Weekly Update

Happy start to your Passover Break!

Yeladim, we are so proud of your performance in your Passover play! You are great actors, actresses, and singers. We know you worked very hard, rehearsing for this day, and we hope you are proud of yourselves too!

This week, we studied Earth Day, which will take place on Tuesday, April 22nd. We learned about the history of this important day, watched a short video, and sang a fun song called “What Can I Do About Pollution?” We will continue doing some fun Earth Day activities the week we return to school.

Earth Day

In math class, we finished studying fractions.

Fraction Square 1 Fraction Square 2

In Wordly Wise, our story was called Castles of Sand, and we learned about an annual sandcastle and sculpture day every August on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Check out these great pictures of real sand creations that we found!

sand castle lit up sand fish sand Jeep sand people Sand Shark

We’ve been continuing to observe the eagles in Davenport, Iowa. We were so excited to see the mom feeding the baby this morning!

eagle 1 eagle 2 eagle 3

You can visit this site and scroll down to see a tree top view and a nest view.

Our Mystery Reader today was Jacob G.’s dad!

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 Have a safe, relaxing, and delicious Passover Break!

Chag Pesach Sameach,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

Posted in Jewish Studies, Passover | 1 Comment

Weekly Update

Shalom & Happy Friday!

In Parashat Metzora, we discussed “the purification ritual for people and homes afflicted with leprosy.” Back then , the Cohen checked everyone for health. We talked about what we do today to make sure everybody is healthy.

In our study of Pesach, we reviewed the four questions and the four sons. We also discussed prepositions in Hebrew, as they helped us search for chametz: above the bookshelf, under the desk, in the trash can, etc. The students had to use charades to communicate. We also worked hard, practicing for Tuesday’s play!


Here is a Science Update from Mrs. Jaffa:

“The second graders have been observing bald eagles nesting at this website in their classes. This month the eaglets should be hatching. To help supplement their observation of the eggs, the second grade designed an experiment to remove the shell from an egg, in order to observe the internal structures. This experiment took two weeks to be completed. In the first week, we set up the chemical reaction to remove the shell from the raw egg. In the second week, we learned about all of the parts of the egg, and how these parts help the chick grow inside. The kids really loved the fact that the got to design the steps of the experiment, and they had many wonderful hypotheses. The next week, they were so inquisitive and could not wait to see their results. Many students could not believe that the eggs were transparent and they could see the insides of the egg.  This was an eggs-cellent experiment!”

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We have been doing a lot of writing in class, working on personal narratives. After brainstorming and writing a few rough drafts, we have begun editing. The students have worked on capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and descriptive language. We were so grateful to be visited by Prince Period this week! He taught us more about periods and where they belong in sentences.

Prince 0-1 Prince 1Prince 3

In studying descriptive language, the students learned about replacing the boring word “said” with words that readers would find more interesting. Your child may have told you that “Said is dead!”

Said is Dead

Here is our Word Wall.  We are collecting better words for said and WOW words too!

word wall

In Math class, we’ve been having fun studying fractions. Here is Jett, with a homemade fraction project he created!

Jett 1 Jett 2 Jett 3

The students explored fraction pieces, using words like “greater than” and “less than.”

fraction 1 fraction 2 fraction pieces

Our Mystery Reader today was Evan’s mom! She read us Only 9 Chairs, a funny book about Passover!

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

There will be no hot lunch served all next week, as the kitchen staff prepares for Pesach, so please be sure to pack your child cold lunches.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Passover, Science, Weekly Update | 4 Comments

Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

During this intensive week of Standardized Testing, the students worked so hard and concentrated so well! We are really proud of them! During breaks between tests, we did brain-strengthening exercises, jumping jacks, and even took some very short naps!

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As a nice break from the seriousness of testing, we explored something called “Laughter Yoga.” It was created in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, who led a group of five people through some laughter exercises to see if they would improve people’s well-being. Laughter Yoga now seems to be gaining popularity all over the world! It is a silly way of helping your body release feel-good hormones called endorphins. This seems to happen even if you are pretending to laugh, and eventually fake laughter often turns into real laughter. These are the health benefits of laughing that we discussed in class:


We watched the following video, which explained and demonstrated the process very well.  Carla Brown & Phoebe

Next, we watched this funny video, just to promote some more laughing! Laughing Baby

Then, we went outside and did some Laughter Yoga of our own! The students were very creative, in coming up with their own silly activities!

