Grade 6 – Homework Update from Rav Elana
Posted on September 20, 2016
Dear Kitah Vav Parents,
Cantor Ken and I work together to build the skills we know that your students will need to be confident on the bimah, or leading prayer or davenning in other settings at Temple Israel, like Minyan or Junior Congregation, or even at camp. My emphasis is on accurate, smooth reading of prayer, followed by singing the prayer, where called for. Cantor Ken will also include singing prayer mastery, but in addition he will dedicate much time teaching the students to learn to chant Torah according to the cantillation marks (trope) under and over words of Torah. In our goals for the students, Ken and I will work in tandem to reinforce the learning. Before your student can chant with confidence, he/she must be able to read the Biblical Hebrew comfortably and accurately.
That said, when your student does Cantor Ken’s homework practice, he/she will get credit in my class. Each student has an individual homework chart. To make this work, I would particularly like to see and hear Kitah Vav students reading in small groups in class, or demonstrating mastery by recording the assigned prayer on my dedicated Google Voice number: 617-410-8145. If each student will do that, then I can give them credit and move them along to the next prayer sheet. Students do not need to use the QR Code unless they want to. Cantor Ken gave you another way to hear the prayers by going on the TI website and selecting the prayer your student needs to listen to.
I hope this addresses any concerns you might have had about homework in Kitah Vav. If my students will use class time to practice that would be ideal. If I find that a student is not mastering the prayer we have worked on, then I’ll discuss it with the student and with you to figure out together how best to help. Besides the prayers, I’ll be reviewing Hebrew reading rules for the next month and will send home sheets for your student to review. There is a pesky vowel called a “sh’va” (:) that is silent in some positions in a word, or makes the “ih” sound with its consonant in other positions, so I’ll review that and other Hebrew reading challenges.
Please write to me with any questions/concerns you might have. I feel that parents are my partners in making religious school a good experience for their child.
Kol tuv, all the best,