Shalom Te’enah Friends and Families,
What a week! It’s been a whirlwind of singing, writing, and the occasional Oompa-Loompa-ing.
All week, we’ve been practicing with gusto for our upcoming Siddur Ceremony on May 15. This ceremony is the milestone Jewish moment for First Grade. Throughout this year, we’ve discussed this important ceremony with them, particularly when we practice our morning tefillot (prayers).
At the end of the ceremony, Te’enah will receive their first siddurim, kid-friendly prayer books, which they will use for the rest of their time at Metrowest Jewish Day School and beyond. On a personal note, I still have the siddur I received from my Jewish day school back back in 2001, which I continue to cherish.
Each student will come home with a script this weekend. Please encourage your child to practice his or her lines. For the songs, we’ll be singing liturgy such as Modeh Ani and Ahavah Rabbah. Remind your child that we’re not expecting perfection, just their best singing efforts. Check out the hyperlinked YouTube videos I’ve provided if you think your child might like to hear either song at home. Ask your child what other songs they’d like to practice leading for our ceremony with some help from YouTube.
On Monday, as the flowers bloomed outside, our scientists picked apart their own daisy, identifying the different parts of the flower. Many of the students loved the exercise and requested another flower. We were unable to oblige, but encouraged them to explore flowers at home. Be sure to ask your child to show you the stem, the petals, or even where the seeds are made.
On Tuesday, students presented the number 21 as part of the school wide Omer Count. The school learned all sorts of different facts about 21 from Te’enah. Some were related to math, like “22-1 is 21,” some were Jewish such as “The 21st chapter of Bereshit (Genesis) is when Isaac is born” and others were more sporting (“Ping-Pong goes up to 21 points”). Everyone put in their best effort and gave a wonderful show to their peers at morning assembly.
On Wednesday, we looked back at our time over this past year to think about what memories we wanted to put in our yearbook. I reminded the students of how much I loved watching some of them perform at the talent show in December. Hamorah Joanne included her favorite memory: our apple-picking field trip! Students agreed with our ideas and added their own thoughts. Check out a sneak peek of the wonderful memories we’ll have in our yearbook:
“I got to make the phases of the moon with Oreos and then I ate them. I had a chocolate seder at school. I got to lead tefilah with Henry.”
“We went apple picking…I played with the 8th grade girls.”
“I love the muffin game!”
We started a new chapter book that we’ve been reading during Snack: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Students are giggling over the silly nonsensical words and Hamorah Joanne’s spirited impression of spoiled Veruca Salt (“Daddy! I want an Oompa Loompa! Right now!”) If you’re thinking about starting your own chapter book adventure with your child, they might be interested to hear another Dahl book like Matilda. In other great reading news, Te’enah just earned enough minutes to have a reading party today! I’m very excited to celebrate with more reading! Rav Chazzan Scott Sokol will join us to share a special book with our students.
We ended our week with some wonderful new poems added to our special class books. A title has been decided and the dedication is being worked out (there are so many amazing people the children have in mind). Soon we’ll send off our book of poems to be published in a beautiful hardcover book that I’m sure the students will treasure for years to come. I can’t wait to see the final result!
Hamorah Alli (Delet Student Teacher)