Peek Through Our Window

A glimpse into our week at YLS

January 15, 2016

5 Shevat 5776

Dear Parents,

Take a peek through our window to see what we explored, discovered, created, celebrated, and wondered this week.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Chana, Morah Rachael and Morah Sharona


  • This week we explored the outside world by taking a walk to Albrecht’s Garden Center and Flower Shop. Once we were there we met Linda who showed us the various plants that they have in their store. While there, we took pictures on our iPads of plants we wanted to buy. As a group, we decided what plants we wanted to purchase after discussing our budget and preferences. After all our planning and discussing, we bought an African Violet, Cyclamen and two cacti.


  • Every morning during Morning Meeting we sing hello to all the friends in our class. This week we decided to sing hello in different languages. We discovered that there are many ways to say hello (“priviet” in Russian, “hola” in Spanish, “shalom” in Hebrew, “bonjour” in French).

  • In honor of Tu B’shvat, we spent time focusing on one part of the plant- the roots. We discovered that potatoes, ginger, radishes, carrots and parsnips are all roots! We examined and compared them, and then we peeled them and roasted them.

  • We discovered that there is a special mitzvah called Orlah! After discussing the special mitzvah, we simulated practicing Orlah by pretending to plant trees in various months of the year. Together, we walked in a large circle to represent the year, and when we got to Rosh Hashanah, we added another year to our trees’ age; when we came to our trees’ third birthdays, we waited until Tu B’shvat and then traveled to Yerushalayim to eat our fruit there! Throughout the experience, we discussed how difficult it was to wait to eat the delicious-looking fruit on our trees. We then discussed other times we had to wait to get what we wanted and why waiting benefitted us.


  • With our mind on Tu B’shvat, we took time to sketch our new plants with charcoal. A lot of friends noticed the details of the plants and drew them on the special sketching paper. After we completed, some friends discovered that charcoal smudges and enjoyed the sensory experience of rubbing it on the paper.

  • In order to keep better track of which brachot are appropriate for which foods, we created “guides” to hang in the classroom. Whenever a friend has a new food in his or her lunch or snack, he/she can draw or take a picture of the food and attach it to a poster labeled with the correct bracha. Our friends are already referring to these charts instead of asking the morot to find out which brachot they should say over which foods.


  • Tamar’s Hebrew birthday was celebrated this past Monday! Tamar requested multi-color cupcakes and as always, her friends created it. We enjoyed having her mother and grandmother attend to celebrate such a happy occasion. Happy Birthday Tamar!

  • We celebrated Ariella’s first trip to Israel. Ariella shared a book she had created to document her trip. She enjoyed telling us about visiting the kotel, the Biblical Zoo, and, especially, her Aunt Melissa! All of Ariella’s friends had an opportunity to ask her questions about her trip. We are so glad that we got to learn from Ariella’s visit to Israel.


  • While thinking about Parshat Bo, we took the opportunity to write down questions we have about the story. Throughout the week, friends worked hard answering their questions. This experience culminated with Chavruta learning on Friday where we were fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from our friends and the questions they had worked hard to answer. We will be taking home our questions and answers to share words of Torah with our families.

  • We wondered- how can we take better care of our world? After listening to The Earth Book by Todd Parr, we thought of ways that we could take care of our world. Some friends suggested we turn off the faucet when we stand at the sink for netilat yadayim; other friends encouraged their classmates to use our recycling bins appropriately and suggested making signs to remind people what to recycle; still others thought we could use less paper by saving scratch paper in the writing center. We are excited to implement some of our ideas next week!

Ivrit at YLS

Dear Parents,

This week we started learning about Tu B’shvat. The children “planted” trees on a map of Israel. When they would plant a tree they would say אני שותל/ת שתיל. We noticed that trees come in different size. We played a game where we pretended our bodies were trees. We then broke into two groups--one group pretended to be trees and the other group “watered” them. We sang happy birthday to the plants and trees. We gave the trees birthday presents of soil, flowers, fruits, water, sun and birds. We planted the trees close to each other so they would not feel lonely. We also sat together and learned the importance of friendship and danced to the song יש לי חבר. We learned about fruits and vegetables--some come from the ground and some come from trees. We focused on the brachot we make on foods that come from the ground and foods that come from trees. We sang the song שי מן הפרדס and השקדיה פורחת- in honor of Tu B’shvat. On Thursday, we made a special fruit salad. First, we learned the salad recipe in hebrew and then we made the salad. The children really enjoyed cutting up and eating the fruit.

Words and phrases we learned this week:

I am planting a tree- אני שותל/ת שתיל

tall/big tree- עץ גבוה /גדול

medium tree- עץ בינוני

short/small tree- עץ נמוך/קטן

happy birthday to the trees- יום הולדת שמח לעצים

I am your friend- אני חבר/ה שלך

you are my friend- את/ה חבר/ה שלי

flowering almond tree-השקדיה פורחת

the golden sun shines- שמש פז זורחת

tree- עץ


flower- פרח

flowers- פרחים

fruit- פירות

apple- תפוח


strawberry- תות


grapes- ענבים

whipped cream- קצפת

fruit salad- סלט פירות

Songs we learned this week:

כך הולכים השותלים

השקדיה פורחת

שי מן הפרדס

יש לי חבר

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Chana

Specialties at YLS

Music: Sheridan Seyfried

In music we continued our progress with violin--Mr. Sheridan gave the kids a chance to pick their own song to play (he did the fingerings, they produced the sound with the bow). The violin is one of our friends' favorite instruments. "Home" is becoming a favorite song of ours now that we can sing with more confidence (and dance to!). We learned two new songs, "You Are My Sunshine" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad", though it wasn't new to some of us! We tried something new this week, putting our ukulele chords to use, with each person playing their own chord at different times to create music together. This will be part of our ongoing project to master four chords on the ukelele and be able to perform actual songs together on instruments. We passed around the tambourine, shaker, ukuleles and egg shakers.

Art: Patty Papatheodore

This week in art class we created puppets with clay heads and felt bodies based on the artist Jim Henson. The students created their own character and gave him/ her a name.