Dear Gan Parents,

We can’t believe it’s already mid-September!  We’ve already begun to get to know your children, to establish routines and expectations, and to dive into our curriculum.  These first few weeks have been filled with getting-to-know-you activities, introductions of centers, and learning to work together as a Gan community. The children have been engaged with a wide variety of activities across the disciplines.  We are looking forward to growing together as a community in our new month of Tishrei.  What a beautiful way to start the New Year!



During the first few weeks of school, our Gan students discussed what it means to be part of a reading community. It was great watching them treat the books with respect, and know how special they are to us. We explored our library, and the students had the opportunity to choose and read books that interest them. They have chosen all different kinds of books, including fairy tales, nonfiction, Jewish books, ABC books and Dr. Seuss books.

We have been wondering, wondering, wondering!  In tefillah, we’ve wondered about God.  In our study of Rosh HaShanah, we’ve wondered about the physics of the shofar.  This past week we were visited by Rabbi Fried who helped us answer some of the questions we had about shofar.  In science, we observed a variety of trees and started wondering about them.  And these are only a few of the many examples.  We are busy finding answers to our questions!

Hebrew language has been a huge part of the Gan experience already.  Students listen to Hebrew songs in the morning as they explore their morning centers.  We give many instructions throughout the day in Hebrew.  Students are learning how to ask for help in opening their packages during snack and lunch.   We sing and dance in Hebrew.  And, of course, we met a new friend, Bentzi, our Hebrew speaking turtle puppet!

What’s Ahead:

Literacy: This month, we will begin new units in both reading and writing. Students will explore common elements in a story: character, setting and problem/solution. We will also discuss how stories are told through pictures and words, and students will be taking picture walks through books to help them read. In writing, students will talk about strategies for finding story ideas, in addition to discussing story ingredients and what makes up a story sequence.

Math: This month we will complete our first unit in math, which consists of exploring our Math Workshop materials. We learned about attributes and how to compare various materials using key terms such as shape, color and size. Our next unit consists of more complex comparisons, and the students will have the opportunity to create their own counting books. We love how enthusiastic our Gan students have been with math while they explore the materials, and we look forward to seeing them manipulate them as they learn about order and sequence.

Tefillah: We have had some incredible discussions about Tefillah, and what God and prayer mean to us. Students have already created their first page in our class siddur, starting with the Shema. We continue on to learn the first few brachot (blessings) of the Amidah.  Students are really excited about adding more and more pages to our siddur, truly making it their own.

Science: As mentioned above, our students turned into scientists almost on day one.  We will continue this month to explore their interests in trees – particularly the questions of how trees grow from seeds, why leaves fall, and how roots support the trees.  Students will be able to make leaf and bark rubbings, and use magnifying glasses to examine our leaves even more. We are so excited to have the students observe, predict and record just like scientists!

Theme: Students will spend this month exploring what a community is and what it means to them to be part of one. We will talk about our community right here in this class, and will then explore outside of the school to our community helpers around the neighborhood.  As we begin our exploration, students will observe the community outside of the school and generate questions they have about the local community.  Our studies will be guided by their interests.  Stay tuned for more information!

Chagim: We will continue to celebrate the Jewish holidays together, and are excited to eat in the school’s sukkah.


Coming Up:

Wednesday, Sept. 20- Friday, Sept. 22: NO SCHOOL – Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, Sept. 27: Curriculum Night 7:00p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 29: NO SCHOOL — Erev Yom Kippur

Wednesday, Oct. 4: 12:00 p.m. dismissal – Erev Sukkot

Thursday, Oct. 5 – Friday, Oct. 6: NO SCHOOL – Sukkot

Wednesday, Oct. 11 — 1:30 dismissal – Erev Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah

Thursday, Oct. 12- Friday, Oct. 13 — NO SCHOOL Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah