Daily Log

Staff Day – 9/2

  • Planning for the first day of school: On the first day of school, the teachers should be in the classrooms by 7:30 am. When students arrive, fifth graders will be stationed on the pathway from the lobby to the Goldberg to guide parents and students there. (all grades except for pre-K). There will be a shofar blowing at 7:55 to 8:15. Students will come to the classrooms, and then heading down to the Goldberg at 7:45. Assembly setup: K in the front, all the way back to 5th grade in the back, parents sitting around. 15-20 minute opening ceremony. Start singing Hineh Ma Tov to get them quiet and paying attention. Pledge of Allegiance, song (This Land is Your Land, first verse). Lead class to circle, where they will sit and parents can stand behind them (concentric circles). Blowing of the shofar and Dvar Torah. Sing HaTikva. Goodbye to parents, and students will go with teachers to classrooms. A way to start the year as a community. Specials will happen from 10:15 on, but not before. Parents should know when the students have gym (need gym clothes) Send an email to 5th graders/parents to tell them they will be helping on the first day of school.
  • Shofar: For the month of Elul: we will sound the shofar every morning (8 am in the lobby). Students gather in the lobby where we will greet and blow the shofar. (students are expected to be in their seats and ready at 8 sharp). Teachers bring students from the lobby to the classroom, then gather the students who have already arrived and bring them down to the lobby.
  • Specials: Art: Jen, here on Tuesdays/Wednesdays. Email her if you want to work on a project. (quilt project with BJE to hang in the lobby of the JCC) Papercut designs → ketubot, Yerushalayim, etc. Book with lesson plans relating to history, etc.
  • Scheduling: Sue: use form in the packet for any personal day requests.
    • Lunch: Friday community lunch, everybody eats lunch together. Two days a week lunch in classrooms, two days eating lunch with one other classroom, room assignments have already been made. Big garbage barrels on each floor outside the classroom to reduce smelliness.
    • Lunch availability: Monday: K-2 teachers available Tuesday: 3-5 teachers available Wednesday: General studies teachers available Thursday: Judaic studies teachers available a schedule will hopefully be available ahead of time lunch assignments on the schedule Birkat should be done before the conclusion of lunch, unless an arrangement has been made with the Judaic studies teacher can do it in classrooms. Birkat sheets/recordings should be available. Classroom teachers should go and grab their students from lunch (if they aren't already with the students). Policy about washing hands: everyone washes hands, and one representative says the Brecha HaYadaim for everyone
  • Culture committee made the following slogan: "JCDS ROCKS because we are: Responsible, respectful, taking Our own initiative, Cooperating and showing Kindness with a Sense of pride in ourselves and in our school."
  • Beginning activities for the first assembly to illustrate the JCDS ROCKS concept.

Staff Day – 9/3

  • "Who else needs to know?" Lines of communication: No more teams, we all take ownership. The GS teacher is the primary party because they are here most of the time, but everyone is responsible. Discipline: handle it yourself. Learning disabilities: if the child is in my class, I should learn about differentiated instruction. Example: if you notice a student has a problem--can't follow three-step instructions. Talk to your co-teacher/s, look at student file (located next to Vicky), then come up with a plan of action. Think about who else needs to know. Ask Renee to help get the word out to the affected parties. Example: A child hits his head in gym, feels dizzy, but feels better after sitting out. You need to notify everyone who has that child for the rest of the day: GS teacher, bus driver, recess teacher, etc. Example: A student is acting up in the hallway. You aren't his teacher, but you should say something. Example: Students are acting up at an event when their parents are present. Parents should know our expectations beforehand. We should model good behavior. Stress good behavior and ownership to the students, make the expectations clear. Example: If one student is in another part of the building during a fire drill, they should get out of the building and notify a teacher or staff.
  • Display cases: to be shared by GS teachers and art teacher to display student work.
  • Room parents: in charge of special events, driving, etc. Check with the calendar before planning any special events.
  • Dismissal: when the weather cooperates, the students will line up outside on the wood chip area. Anyone who is here at 3:15 is considered to be on dismissal duty. When there's indoor dismissal, use the intercom system.
  • Open School night: Prepare a summary of what you will do throughout the year.
  • Substitute folders: in Renee's office. Activities for substitutes to use when you are out. (need to be updated by 9/16)
  • Cleanliness: Clorox wipes to be used for wiping down desks after lunch, at the end of the day. At the end of the day: place trash bin outside the door.
  • Hebrew School: shares the facility with us on Wednesdays 4-6pm and Sundays 9-12:30pm
  • Ilene: Morning note every morning, any additions should be submitted the day before. Any class happenings should be noted on "Class Happenings" form, found in the teachers' room.
    • read the staff reminders
  • Brainstorming: JCDS Rocks theme: display behind the couch in the lobby is for this theme: Brainstorming session for the first assembly (Friday, 9/11), classroom activities, school-wide displays, school-wide activities

Tuesday – 9/8

  • Notes: School arrivals: fifth graders arrived and were placed throughout the hallways as guides to the Goldberg (the auditorium/gym)
  • Observations: 5th graders are the “seniors” and seemed to fill this role; Lee and Alicia high-fived the other children

  • Notes: Opening assembly: started out with Hineh Ma Tov, pledge, This Land is Your Land, Mr. S and Renee spoke, students lined up in a large square and the rabbi blew the shofar.
  • Observations: A lot of asking the students for input. Rabbi made the shofar blowing interactive by including students.

  • Notes: Classroom management: setting out the schedule, homework process, how to ask questions. Jamie started by outlining several structure/organizational items: schedule, homework process, teachers, subjects
  • Observations: Jamie: it's not okay to just shout out, students who have difficulty controlling themselves-JB, EV

  • Notes: Interruption: Mrs. White came in to take pictures. Book project: an optional project in which students read a book and presented it in a book report fashion
  • Observations: 4 students chose to do this; seemed very excited to contribute this to the library

  • Notes: Helpers: Job chart: line leader, erase the board. Jamie: “Think of the real world” “We all have responsibilities” Two helpers each week. Helpers' responsibilities: get milk from teachers' room and distribute to every classroom. Greeter: one per month, not a responsibility for everyone, only those who want to.
  • Observations: Asked the students for reasons for job chart: to keep the classroom organized, to eliminate chaos.
  • Resources: Buddies chart: A board that lists the letters 1 through 10, going down. There are clothespins that Jamie puts students' names on stickers on them. It's good for pairing people up.

