The 3rd/4th graders in Mrs. Leonard's class hosted their Kindergarten buddies for a little Thanksgiving celebration. They made matching friendship bracelets, wrote what they are thankful for on feathers and sang Thanksgiving song together.

Every Kid Here Is Kind

At the start of this school year, when we launched the theme of "gratitude," a WhatsApp group was created for staff. The purpose of the group is to share notes of appreciation with other staff, exciting things happening in the classrooms and just general positive experiences. The group is very active with daily posts and has been a wonderful way to connect all of us around the wonderful happenings at Akiba. This week there was a post that I wanted to share. 

Miriam Kass posted about a student who is new to the school this year, and who has been so appreciative for being here. Here is the post, shared with permission:

"Yesterday the 5th/6th graders spent Flex class in small groups talking about and committing to do specific random acts of kindness (thank you for the list, Alicia!). A student new to Akiba expressed frustration with this "waste of time" activity. When I asked him why he thought it was a waste of time, he said: "The kids at Akiba don't need to talk about kindness; they're all so nice already. Every kid here is kind."

Shabbat Shalom!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
From the Preschool 
Hallway display of the Blue Room's recent blueprint and building project.
For 80 Early Childhood Educators, Akiba was a Showcase this Week
by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director
On Wednesday evening Akiba-Schechter hosted the JUF Early Childhood University. It was an incredible feeling to have 80 early childhood educators and directors from all over Chicagoland visit our school. Representatives from 16 different schools visited Akiba that evening! We started with self-guided tours of our early childhood classrooms and the Makerspace. It was amazing to hear the educators' glowing comments as they walked through the hallways and classrooms. Our guests had thoughtful questions for our teachers, who were stationed in their classrooms, took pictures of everything and shared that they saw so many ideas they wanted to try in their own schools. As I said goodnight to everyone in the atrium, several attendees came up to me and said, "We loved your school!"   

It was so gratifying to be able to see Akiba through other people's eyes, to have other educators echo how we ourselves feel about the school. We are so proud of the work we do with our children every day and of the loving and intentional environments the teachers create in the classrooms. We are proud of our student's work and take great care in documenting it in the hallways and on the bulletin boards. All of the learning that happens at Akiba was very visible for our visitors. I was so proud and grateful to my teachers and children for sharing that with the greater community. 

We hope these educators will go back to their schools and share their thoughts and feelings about Akiba with their families searching for a school for Kindergarten and beyond, and encourage their families to visit our school and check out what is happening at Akiba. We appreciate that JUF chose Akiba for this partnership, showcasing that we at Akiba have a lot of knowledge to share with others about quality education, believing in childhood and teaching children of all ages.  

On Tuesday, December 17, we invite you to Test Drive the Kindergarten at Akiba. The program will be from 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. and is for current and prospective parents to learn about our Kindergarten program. It's a terrific opportunity to meet our teachers and understand how unique and stellar our kindergarten program is at Akiba. Please RSVP if you are able to attend, and please share this information with friends and neighbors.  

Shabbat Shalom!
Early Childhood educators engaging and creating with one another.
The Green Room is getting ready for Chanukah. They have many Chanukiot in their room and used one as their model for a giant Chanukiot painting.
The Yellow Room is also getting ready for Chanukah.
Sometimes, the most amazing things at Akiba don't happen in a classroom but outside of it. Such as in the hallway, where Archer was spotted reading a book to Cassius and Elsie. We love seeing how these kids clearly have the self esteem and the freedom to be comfortable doing their thing.
The Afternoon Explorers have a regular unit in the Makerspace. Here they are working with ozobots. First each child had its own space to create lines on a big paper. Next, they worked to connect the shapes so the ozobots could move from one spot to another.
Day School      
In Kitah Alef, the kids have been exploring letters, creating word searches, reading independently and playing games.
Ozzie and Celia work on their history projects.

