We are Ready for Rosh HaShana

We are ready for Rosh Hashana!

We listened to the Shofar every day and learned the vocabulary and the customs of the holiday.  Today we got a taste of Rosh HaShana: we ate apples & honey, pomegranate, and a honey cake.  

Each student prepared a Shana Tova card to go along with the honey cake they baked for their family.  

Mrs. Scharf-Anderson read us a story about Tashlich and then we went out to our school pond and threw our bad deeds (really it was bread) into the water.

Shana Tova from Kitah Gimmel !

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It’s more than a dot…

Wow!  See what our amazing Karin Hallett has been working on with third grade in this video.  Keep in mind we’ve had only 14 days of school.

3rd Grade International Dot Day from MJGDS Classrooms on Vimeo.

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Building A Reading Life in 3rd Grade

She’s the Michael Jordan of educators.

And she’s whispering in my ear as I teach. Well, not exactly. But I feel like I hear her voice as I talk to my students about reading and writing. Who is this amazing woman, you ask? Lucy Calkins, the author of our reading and writing curriculum, Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has worked with children and educators for over thirty years, and it is very exciting to be able to implement the programs she researched and created.  It is a privilege to be at The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School where we have curriculum that is this stellar.

You might be thinking, big deal. Curriculum shurickulum. I’m here to tell you that this #isareallybigdeal. Third graders (your darlings) start the year off by learning about how to build a reading life. A reading life!  The first several weeks are spent thinking about how books are like gold (valuable and treasured), setting goals to support volume and stamina, finding “just right” books, reading with fluency and expression, and diving deeper into comprehension. They learn about authors’ craft, character development, figurative language, and developing questions. Students read books that they’re excited about, and they become part of a literate community that shares the joy of beautiful writing. Wow!

You might wonder what you can do at home to support your child’s literacy. It’s hard when there are after school sports, activities, gadgets and play-dates. The Washington Post published an article (click here) that has reasonable ideas to help build a reading life. One of the ideas I loved was sharing your own love of reading, and talking about a part that made you smile or that really caught your attention. I’ll be sharing those moments with my students this year too.

We’re off to a fantastic start in third grade! Please remember to send your child to school with a full tummy so they’re ready to learn, a snack, and a good night of sleep. The photos you’ve sent of your child reading in their favorite cozy place are fantastic. Please remember to send me one if you haven’t done so already.

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”~ Anna Quindlen

Shabbat Shalom!


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First Week of Third Grade/Kitah Gimmel

Our first week in third grade was full of learning and fun!  In both general studies and Jewish studies students learned about respect – kavod כבוד.  We established routines and procedures and created our class rules.  We did a variety of activities to learn about showing kindness to others.  One activity showed how mean comments can hurt people inside.  Please ask your children to explain the apple activity, and here is a photo in case they forgot!  You can see that one apple is bruised and one is not.   There is a video clip at the end of this blog post that demonstrates the lesson students learned.

Students also wrote about how they will show respect, listen to others, have self-control, and be kind and safe.  We read the books Chrysanthemum and Chester’s Way to reinforce those ideas.  These values will be  modeled and discussed throughout the school year as children build their social and emotional skills.

Your children are avid readers!  We began talking about building a reading life and how to be successful readers at home and at school.  I am so excited to see that students are already talking about being deeply engaged in a book, when they almost feel as though they are “in” the book.  Wow!  Here are some photos of your sweet children reading in class.  

In Jewish Studies we reviewed blessings, prayers and vocabulary that we learned last year.  We learned about collaborating and working together in groups while trying to spell a new important vocabulary word which will be our theme for the year:  B’hatzlacha  בהצלחה- meaning that we will be successful in showing Kavod כבוד and learning Hebrew עברית.


We learned that you have to work together, sometimes fail on the first try, try again and don’t give up until you get the correct answer.  Can you tell which image shows the word B’hatzlacha spelled correctly?





The students also blew the shofar every morning in honor of the month of Elul as we get ready to welcome Rosh HaShana.



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Learning about the Map of Israel

Today we learned about different cities in Israel by using a giant map of Israel, a book and a bus.

hermes h belts

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The Magical Cafe

Good afternoon from the happy owner of The Magical Café! We had a very successful opening (and closing) of our restaurant. I am delighted that the staff of The Magical Café did such a wonderful job preparing the food and performing their jobs with such a high level of professionalism. After reading your reviews, it appears you had a magical experience as well.   Here are my thoughts about our morning…

Your children love to learn in meaningful, relevant, and “hands-on” ways. They were in charge of a great deal in the restaurant. They voted on the name, Kyra made the t-shirt design, they suggested recipes, applied for their jobs, and brainstormed ways to make the restaurant a success. They learned about money, teamwork, and work ethic. They each have a new appreciation for people who work in restaurants!   The money you paid will go to a charity that the students select though a vote.

Students wrote on their blog in class today about what they learned, and they posted photos. Please read them, encourage your family members to read and respond too.

I have a new level of respect for anyone in the restaurant business! It truly takes a great deal of planning, organization and collaboration to carry out all the tasks. My heartfelt gratitude to Rabbi Rogozen, Mrs. Hallett, Ms. Lewis (4th grade), Morah Liat, Rachel B., Jessica K., Marissa K., Simon S., , my daughter Julia, and everyone who helped us. There is definitely a reason for the phrase “It takes a village.”

When I get home I will post the recipes. I am so glad that you enjoyed the breakfast. Shabbat Shalom!



replica cartier love

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Ten Commandments Challenge

In order to honor the holiday of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah, the Martin J. Gottlieb School is issuing our Ten Commandment challenge to all students in Kitah Gimmel. The challenge is to memorize all Ten Commandments in Hebrew. Students will first recite them to their Hebrew teacher in class the week of May 22.

All students who demonstrate that they have met the challenge will be HONORED at Shavuot services at the Jacksonville Jewish Center on Wednesday, May 19th.   The students who are being honored will be called up to the bimah. They will recite the Ten Commandments for the congregation and receive a special reward.

The following is a video of the Ten Commandments in Hebrew to help with practicing and memorizing:

view the website

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Celebrating a Jerusalem milestone

This week we celebrated Israel’s 69th birthday by experiencing the many faces of Jerusalem.  The theme for this year’s celebration was the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.  Between 1948 and 1967 Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan and Jews were not allowed to visit the Kotel (Western Wall).  During the 1967 6-day war, Jerusalem was returned to Israeli rule.

At the Kotel station we learned about the Western Wall from the Israeli Shlicha Dana, and then wrote a note to God and placed it in the Kotel.

The Jerusalem art rotation included learning about the famous Marc Chagal windows at Hadassah hospital and drawing our own Chagal inspired Jerusalem landscapes.







Jerusalem sports included playing soccer and basketball like the famous teams:  Beitar Yerushalaimand HaPoel Yerushalaim.

At the Street food festival, students enjoyed the traditional falafel, hummus, Tahini, cucumber, tomato & pickle in a pita.  Of course an Israeli lunch is not complete without a yummy chocolate bar.

Next at Hebrew University (aka the library), we learned about the eight gates of the ancient city of Jerusalem.

Our last rotation was music where we listened to  famous songs about Jerusalem.

During Hafsaka we played גומי which is a game that Morah Liat played in Israel when she was in Kitah Gimmel.  It is like Chinese jump rope.


visit this website

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Special guests at our Torah service

Every Thursday morning we pray together with Kitah Bet in the Chapel.  Hazzan Holzer reads Torah for us every Thursday.  In the past month, we have had some guest readers – Middle school and 5th grade students.  What a special treat.

official website

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Baking Hamantachen אוזני המן

Thank you to D.J.’s mom and Sam’s dad for helping us.   Happy Purim!

visit this website

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