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.

Math 1 Math 2 Math 3

 We also enjoyed playing some very silly division games online!

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

MR Clues

MR 1 MR 2 MR 3 MR 4 MR 5

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

Weekly Update

This week in Jewish Studies, we began studying the Purim story!

In Parashat Ki Tissa, we talked about the census, and how people were counted in ancient times. Each person had to give half a shekel to Moses as they were counted. We also discussed how the Jewish people built the golden calf.

In Torah, the kids learned that after God created the human being, He told them what to eat and what not to eat. They were allowed to eat every fruit or vegetable, except from the Tree of Knowledge.

This week in General Studies, we had so much fun learning about rescue dogs! We explored the website to introduce this topic. Then, we did a Google Hangout session in Mrs. Gutterman’s room with an author/illustrator named Ms. Jena and a publisher named Mr. Marty. Sophia was our class hostess, who introduced and called on individual kids to ask and answer questions. Lily and Sam were our class note-takers, who helped us come up with vocabulary words and reflections. Jacob M. was our class documenter, who took pictures of the event using an iPad. I was very proud of everyone’s respectful participation and enthusiasm!

The next day, we did another Google Hangout session with the same speakers. This time, Ms. Jena taught all of us how to draw different kinds of dogs, and how to write from the perspective of these furry friends! You can visit our classroom next week to see the students’ work displayed.

To conclude this interactive unit of study, we made dog toys today with Mrs. Gutterman, using old t-shirts! By braiding strips of fabric together, we created simple and fun toys for dogs waiting to be adopted. We would like to thank Mrs. Gutterman for all of her help with this wonderful project!

We also enjoyed a special puppet show today, performed by Lily’s talented grandmother!

puppet show 1 puppet show 2 puppet show 3 puppet show 4 puppet show 5 puppet show 6 puppet show 7 puppet show 8 puppet show 9 puppet show 10

Our Mystery Read today was Hazzan Holzer!

MR 1 MR 2 MR 3 MR 4 MR 5

Have a great Presidents’ Day weekend, and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

Morah Rivka & Ms. Stein

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Weekly Update


We had so much fun last week celebrating Red Ribbon Week and our 5th Habit of Happy Kids: “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood!” I love that I’m starting to hear from parents about situations at home where kids connect these habits to their own, personal lives!

At an interactive assembly on “Stranger Danger,” the students were able to learn and even practice some safety moves!

Stranger Danger 1 Stranger Danger 2 Stranger Danger 3 Stranger Danger 4 Stranger Danger 5 Stranger Danger 6 Stranger Danger 7

Last week in Jewish Studies, we studied Parashat Tetzaveh, and learned about the high priests’ clothing (the Kohanim). We discussed that different professionals wear different uniforms. For example: doctors, policemen, and soldiers all wear certain clothing for specific purposes. Similarly, the Kohanim wore special clothing when the served in the Mishkan.

Kitah b2 - - Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Mail Kitah bet1 - - Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Mail

In Torah, we talked about how God created human beings. We are continuing to discuss daily routines and rituals, such as: what we wear, what we eat, and how we travel to school.

We are in the process of creating individual books on trees. Each student was assigned a type of tree to study, and the research is being done here in the classroom.

In Wordly Wise last week, some of our vocabulary words related to nature. For example: bud, core, hive, sapling, and trunk. While reading about bees collecting pollen from flowers and taking it back to their hive, we found an amazing image of this happening!

Bee covered in pollen!

We also had fun playing games on The games only cover material from every five lessons, and I was so excited when Sam reminded me that we were finally ready to play the first one! Here are some of us playing Hangman and a Wordsearch on the Smartboard.

1 2 3 4 5

In Math class, we reviewed material from our first five units, and then took a cumulative test, which will be coming home this week. As we moved into the next unit, studying the multiplication table of two, the students asked one day for more challenging problems . . . Take a look at these!

Math Challenge!

We continued to work on our Author Study of Kevin Henkes with Ms. Wulbern last week. We brainstormed a list of things we would like to find out about him. Then, we watched this “Meet Kevin Henkes” video to try to answer some of those questions. We’re looking forward to a lot more activities, as we explore some of the many books written by this creative author!

Our Mystery Readers on Friday were Sophia’s aunt and grandmother! It was so nice to also celebrate Sophia’s birthday with her parents and siblings!


This is going to be a fun week ahead! Instead of working on our usual spelling lists and Wordly Wise lesson, we will be extending our Community of Kindness initiative beyond our classroom by working with an author named Ms. Jena, who writes about rescue dogs. Her books teach about kindness through the caretaking of animals. We will be doing a Google Hangout (which is like Skyping) with her on Tuesday, connecting with a local pet shelter, and collaborating with our art teacher, Mrs. Gutterman to do some exciting activities! Now I need to ask a very important question . . . Does anyone in class have a dog allergy? If so, please let me know ASAP!

Have a wonderful week,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

In Parashat Terumah, the Jewish people were asked by God to donate different materials (gold, copper, etc), in order to build the Mishkan (a portable synagogue). The message is that we should donate items, money, or even just our time. This supports a strong community. Also, the Mishkan was more for the people than for God. It was a place of worship, where they gathered together.

In Torah, we finished studying the seventh day of Creation. We discussed what we do on this day and why. Just as God did, we rest on Shabbat.

After talking about what foods we can make from the fruits of trees last week, we got to eat some of these things this week! We enjoyed bread with jelly, fruit salad, and cake!

Food1 - - Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Mail Food2 - - Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Mail




In Math this week, we solved division problems, using drawings and manipulatives! Here are some students dividing counters into equal groups.

Math 1-1 Math 2-1 Math 3-1     Math 4 Math 5 Math 6

For our 100th Day of School celebration, we began by taking a class picture of us as senior citizens!


We were sad that Andrea was not with us today, and we look forward to celebrating Purim with her in a couple of months.

Next, we sang a 100th Day of School song. Then, we did several fun activities for 100 seconds each, such as jumping up and down, and writing our first name. This may sound easy, but it took a lot of energy and was quite tiring!

100th 2 100th 6  100th 3 100th 4

For the rest of the afternoon, we worked in groups, playing a math game, making artistic trees out of 100 pretzels, creating two paper mache Purim projects, and having a fun snack while listening to a read aloud story called 100 Days of School!

game 1 GAME! game 3 pretzels 1 pretzels 2 paper mache 1 paper mache 2 paper mache 3 paper mache 4 read aloud 1 read aloud 2

Our Mystery Reader today was Hallel’s savta, who just arrived from Israel yesterday!     As her savta read us a story in Hebrew, Hallel translated it into English!

mr 1 mr 2 mr 3

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

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Weekly Update


In Parashat Mishpatim, we talked about laws that teach us what to do and what not to do. We connected these laws to our daily lives. For example, if you make a bonfire and it spreads to your neighbor’s yard, you need to pay him for the damages. Or if you dig a hole to plant a tree, and someone falls into that hole and gets hurt, you need to pay for his medical bills. The lesson was about consequences for one’s actions.

In our continuing study of Tu B’Shevat, we discussed the fruits that grow on various trees and the products made from those fruits. We also explored apple seeds and orange seeds hands-on! We talked about appreciating trees because they give us: oxygen, shade, homes for animals, places to play, beauty, etc.

In Torah, we reviewed the six days of Creation by playing games on the Smartboard.

5 2

 For a few weeks now, we’ve been working in Centers: iPads, reading, and games.

6 Sam 1 Evan

In Math this week, we reviewed multiplication and began to study division. We learned that division involves sharing equally into a given number of groups. Then, we learned that it also means grouping items by a given number, where we don’t know how many groups we’ll have. The students took notes in their math notebooks, studying turn-around facts, fact families, and word problems.

Multiplication 1 Multiplication 2  Math 2 Math 3 Math 1

Today, half of the class played a very exciting math game in the hallway with Ms. Wulbern, while the other half took their S.T.A.R. reading tests. Next week, we’ll switch activities.

math game 1 math game 2

This week, we also had fun studying Social Studies! To prepare for an amazing Webinar with scientists from Antarctica, we first explored the globe and Google Earth; and talked about the Earth’s continents and oceans.




Next, we listened to The Antarctica Song by Amanda Ellis. To understand some of the differences between the North Pole (the Arctic) and the South Pole (the Antarctic), we watched this video. We also worked on a “Time For Kids” Participation Guide, which taught us facts and map skills. During the Webinar, the students wrote down more interesting facts and questions that they had. Afterward, we shared those facts and questions, and reflected on how much we learned. What a great experience!

Webinar 1 Webinar 2 Webinar 3 Webinar 4 Webinar 5 Webinar 6 Webinar 7 Webinar 8

Our Mystery Reader today was Talia’s mom! She read us A Sack Full of Feathers, which taught an important lesson about not gossiping or spreading stories. The students are responding so nicely to pieces of literature, and I love to hear their reflections!

reader 0    reader 1    reader 4     reader 2    reader 3

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka


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

Weekly Update

Happy Friday!

We sure packed a lot of learning into the last four days!

In Jewish Studies class, we reprised our Tu B’Shevat play from last year’s Haggigat HaSiddur, performing for Kitot Alef and Gimmel. Kitah Bet did a great job!


