Knesset Representatives

Today, the five candidates each wrote a description of why they feel they’re qualified to represent our class. Some mentioned responsibility and note-taking skills, while others wrote about the specific things they would try to accomplish in Knesset. However, our representatives probably won’t have much influence in the decision-making process. They will be there to observe, take notes, and report back to our students. After the candidates wrote their papers, I had them do some work in the hallway with Mrs. Freedman. The rest of the class listened to me anonymously read the papers aloud, and then assigned a point value of 1-10 for each candidate. Every candidate did a great job of expressing their ideas clearly, and I’m very proud of each one of them! There was a 3-way tie . . . Our 2nd grade Knesset Representatives will be . . . Zach, Brooke, and Sadie! :-)

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Accelerated Reader

Hello, Parents!

Mrs. Freedman and I have been discussing the kids’ A.R. books and quizzes. Some kids are really taking initiative, reading their books independently, and successfully passing their quizzes! Others seem to be needing a little more structure, and that is very understandable. A.R. is a wonderful program that requires a lot of maturity and responsibility from the children.

If you don’t already receive an email notification every time your student takes an A.R. quiz, you can do that by visiting Mrs. Hallett’s Library Blog here. If you have any questions, please contact her at

We are conferencing with the kids as often as possible, in order to keep track of what book they’re reading, if it’s their appropriate level, and how well they’re comprehending the material. We’re also setting goals, such as when they can realistically finish their books and when they feel they’ll be ready for the quiz. This helps to teach them organizational skills for all of the components of Daily 5.

As you read with your child each night, please ask them questions about the story elements (setting, characters, plot, problem, solution, etc). Please also remind your child to bring their A.R. book back to school each day. We will remind them to bring their book home each night. By concentrating on one book at a time, and reading both at home and at school, we believe we’ll see much more success with the kids who need that structure, and continued growth with the rest! Plus, we are genuinely interested in the books your children are choosing. We love to sit with them and hear them read aloud to us! Reading is such an important, life-long habit to develop, and it’s fun to share in the kids’ excitement!

Thanks for your support,

Mrs. Freedman & Ms. Stein

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Second Grade News

Shalom, Families!

We have been busy getting ready for Rosh Hashanah! We baked honey cakes, made cards for our families, read stories, and sang songs. We also learned about the three things we have to do to prepare for the holiday: T’shuvah (asking for forgiveness), Tefillah (prayers), and Tzedakah (good deeds).

Honey 2 Honey 3-1 Honey 4 Honey 5 Honey 6 Honey

Honeycakes 1 Honeycakes 2 Honeycakes 3

Due to some technical difficulties, we were not able to access our classroom blog for over a week. We really missed reading our joke page each morning, and we’re grateful to be connected again! Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Speaking of the “Jokes page” on our classroom blog, we have created a page for each student! This should really help us keep track of all of the jokes, both the ones that have been answered, and the ones that have not.

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated a special birthday!

Liza 1 Liza 2 Liza 3 Liza 4 Liza 5

Our Mystery Reader last Friday was Mrs. Freedman’s son, Ben! First, the kids examined a map of the country. Then, Ben read The Scrambled States of America, which was a very funny book! The kids had lots of questions for Ben, especially about his new career as a Train Master!

Mystery Reader 1 Mystery Reader 2 Mystery Reader 3 Mystery Reader 4 Mystery Reader 5 Mystery Reader 6

Have a safe, delicious, and wonderful New Year! L’Shana Tovah!

Ms. Stein, Morah Rivka, Mrs. Freedman, Morah Ilana, & Morah Mazal 😀

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Second Grade News


Last week in Jewish Studies, we continued to strength our Hebrew reading skills each day by reading in small groups. In our workbook, we read about a traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner table, and then set one up in our classroom!

You can see our round challah (חלות עגולות), pomegranate (רימונים), fish head (ראש של דג), apples and honey (תפוחים בדבש), candles (נרות), wine (יין), and flowers (פרחים).

We discussed how the main mitzvah during Rosh Hashanah is to listen to the sound of the shofar. We learned about the four sounds of the shofar, and the kids enjoyed practicing the sounds with their hands and with real shofarot. Next, we read a story about a child named Shachar (שחר), who was anxious and impatient to hear the shofar. He kept asking his parents, grandparents, and friend when it would be time. Finally, when the time came and Shachar recited the blessing, he felt very happy and a part of the service!

Rosh Hashanah also has another name in the Torah – Yom Truah. We had fun singing a song about this in class.

This Thursday, we will be baking honey cakes in class! If you would like to come and bake with us, please contact Morah Rivka.

General Studies

In Math class last week, we continued to study place value positions. We’ve reviewed that a digit is worth different amounts, based on the position in which it is sitting. For example, just a 7 means 7 ones, and the 7 in 70 is worth 7 tens. We practiced breaking apart numbers into ones, tens, and hundreds; and we discussed the importance of zero for holding place value positions.

Place Value Positions Place Value Practice

We also did activities with number bonds. All of this work so far has been a review from last year (if your child attended our school).

Number Bonds

Lastly, we took our first math test. Afterward, I went over the grading system. Now that your child is in second grade, they are earning letter grades!

