Fifth grade students are ready for Rosh Hashanah! During a shofar workshop, they learned everything there is to know about a shofar, including how to make their own authentic shofarot. Each student went home with their own shofar that they made themselves. Students are invited to bring their shofarot back to school this Friday to sound them together.Tekiah g’dolah!
The following remarks were delivered by Alyssa Bickoff ’07 (Young Alumni Chair) at a celebration honoring faculty and staff, including the occasion of Nurit Kussell’s retirement after 26 years teaching at Schechter.
Pictured above: Alyssa’s third grade class with Nurit in June 2002.
Pictured below: Alyssa and Nurit in 2001 (left) and at a celebration honoring Nurit in June 2016.
There comes a time, hopefully, in every student’s life where an individual teacher makes an impact that helps direct them in their future journey. Nurit was that teacher for me.
I have a love for the Hebrew language, solely because I was lucky enough to have Nurit twice, for 2nd and 3rd grade. While you find might it funny that someone could make such an impact on a child, at that young age, I’m proof that it can. Nurit was tough and loving all at the same time. She worked diligently with each student, bringing out their potential and encouraging them at every step. I loved learning from her so much that I actually met with her weekly, not for extra help, but instead just for extra learning. We read books in Hebrew and worked on my writing and grammar. I always say my Hebrew grammar is better than my English grammar thanks to Nurit. I continued my studies all the way through college, testing out of the language requirements, and taking all higher level courses where some of my classmates were teachers from the surrounding Jewish day schools. I am confident that I would not have made it to that level without the support I got from Nurit at Schechter.
I know I am not alone in wanting to stand here to share my respect for what Nurit has given me and to publicly thank her for her many years of giving of herself to all the students who have been lucky enough to have her.
Thank you, Nurit!
What do hockey, basketball, Twister and Ken-Ken have in common? They were all incorporated into games and activities during the annual Math Fair that took place at the Lower School on Wednesday morning. Students in Grades K through 3 each spent time solving math problems and puzzles created by the fifth graders and geared toward the respective grades. “The younger kids really enjoyed the math challenges they faced while playing the games,” says Intermediate Division Supervisor David Wolf. “And the fifth graders were incredibly patient and kind while explaining the directions and guiding them. Having worked as hard as they did to prepare, they justifiably felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. It was truly a win-win event for all parties!”
In a contest organized by the Intermediate Division Student Council, fourth and fifth grade students were asked to design a poster carrying the message that it is important to speak positively and use appropriate language. Posters used slogans like “Don’t swear. Care” and “Better Words Create a Better World.” to get the message across. Mazal tov to contest winners, fifth graders, Yael Margolis, Eliana Lippman and Eden Cherubino on their poster with the slogan “Kind words are the key to rewards. Bad words get you consequences.” All of the posters entered in the contest are currently on display in the first floor hallways of the Shoolman Campus. Come check them out!
In an enrichment class taught by Lower School Art Specialist, Susan Fusco-Fazio, at the Shaller Campus this winter, students used yoga postures and relaxing guided meditation as a preparation for painting, drawing and collage to awaken the imaginations of their “inner artists.” Susan shares, “Students in Yoga Art spent the first half of each class on their yoga mats listening to soft music while doing yoga poses or meditation. They enjoyed stretching, bending, clearing the mind and body of stress and becoming more happy and peaceful.” The art projects each week related to themes in that week’s yoga flow. For example, doing heart opening yoga poses and creating energy paintings of hearts, or doing sun salutations yoga poses and painting abstract energy suns. As the culmination of the class, the artwork was displayed this week in an exhibit and reception held at the Shaller Campus.
Seventh grade students learned to apply what they have learned in math this to a real world problem, and something anyone traveling to Wells Avenue can relate to, traffic! Seventh Grade Math Teacher, Susanne Heidt shares about the experience, “Mark Love, a Traffic Engineer from New Hampshire, visits with our seventh graders each year to share a bit of how he uses algebra to solve engineering problems. He gives a little background information, then immediately poses a problem for the students to solve. They work together to find the most efficient way to clear an intersection of traffic using real data and a 90 second traffic light cycle. Sounds pretty basic, until the challenge becomes seemingly impossible. For 90 minutes, our students are pulled into the real world of an engineer, using various math topics to solve problems. They really get into it! This year, three creative students solved a 10th grade problem, and shared their solution with classmates. This was a true ‘Growth Mindset’ presentation, proving to be thought-provoking and challenging for even the brightest students!”
Kindergarteners have been busy learning about robotics. The robotics unit began last week with a look at parades to set the stage for their robotic Purim parade. “Then we learned about the commands and symbols we could use to tell the robots how to move” explains Sondra Kaminsky. Judi Rapaport shares, “Wednesday was the day of the big robotic Purim parade. The children learned how to program the robots, decorated them and made scenery while listening to music and telling the story of Purim. They had a wonderful time and produced quite a show!”
Fifth grade students are learning to embrace diversity and are teaching others to do the same through their art. In a unit on diversity and making a difference, fifth graders were asked to come up with a slogan and then create a poster. Upper School Art Teacher, Joy Chertow, shares about the project, “Each child creates a slogan and does the art work to encourage others to embrace differences.” Check out the artwork, which is decorating the halls of the Shoolman Campus.
Pictured: Fifth grader, Eyal Kopcow, works on his poster, with the slogan, “It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside. What matters is on the inside.”
Afterschool Teacher, Chris DiRico, remembers the time his brother got to “pie” the vice principal of their elementary school after memorizing the most numbers of Pi in the school. This week, on “Pi Day” (March 14th), Chris carried on this tradition by challenging his students in the Shaller Campus Afterschool Program to memorize as many numbers of Pi as they could. The student who memorized the most numbers got to throw a pie in Chris’ face. There were eight contestants, with second grader, Maddie Kadden, coming out as the winner after memorizing 47 numbers!
Pictured: Maddie Kadden “pies” Chris DiRico