This week in Jewish Studies, we focused on Pesach. We prepared for our play and sang songs. The performance will take place on Tuesday, April 8th at 9:00 AM.

Also, please send in a white pillowcase with your child’s name written on it for a special Passover project. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Passover, Weekly Update | 2 Comments

Weekly Update

Happy Friday!

This week in Jewish Studies, the students began studying Pesach. Please mark your calendars because they will be performing in a Pesach play on Tuesday, April 8th from 9-10 AM! We studied Parashat Shemini this week. You can click on the link for a detailed summary.

In Math class this week, we took a break from telling time to review fractions!

Fractions 1 Fractions 2 Fractions 3 Fractions 4 Fractions 5 Fractions 6 Fractions 7

 Today’s Mystery Readers were Elliana’s parents!!

MR 1 MR 2 MR 2.5 MR 3 MR 4

Standardized Testing begins next week. We discussed some healthy test-taking tips, such as getting a good night’s sleep and eating a good breakfast. I also sent home some information.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka



Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Passover, Weekly Update | 1 Comment

Weekly Update

Purim Sameach!

In Jewish Studies, we studied Parashat Tzav this week, and we learned about the different offerings that Aaron was commanded to do.

In Torah, we continued to discuss the creation of the first woman, and we finished the second chapter. Next week, we will start the third chapter.

For Purim, we had fun baking hamantashen!

Hamantashen 7 Hamantashen 6 Hamantashen 5 Hamantashen 4 Hamantashen 3 Hamantashen 1 Hamantashen 2

We also sang songs, paraded around the Main Sanctuary, played games with middle schoolers, exchanged Mishloach Manot, and enjoyed wearing costumes!

Purim Class Pic PURIM

Purim Games 1 Purim Games 2 Purim Games 3 Purim Games 4

We had a special guest speaker visit us in Jewish Studies this week. He talked about the definition of bullying, the ways to know if you’re being bullied, and what to do if you’re being bullied. He taught us that the person with the most power is the bystander!

Bullying Lesson Bullying

Our Mystery Reader today was a very old man, who claimed to be 1,999 1/2 years old!    He was Jake’s Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Uncle!

Mystery Reader 1

Mystery Reader 2 Mystery Reader 3 Mystery Reader 4-1 Mystery Reader 5

We hope to see you on Sunday at the Carnival!

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Purim, Weekly Update | 1 Comment

Wordly Wise


This is a reminder that the Wordly Wise Lesson 9 test will take place tomorrow, instead of Friday, due to our Purim celebration! I am so excited to see everyone in their costumes!

:-) Ms. Stein

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Baking Hamantashen!

The kids will be baking hamantashen on Wednesday at 2:00. I put the correct day on Friday’s blogpost, and the incorrect day on the homework assignment sheet, so I apologize for any confusion! Please email Morah Rivka at rivka.cohen@mjgds.org to let her know if you would like to participate.


Ms. Stein

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Weekly Update


In Parashat Vayikra, we discussed how God commanded Moses to give various kinds of offerings (giving thanks, asking for forgiveness, praying for peace, etc). Since we no longer have offerings today, we pray instead.

We’re so excited for the arrival of Purim! We talked about the mitzvot and the customs associated with this fun holiday. The mitzvot are: reading the Megillah, giving Mishloach Manot, giving Tzedakah, and having a feast! The customs are: dressing up in costume, eating hamantashen, and making noise with groggers.

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 Here we are singing about the mitzvot of Purim!

In Torah, we talked about how God created the female. He put Adam to sleep, took a rib from his body, and formed the first woman. We had an interesting class discussion. One student asked why, if Adam was created from the earth, the woman wasn’t created in the same way. We discussed the answer briefly, and will get into more detail next week.

