Posted in Jewish Studies

WordArt as a conversation starter…

אָבִיב הִגִיעַ פֶּסַח בָּא

I am always searching for new ways to get my students speaking (Hebrew of course) in class.  These days I am participating in a digital pedagogy course to increase student proficiency in exactly that – speaking Hebrew.  This week I was introduced to the use of WordArt as a fun way to review/introduce vocabulary and encourage discussion. The idea of Word clouds/art is not new to me; however, in the past I used it more as a decorative tool at end of units, to show the vocabulary we learnt.  This time it is used as a review tool and a conversation starter. 

We will begin by looking at the shape (see bellow):

  • What is it?
  • What is it made out of?

At this point I will show them that when you put the cursor on a word it expands to help find the words… go ahead try it… 😉 

  • What words do you see/recognize? etc…
  • Lets think of the 4 names of Passover that we learned this week.. Each name is made of two words: 
    • Can you find them?
    • What word repeats itself in every name?
    • What other words do you see?
    • Which of the four names do they suit best? 
    • Can you also find words to build a sentence from a song we learned?

In class, this will all be done in Hebrew of course, working on use of learned vocabulary and use of (simple) full sentences.  I am looking forward to seeing how this will work…. 

Posted in Jewish Studies

Tu Bishvat Same’ach

What a fun day we had today with Kitah Bet. We heard about Eliezer Ben Yehuda and some of the words he invented, we excercised in Hebrew and danced as trees. Morah Batya lead us in guided drawing and then we created some beautiful trees with fruit and vegetables for our snack. We even had ALL our teachers (yes! even the English and french teachers) read us a story in Hebrew. What a special day! Even during online learning!

Bellow is the Slides we used with all the links to the videos/stories, etc as requested by some of our stidents.

Posted in Jewish Studies

Hanukkah Week…

Bitmoji ImageHappy 5th night of Hanukkah everyone,

Can you guess what our focus wil be this week…? Hanukkah fun of course 😉
We will continue following our routine in class, including being introduced to each sounds daily; however. As it is Hanukkah, and your evenings may be filled with deep frying, candle lighting and dreidle spinning there is no official homework. It goes without saying that reading daily is beneficial and encouraged but is not a requirement this week. 

happy hanukkah

Calendar alert:
1. Tuesday at 7:00pm we will have a virtual OJCS Family Hanukkah Celebration. We hope you can join us. 

2. Friday is PJ day and we will be having a pancake breakfast in Kitah Alef during the 1st period. Please send some fruit for your child to have with it. 

Have a wonderful week, filled with light and sweetness.
Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Reading

Hanukkah is near…

Bitmoji ImageShalom Kitah Alef families,

As the second term of this interesting year begins, we are getting excited for Hanukkah that is getting near…

By the end of this week we will be recording our Hanukkah song (Banu Choshech Legaresh) and share it with our wider community during the Candle Lighting Ceremonies. I am not sure which date we will be on., but you will get to see it during our own candle lighting ceremony on Tuesday, Dec 15th at 7:00pm.

We are continuing with our daily reading homework (this week pages 9 to 12 in the choveret Kree-ah) and there are also fun stories to read (or listen to) in my bitmoji classroom, where I add books we read in class, or ones they are ready to read on their own.

Wednesday we will participate as one class following the Wednesday schedule from the distance learning page. Part of my lesson will be having the children find and show objects/foods that relate to Chanukah, so you may want to make sure you have a Chanukiya (Menorah), Sevivon (dreidle), candles, etc… out where they can find it… (please do not gather it ahead of time. The fun is in the search.

Also, I will be introducing this Wordwall game with an opening sound. You need to know what it is to know which is the opening sound… 😉 You can join your child in the fun.

 

Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies Reading

Reading HW Continues…

Hi everyone,

3 day weekend… it feels like we are back from a holiday…

More than during a regular week, it is important to keep routines when there is a change in the weekly schedule. Please make sure you check what the Thursday reading homework is even if you have a long weekend ahead of you. I love that the students take their reading seriously; however I do not want them feeling guilty or stressed if they did not do it. I tell them that it happens that we forget once in a while and that it is completely acceptable, but I would like to try and avoid the stress that it causes them when it happens.

If for any reason your child does not read please explain to them why it is and you can add a note in their booklet. It is empowering to them to have an explanation, and often when they do know, they come to tell me before we even get to reading the homework… avoiding the unpleasant feeling that I will notice the empty signature spot as I walk around the room, while we read (also, they receive a sticker for every read page and I don’t like not givng it 🙁 to them. Please support your child by signing their Choveret Kree-ah daily.

With all this in mind, following is this week’s HW:

Monday – P.5 Mee & Nee

Tuesday – P.6 Dee & Lee

Wednesday – P.7 Kee & Ree

Thursday – P.8 Shee & Bee

Choveret Kree-ah 2 with the recordings.

Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Reading

Moving on to a new “vowel”…

Finishing the first choveret kreeah is always very exciting. Now that we know all our א-ב we put together the puzzle we made at the start of the year (photo above)… they were so excited as they recognized the letters that were forming.

As we left school on Friday a few of the children tried to guess the next sound, the cover and  the colour of the pages… sooo exciting.

As you will see, in this next booklet we move a little faster, as they now recognize the letters with much less assistance… We will continue with our Monday to Thursday homework routine. I am reminding you that if it takes longer than 10 minutes, your child is not required to read the whole page. Please check  the lines s/he completed and have them read the rest with my recording (found in my bitmoji classroom).

This week we are starting with…

Monday – Eee (אי, יי)

Tuesday – Kee & Ghee (כי, גי)

Wednesday – See & Tzee (סי, צי)

Thursday – Tee & Ee (תי, עי)

Happy reading🙂

Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies Reading

Completeing ah sound this week

Shalom Kitah Alef families,

I am excited to let you know that as of today, we completed all of the Alef-Bet with the sound ah.  I am so very proud of my students for working so hard, together and independently, at becoming great readers. 

Bitmoji Image

This week’s homework includes the following (Recordings are in my Bitmoji Classroom):

Monday: p.19 Chaf Sofit

Tuesday: p.20 Story – Lines 1-5

Wednesday: p.20 Story – Lines 6-10

Thursday: p.20 Story – Lines 11-16

I always wonder how to better improve my teaching of reading and this past Sunday, I took part in an online zoom lecture from Israel about strategies for learning the Aleph Bet and their sounds (before getting into the vowels themselves) by Shimrit Mince – an expert for learning strategies. The lecture focused on memory supporters for letter recognition – focusing on the need to teach the letters and their sound in a way that supports both the visual and the auditory memory for the optimal recall.

It was reassuring to see that many of the strategies discussed went hand-in-hand with much of what I already do in our lessons – having the students listen to words and asking them for the opening sound (not letter), then writing/tracing the letter and finally, showing pictures of objects/animals/plants/etc  that begin with the sound learned.

Mince’s focus for students who struggle with letter recognition was to use pictures that both begin with the letter (any of the sounds/vowels at this point) and have a part that looks like it. For example for the letter Peh (פ), you show a פיל = PIL (elephant) where the trunk is rounded up into a פ.  An important aspect was that the child then needed to explain the connection (with leading questions by the teacher/parent), rather than simply told what it is. 

I like this strategy very much; however, it is a bit more complex when teaching it as second/third language, primarily because the students have an extra step – memorizing new vocabulary in order to memorize the sound AND what it looks like. I find that students remember the name of the letter faster than the name of the object, probably because their brain has only that one word for the letter but another (in English) for the object. 

For me, this is another strategy to try and incorporate when needed and when possible… something to think about… I am looking forward to her lecture about adding the voweks…

Don’t forget, a good way to practice recognizing the letters is to listen and look at the Alef-Bet song I have in my Bitmoji classroom (have your child sing it without the sound).  Repetition, repetition repetition. The song is a first step. Our aim is that they recognize the letters when not in order.

Have a lovely week.

 

Posted in Homework, Jewish Studies, Jewish Studies Reading

Consistent Routines = Independent Students, Consistent Reading = Independent Readers

Shalom lovely Kitah Alef families,

It is so wonderful to see how all our students are becoming more and more comforable with our daily routines. Following these clear routines from the moment they enter the classroom promotes independence and in turn pride as each child is feeling responsible for his/her own learning. I am so proud of the gains I observe on a daily basis; from organizational skills, to patience, respect of one another’s space, thinking (staying quiet while another student’s brain is working to search for information) and different needs to be a succesful student, as well as their increased language acquisition of course. 😉  

One of my loves of teaching Ivrit to Grade 1 is seeing the aquired knowledge of the language on a daily basis. It is so exciting to see the student’s faces change from looking at me like I am speaking gibberish, to intent listening and big smiles as they participate and try their best to use not only a new word or sound, but full sentences.  It is a joy when I hear them correct each other (in a respectful manner of course).  

ta daAll this to say… routines work magic…  

As in years past, I believe a more regular routine will promote stronger readers, and I believe the students are ready… so… this week I will begin sending homework 4 days a week – Monday to Thursday. As I wrote last week, please assist your child to create a homework routine that suits your family’s schedule best. One where s/he will feel they have control over and can be independently successful.

 

This his week’s homework includes the following sounds: Monday – Mah (מ,ם),  Tuesday – Yah (י), Wednesday – Hah (ה), Thursday – Aah (ע). See “Choveret Kreeah” (reading booklet) with recordings in my Bitmoji Classroom. In there you will also find a new area for Stories in Ivrit (hanging on the back windows) – these will change with time, as we read/listen to our weekly story in class.