Tonight’s Math Homework

Today in Math class, we began renaming with addition problems! We focused on a basic fact, such as 7 + 5 = 12, and identified the 2 in the ones place. Next, we solved 67 + 5 = 72, noticing the basic fact of 7 + 5 in the ones places. One strategy is to break apart 67 into 60 and 7, add 7 and 5, and then add 60 + 12. Another strategy is rewrite the problem in straight columns, which I strongly encouraged. This helps the kids clearly see the place value positions. We also talked about what would happen if you were 67 years old and grew 5 years older. You wouldn’t be in your 60’s anymore, you would be in your 70’s. That’s why the tens place changes. We also modeled problems like this, using a place value chart and circles representing ones and tens. When there were 10 or more ones, it was time to “make an exchange,” trading 10 ones for a ten.

Next, we worked on the more challenging problem of 367 + 5 = 372. We referred back to what we already knew (67 + 5), and simply added 3 hundreds. I am fine with the students using whichever strategy they are the most comfortable with (mental math, adding in straight columns, using a hundred chart, etc). If your child is struggling with this work, please don’t worry. Having hands-on experience this week should make the concept more concrete. You can also review the place value positions (ones, tens, hundreds) to make sure that skill is mastered.

Math 1 Math 2

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Weekly Update

Mazel Tov to our second graders! They began a new Chumash (book), B’resheet! We also brainstormed what we know about the Torah, and each student shared their ideas.

In Jewish Studies last week, we also read two stories about children who were new in their classrooms. One of the children had just moved to America from Israel. He felt sad and did not want to go to school because he didn’t have any friends. The other child moved from a public school to a Jewish school, here in America. She felt happy because she already had a friend in her new school. We connected these stories with our newest student to see how she felt and now feels about school.

We also did an activity last week using the initials from our names. Using our first and last initials, we created Hebrew words. Although some of the initials were very challenging, this was still an excellent activity for our brains!

In Parashat Lech L’cha, we learned about the promise that God gave Abraham, that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Then, we made paper stars, decorated with our names, which we hung from the ceiling. This is a visual representation of God’s promise.

stars1 stars stars 1Please ask your child to share with you what they learned in Parashat Lech L’cha.

Last week in General Studies, we explored the desert habitat. First, we listened to a story on CD while following along in our reading books. Next, we watched a Magic School Bus episode called All Dried Up. Afterward, we discussed animals and plants that live in the desert. Take a look:

Desert Animals & Plants

We also drew a picture of desert plants and animals, and then wrote descriptions of our pictures.

Here is a Science summary from Mrs. Jaffa!

“We have been having lots of fun exploring the states of matter.  Last week we tested solid ice, water, and air balloons with a Balloon Poke experiment. This week we modeled the molecules of solid, liquids, and gases using Fruit Loops.  Here are some pictures of us in action.”

Science 1   Science 2   Science 3 Science 4 Science 5

In Math last week, we practiced adding two-digit numbers without renaming. First, we used a place value chart and number discs, in order to really visualize what’s happening. Then, we used the standard algorithm of adding in “straight columns.” The students are getting better and better at verbalizing their strategies. This is a necessary skill because since math is its own language, it’s important to be able to explain your thinking.

We’ve been enjoying the full, five-day weeks of school and the consistency of working in small groups. Between working on reading comprehension skills with Ms. Wulbern, practicing Spelling on laptops, practicing Math on iPads, developing independent work habits, and being video-recorded for blogfolio documentation, we have been productive and busy!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday,

Morah Rivka and Ms. Stein

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Spelling Update

Hello, Families!

I just wanted to touch base mid-week to give you a Spelling update. Although this is a challenging list, we are working hard to learn the rules (and many exceptions!) each day. During “Center” time, one of the groups is working with me to practice adding endings to the words. We are noticing whether or not the base word changes.


Another group is using to reinforce these skills. We are also practicing the words in context, using these resources:

Reading 1 Reading 2

I usually don’t send home these materials because they’re simply classwork that I use as an informal assessment, and I try to send home as  little paper as possible. But rest assured, your child is strengthening their skills every day in a variety of ways.

Thank you!

Ms. Stein

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

It was wonderful to see you at Back-to-School Night on Wednesday! I forgot to mention that I will no longer be sending home those small behavior charts with your children. Since most of the kids’ behavior cards are on green or yellow most of the time, Rivka and I will only send home a letter if your child’s card is flipped to red. So, no news is good news!

Here is the slideshow from Back-to-School Night.

Second Grade Happenings!

In Math class this week, we worked on strategies for mental addition and subtraction. Up to this point, students have been adding and subtracting two-digit numbers in a horizontal format, using a variety of techniques. For example, they have added or subtracted the tens first and then the ones.

