Almost done with Ashrei, we have started to say  it before עלינו. כל האומר תהילה לדוד ג פעמים ביום . . . Chumash  יב-יז Chayeinu. – I asked the students to work on the pages having to do with the megillos and the Aseres Hadibros. After they completed these pages, I did a quick oral quiz to check for learning.Read More →

Tefillah: קרוב ה’ – focus on kavanah, and crying in truth.   Chumash: ח-יא Limudei Kodesh: We have learned all about story of Rus – During Chumash, I realized the students didn’t know who Boaz was. We did a few activities to make the story memorable. 1. Powerpoint from 2. Rus Rebus 3. Story of Rus in hebrew We did one perek at a time. So the students knew the story line and the people in the megillah. Ivrit:  Next story in MigdalorRead More →

Tefillah: The 4/5 grade boys joined us for davening since their teacher was out of town. Using a quick Q/A with one word answers, we reviewed the concepts that we had learned so far about Ashrei. The 3rd graders were very proud that they knew the answers quickly to questions the older kids couldn’t answer. Chumash: We learned ה וז. The students first looked at the pasukim for hard words. The hard words got written on the board. Using the words on the board, one student tried to read each pasuk. Then I  read the pasuk. The students got to ask questions. To ask anRead More →

What a busy day.   Today, we learned about צדיק ה בכל דרכיו. We were learning about the life of the 4th Belzer Rebbe later in the day, so I took the opportunity to connect the pasuk to how the Belzer Rebbe responded to the Holocaust after his wife, children and grandchildren were killed.  There were also a lot of questions. One child asked, “How come we say tehillim if everything Hashem does is right?” Each student shared a personal story, a mashal they had heard, or a story they had read. I let them share because I could see they were connecting and processing a veryRead More →

Chumash: test – I read recently that easy tests give as much information about the students’ knowledge as long tests. I made what I thought was a pretty easy test. Sure enough, the grades were pretty similar to my harder, longer tests. I included more application questions and the students had to illustrate some of the pesukim from the test. After the test, I had the students do some independent work. Th objective was for them to learn how to find a pasuk in the chumash. They chose the order of the exercises they wanted to do: 1. Find pasuk – This exercise teaches studentsRead More →

I am falling very behind in my updates – so a quick one will have to do. Chumash: review : How does it say it in pasuk, and review story Limudei Kodesh: Each student already wrote all they  knew about Shavuos divided into 4 categories. Today, we reviewed the minhagim and halachos they knew, as well as any other minhagim and halachos I wanted to add in. Ivrit: Migdaolor – I am enjoying reading this book with the class more and more. Today, the students split up into groups, read a story, and answered the questionsRead More →

Tefillah: Review concepts by asking students to say first max three word that comes to mind (after raising hand) for each line of Ashrei I say out loud. Ashrei=smile Bchol Yom = say a bracha Dor L’dor = Generations Hadar – Zecher – talk, talk, talk Chanun – kind Tov Hashem Lakol – everyone & everything On to פותח את ידך, ומשביע לכל חי רצון –  the students are busy studying the food chain in science. My room is covered with food chain chains. This is a concept they will get and will get excited about. Chumash – The end of the Perek is fastRead More →

What happens when you cross Lag B’Omer, two days of Color War and a late night barbeque with a ball game on a beach? Very tired kiddos.  During davening, I got the rhythm going and let the students clap, bang and stamp to the beat in davening. They were louder than normal but at least they weren’t asleep. We reviewed some pesukim, learned another pasuk, and then came parsha time. A few years ago, I had made up a fictional story about a kohein named Shmeryl Cohen and his life. He almost marries a divorcee (gasp!), he has visions of angels, he is a zookeeperRead More →

