Dear Yavneh families,
It was so wonderful and heart-warming to see everyone gathered together as a community. The students are the beating heart of Yavneh, and now that they’re back, the school feels alive once again!
Throughout the week, I’ve had many opportunities to observe the students in various environments. In the classroom, they were engaged in building classroom rituals and community. I saw veteran students helping new students. I saw our amazing teachers leading their new students through this new experience with compassion, warmth, and humor. I saw the middle schoolers taking a deep dive into our guiding principles: take care of yourself, take care of each other, and take care of the environment. Most of all, I saw lots and lots of smiles.
Because all of the students, K-8, have recess and lunch at the same time this year, the students have opportunities to expand their social groups and create relationships with kids much older or younger than themselves. Today I already saw the big kids helping the little ones on the climbing structures and groups of mixed-age students sitting together in the shade. It was truly beautiful to see the students building a community amongst themselves outside of the classroom.
I am happy to announce that next week we will start our Elementary students’ elective (wheel/sivuvim). No need to choose anything. The students will have the opportunity to explore each one of the options.
For Alef and Bet students, we offer 3 rotations:
STEAM: Students will experience first hand all the steps of the scientific method by engaging in different experiments. Students will formulate predictions and run experiments to compare the results to their predictions. In each class, we will focus on a different experiment. Classes will take place at the STEAM Lab and outdoors.
Music: Kitah Alef and Bet will be engaging with a musical book (What a Wonderful World, Somewhere over the Rainbow, Moon River, Puff the Magic Dragon) and creating music composition, art, and listening maps related to the song and story. We’ll be learning about instrument families through these songs/stories and how to listen to them in other songs. The mixed-age class will be a lot of fun and a very different experience from our regular music curriculum.
Hebrew: Our students are going to prepare and act in a Hebrew play. They will begin with getting to know each other and practicing our Hebrew conversational skills, and then begin with preparations for our play.
This semester, our play is Simlat HaShabbat shel Chanaleh! This is a story about good deeds and helping each other. Our amazing actors will perform in front of a live audience. Parents, please help your child practice their lines and prepare for class.
For our Gimmel and Dalet students, we offer 2 rotations:
Band: The Gimmel/Dalet elective class will start learning the fundamentals of playing as a band. Together in a mixed grade group, we will work on 3-4 songs that teach harmony, melody, and the opportunity for singing, playing multiple instruments, and most exciting for them, learning music outside of the scope of Jewish holidays and milestone repertoire. The first song we are working on this semester is Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison.
Art: This elective will run for the first semester of the school year. Each student will choose what they would like to create using different materials and mediums of their choice.. We begin by talking about what creativity looks like. Creativity focuses on the process of forming original ideas through exploration and discovery. Each student is asked to fill out a questionnaire to help them brainstorm ideas. On the back of their paper they will begin to sketch out some ideas and what materials they think they might need for their projects. We will discuss each individual project with each student and form a plan on how to start. Each individual student will learn new skills and techniques along the way. The most important thing is for them to enjoy the process.
In addition to that, I would like to share with you the 5th-8th grade electives:
Speech and Debate, Robotics, Multimedia Art, Japanese Language and Culture, Yavneh House Band (practice Thursday lunchtime), Math Olympiad, World Religions, Cooking Jewish and Israeli Foods, Culinary Adventures, Science Fair, Screenwriting, 3D Structures and 3D Printing, DramaRama!, Songwriting, Flag Football (practice until 4:30 PM on Thursdays and games), and Choir.
Thank you for allowing us the privilege of educating your children. May this year be a year of taking risks, learning from our mistakes, growing as students, teachers, and humans, and appreciating the warm and loving Yavneh community.