News

2018

  • November

    Third Grade Judaic Studies Classes Begin with Social-emotional Learning Activity

    At the beginning of each third grade Judaic studies session, students in Sharona Israeli-Roth’s classes participate in a social-emotional learning activity designed to “create empowerment, ownership, and support in our class,” explains Ms. Roth. In each class a different student takes a turn sitting in front of the class, back facing the whiteboard, while classmates write notes of appreciation about that student...
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  • Eighth Graders Create Six-word Memoirs about Their Truths

    After learning about memoirs and reading the memoir This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, eighth graders concluded this unit of study by writing a piece about their own life in memoir form. “How expressive could you be about your life if you had only six words to do it?” asks teacher David Jefferies. Students began by writing a section of their own life using the strategies learned through the study of Wolff’s book and then used that writing to inform their six-word autobiographies...
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  • Second Annual Celebration of Justice Louis Brandeis Day

    Last year our school inaugurated the first annual Justice Louis Brandeis Day, a day for our students to learn about the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, learn about civic institutions in the United States, and explore questions of ethical leadership and radical empathy. This year the focus was on justice and injustice—and what each of us might do to make a more just world...
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  • Middle Schoolers Respond to the Tragedy in Pittsburgh

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  • Third Grade Begins Lit Circles after Success of 2017–18 Pilot Program

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  • October

    Current Events and Hands-on Activities Help Kindergarteners Learn Hebrew Vocabulary

    Kindergarteners are currently focused on mezeg avir (weather). “To help make this learning relevant, each day the students give a weather report in Hebrew,” explains teacher Irit Daly. “Learning about the weather ties in with the changing of the seasons that takes place at this time of year. We also teach weather around the time that we read the Torah story of Noah and the Ark, and the first keshet (rainbow)...
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  • Eighth Graders Wrestle with God

    The first three months of the eighth grade Judaic studies curriculum focuses on direct text study. Students began the unit looking at the literal moment in the Torah where Jacob wrestles with God, “and then we continue through the ages, examining Talmudic understandings of God’s presence in our lives and medieval scholars’ ideas about what it means to ‘be created in God’s image,’”explains teacher Jennifer Baumer. The unit will conclude with an examination of how there are varied experiences of God in the present day, including doubt and denial...
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  • Fifth Graders Study Indigenous Peoples and Bears Ears National Monument

    In April 2018, After-School Program Director David Worton traveled to southeast Utah to learn about Ancestral Puebloan history and its connection to modern Pueblo people, and about land use issues in the Four-Corners region. This expedition, supported by Brandeis, has led to the creation of a new social studies unit in fifth grade, which is being co-taught by Mr. Worton and humanities teacher Kaitlyn Huston. Using ancestral and modern Puebloan peoples as a frame to study American Indigenous peoples...
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  • “One of the Most Important Units” Teaches Eighth Graders about Linear Regression/Modeling

    Eighth graders are currently engaged in a math unit about linear regression and modeling. “Of all the things we study in middle school math,” explains teacher Ali Frank, “this is quite possibly one of the most important units for our students.” This unit helps answer the ever-lingering question students ask: “When will I ever use this?” Linear regression and modeling is relevant in the future lives of our students, whether they go into STEM professions or humanities professions...
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  • Second Graders Focus on Bits and Pieces in Solids and Liquids Science Unit

    Second graders have been conducting various experiments to learn about the differences between solids and liquids and between different kinds of solids. Through their experimentation, second graders learned that solid materials can occur as masses or piles of small particles and can even flow like liquids. On Tuesday, second graders put cornmeal, pinto beans, mung beans, and rice into different-sized containers to determine if solid particles behave similarly to liquids...
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  • First Graders Explore Sacred Spaces

    The Judaic studies curriculum focuses, in part, on the tefillah (prayer) service, to help students become more comfortable with the prayers and in preparation for the culminating first grade tefillah. One of the ways students begin to understand the significance of prayer is to learn about the concept and importance of sacred space and sacred time “for us as individuals and as a community,” notes teacher Sandra Menachem...
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  • Warm Start to Brandeis Mentoring Program

    The Brandeis Mentoring Program, now in its third year, kicked off last Friday afternoon. Students in fifth through eighth grade (mentors) are paired up with students in kindergarten through fourth grade and together they participate in activities and games. The eighth-grade members of the Mentoring Youth Board planned an afternoon of word search and match games designed for students to get to know one another...
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  • Third Graders Learn about Place Values by Raising Money for St. Anthony’s Socks in the City Program

    Third graders were busy the past few weeks raising money and counting donations as part of a penny drive to purchase new socks for St. Anthony’s Socktober. “The penny drive is part of the third grade math curriculum, which focuses on place value up to 10,000,” says teacher Janet Fung. “Students investigated data collection by organizing pennies by their year...
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  • "Building and Buildings" Through Line Shapes Year of Learning in CREATE

    The overarching through line this year in lower school CREATE classes is "Building and Buildings." “We’ve been kicking off our year-long exploration of building and buildings by mastering our materials,” says teacher Sandee Bisson. “After studying different types of tape and glue, we’ve moved on to non-adhesive fasteners,” which include wire, string, paper and binder clips, staples, and brass fasteners...
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  • Brandeis Students Celebrate Simchat Torah

    On Friday afternoon, a stream of students, teachers, and parents poured into the gym for a joyous celebration. After singing a few songs, led by Jonathan Ferris and the middle school band (directed by Ari Micich), students were shown two Torah scrolls: a Sephardic one presented by Abraham and Marina Amar (parents of Ryan, first grade, and Gabriel, third grade) and one from Beth Israel Judea presented by Rabbi Danny Gottlieb. Then the Brandeis Torah scroll was unrolled and carefully held by the eighth graders while students in each grade helped take the community on a "tour" of the Torah...
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  • Fourth Graders Study Ecology, Nature, and Society on Outdoor Education Trip

    Over the summer, the fourth grade teaching team met with a curriculum specialist to redesign some of the fourth grade curriculum. Out of that work came four essential questions for the year’s curriculum: 1) What makes a sustainable system? 2) How does change happen in a system? 3) How are human and natural systems interrelated? And 4) How do our choices affect us, our community, and the world, now and in the future? To begin answering these questions...
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  • September

    Project-based Learning Drives Third Grade Judaic Studies Curriculum

    To learn about the holiday of Sukkot, and the specifications for building a sukkah, third graders worked in groups using paper and other materials to build a miniature sukkah they believed met the criteria for sukkot. “Instead giving students all of the rules for building a sukkah,” explains teacher Sharona Israeli-Roth...
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  • Social-Emotional Learning Teaches Kindergarteners to Be More Aware of Their Emotions

    “Everyone has an engine in their body,” began kindergarten teacher Emma Larson at the beginning of a social-emotional learning (SEL) lesson on Wednesday afternoon. “Your brain, your heart, and your muscles. And they work together like a machine to help keep you moving.” Ms. Larson then explained that sometimes the engine runs fast, other times it runs slowly, and that individuals are in charge of their own engines. Following this introduction, Ms. Larson shared with students the four different Zones of Regulation...
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  • Seventh Graders Explore Digestive System of Organisms by Analyzing Skulls

    The seventh graders are currently exploring the way the human body is a system made up of multiple components that help humans stay alive. “To begin this unit, students are studying the digestive system to think about how structure relates to function,” explains teacher Sarah Freilich. Students had the opportunity to observe an assortment of animal skulls and jaws—on loan from the UCSF Science and Education Partnership Resource Center—in order to find similarities and differences in teeth between the different organisms...
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  • Kindergarteners Create Art for Permanent Year-long Display

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  • Professional Development Inspires New Fifth Grade Music Project

    Inspired by curriculum work she began at the Ethical Creativity Institute in 2017 and further encouraged by the Brandeis faculty and staff summer reading of Lifelong Kindergarten by Mitchell Resnick, music teacher Kimberly Lostetter has introduced a new passion project in fifth grade music. "Both of these professional development opportunities reinforced for me that students are most successful when they work on projects they are passionate about," Ms. Lostetter says...
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  • Students Find Tashlich a Meaningful Experience

    Brandeis third through eighth grade students participated this past week in the ancient Rosh Hashanah custom of Tashlich (symbolically casting away undesirable behaviors). All of our students walked down to Lake Merced, where they ritually cast off things they wanted to throw away in the coming year. Third graders combined the ritual with a tikkun olam activity: equipped with gloves and trash bags, they collected trash along Brotherhood Way on their way to the lake...
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  • Eggscellent Eggsperiment Teaches Fifth Graders the Scientific Method

    To introduce fifth graders to the scientific method, fifth grade STEAM teacher Eitam Kohen set up an “eggscellent eggsperiment” for his students. Mr. Kohen first introduced the steps of the scientific method—ask a question, do background research, form a hypothesis, test the hypthoesis, analyze the data, and draw conclusions—and then students were tasked with determining the correct number of minutes for a perfect soft-boiled egg...
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  • Responsive Classroom Approach Helps Guide Second Grade Class Agreement

    At the beginning of the year, classes work together to create agreements regarding their goals for the year and how they can collectively work towards accomplishing those goals, which is part of the Responsive Classroom teaching approach. This week in second grade, students created their class agreement by first thinking of academic goals they have for themselves, and then of their hopes for the classroom...
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  • Middle School Kicks Off Year with Joyful and Meaningful Retreat

    Following the first-day-of-school welcome celebration, eighth graders loaded onto a bus for the middle school retreat (sixth and seventh graders joined the following day). When the eighth graders arrived, explains Director of Middle School Dr. Sivan Tarle, “they took part in a series of activities that had them to look inward and ask themselves what they find joy in and how they learn best.” Eighth graders also participated in a design thinking challenge where they designed an ideal fictional school for their peers based on the ways they self-identified as learning best...
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  • August

    First Day of School Introduces Social-Emotional Learning to Middle School Students

    For the last two years, the first day of school for middle school students has been about introducing students to social-emotional learning (SEL). “Instead of having students go through a regular academic day,” says teacher Allie Stine, “we decided to have them engage in a day of SEL work. Students in eighth grade started their day in their advisories and then made their way to the retreat for leadership training and bonding...
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  • Welcome to the 2018–19 School Year!

    We were so excited to welcome back our students and families on Tuesday! The weather didn't put a damper on the first-day-of-school assembly, as Dr. Glass shared his wishes for the upcoming year, Director of Lower School Jenny Rinn and Director of Middle School Dr. Sivan Tarle addressed their students, and Director of Jewish Learning Debby Arzt-Mor led students and parents in blowing the shofar to mark this new year...
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  • Brandeis Welcomes Educators from Around the World for Ethical Creativity Institute 2018

    In June 2018, 31 educators from Jewish schools around the world participated in the third annual Ethical Creativity Institute (ECI) hosted by The Brandeis School of San Francisco. Started in 2016, ECI is a professional development program aimed at connecting design thinking, innovation, and Jewish ethics, while encouraging cross-pollination among a range of Jewish educators...
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  • June

    Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

    Today's graduation and aliyah was both a joyful and a tear-filled celebration. The Class of 2018 was addressed by Head of School Dr. Dan Glass, Director of Middle School Dr. Sivan Tarle, Board Chair Howard Caro, and Rabbi Danny Gottlieb of Congregation Beth Israel Judea. Middle school social studies teacher and advisor Allie Stine shared words of advice for our graduates as they embark on their high school journey...
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  • Made with Code Day Excites Students about Technology and Coding

    On Friday, June 1, Brandeis hosted our 4th annual Made with Code Day, which encourages students to be more curious about learning computer science. As part of our STEM program at Brandeis, all of our students are taught computer science with the aid of the programs Code.org and Scratch, and by working with robots...
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  • Student-created Brandeis Quilt Embodies Year of Mentoring

    As the culminating activity of the Brandeis mentoring program, mentor buddy pairs worked together to create a square for a student-created quilt. “After the Mentoring Youth Board (MYB) participated in the mural walk and workshop, they wanted to bring their experience back to Brandeis and incorporate our entire student community,” explains Dean of Student Life Sharona Israeli-Roth...
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  • A Fairy-tale Ending to First Grade

    On Friday, June 1 Barbara Eisenhauer’s first grade class celebrated the conclusion of their final Writers Workshop unit by hosting a Fairy-tale Tea. For the past six weeks, first graders have been studying fairy tales. Students read many fairy tales, including different versions of the same stories, and learned about fractured fairy tales—a story that has been modified to make the audience laugh at an unexpected characterization or plot development. Then, it was their turn to write their own fairy tales...
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  • May

    Brandeis Students Give Back to San Francisco Community on All-school Volunteer Day

    On Wednesday, May 30, every Brandeis student participated in an all-school volunteer day in various parks throughout San Francisco. Organized by Dean of Student Life Sharona Israeli-Roth, this Brandeis all-school volunteer day coincided with World Environment Day and ties in closely with our Brandeis community value of tikkun olam—repairing the world—which says, “We embrace our collective responsibility to help repair the world..."
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  • With Poise and Maturity, Eighth Grade Class Leads Last Tefillah of School Year

    One week ago the eighth graders led their first grade buddies down the aisle of Beth Israel Judea to conduct their first community tefillah. Today, the first graders again walked the same aisle hand in hand with the eighth graders, who were about to lead the assembled Brandeis community in tefillah for the last time. Poised and confident, the class of 2018 led the morning prayers by introducing each one and sharing how the prayer connected to their time in Israel...
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  • Sixth Graders Close Out Year with Exploration of Geometry

    Sixth graders are closing out their year in math with an exploration of geometry. “There are several fun aspects of having geometry at the end of the year,” explains Cam Yuen-Shore, math teacher and director of special projects. “First is its ability to weave in units from previous chapters. And second is its natural bent towards real-world application and hands-on activities.” At the beginning of this week students participated in the “Flat Snowperson Challenge..."
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  • U.S. History Curriculum Sets Up Eighth Graders for High School Success

    Following their return from Israel, eighth graders embarked on their last unit in social studies and their study of American history and government: the 1930s to early 1970s, “my favorite period in American history,” says teacher Neal Biskar. Students were introduced to the historical concept that the United States has endured three transformative periods in history—periods that fundamentally changed the relationship between the government and the people, and/or between the U.S. and the world...
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  • Second Grade Hosts Poetry Café for Families

    As the culmination of the writer’s workshop unit about poetry, second graders hosted their families at a Poetry Café, and students stood one at a time in front of the group to share one of the many poems they have written during this unit. Students learned about haikus, limericks, cinquains, 5-senses poems, acrostic poems, and shape poems...
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  • Athletics Banquet Caps Strong Year

    Brandeis athletics celebrated another highly successful year, as athletes, parents, and coaches gathered last night to honor and commend the accomplishments of our Brandeis athletes...
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  • First Graders Lead a Joyful School-wide Tefillah

    At the close of each school year at Brandeis comes a "Shehecheyanu moment"—when the first graders lead tefillah for the first time and receive their siddurim (hand-decorated prayer books) from their parents. This special tefillah is attended by all Brandeis students and faculty, along with first grade parents and their guests...
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  • Sixth Graders Get Hands-on Learning about Climate Change

    Sixth graders are currently exploring climate change in science class, and conducted a lab this week to better help them see a real-time example. Using two large, empty two-liter soda bottles, students added water to each and then Alka-Seltzer to one (which releases carbon dioxide) and then measured the temperature in each container. “After doing this hands-on experiment,” says teacher Lindsay Mackintosh...
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  • The Eighth Grade Israel Trip—the Travelers Report Back to the Brandeis Community

    Since returning from their Israel trip, the eighth graders have been engaged in reflecting on and writing about the experience. On Friday, eighth graders spent time in the classrooms, reporting to the younger grades on the assignments they had been given by each grade prior to the trip. Israel trip chaperone groups went into the classrooms to share their mesimot (completed tasks) with the younger grades...
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  • Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team Brings Home First CYO Girls’ Basketball Championship Trophy

    On Tuesday afternoon, in front of many Brandeis Lions supporters, the girls’ varsity basketball team defeated West Portal Lutheran School 33–17 to take home the first CYO championship trophy for girls’ basketball. Down 7–0 after the first quarter, Brandeis fought back in second quarter to take a 2-point lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Brandeis's relentless press defense led to a 6–0 run, putting the Lions up for good...
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  • Tzedek Program Challenges Seventh Graders to Think Like Philanthropists

    At last Friday’s Tzedek Program culmination event, the seventh grade announced the recipients of this year’s Tzedek Fund grants. Representatives from the recipient nonprofit organizations (NPOs) were on hand to receive the checks and thank the students. Representatives of NPOs—ranging from LGBT rights to environmental protection, to help for the homeless of San Francisco and care for animals...
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  • Kinship Project Brings Eighth Grade Families Together to Share Stories

    The ninth annual Kinship Project Evening took place on May 17, the culmination of a six-week eighth grade research and writing project that engages students in interviewing their parents and other relatives; gleaning details of family history and recording stories; and then producing a final paper that includes the interviews and a family album. For this annual story-telling evening, all students, parents, and grandparents are invited to get up and tell a three-minute story from their lives...
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  • Eighth Graders Tour Google Headquarters

    Even though the middle school elective “Advanced Topics in Mathematics” was not offered this semester, math teacher Ali Frank still wanted to provide our students with the opportunity to visit and tour the Google headquarters in Mountain View. So, she decided to take the entire eighth grade class...
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  • Fifth Grade End-of-Lower School Ceremony Highlights the Theme of Journeys

    This morning, the fifth grade class led their families and third and fourth grade peers in an end-of-lower-school ceremony, which centered around the class-selected theme of journeys and included a grade-led tefillah service, along with singing and dedications. During the tefillah, fifth grade students wove the journeys concept into an introduction to each prayer, relating the prayer to either the journey of the immigrant family member they wrote about in their Judaic studies project, to the journey of the Israelites, or to their own personal journey through lower school...
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  • Seventh Graders Finish Space Unit by Dehydrating Food

    As the culmination of their science unit about space, and as a segue to their next unit on food science, seventh graders spent this week learning about the dehydration process and then preparing their own dehydrated fruits and vegetables. “The whole year we have been studying microorganisms, and learning about food connects back to what we’ve been studying about the cellular process,” explains teacher Gin Saepharn...
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  • Lower School Spring Concert Showcases Student Musical Growth

    On Tuesday, May 15, the lower school chorus and fourth and fifth grade bands put on a concert for family and friends that showcased the work they have done throughout the year. “We have had so much fun working with our students and watching them grow and develop as musicians,” music teacher Kimberly Lostetter and band director Ari Micich wrote in their welcome letter. Band members performed a variety of songs, including “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Old MacDonald,” and “Rock Around the Clock"; the chorus performed a selection of songs, including "The Moon" and "Goliath." There was nary a dry eye in the audience when the chorus concluded with “When You Believe"...
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  • Fourth Grade Travels to Camp Tawonga and Back in Time to 1855 Hangtown

