Reflections from Our Students

June 18, 2021

Dear Beit Rabban Community,

In Jewish tradition we come together at the culmination of a unit of study to celebrate the learning, recognize the accomplishment, and affirm our commitment to keep going! When we finish a section of Jewish study, we host a festive gathering, a Siyum. Usually, the person or people who have studied the unit share some words of Torah based on their learning and recite the "Hadran." On this last week of the 5781 school year, we have a lot to recognize and celebrate! With the incredibly hard work of our administration, board, lay leadership, and staff, we have been blessed to be open in-person every school day of this year. I believe that our community came together to harness this good fortune to the lifelong benefit of our children.

We asked all our students (Gan-Chativah) to reflect on their learnings this year. We then shared some of these reflections yesterday at our final communal assembly of the year, a Siyum celebration of sorts. I invite you all to enjoy the inspiration and nachas by reading our students' reflections (in their own words) on this unusual school year, they are included at the end of this message. As a Beit Rabban educator and parent, the students' responses definitely affirm my commitment to keep going!

This year has provided an unusual set of circumstances that impact our children's learning and growth. In many ways the pandemic has made learning much harder, and in some ways it has offered opportunities for deeper learning. I hope that our children have been anchored by their Beit Rabban community during these times of upheaval and that they move through and out of this difficult period as stronger human beings.


הֲדְרָן עֲלָךְ בית רבן וְהֲדְרָךְ עֲלָן
דַּעְתָּן עֲלָךְ תלמידי בית רבן וְדַעְתָּךְ עֲלָן
לָא נִתֽנְשֵׁי מִינָךְ קהילת בית רבן וְלֹא תִתְנְשֵׁי מִינָן


We will return to you, Beit Rabban Day School, and you will return to us.
Our minds are on you, dear Beit Rabban students, and your mind is on us.
We will not forget you, dear Beit Rabban Community, and you will not forget us.


It has been an honor to be part of your children's lives this year, and I look forward to welcoming them back next year with open arms and hopefully with hugs!

Love,
Stephanie

What new skill did you learn this year that makes you feel proud?

  • I know how to say red in Hebrew and I can put on my masecha by myself.
  • I can draw better than last year. 
  • I know how to draw lower case letters.
  • Painting self portraits.
  • How to make a dinosaur.
  • I learned to sing all the months of the year in Hebrew and English.
  • I feel proud of doing minus problems in Math.
  • To write in script Hebrew.
  • I liked learning how to translate the Torah and learning a lot of kinds of poems.
  • Tefillah
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Saying Yishtabach.
  • Well, I learned how to use Roman Numerals in my journal entries. 
  • I learned fractions and it’s super helpful when I bake with my mom!
  • I learned Multiplication!
  • Chumash
  • Reading
  • Translating Hebrew and Math
  • How to write books and short stories better.
  • I learned how to read and write Rashi.
  • I learned a lot in math.
  • Decimals
  • I learned A LOT more Hebrew!
  • I learned long division!
  • I learned how to paraphrase my data.
  • I learned how to transfer decimals to fractions.
  • Writing and Pokemon
  • Chumash
  • Perimeter and Area
  • I learned a lot more math.
  • Writing
  • Fractions
  • I learned that you can choose what you want to do in writing. My fairy tale was going to be sooooooo long (i finished it its 40 pages) and i told Rae that i think my fairy tale is to long she said "well do you want to shorten it if it takes you that many pages you can chose."
  • Writing a fairytale
  • Learning and making up new types of syllables.
  • Knowing the shoresh
  • I learned a lot of Hebrew.
  • I learned to write in script.
  • I learned to read.
  • I learned to build big structures in the block corner.
  • Hebrew 
  • My new skill that I learned was writing.
  • Math and Hebrew
  • Writing,
  • I am proud that I learned how to annotate a science article
  • I am proud that I learned more about who I am as a person.
  • I am proud that I learned to write a good five paragraph essay and how to draw a horse.
  •  A new skill that I learned this year that made me feel proud was having patience.
  • I am proud that I learned how to know if a tectonic plate is moving and in which direction
  •  This year I learned about all the parts of a neuron. This makes me feel proud because there are a ton of neuron parts and it is hard to learn them all.
  • A new skill that I learned this year that makes me feel proud is how to read a Mishnah.
  • I am proud that I learned how to find the area of a triangle and a lot of other cool stuff.
  • I am proud because I feel like I really mastered the gendered pronouns in Hebrew. I think I grew there. A lot.
  • Lots of new concepts in Math (circles, measurements, algebra, probability), how to write a better essay, how to better scan and translate text, and more Hebrew (especially future tense verbs).
  • I'm better at division yay !
  • This year I learned how to read a book even if I don't like it. I have read a bunch of books this year and when I started reading them I hated the books but I kept reading and I eventually got to a point where it was fine and I enjoyed it.