  • Notes: Interruption: Mr. S came in and asked the “seniors” to put chairs away from the assembly. Jamie: allowed for the interruption, but did not immediately send the students to do this
  • Observations:

  • Notes: Jamie gave the students snack time: “At 9:30, we will eat our snacks. Sometimes we will take a break for having snacks, but this is a working snack, meaning there is an activity while snack is being eaten.”
  • Observations:

  • Notes: School motto: JCDS ROCKS; because we are Responsible and respectful, taking Our own initiative, Cooperating, showing Kindness with a Sense of pride.
  • Observations: this is aimed at building kehilla, asking for student input, defining words. Defining initiative: (make sure it's “school-appropriate”), asking students for examples, adding on to someone else's definition; Lyndsay's answer was to demonstrate

  • Notes: Interruption: Mrs. Rudnick came in the classroom, and the class greeter, Penina, had the chance to practice greeting her.
  • Observations:

  • Notes: Lesson: theme of freedom, brainstorm in their composition books to describe freedom. “You are not being graded” Jamie designates whether or not it's a time to ask questions. Jamie gave them about 7 minutes of silent, independent time to write, and took questions quietly and individually. She said “write down 3 more and we'll finish up.” Connections: take one or two of the words, and use it to describe an object or idea.
  • Observations: Lots of questions: do we have to write in script? (Jamie said before that they would be asked to write a lot of script throughout the year). This class has a lot of questions—many/most are on topic, and the off-topic questions are shelved. Students picked up right away, and made personal connections (safe and peaceful = my favorite tree)

  • Notes: Lunch: students went across the hall to the music room to eat lunch with the third grade. They then had Lashon class with Sarit and Eliana.

  • Notes: Organization: Jamie went over some procedures: example: keep one writing book in your locker and take one home. Always keep your working composition book under your desk.
  • Observations: Students seem very distracted after lunch. They had a lot of questions, there was a lot of calling out, and directions/procedures had to be repeated several times.

Wednesday – 9/9

  • Notes: Beginning of day – Jamie immediately had the students continue working on their work from the previous day “Freedom is like” analogies. The requirements are: words written in cursive, and work you are proud of. She gives instructions by asking the students what they think the instructions are.
  • Observations:

  • Notes: Shofar blowing for the month of Elul – students are asked to participate by bringing in their own shofars. Mrs. Rudnick welcomed the students and explained that we will say the pledge, sing HaTikvah and blow the shofar.
  • Observations: There seems to be 3 themes: pride in one's country (Pledge), loyalty to Israel (HaTikvah), and pride in our Jewish tradition (shofar)

  • Notes: Systems thinking: “We are going to starting thinking in systems” asked for ideas about what a system is – “the way something works,” “keeps something working” “could be electronic or organizational, it could be many different things” “a way of doing chores or anything” if one part doesn't work, it affects the rest, Eitan made a connection to a quote posted on the wall (he read it!), Penina said that it was a scary idea that our destiny is tied to everyone working together or “it will all fall down”
  • Observations: The students were using their background knowledge, possibly hearing the word “system” in context; IE: computer system, chore system, the students were developing very deep ideas.
  • Toolbox: Teacher's tricks: Jamie doesn't discount ideas, when an idea seems unconnected or irrelevant, she encourages them to explain and go on

  • Notes: Guided reading: extrapolating the “big idea” from Frederick by Leo Lionni. Asked the students to define what a big idea might be. One student offered that a big idea is when you think of something big to do. Jamie guided them to define it as the message of a story and gave an example of a big idea versus not (words have power, not Frederick's words have power). Metaphors: asked Jasmine to define, which she did. Asked the students to think about how Frederick could be a metaphor for society.
  • Observations: The students seem to follow very specific directions: they tended to answer the question: what is the role of imagination in society? And not, How is the big ideas in Frederick a metaphor for our society. A lot of text to self, text to world connections. Daniel and Lily connected imagination to being able to have dreams and aspirations. Comparison to systems—how the mice all have roles in society

Friday 9/11

  • Focusing on rules, observing 5 students
  • Notes: Beginning of the day: The students have their Jewish studies worksheet on their desks, and they immediately start working on them.
  • Observations: The students have something to start right away. This gets them ready for the school day. One girl asked if they were going to to get to the back of the sheet—they seem excited to do the worksheet, it's kind of like a puzzle. Lyndsay and Jasmine are very quiet, and when they asked me questions, they seemed to be a bit lost with the activity. They may not have had as much exposure to handling a Tanakh

  • Notes: Chumash: Introduced the Torah Project: each student will make a torah scroll using each parshat hashavua
  • Observations: Students' reactions were mixed: most were excited, some dreaded the work involved. They were excited to hear that they would be the first class to do this.

  • Notes: Rules: Eliana didn't take questions until after she explained the Torah Project and showed the scroll). She said “Penina you can put your hand down, Patina had her hand up later during question time, and still called out, Eliana mouthed a “shh”--finger to her lips, and Patina stopped herself. Mrs. Rudnick joined the class, and they seemed to be a bit more well behaved
  • Observations: Lyndsay: I have a question and a comment: remembered making a scroll using hebrew letters in K, (question: how do teachers time bathroom visits?)

  • Notes: Lesson: how to write a friendly letter:
  • Observations: several students were resting their heads on the desk; Jamie expressed that this isn't appropriate school behavior

  • Notes: Rules, routines and procedures: when students are calling out (which is usually when someone talks about something they did in Miss Kelley's class last year) Jamie stops and doesn't talk until the students have quieted down. Lee seems to be very deliberately not paying attention. He was fidgeting with his water bottle, an eraser, etc. Daniel asked if he needs to make two letters (because he has two parents)
  • Observations: I wonder if the kids who weren't paying attention understood the lesson/instructions, etc. I should notice their letters to f/u. I wonder how Daniel feels about sharing with his classmates. Jamie asked a question, several students raised their hands, Jasmine looked around, and then raised her hand just a little bit.

