Second Grade News

Shalom, Families!

For the last two weeks, we’ve been studying Sukkot and Simchat Torah. We learned that there are three important mitzvot for Sukkot: dwelling in a sukkah, shaking the lulav and etrog, and being happy! We also learned the history behind why we dwell in a sukkah, and how it’s about more than just spending time there. We are supposed to eat, read, study, and even sleep in a sukkah! This helps us remember that the Jewish people had to live in sukkot for forty years while they were wandering through the desert. It also helps us appreciate what we have today.

We had a great time at our Sukkah Hop last week! The second and third graders were divided into three groups, and the middle schoolers led games and activities!

Sukkah Hop 1 Sukkah Hop

In class, we discussed that during Simchat Torah, we finish reading the Torah and start reading it again.

On Friday, we joined the synagogue minyan for an activity called “the beating of the willows!” We carefully beat willow branches against the ground as a symbol of releasing our sins. The kids enjoyed this ritual very much!

Willow Willow 1 Willow 2 Willow 3

In Math class, we have been comparing numbers, using the greater than and less than symbol.

Comparing Numbers 1 Comparing Numbers 2 Comparing Numbers 3 Comparing Numbers 4 Comparing Numbers 5 Comparing Numbers 6

If we haven’t already, we will be contacting you soon about your child’s parent/teacher conference.

We are looking forward to a full, five-day week!

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka :-)


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Half-Day Tomorrow

This is just a reminder that tomorrow is a half-day, in honor of Erev Sukkot. Please make sure your child has a good breakfast and brings a snack, as usual. Thank you, and Chag Sukkot Sameach!

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka :-)

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Second Grade News


This week in Jewish Studies, we reviewed the three things we have to do to prepare for Yom Kippur: T’shuvah (asking for forgiveness), Tefillah (prayers), and Tzedakah (good deeds). We also learned the mitzvot of the holiday: fasting, not wearing leather shoes, and wearing white. We discussed how once children have had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they are old enough to fast. Younger kids can do their part by skipping a snack, if they’re allowed by their parents.

Here is a song related to the mitzvot of Yom Kippur.

On Wednesday, we performed the custom of Tashlich. We thought about the bad choices we made this year and talked about making better choices. Then, we went to the pond on our property, and threw pieces of bread into the water, to represent casting away those negative choices. The kids really enjoyed the ritual.

Morah Eta read us a story about forgiveness. We had a discussion about whether it’s more difficult to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone else.

Morah Eta

After Yom Kippur, our first mitzvah is to build a sukkah. We briefly talked about the requirements of this mitzvah, and we will discuss this even further next week.

The students have been working so nicely on their personal spelling lists! One of the many activities we’re doing in class is creating flash cards. We will practice them in school all week, and then send them home on Fridays (during normal, 5-day weeks). If you can save these cards at home all year long, that will give the kids a chance to review previous lists and to see just how many words they’re learning! We will do a fun test at the end of the year, covering any 10 words that the students have studied during the year. I’m also saving a copy of each week’s list here at school.

For those of you who ordered Scholastic books, they should be here soon! For future reference, our Class Activation Code is HXJL6. This will allow you to more easily order online, and to see a much larger selection of books. For every book you order, our class earns FREE BOOKS!!! After Mrs. Hallett’s library Book Fair the last week in October, I’ll send home another order form in November. Thank you for your support!

G’mar Chatimah Tovah,

Morah Rivka & Ms. Stein

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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

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Second Grade News | 1 Comment

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


Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Rosh Hashanah, Second Grade News | 1 Comment