Weekly Summary Page

6th Grade Classroom

March 21, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 
Today in class we spent a long time focusing on building community. We played a game as a group in order to help reinforce this concept. The game also connected to the value we were learning today too. 
Our focus this year is on the theme of kehillah kedoshah, a holy community, so we are building additional Hebrew words that fit into what it means to build that holy community together. Today’s word was ahavah, to love. We worked on this value through discussion of the sh’ma and the surrounding blessings of love. The two prayers typically said before and after the sh’ma deal closely with this theme of love. At the end of class today students had independent work time to create their own six word memoirs about love since the sh’ma is a six word memoir in its own right too. 
Just a reminder that we do not have class for the next two weeks due to Passover. I hope that everyone has a joyful and safe holiday! 
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. I look forward to seeing everyone again in April! 
Best, 
Arinn

March 14, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 
Today in class we began our Passover unit. We started the day with a bingo game to review all of the main concepts of the holiday. Later on we discussed the logistics of a seder including making an example seder plate. I was really impressed with the creativity that I saw on those decorated seder plates at the end of class today! 
Next week we will be continuing our discussion of the holiday. 
As always, let me know if you have any questions. 
Best, 
Arinn

March 7, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 
Today in class we wrapped up our Purim unit. We began by retelling the story and collecting main vocabulary words from it to then play an online version of pictionary with. They were very creative and came up with some great terms. Later on in class we made some Purim costumes. In order to stick with some modern styles for our costumes we made masks! 
Next week we will begin our unit on Passover! 
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out! 
Best, 
Arinn

February 28, 2021

Hello SSJS Families, 

 

This week in class we discussed the story of Purim. During class our discussion focused on this video version of the story. We also discussed the four mitzvot of Purim: listening to the story, giving to the less fortunate, feasting, and giving presents to those we love. The last mitzvah, giving to those we love is called Mishloch Manot and each student got to make two in class today, one for themself and one to give to someone else. 

 

We also had a brief ethical discussion at the end of class today. We looked at a story of someone who goes shopping in stores, but then makes his purchases online and how the Talmud has opinions on stories like this too. 

 

Next week we will be continuing Purim (even though the holiday was last week!). 

 

I look forward to seeing everyone next week. 

 

As always, if you have any questions then feel free to reach out! 

 

Best, 

 

Arinn 

February 7, 2021

Hello 6th Grade SSJS Families, 


Today in class we did two different projects to connect to our learning. In the first part of class we discussed the theme of responsibility, or achrayut in Hebrew. For this learning we made bags for each student to put items that they took responsibility for in the past few days. I also asked each student to come up with some items that they take responsibility for to write down and share when we have class again together. 


During the second portion of our class we continued discussing the idea of Jews in the Renaissance. For this learning experience we made mini statues to help represent all kinds of biblical statues that were made during this time. 


As a reminder, we have no class for the next two weeks due to February break. The week that we will be coming back on February 28th we also have our supply pick up. For the week the supplies are going to be extra important as they will connect to our Purim activity so if there is some reason you will not be able to get supplies, let me know so we can figure something else out! 


Thanks! 


As always, let me know if you have any questions. 


Best, 


Arinn

January 31, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 


To begin our class this week we focused on community building. Our activity this week focused on playing an online version of pictionary. 
 
Later on in class we discussed Jews in the Renaissance. We looked at some examples of different kinds of art that people began to explore during this time period. In order to better understand this idea, we made stained glass window projects since this is a staple form of art seen in many Jewish buildings. 


As always, if you have any questions, feel free to let me know! 


I look forward to class together next week! 


Best, 


Arinn 

January 24, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 


This week we focused a lot on community building. Students worked in small groups where they discussed various holiday themed words and then competed together in a fun game. 


We also discussed the upcoming holiday of the trees — TuBishvat. In relation to this holiday we talked about the differences in the calendars of Judaism and its holidays in comparison to the calendar we use in America. At the end of the class, each student participated in an art project to make their own trees. Since we did not get to see the final work of most students, please send along any images of them later on! 


I look forward to seeing everyone next week! 


As always, let me know if you have any questions. 


Best, 


Arinn 

January 10, 2021

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, 


It was so nice to see everyone back in class today after the break. I hope that everyone had a meaningful few weeks off. 


Today in class we focused on Havdalah, the separation between Shabbat and the rest of the week. This week felt like a particularly timely week to discuss the idea of separation as we begin a new year. In addition to our discussion on this holiday we created some mini havdalah kits including a wax candle look alike (no wick so not to actually use!) and a spice mix. 


At the end of class we also discussed an ethical dilemma relating to ideas of tzedakah and money. 


As a reminder, we won’t have class next weekend due to the long weekend. 


Thanks, 


Arinn

December 13, 2020

Hello 6th Grade Families, 


The beginning of our class together we partook in a community building activity. We went around and played a word game where students had to name an item that related to Judaism that started with the last letter of the item before it. The students were incredibly helpful for thinking of items when their classmates got stuck and also creative in terms of ideas. I love being able to see them interact with each other in activities such as this one and I hope that they too enjoy this type of engagement. 


The core content of today’s class focused on Chanukah. This week we discussed the idea of miracles. Each student shared different stories and miracles that they know of happening in the world and ones that feel more personal to them. In order to reflect the miracles of the story of Chanukah specifically, we also made miniature oil lamps to signify the miracle of oil in this story. They were also given the option to instead use the supplies provided to represent the miracle of the Macabees winning the war if they felt compelled. 


Next week we will wrap up our Chanukah unit. We will begin using the supply bags from the most recent supply pick up. If you do not have this bag yet, please let me know! Next week’s bag had some modeling clay in it for a project and then we will also be using the prayer packet in them too. 


As always, let me know if you have any questions. 


Best, 


Arinn 

December 6, 2020

Hello 6th Grade SSJS Parents, 
Today in class we began our discussion of Chanukah. We discussed the story of it — which most of your students knew already. A lot of our discussions focused on the use of dreidels and what the letters there mean. In order to reinforce this idea, we came up with 8 images (one for each night of Chanukah) that we think signify the holiday and its great miracles. I have attached this project below. To end our class, we played some dreidel and had challenges about who was able to spin it the longest and who could spin it upside down. 
A reminder that next week the supplies should have come from the FIRST supply pick up still. The supplies that you picked up for 6th grade do not have supplies in them until 12/20. If you are missing supplies or there is an issue with them for any reason, please let me know! 
I look forward to seeing everyone again next Sunday! 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. 
Best, 
Arinn

November 22, 2020

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, I enjoyed our class today so much! As usual, the students were thoughtful and engaged. During the first part of class, we studied the vahavta prayer. This prayer is a little bit of review, as they have likely done it in other years of curriculum too, however I felt it was important to discuss it again! The vahavta is about the theme of love which is particularly timely with the current US holiday coming up this week. Additionally, we talked about the theme of community in the second half of our class today. This too was done with the idea of the Thanksgiving holiday and discussing the relevance of our own communities in this different year. As a reminder, we won’t have any class next week due to the holiday weekend. The following weekend, on December 6th, we will be having another supply pick-up! Please refer to Michelle’s email from last night for more information on that. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Best, Arinn

November 15, 2020

Hello families, 

It was so nice to see your students in class today! Each week they are a joyful, thoughtful, and passionate group of learners! 

Our discussion today focused on the Roman Empire and how Jewish life was impacted by that time. We then played a game — that is typically played by children in Israel. In this game, we emphasized the power of change and adaptation in our lives which they had to deal with during the Roman Empire (and we are dealing with a lot now too!). 

For Hebrew, we focused on reading words and how to put the words together. Each Hebrew group did some practice with words that were transliterated from English into Hebrew to help make the learning take on a new lens. 

 I look forward to seeing everyone next weekend! 

 As always, let me know if you have any questions, 

 Arinn

November 8, 2020

Hello 6th Grade SSJS Families, It was so nice to see all of your students in class today! They were particularly engaged and motivated today. We opened our day with a quick game. We connected this game to the theme of community and teamwork — two important Jewish values to study. The main portion of our class we spent discussing modern Jewish heroes and role models. A few weeks ago we discussed our own personal role models, but this time we looked at national Jewish leaders and how they translate our values to the public. Students shared famous and inspirational people that have connections to Judaism. I was impressed by how many people the class was able to come up with and the large range of people too — from athletes and actors to comedians and politicians. We also had our individual Hebrew groups. Both groups today focused on letters in the context of words. Hebrew 1 practiced individual words while Hebrew 2 branched out to see if they could build a sentence. I look forward to seeing everyone back in class next week! As always, feel free to reach out with any questions, Arinn

November 1, 2020

Hello 6th Grade SSJS families,

Today in class we had a fun and lively discussion about what it means to be a leader. We connected this theme of leadership to Jewish leaders that we have discussed from the Torah so far including Moses, Joseph, and the matriarchs and matriarchs. In order to delve deeper into qualities of a leader we made a cloud poem together. You can see the piece of work that we made attached to this email.

We also spent a long time talking about strength. We discussed the idea of mental versus physical strength. In order to shift up Sunday School as a place where we normally focus a lot on mental strength, we practiced some physical strength today. We did some stretching and brief exercises to become a stonier community together.

During Hebrew groups we also focused on putting letters together into words today. In Hebrew 1 we focused on writing words while in Hebrew 2 we practiced reading the words of the Sh’ma prayer.

I look forward to seeing everyone next week for class! As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Best,

Arinn

October 25, 2020

Hi 6th Grade Families,

It was so good to see everyone on Sunday again! It feels nice to finally be getting in the swing of our classes being weekly after all the holidays that started our year.

This past week during Hebrew groups we did some letter review and also worked on decoding and practiced writing. Make sure that your student has paper and something to write with every week for Hebrew!

Last Sunday, we focused our discussion on family and familial values. As a case study, we looked at the Torah story of Joseph. Later on in class, we had our first ethical dilemma discussion. I was incredibly impressed with how thoughtful the students were during this first complex conversation.

Next Sunday we will again be in Hebrew groups. The groups are:

Hebrew 1 (9:45-11) Hebrew 2 (10-11:15)
Ben Olivia
Kira Nathaniel
Lucas Nathan
Ivy Charlie
Chelsea Sammy
Jude Enzo
Nate

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!

 

Best,

Arinn

October 18, 2020

Hello SSJS 6th Grade Families, Yesterday in class we had some great discussions about what it means to be a matriarch or a patriarch of a community. We also got to know the early lineages of the matriarchs and patriarchs in the Torah. We then connected this idea to how one might work to create sukkat shalom, or a house of peace. During Hebrew times we worked to review letters and get prepared to focus on being able to read prayers later in the year. Next week we will be reviewing some more biblical stories, particularly as they relate to Jewish leadership and communal values. Just a reminder, your student should only be coming to class for a total of one hour and 15 minutes. The Hebrew groups are as follows:
Hebrew 1 (9:45-11)Hebrew 2 (10-11:15)
Ben Olivia
Kira Nathaniel
Lucas Nathan
Ivy Charlie
Chelsea Sammy
Jude Enzo
Nate
I look forward to seeing everyone next week! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! Best, Arinn

September 13, 2020

Hello 6th Grade Families! 
I am Arinn Polinsky, the 6th grade teacher for SSJS this year. I am so excited to get to begin this year all together and was super impressed by the student’s dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm yesterday. A bit about myself, I did my undergraduate work at Brandeis University and then took some time off to work as a Special Education Teacher. I am a current graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at Boston University. I love to run, knit, cook, and spend time with my friends and family. 
This year we will be focusing on a new Jewish value each week. Yesterday, we discussed the theme of community and what it takes to become a community. As an exercise in this, we made our own class norms page. I have attached an image of it to this email. 
The second piece of our weekly classes will focus on important Jewish events, historically and currently. Historic events include Biblical stories, Jewish life in the Roman Empire, and Jewish life 1600s Europe. Our study of current Jewish life will revolve mainly around holidays and thinking of new ways to celebrate them. For example, yesterday we discussed Rosh Hashanah and the phrase “have a sweet new year.” In order to celebrate our class’ sweet new year and the holiday coming next week, we had lollipops together. 
The final piece of class each week is going to be Hebrew study. We will be divided into two groups for Hebrew class. From 9:45 to 10am Hebrew 1 will meet and from 11 to 11:15am Hebrew 2 will meet.

If you have any questions at all, please reach out! I am happy to talk through anything and look forward to a successful year all together. 
Best, 
Arinn

Arinn Polinsky

Arinn Polinsky

Arinn is a current student at Boston University where she is working towards a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology. Arinn used to work in Boston Public School District as a Special Education Teacher. This is currently her second year teaching 6th grade at SSJS. During her free time, Arinn loves to knit, run, and spend time with friends and family.