Printed from

"Elementary Experiences"

Preschool Seder Experience

Seder Experience with Morah Raizel:

This week, the children participated in a seder. This was our introduction into Pesach. Why start with a seder? Aren’t they usually done right before Pesach? The purpose of beginning our Pesach journey with a seder is to enhance the children’s Pesach experience. Being able to experience the sights, sounds, smells, touch, and tastes of the seder, makes Pesach so much more real for the children. When we talk about all of the concepts at the seder and create our haggadahs, the children will be so able to process the information properly because they experienced it.

Each child had a chance to share what they liked about our seder.

Mendel: That was a good seder. I like… Read More »

Intergenerational Day 2018

20180131_114106.jpgA wonderful annual event took place on January 31st at Hebrew Academy of Orange County to connect students and their families over education, values, and traditions. The school’s annual Intergenerational Day took place on the Hebrew date of Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees with many related activities and festivities including planting etrog trees in the school’s Israel orchard as a symbol of continuing life and passing on of traditions.20180131_113716.jpg

The celebration was full of meaningful experiences for the children and adults alike. It was an opportunity for students to connect with other generations in their family, whether grandparents, aunts, uncles or other family members. The opportunity for non-parental family… Read More »

Hebrew Academy Library Presents: Author's Day

On Thursday, January 25th, the Parent Association of Hebrew Academy is proud to celebrate Author's Day with your students. We will be visited by two authors, David Newman and Claude Abraham. Mr. Newman is an accomplished and award-winning author of children's books. For more about his books, you can check out his website.

If you would like your student to have his books, you can fill out this form. Additionally, Adam will be happy to sign any purchases the day of the event

Dr. Claude Abraham will be addressing the Upper School students. He has written 14 books, been knighted by the French government, given the Humboldt prize by the German government, and made a fellow of the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National… Read More »

Upcoming Mitzvah Night


A festive celebration will be highlighting the fantastic community kindness projects Hebrew Academy of Orange County students have done. Taking place on Saturday, January 20th, “Lighting Up the Night” will be the annual Mitzvah Night to celebrate these great projects.


With each grade involved with a different project to help out various non-profit organizations in the area, there will be presentations by students, as well as representatives of the respective organizations. The organizations include, but are not limited to Bubbe and Zayde's Place, Simchat Shabbat OC, Support Our Troops, and Friendship Circle, amongst others.


In addition to the presentations, there will be a Mexican fiesta dinner, as… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - "Fressil"

"Fressil" - Fifth Grade Students Create Writing Company

    When it comes to seeking out a company to outsource your writing needs, have you considered elementary school students? An entrepreneurial group of fifth graders at Hebrew Academy of Orange County has created a company that does just that.

       The company, Fressil, writes wonderful, unique stories that people specially request.  They are well-written (thanks to the Wondering Writing program at Hebrew Academy) and hand-delivered, selling for about $1 per story.

       A trio of fifth grade boys - DovBer Fried, Kalev Hess, and Gil Lichtmacher – decided to start… Read More »

Hebrew Academy Student Wins National Hanukkah Essay Contest

Elias Greenwood reading essay Imagine getting flown to the nation’s capital to celebrate Hanukkah for winning a national essay contest. Now imagine getting to light a massive menorah while there. That is something magical that recently happened for one of our students right here at Hebrew Academy.

            Winning a national essay contest to light the nation’s largest menorah on the first night of Hanukkah was one of our own. Hebrew Academy fourth grader Elias Greenwood flew to our nation’s capital at the beginning of Hanukkah to light the National Menorah, run by The National Menorah Council, a project of American Friends of Lubavitch. Greenwood’s winning of the Rabbi Mendy… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Candy Kahn


A day in the life of a kindergartener!

Our fantastic Kindergarten class has been hard at work and play. They have all made the huge transition from Pre-K into their first school class beautifully! We are so proud of them!

The children are learning to recognize their numbers, letter names and sounds, and sight words. They each read in class daily, either individually or in groups and receive a short reader to take home and practice with their parents.

The Kindergarten day is jam packed with activities! We start out with our “Daily Fix-it”, where children are learning to correct grammar in a sentence. We have learnt about spacing, a period and having uppercase letters for names and the beginning of sentences. The… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Lauren Wolder

Hi from First Grade!

WOW.....Its October already!😀 

After a VERY busy time with all our holidays, it feels good to get back into a 'full week' routine. 

In English, we are already nearing the end of our first classroom reader, and 5th weekly story. Each story in our Pearson Reading Street Program, focuses on specific readingwriting and  grammatical skills.