Monday – 9/14

  • Notes: Tefillot: with 4th grade, worked together in six groups to answer the questions: What does tefillot look/feel/sound like?
  • Observations:

  • Notes: Chumash: students worked in hevruta to fill out a worksheet about Mishnah Rosh Hashanah: finding the title, list the four Rosh Hashanahs, list the dates, what do you think the four are?
  • Observations:

  • Notes: DOL: Daily oral language and geography. Jamie handed out a worksheet containing sentences, analogies. The students work independently, and then the class goes over it. Jamie calls on students to explain their answers
  • Observations:

  • Notes: Math: How would you explain math to an alien? Using their meaning making journals, they are asked to 1. define math; 2. explain it. The class worked in groups to answer the questions (through collaboration). They sat at their desks and gave their group answers.
  • Observations: Lee seems to be more intent on following rules, and being more respectful. I think this may be because he realizes what it will take in order not to fall behind in class.

  • Notes: Guided Reading: “Reading is...” thinking, wondering, using imagination, entertaining, exciting, fun. Reading from Connected Wisdom: living stories about living systems. Any thoughts about the title? Students say it is probably about science. Jamie states the 'rules' – don't have to follow along with your finger, but you can if it's a useful tool, if someone mispronounces something, give them the space to self correct,
  • Observations: Lily is at a slightly lower level, Eitan is a very good reader. Josh has some fluency stop ups. Jeremiah reads very well, which is interesting because his spelling isn't that strong.

Tuesday – 9/15

  • Notes: DOL: Daily oral language and geography. Jamie handed out a worksheet containing sentences, analogies. Jamie uses an overhead to go over the answers with the class. She asks the students to provide their reasoning. Lily said she didn't understand one analogy (Andes:Peru::Alps:Switzerland), and Jamie asked other students to explain it.
  • Observations: Sally: didn't understand the analogy and asked me, but when they were going over the DOL sheet, she raised her hand to share her answer. Jasmine raised her hand to provide the correction for haven't ridden (from 'haven't rode'), she wasn't called on, but another student gave an incorrect answer. Jasmine didn't raise her hand again. Lee and Jeremiah are paying attention and participating way more now. This is a huge difference—they're probably into the swing of things now.
  • Resources: DOL sheets: one per week

  • Notes: Math: Getting into a “math mood.” Getting rid of bad feelings about math. Connections to yesterday's “Math is...” “the purpose of math is...” Today's lesson is exploring a million. Using Base Ten blocks. Jamie took a unit and then a ten, then a hundred. The students are asked to figure out how many 1,000's there are in 1,000,000. Jamie brought in all of the base ten blocks from the entire school and they counted them out in groups. The groups then shared their numbers and added them all together. There were 66,045 all together. They were then asked how many more 1,000's are needed to reach a million.
  • Observations: I wonder when Jamie has time to make copies/plan with the other teachers/find worksheets?
  • Resources: Base Ten blocks from the entire school; Math worksheet

  • Notes: Guided reading: Using the rubric, The students answer the questions together as a class to demonstrate high quality work. She asked the students demonstrate empathy in their answers.
  • Resources: Reading response rubric, 4 questions about the guided reading

Wednesday – 9/16

  • Notes: Beginning of the day: When the students come to school, they look at a small white board where Jamie wrote down all the materials that they need for the morning. They start right away on their DOL, day 3. They then go down to the shofar blowing, and come back and sit down right away.
  • Observations: The students get into a “school mood” right away by having a worksheet to do right in the beginning of the day.
  • Resources: DOL sheets: one per week

  • Notes: Social Studies: Colonial time period. Starts by brainstorming: what do we know already about this time period and what they want to know: write it down. Gives very clear instruction for the writing: “This should be on loose-leaf paper, it can be written with a pen or pencil. She gives examples: even if you don't know much about it, think about what you are interested in and write down something like: I really like fashion. I want to know what they wore during this time period.” She gives five minutes (and sets a timer), specifies that it is independent work.
  • Observations: It's SO important to include directions in every situation: should the students hand in the homework? What utensil should they use? Should they write their homework in full sentences? Anticipating EVERY question.

  • Notes: Social Studies: Students came up with ideas and questions about the Colonial Period. She started to “speed it up” because of time crunch. She starts out the lesson by asking the students: where did people who lived in the Colonies come from? How did they get there? Why did they leave their home?
  • Observations: Jasmine: It was too crowded, they couldn't get enough supplies. Penina gave a specific example—catholics were forbidden and they left so they could be catholic.
  • Resources: Large sticky: she wrote the students ideas down, and asked them to be a bit broader in their answers.

  • Notes: Social Studies: defining the word colony; asks the students to define colony. She also collected the pieces of paper where they wrote their statements and questions about Colonial America.
  • Observations: Jeremiah offers: a village of foreigners who colonize another country? Jamie asked him to use another word besides “colonize” and he offers “settled” Jerry only seems engaged when he is actually talking; he is often fidgeting with his belongings, but I think he is in fact listening. I wonder if he's getting anything

  • Notes: Math: Going over the homework from “Another Look”
  • Observations: Lee lost his worksheet, but called someone and got a few problems from a friend. Jamie pointed this out as a good way to be accountable. Eitan simply forgot his math homework, which Jamie called “unacceptable.” Jasmine raised her hand to answer a math question, and Jamie encouraged her to go to the board and explain it to the class. She froze up. One of her goals is to get better at this.

  • Notes: Math: Going over place value. Wrote a multi-billion number on the board and asked the students which numbers were in which place value. 8,000,000,000. She then wrote it in expanded form: 8,000,000,000+500,000,000+90,000,000, etc. The students open their math books to page 54 (connection to Chai and triple Chai, and numeric equivalencies of Hebrew letters). Students write out numbers in expanded form and words and do problems with place value (tens)

  • Notes: Guided reading: two groups: shared the previous response about Gecko's complaint: one of four questions, and Jamie pointed out how the response related to the story. They read out loud the story about the house, went over new vocabulary: chided, integrity, harmonious, disharmony
  • Observations: Focus was on reading and what good readers do: good readers ask questions; good readers self correct. Jamie pointed out that she was glad that Eitan know the pronunciation, but wanted the reader to self correct.

  • Notes: Jewish studies: started the class by asking for homework (Torah Project template rough drafts) and asked them to get out their binders and their Mishnah worksheets.
  • Observations: It's important that students know WHERE everything goes. Part of planning for the year included deciding what organizational devices people will be using. Ie: 2” binder and dividers, 2 composition books, two folders, planner, loose leaf paper

  • Notes: Jewish studies: Mishnah Rosh Hashana: Text and translation—What does this mishnah mean? What do you notice about the mishnah? (It has Hebrew and English) Made a T chart with Month and New Year. Jewish studies homework: Eliana handed out three sheets of paper separately. They are filling in schema about these concepts.
  • Observations: The American version of the New Year of kings happens on January 20th—connection to American history, Tithing—connection to math! 10% of cows
  • Resources: I spent this period tracking calling out and side conversations, which took up a lot of my time and attention.

Friday 9/18

  • Notes: Morning assembly: is starting to go until 8:15. Kehilla building, welcoming guests (there was a planning committee meeting and the members joined the assembly)
    • Observations: does this take too much time? How long will this run?
  • Notes: Mishnah: What is the big idea of Mishna Rosh Hashana? Daniel gave a big idea of the mishnah in general, which was off-topic and was put in the bike rack. Lily: everything has its own new year. Penina: new years help us count and keep track of time passing
    • Observations: Students were being a bit disruptive—Eliana took a moment to stress the importance of being “mensches”
  • Notes: Tashlich: they created a mantra together for tashlich. Very participatory
  • Notes: Hillel once said that instead of saying “treat your neighbor...” and flipped it: don't do to your neighbor...” and asked students what people did to them that annoyed them. (penina: my little brother sings when I'm doing my homework, rule is: I won't sing when people are doing their homework). Mrs. Woods took the rules and asked the students to come up with a title for their rules. “Fifth grade agreement” “rules of 2009” “the best rules”, “Fifth grade's x Commandments” Bill of rights, declaration of rules. She then went to the rules and held a discussion about what the final rules should be. Are any of these rules really the same thing? How could we categorize these rules? They should write it down in their meaning making journal. They discussed the rules, and the names, and did a “blind vote” where they put their heads down and closed their eyes and voted. Winner: Seniors' Sacred Rules
    • Jasmine shared her 10 rules: Ask questions, show respectful body language, no talking when other people are talking...
  • Today you will have your first spelling test: handed out spelling lists to review words, and then handed out paper for the test.

Monday 9/21

  • Tefillot: with 4th grade, worked together in six groups to answer the questions: What does tefillot look/feel/sound like? Finished their posters in groups dispersed throughout the room. They then presented their posters and then Eliana asked the students what they wanted during tefillah? Jamie added in an excited voice, “
    • Lily and Jeremiah: when presenting their posters, JB really wanted to present, and asked Lily. He said “I really want to speak” and motioned a praying stance. Lily took her hand and motioned down. Lily presented.
  • Notes: Jewish studies: Eliana gives clear instructions—get out your homework folders and Torah Project templates. She asks the students to share their templates. The next activity, she hands out a sheet and asks the students to read the instructions. Then they are split into groups to discuss the paper (different scenarios for Yom Kippur learning)
    • praying in the sukkah, prayers in English, Orthodox service with mehitzah, praying outside, playing games? (Josh), eating challah after each tefillah, guitar, drums, everyone brings in a musical instrument
  • Notes: Guided Reading: notes from binder
  • Notes: DOL: Daily oral language and geography. Jamie handed out a worksheet containing sentences, analogies. I ran this lesson.
    • Observations: Social participation
  • Notes: Social Studies: writing a persuasive letter based in the colonial times. Students were given a choice of two activities to do: write their letters or organize their binders
    • Observations: the choice of 2 activities worked really well because they were very focused on what they chose to do, and they also were less likely to chat with their neighbor because they were doing something different.
  • Notes: Spelling: choose 5 words from the chart, write it down in your homework planner, and on a piece of scrap paper with your name on it.
    • Observations: This group works well with choices: choose your own words, but with very clear instructions and reinforcement (ask for someone to repeat the question)
  • Notes: Read-aloud, another Leo Lionni story about a fish who swims with a bunch of red fish (he's a black fish) but they all get eaten (!) He comes up with the great idea with his new group to swim together as a group with the black fish as the "eye"
    • connection to Kehilla, JCDS ROCKS, "what JCDS rocks quality does Swimmy exhibit?
  • Notes: Buddies: speaking of Kehilla, each of the fifth graders has a 1st or 2nd grade buddy and they get to know each other today using "My buddy ROCKS because: they Really ski well, Outgoing, Can speak two languages, etc...
    • the students didn't need ANY instruction or guidance, the fifth graders "manned up" and were really great role models



  • Notes: Chumash: it took a while for everyone to hand in their Chumash homework
    • I think that this homework took a long time (3 pages)
  • Notes: Chumash lesson: it started out with a continuation of Monday's work (groups working within designated roles to address the scenarios about sinning and atonement), and developed into a mediated, guided discussion about what is needed to do tshuvah. Is it OK to say sorry without meaning it? Is it OK to say sorry and mean it, but not intend to stop the bad behavior. Eliana transitioned the conversation to the lesson by recapping the conversation: It seems like we are really asking about "what does it mean to be sorry?"
    • Observations: Eliana allowed for some free-flowing conversation, but within the rules (she called on people) Wow, LM really participating and articulating well. D is very passionate as well, but sometimes has a bit of an attitude ;)
  • She then split the class into groups of 2 or 3 to work on the Yom Kippur mishnah, they worked around the room.
    • Some students seem to be intimidated by Hebrew translation, even though they managed it in the end (LG, JK)
  • Notes: going over the work--She wrote the translation on the board, and had the students tell her the translation
    • She allowed the students to give their ideas, and wrote them on the board despite correctness, and asked the other students if they agreed or not.


Monday 10/5

  • Notes: Tefillah: In the Sukkah, did Hallel, sang Elohai Neshama sh'natatah bi...
    • Observations: Students were really into playing the instruments, caught on to the tune easily
  • Notes: Math Lesson
    • Transition: DOL ended, they put away their sheets.
    • 1:06 "We're putting away our DOL and getting into a 'math mood!'" (students say it together). "Who remembers what we did last time?" (She writes . _ _ _ on the board)
    • LG says to the right they decrease, and to the left of the decimal, they increase
    • JW "It seems odd that they sound bigger (1/100) but are actually smaller"
    • JG says that it's one tenth, and if you take something and split it into ten, it's small. If you take something and split it into 100, it's even smaller.
    • 1:11 JW: "Someone give me a fraction and we will compare them: 0.8 and 0.050. Which one is greater than the other?”
  • Lily: 8/10 because 8 is in the tenths place, there are 8 tenths, whereas in 0.050, you have 0.
  • Next fraction: 0.003 and 0.04
  • Emma: there are more hundredths in 0.04 than in 0.003
  • Jamie: remember, just because there are more digits doesn't mean it's greater. (She chooses the next one: 1.570 and 1.57)
  • Daniel: zeros don't mean anything at the end of a decimal
  • 1:17 We are going to put our numbers on a number line. It's not a real line, it's just a way to envision numbers. Please open your books to page 68. (she draws a number line <---1.6--------1.5--->
  • Lyndsay side question: does a zero count when it's in the middle? Jamie compared 1.507 and 1.57

Jamie started with the problem: 1.51, had the class catch onto the pattern...

1:22 Independent work: Page 69, 1-23, only problems on the left, questions

I worked with Lily, Sally, Lyndsay and Emma: lots of issues with place value.

1:47 Homework explanation: two sheets, some extra credit

Tuesday 10/6

8:40 Draws a number line on the whiteboard. Writes in random values between 0.1 and 0.422, with students' names next to the number. "Write your number on a piece of paper, without speaking. Make a human number line." The students write their numbers and start lining up. Daniel takes some directive: without speaking, he helps students get in order. Mark lines up at the very beginning of the line and smiles broadly, he has figured out that he's the smallest value. LG stands in the wrong order, but Daniel corrects them. LG kind of registers an "ohhhh!" moment, but I'm not sure she understands why .17 is less than .175. The class gets into silently doing this task.
Finally, the class figures it out after around 10 minutes.

We transitioned into two groups: the large group and my group. I created two squares: one split into ten parts, and one split into 100 parts.

Wednesday 10/7

Notes: DOL Went over Day 3, emphasis on double negatives and multiple answers. Students knew this inherently, but we still gave explicit instructions anyways.
Notes: Math: Used pennies and dimes, SP didn't understand why 16 hundredths was written as 0.16

Notes: Guided Reading: Read Edward Kennedy's obituary with the group. Made a conceptual map with them: Name, how old, how they died, accomplishments, etc.

Notes: Mishnah:
Transition into Mishnah: The students got out their mishnah worksheets, and worked again in mishnah havrutas to finish translating and answering questions about mishnah sukkot. they worked around the room. JG worked with LH, another quietish student, and she was able to be fairly vocal and confident. A lot of students finished before others, and Eliana asked them to go around and offer help to other groups. The group of boys (ES, JB, Aa and Josh) were not really taking the work seriously but still somehow getting through it.
  • Going over the work: Eliana asked the class to come back to their seats. *Reminder: wear your kippah during Jewish studies.
  • Review: from last week: asked students what they learned from last week (Our sukkahs should be and our houses should be permanent, temporary)
  • Lesson: Asked EV to read Hebrew and translate. His Hebrew was pretty good.
  • Observations: I found it interesting that she had them learn the new material by jumping into it, doing the translations and questions before giving some explanation
  • Observation: JB (just back from being out for more than a week) was talking with his friends and laughing. Eliana said his name and looked right at him, he didn't look at her, she kept looking at him, and said his name softly. He finally looked at her. She spoke in a very quiet voice and told him that he needed to be with us, and if he needs to step out he can step out. He said, "I think I need to step out" and was still kind of giggling. He stepped out of the room, and came back in 20 seconds later and was being more attentive and not goofing around.
  • Class discussion: Do you agree with the mishnah or not? Why or why not? Great discussion: it can be up to the height of our house.
  • Moved on to the next mishnah: Same deal, they translated, figured out what it meant, the math, and Eliana asked if they agree or disagree with it.
  • Review: Made a list of Sukkah requirements: went over them in the sukkah

Wednesday 10/9

  • Notes - Jewish Studies: Hoshanah Rabah service: After morning meeting, the students went to the chapel and participated in the Hoshanah Rabbah
    • Transitioned back to class (after 45 minutes!) and they shared observations about the service
    • Made a list of the parts of the service
    • Penina related hitting the aravot to getting rid of sins, JK said that he disagreed with hitting the aravot, said it was like hitting a Christian against the ground (!) Class conversation got very passionate about this topic, and Eliana had one student "bike rack" the conversation. It brought the class back to the topic of Hosha Na Raba
    • When LM raises his hand, he waves and shakes it.
    • Mishnah test 10/23, Eliana handed out a study guide, and the students will have to look back in their notes for the answers
  • Observations - The students were really interested in learning what they were doing. I think this is very effective in engaging the students.
    • JK called out while LM was speaking, Eliana told him we don't call out, and then she waited to call on him until he
    • When the study guide was handed out, a lot of the students said they didn't have their notes for it and had to share. (too many papers to keep track of?)

Wednesday 10/14

Math: Small group instruction with SP, LH, LG, EL and JB. We slowly and meticulously went over decimals on a number line.

Friday 10/23

10:15 Spelling test: Differences between when I did and Jamie's method. She has the students sit silently before she starts with directions. She has the helpers hand out the spelling books. She gives directions about what to do

Food Web:
clear directions? Are the connections between various parts of an ecosystem made explicit? What sort of assessment should be used?
I'm going to explain what you are going to have, and then we are going to do it. Bring your N.B. research and make a circle around the rug. At this time, do it. Tells them they can now do it. Push chairs back if you need to. She has to reorganize the circle a bit so that they are evenly spaced. Nobody is on the rug.
Chart on the board. With two colors, white and khaki. White represents that you eat something, khaki represents being eaten. Using a dinosaur-person-cake example, she asks EL to explain who eats whom. PS goes first, reading her animal: fish. Reads off the kind of fish in the N.B. (Narragansett Bay), and what they eat. (Jamie: slow down, read again what you eat.) She reads again, and sees if anyone else is in the list is eaten by fish. Jamie uses a ribbon (cut like an arrow at one end). Lily (seaweed) "points" to Penina, indicating that Lily feeds Penina (seaweed feeds fish). Jamie: decides that a two-color idea isn't great. I think she's using the arrow idea instead. Jamie hands out the ribbon as necessary. Asks DK to read out who eats him (plankton). Uses going back to your seat as a means for keeping side conversations down. (ES can rejoin the group after a minute.)
Room for improvement: I think using the thick ribbon works well, having different lengths of ribbon (a lot of ribbon, way more than you think you need), and maybe hole-punch the ends of the ribbon and use shower curtain hangers to collect all the pieces into one ring. Another idea is to have them stand in a cricle and tape masking tape on the floor for connections, in which case you can draw arrows to indicate who eats whom.
The directions: I think this needed to be enacted beforehand to work out some of the kinks. I think they might have been confused or stuck on being connected to everything on their list.
Big ideas: One thing in an ecosystem affects everything else in that ecosystem. No matter how small you are, you're important.