What subject did you learn this year that you really enjoyed and why?

  • I liked art and everyday I had to do some fantastic projects.
  • Explorations. Because after we make stuff we get to take it home. Especially our self portraits. I love drawing and painting.
  • Butterflies, because it’s so fun.
  • I enjoyed making my own family photo because it was fun to draw all the names of my family.
  • Sippurei Torah
  • Chumash, and I'm faster at marking up things much more than the start of the year.
  • Chumash!
  • I enjoyed learning about translating the Torah because then I can know what it means better. 
  • I enjoyed learning different kinds of poems because I can write whatever I want (if it goes into the pattern of the poem).
  • Math, it’s fun and I like learning it, but I also like Chumash and Chagim.
  • Park time because I’m able to play.
  • I enjoyed Chumash because I learned all about the Torah.
  • Chumash. Because I love Torah!
  • I like explorations when it was about animals, and I really like animals.
  • Math!
  • A bunch of new words.
  • I really enjoyed math because almost all of it I understood, and I really liked that and if I didn't understand it then I would eventually understand it.
  • Science, because we got to do so many cool experiments
  • Writing, because I could be creative.
  • I enjoyed writing our biographies. Mine was about Pele.
  • Math, I enjoyed it because I enjoy doing math and It was fun.
  • I really enjoyed the colonial fair because we learned so much and the process was so fun looking up things and writing.  
  • The subject that I really enjoyed was Navi, science, and Chumsh because I like going experiments and learning how to read pesukim and to recognize verbs in the Chumash.
  • Writing, because I like sharing information.
  • Math
  • Ivrit because I like speaking in Hebrew.
  • Reading
  • I learned more about math which I liked because you can use math a lot.
  • Reading, it was fun!
  • I have always loved to write, so it’s writing.
  • Explorations
  • Math because I like problems.
  • Writing, because the units are fun. For example you get to write your own story which is realistic fiction. And one unit where you tell something about yourself and that’s fun. And expert books where you get to show what you are good at.
  • Phonics because we got to use Nessie.
  • I enjoyed learning math because it’s fun and a good challenge.
  • I really enjoy writing class because we are writing fairy tales and we get to use our imaginations not sit at a desk and focus.
  • I loved being on zoom every morning for morning meetings.
  • Reading and writing
  • Ivrit - because I get to learn new stuff in Hebrew.
  • Reading and writing
  • I enjoyed math because I like figuring out problems.
  • Nessy- I enjoyed it because it taught me lots of things and it’s kind of like a game. My favorite is “get your hands off my bananas.”
  • Hebrew with Bentzi
  • Math because I love math and it's actually useful in the real world.
  • Science, it made me realize how so many things work and made them much more easy to understand.
  • I enjoyed creating my own country's constitution during our studies of the American constitution.
  • One subject that I learned this year that I really enjoyed was Toshba, because I liked hearing all the differing opinions from the one of the Tana Kamma.
  • One subject that I learned this year that I really enjoyed was Toshba, because I liked hearing all the differing opinions from the one of the Tana Kamma.
  • Studying immigration because it is cool knowing how generations ago your family came here the exact same way.
  • I loved all of the subjects this year. I loved the projects in Tanakh and Toshba, the topics in humanities, the units in math, the end of year topic in science, and the compliment giving in mentorship. I love how much I learned this year in Hebrew.

Did you learn anything new about yourself this year, either because you changed or because you never realized it before? What did you learn about yourself?

