Education – 3rd Grade

2/25: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was a special day at school.
  2. Many parents were at the synagogue learning with a guest speaker on our Kulanu theme (https://www.adl.org/resources/press-release/adl-launches-new-program-provide-synagogues-tools-address-antisemitism)
  3. Our day paralleled the Kulanu theme by using the Chicago Holocaust Museum’s Teaching Trunks (https://www.ilholocaustmuseum.org/students-educators/teaching-trunks/)
  4. We talked about how all people, no matter how big or how small, where they come from, what language they speak, are deserving of respect and have something to offer. We looked at a special book of the Lion and the Mouse – this book has no words, just beautiful illustrations of the story. Students worked in groups and chose a page in the book to tell the story of together. Students noted that even though the mouse was small, it was the mouse who saved the lion by chewing through the ropes of the hunters’ trap. All because the lion spared the mouse. From then on, the mouse and lion families became friends.
  5. Gan – 3rd grade enjoyed being together with Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa for T’fillah
  6. Gan – 3rd grade enjoyed Shira with Morah Alexa.  She taught some wonderful new songs related to our school’s theme of Kulanu learning: love, peace, and understanding.
  7. We also continued in our Torah studies, learning about the birth of Isaac, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We learned that the reason we have a minyan – 10 people for a full service – was because Abraham challenged God that if 10 good people were found in Sodom, God would not destroy the town.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Continue to look for situations that remind you of God in your daily life, and ways to promote Shalom Bayit at home.

2/18: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we reviewed last week’s parshat about Abram & Sarai and Lot, and went over again the idea of Shalom Bayit. We began the first part of this week’s parshat, learning how Abram & Sarai had their names changed by God to Abraham and Sarah, and how God told Abraham he would give Sarah a child who would be named Isaac – Child of Laughter – because Abraham laughed when he heard this because the Torah tells us he was 99 at the time. We also discussed that Abraham had another son named Ishmael, from whom the Arab people were descended and how all 3 Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – are descended from Abraham and so in a way related to each other.
  2. We also discussed how we are all created in God’s image, no matter what we look like or our abilities or disabilities. This means we should be kind to each other and do our best to emulate God’s compassion with everyone.
  3. At Tefilla, Rabbi Prass and Morah Alexa led K – 3rd grade.  We talked about why our day is better when we start with an attitude of gratitude.  Then we talked about how Judaism has a tradition of starting each day with Modeh Ani, a prayer for thanks.   Rabbi Prass and all the morim and madrichim led us in a play, going over the main ideas of this week’s Torah portion Tetzaveh.
  4. K – 3rd grade also joined together with Morah Alexa for shirah!

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Continue to practice Shalom Bayit at home. Look for opportunities to be kind.
  2. Finish the exercises in you’re a Child’s Bible Textbook for last week’s chapter.

2/11: Today in class we worked on:

  1. First, we participated in an all-school t’fillah led by Rabbi Bellows, Rabbi Prass, and Morah Alexa.  As part of the t’fillah we were part of the Auf Ruf for the 5th Grade Faux Wedding and enjoyed the sour candy treats thrown at the “Chatan and Kallah.” It was great fun.
  2. We then reviewed last week’s parshah about Abram and Sarai leaving their home and following God to the land of Canaan, which God gave to them for a homeland, that is today called Israel.
  3. We learned how their nephew Lot joined them and how they prospered through working until they had so many flocks that their workers were arguing over resources. Abram took Lot to a bluff and said to pick out the land he wanted to settle in and Abram would go the opposite way so they could avoid arguments and keep peace between them. Lot chose to settle in the lush valley near Sodom. We discussed the concept of Shalom Bayit – peace in the home – and ways we can contribute to our own shalom bayit in our own homes.
  4. Students illustrated the parshat
  5. We enjoyed Shira with the K – 2 class and with Morah Alexa sang many songs together it was so fun.
  6. Back in class, we reviewed everything by playing hodgy podgy.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Complete the exercises for chapter 7 in your game book, and work to make more shalom bayit in your home.

