the JJC at  6 pm (or any body of water on Rosh Hashana afternoon)   and join us in getting rid of all the old, bad things (bread crumbs)  we did this past year.  Just in case, there are more things to get rid of, we will discuss and do this also at school later in the week.

Ulichnie’s Update September 23rd

 - by erinulichnie

We have been working on short e words this week, like bed and then.  Students are building words in a variety of ways.  They can make word bracelets, build with foam letters, stickers, stamps, magnets, chalk, window markers, or paint.  We have even put our words in ABC order and written sentences with our words.  We are focusing on starting with a capital letter and ending with punctuation, I call it a stop sign.  Our class is having a great time playing games on Spelling City.   Check it out at home!

Homepage Template

In reading, this week I recorded a fall oral reading sample for each student.  These will be on student blogs soon!  We are also reading nonfiction books to go with our science unit.  We have read about the solar system and the moon.



In math, we are continuing to work on addition.  The highlight of last week was our M&M’s guestimation jar lesson.  We estimated how many candies were in the jar and then counted.  Little did I know, there were 633 M&M’s in the jar!  We counted by 2’s and grouped into groups of 10’s and 100’s.  We also graphed our candies and finally, got to eat them.  This week we solved story problems with manipulatives.  Then, students created their own story problems with different themes, apples, the ocean, and farm.  We wrote words to tell the story, wrote number sentences, and number bond.  Then we shared our stories and solved the student created problems.  On Friday, we measured apples.  Students used a balance to weigh their apple and yarn to measure the circumference.  We also predicted if it would sink or float and tested it out.  After all of that fun, we estimated how many seeds are in a apple.  We found 7 seeds inside.  I also introduced our class to a new website.  We played car wash and diaper derby.  You can pick addition games at the top of the site.


We spent time learning about the solar system and the moon this week in science.  Here are a couple of the fun videos we watched.  We made a diagram of the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies.  Yum!  We will visit the science lab next week and learn about constellations.

Moon rap


Solar system song


In social studies, we read a Weekly Studies magazine.  We learned about citizenship, the U.S. flag, and our rights as citizens.

Week of Sept. 19—Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

We enjoyed seeing y’all at our Open House.  If you weren’t able to attend, please look on the blog for more information about our class.   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!!

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 approaching and we are getting ready!  We know the names of the notes of the Shofar.  We will be very ready for the new year 5777!!!

We will be going on a Sukkah Hop on Thursday,  Oct. 20 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!!

Ulichnie’s Update September 14th

 - by erinulichnie

Our class has been hard at work this week with our new spelling words.  We are focusing on short a words this week.  You can use the student login I sent home Friday to log on to http://www.spellingcity.com/ to play games and practice words.  I taught the class about it this week.  Send me a note if you need me to resend the login information.  Students will get a spelling packet on Monday each week, which needs to be completed and turned in on Friday.  We have our first spelling test this week on Friday.

We are also having fun reading poetry each week.  This helps early readers practice reading fluently.  Students identify rhyming words and discuss punctuation.  Soon, we will be discussing nouns.  Reading groups have been going great.  Students are discussing stories and working on reading fluency.  You should be noticing your child bringing home readers on their level for homework to practice each week.

In writer’s workshop, we are continuing to write personal narratives.  Students are loving being writers.  Here are a few great ways to encourage writing at home:  have your child write letters or emails to family members.  They could even start a journal.  You could let your child help write the grocery list.  A great website for writing is http://www.storybird.com.

In math, we have been focusing on number bonds.  We played games with dice and dominos to make number bonds.  We are writing addition and subtraction sentences.  Here is a number bond video we watched in class.


Math games

Math games

On Thursday, you are invited to join us for Back to School night.  We will be meeting in Morah Rachel’s room 207 at 7:00.  We will go over first grade curriculum and basic information.  We look forward to seeing you!



Israeli dancing

Israeli dancing

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, September 15 Back to School Night

Friday, September 23 Picture Day


Week of Sept. 12—Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

טוב בכיתה Tov BaKitah  It’s Good in our Classroom!!  NO!! It’s  really GREAT!! And we’re all here….except  אלי ELI who was absent that day 🙁

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 9/15 at 7 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 we have one student who has a name that begins with this letter!!!

בנימין Benyamin


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!!

Ulichnie’s Update September 6th

 - by erinulichnie

Last week was fun filled.  We worked on some review sight words last week.  We practiced a variety of ways.  Students wrote words on marker boards, painted words with water colors, and even  wrote in shaving cream.  I have started reading groups and am loving working with our amazing readers is small groups.  Students are also learning about the different pieces of the “Daily 5”.  So far, we have practiced reading to self, listening to reading, and this week we added our word work center.  Students build words a variety of ways.  They get to use play dough, beads, stamps, magnet letters, and window markers to build words, just to name a few.

In math, we wrapped up our first chapter on numbers and counting.  We worked on skip counting and finding the number patterns on a hundreds chart.  You can work on making sure your child is not writing numbers backwards.  Have them correct it on homework.  Also, you can give them a number line to help make sure the numbers are not backwards.  Students have done a great job completing math homework each day.  Check the first grade homework sheet to see what pages are assigned each day.  This week will be all about number bonds.

I introduced writer’s workshop this week.  Students have a writer’s notebook to write their stories.  We are working on our first unit, personal narratives.  Students are writing stories about things that happened to them or things that they can do.  They love sharing in the “share chair” each day.  We are working hard to stretch out our sounds, capitalization, and punctuation in writer’s workshop.

We are so excited about show and tell.  It is rescheduled for this Friday.  We will be adding spelling homework next week.  Be on the look out for a spelling packet on Monday, next week.

Here are a couple of the videos we have been watching to help us remember our vowels.

Bat Vowel


Vowel Song


Upcoming Events:

Sept. 9     Show and tell rescheduled from last week

Sept. 15   Back to school night


Week of September 5—Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

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 is what we will  work 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 made the letter with our bodies!!!



We have a  boy in our own class who has a name that starts with the letter ש Shin—-

שמואל  Shmuel!!



Week of August 22–Jewish Studies

 - by Morah Rachel

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

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

אורה איתן אליענה Orah, Eitan and Elianah

See their picture below!!!



We have made the letter א alef  and various vowels that sound like AHHHHH with our bodies, on the board and even out of Twizzlers!!!  What’s not to like about Kitah Alef????



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


We pray once a week on Tuesdays with Rabbi Tilman and it already 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.


:)  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!!



On Friday afternoons at about 3:25 PM in the chapel, we would love to have “Mystery Readers” read in ENGLISH OR HEBREW to Kitah Alef.  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!

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!!! !