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This Week in Lower School 9/28-10/1, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020
As Lower School students transition from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time of reflection and atonement, we now direct their attention to the joyous festivals of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah. During this short holiday week, Lower School students participated in hands-on learning as they decorated the Sukkahs we have on our campus - interactive learning with the unique understanding of why we celebrate Sukkot and what each symbol means. Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning "booths" or "huts," is one of the most joyful festivals in the Jewish calendar and is often referred as the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. Lower School students learn why the Sukkahs have open walls and open doors, as this encourages us to invite family, friends, neighbors, and community to rejoice, eat, and share what we have with each other (in non-COVID circumstances).
Next week, every class in the Lower School will enjoy time in their decorated Sukkah. Our third graders focused this week on the locations of where Sukkahs can be built- did you know they can be built on the back of a camel, on a boat, or even on a bicycle?  The students are making mini models of Sukkahs in various locations. Second graders are focusing on learning the symbolism of the Arba’at Haminim (four species) or Lulav and Etrog sets, and our fifth grade students are exploring Jewish figures that we welcome to the Sukkah by producing original skits.
Kindergarten- 3rd Grade Science 
As part of our Lower School science curriculum, students are engaged in active investigation of concepts in the areas of earth, life, and physical sciences. Students ask and answer focus questions, complete investigations and begin to understand the concept of scientific inquiry. Students in Kindergarten - 3rd grade have been busy exploring and investigating fungi, the Scientific Method, Mars, rockets, germs, the human heart, and so much more!!! Here are a few highlights from the past few weeks in Kindergarten - 3rd grade with Ms. Page.  
Kindergarten students have been investigating some of the important skills scientists need to have to make discoveries, invent, and investigate the world around them.They explored the qualities of scientists through interactive reading activities with vocabulary packets and learning about hypotheses. Students then practiced their observation skills, asking questions, and conducting experiments. Kindergarten students put the learned skills to work when they began investigating ways to stay healthy and exploring the tiny organisms called germs. They learned what germs and viruses are and how to protect themselves against them. The investigations included experiments revealing how germs spread and how to make their own soap. They also learned how staying healthy through exercise and diet can help fight germs. Students also investigated the human heart and how the heart works to keep us healthy through playing a physically interactive game that involved students identifying how our blood can move about our body through our circulatory system. 
1st grade students have been investigating the nature of science. They answered questions like, "What is science and how can we use science to answer questions and solve problems?" To help them understand the concept of using science to help answer questions, students applied these methods in creating a new way to keep their crayons from rolling off their desks! Like their friends in Kindergarten, 1st grade students have worked on their Healthy Bodies unit, where they have learned about the science of germs. They are exploring what germs are, how they can make you sick, how they spread, and what they can do to fight them. They also learned about the human heart and investigated how it works to keep us healthy. 
Second grade students have also been investigating the nature of science and how we can use science to answer questions and solve problems. 2nd grade students took these methods to practice while designing a Mars Lander as part of their Space Exploration unit . The goal was to get the lander to land the astronauts safely on Mars’ surface. The students learned about shock absorbing systems and how mass and gravity can affect how an object falls. 
Third grade students have been having a blast in science. We started out the year with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Students explored how crime scene investigators use some of the same skills scientists need everyday such as observation and interpretation. Students also explored the scientific process and learned that science does not always follow a clear path. They practiced this process after reading the science story “A Moldy Mystery,” which is about experimentation by growing mold on pieces of bread. 
In honor of the 2020 Ilan Ramon STEAM Challenge, all grades spent some time exploring outer space. They learned how NASA’S space shuttle travels to the International Space Station, how rockets work, how astronauts live on the space station, what it would be like to live on Mars, how NASA transports things to space safely, and much more. Please see the links to the Junior Kindergarten - 3rd grade challenges below. 

Important Dates: 

10/02 - Sukkot - No School 
10/09 - Professional Development for Teachers - No School For Students 
10/15 - End of Quarter 1 
10/29 - Virtual Parent Conferences and progress report distribution - No School for Students 
10/30 - Nevada Day - No School 
11/03 - Student Council Elections (Grades 3-5)
11/25 - 11/27 - Thanksgiving - No School 
12/13 - Virtual Gala - More information to come.
12/18 - End of Quarter 2/Semester 1