Dear Gan Families,

Chodesh Tov! It’s hard to believe we are at the end of 2017. It has been a month of exploration, discovering and wondering in Gan. We hope you all are having a fun and meaningful Chanukah.



  • Gan has been busy learning all about Chanukah!  We began the unit similar to others, by asking students what they know about Chanukah and what they want to know.  We then explored all of the symbols related to Chanukah: sivivon (dreidel), levivot (latkes), chanukiyah and kad shemen (jug of oil).  Our class even decorated the whole school with beautiful dreidels and jugs that they made using oil pastels and watercolor paints.  Gan also participated in a wonderful and interactive workshop in which they learned all about olive oil and how it’s made.  They crushed olives, learned that olives produce juice and oil, and even watched as the container was placed in a centrifuge to separate the juice from the oil.  We then used a cotton wick in the oil to light it.  It was so much fun and the students loved it!   


  • As we begin our new science unit on Keeping Parks Clean, students had the opportunity to explore the various ways in which people can do their part in preserving the parks.  We started right outside the playground with the various garbage bins!  Students made observations about the different cans, and each used an iPad to take a picture of a detail on the bins that interested them. Student interests included the different colors, labels on each bin, and the size of the garbage bin opening.  Gan students then split into pairs to plan and design a model of a can that would be both functional and withstand the wind on a windy day in Central Park.  It was incredible to see their collaboration and teamwork as they combined all of their opinions and designs together.  The bins were all tested with a fan to simulate the wind and the results were great!


  • Gan students have been working really hard in math!  As our current unit on counting comes to an end, students have worked on counting and adding two sets of objects together. They recently learned a new game, “Roll and Record 2,” in which students roll a typical dot cube and another cube that only has 1s, 2s and 3s on it. Once rolled, students must figure out the total and record their findings for each roll.  We have also introduced the concept of “counting on,” which students are practicing through this fun new game.


  • In tefilah, we arrived at a new milestone.  Student chazanim (prayer leaders) now make the bracha over tzitzit and put them on.  Elisa showed the class her talit and children made observations.  They also wondered together why people wear tzitzit.


What’s Ahead:

  • Reading and Writing – As we begin a new unit in both reading and writing, students will have the opportunity to explore nonfiction!  In addition to reading and learning about what makes a book nonfiction, our students will also be able to write their own nonfiction books.


  • T’filah – We are continuing to add pages to our class siddur! Our next t’filah is hamevarech et amo yisrael bashalom, in which our students will explore the meaning of peace and why we are talking about God and peace together.  We will finish by creating a page that is unique and meaningful to our class.  After vacation we will also begin the ritual hand washing before a meal (netilat yadayim).  


  • Theme – We will celebrate Winter Week next month!  It is a full interdisciplinary week filled with learning, exploring, activities and more!  Using math, Hebrew, science, reading and more, our students will learn about all about the wonderful season of choref (winter)!  Stay tuned for more information and pictures!


Special Dates:

December 20th  – Family Chanukah Zimriya

December 25th – January 1st – Winter Vacation

January 2nd – School resumes

January 2nd – Happy Birthday Noah!

January 12th – No Classes

January 15th– Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL