Our JCC Buddies

Second grade students were ecstatic to meet their preschool buddies from the Jewish Community Center.  We walked down the street and around the corner and were greeted by a wonderful group of educators and adorable students.  We played games and our young second grade authors got to read their How-To books to their new friends.  They laughed, they began to bond, and most of all made memories. We cannot wait for our next get together.






Learning a third language……

Students in the second grade are travelling around the world and learning about the 7 continents and oceans. While in Asia and visiting China, students learned Mandarin and expressed themselves by painting Chinese characters using calligraphy. Each character represented how a student viewed themselves. For example; courageous, caring, thoughtful, charismatic, etc.







Solar System Showcase

Solar System Showcase

Last month students began thinking about the concept question, “What can we learn by exploring different communities?” Their interest in various communities led to their fascination about space.  They wanted to explore MORE about space, the solar system, and specifically the planets. Throughout the past month and a half students researched their planet of choice while learning about the solar system. They learned about the planet’s location in relation to the sun, other planets around their planet, if their planet is an outer or inner planet, and special unique facts about their planet.  In addition, in Jewish Studies, students learned more about the Jewish calendar and the earth’s moon phases.  To celebrate their hard work and expertise, students invited fellow students in grades K-4, along with their parents to our culminating Solar System Showcase.  During this showcase students shared their handmade 3D representation of their planet using various materials, held mini presentations in small groups to teach others about their planet, and also put on a “skit” to show the different phases of the moon in the Jewish month.  It was out of this world!


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2nd Grade is “OUT OF THIS WORLD”


Acrostic Poetry- The Planets of Our Solar System

In the NEWS- Students are learning all about the solar system, specifically the 8 planets, along with many dwarf planets. They are working diligently as they prepare for their poster presentation and 3-D model sharing.  Event TBA!

Election Time!

Students will be holding an and ELA Election in just a few weeks!  We are learning all about the election process and will be voting soon.  Who is telling the truth in the very popular story The Three Little Pigs? Is it Mr. A. Wolf who tells his story from his point of view?  Or is it the 3 Little Pigs told in the third person?  HMMMMMM?

Second Grade Values

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At JCDS our goal is for students to view the manner in which they behave through a Jewish lens. Our tradition is steeped in important values about how to behave with kindness, generosity of spirit and caring. This year we have identified a number of values that we will explore in an integrated manner in both general and Judaic Studies.

Our first all-school value is “You should love your neighbor as yourself, V’Ahavta Lirayacha Camocha.” We explored ways that this value could be understood by second graders by asking the following questions: what does it mean to love yourself, how can you show love/respect for another person, and how can you be a good friend?

The second graders generated many answers to each of these questions. Our culminating project for this was to make a class collage of the speech bubbles that the students filled out with their responses.

Taking this one step further on Open School Night when parents came to hear an overview of the curriculum for the school year, they, too, had a chance to explore these questions and make a parent collage. The students loved comparing their parents’ replies with their own the following morning upon their return to school!



Second Grade Raises Money for The Nature Conservancy

018Students in the second gra011de class held a Read-a-Thon during which they raised money for an endangered animal charity, The Nature Conservancy. Students raised over $800.00! They voted on which organization to support after doing a lot of research on Top Wildlife Conservation Organizations. Students feel very passionate about this subject and, as they researched this topic, several projects came out of it. I am so proud!

The Nature Conservancy works with local communities, businesses, and individuals to 015protect over 100 million acres of land around the world.  In doing so, The Nature Conservancy preserves entire wildlife communities and the rich species diversity that inhabits those lands.  It’s a holistic approach, one that we feel is vital to the health of our planet.


Special Day


Judaism Meets Design Thinking Meets Science and Math on Special Visitors Day

The second graders and their sp009ecial visitors had a wonderful time collaborating and working together.

How might we take this Jewish phrase and show it in a visual 3-dimensional form, so that we have a deeper understanding of the phrase?

Groups chose one of the following phrases and then began creating a 3-D form together:

019“What is mine is yours and what is yours is yours.”

“You are smart, smart, smart, but you are not so smart.”

“There are three important things in life. The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, the third is to be kind.”



Cultural Traditions are Celebrated in the Second Grade!

Students in the second grade have had the amazing opportunity to learn about various cultural traditions that are special to our JCDSRI families.  Our project began when we learned about immigration and, through our fa241 mily research, decided that it was important to celebrate our diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. We celebrated Holi – the Hindu spring festival of colors or the festival of sharing love:)

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We learned how one special family makes edible centerpieces made up of dried and fresh fruit for special holidays.











Another family shared their beautiful tradition of reading books and asking important questions about Passover.









And a fabulous grandmother came from Texas to teach about the history of Texas and the many traditions that are practiced there.

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Hello from Iowa!

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The second graders were ecstatic about receiving letters from their pen pals in Iowa!  They wrote to a group of second grade students at the Washington Elementary School in a small town in Iowa. Why? First and foremost, because of an amazing connection with our third grade students. The story began last year when our second grade students decided to donate their Read-a-Thon funds to an animal shelter in Iowa after months of research. Thisiowa sparked quite a bit of attention in both towns because our students cared immensely about saving animals that couldn’t be saved. It also began an amazing relationship with a community so different from our own, yet still so familiar. Our goal is to Skype and continue to correspond with our new friends. And…who knows what could happen next! 🙂