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Lower School Updates

Lower School Weekly Updates


2-607 invited 5-708 for a book share, highlighting works written by the students. Grade 2 students wrote about topics such as ice skating, gymnastics and baking, then sat together in groups with Grade 5 students to share their expert knowledge on their topic. The children took great pride in reading their books to their older peers and Grade 5 students were an amazing audience.

This year, the Lower School Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly showcased our students ideas and creative expressions. We began by watching the first graders enter carrying signs that proclaimed the issues they would care to march for -- food for all, recycling, housing for all, friendship for all and even toys for all. The assembly closed when we all sang "We Shall Overcome" together and as we sang, we looked at images created by 4th graders, illustrating a particular phrase of Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech that resonated with them.

The centerpiece of the assembly was a video created by a group of 5th graders, who have been studying together all fall in preparation for the assembly. Each student picked a particular issue that related to the Civil Rights Movement and researched his or her issue. The topics ranged from what Dr. King learned from Gandhi to the "real story" behind Hairspray. The students then shared their research with each other so that the whole group could benefit from their learning.

Our assembly also included an interview with Peter Geffen, our school's founder, who talked about how Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel's legacy inspired him to start a new school dedicated to their ideals.

This week, the Lower School celebrated our namesake, Rabbi Heschel, and marked the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our first graders interviewed Shira Nadich Levin, Executive Committee Member, past Board President and mother of Lower School teacher Gideon Levin, who during childhood was a friend of Susannah, Rabbi Heschel's daughter. Shira spent a great deal of time in the Heschel household and was able to see first hand what Rabbi Heschel was like as a father. Second graders read and discussed the book As Good as Anyone, which is about Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel. Third grade completed their unit with Rabbi Anne about Rabbi Heschel's life. Fourth and Fifth grade studied different quotes from Rabbi Heschel, Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders. Then on Friday, our learning culminated in an assembly featuring a video made by fifth graders who researched different Civil Rights moments as well as an interview with Peter Geffen, our school's founder, about how the Civil Rights Movement inspired him to found the school.

Lower School children were delighted and honored to welcome the renowned author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco.

Seamlessly weaving personal anecdotes with readings from her books, Ms. Polacco informed, instructed, and inspired. The children learned, for example, that she did not begin writing children's books until she was 41 years old and has since written 115 books, with more on the way. She discussed that she was dyslexic, disnumerate and dysgraphic and did not learn to read until she was 14 years old. At the same time, she comes from a family of storytellers and has always loved stories. She grew up without a television, and listening to her grandmother's wonderful stories.

Ms. Polacco brought with her the quilt that inspired the book, The Keeping Quilt, as well as a small piece of the meteorite from the story, The Meteor.

After Ms. Polacco spoke with the students, each child was able to either make a wish on the meteorite or shake the hand (Ms. Polacco's) that shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln. (See Pink and Say).

There was an abundance of joy throughout the holiday of Hanukkah. The Heschel students, faculty, parents, and administration filled each day with learning, light, and of course some latkes. Here are just some of the highlights from the past 8 days.

Singapore math places significant emphasis on the use of pictorial models to visualize word problems prior to solving. Modeling provides students with a systematic way to organize the information in a word problem in order to determine the calculations needed to solve a problem. By explicitly teaching model drawing, students will have access to this tool when needed, and at times, they may even be able to form a mental picture instead of on paper. Models reflect each student's thinking and therefore may vary in the way they look. Wonderful discussions occur when children explain their model design and students debate the efficiency and effectiveness of one model over another. The best way to learn how to use model drawing effectively is to practice with a wide variety of problems. Watch the video to see the power of model drawing!

Sample Word Problems Using Bar Models

The third grade bought whistles to give to all the children on the last day of school. They bought 137 red whistles, 85 green whistles, and 226 blue whistles. After they gave everyone a whistle, they had 79 leftover. How many students received a whistle?

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There are 40 students in a fourth grade class. There are 6 more boys than girls in the class. How many girls are there in class?

The fifth grade was selling pears as a fundraiser. They bought 420 pears for $378. They packed the pears in bags of 4 pears each and sold all the pears at $6 per bag. How much did the fifth graders make (profit)?

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Early Childhood and Lower School students took part in Heschel's Menorathon, an annual Hanukkah fundraiser. In the weeks leading up to the event, students organized sponsorships to raise money for Mamad Eitan, a new public school in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. The students "swam", biked, ran, and laughed as they cheered each other on all for a good cause. The event was facilitated by Heschel's incredible Physical Education faculty.

Lower School students are preparing for an upcoming author visit from Patricia Polacco. During library time, the children are using the Padlet app to share questions, thoughts and reflections on Patricia Polacco's books and her upcoming visit.

Check in each week as we prepare for Patricia Polacco's visit on January 8th. Enjoy browsing through the stream (so far):

Made with Padlet