Grades Discussion

We also talked about a problem that was tricky for some students. It asked them to put numbers in order from smallest to greatest, and its format was a little bit confusing. Mrs. Freedman and I are always available during tests to provide assistance, without giving away answers, of course!

Math Test Discussion

I am proud of everyone’s effort, and I look forward to beginning our next chapter.

We have enjoyed hearing the shofar blown every day, and even participating with the older kids!

Shofar 1 Shofar 2 Shofar 3 Shofar 4

Yom Tov,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

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Recognizing September 11th

Today in General Studies, we recognized the events of 9/11/01. We kept the conversation brief and age-appropriate. Some of the kids shared their knowledge of the event, and I directed most of the questions to you, the parents. We focused on the ideas of patriotism and heroes (firefighters, police officers, our military, and even “everyday” people). We discussed how America, and the people of the world, came together as a community on that day. We also sang America, the Beautiful!

Ms. Stein

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Music Homework

Please remember that Mr. Susman’s Music assignment is due tomorrow. The students simply need to write two sentences on any topic they like. Those sentences will be turned into a song! :-)

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Second Grade News

Shalom, Families!

If you were able to attend Back-To-School Night last Thursday, we thank you very much for your time and effort. Even if you couldn’t make it, we appreciate your involvement and support of our classes!

In Jewish Studies this week, we continued to learn about Rosh Hashanah. We talked about preparing for the holiday, and Morah Rivka read aloud three books about asking for forgiveness. We also made greeting cards for children in Israel!

Watch us singing about the Hebrew months!

On Thursday, September 18th, we will be baking honey cakes in class!

In General Studies this week, we had so much fun reading jokes on our blog! I really appreciate the effort that kids (and parents) are putting in to this activity. It is increasing everyone’s digital literacy!

In Math class, we worked both in small groups and as a whole class, practicing “making 10” to help us solve addition and subtraction problems. The kids were each given two Hundred Charts, so they may keep one of them at home to help with homework assignments. They can keep the laminated copies at school.

We continued to build our stamina in Daily 5 Read to Self. The students are doing wonderfully with choosing their own places to sit in the classroom, getting started right away, and focusing the whole time. Soon, we will move on to Read to Someone.

In the library with Mrs. Hallett on Friday, the kids performed the Shelf Marker Hokey Pokey to remind them  how to use a shelf marker when choosing a book!

On Friday, we also enjoyed a visit from our first Mystery Reader of the school year!

Mystery Reader 1 Mystery Reader 2 Mystery Reader 3 Mystery Reader 4

We’re looking forward to a great week!

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka


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Second Grade News

What a productive second week in second grade! 

In Jewish Studies, we continued to get to know one another. We also got to know characters from our Tal Am curriculum. Last year in Kitah Alef, the kids only knew these characters by their first names. Now, the kids know them by their first and last names. For example: Shachar Navon is a boy from our program whose favorite color is blue. We also learned about two, new characters, one who came from Israel, and one who came from public school in America. After reading two stories about them, we discussed how they felt when coming to a new school. Then, we related this to our new students at MJGDS.


This week, we also began studying the Jewish months of the year. We talked about how Elul is the last month and Tishrei is the first month. During this month of Elul, we blow the shofar every morning. If your child has a shofar they would like to bring from home, you may send it with them. We will keep the shofar in their backpack for safety. It has been an enjoyable and song-filled week in Jewish Studies!

In General Studies this week, we discussed how to safely care for our five classroom iPads. The kids brainstormed things like: making sure your hands are clean, carrying them appropriately (not by their covers), keeping food and drinks away from all devices, and sharing the iPads fairly. Here is a little video we watched on this topic.

We began our exciting and independence-building Daily 5 Language Arts program this week! Here are the five parts of the program:

Read to Self 0

As a class, we brainstormed the behaviors that are expected during “Read to Self” time.

Read to Self 1

Next, we modeled good choices and poor choices, pretending to hold books in our hands.

Read to Self 3 Read to Self 2

The posters (or anchor charts) we are creating will remain visible for the kids all year long.

Read to Self 4

This morning, we discussed Labor Day, its purpose, and its history.

Labor Day Poem Labor Day 2

Snack & Lunch – Please make sure your child know which foods they bring are for snack, which are for lunch, and that they have the right amount. Some kids are taking food from their lunches for snack, and then feeling that their lunch is not big enough. Thank you!

Also, please send a jacket or sweatshirt with your child each day if they have been feeling cold. Even with 90-degree weather outside, it can get surprisingly chilly inside! :-)

We are so proud of how well the students have been working for the last two weeks! Enjoy your three-day weekend!

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

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Tonight’s Math Homework

In Math today, we began taking notes and discussing that there are only 10 digits in the whole world! For homework, I asked your child to tell you about that discussion. Please remember that you can always double-check the homework by clicking on the drop down menu “Homework Assignments” from this blog. Thank you!

Ms. Stein

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Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh is the first day of a new Hebrew month. This Wednesday will be Rosh Chodesh Elul, and we’re looking forward to a small celebration in the morning. On this week’s Homework Calendar, not only did I incorrectly write that it was happening on Friday, but I also wrote that it was a dress-down day, which it’s not! I apologize for any confusion! Students need to wear their uniforms each day as usual, and Shabbat clothing on Friday. Slicha!

Ms. Stein

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