[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Shemot

Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Shemot

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NJ State law requires all students from 6-59 months to have seasonal flu vaccine between Sept.1 and Dec. 31 every year.

Any child who has not received the vaccine by Dec. 31st cannot attend school until March 31, or until they receive the vaccine.

Questions? Contact the Edison Health Dept. 732 248-7285.


Pre-primary students were thrilled to discover many new and challenging works on the shelves this week. Choosing the 0-4 spindle box, friends practice counting out spindles and placing them into slots numbered 0-4. As friends hold more spindles in their hands, they are able to conceptualize the numbers growing bigger, and when they realize that there are no spindles in the slot marked zero, they understand that zero means none! The friends delightedly choose this work again and again.

On our practical life shelf there is a new hammering work in which the child hammers nails into putty. This work helps the child to master the pincer grasp and enhances fine motor skills while building the child’s confidence in his/her ability to do work usually reserved for adults.

We have also been enjoying a new tree painting work for Tu Bishvat. We know it is a little early, but we can’t help but be excited about celebrating trees! In this work, the child carefully dips a small dotter into red paint and applies small red circles to a tree. Voila: apples!

Snack Families

Lipetz, Englander, Hale, Englander, Setton

For information on quantities, allergies, etc. see the Parents section of the website.

**Please note new allergy information for Upper Elementary: no peanuts, tree nuts or seeds!**

Early Childhood Bring a Parent to Work Event

for Primary and Pre-Primary Parents

Our “Early Childhood Bring a Parent to Work” event is coming up soonMonday and Tuesday, December 30 and 31. These special days provide parents with the opportunity to experience their children’s work first hand. They differ from standard observations, as parents are encouraged to work alongside their children. It is a wonderful time to get the child’s eye view of the classroom and learn exactly how they use the engrossing materials available to them.

Each family may sign up for one time slot per child. Time slots run for 30 minutes each. Please note that Pre-Primary has morning time slots only. Similarly, first year Primary students who rest in the afternoon may be visited in the morning only.

Please take a moment to visit our Bring a Parent to Work Day sign-up and select the time(s) that will work best for you. Once again, keep in mind that we offer one time slot per family for each child. Both parents may attend together, or one parent may attend alone. If neither parent is able to attend, please feel free to send another special adult in your child’s life. (But remember that Grandparents Days are coming up in May!)


This week, the children have expanded their Hebrew vocabulary in a new horef (winter) work in which they match the Hebrew label cards to pictures of sheleg (snow), mitriyah (umbrella), na’alayim (shoes), kova (hat), and tze’if (scarf). We will be adding more wintry words as the friends master the current ones.

We have also begun learning about the location and characteristics of a new biome – the Polar Region – and we read a book about native harp seals.

Another new work available this week is a study of Gregorian and Hebrew calendars. Friends choose a blank calendar and fill in the current month, year, and all the numbered days, being careful to start the “1” or the “alef” on the correct day of the week. They fill in the days that have passed so far and add each day as it comes. There is also room on top to draw a picture that corresponds to that month.

The children were very excited to hear that we started a whole new sefer in the Humash this week with Parashat Sh’mot.  We talked about the demands Par’oh made on the Jewish midwives, Shifrah and Puah (known in the Midrash as Yocheved and Miriam), how Moshe was hidden in a basket in the Nile river and found by Princess Batya, and how Moshe eventually ran away from Mitzrayim and married Yitro’s daughter, Tzipporah.  We also talked about the burning bush and Moshe’s first attempt at telling Par’oh to let the Jewish people go. We read A Little Girl Named Miriam by Dina Rosenfeld and started a new Sh’mot Parasha box with a nahar (river). 

Please make sure your child wears boots every day that there is snow on the ground.  If the weather is good, we would like to be able to go outside for recess.

Six Flags Read To Succeed Forms

Six Flags Read To Succeed Forms have been sent home with K-6 students. Log six hours of reading between now and February 14th and receive a free ticket to Six Flags. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Lower Elementary

This has been an exciting week! Not only did we get more snow, but we also had a wonderful Parent Education Session on Monday night. Thank you to all who braved the roads to join us for a night of Montessori Language. We always enjoy sharing with you the methods and materials your children benefit from in the classroom. 

We have been expanding our Hebrew vocabularies on many topics. We have been sharpening our Hebrew time-telling skills by pausing at transition times throughout the day and having a student announce the time. The snowy weather was a perfect opportunity to discuss all of the activities we have enjoyed in the snow such as building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate. We have also been learning the members of a mishpaha. Some students wrote and illustrated books depicting the members of their own family, and during a discussion of  the tefillah “Hodu laHashem,” many students expressed that they are most thankful for their families. We also learned about the Hebrew names for colors and how to combine primary colors to make more colors. Be on the lookout for a song sheet with the lyrics to a song they love about this topic.

In Parasha, we talked a lot about the meaning of names. We learned the Midrash about Yocheved giving Moshe the name Tuvya, because she saw that he was so good, tov. But we call Moshe by the name he received from Bat Par’oh (ki min hamayim meshitihu–because I pulled him from the water). We want to honor the actions of Par’oh’s daughter, whose actions saved the life of our future leader. And because of her special qualities, we refer to her as Batya, the daughter of Hashem! 

We continued our geography studies this week by identifying the three layers of the Earth, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere, and taking a more detailed look at the lithosphere – the land. Students learned about the layers of the Earth itself: inner core, outer core, lower mantle, upper mantle and the crust. In addition, as an extension of our botany work on roots, we made a delicious root soup. Because we used a Chinese recipe, this related to our Asia studies as well!