2/4: Today in class we worked on:

  1. All of K – 3 went to tefilot, led by Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa.
  2. Students were introduced to Abram and Lot and their journey to Canaan. Within the story, students also reviewed the concept of Shalom Bayit.
  3. We asked students if they have ever taken a long trip. Where? What did they do when they got there? Has anyone moved a long distance? Why? Today we are going to learn about the very first Abraham story in the Torah and his long journey from where he grew up to the home God showed him
  4. We worked on Chapter 4 in our Partner’s with God book.
  5. All of K – 3 joined for shira led by Morah Alexa and Rabbi Prass where we had Yom Folk.  The students have seen some of the these songs in our song book and they have been asking for them!  We narrowed down their requests and sang: American Pie, Hallelujah, Puff magic Dragon, Leaving on a Jet Plane, and This Land is your Land.  We talked about the Jewish Folk artists: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Petter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. A Child’s Bible: Game & crossword puzzle; gamebook p 22.

1/28: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was our Boker B’yachad, where we spent the morning with parents and family members learning together. Thank you to everyone who joined us.
  2. Parents joined all of K – 3 in tefilot, led by Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa.
  3. The parents then spent time learning with Rabbi Bellows on our theme of Our Relationship with God, while the 3rd graders went to class.
  4. Then parents and K – 3 joined for shira led by Morah Alexa.
  5.  Then 3rd graders and parents joined for a lesson on how and when we can let God into our lives. Students also discussed the lovely habit in Judaism of thanking God using brachot to recognize special occasions of all kinds from smelling beautiful flowers to hearing a thunderstorm, to seeing the desert, and experiencing a special event. Students also performed their 10 Commandments song for family members and did a great job!
  6. We finished by playing a quick game of hodgy podgy. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a wonderful dayl.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Have a great week. If you have anything through chapter 5 in your game book that has not been completed, please work on it this week.

1/21: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we reviewed the parshat we learned last week about the Tower of Babel and the lessons we learned from it about the importance of not letting material things become more important that the people in our lives. We then drew pictures for our illustrated Torah scrolls.
  2. Gan – 3rd grade joined Rabbi Prass and Morah Alexa for tefillot where we learned about Tu b’Shevat, the birthday of the trees.
  3. Gan – 3rd grade joined Morah Alexa to sing songs about trees.
  4. We then practiced our Ten Commandment songs for next week’s Boker Beyachad with our parents.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Keep practicing your song! It can be found here: https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=Z-nofEmagh4FIJEC
  2. January 28th is the 3rd grade Boker B’yachad
  3. You can always access the school calendars by clicking here.
  4. You can always access the entire CBA calendar by clicking here.

1/14: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we discussed the Tower of Babel and the lessons we can take from it. The people who built the tower became so obsessed with building it as tall as they could – even high enough to challenge God – that they forgot everything else. They stopped caring about each other and the world around them – all that mattered was the tower. Finally, God had enough and ‘babbled’ their language so they could no longer understand each other. The people finally broke up into groups that spoke the same language and wandered off. We discussed the importance of not letting material things become more important than the people in our lives, our ability to appreciate the world around us, and the importance of working to understand each other and work together.
  2. We worked together on our 10 Commandments song and made posters for our presentation of it to our parents.
  3. We also had a great tefilah, with K – 2nd grade, led by Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa. We learned about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King for civil rights.
  4. K- 3rd grade had a fun shira with Morah Alexa.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Keep practicing your song – we sing it for our parents in 2 weeks!
  2. Here is the link:  https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=MJ70rLWd2NOP6W1s