Friday Letters:
Jamie used a lesson from a previous writing lesson (similes) to challenge them to go beyond just writing "this was a good week, we did this and that..." They should be descriptive and illustrative in their letters.

Monday 11/2

Tefilla notes:
  • Fifth graders are teaching fourth graders some Teva tunes.
    • Who thinks they are entitled to make up their own t'fillah? - during the Amidah, you make up your own t'fillah. - it's your way of praising God
    • Who thinks they know the meaning of some of the Hebrew words/soreshim: mitzvah, ahavta, mekabel, etc.-- the students pick up on these words. Connections to other t'fillot. Trying to push the students to decipher: veahavta l'reacha camocha. Connecting where else we hear borei: from brachot, borei prei hagafen.
    • Asked the students to choose a new song: Modeh ani
Jewish studies notes:
  • Starting Chumash (finally!) The students are rowdy and drumming on their desks. Asks the students to remember the bracha for studying Torah:
    • Barukh ata adonai eloheinu melekh HaOlam asher kidshanu bimitzvotav vitzivanu la'asok b'divrei torah
    • Starts by asking one of the students to relate what happens at the end of Beresheit: Yaakov dies, Yosef is in Egypt, all of the brothers go down to Mitzraim. Discussion of what happens at the end of Beresheit goes on for a while (around 15 minutes). The students discuss why Joseph was Jacob's favorite son.
    • The students get a new Choveret (workbook), and start on page 6 by translating. After about 5 minutes, she asks students who had been working diligently to read the Hebrew and English translation (Josh and EL) Josh really grasped the translation.
      • "Your children will be strangers in a land that is not theirs. They will make them work and suffer for 400 years
    • Connecting the text "your children" to God's promise that Avraham's children will be as many as the stars in the sky (ie: Hebrews)
    • Students discuss what they think about this type of foreshadowing: Josh: we may have free will, but God knows what we are going to do. PS: do we have free choices? Is their a difference between God making decisions for us, and us making our own decisions. AJ: maybe God is guiding us there
    • Wrap-up: respond to the question: do you think that this is a good thing? Does God want this to happen?
  • Math: Review of test items:
    • problems with place value: JB reading decimals correctly, rounding, comparing
  • Social studies: split the class into groups, they will each learn about some things about colonial America, and they will read through some texts and highlight important concepts. They will present the information the next day to a group (one person from each group will be in the new group). Jamie compiled guiding questions. I feel like the groups got a bit stuck on the task of what to highlight, maybe it should have been more of a personal choice.

Tuesday 11/3

Math notes: I pulled my math group aside today and went over subtracting decimals and rounding decimals. They were pretty terrified. EL asks a lot of theoretical questions: but what if you change the 2 to a 1? She really wants to know what happens when you subtract more from less. SP and JB often don't pay attention, I have started asking them to keep their eyes on the board.

Wednesday 11/4

Social Studies (integrated with writing/study skills)
  • The students are handed a book chapter on Roger Williams, followed by an outline, with lines to fill in. JK notes the roman numerals listed on the page, and notes that he thinks everyone in the class knows what Roman numerals are. Jamie still goes over them with the class. The students break into two groups and work together to fill in the outline. They don't really follow along with their classmates, and I found that they weren't listening to one another when they had an idea. For example, one student would read, stop themselves in order to answer a question, but other students were reading ahead.
  • Eliana handed out a biblical concordance organizer, and had the students find three roots in the text of Shemot (from the workbook, p8)
  • The students then read from Shemot one by one, they are really excited about reading the Hebrew. Eliana calls on their prior knowledge (what happens when you add a "hey" to the end of a word? AB: toward that place; calling on literary devices: what does it mean when it says that Jacob and his house came to Mitzraim? His household, the people who lived in his household.
  • She tells them they can sing the names of the house of Jacob. (from Beatles Torah, a fourth grade project.) they have a hard time going back to quiet and listening afterward.
  • When reading about some of Jacob's brothers dying, the students go into questions about how they died. There were a lot of contributions, and some midrashim, including DK offering the Midrash that Jacob walked into his grave and died.
  • They read through the first part of Shemot 1:1-7, and at the end they made up a title for the part they read: Babies, babies, and more babies, ex.
  • Transition: Everyone put the blue sheets in the left side of your binder. What needs to happen: put away your sheets, get out what you need for the next period.

Friday 11/6

  • No notes; they had math, writing, did their spelling tests

Monday 11/9

Tefillah notes
  • The 4th and 5th grade will be having 3 different rabbis leading services for the next 3 Mondays leading 3 different services
  • "What can be different about services?" Students didn't really respond. Reworded the question: what denominations/branches/movements do you know of? The students named off different types of Judaism: orthodox, conservative, reform, renewal, reconstructionist, conservadox, Hassidic, Chabad, ashkenazi/sephardi (orthodox, conservative and reform rabbis will be here, the three main branches of Judaism
  • Students will work individually to come up with well thought-out questions, which will be posed to the rabbis beforehand
    • "We better understand our world by asking and wondering"
    • students wanted to know who the rabbis are
  • Use think-pair-share for sharing questions:
    • 1 Think (2 minutes of silent think time)
    • 2 Write (5 minutes)
    • 3 Pair & share
    • 4 Share
  • Writing questions: How often do you pray? How does being Orthodox work? (JB) What made you become a rabbi? (JG) Why are men and women separated? Why do women only wear skirts? (PS) What do you like about being a rabbi? (LH, EL)
  • Pair & Share: use this time to think of any new questions that might come up.
  • Share: two students write the questions on the board, while Jamie types them up
    • What inspired you to become a rabbi?
    • Why do you wear a black suit/black hat all day?
    • What is your favorite tefillah?
    • Why are some prayers in English?
    • Where is your synagogue?
    • Did your life change when you became a rabbi?
Social Studies:
  • hand in homework, Roger Williams assignment
  • Introduce a new term: primary source. What does primary source mean?
    • primary: important, main, first
    • source: something you get something from, like in resource
      • Geographically, what is a source? LM: if you know where it's from, you can get more
      • What is the source of a river? LG: where it comes from
  • Write in your meaning making journal: Primary source document. Some examples of primary sources: cave writings, constitution, letter, diary entry
  • Hand-out: Petition from Peter Stuyvesant to not allow Jews into New Amsterdam (what bells go off?)
    • Unpack the letter line by line: (very difficult language!)
    • Change in plans: spend two minutes reading it on your own
    • relates to Out of Many Waters
    • Play: read out parts (the play correlated with OMW)
    • Remember 1654: the first boatload of Jews arrived in New Amsterdam: the start of our history as Jewish Americans
Math notes:
  • the larger group worked independently on review in the book, and worked to come up with their own multi-step word problems with multiplication and decimals.

