Dear Gan Families,

The countdown is on to Thanksgiving, and there’s lots of learning going on in Gan!  Read on to hear about highlights from this past month and to find out what’s ahead!



This past month we’ve been learning about families.  Our students generated questions about what they wanted to learn about families and then learned about each other’s families.  Together, we wrote a class book with the following chapters: “Birthdays,” “Rules,” “Activities,” and “Books.”  The book includes a cover and table of contents.  Students also interviewed a variety of grown ups in the school about their families.

In math, students have been exploring two-dimensional geometry, thinking about where we find shapes in our world and how shapes interact with one another.  They have used pattern blocks, geo-boards, and playdough to create amazing designs.

In literacy, we had a fun week of reading and writing through play.  Students were inspired by books they read and incorporated writing into their dramatic play, making signs and lists to support their ideas.

We introduced brachot (blessings) that we say before we eat different kinds of foods — borei pri ha-etz, borei pri ha-adamah, borei minei mezonot, and she-hakol nihiyeh bidvaroh.

We also celebrated Danielle’s birthday in school.  Thanks to Danielle and her mom for reading us a special Hebrew book and for donating a fun magnetic construction toy to our classroom.


Looking Forward:

After we wrap up our unit on Families, we’ll start a short unit on Community Helpers.  This has proven to be a popular exploration, as we take a neighborhood walk and identify places in our neighborhood that we want to learn more about. This part of our study will be largely student-driven.

In math, we’ll continue our 2-dimensional geometry unit and then switch gears, focusing on counting and measurement.  In this unit, students will focus on counting and representing sets of up to 15 objects, they will use a variety of units to measure and compare lengths and will decompose numbers in different ways.  They will start to make sense of the operations of addition and subtraction, acting out story problems.

In literacy, we’ll reach an exciting new stage: students will each receive their own personal “book bags.”  We will help students select books that are “just right” for them and teach them how to manage the book bags, selecting one book at a time.  We will continue to work with small groups of children in guided reading instruction. In writing, students will explore different writing prompts, like, “I wonder,” “I observe,” and “I imagine.”  We will also continue to work with students on listening for sounds in words and using spacing in between words when they write.

In Jewish studies, we’ll continue to create our “Shabbat Box” items, moving on to challah covers.  We’ll also continue to find meaning in the weekly Torah portions, learning the stories and finding ways to connect these stories to our own lives.  In Hebrew, we continue to learn new letters of the aleph bet, moving on to chet, tet, yud, and kaf.  For each letter, there is an exciting activity to make it memorable!



Wednesday, Nov. 22 — 12:00 NOON dismissal Thanksgiving

Thursday, Nov. 23 — Friday, Nov. 24 — NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving

Monday, December 4 — Parent Teacher Conferences 4:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Monday, December 11 — NO SCHOOL  Parent Teacher Conferences 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 14 — School-wide Chanukah Zimriyah Reception 9:15 a.m., Zimriyah 10:00 a.m.