12/17: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was a fun day.
  2. We joined the rest of the school for tefilot with Rabbi Prass, Rabbi Bellows, and Morah Alexa for consecration – welcoming new students to our school family.
  3. Then we started a new parshat in our Torah books – about the Tower of Babel. We learned how at one time all people spoke the same language, and when they came to a land called Shinar, they decided to build a huge tower up to the sky. This tower became such an obsession that it was all they focused on. They began to believe they could build it so high that they could take war to God. God disapproved of how this tower had taken over the people so much that they no longer met with friends, looked at the beauty of nature, celebrated their lives and families, that God chose to ‘babble’ their language. All of a sudden, people couldn’t understand each other! They gathered together with other people who spoke their language and went off to start new lives, leaving the tower behind.
  4. We enjoyed Shira with the Gan – 2nd grade classes and with Morah Alexa where we sang many songs.
  5. We worked together in the exercises in the chapter, after shirah, and finished the day with a game of hodgy podgy.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Have a wonderful vacation.
  2. Please remember to practice your 10 Commandments song a few minutes each day. It can be found here: https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=I9tT70Msew0B8Mhz

   Reminders:

  • December 24: CBA Religious School Winter Break Begins
  • January 14: Religious School Resumes
  • You can always access the school calendars by clicking here.
  • You can always access the entire CBA calendar by clicking here.

12/10: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was Yom Chanukah (Chanukah Day) in Religious School.
  2. We began in our classroom, where we collected tzedakah, divided into groups for the days, and then each group created a team name which was a playful connection to a Chanukah theme.
  3. Then the whole school gathered for t’fillah led by Rabbi Prass and Morah Alexa.  We talked about Chanukah.
  4. After this, we went thru 5 Chanukah-themed rotations, with each one competing for points.  We rotated by grade. The rotations were:
    1. Chanukah Story: Light & Darkness – we talked about where light and darkness were in the Chanukah story and in our world today.
    1. Dreidel where we looked at part of CBA congregant Mrs Popper’s 200 Dreidel collection.
    1. Chanukah Opposites: Two Truths (aka Opposites) can exist
    1. Chanukah Celebrations: Healthy Debate based on the Talmud debate on how to light the Chanukiah
    1. Chanukah Art: making our own Magen Macabee    
  5. We came back together for an all school Chanukah shira led by Morah Alexa.  As part of Austin, Rabbi Prass, Lauren and Sonia told us the Chanukah story.
  6. On the way out, each of the Talmidim (learners) was given: a glow stick, a dreidel, and a bag of chocolate gelt.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Please remember tzedakah for the next class.
  2. Happy Hanukah.
  3. We have lots of events coming up which you can see by clicking  here.

12/3: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was a busy day!
  2. We started with tefilot with Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa, learning about the Barchu.
  3. Then we reviewed our last parshat- Noah’s Ark. Students discussed different things they could draw from the parshat, and then created illustrations for their Torah scrolls. After that they worked in their gamebooks for the chapter.
  4. We went to shirah to sing songs about Chanukah.
  5. And then came back to class to work on our 10 Commandments Song.
  6. We wrapped up our day with a game of hodgy podgy about Noah’s Ark.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Practice your 10 Commandments song at least 10 minutes every day. Here is a link to the song online: https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=kwEEc0su8TD-wjo9
  2. Continue to look for special moments every day that remind you of God.

11/19: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we started our next Parshat – Noah’s Ark. We learned how God was frustrated with how humans were behaving and wanted to start over. God found Noah, who ‘walked with God’, which we learned meant he followed God’s example and treated all with respect. Noah was tasked with building an ark – a big boat – to take two of each land animal to save them for after the flood. We learned that after the flood, the dove released by Noah came back with an olive branch, which is where we get the image of a dove with an olive for peace. After everyone was able to leave the ark, God gave us the rainbow as a promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood.
  2. We, along with K – 2nd grade had tefillah with Rabbi Bellows and Madrich Matthew Stoll.
  3. K – 3rd grade had shirah with Matthew Stoll
  4. We also worked on our 10 Commandments song and rounded out the day with a game of hodgy podgy reviewing what we learned about Noah.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Have a great holiday and remember to stop and find moments that remind you of God, and moments to be thankful and helpful.