In Parashat Yitro, we learned how Yitro advised Moses on establishing the court system. We discussed the Ten Commandments, the Exodus from Egypt, and how we should appreciate our freedom today.

In studying Tu B’Shevat, we talked about the different shapes of leaves on trees, and how trees look in each season.

On the actual day of Tu B’Shevat, Kitah Bet visited Trad’s Plant Nursery! We had so much fun exploring all different kinds of plants, learning new information, and even feeding chickens! When we returned to school, we were able to taste a vegetable called bok choy. What a great day!

On Wednesday, we had a wonderful class discussion on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the society in which he lived. As the students asked thoughtful questions, Ms. Wulbern and I carefully answered them, being aware of the sensitive nature of this time in recent history. Here is a list of the ideas we discussed.


Have a wonderful, long weekend, and we will you see you on Tuesday!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Rivka & Ms. Stein

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The Creation בראשית Orchestra

Last Friday we had a special visit from Jewish Theatre artist Jon Adam Ross.  With his help Kitah Bet and Kitah  Gimmel created the sounds of the creation story.  We created sounds for light, water, earth, trees, the moon and stars, birds and fish, animals and finally Shabbat.

Please enjoy our Creation orchestra with our conductor Jon Adam Ross.

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

Last week in Jewish Studies, we finished learning about the sixth day of Creation in Torah. We discussed how back then, all people and animals were vegetarian. To summarize this unit on Creation, we played a game on the Smartboard.

In Parashat B’shalah, we talked about the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, and how the Jews safely crossed it. We also discussed a special food that was given by God and fell from the sky! It was called “manna,” and it tasted like anything people could imagine. On most days, people collected enough manna for just that day. On Fridays, people had to collect two portions because they could not be gathering food on Shabbat. This explains why we put two challot (loaves of challah) on the Shabbat table.

In our new unit, we discussed the members of our families. Speaking in Hebrew, we talked about mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.

Finally, we began studying Tu B’Shevat. We reviewed the Hebrew words for the parts of the tree, and discussed how we prepare for the holiday. We studied various types of trees, and how they have different shapes.

Please have your child practice the Ashrei prayer at home. We have completed it in class, and I will test them on it soon.

In Math class last week, we began to study multiplication! We discussed and took notes on how multiplication is repeated addition, and how you must have equal groups. Later in the week, we learned about arrays, and made our own array creations, which I will send home soon.

Multiplication 1 Multiplication 2

I am very proud to report that everyone did well on our first Wordly Wise test! We had a lot of fun studying the words and doing the lessons.

Our Mystery Reader on Friday was Rabbi Lubliner! It was great to see how surprised the kids were because (from reading the clues) they really thought it was going to be someone’s father!

Rabbi clues

Rabbi 2-1 Rabbi 2 Rabbi 3 Rabbi 4

As I mentioned on Monday, there is a school-wide door decorating contest for the “4th Habit of Happy Kids – Think Win-Win!” We traced the students’ hands and had them write about and/or draw a specific example of this strategy. We also spelled out “Think Win-Win” by having the students form the letters with their bodies! Finally, I posted some quotations, relating to this topic. I would like to thank Mrs. Scharf and Mrs. Setzer for their helpful and creative assistance! The judging will take place tomorrow. Wish us luck!


There will be no school this Friday, the 17th due to our annual Professional Development Day. Therefore, we will work hard to accomplish all of our work in just four days! There will also be no school next Monday, the 20th due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka


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

Welcome Back!

Today was a wonderful first day back to school! This morning, we enjoyed a Spirit Assembly, where we watched some middle schoolers act out scenes to help us study the “Think Win-Win” concept from The Seven Habits of Happy Kids. We will even be decorating our classroom door this week using this theme, as we compete for a prize!

Today, we started our Wordly Wise vocabulary program! We began to learn each word by listening to the audio description of Lesson 1. Your child can study from their workbook or online each week by visiting Click on “Students,” make sure you select “Book 2″ for second grade, and then choose “Lesson 1.” Unfortunately, the kids can only play the games every 5 lessons. At least it’s something to look forward to!

Just as we practiced drawing images of vocabulary words with Mrs. Gutterman before the break, we’ll be doing the same activity with these new words during Centers this week. I am looking forward to seeing the kids’ creativity!

All written Wordly Wise work will be done in class. All that I’d like your child to do at home is to study the words and multiple definitions. It will take responsibility for your child to remember to bring the workbook back to school and home each day.

Ms. Wulbern and I are anticipating a great week of school and a wonderful 2014!

Ms. Stein :)

Posted in General Studies, Wordly Wise | 6 Comments