Middle School girls’ play

Our middle school girls did an amazing job putting on a humorous play about the last dress rehearsal of Cinderella where everything goes wrong. Mrs. Avrukin did a wonderful job preparing them for the play and they clearly worked very hard to remember all those lines! We had a number of parents join us and the rest of the school got a chance to see the play as well. The girls did a great job at both yesterdays showing and today’s encore. It was a great ending to their half year of drama with Mrs. Avrukin!

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Awards Ceremony for Middle School

Yesterday we ended the day with our first ever awards ceremony for the middle school. It was a way to acknowledge the hard work and achievement of students in each academic content area as well as PE and outstanding Middot. We also had awards for students who most exemplified the growth mindset of welcoming challenges as an avenue for growth which has been a theme this year school-wide. Ori & Eliyana who won the Middot Tovot awards were presented with certificates, a sefer and DVDs to further their learning. The 5th grade was invited to see what is in store for next year and to see what they can accomplish with hard work in middle school starting next year. I am so proud of all our winners and all our students who come ready to learn and explore each day. It has been a wonderful year!

Ori Malul Eliyana Nazarian Middot Tovot

Torah Fair

Our Torah learning was on full display yesterday as we had our Torah Fair. The 1st graders had their own mini-Fair where parents were invited for Tefilla, to hear them read pesukim and then to see their wonderful games teaching about Shabbat. Parents and the Kindergarten class had a great time learning from our knowledgeable 1st graders.

In the afternoon, our 2nd – 4th grade each had a class display on some of their learning this year and our 5th – 8th graders explained their individual projects to each class as they cycled through. Our judges (Ziva Hassenfeld, Rabbi Ezzy Shusterman & Rabbi Gavriel Rudin) came to hear about each project and decide on ribbons and awards. A big thank you to our judges for taking time out of their schedules to be here! Our first three places and one honorable mention got certificates and the first three places also received a book about the Mitzvot to further their learning even more. It was a fantastic day of learning about what fascinating topics our students are exploring. I saw everything from Shmitah to Mezuza to some of the 10 plagues and from the laws of pets to if plastic surgery is permitted. Having our students explore aspects of Jewish law on their own and be knowledgeable in areas they might not otherwise cover in such depth is very gratifying to see. The winners were announced today:

1st – Halachot of Pets – Eliana Peretz & Chaya Tebeka

2nd – Sefirat HaOmer – Shmuel L. & Yoel

3rd – Tzniyut – Rivka & Makkat Dam – Sima

Appearance of project ribbon: Eden Nazarian (Shomer Negiah) & Sarah Marcus (Electricity on Shabbat)

Clarity in presentation ribbon: Menni Hecht (Makkat Tzfardea) & Ellie Kaye (Orlah) & Ilana Borrison (Mezuza)

Knowledge of Topic ribbon: Yaeir Kohanteb (Lashon Harah) & Chani Hecht (Shmitah)

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Student Creativity in 5th grade Chumash

Rabbi Hecht has been organizing a Makkot (plagues) project for our 5th graders. Each student worked on a specific plague and had to creatively present it as well as write a report covering specific information about the plague. Students presented their projects and explained what new insights they had gained about the plague through their research. I got to pop into the class where an interesting discussion about two Midrashim which seemed to be in conflict. I love seeing creativity and our students being challenged!

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History comes alive in 4th grade

On the heels of our amazing gold rush trip, Ms. Valle organized a presentation about how settlers made the trek across the continental United States to get to California. “Miss Suzzana” joined us for a demonstration and discussion of what it was like, all in character! The students had a great time and also learned a lot. It was a just another great day of learning at SPHDS!

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Physics is Fun (and cool!)

We had the pleasure of having Frank Cascarano, a college Physics professor, put on an amazing Physics show for our students (http://www.thephysicsshow.com/what-is-the-physics-show). First our 1st – 5th grade and then a second show for our middle school where they were amazed at the demonstrations of inertia, sound and temperature. He used many household objects and examples to teach about motion. He also used liquid nitrogen to cool objects such as bananas and balloons and even a graham cracker (which he ate!) to show some of the properties of temperature. For the sounds portion of the presentation he inhaled a number of gases which raised and lowered the pitch of his voice and also showed us what happens to sounds when the frequency is chaged. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for all. SPHDS loves science!

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Field Day is Fabulous!

Perfect weather for a half a day in the field. Steve outdid himself, as usual, and set up an amazing array of eight stations which out K-7th cycled through with our 8th graders leading each station. Everything from soccer and basketball to octopull and “fling-a-frog” (no frogs were hurt in the playing of this game). It was smiles and fun in the sun on a cool, but gorgeous, day. The ices really hit the spot during a break in the action. We topped things off with an amazing game of “rocks” where a last minute grab by Ilana (7th grade) ended the game for a 1-1 tie! It was a real nail-biter and a lot of fun to watch all of the kids interacting and playing together. SPHDS is community!

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