Lesson 2.1c-2.1d Lesson 2.1c-2.1d part 2

None of our problems have had renaming yet (what we used to call carrying and borrowing). This week, we will be adding numbers up to three digits, in the traditional, “straight-column,” vertical format. As the students become more proficient, they may find alternative strategies of their own. I encourage this because a “flexibility with numbers indicates a good understanding of place value,” as it says in our Singapore Math curriculum. Not until later in this unit will the students begin learning to rename numbers.

In Reading class, we read Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night. This story tied in nicely with our Spelling words and small group work with Ms. Wulbern.

We celebrated a special birthday this week!

Jake 1 Jake 2 Jake 3 Jake 4

On Friday, we had our very first Mystery Reader! These were the clues:

Mystery Reader 0

The students were surprised to learn that it was Ms. Wulbern’s mother!

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

We are looking forward to a wonderful week, and we are so grateful to have Morah Rivka back!

Ms. Stein

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Weekly Update

Good Afternoon!

This was another fun-filled and productive short week of school.

On Monday, we celebrated a special, belated birthday!

Jacob 1 Jacob 2 Jacob 3 Jacob 4

Our annual Sukkah Hop was sadly cancelled on Tuesday due to rain. However, the kids handled the disappointment maturely, and we still ended up having a fun day. Here we are, with Kitah Gimmel, listening to the story The House on the Roof, A Sukkot Story by David A. Adler.

Sukkot read aloud 1 Sukkot read aloud 2

Later that day, we did a project called “Build A Room.” This project was inspired by our student, Andrea, her passion for interior design, and her love of HGTV! Although the timing of this project happened to correspond with Sukkot, what each child created was not a Sukkah. Reviewing why was an educational experience. If you have not already seen it, I look forward to showing you the creativity of your child at Back-to-School Night on Wed, Oct 2nd at 7:00 PM!

“Build-A-Room” Project

Today, the students participated in an annual activity called the “Beating of the Willows.” We joined Rabbi Lubliner and Rabbi Olitzky in the gym for this ancient tradition, in which we symbolically destroy our sins one last time.

First, the students waited very patiently . . .

Willows 1 Willows 2

And then . . .

Willows 3 Willows 4 Willows 5

We did do academic things this week as well! The students wrote in their journals, which I also look forward to showing you next week. In Math class, we compared the quantities in two sets and solved word problems, which involved finding the difference between two quantities.

Lesson 2.1b

Chag Sameach,

Ms. Stein

Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Sukkot, Weekly Update | 7 Comments

Weekly Update


As you know, we began our week in a very somber mood. On Monday, after some journaling and a gentle class discussion about Esther and Orly, Ms. Wulbern and I asked the students to make cards for Orly. Even though most of the kids did not seem to know her, they related with either the experience of being in the hospital or just being sick. While I anticipated cute creativity, I did not expect such sensitivity, maturity, and compassion.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Orly

With Morah Rivka in Israel this week and next, the students have been working hard with Morah Ilana. On Tuesday, they helped decorate our school’s Sukkah!

Sukkah 1 Sukkah 2 Sukkah 3Some of the kids even built their own, mini Sukkah!

Sukkah 4 Sukkah 5 Sukkah 6

This week, we studied some new and important concepts. The first one comes from the book The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey. As a school-wide program, we are introducing these seven habits to our classes, one at a time. This month, we are learning about being proactive. I read aloud the first story from the book, which is called “Bored! Bored! Bored!” During a great class discussion, we learned that everyone needs to take responsibility for their own lives, including making their own FUN! We also talked about doing the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.

7 Habits of Happy Kids!!

The second new concept we studied was called an “Ally” lesson. We began by reading aloud the book How Leo Learned to Be King by Marcus Fpister.


We discussed treating others respectfully instead of in a bossy way. We learned that it’s better to be an ally instead of just a bystander.

Ally Lesson

We worked through a lunchtime scenario and a recess scenario. Then, we  did some role playing, where the students were either the bossy one, the targeted one, or the ally!

Role Playing 1 Role Playing 2.1 Role Playing 3 Role Playing 4 Role Playing 5 Role Playing 6

Mrs. Teitelbaum joined us for one of our three lessons, and we learned a lot of practical information! We would like to thank her for her time.

Mrs. T 1 Mrs. T 2 Mrs. T 3 Mrs. T 4

In Math class, we began Unit 2. The students wrote in the Math Notebooks about number bonds and the part/whole relationship. We worked with number families as we wrote addition and subtraction equations. Next week, we will focus on subtraction and place value.

I can hardly believe all that we accomplished in just two and a half days! Have a wonderful Sukkot!

Chag Sameach,

Ms. Stein

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

What a wonderful week this has been!

In Jewish Studies, we learned all about Yom Kippur. We discussed how to ask for forgiveness for things that we did wrong in the past year. Here are some students role-playing a few scenarios.

