Shalom! Aleph Bet Jewish Day School is often described as a tiny treasure within the area’s private school community. Located not far from the center of Annapolis, for over two decades Aleph Bet has been teaching writing and respect, vocabulary and values to elementary school children from all over Anne Arundel County. The texts and traditions of Judaism are interwoven with twenty-first century skills and information in an academic program that has earned certification from the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) and approval by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Small classes and caring, qualified teachers produce graduates who are compassionate, competent, and confident - ready to meet the challenges of secondary school and to contribute to their communities.
To learn more about Aleph Bet or to schedule a personal tour, contact our Head, Nan Jarashow at 410-263-9044 or email@example.com.
Learning from Each Other
As teachers, we hope to inspire our students to become lifelong learners. Part of that process takes place through activities and experiences in the classroom that convey the value and the delight of learning. We also model the behavior of continued learning, both informally and in structured situations.
This fall the Aleph Bet faculty has enjoyed a chance to learn together - and to teach each other - through a series of weekly mini-lessons that kick off each faculty meeting. Using the book High Yield Routines, we have taken turns introducing 5-minute flexible math warm ups that strengthen number sense in our students. For instance, one routine, "The Daily Number," consists of posting a number on the board and asking students to write or tell something they know about it. If seven is the number of the day, students could share that it comes after 6, is the sum of 2 and 5, is the number of days in the week, is equal to 51-44, is written with only straight lines, is one-tenth of seventy, is a prime number, or is the square root of 49 - and they would all be correct! Depending on the grade level, the number could be an integer, a fraction or a negative number, and could be one digit or nine. In just a few minutes at the beginning of class, or in a short transition time, students can respond at their own level, learn from each other, expand their concepts of number, and have fun brainstorming!
Parade and Patriotism
Dressed in red, white, and blue, our students were among the few children who came to the Annapolis City Dock on Monday to pay tribute to veterans of the U.S. armed forces. I am sure that the children found some parts of the the ceremony (color guard and 21-gun salute) more riveting than others (speeches), but they were glad to share in the national moment of silence and to show their respect for those who have served our country in military service. Afterwards, several participants in the parade made a point of coming over to thank our group for attending.
Kavod, respect, is a Jewish value we discuss and promote throughout the grades. Often we're directing it to parents and teachers. Veterans Day gave our children a chance to practice kavod in a different context and, we hope, helped some veterans know that their sacrifice is valued.
Our Green Status
As part of our Green School status, we have been developing curriculum that introduces students at all grade levels to the challenges that face our local ecosystem. For example, the fourth grade studies wetland habitats. Last year, at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, students studied soil types and they tested water for pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity to determine the health of local creeks and rivers.
This year, as fifth graders, they are looking at changes in population levels for the inhabitants of the Bay area as another way to gauge the health of the Chesapeake. They have tracked fifty years of population data for oysters and blue crabs, and they will be taking a look at statistics for rockfish and bald eagles. We hope that early awareness of the environmental challenges in our region will lead to responsible action throughout our students' lives.
In the first grade room this morning as the students were studying the November calendar and anticipating special events in the month ahead, a child announced this year's overlap ofHanukkah and Thanksgiving, a once in 70,000 year occurrence. The internet is full of ideas for recipes and decorations, and we encourage our students and their families to exercise their creativity to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For the month of November, we are reserving a space in our display case for turkey menorahs, cornucopias of dreidels, and any other Thanksgivukkah Judaicart our school community can imagine and create. Let your imaginations go wild, and bring in your creations for our students to enjoy!
Although reading is a huge part of our students' lives every day, each year we devote a week to the celebration of books and authors. This year's Book Week will be from November 11 through the 15th.
We would like students to bring their favorite books to school bynext Wednesday, November 13, for a bulletin board project. On Friday, November 15, we want all students to come in costume, dressed as a favorite book character. Start planning now! We would also like students to bring a short introduction to their character - from a sentence for kindergartners to a paragraph for fifth graders.
We are hoping, too, that parents would like to come in as guest readers. If you have some time during Book Week, get in touch with one of the teachers - your child's or another - and schedule a time to come in and read aloud.
During Book Week our students will begin to participate in Maryland's Black-Eyed Susan Book program. Like students around the state, our kids will read and review books that have been nominated for the annual award for children's literature. Their votes will help to determine the year's winners
Our after-school program is super-lively this year. The Chess Club has a dozen players. Many are first-timers who are giving our veterans a run for their money! We hope that Mr. Harris will arrange a tournament this term so the players can test their mettle against another school team.
On Tuesdays, twenty-two builders work on LEGO projects. The theme for this series is Laws of Motion. So far, the students have explored force, acceleration, inertia, and centrifugal force while constructing a "swing-o-rama", a clock, and a lawnmower. The kids love animating their projects with small motors.