11/12: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we, along with Gan – 2nd grade, started off with tefillah with Rabbi Prass and Morah Alexa. Rabbi Prass told us a Talmudic story about a cat, a dog, and a fox, which the students really enjoyed.  It taught us all the importance of maintaining Jewish Unity, especially during these troubled times.
  2. We then reviewed the parshat we learned last week about Cain and Abel and illustrated it for our Torah scrolls. We also worked on our Gamebooks for chapter 3.
  3. Then we, along with Gan – 2nd grade, went for shirah with Morah Alexa and sang fun songs. With Rosh Chodesh Kislev this week, she shared a Chanukah ballad.
  4. We returned to class to get our song sheets and work on our 10 Commandment song and divvied up which commandments they will represent during our presentation.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Continue to practice with your 10 Commandment song at least 5-10 minutes a day. The song can be found online here: https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=zYiUc85Lto4wI3_J
  2. Students are invited to bring one small stuffed animal to class next week for our next parsha.

11/5: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today was a busy day. We began with tefillot with Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa, along with K – 2.
  2. Then we started our next parshat, about Cain and Abel. We learned about sibling rivalry, anger, jealousy, doing your best, really thinking about giving something to others, and consequences of our actions.
  3. We then went to shirah with all of K – 2, and Morah Alexa and sang lots of songs, including a new one in Hebrew about a train.
  4. We then got the song sheet for our new class song about the 10 Commandment that we will be doing for our parents in January, and practiced the first part of the song.
  5. We finished the day by playing Hodgy Podgy about what we learned today.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Practice your 10 Commandments song at least 10 minutes a day. You can find a video with the music here: https://youtu.be/kq4h3Opy-Xc?si=zYiUc85Lto4wI3_J
  2. If you did not finish the drawing in your Torah book, please do so this week.

10/29: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we illustrated last week’s parsha – In the Garden. We reviewed the story and key events, discussed what we could draw and more. We also worked in our gamebooks for the chapter.
  2. We, along with Gan – 2nd grade joined Rabbi Bellows and Morah Alexa for tefilah.
  3. We also talked about God – about how we can’t see God, but we can see evidence of God just like we can’t see the wind or emotions, but we can see and feel evidence of them.
  4. Morah Alexa led Gan – 3rd grade for Shira.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Complete the exercises in your gamebook for Chapter 2. Continue to look for evidence of God all around and we will discuss next week.

10/22: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we continued our lessons in the Torah by beginning the parshat about the Garden. We learned how Adam was charged with naming all the animals in the Garden, and how God saw that none of them were the right fit for Adam. God created Eve from a rib of Adam and placed them in the Garden of Eden to live, admonishing them not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the center of the Garden – they could eat of all other trees. The serpent tempted Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which led to them being banished from the Garden.
  2. In honor of ‘Camp Sunday’, we had a school wide Havdalah service as our morning Tefilla this week, which was led by Morah Alexa and Rabbi Prass.  A representative from 4th, 5th, and 6th grade sat in the middle of the circle to hold the 3 Havdalah symbols.
  3. Shira was different this week as we had an All-School Sing-along with Morah Alexa. 
  4. Then Will Rivlin, an assistant Camp Director from OSRUI, came and we enjoyed a presentation from him on the amazing opportunities for fun, learning, and Jewish community from 4 Reform Jewish Summer camps.  Those camps and links to their websites are: 6 Points Creative Arts Camp, 6 Points Sci Tech Camp, 6 Points Sports Academy, OSRUI

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Continue to look for things that remind you of God throughout the week.