    Fourth graders spent last Wednesday to Friday in a three-day simulation of the gold rush in "1855 Hangtown" (conveniently transplanted to Camp Tawonga), where they engaged in the everyday experiences of miners, merchants, teachers, and children of the 1850s. “The gold rush program at Camp Tawonga is an impactful culminating experience for studying California history,” says Director of Lower School Jenny Rinn...
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  • 6A Basketball Team Brings Home First B.A.I.A.L. Girls’ Basketball Championship Trophy

    Yesterday afternoon, in front of many Brandeis Lions supporters, the girls’ 6A basketball team defeated Marin Country Day School to take home the first BAIAL championship trophy for girls’ basketball. The 35–11 contest was much closer in the first half than the final score would indicate. It was a tight game—10–4 at halftime—with both teams showing very tough defensive efforts in the first half. But Brandeis pulled away in the second half, showing off the scoring ability that brought them to this game undefeated...
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  • Eighth Graders Use Maps to Think about Israel Trip

    This year, Brandeis has been part of a pilot program called “On the Map.” This program uses maps as visual tools “to spark students’ critical thinking and analysis of the concept of Israel as a place, a nation, and a people,” explains Judaic studies teacher Jennifer Baumer. Before departing for Israel, eighth graders spent five weeks looking at different maps—from ancient maps of the Twelve Tribes of Jacob to current road maps and topographic maps—to understand the diversity and complexity of the modern state of Israel...
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  • Faculty and Staff Defeat Eighth Graders in Annual Faculty/Staff vs. Students Basketball Game

    This afternoon, the entire student body and staff surrounded the blue top during the last hour of the day to enjoy a long-standing tradition—the annual year-end faculty vs. eighth grade basketball game. The weather was chilly and overcast, but the players brought the heat...
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  • Mural Walk and Workshop Inspire Mentoring Youth Board

    On Wednesday, the Mentoring Youth Board—made up of fifth through eighth grade students—participated in a workshop titled “Voices for Leadership,” which was funded through the Brandeis Innovation Grants program. The first part of the workshop consisted of a one-hour mural walking tour of the Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Women’s Building in the Mission led by Vavi Toran, Israel education arts and culture specialist at Jewish LearningWorks...
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  • Second Annual Track and Field Day Builds Upon Success of Inaugural Event in New Venue

    The 2nd annual Brandeis Lag B’Omer Maccabiah Track and Field Day took place today. The entire school community gathered at Kezar Stadium for a fun-packed day of games, sports, and activities. “Kezar is the Mecca of venues we have as options for this day,” exclaims teacher and event co-organizer Sam Dossick, “so it was even more exciting because we were on an official track in this awesome venue...
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  • Eighth Graders Reflect on Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes

    Having just returned from Israel, eighth graders spent time in Ashley Bitton’s language arts class reflecting on their experience and incorporating one of the eighth grade through lines into their reflections: What it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. This through line is also front and center in their current reading unit of To Kill a Mockingbird...
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  • Students Celebrate Children’s Book Week

    Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is an annual weeklong celebration designed to inspire a love of reading in children and teens across the United States. This week, librarian Beckie Beeson organized a number of fun activities in the library for our Brandeis students to participate in...
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  • Kindergarten Writers Learn How to Change the World with Words

    You may have noticed petitions throughout the main building hallway this week. That’s because kindergarteners are learning how writers change the world through words in their persuasive writing unit in Writer’s Workshop. Students have been thinking about problems in their world that they want to solve, everything from little siblings not interrupting to reducing carbon dioxide to help the atmosphere to no running in the hallways...
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  • Middle School Students Model Artwork after Grayson Perry

    Grayson Perry, a contemporary British artist famous for his “Perry Pots,” has provided the inspiration for the middle school art and design elective. These Perry Pots use layers and both found and drawn images to show society as it is now. Rather than make clay pots as Perry does, however, our students created papier-mâché structures layered with geometric shapes and both found and drawn images...
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  • April

    Second Graders Code Their Own Maze Games

    Focusing on computer science concepts, second graders have created their own maze games using the Scratch application and visual programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab. “Students also incorporated concepts from lessons from Code.org, which uses puzzles to help teach computer science to students,” explains teacher Leo Stern. “Scratch is a wonderful application that enables students to learn coding while expressing themselves creatively...
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  • Students Explore Identity with Visiting Artist Arielle Tonkin

    Yesterday, Brandeis welcomed visual artist and spiritual educator Arielle Tonkin to campus, where she spoke with students about her art and led them in a workshop. The workshop, titled “Burlap Weaving Gone Wild,” challenged students to think about two seemingly-opposite parts of their life (anything from being born on the East Coast and now living on the West Coast, to liking soccer and art and how the two interplay)...
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  • First Graders Celebrate Completion of Writer’s Workshop Unit with Author Celebration

    Having just completed their Writer’s Workshop unit on fiction, students in Nicole Schoentag’s first grade class celebrated with an author celebration. “In this unit, students focused on developing characters, settings, problems, and solutions,” says Ms. Schoentag. “We learned that most fiction is written to teach a reader a lesson, which we defined as something you learn that grows your heart and your brain...
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  • Seventh Graders Create Sundials to Analyze Movement and Positioning of the Sun

    Seventh grade science focuses on the study of life and how systems have multiple parts that work together to maintain homeostasis. They have also investigated how disruptions to homeostasis can have ripple effects throughout the system. Teacher Sarah Freilich explained: “In keeping with the theme of systems, as students embark on our space science unit, they are building stronger conceptual understandings of the daily, monthly, and yearly cycles seen on earth.” In class on Monday—a wonderful sunny day!—students created sundials...
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  • Brandeis Celebrates Israel's 70th Birthday!

