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 an analysis question, 1 student had to first read and translate the pasuk accurately. Then class read the pasuk. Closure: Students independently filled in their linear translation sheets.
Parsha: I quickly reviewed the laws from behar/bechukosai. I then took the opportunity to talk about Shemitta . Chinuch.org has all the back issues of Olemeinu online.
http://chinuch.org/olomeinu_admin_topics.php?id=229 They are filled with facts, games and stories about shemitta. One of the articles explained that there are some Jews that keep heter mechira, and some Jews who do not. I mentioned to my students, one of whom has a brother named after Rav Kook, that Rav Kook had implemented the halachic idea of heter mechira. I then mentioned that the Chazon Ish, for whom another student is named, said that shemitta must be observed with no exceptions. The Rav Kook representative looked at me and said “But I know that the Chazon Ish and Rav Kook treated each other nicely!” The Chazon Ish stand-in turned to his neighbor and replied – “You know, it’s like Hillel and Shammai.” His friend nodded and smiled, understanding completely the idea of a machlokes l’shem shamayim