We also learned about the tradition of fasting (when we fast and who is allowed to fast). We learned about wearing white and non-leather shoes on Yom Kippur. The students also enjoyed a story about a second grade girl who wanted to fast. Her mother explained that there is a certain age when it is most appropriate to fast, which is after your Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

In General Studies this week, we were very productive! Four groups of students rotated through different Center activities: reading with Ms. Wulbern, doing a problem-solving math activity on place value with Ms. Stein, writing an outer space story, and working independently. The students also worked individually with Mrs. Gutterman on an artistic iPad activity.

In Math class, we compared and ordered numbers, using greater than/less than/equal to symbols. One day, we wrote our answers on mini white boards, and had the chance to write on the Smartboard!

Math 1  Math 2 Math 3  Math 3-1 Math 4

As a whole class, we talked about and brainstormed New Year’s Resolutions. In honor of Rosh Hashanah, we then wrote our own. Please ask your child to tell you about their personal resolution(s).

New Year_s Resolution Ideas

One day this week, Ms. Wulbern read aloud a very funny story called Piggie Pie! It showed us that we can be creative when writing our own stories, by bringing in characters from other books we’ve read.

Piggie Pie 1 Piggie Pie 2  Piggie Pie 3Our new student, Andrea shared her interest in home design and architecture by introducing us to HGTV. It was great to hear her explain the features of a “Smart Home” and to watch some interesting videos.

Andrea 1  Andrea 2

I will send home today’s Spelling test and yesterday’s Math test on Monday, along with some other classwork to show you.

We are looking for shoe boxes (or other similar boxes), wrapping paper, ribbon, buttons, pipe cleaners, and other small decorative objects. If you can donate any of these items for a special class project in General Studies, that would be great!

Shana Tovah ve’ Gmar Chatima Tovah,

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka

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Wonderful Wednesday!


Today, the students, Ms. Wulbern, and I had a brief and gentle talk about September 11th. I let the kids direct the discussion, based on what they already knew and questions that they had. We sang the Star Spangled Banner and listened to a patriotic march. We also focused on the idea that positive things can come from negative experiences. Here are our thoughts:

9_11In the early afternoon, at the end of our time together, we played a really fun, educational online game! It ties together our weekly theme of outer space and astronauts, along with some great nutrition data. The students learned about: the food groups (fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy), the meals of the day, the importance of physical activity, the many different ways to get exercise, and the concept of calories. The students were quite excited for me to post this link today, and to not wait until Friday’s Weekly Update! Have fun, Junior Astronauts!

My Plate Spaceship

Finally, I wanted to let you know that, following an in-depth review, we will be having our Unit 1 Math Test tomorrow.

As you can see, it was a Wonderful Wednesday!

Ms. Stein

Posted in General Studies, Health, Math, Science | 4 Comments

Spelling Information

Shana Tovah, Families!

I wanted to take a moment to clarify our Spelling program. Each Monday (or Tuesday after a holiday), we will take a Pretest to determine which spelling list is the most appropriate for each student. The words on the Pretest come from the “Green List.” After reviewing and assessing your child’s work, I will assign either the “Green List” or the “Blue List” for that week. The list that your child studies can change each week.

Your child will be coming home with a copy of their list, stapled to a homework packet that is due by Friday. I’ll also send home the Pretest so you can see how your child performed. I’ve noticed that sometimes kids who struggle with the words on the Pretest, perform very well on Friday’s actual test. I also reflect upon previous weeks’ scores. Therefore, as I get to know your child better, I will assign whichever list seems to be the most appropriate.

Both lists will be posted here on our blog all week long. The Bonus Words can only help the grade on your child’s test. Spelling them incorrectly will not count against their grade. The children had a lot of fun playing games and taking practice tests on two weeks ago, so I’m happy to continue that activity this week! Please let me know if you have any questions.


Ms. Stein :-)

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Weekly Update

Shalom, Families!

In Jewish Studies last week, the students began practicing their Hebrew reading and cursive Hebrew writing. Please review this reading material with your child each night, and remember to sign the card on the cover of the book.

We started preparing for Rosh Hashana by discussing the symbols and items of the holiday (new years cards, apples and honey, pomegranate, machzor, and round challahs).

Rosh Hashana 1 Rosh Hashana 2

We enjoyed singing a Rosh Hashanah song!

The students also learned that MOST IMPORTANTLY of all is to do תשובה and to say “סליחה”. We read three books about how to do תשובה and when to say “סליחה.”

We had a lot of fun baking honey cakes last week!

 Honey Cakes 1 Honey Cakes 2 Honeycakes 3 Honeycakes 4

In General Studies last Monday, we celebrated a special birthday!

Jett 1 Jett 2 Jett 3 Jett 4

 In Math class, we continued studying place value and number bonds.

Place Value Chart

We also worked in groups for Spelling and Reading practice.

Group Work

Before beginning to use laptops last week, we watched this funny video to remind us how to properly take care of our devices.

Taking Care of our Laptops

We’re looking forward to a fun, although very short, 1.5-day week of school!

Ms. Stein & Morah Rivka


Posted in General Studies, Jewish Studies, Weekly Update | 5 Comments