 This week, we read " Get the Egg". Our students discussed how we can help animals in the wild, and followed the writing process, ( planning, rough draft, editing and final copy ) as they completed their non- fiction, information paragraphs. We identified words with the short e vowel sound, and sorted our… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Morah Rochie Popack

 Kitah Alef - is a year of many firsts! There are so many new skills we are learning, Kriyah - Hebrew reading and Kesivah - Hebrew cursive writing are just a few. The most exciting first - receiving our very first Siddur. We are very excited and are working hard on all our new reading skills, practicing and reinforcing what we already know so we can be very fluent and accurate readers.

While academics is very important and we are definitely learning so much. We are learning all the core values of the Hebrew Academy. Using the stories of the weekly Torah portion we are noticing the core values our forefathers exemplified and discussing ways we could follow in their paths. We began with the core value of kindness and used Abraham, who… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. McKenna Harkins

 Life in the Fifth Grade Classroom  

Hello! My name is McKenna Harkins, and I have had the unique opportunity of teaching fifth grade this year in the Lower School. We have had an exciting year thus far, and students have made some fantastic progress in their academic studies. In their Language Arts Unit, students have been diving into various stories and practicing a variety of reading comprehension skills, such as comparing and contrasting, determining the author’s purpose, and recognizing how the characters and setting of a story impact the plot. I would encourage you to ask students about these reading skills at home, and listen to how well they can recognize key text features to truly gain meaning and understanding… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Susan Choi

From the Desk of Mrs. Choi

General Studies- 3rd Grade

Welcome to 3rd grade!

We had a great start to a new year! The first few weeks of school were spent reviewing the 2nd grade curriculum.  This week we finally began the 3rd grade curriculum and the students were more than thrilled. We’ve read 2 stories in our reading program, “Charlie McButton” and “What About Me?” In preparation for our first writing project/unit (personal narratives), we have been busy writing about ourselves in our writing journal.  In math, we have started to practice multiplication by skip counting.

3rd grade will be filled with lots of fun and excitement this year. In order to maintain a healthy balance at school… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Jenna Sagan

From the Desk of Mrs. Sagan

General Studies- 2nd Grade

It’s been a busy few weeks for second grade! We have been hard at work, developing routines and focusing on learning the ins and outs of our second grade expectations.

During second grade reading instruction, we focus heavily on structured literacy time that helps to develop lifelong habits of reading, writing, and working independently. This year, we have introduced “The Daily 5,”a model of reading instruction created by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, which provides five authentic reading and writing choices to students, working independently towards personalized goals. 

These five choices include:

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Lauren Wolder

 From the Desk of Mrs. Wolder

General Studies- 1st Grade

A warm welcome back to our 2016/2017 school year.

We are a little biased in  First Grade, thinking that our year has to be the most awesome year in Elementary school.

Whether you are biased or not, no one can deny that  First Grade is one of those school years where the growth in a child, emotionally, socially and academically is nothing short of awe inspiring!

I feel so privileged to be part of this dynamic transformation.

Our  First Grade classes are settling down well. They have navigated their way around their new playground, classrooms and lunch area and are enjoying waving hello to the new Kindergarten class.... from… Read More »

Elementary Experiences-Mrs. Jennifer Bentley

 From the Desk of Mrs. Bentley

In Kindergarten we have been learning about life cycles and observing some of Hashem’s creatures. At our Science Station we have a gel ant farm so the students can observe these magnificent creatures as they dig their tunnels and work together as a community. They really are amazing to watch! We also had ladybug larvae. The students were able to watch the ladybugs go through the stages from the larva, to the pupa, and then the adult. Within 10 days the ladybug larvae attached themselves inside the walls of the dome and began the “pupal” stage of their lives. Then, a week later, the adult ladybugs emerged. We noticed that they were pale at first and did not have their spots. I takes… Read More »

Elementary Experiences - Mrs. Cheryl Johnson

From the Desk of Cheryl Johnson

4th Grade General Studies

Trip to Sacramento

Last week, the 4th-graders spent three days in Sacramento and the Gold Country.  The trip was the capstone of our yearlong study of our state.  During the first trimester, we focused on the geographical features of California.  In the second trimester, we studied the Native American tribes who lived in California before European and Latin American settlers arrived.  Finally, during the third trimester, we learned about the Gold Rush and its impact on our state.  Going to Sacramento allowed the kids to actually see and experience some of the things they studied during the year.

On our first day, we toured a Central Valley farm and the… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.