The Keshet experience April 29-May3

We focus a great deal on kindness in class, and while we are always sharing our love and kindness with each other, we have decided that it is now time to spread our kindness to the outside world. We have decided to have a "Kindness week" , and we are starting on Monday! Below is a list of activities we will be doing next week. The times with a the * next to it is where we need your help! any donation is so greatly appreciated. 

Monday - We will make cards for residents at Tower One Tower East

Tuesday - We will collect tzedekah to add to the teacher's tzedekah fund for the month. 

* Wednesday - We will be collecting (old) blankets, toys, pet food, etc for a local animal shelter.  We will also be making Kindness Rocks to spread around the community!

* Thursday - We will be collecting food for the JFS Food Pantry. Please bring in non perishable items for donation.

Donation Guidelines

Whether it’s a few cans or several bags of groceries, every donation is appreciated!  Here are some guidelines to follow before making a donation:

* Please check dates on food packages. We can only accept food that is not past its expiration date.

* The Pantry accepts non-perishable foods of all types, including canned foods, boxed foods and bagged foods.

* Due to food safety issues, please avoid donating any open containers, boxes or repackaged items; homemade items;  or any extra pre-made leftover food from events.

Friday - Baking treats for the fire and police department (location TBD).

There was lot's of excitement with some new free choice materials. Puppets, a tool box, and scales. It's so exciting to see children "playing" with the creativity of dramatic play with the puppets, while using the tools to measure and build with or scales to weigh and compare. 

Now that we are back from Peach break we have begun a new and exciting Science unit! The Solar System!!!! We have begun by learning about the sun and moon.  Ask your children these questions...

Where is the sun the hottest? (the core) What are the dark spots on the sun called? (sun spots) What do we need to know abut them? (They are the coolest areas of the sun) Can yon finish this sentence, "The sun is the .... (center of out star system and all the planets revolve around it.) Which calendar revolves around the sun? (secular) How many times does the earth revolve around the sun in 1 year? (1) Who was the first person to step onto the moon? (Neil Armstrong) Why will his footprint remain there? (There is no wind on the moon) Which calendar revolves around the lunar calendar? (Judaic) What does the moon do? (rotate around the earth) How many times does the moon revolve around the earth in 1 year? (12)

Our Reading groups picked up right where they left off. Small groups where children took turns reading as well as read independently. After the stories were completed a variety of language arts and grammar skills from main idea/detail to alphabetical order and contractions.

Phonics and Sight Word work continue with Explode the Code program as well as a variety of games and activities to strengthen their retention. Children in Kindergarten worked on the short vowel sounds while 1st graders worked on words ending with -ing, from the Spelling program. 

 In Math the Kindergarten children worked on counting by 10's and making groups of 10, as well as counting by 10's,and 5's and identifying missing numbers.  

First graders took the week with a review of time and estimating time. 


This week we played a new Hebrew language game. Ask your children about “Swat”! We split into teams and used fly swatters to swat each letter or word that they located in the game. It was an up-and-moving fun time!

We put our new Hebrew “Word Wall” together. This will be a reference point for the children as they develop their Hebrew reading comprehension and writing skills.


Also this week we discussed the difference between the Hebrew calendar and the English (Gregorian) calendar. This lesson involved a globe, lots of rotating and orbiting movements, and tied into Morah Beth’s solar system unit!


Also, this week we learned that in Parshat Achrei Mot God tells the Jewish people about Yom Kippur. We read two stories about the thoughts that go into our Yom Kippur prayers. 


We worked on the full Mah Tovu this week. Things One learned to sing the words with more accuracy. Things two helped me with an unfamiliar tune!


Yesterday we discussed Yom HoShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, in an age appropriate manner. We discussed the horrible time in our history when a very bad person wanted to kill all of the Jewish people. We related this to the story of Purim, but made it clear that this time there was a much different outcome. We learned that in our great grandparents time, during the Holocaust, very many Jewish people were killed before this horrible persecution was stopped. We read Terrible Things, An Allegory of the Holocaust, by Eve Bunting. In it, various groups of animals are taken away by the “Terrible Things”. We discussed how the bystanders each time said, “At least it wasn’t us.” This led into a discussion of what we should do when we see other groups being persecuted.

We discussed the idea of our names being special, unique and important. We would not want to be called by a number instead. We read the story, The Number on My Grandfather’s Arm, by David A. Adler. We did not go into detail beyond this about the horrors of the Holocaust. We did relate this history to persecution of other groups, and discussed the value of all human beings, regardless of their religion, group or skin color. We also talked about hate in the world today, and the importance of fighting for equal rights and freedom for all groups. 

We used the image of a butterfly, freeing itself from its chrysalis to fly away with a fresh start, to accentuate the renewal of the Jewish people after the Holocaust. We made a variety of wonderful butterfly art projects in class today.

Holocaust education is difficult to address with this young age group. We introduced many emotionally distressing topics today, but avoided going into a lot of detail. We asked those children who may have heard more detail about these topics NOT to discuss this amongst themselves, but to take further discussion and questions home to their parents. You may wish to continue the discussion at home. Then again, your children have many, many years ahead of them during which they can be exposed to more details about the horrors of Holocaust. We do not plan to continue the discussion in school beyond today.

Please see this week's photo link for more fun photos!

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Beth and Gila


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