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This Week in Lower School 9/25/2020

Friday, September 25, 2020
Preschool Shabbat Curriculum
The Legacy Heritage Instructional Leadership Institute has recently published an AEC preschool curriculum unit on Shabbat for their Anthology Project. The Legacy Heritage Anthology project is a culmination of curriculum works provided to Jewish day schools around the country. Guided by Morah Dina Rudaizky and Mrs. Tecktiel, our Preschool teachers participated in a rigorous two-year professional development program, where our teachers developed curriculum benchmarks and standards, which are currently being used in our 18 months - Junior Kindergarten programs. We are very proud of the final product and that our work is being used to guide hundreds of Jewish day schools around the country.
Each week, we will highlight a specific grade level and a special in the Lower School. It is our goal to give a snapshot of the many wonderful things that are happening in all of our grade levels and specials. 
Junior Kindergarten Highlights:
Our Junior Kindergarten students experienced integrated theme-based learning this week. We encouraged students to participate through active engagement and hands-on exploration with different skills and content areas. Reading, writing, math, and  science are coming to life along with physical activity, music, and art, which fosters authentic learning, deepens curiosity, and develops connections and critical thinking skills. Here are a few highlights from the past week in JK: 

As our Junior Kindergarten students bid a fond farewell to summer, they welcomed the Fall season with open arms and spent a considerable amount of time focusing on apples, as this theme connects to Fall and Rosh Hashanah.. The JK students incorporated various materials and artwork to welcome the season, which included making apples for their classroom trees, apple-stamp artwork, apple crisp pie projects, colorful leaf prints, and a large Sukkah to represent the upcoming holiday of Sukkot. 

For Science, they compared the color, shape, and weight of the apples, and cut the apples to explore the seeds on the inside. For math, students counted the seeds, graphed apples, compared sizes and eventually made an apple puzzle. The sight word “red” was added to the writing center along with pictures of apple trees and apple orchards as writing and drawing prompts to encourage further exploration of the theme. The dramatic play area was transformed into an apple orchard that had a store where students could sell apples and the ingredients to make apple pies.  

To continue with the Fall theme, the JK students participated in a nature walk in search of leaves, sticks, and pine needles for an art project. Upon their return, the class sorted , grouped, and counted all of the items that were collected on the nature walk. By doing this, nature came to life as the children observed  the changes happening amongst the trees, bushes, and pine needles.  Paint brushes were created out of the pine needles, leaves and sticks and were used to create beautiful pine needle paintings utilizing Fall-themed paint colors. This project integrated art, science, and math, and enforced verbal skills, and fine and gross motor skills.

The Junior Kindergarten students also explored and investigated rocket ships and even had the opportunity to launch one. The students focused on math and science in this fun activity. They used tangram shapes to geometrically create a rocket and practice shape recognition. They also took different sized rockets and aligned them from smallest to largest. The highlight and surprise of the lesson came when their Science teacher, Ms. Page, took them to the tennis courts to launch an actual bottle rocket. 

As we are in the midst of the High Holidays our Junior Kindergarten students learned about Taschlich, which comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to cast”, referring to the intent to cast away our sins in this meaningful ritual performed between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The students took pieces of bread (sins) and threw them into a pool of water signifying the casting of their bad decisions for which they were sorry. They then reflected on the activity and felt good about throwing away the things they have done that were unkind to others. 

Aseret Yemei Tshuva
The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called Aseret Yemei Tshuva - The Ten Days of Repentance. During these days, we reflect on our actions and behaviors. Our fourth grade students have studied the seven steps of repentance and applied them to the following daily life situations:
Understanding:  We understand that we did something wrong/bad.
Stop: We stop the bad behavior. 
Regret: We regret and reflect and think about how it was not a good choice.
Sorry:  We are sorry and are asking forgiveness from God, friends, and family. 
Decision:  We make a decision to not do it again.
Promise:  We promise God, friends, and family that we will not repeat the bad behavior. 
Success:  We achieve the goal of not repeating the bad behavior.  
G’mar Hatimah Tovah!

Important Dates: 

9/28 - Yom Kippur - No School 
10/2 - Sukkot - No School 
10/9 - Professional Development for Teachers - No School For Students 
10/15 - End of Q1
10/29 - Virtual Parent Conferences and progress report distribution - No School for Students 
10/30 - Nevada Day - No School 
11/3 - Student Council Elections (Grades 3-5)
11/25 - 11/27 - Thanksgiving - No School