    Blue and white abounded today as we celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut—Israel’s Independence Day—with a wide variety of celebrations. The morning began with a schoolwide assembly, with students seeing a message from the eighth graders celebrating in Israel (click here to see video) and the seventh graders leading songs...
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  • Fifth and Sixth Graders Join Together for Outdoor Education Experience

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  • Second Graders Challenged to Redesign Classroom Stool Using Design Thinking

    The students in Sarah Goldrath’s second grade class noticed a problem: The stool the students use to reach the soap dispenser and sink to allow them to wash their hands is not the right height and is noisy! “The students noticed the stool is loud when it’s moved or accidently bumped into,” explains Ms. Goldrath. “The stool is also not deep enough for most second graders’ feet. So, students thought about what their dream stool would look like in order to help them wash their hands.” Ms. Goldrath collaborated with Doron Neuburger, maker educator in the BUILD space...
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  • Brandeis Students Sing the National Anthem at Giants Baseball Game

    It was all smiles as the Brandeis fifth grade and lower and middle school choruses joined together with Brandeis Marin to sing the national anthem before the April 11 Giants game at AT&T Park. This National Anthem tradition, which has happened since 2010 with our fourth and fifth grade students, changed this year and will continue in future years: as a culmination of their lower school experience and to more closely align with our lower school music program and curriculum...
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  • Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

    Congratulations to the Brandeis students in the class of 2018, who have been accepted into and will be attending the following high schools (listed alphabetically): 
     
    The Bay School, College Preparatory School, Convent High School, Drew School, Jewish Community High School of the Bay, John O’Connell High School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Lowell High School, Marin Academy, Mission High School, Nueva High School, San Francisco University High School, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, School of the Arts, Tamalpais High School, and the Urban School of San Francisco. Click here for class photo...
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  • Math Lesson Takes Third Graders on an Animal Safari

    As part of the third grade math curriculum, students learn about measurements, both the metric system and the Imperial system, which is used here in the United States. This week, students worked with inches, feet, yards, and miles, and got taken on an animal safari. Working in pairs, students measured each other to determine how many inches tall they each are and then converted those numbers into feet and inches...
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  • March

    Devised Theater Class Teaches Students the Process of Creating Production

    In Crystal Brown’s devised theater elective, 22 middle school students are collaborating to create their own dramatic script and production. “Devised theater, or collaborative theater, is a form of theater-making where the actors are directly involved in the creating process of a production,” explains Ms. Brown. “We start with no script and discover themes, ideas, and characters through improv.” This process of making theater aligns perfectly with our Brandeis values of kindness, integrity, and service...
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  • Phonics Helps First Graders Learn to Read

    There are a number of big milestones during the first-grade year. In addition to the end-of-year first grade tefillah, in which students learn to lead the morning service, there are a number of smaller milestones that take place in the classroom. Learning to read is one of these milestones. “The written language can be compared to a code,” explains resident teacher Orr Agam...
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  • Third Graders Complete Tzedakah Projects with Fair

    One of the focuses of third grade Judaic studies has been tzedakah, which comes from the Hebrew root tzedek, meaning "justice." As part of this focus, students worked with their families to choose a tzedakah project for the whole family to participate in. “Learning about tzedakah is great, but practicing it and being part of the giving side is teaching students to walk the walk and not just talk the talk,” says teacher Sharona Israeli-Roth...
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  • Eighth Graders Fill Seder Sacks for Seniors in Need

    Some old stories don't grow "old"—they become tradition. For nineteen years Brandeis eighth graders have participated in a service project at Jewish Family and Children's Services in their holiday outreach program. Our students prepared over 900 "seder sacks," to be delivered to homebound Jews in time for Passover...
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  • Sixth Graders Mint Hasmonean Coins

    They might not be legal tender, but the “Hasmonean coins” minted by sixth grade Judaic studies students look amazingly authentic—as if freshly unearthed by an Israeli archaeologist. Sixth graders, now exploring the Age of Hellenism in their Judaic studies classes, learned that Jews during this period were under Greco-Roman rule, and that the Hasmoneans—descendents of the Maccabees—created coins that had both Greco-Roman and Jewish symbols on them...
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  • Creative Social Studies Project Invigorates Fourth Graders

    Fourth graders are currently studying missions of California. This project connects with the social studies through-line in fourth grade, which focuses on First Peoples of California. Working in groups of four, students studied one of four major California missions: Mission San Francisco de Asis; San Gabriel Mission; Mission San Carlos Borromeo; and San Buenaventura Mission.
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  • Fourth Graders Share Health Expertise

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  • Sweet Lab in Fifth Grade Science

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  • Theme of Freedom Permeates Third Grade Tefillah

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  • Sixth Graders Learn There Can Be Multiple Correct Answers to the Same Question

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  • Band Students Work on Honing Complex Skill

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  • Brandeis Middle Schoolers Participate in National School Walkout

    On Wednesday, our middle school students joined together with students from our neighboring schools—St. Thomas More School and KZV Armenian School—to take part in the National Student Walkout to protest gun violence. This national movement was created to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting and to bring awareness for the need for increased gun control...
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  • Pi Day Serves Up a Tasty Slice of Math

    Celebrated on March 14 (3.14), Pi Day is celebrated by “mathletes" around the world to encourage a love of math learning. Our Brandeis mathletes took part in Pi Day festivities yesterday, with fifth through eighth grade mentors visiting their kindergarten through fourth grade mentees and leading the students in Pi Day–related activities...
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  • Sixth Graders Begin Collaborative DNA Unit with Seventh Grade

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  • Kindergarteners Make Paper with Artist Julia Goodman

    This week, kindergarteners had the exciting opportunity to learn how to make paper with artist Julia Goodman, who was a visiting artist at Brandeis in the fall as part of our arts outreach program. This time she was back to lead our youngest students in a paper-making workshop, which tied in perfectly with the science curriculum “Materials in Our World.” Says teacher Lisa Hawley, “We have been learning about the origin of things in our world and during our unit about trees we learned that trees give us paper...
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  • Fifth Graders Hone Their End Rhymes, Internal Rhymes, and Loops to Create Rap Songs

    If you’ve walked into the music room recently during fifth grade music class, you may have caught yourself bobbing your head to the beat of the music. Fifth graders are currently creating their own rap songs on a topic of their choice. At the beginning of the unit, fifth graders were treated to a special guest: Dr. Dan Glass, who studied rap music and wrote his dissertation on rap music and poetic expression...
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  • Brandeis Leaders Participate in Shadow-a-Student Challenge

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  • Middle School Students Design Rube Goldberg Machines

    To complement the upcoming Contemporary Jewish Museum exhibit on the life and work of cartoonist and sculptor Rube Goldberg, middle school students in the CREATE elective with Sandee Bisson are creating their own Jewish-themed Rube Goldberg machines. A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately complex contraption in which a series of devices that perform simple tasks are linked together to produce a domino effect in which activating one device triggers the next device in the sequence (click here for a popular culture example of one)...
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  • Seventh Graders Give Back to San Francisco Community

    As part of the Brandeis Tzedek Program, seventh graders participate in three days of service learning. This year the seventh graders are taking part in the Tenderloin Walking Tour, serving lunch at Glide Memorial, and volunteering at the Jewish Home and the Raphael House. Two weeks ago and then again today, students spent the day taking part in the Tenderloin Walking Tour and serving lunch at Glide Memorial...
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  • Third Graders Get Their Two Cents’ Worth at the Old Mint