In General Studies this week, we began writing Pen Pal letters to students in Israel! Since they are in Kitah Hay (5th grade), they are able to read and write in English. The students introduced themselves, asked their Pen Pals some questions, and described the upcoming Purim celebrations! We’re excited and grateful to have this opportunity to communicate with Israeli students.

In Math, we finished our unit on multiplication and division. Our next unit will cover telling time.

On Tuesday, we had an amazing experience Skyping with Jean Marzollo, the author of the I Spy book series! Mrs. Hallett was instrumental in creating this experience for the kids. Since they were showing great interest in the books, she did some research and discovered that Ms. Marzollo Skypes with students who create a project of their own. So, after the kids created their own I Spy pages, she contacted the famous author (of over 100 books!), and the connection was made! The kids were so well-spoken as they asked Ms. Marzollo some excellent questions. She is even donating several books to our school library!

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Here are some pictures from last week’s field trip!

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We will be baking hamantashen on Wednesday at 2:00, if you would like to join us. Please remember to send in your 17 items for Mishloach Manot by Tuesday.

Remember that you may wear pajamas (with sneakers, no slippers) to school on Monday. We will have a fun Box Top Celebration!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Rivka & Ms. Stein

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Purim | 1 Comment

Science Update

Mrs. Jaffa has an exciting update about Science class!

“The second graders have been observing eagles nesting. The students had lots of questions about eggs. To supplement their learning in Science class this week, we will be dissolving the shells off of store bought eggs to explore the parts of the egg in egg laying animals. It will take more than a day to dissolve the shells off of the egg. The class lesson the following Monday will be just on the parts of the egg, however some inquiring minds may have other questions about the egg and how the chick gets in the egg or why store bought eggs are chick-less.  If they arise in class, I will divert these types of questions to a “questions you should ask at home” box.  Please email me if you have any concerns.”

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Everyone!

This week, we studied Parashat Pekudei. We learned about the completion of the Mishkan and all of the things that were stored in it. Moses gave a report on the gifts that were given for the Mishkan, and how those gifts were used. We realized that when we do something, we need to follow the appropriate steps and double check ourselves.

In our study of Purim, we finished reading and discussing the Megillah story. We talked about the concept of opposites, and how that’s connected to the story. For example, Haman prepared a tree in which to hang Mordechai, and that same tree ended up being used to hang Haman! We also played a game involving opposites.

Jewish Studies Game 1 Jewish Studies Game 2 Jewish Studies Game 3 Jewish Studies Game 4 Jewish Studies Game 5 Jewish Studies Game 6 Jewish Studies Game 7 Jewish Studies Game 8

We’re continuing to learn about the order of our daily rituals (after-school activities, dinnertime, bedtime, etc).

In Torah, we studied how Adam gave names to all of the creatures. We read a story called The Wise Men.

In General Studies this week, we were so grateful to receive many, many new books donated to our classroom library! If you contributed to this donation, thank you so much! We would also like to thank Michelle Grossman and her daughter for all of the time they spent sorting, organizing, and labeling these wonderful books! Here are the second graders, exploring and reading our new additions.

New Books 1 New Books 2 New Books 3 New Books 4 New Books 5 New Books 6

In Language Arts this week, we reviewed subjects and predicates. We’ve been studying them for a couple of weeks now. We had already found the subjects and predicates in sentences about our recent Google Hangouts with Ms. Jena. So this week, we identified them in sentences about the Kevin Henkes books we’ve been reading.

Subject & PredicateWe also watched this video from BrainPopJr which discussed subject and verb agreement. Ms. Wulbern and I are starting to see kids recognizing the subjects and predicates in their own sentences, which is wonderful!

In Math class, we continued studying division. Here, the kids are playing a game where they had to divide a certain number of counters into a certain number of cups. For example, 21 counters divided into 3 cups = 7 counters in each cup.

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 We also enjoyed playing some very silly division games online!

Our Mystery Reader today was Madelyn’s grandmother, Mrs. Thall!

MR Clues

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We had a great time on our field trip today. Pictures are coming soon . . .



Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka



Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Purim, Weekly Update | 2 Comments