Tefillah: We discussed how ה’ is טוב לכל – to all and is good to ALL of his creations. We talked about not hurting animals unnecessarily  I even mentioned how Rav Yaakov Yosef Herman would even feed cats in Yerushalayim because he was טוב to all of Hashem’s creations. Chumash – We reviewed a bit and did one more pasuk. The students were a little hyper because they had COLOR WAR. (My kids were on different teams. When they got off the bus today, my first grader had on this huge grin. I had assumed that he had won. No, he lost – he just hadRead More →

It’s COLOR WAR. Yellow & Blue. We still had davening and chumash for half a period. The kids lined up their desks into two lines facing each other. Tefillah: We were up to a great pasuk of Ashrei to give a pep talk for color war. חנון ורחום ה’ ארך אפים וגדל חסדו. – I talked about how we are supposed to imitate Hashem. The better we act, the bigger we are. חנון – be a gracious winner or loser – רחום – help out the weaker kids/kindergarten kids who seem overwhelmed ארך אפים – if someone annoys or upsets us, we should say overRead More →

Tefillah: הדר כבוד הודך, ודברי נפלאתיך אשיחה. ועזוז נוראתיך יאמרו, וגדלתך אספרנה.  זכר רב טובך יביעו, וצדקתך  ירננו… Meaning: The splendorous glory of Your power and Your wondrous deeds I shall discuss. And of Your awesome power they  will speak, and Your greatness I shall relate. A recollection of Your abundant goodness they will utter and of Your righteousness they will sing exultantly…. Each of these three lines of Ashrei mentions different ways to communicate out loud. Focus: Why is it so important to vocalize these ideas? Activity: What are some things that are important to say? Why do you need to say them? What will happen to our opinionRead More →

Tefillah: Continue with ashrei Dor l Dor. Asked students to think of one thing they learned from a grandparent. Some of the  answers were candy making, baseball. Who taught their grandparents baseball – they said their parents. I asked when baseball was invented – that was a debate was it in the 1800s or during the civil war. I mentioned how we have something that goes back generation to generation, further back than baseball or making candy – The Torah & believing in Hashem. The Torah goes back to Moshe. But believing in Hashem goes back to Avraham. When we say דור לדור it reminds us thatRead More →

Tefillah: We had the second graders join us because of some substitute timing. We reviewed that Ashrei = Happy and what makes us happy. We then translated the first few lines of Ashrei until בכל יום. I asked the students if they needed to thank their mothers today if they already did so yesterday? Why would we need to bless and appreciate Hashem every day? Should our feelings of thanks to our mother be the same each and every day? Before we said Ashrei, we thought of something we are happy for. We paused before בכל יום to think of what we would thank HashemRead More →

Intro: We are starting אשרי! We discussed אשרי means happy. What do we need to do to be happy? We need to focus on good things to appreciate them to be happy. In אשרי, we will focus on many things ה’ does which is why we are happy. Chumash:  Review Pesukim 25-27. Translation sheets Learn pesukim 28-31 Draw shorashim on board 2) Ask questions:     if יעקב thinks it is time to leave, what should the conversation go like?    When do you think יעקב will want to go and why?     Will לבן want him stay? How will he convince יעקב toRead More →

Today was a great day. The class did this awesome unit about the Civil War where each kid took one historical figure, researched his life and role in the Civil War, wrote journal entries from that perspective and then dressed in costume to present  in a “town hall meeting” We went on a field trip today to Genessee Country Village & Museum – a living history museum where they recreate life from the 18th and 19th century. As a parent and co-teacher I came along. It was an awesome place. There was a pioneer homestead where they got to grind corn, carry a yoke, wash dishes andRead More →

Intro: The students were able to find the words on the second page of the worksheets but weren’t able to do the matching. So it was back to the drawing board for another way of teaching it so it sticks. I asked the students questions from each line. “What word in line 1 tells us that Hashem made the world with his words?” שאמר This specific reading of the text led to some very interesting questions that showed a deep comprehension. Why does it need to repeat the word מלך so many times? (we discussed themes in poetry.  I have a son in the class so I know thatRead More →