Science Notes:
  • Brainstorming on TEVA project: students came up with their own science related questions relating to the bleach issue
    • how does bleach impact our environment?
    • what is bleach made of?
    • where does bleach come from?
    • how does it compare with the other stuff we use?
    • what could/should i use instead to clean?
    • what's a better choice?
    • what's the best choice?
    • what's the greenest choice?
    • are green wipes really green?
    • what is bleach's impact on humans?
  • Students choose a question to research at home

Thursday 11/12

Notes from their Green Campaign:
  • "Greener is Cleaner"
  • How long have people been going to the store to buy cleaning supplies?
  • AJ suggested using a science experiment to make their own cleaning wipes? Compostable, using recycled spray bottles and all-natural ingredients

Friday 11/13

Torah Project notes:
  • 8:00 -- 8:10 students come in, hand things in, and Eliana starts with: Who can tell me what this week's parsha is?
    • most students work with their tanakhim, with the exception of ES
  • 8:10 -- 8:30 Eliana asks the students who the dimuyot are: Avraham, Yitzhak, Hashem, Rivka, servant (Eliezer)
    • Eliana: asks guiding questions such as "hint: it has a lot to do with getting Yitzhak and Rivkah together"
    • Makes the summary shorter, so that the summary will fit into their templates
  • Gives them some time to think about their commentary, come up with questions
    • shares them, Eliana write some on the board
8:30 -- 9:30 They have time to start working on their summaries for current parsha, and catch up on past parshiyot
  • Eliana says that she's skipping Chumash because there's not enough time, this gives them extra time for catching up

Monday 11/16

  • Tefillah with fourth and fifth grade: Rabbi Seltzer (conservative rabbi) came to speak about tefillah in the conservative movement.
    • Questions from students about his personal life: why did he become a rabbi? Did he ever eat anything non-Kosher?
  • Chumash: quiz today on several root words. (See 11/16 quiz) Translate 6 roots, and find them in the passage. It took the students 5-10 minutes. Then they moved on to read the choveret. Asks the students to review what's going on--it's a story, and Eliana wants to make sure they know what's going on. Prompting questions: Where are they going? (Egypt), Who went there? (70 souls from Jacob's family, they went there because Joseph was already there and was a top government official, and the old generation died off to make room for the new generation)
    • LG kind of remembers that the Jews went down there to make war (they actually just went there to live, but Pharaoh was intimidated by the Jewish population growth, and thought they might make trouble)
    • Eliana asks the students to review the psukim and highlight one strange thing/something you want to know more about. Asks a student to repeat what they should be doing. Josh says "you should be highlighting anything that stands out to you and write any questions you might have" (!)
  • Torah Project: I assigned 6 students roles in a play for Wednesday and handed them their roles for it. They practiced it independently during homeroom. (JB, ES, JK)

Parent-teacher conferences 11/16

  • Three different students with different abilities
  • Discussed:
    • Ability
    • Effort
    • attitude/enthusiasm
    • class participation
    • thoroughness of work
    • extra credit
    • grade so far
    • performance vs. potential
  • Shared samples of work that might relate to parents or be of interest
  • Parents' reaction/insight:
    • schedule at home/homework routine
    • student reaction to grades
    • student's anxiety
    • parents' reaction to comments on homework (they like this! children actually read it)
  • Teachers solicit parents' opinion
    • ask for ideas in areas that need improvement
  • Notes on general thoughts:
    • Start with positives
    • you are never telling a parent something new
    • frame weaknesses is a positive way
    • don't use "mostly" and "almost never" like "he almost never does his homework"
    • instead use "he should try to be more accountable for his homework" or "what are some ways he can be more accountable for his homework?"

Monday 11/23

  • Reform rabbi leads services: during Amidah she asks for them to notice anything about the prayer, anything added, anything taken away?
    • Different tunes than I'm used to
    • Using Kol Hanefesh
    • Student questions: do you keep kosher?
      • yes, but it may not look like other people's kosher. Kosher means more than having a hecksher. Being Kosher means thinking about how the animal was raised, if it's local or organic.
      • why are there two Alenius?
      • where you raised Reform?
Torah Project
  • Abbreviated version of normal Parshat Hashavua class
  • Routine: fill in worksheet with Parsha, sefer, pasuk, perek, etc
  • Eliana goes over summary, writes in whole sentences on board for students to copy down.
  • Groupwork: in predetermined groups of 2-3, the students choose one of two questions to discuss about Vayetze: (a) why are so many of the Matriarchs childless until later in life? or (b) why do the angels in Jacob's dream go up the ladder, and then down?
    • went well, we decided to hand out commentary graphic organizers while they were still in groups so they could write down their ideas. Graphic organizer must be handed in by the end of the period. (which really motivated them, great idea!)
  • Test: took the whole 45 minutes
  • sponge activity: read independently or do advanced math problem

  • Homework was to research definition of sustainability by asking three generations what they think sustainability means (grandma, dad, brother). Look at your definitions and come up with your own, in your own words (in your MMJ)
  • What do you think you know about sustainability:
    • ability to sustain (manage) something
    • to maintain or control safely and correctly
    • helping/preserving the earth's resources
    • keeping the earth the same so future generations can enjoy the same resources (JG)
    • Support something/keep it stable, do something in a way that can be supported
    • To get through something with everything you need, getting what you need
    • Ability to outlast adversity (AB, didn't know what this meant)
    • Help environment do what's best
    • keep going, moving forward
  • Concentric circles: Draw three circle on board- one inside the next- & ask them to copy this into MMj. Then write the following: economy, society, environment. Ask them to decide where and why they would place these terms. Do a think, pair, share. Discuss.
    • Many students placed economy in the biggest circle, then society, then economy
    • importance, how systems relate, problems/solutions
    • discussion points: how does the word 'increase' play into your thinking? (AB: it means there is more of it)
  • Assuming population increase has arisen, connect that to the following. Or, ask what they think population has to do w/ sustainability. Introduce concepts of linear and exponential process:
    • "What word do we see in linear? JG: ear and line. "What word do we see in exponential?" Exponent.
    • Examples to use: receiving an extra dollar each year for allowance.