    Third Graders couldn't wait to get their two cents' worth in at the San Francisco Old Mint last week. As part of its history days, the Mint opened its doors to students from all over the Bay Area. Students had the chance to tour the building, make animation with employees from the Walt Disney Museum, and visit with local history groups...
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  • Mentoring Youth Board Volunteers at Food Pantry

    This week, the Mentoring Youth Board (which consists of fifth through eighth grade students who guide the Brandeis mentoring program) visited the Jewish Family and Children’s Services food pantry to lend a helping hand. “The Mentoring Youth Board is about not only teaching students to take on leadership roles here at school but also in teaching them how to lead and contribute to the wider community,” says Dean of Student Life Sharona Israeli-Roth. The goal of this opportunity was to provide our student-leaders with the opportunity to understand more about the food issues facing our San Francisco community...
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  • Sixth Graders Share Their Favorite Foods in Spanish Class

    As the culmination of their Spanish unit on eating and drinking, students took part in exactly that: making and sharing their favorite foods and drinks with their classmates. The students made presentations in Spanish about their favorite foods, sharing how to make each food item. “The chapter is on food, and students have learned about the verbs for eat, drink, and share, and also how to describe foods as healthy and unhealthy..."
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  • Hyde Street Pier Experience Helps Fourth Graders Feel Like Explorers

    Last week, fourth graders visited the Hyde Street Pier and climbed aboard Eureka, a ferry boat, and CA Thayer, a schooner, to experience what early explorers must have felt like traveling long journeys on a boat. “Students have been studying explorers as part of our social studies unit,” says teacher Kate Callan...
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  • Brandeis Celebrates Purim Beatles-style!

    Today is Purim and what better way for our community to celebrate than with schoolwide activities, including a costume parade, carnival, mishloach manot (gifts of food for friends) exchange, and a Beatles-themed spiel? The rain didn't stop our students from parading their costumes in front of their peers. Students came dressed as everything from princesses and pirates to Harry Potters and Legos to even a San Francisco Painted Lady...
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  • February

    First Graders Celebrate Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog

    To learn about Chinese New Year, the most important holiday in China, first graders have immersed themselves in celebration the last week. First graders began celebrating the Year of the Dog by wearing red—the color of good luck—and eating Chinese food. During this two-week celebration, students also read books about Chinese New Year, practiced writing Chinese calligraphy, ate dim sum, and studied ancient Chinese traditions...
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  • Reading Aloud and Acting Out Stories Brings Language Arts Classroom to Life

    In seventh grade, students spend time in class reading books and stories aloud. Currently, students have delved into Romeo and Juliet and, says teacher Ashley Bitton, “I believe that a student’s first introduction to Shakespeare should be memorable. If we lived in Renaissance England, we would be at the Globe Theater watching these plays, so why not recreate the same energy in the classroom?” Students begin each scene by reading and acting it out aloud, and then discuss the main points of the scene as well as how Shakespeare uses figurative language to make his words come alive...
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  • Hebrew Unit Culminates in Both Individual and Group Work for Fourth Graders

    As the culmination of one of their units of the Chaverim B’Ivrit Hebrew curriculum, fourth graders had the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of their learning through both individual work and group work. Working in groups, students acted out a story about an elderly man, Mr. Cohen, who doesn’t like children playing in his garden. But when Mr. Cohen becomes ill, the children bring him food and he lets the children play in his garden. “The performance of this play ties in closely to the four aims of language acquisition—speaking, reading, writing, and listening—and in particular, speaking...
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  • Innovation Grant Brings Acclaimed Jewish Storyteller Joel Ben Izzy to Brandeis

    Over the past three weeks, Brandeis students have had many opportunities to engage with acclaimed Jewish storyteller Joel Ben Izzy, thanks to the Brandeis Innovation Grants (BIG) program. Ben Izzy is known for “utilizing Jewish folklore, as well as the folklore of other cultures from around the world, as a way to connect us to ourselves and the world we live in,” explains teacher Jonathan Ferris, BIG grant recipient...
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  • First Graders Brave the Cold to Explore Bay Area Discovery Museum

    As part of their science unit on air and weather, first graders visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum on Tuesday, where they explored Horseshoe Bay and participated in a STEM workshop. Students had the chance to see firsthand how the weather and air impact where animals live. Braving the cold, first graders searched for animals that live in the intertidal zone in Horseshoe Bay...
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  • Third Graders Share Diversity of Jewish Life with Family Shabbat Presentations

    Each Friday, a third grade student gets the opportunity to share with the class his or her family’s Shabbat traditions. “Judaism has many different layers and many ways to celebrate Jewish life,” explains teacher Sharona Israeli-Roth. “Every family has different ways of celebrating and this presentation allows students to celebrate and share their Jewish identities, traditions, melodies, foods, rituals, and artifacts.” Students are asked to bring in a children’s book to read, a book that conveys a value that that student believes in...
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  • Fifth Graders Teach Lessons of Peace through Performance of Hebrew Play

    This week, fifth graders performed the play Dira Lehaskir (Apartment for Rent), which tells the story of a group of animals looking for a new tenant for an apartment in their building. One prospective renter after another comes to see the apartment but finds fault with one of the current tenants. Audience members, which included parents and students from other grades, were introduced to a mouse, a hen, a cuckoo bird, a pig, a giraffe, a cat, and a dove, among other animals...
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  • Sixth Grade Leads Middle School Community in Morning Tefillah Service

    This morning the sixth graders led their middle school peers and families in a traditional Shacharit (morning) service. Students shared introductions to each of the prayers that included the meaning of the prayer, the history of the prayer, their thoughts about the prayer, and their creation of a modern version of the prayer. In addition, students read beautifully from the Torah, volunteering to take on this challenging task...
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  • Fourth Graders Explore Music Learning through a Different Lens

    To challenge students to explore music through a different lens, music teacher Kimberly Lostetter partnered with Doron Neuburger, maker educator in the BUILD space, to integrate music with making. One of the fourth grade classes was tasked with designing a tactile, visual representation of a whole note. They asked the questions, “How many half notes fit into a whole note?” and “How many quarter notes fit into both a whole note and a half note?” After answering those questions, students worked together to create their visual representation, which Ms. Lostetter will use when teaching the younger students about whole notes...
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  • Photographs and Empathy Help Eighth Graders Connect with Pre-war Jewish Life in Europe

