Campus Highlights - Jewish Day School

Protect Our Earth

Fall 2017: Cross Grade Collaboration

By Addison, Ed, Norah and Rachel, 5th Grade

In 4th grade we learned about the salmon life cycles and ecosystems. We learned about how human activity, such as river dams, affects the environment like blocking salmon from returning to their home stream. In 4th and 5th grade we learned about surviving in the Amazon rain forest. We learned a lot about being resourceful and using what materials we had to complete several design challenges. This unit culminated in building a model of a tree house. In the process, we realized we needed to keep our resources neat and organized or else the little tape and tin foil we had would curl up into a big fat ball of garbage that we could no longer use. Just like we take care of our resources and materials in a project, we have to take care of our earth’s resources.

For a second year, we returned to the trails to continue our service and we cleaned the ground that was filled with leaves. The leaves blocked the drainage and by removing them and allowing the water to flow, we helped both hikers and nature. Nature and hikers benefited from our work because the hillsides may have flooded and water may not have gotten to the places that actually did need the water. Also, many people like to hike and it's no fun to hike on soggy, mushy trails. We really enjoyed the experience.

The 4th and 5th graders have been studying the Mitzvah Shimirat Hateva. Shimirat Hateva's meaning is to protect nature or the earth. Our study of this led to the action of working at the parks. We learned that we must be selfless and make sacrifices like being cold, wet, and dirty; though at the end of the day we knew we were doing the right thing. We also learned that even though some people complained, that if you look on the bright side and be optimistic anything can be fun.

This field trip also connects to the 5th grade Torah unit, Parshat Yitro. This connects to our unit because Yitro and Moshe were protecting/helping the nation while the 4th and 5th grade were protecting/helping nature. The study of Yitro and learning how he and Moshe helped the people lead to us helping the nature and understanding how big of a deal it is to help the world.

Cross Grade Collaboration

CrossGradeCollab2   CrossGradeCollab1    

Spring 2017
K and 3rd Grade 
Cross Grade Collaboration
HaMorah Aileen shared her passion for mason bees with both her Kindergarten class as well as the 3rd Grade class. Through HaMorah Aileen's expertise, the students learned the role that mason bees play in pollination. The Kindergarten students also learned about the bees and their life cycle. Together, the JDS students found a place in the garden where the bees could return to once they lay their eggs. The classes will continue to watch the garden and look for signs that the females have returned to lay eggs.



2nd Grade: Exploring Liquid Nitrogen at Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt


Fall 2016: 2nd Grade: Exploring Liquid Nitrogen at Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt The 2nd Grade headed out to Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt in Federal Way to pair with their inquiry unit: Solids & Liquids. Students learned about liquid nitrogen and what happens to it when it is exposed to water, gummy bears and cream. Students also examined what happens to liquid nitrogen when it is used to blow up balloons and gets thrown on the floor. After observing an engaging demonstration with the nitrogen, the class then determined how they wanted to experience their ice cream. Sub Zero staff blasted the class's chosen cream and mix-ins with liquid nitrogen to a predetermined hardness. The outcome: ice cream! Students had a terrific time embarking on this creative (and tasty!) field trip all in the spirit of solid and liquid states of matter!



Middle School Explorations


Fall 2016: Middle School Explorations This Fall, all Middle School students embarked on 2 ½ day learning experience called Explorations. New to our Middle School, Explorations has - without a doubt- proven to be a great addition to our program. Students chose to participate in one of these 4 courses taught by their core teachers:

  • Music that Matters
  • Picture Books
  • Yoga & Mindfulness
  • Culinary Arts

The Explorations were authentic and multi-disciplinary. Students learned historical contexts for songs of protest. They learned how to deconstruct children's literature and how to use mentor texts to define and apply the structural elements of great children's books to creating their own. They applied mathematical and organizational skills to creating budgets and following recipes. They practiced deep personal reflection through their learning about mindfulness. And they even explored the artistic side of cooking from the use of spices to creative food presentation.

The Explorations allowed for student learning to happen within real life contexts. Students learned from professional mindfulness coaches, musicians, songwriters, yoga instructors and authors. Students learned both inside and outside of the classroom: experts visited JDS; some students visited the radio station, KEXP; and others made a trip to the grocery store to plan for their recipes.

Students worked across grade levels learning, creating and collaborating with students whom they don't regularly have the opportunity to work with. Teachers shared with their students a passion of theirs and the connection between students and teachers became stronger. And just as great as anything else, was the excitement the Explorations brought. The students' excitement for their learning was truly palpable.



8th Grade Explorers Attempt to Escape the Tomb

Fall 2016: 8th Grade Math Explorers in HaMorah Andrea's Algebra classes spent the week trying to escape a "tomb". The goal was to balance a pair of baskets suspended at different heights in order to escape the dark cave. Students used their knowledge of x-y tables, graphing and algebraic rules to model the distance from the floor of each basket as more weight was added. This led them to discover when the baskets would be equal heights. Excellent communication skills were practiced as team mates worked together and debated on their results. Luckily, every explorer made it out of the cave safely.