  • I really like school.
  • I learned that I like to help my friends when they are sad.
  • I don’t like climbing four flights of stairs with all my gear, but I know I can do it.
  • I really like using stuffies.
  • I didn't know that I knew part of the Amidah.
  • I realized that I really like Tefillah and Chumash, and math much more than I thought.
  • I learned I was able to figure out lots of things when I thought I did not know them, like in parsha and math - I would say I don’t know, but I really did.
  • I can write so well!
  • I am VERY GOOD at MATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I learned I am really good at making bio poems about my animal friends. I might even turn one of my spare limerick pages in my poetry book into a bio poem.
  • I learned that I'm good at math.
  • I enjoy being at school more!
  • I'm strong, I'm a good reader and writer.
  • I could draw well.
  • I realized I really liked writing.
  • At times school is fun.
  • I learned I know a lot about computers.
  • I learned I liked to learn about history a lot. It's very interesting.
  • I am more mature about change, like that I am changing school next year
  • I realized that I don't get very sensitive.
  • I like soccer.
  • I enjoy being at school more!
  • I learned that I like reading.
  • Yes, I realized that I can write so many things.
  • I got much better at writing and drawing people. And I learned that I am so good at Hebrew.
  • At the beginning of school, you are still shy even though your friends are there.
  • I realized when I try my best I can do really well in some subjects I haven’t always been that good at.
  • I realized that when I miss someone or I’m feeling sad I get to express my feelings with grownups such as Stephanie and Ingrid and Shlomit.
  • I changed when I turned 6.
  • I am not as shy as I used to be
  • I learned that I was good at math.
  • I found out that I have skills and am really good at learning skills, like reading, spelling and I’m getting strong in math.
  • I learned that I’m a lefty!
  • Ya, if I don't understand something then I should read over the instructions.
  • I learned that I am my own person and should not let anyone try to control me.
  • I have ADHD I didn't know that until a few month ago
  • I learned that I am more interested in politics than I previously thought.
  • I learned more about myself in different social situations and have learned how to care less about what my peers think of me.
  • I learned that I enjoy working in chevruta more than alone.
  • I hate zoom a lot, and I like in person school a lot better.
  • The thing I learned about myself is that I'm stronger than I even thought in many ways.
  • I realized I am bisexual.
  • I learned that I have an amazing ability to keep calm when everybody is freaking out. I learned that when there was a cockroach and everybody screamed and I didn't.
  • The MISHNA changed my life.

Is there anything you understand better about our community or about the world at the end of this school year?

  • That it's hard to wear masks inside.
  • Yes, I learned that we as a nation can do so much.
  • I realized that lots of things can seem very hard and sometimes they aren’t actually hard at all.
  • I learned that learning in Beit Rabban is a good experience for myself because I get to learn with my friends.
  • Yes, that this is a GREAT community.
  • I learned that everything is different because instead of using Torah Hebrew I learned that we use modern Hebrew to speak and Torah Hebrew when learning Torah!
  • I learned I have to wear a mask.
  • Everything has words
  • That I hate Covid.
  • Yes, that a lot of people discriminate black people and its not cool.
  • Yes, I learned lots more about the black history.
  • It’s very rare to have a pandemic.
  • The Siddur celebration is not scary.
  • Shabbat is not the same on zoom.
  • I learned that it took awhile for people that are gay to be able to legally marry until the 20th century which is pretty sad. It should have happened before then.
  • Beit Rabban is very safe and that the UWS is a residential neighborhood.
  • Our community is kind.
  • I understand a lot more about my friends.
  • I can be anywhere with zoom.
  • I don't like wearing masks. I love Avi and Danielle.
  • I love the whole school.
  • In the community it doesn’t matter what color skin you were born with all that matters is that your skin protects you
  • Beit Rabban was fun!
  • That everyone is their own person and has their own life, and everyone is the same yet different in their own way.
  • I have a better understanding of the American government and the way its three branches work.
  • I understand that Beit Rabban is an accepting community.
  • I now understand that the world finds a way to keep going even during a world pandemic.
  • Something I understand better about our community is that some people in the world community are drastically misinformed such as Flat Earthers. 
  • I feel like I have learned a lot more about the world this year, being an older student I was taught a lot more things that I wasn't or wouldn't be talked about when I was younger.
  • I understand how it rains. I understand how global warming works.
  • Yes, and it’s how people came here by the complex process of immigration.
  • Beit Rabban wants what's best for you now and in the long run, and tries really hard to do both.
  • I learned a lot about politics and what's going on in the world.
  • I understand that there are many hardships that go along with being in 5th grade, but there are big rewards at the end.
  • Everyone here is very caring and tries to make Beit Rabban a safe community.
  • Everyone is their own person and has their own life, and everyone is the same yet different in their own way.
  • I realized that teachers are really understanding.