On Friday, February 22nd, thirty-three 4th graders from our Lower School paid a visit to our 11th/12th grade AP Environmental Science class to learn about the environmental impact of gold mining in California. They were taught by our juniors and seniors, who also ran a tasty activity where the 4th graders had to dig for yellow jelly beans (gold) hidden within a cake (the earth).
Freshman Ethan S.'s poem, "The Voice," has won the 2nd place in Chapman University's 20th Annual Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest! This year's theme was Purposeful Telling: Through Memory to Action. His poem is based on Auschwitz survivor Paula Lebovics's testimony, courtesy of the USC Shoah Foundation. Ethan and Holocaust Studies teacher, Ms. Leslie White, will attend the awards ceremony at Chapman University on Friday, March 8th. Congratulations, Ethan!
I am your memories, Paula, a reflective recollection The surreal experience of a childhood that was stolen There is not a specific one that defines you, rather a collection You kept silent for so many years for fear of retribution But courage prevailed, you found the words to speak against the “final solution” That little girl’s voice that stood alone and proud Is now an orchestra, a deafening crowd We all sing out against hatred and oppression For if we don't seek love, it will be our nation's regression.
This week, Dr. McNellis’s 9th-grade college prep English classes dug deep into Romeo and Juliet by practicing stage design in the upper school Design Studio. Students worked together in groups to build models of sets for the famous balcony scene. They will be using their models to write detailed promptbooks, which will require them to think critically about the interactions between the (imaginary) actors, the space they’ve created, and Shakespeare’s text.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the senior Class of 2019 (well, almost all of it) performed William Shakespeare’s Hamlet for the TVT community. Working in groups, they had about 2 and a half weeks to cut the 5 acts of Othello down to about 15 minutes each; apply a concept to their act, like Cowboy Hamlet, Pirate Hamlet, or Gangster Hamlet, and then they needed actually to rehearse.
On Sunday, February 24, more than 100 students from across California, Arizona and even as far as Boston, MA visited TVT's campus for the 2019 Diamond Challenge entrepreneurship event. Students competed in Business Innovation and Social Innovation tracks.
In social studies, fourth-grade teachers, Gail Peddie, and Melissa Geoghegan, are using project-based learning as a way for students to acquire knowledge and skills. Students will be examining the effects of the Gold Rush on daily life in California. To assist them in choosing a topic that inspires them to learn more, the teachers took their students on “field trips” to the middle and high school to learn more about various subjects.
Author and Holocaust educator Michele Gold shared her unique family history with Ms. White’s 11th grade Jewish Studies classes on Thursday 2/21. Gold’s mother, the late Rita Berwald, survived the Holocaust through the Kindertransport, an organized rescue effort that brought thousands of Jewish children to safety in England from Nazi Germany in 1938-1940.
Our 5th graders love to read and especially in their book clubs. We just started our newest round of books - the genre is action, adventure, and survival. Some of the titles include Hatchet, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Cay, and Julie of the Wolves.
While your family was enjoying the long weekend, teachers and staff spent the day learning and collaborating. We focused on social, emotional, and behavioral supports in the morning. Talking about how to best meet your child(ren)'s needs.
In the afternoon, we conducted a safety drill so that all of our staff is able to think on their feet and feel secure in what to do in case of an emergency.
When Shabbat ends this Saturday night, the fun will begin for our third graders! Third graders have been preparing all year for their Havdalah ceremony and now it's time for them to really shine. They will spend the first half hour teaching their parents all they need to know about the Jewish ritual of Havdalah.
This year, the faculty implemented a new policy in an effort to alleviate a lot of the stress placed on middle school students. They made it so that students could no longer see their cumulative grades except for a week before the end of each quarter. This received a significant amount of backlash from eighth-graders due to the increase of stress over not knowing their status in each class.
Kindness Week in the lower school culminated during Kabbalat Shabbat when four 4th grade students, Samson E., Bennett M., Gilah C., and Maya E. introduced Kindness Coupons to our community. Kindness coupons are a way for students to help others who are sad or having a hard day.
TVT Upper School will be taking part in our annual Lions’ Pride Day retreat on Monday and Tuesday, February 11 and 12. As in the past, this year students will return to Big Bear for fun in the snow. Almost every student attends this event, which is a highlight of the year. Students will have the opportunity to go tubing at Big Bear Snow Play, skiing or boarding at Snow Summit, and/or chilling out in town. Of course, the retreat wouldn’t be complete without a “blackout” dance on Monday night. Let it snow!
For the end of their Dynamic Earth unit, the 6th-grade earth science students partnered up to research an active volcano in the US and were tasked to recreate that specific volcano using all recycled materials that were donated by the TVT community.
This past Friday, January 25, TVT held its annual Geography Bee, participating in the 2019 National Geographic Bee. After our preliminary round, these ten contestants made it into the final round and competed so gracefully against each other. They each came in during their free time every week to join our study sessions and shared such extensive knowledge of geographical facts. They each were such a worldly group, and we are so proud of them! The 2019 champion, Devin N. (4th grade), will move on to take a qualifying test for the State Bee with the hopes of continuing through to the finals. We know that Devin will represent TVT in this competition with his enthusiasm and passion for Geography. Each of our finalists should feel so proud of their accomplishments. Kol Ha’kavod to all of them!
Last Friday night our 7th grade gathered together for the annual TVT 7th Grade Shabbaton led by Rabbis Stuart Light and Ali Lawton and guest story-teller Mark Lazzar. There were 25 hours of action-packed fun! Students made challah, created a play about the week’s Torah portion, swam at the JCC, participated in group bonding, led a Torah service, had a Nerf gun war, and concluded the event with a moving Havdalah service! Shabbaton goers ate cholent for the first time, created burritos and voted on their favorite ice creams.
When God came to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, each present heard revelation differently, according to their capacity. Just as the manna which God gave to the Israelites as food in the wilderness tasted differently to different people, so too were God's words heard by every person in the way that they could "hear" them. Diversity and Inclusion in the TVT classroom draw upon the Jewish truth that God's actions are most effective when they reach every person where that person "is" emotionally and spiritually.
The boy's middle school basketball team won their first round Tri-Way League playoff game against Calvary Santa Ana 42-41. Dustin M. was the high scorer with 17 points, David G. scored 12, Garrett D. scored 9, and Aaron S. rounded out the scoring with 2 points. The TVT boys will now travel to Pegasus to play Pegasus on Tuesday, February 5th at 3:30 pm in the semi-finals of the Tri-way League.
Our students are participating in Kids Heart Challenge over the next few weeks, and we are kicking off during PE this week. We’re excited to be JUMPING ROPE during PE, learning about how our hearts work, and raising the lifesaving donation to help others affected by heart diseases and stroke. Our nations #1 killer is heart disease, and we are excited to join the fight this year.
How do you engage eight-year-olds to help them understand the meaning of equal rights, segregation, and integration? One approach is through Project Based Learning (PBL) which integrates multiple curriculum areas with a hands-on approach.
They can name the objects around them in Hebrew and are even able to say short sentences!
Every day, first grade sings songs, plays games and participates in fun activities that have helped them learn many new words in Hebrew.
They got to know Sharona, a first-grade girl that adores the color red; she has a red backpack and all red school supplies. They also got to know Shachar, a boy who loves the color blue; he has a blue backpack and has in it a blue sharpener, a blue pencil, and a blue book, among other blue stuff. Our first graders also shared which color they love the most.
The Middle School Garage Band brought down the house on Thursday, December 13. Directed by Music Instructor, Alex Segal, they performed high-powered renditions of hit songs by Queen, Aerosmith, Stevie Wonder, and more! A tremendous time was enjoyed by all.
Last month, TVT’s Upper School Mock Trial Team won phenomenal victories in Round 3 and 4 of the Orange County Constitutional Rights Foundation’s 2018 High School Mock Trial Competition. The Mock Trial Team, led by co-captains Ephi L. and Leyla S., met several times per week since August in preparation for the competition.