    In order to better understand what Jewish cultural and communal life was like in Europe prior to World War II, eighth graders found photographs of European Jews taken from 1900 to 1938 and analyzed them. In addition, eighth graders researched the town and country where the photos were taken, to better understand the historical ramifications. Finally, they found their own family photograph similar to the one they selected to analyze (for example, one student selected a pre-war photograph of a family riding bicycles and compared it to a photo of his family on a bike ride), to show how life before the Holocaust was not that different from their own lives today...
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  • Third Graders Synthesize Learning about Victorian Era with Culminating Project

    After learning all about the Victorian era in San Francisco and touring the Haas-Lilienthal House to learn more about Victorian-era architecture, third graders synthesized everything they have learned by creating Victorian homes using recycled materials. In the CREATE space, students used a shoebox as a starting point to bring to the life the many aspects that exemplify Victorian homes. They then used many different types of materials and resources to replicate traditional features, such as dormers and weather vanes...
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  • New Curriculum Helps Kindergarten and First Graders Explore Music

    This year music teacher Kimberly Lostetter is using a new curriculum for kindergarten and first grade. “It’s called ‘First Steps in Music,’ and is designed to help make students musical in three ways: artful, tunefulbeatful,” says Ms. Lostetter. “Children are not as exposed to music early on as they used to be and I noticed they were having a harder time associating with music. This curriculum gets back to the basics and lays a foundation before we move on to written music...
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  • Second Graders Demonstrate "Menschy-ness" at Tefillah and Community Celebration

    This morning the second graders led a community celebration and tefillah for their families and the first graders. The program elaborated a social and emotional learning theme that integrated many aspects of the curriculum in the exploration of what it means to be a mensch—a Yiddish word whose connotation means “a person of integrity and honor.” For the past several months, in both general and Judaic studies, the second graders have identified the qualities requisite to becoming heroes, sheroes, and mensches...
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  • Fifth Graders Participate in Colonial Simulation

    Fifth grade students are currently participating in a colonial simulation designed by fifth grade humanities teacher Kaitlyn Huston. For the simulation, students have been divided into three groups—New England, middle colonies, and southern colonies—and are working in groups to research life in their colonies in depth, “focusing on topics ranging from types of colonial governments to relationships with indigenous peoples,” explains resident teacher Matt Druyen...
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  • Fourth Graders Perfect Their Jump Rope Routines

    Fourth graders are currently engaged in a jump rope unit in P.E. “The unit hits a lot of different aspects of the yearly curriculum,” explains teacher Sam Dossick, “hand-eye coordination, daily exercise, creativity, and the continual progress of the lower body and the upper body working together to perform a movement pattern.” Working individually and guided by a set of criteria, fourth graders are creating their own jump rope routines...
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  • Guest Speaker from ING Addresses Seventh Graders

    Seventh grade social studies students enjoyed a special presentation and Q&A session with Ameena Jandali, an American Muslim speaker representing Islamic Networks Group (ING). The class has been studying Islamic civilization and the foundation and tenets of the religion. "Ms. Jandali is an impressive and affable woman in the Muslim community and in the Bay Area," says social studies teacher Allison Stine...
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  • Eighth Graders Develop Product Ideas for Market Equilibrium Project in Math

    For their market equilibrium project in math, eighth grade students begin by identifying real-world needs and creating products to meet those needs. Products conceptualized this year range from the practical and possible (a sleeping mask that regulates temperature and a diet pill that actually works) to the silly (a beauty pillow that prevents waking up to a "bad hair day")...
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  • Fourth Graders Share Important Values at Community Tefillah

    This morning, fourth graders proudly led their parents and the third through fifth grade village in a tefillah and community gathering. Students wove in learning about Tu B’Shvat, sharing with all in attendance the values they have learned from this important holiday...
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  • Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop Curriculum Guides Kindergarten Writing

    The Lucy Calkins writers workshop curriculum, developed at Columbia University, provides an excellent framework for developing young kindergarten writers. They read stories and talk about the components of a story before generating ideas for their own story—for the nonfiction narratives unit, a true story...
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  • Seventh Grade Experiential Education Focuses on Leadership, Tzedek

    Our seventh graders embarked last week for their three-day, two-night outdoor education trip. This experiential education trip focused on the themes of leadership and tzedek (justice), two themes that permeate the seventh grade curriculum. Students collaborated in group challenges; hiked through the woods; spent time discussing different types of leadership and the choices they can make around tzedakah; and participated in tefillah rotations including fitness and mindfulness, poetry and prose writing, and making inspirational cards for the Raphael House...
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  • Sixth Graders Learn to Translate Word Problems to Math Expressions through Games

    Playing the game “Four of a Kind,” in which they must match similar expressions written three or four different ways, sixth graders are learning to translate word problems into expressions or equations. “This activity helps build the foundation needed for them to take real-world math problems, often represented as word problems, and turn them into solvable equations,” says teacher Gin Saepharn...
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  • Tu B’Shvat Scavenger Hunt Teaches Students about Plants and Trees at Brandeis

    Brandeis holiday coordinator Sandra Menachem wanted to re-envision the way Tu B’Shvat is celebrated at Brandeis. So, she worked with Director of Jewish Learning Debby Arzt-Mor and the middle school Jewish life committee to create a school-wide scavenger hunt where students in all grades went around the school locating the many different types of plants and trees we have here on campus...
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  • January

    Brandeis Alumna Named One of 32 American Rhodes Scholars in 2018

    Brandeis alumna and current Stanford University senior, Madeleine Chang ’09, was recently selected one of 32 American Rhodes Scholars from a candidate pool of 866. Rhodes scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study for each scholar at the University of Oxford in England...
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  • Famous Israeli Cartoonist Shares Insight with Sixth and Eighth Graders

    Michel Kichka, famous Israeli cartoonist, was on campus today to speak with our sixth and eighth grade students. Kichka presented an insider’s view of the work of a caricaturist and cartoonist and shared how he goes about his work. He also demonstrated his work for our students...
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  • Science and Judaic Studies Come Together for Second Graders as They Celebrate Tu B’Shvat

    In preparation for Tu B’Shvat next week, second graders are learning about the importance of the holiday from both a Judaic studies and a science perspective. Dubbed the “new year of the trees,” Tu B’Shvat  is celebrated by Jews around the world as an ecological awareness day...
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  • Shakespeare a Hit in Seventh Grade Language Arts

    Seventh graders are immersed in a language arts unit on the famous William Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. “Our work with the play addresses two of our seventh grade throughlines: ‘How can we be thoughtful readers and writers’ and ‘What does it mean to love reading?’” says teacher Isaac Jacobs-Gomes...
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  • First Graders Build Prototypes for Testing the Direction of Wind

    As part of their air and weather unit in science, first graders spent time on Monday building their own wind vanes to show the direction of the wind. “They’ve been learning about weather and all the tools and instruments used to measure the weather, such as a rain gauge, thermometer, and anemometer,” explains resident teacher Abby Stanford...
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  • Fifth Graders Not Only Learn Body’s Digestive System, They Act It Out, Too!