Students have been hard at work this week trying to finish their research note cards. We are all looking forward to their presentations which will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, January 13-15.  A schedule of presentations will go home next week along with information about visual aids.

Research Schedule:

Friday, December 20:  Note cards are due. Rough draft lesson presented. Rough drafts will be written by arranging the information from the note cards into narrative form. The number of pages will vary depending on the amount of information and the writing ability of the individual students.

Friday, January 3:  Rough draft is due. Final draft lesson presented.

Friday, January 10:  Final draft and visual aids due.


**Please send in cardboard egg cartons for one of our upcoming works!**

Please be sure to send back your home review charts on Monday mornings!

Snack for the week of December 23rd: 2 large containers of cherry or grape tomatoes, 10 large cucumbers, 2 gallon jugs of whole dill pickles (or the equivalent),
4 boxes of saltines, 6 large bags of veggie chips.  Each student must bring in a non-disposable water bottle each day.

Weather reminder: If the temperature is below freezing we will stay inside for recess.  However, if the temperature is above freezing we will go outside. So please send appropriate attire: hat, gloves, boots, coat, scarf, etc.

Upper Elementary

This week the students were challenged to improve their siddur literacy. Each student received a sequence chart that included many familiar Tefillot as well as some Tefillot from the Shabbat service. Next to each listed Tefillah appeared a time limit for students to target as a method of showing fluency with that tefillah. (The times listed roughly correspond with the time it takes to calmly read the prayer out loud.) This work was identified as a terrific candidate for practice at home and several students have already made a significant dent in their charts — and our timers!

Congratulations to our Vayikra students for completing their unit on the Korbanot this week and to our Talmud students who have completed their first amud of Gemara! In Ivrit, students enjoyed focusing on the weather, using descriptive terms such as “mushlag,” snowy, “gashum,” rainy, “bahir,” clear, and “me’unan,” cloudy. They spoke about the differences in the seasons and what they like to do at different times of year.

In General Studies, we took a look at several ways we interact with light in our environment. We are examining the principles of reflection, refraction, and dispersion and learning about the use of light filters. The students will be doing a series of experiments to further explore these concepts over the next few weeks. Additionally, we looked at the next ten phylum of Kingdom Animalia.

The students should have finished their rough drafts and should be working on editing their papers. Each student has an editing page that details the proofreading marks that we are using. The process for editing follows this pattern: first the student edits his own paper, then he gets a friend to edit it (using the proof reading marks), next they get an adult (not a teacher in the class) to edit it using the proof reading marks. Mi
stakes are to be expected, and it is important for students to keep in mind that they are the foundation for learning and improving!

Step Due

  • Editing 1/2/14
  • Final Draft 1/8/14
  • Presentation Note Cards/Visual Aids 1/14/14
  • Presentations 1/14-16/14

Middle School

by Zach Setton

This week in Judaic Studies we finished up our Vayikra unit on Korbanot. Our final work was a graded review of everything we have learned up to now: the different types of korbanot, how we bring them, what they are made of, and why we bring them. In Gemara we learned an Agadah about Rav Acha who fought and killed a demon that took the form of a seven-headed dragon.

In tandem with our Social Studies, we learned about Avodah Zarah (idol workshop) and how Judaism relates to other religions. Some of our homework was about the origins of Christianity and the Rambam’s view on what constitutes Avodah Zarah.

In Science we learned about Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion. In Social Studies, we started our medieval unit. Using M&M’s as money, we simulated the hierarchy of a feudalistic civilization and how the system worked.

To see what we have been discussing in Judaic studies and to continue the discussion at home, see this Google doc.


The following people appreciate your tefilot on their behalf:

Avigayil bat Behiya

Yoel ben Chana Henya

Yosef Manus ben Shayna Pesa

Henia bas Esther

Odelia Simchah bat Yocheved

Upcoming Dates


December 30-31 – Mon-Tues – Bring a Parent to Work Day – Early Childhood (one date per family)

January 1 – Wed – No School

January 2 – Thurs – RH Shevat – Pizza/No uniforms

January 13 – Mon – Parent Education Session – Planes of Development Panel

January 16 – Thurs – Tu B’Shvat – Regular Hours

January 17 – Friday – Staff In-Service Day – No School

January 20-24 – Mon-Friday – Mid-Winter Break – No School

See our online calendar.

Parent Observations

Observations can be scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10am.

Email earlychildhood@mynetivot.com for a Pre-Primary or Primary observation and office@mynetivot.com for an Elementary/Middle School observation.

 Community Announcements

CNJKIDS Accepts Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds The transfer of appreciated assets allows donors to support CNJKIDS while reducing exposure to capital gains taxes. Donors are also able to claim immediate income tax deductions for these gifts. For more information on giving gifts of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to CNJKIDS, please contact CNJKIDS’ Treasurer Jon Caplan at (732) 249-8600. Thanks for your consideration. www.cnjkids.org 


Areyvut’s missi
on is to infuse the lives of Jewish youth and teens with the core Jewish values of kindness, charity, and social action. The New Year’s Day Carnival Extravaganza is at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. There will be more than 15 mechanical and inflatable rides, carnival booths and games, kosher food, and live entertainment featuring a BMX stunt show, the Gizmo Guys comedy jugglers, and The Chicago Boyz straight from America’s Got Talent. Click here for flyer.