    • Write in MMJ: linear and exponential
    • Pass out paper towel squares. Have each student fold square in half 4 times. It will be about 1 cm. thick. Have them think about how thick it will be after 29 more folds?
Explain the math.

    • What does this mean about population increase? What if the population doubles?
      • what's one new thing you are thinking about a doubling population
    • Share the French Lily story.
A water lily doubles in size and takes over the entire pond eventually. How much time do you have left when the lily is the size of half the pond?
    • Reinforce how this exponential growth & the behaviors associated with it feel counterintuitive
  • Pass out 20 definitions of sustainability. Play music. Give students time to read each one. No one can rush anyone. Pass one only when ready. If waiting, reread, rethink, write down. Write down definitions that resonate. When done, think about why those colors. Goal= each student writes down one definitions they connect to. Leave time for questions and comments.
    • share definitions that you connected to
    • why are they on three different colors: environment, society and economy
  • Homework: Interview 2 adults on the following: "What do you need for a healthy, happy life?" and math extra credit: prove the 39 folds.

Tuesday 11/24

Science unit on sustainability
  • Check homework: students interviewed 2 adults on what they need for a healthy, happy and safe life. Have students record on chart paper their quality of life answers in list form.
  • Triangles activity: students are numbered 1-17, they choose two “reference points” according to some rules. All odd-numbered students must choose #2 as a reference, and you cannot choose a person with a black shirt. (#2 was asked to move around, then stop). Debrief about what that had to do w/ sustainability. Discuss real world examples where structure & systemic behavior operate in such a fashion.
    • LG: When one number moves, the other numbers have to move, relates to changes in the economy, which affects society and environment.
    • PS: Layers of change, exponential process
    • JK: If people keep moving, it would go on and on.
    • Jamie: If an observer came into the room, do you think they would be able to figure out what's going on?
    • AJ: Not at first.
    • JG: Everything needs to be in the right place for everything else to work.
    • Jamie: When was everything in the right place?
    • JG: In the end, when everything was still.
    • ES: You can't have too much of any one thing.
    • Jamie: When scientists study what happens in nature, it's like a preK student coming into this triangle game and figure out what's going on.
  • Quality of Life
    • What do you need for a happy, healthy and safe life?

    • Write all the items you need on a piece of chart paper:
      • Loving family, comfortable home, enough money, friends, nature, entertainment, books, learning, healthful food, clean water, good healthcare/insurance, access to and affordability of medical needs
      • The students were adding things like: pets/animals--are they the same thing?
      • JK: Government, the laws are one thing, but you need someone to enforce them. Order.
    • Choose several items: what are some challenges and obstacles to acquire these things.

Monday 11/30

Orthodox rabbi visiting
  • Split the the men and women into two sections, and explained the historical context of this.
    • Men and women were separate at the Beit Hamikdash
    • Men and women praying together might be a distraction
    • Mehitzah: from the shoresh chet-tzadi-heh, to split (like hetzi)
Guided Reading
  • BTT lesson was a bit too long to do. They were supposed to get to page 33 and do a Venn diagram, but we only got to page 31.
Science: Scientific Method
  • the order was a bit off--I had to discuss each step as I was going along. It was a bit unclear which step is which
  • I changed the lesson so they split into pairs and threes to discuss what might happen without their step.
Math: Dividing decimals
  • Introducing division terms by having the students act out the roles: divisor, dividend, quotient, and discussed the definitions.

Friday 12/11

Chumash: talking about Hanukkah
  • Write on the whiteboard: What do we know about Hanukkah; and What do we want to know about Hanukkah?
  • Students go up to the board and fill it out.
  • Have students read off the items on the board, and Eliana discusses them, if they're true or not, asks questions, goes over story

Torah Project: (when to hand in templates, where to put it)
  • 12:00 - 12:10 Transition: getting students from recess, preparing for Jewish Studies
  • 12:10 - 12:20 Fill-in sheet: students use their Tanakhim to find sefer, parsha, perek, pasuk, and first pasuk
  • 12:20 - 12:35 Summary of the parsha, brainstorm with the students
    • ask students to summarize parts of the story in one sentence
  • 12:35 - 12:50 Start transitioning to commentary questions
    • Why would Yosef put his own brother in jail?
    • Is he getting revenge on his brothers?
    • Why don't his brothers recognize Yosef?
    • Why does Yosef act nicely toward his brothers if they tried to kill him?
  • 12:50 - 1:00 Fill out the graphic organizer, quiet writing time
  • 1:00 - 1:15 writing down homework, handing in work, putting templates in folders

Friday Letter/Spelling
  • 10:15 Jamie comes in and says "Boker Tov Kitah Hei"
  • 5 min total: Brainstorming: Idea web done very quickly, and at first she ignores distractions, but then when Jacob wants to share something, she says "I'd love to hear what you have to say when your classmates are quiet"
  • Gives warning after 2 min that they should be on the second person
  • 4 minutes total: she asks more questions about Friday letter: do you think your parents want to know about how you felt about things during the week. "By now you should have already started your topic sentence, please work silently." A third of the students had already begun their letters.
  • Within three minutes almost all the students had their topic sentence and were working on the Fri letter. The atmosphere was rushed and strict.
  • Jamie and I monitored individual progress: ES was futzing with his folder, Jamie closed the folder and told him he needed to start.
  • JG was told "you need to begin writing"
  • Directions on the board to make connections for the board