    The second semester science curriculum in fifth grade focuses on biology, “looking at the different systems that multicellular organisms use,” says teacher Eitam Kohen. To begin the semester, students are focused on learning about the human body and will then move on to plant systems afterwards...
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  • Fourth Graders Observe the Convergence of Art and Science

    Fourth grade artists traveled to the Conservatory of Flowers last week to explore the work of American artist Georgia O’Keefe, who is best known for her large close-up studies of flowers and plants. “The fourth grade art curriculum focuses on the intersection of science and art,” explains art teacher Cathy Withrington. This field trip also helped the fourth graders hone their observational drawing...
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  • Seventh Graders Explore Museum Exhibits about How Messages Transmit Culture

    On Friday, January 12, the seventh grade visited the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) to learn about how stories, dance, and masquerade transmit messages about culture. The two museums are currently collaborating, presenting exhibits that explore the meaning behind the stories we tell. Students toured CJM’s exhibit Jewish Folktales Revisited: Artist as Maggid (Storyteller) and MoAD’s exhibit EN MAS: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean...
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  • Sixth Graders Learn Importance of Verb Estar

    Sixth graders in beginning Spanish are just about ready to move from Level 1 to Level 2 in their curriculum, Auténtico Spanish Program. In order to master Level 1, “students are learning the verb estar ("to be") and integrating it with the vocabulary and grammar they have been learning,” says teacher Julieta Zuniga...
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  • Ulpan Or Curriculum Puts Emphasis on Conversational Hebrew

    One of the main goals of the Ulpan Or Hebrew curriculum is to teach students to translate English to Hebrew in their heads. To do this, students participate in a number of dialogues where they must translate a conversation from English to Hebrew. “My seventh grade students are acting out a dialogue from English to Hebrew,” says teacher Tammy Broner...
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  • Lower School Students Honor Martin Luther King Jr. and His Legacy

    At last Friday’s lower school assembly, students gathered to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. “This assembly is dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and changemakers all over the world,” said Jenny Rinn, director of lower school, to begin the assembly. After a first grader shared the definition of a changemaker—someone who sees a problem in the community and has the courage to take action to make a change—second graders in 2W stood up in front of the group and read the beginning of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and then shared their own dreams...
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  • Fifth Grade Artwork Selected to Display at Contemporary Jewish Museum

    As part of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Shabbat Design Challenge for students, eight Brandeis 5th graders submitted work. Over 60 students from around the greater Bay Area submitted work and 18 of those submissions were selected to be on display at the CJM during the CJM ArtBash on Sunday, January 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mazel tov to 5th graders Jacob B., Zachary N., Sadie P., and Rachel R. on having their work selected for the display. “I put this Shabbat Design Challenge out to my students as an optional project, meaning those who were interested could participate...
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  • Students Shine in Annie Jr.

    Middle school drama elective students took to the stage this week after spending months rehearsing the musical production Annie Jr. Annie Jr. is part of Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior program, and features all the charm of the Annie musical, capturing Little Orphan Annie's exciting journey through 1930s New York as she looks for her family. “Students had been asking that we do Annie as our musical, and I thought it was the perfect production because it has many different roles and is well liked and well known,” explains director and drama teacher Crystal Brown...
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  • First Graders Learn about the Heart from a Brandeis Alumni Father-son Team

    For the last 10 years, cardiologist Dr. John MacGregor and his son Jacob (class of 2016) have visited Barbara Eisenhauer’s first grade class for a lesson about the heart. Dr. MacGregor and Jacob began the lesson yesterday morning by providing the first graders with an overview of the heart. “This year, they delved much more deeply into the relationship between the heart and the lungs,” explains Ms. Eisenhauer. “The students came away with the understanding of how the pulmonary artery carries blood to pick up oxygen and how the aorta carries the oxygen-rich blood back...
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  • New Multimedia Collage Elective Teaches Middle Schoolers a New Way of Expressing Ideas

    A new elective this year—multimedia and collage—is teaching middle school students a new way of expressing their ideas. Taught by David Starfas, the class began with students learning about traditional collage techniques before moving into digital collage techniques. “The magic with collage is when we use our imagination to make something new out of the old,” says Mr. Starfas. The students' task for the semester was to create a collage image of an animal wearing clothing. “To do this, students started by drawing the elements of a background and scanning those elements onto the computer...
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  • “Take a Trip Down the Nile, It’ll Be Worthwhile” – Sixth Graders Create Nile River Travel Brochures

    Sixth graders became travel agents in their social studies class, creating travel brochures highlighting the Nile River and four sites along it, as well as the pharaoh who commissioned the building of the sites: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Karnak Temple Complex, the Dayr al-Bahir temple, and the Abu Simbel temples. “This assignment brings some purpose to what the students are learning about in their ancient Egypt unit,” explains teacher Allison Stine...
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  • Kindergarteners Explore Solar System and Tinkering at Chabot Space & Science Center

    The kindergarten field trip to Chabot Space and Science Center on December 17 was an exciting part of the science unit on outer space and the solar system. Students explored the exhibits, looked through telescopes, sat in a rocket, climbed into a black hole, and saw lots of space memorabilia. Kindergarteners saw the IMAX movie The Cardboard Rocket, about children who take a trip through space to visit each planet. They also had the opportunity to visit the Chabot Space and Science Center’s new space, Project Create, a tinkering and making space for all ages...
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  • Victorian Era Studies Come to Life for Third Graders

    The current social studies unit in third grade focuses on the Victorian era in San Francisco’s history. In addition to talking and reading about Victorian life, students have had the opportunity to see their learning come to life through playing Victorian-era children’s games. They tried their luck with Victorian-era games including jacks, whirligigs, button toss, and tops. Third graders also visited the Haas-Lillenthal House, a Victorian-era home that has been converted into a museum...
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