10/15: Today in class we worked on:

  1. We enjoyed being together for T’Fillah with Rabbi Bellows, and Matthew Stoll and the K – 3rd grade class, and their parents.
  2. We enjoyed Shira with the K – 3rd grade class and Matthew Stoll.  Matthew was the sub for Morah Alexa.  Matthew is one of CBA’s post b’nai mitzvah high school students.
  3. Today we reviewed the first chapter of the Torah about how the world was created and then we illustrated it for our own personal illustrated Torah scrolls we will finish at the end of the year.
  4. We chose our tzedakah project for the year: American Friends of Sheba Medical Center, a rehabilitation hospital for Israeli soldiers. (https://www.afsmc.org/mission/)
  5. These will be personally delivered by a friend of Rabbi Prass later this week.
  6. We then read about how to find God and played hodgy podgy to review what we had learned.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. If you have not completed the exercises for chapter 1 in your Gamebook, please do so.

10/8: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Today we began to learn about the first lesson in the Torah – B’resheet (In the Beginning)  – how the universe was created. We will illustrate the parshat next week. We also worked together on the exercises in our textbook to reinforce our lesson.
  2. We enjoyed being together for T’Fillah with Rabbi Bellows, and Morah Alexa and the K-2nd grade class.
  3. The entire school, K – 6, met in the atrium with Rabbi Prass to talk about the recent events in Israel.  We were encouraged to reach out to people we know in Israel we know: family, friends, or past Israeli counselors from summer camp and let them know they are not alone.  Together we made a short video letting them know we are thinking of them.  You can see it by clicking this links: https://youtu.be/Uy5VqPOI0-8 OR https://fb.watch/nz-5agvBD6/
  4. We played hodgy podgy at the end of the day to review what we had learned.
  5. We enjoyed Shira with the K – 2nd grade class and Morah Alexa.
  6. Lihitaot (good-bye)!

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. complete the exercises in chapter 1 of your A Child’s Bible textbook if you did not complete them in class.
  2. Please bring ideas for a tzedakah project for our class to vote on next week.

10/1: Today in class we worked on:

  1. It was wonderful to have the whole school at the synagogue for our annual session at Beth Am centered around Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
  2. We began the session with an all-school game of “I spy with my little eye” something Jewish in the CBA sanctuary.  The K – 6th grade learners found the eternal light, ark, Israeli Flags, Stars of David, Torah scrolls, and much more.  It was so much fun to let their eyes explore our congregation’s sanctuary space.
  3. Then we had an all-school t’fillah led by Rabbi Prass and Morah Alexa. 
  4. From there we spread outside and throughout the building for 5 Sukkot related stations.  We rotated every 15 minutes by grade.  The stations were:
    1. Sukkot terms and concepts thru a rousing game of charades
    1. Build your own sukkah thru origami.  The learners wrote on the roof “My own home is beautiful because…..”
    1. Usphizin (inviting guests into my sukkah): The learners thought about who they would want to invite into their sukkah this week
    1. A Sukkah Scavenger Hunt of the Mind using Sukkot terms and concepts
    1. Sukkah visit with Rabbi Bellows where they spent time in the real sukkah and had an opportunity to shake the lulav & etrog.
  5. We concluded the session with shira, joining in songs connected to sukkot and the next holiday of Simchat Torah.

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Next Sunday we return to JCYS.

9/10: Today in class we worked on:

  1. Thank you for a great opening day of Religious School!
  2. We got to know one another, opened our day with Rabbi Prass and our families, hearing the shofar sound.
  3. Then we joined our class and began a great discussion on God and what we will be studying this year. We talked about cycles and circles and listed as many cycles as we could (life, stars, year, clocks, etc) and saw how God surrounds them all. We also learned that Torah means ‘learning’ and we will be learning about the first book of the Torah this year.
  4. We ended the day, after shirah (music), with a good game of hodgy podgy to review what we had learned.
  5. Looking forward to a wonderful year together!

Homework to be completed by next class:

  1. Bring in ideas for our tzedakah project this year to our next class.