American History Questions
What was the Civil War and how has it affected America today? What was the Civil Rights Movement and how did Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. help change the laws? How did Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine end the polio scare? How have American astronauts amazed us with their scientific discoveries?  These are some topics the 3rd/4th graders in Mrs. Leonard's class have chosen for their American history unit. The students are so excited about their learning. They are researching and taking notes. The children will present their learning in a few weeks to their classmates.
Last week in Mr. Amiel's 4th period Math class, students solved "open-middle" problems. They worked in groups to arrange the digits 1-9 in order to "fill in the blanks" to solve challenging problems. Here is one for you to try: You can only use the digits 1-9 once: 
(___ /___) X (___ /___) X (___ /___) = 1.
On Thursday's field trip to the Field Museum, one group of 5th/6th graders went underground,...
...another got to hold the cast of a juvenile T-Rex jaw!
Class Spotlight
Tinkering in the Makerspace is Hard - A Bookmaking Class
with Emily Schoenberg

Laser-cut book covers created by our Tinkering in the Makerspace after-school class

Mainly, the kids learn patience in this class. 

It might be about bookmaking, but what they are really learning is that things can't be created or done in an instant. You have to follow a process to achieve an end result. Even machines, like the 3D printer, take time, sometimes a long time, to produce something.

Questions for an 8th Grader
We continue our series of featuring one of our 8th graders in each issue of the Kibitzer. This time, it is 
Yonathan Ezra :
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? I have attended Akiba Schechter for four years now starting in 5th grade.
  2. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? In 8th grade I hope to be a good leader and mentor to the younger kids, get good grades and have a good time. 8th grade is different from previous years by being the oldest. Everyone looks up to me and my grade. We are expected more of but also have more fun privileges. One of which being able to go on the Israel trip.  
  3. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? My favorite subject at Akiba is Humanities because it is a class that comes with not one but two learning subjects. In Humanities we learn both about English and History at the same time, which peaks my interest and gives me the chance to learn both about other cultures, people and lifestyles through history and a broader understanding of English. 
  4. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? 
    I think what is special about Akiba is our basketball team, the Akiba Schechter Wolves. Of all the schools that I have attended, Akiba is the only school that has a basketball team. The Wolves are special to me because it brings a sense of team value to our school, which is important and another way to make friends and get better at basketball. 
  5. If you have had your bat mitzvah or are preparing for it, what did you learn from it? From my bar mitzvah I learned a few things. First, hard work pays off, and second to always be grateful for the things I have. My friends at Akiba, who are always there for me, my rabbi who sat with me and worked so hard with me on my parsha, my grandparents who flew all the way from Israel to witness my bar mitzvah, and my close family who have been by my side through this entire process. All of these groups of people came to see me sing my parsha, and for that I'm thankful. 
  6. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? When I'm not at school, my favorite hobby is basketball, which I try to play and get better at during my free time. I also follow the NBA (basketball league). 
  7. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? I'd rather not say but you can find me in 15 years.
PTO pto
Events KDG


The Monday, December 2, Day of Learning was generously  sponsored by 
the  Schwartz/Faier Family  in honor of Isaac's 11th birthda y. 
With love from Mom, Dad, Aaron and Zev

The Tuesday, December 3, Day of Learning was generously sponsored by the Schwartz/Faier Family i n loving memory of Arleen Schwartz z"l on the occasion of her yahrzeit, with love.

Parent Workshop Series
Seeking Shoe Donations!
The Chesed Club, under the guidance of Mrs. Crook, is thrilled to launch their 5780 Shoe Drive. Once again they are asking you to drop off shoes you are no longer using. They will be donated to the Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed, which welcomes all kinds of shoes in any size. 

Dates to Remember
Sunday, December 15
hosted by the PTO
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. @ Akiba

Tuesday, December 17
8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Kindergarten classroom

Tuesday, December 17
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
@ Akiba-Schechter
Thursday, December 19
9:00 a.m. Preschool & Kindergarten
10:00 a.m. Grade School

Monday, December 23 - Friday, January 3
Winter Break
No School

December 6, 2019  
Volume 16, Issue 8
Candle Lighting: 4:00 p.m.
Parasha: Vayeitzei
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund