School News 2016-17

PTO Clubs Session I

 Let the Clubs Begin

12.jpgTuesdays cannot come fast enough for the students at LYA.  The school is abuzz with activity on Tuesdays afternoons because that is club day.  Session 1 for clubs began this week and 50 very happy students participated in the options offered.

In the gym elementary students were sprinting and jumping during sports with their special coach, Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky who stood in for Dr. Sobel.  Middle school students practiced martial arts with Tyler Hamel of Family Martial Arts in the library.   Preschool students danced and twirled in the auditorium to Hebrew 17.jpgrhythmics.  5th - middle school girls had an amazing workout with Jessica Malik from the JCC.  Students of all ages unleashed lots of creativity was unleashed at art in the cafeteria with Liz Woosley and Stephanie Kirk.    

Clubs is a project of the LYA PTO.  The PTO would like to thank Chany Baron & Lilia Luzhanskiy for their dedication to our students.

Our Writers

 Leadership Showcase

IMG_9746.JPGRivka Resnick, 7th grade student at LYA, just celebrated her bat mitzvah at LYA.  There were delicious refreshments, Rivka made a speech, and her family and friends celebrated with her.  But there was also something unusual.

In honor of her bat mitzvah, Rivka wrote and published a novel, called "To the Land That I Will Show You".  This story is about Yiskah, and 11-year old girl who lives in the time of Avraham Avinu in a village called Charan.

Yiskah has just found out that she and her family will be leaving their home to go to a new land - where exactly, no one knows.  Along the way, Yiskah must learn to trust her own strengths, to stand up for her beliefs, and to go after her dreams.

"To the Land that I will Show You" is available for purchase online at for $8.95 and is suitable for readers aged 8-13.  

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Emunah Achuzat Sarah Children's Home in Bnei Brak, Israel.  Achuzat Sarah is home to about 140 children ages 6 to 18, who have a history of abuse or neglect.  For over 60 years, Achuzat Sarah has given children without stable families the opportunity to develop in a healthy, supportive environment with Jewish values.

G-d willing in February, Rivka and her classmates will visit the recipients of the proceeds of her book while in Israel.  LYA is very proud of you, Rivka!

Bulletin Boards

 Focus on 4th Grade

bb.jpg4th grade is using their bulletin board to display scenes from their chumash lessons.  The first scene depicts Yaakov sleeping at the Temple Mount.  He is dreaming of angels going up and down a ladder that reaches to heaven.

Meanwhile, Hashem is standing over him and assures him on 8 different points.  This dream boosts Yaakov's morale and he actually looks forward to being at his uncle's house.

4th grade planned the display and divided the tasks among the students.  They will add scenes as the year unfolds.

KIBO Coding

 KIBO Update

Fullscreen capture 11172016 113609 PM.jpgMondays and Thursdays are KIBO days in the preschool and kindergarten classes.  KIBO is a robot that the children program.  It has taken some time, but the children are proud of the fact that they are now much more familiar with KIBO and how to use the robot.

The past month has been spent learning how to properly scan the bar codes on the blocks that create the code of how KIBO will move.  Now that the children have developed that skill, they were ready to code their first task which included integrating KIBO into their literacy skills.

The students were broken into groups and were assigned the task of moving KIBO from A to B to C.   This movement involved a turn.  The children had to predict how many steps KIBO needed to take and when to add the turn to the code. 

Fullscreen capture 11172016 113546 PM.jpgChildren each were assigned different tasks.  Some put the blocks together for coding, while others scanned.  When the scanning was done a group member turned KIBO on and the groups were so excited to watch their KIBO move in the correct directions. Click here to enjoy a video.  

Stay tuned for next month’s installment of KIBO, which will involve spinning.  We will give you a hint of what we will be spinning: it is connected with Chanukah.

We Support Our Veterans

 Thank You Veterans


On Veterans Day, Miss Snow, our first grade secular teacher, and her students organized the school to make cards for veterans. By the end of the day, LYA students had designed over 150 cards.  Miss Snow personally delivered the cards to the Soldier's Home in Holyoke, where they were very much appreciated.  

Morning News Leaders

 Leadership Showcase

1.jpgAt LYA we like to start each school day with excitement and an upbeat attitude.  Five minutes before the bell rings to signal the beginning of the school day, music begins.  This is a cue for students to pack up their items, put away electronics and finish conversations with peers in the cafeteria during early morning drop off.

For Rishi Wolvovsky, a 5th grader, that music is her cue to prepare for the morning news announcement. Rishi must obtain the announcement sheet, locate the reader of the day and set up the microphone for the reader.  She also hands out WHAM tickets to her crew of enthusiastic readers.  

Rishi volunteered for this leadership role since the beginning of the school year. In addition to her responsibilities listed above, Rishi, created a rotation of volunteer readers from grades 3-8.  Rishi seamlessly took over this leadership role from Bella Kimball, who graduated last year.  

On days when Rishi is not in school or needs extra assistance, Abby Luzhanskiy, a 4th grade student, steps in to complete the tasks.  LYA thanks Rishi (left) and Abby (right), leaders, who cheerfully start each day at LYA in a great way.

Save Box Tops

 Box Tops = Popcorn


It's been several years since LYA students started collecting Box Tops for Education.  But now, they have an added incentive.

2.jpgLYA parents Yael Marra and Chanie Cohen devised a reward system to encourage students to bring in Box Tops.  The incentives are for any class that reaches these goals:

100 Box Tops - candy party
200 Box Tops - popcorn party
300 Box Tops - ice cream party

Each incentive is a complete party that includes other prizes as well.  2nd grade was treated to a popcorn party with special toppings for the popcorn.

Join the fun!  Snip your Box Tops and hand them to your favorite LYA student, or drop them off at the office.

Parsha Props

 Focus on First Grade

6.jpgIt's easy to tell the story of parsha when you can read a sheet.  But what about students who are just beginning to read?

Yocheved Adelman, 1st grade teacher, created Parsha Prompts.  Each week, the students create a visual that incorporates many themes from that week's Torah portion.  Using flaps, moving parts, and other materials, students piece the Parsha Prompts together.

The children then bring their project home and use it to help them tell the story of the parsha.  It builds a relationship between school and home, and supports students' language development as they repeat the story of parsha at home.

If you see a first grader, feel free to stop them and ask them to tell you about their Parsha Prompt!

Mini Musicians

 Music Riddle

1.jpgWho am I?

I played cords at age 3.
I played short musical pieces at 4.
I composed music at age 5.
I played for the royal court in Vienna at age 6.

If you are an early childhood student than you know that the answer to all of these questions is Mozart.  This year the Early Childhood program is focusing on music and each month the children will learn about a composer and genre of music.


3.jpgOn Wednesday, the children enjoyed a special program about Mozart.  It was amazing for the children to realize that Mozart was the same age as they are when he began his music career.  After hearing a story about Mozart, the children listened to some of the music that Mozart composed.  They also enjoyed dancing and using musical instruments to create their own concert.

This was one of many programs focusing on music, a new component of the Early Childhood Program at LYA

Spotlight on 3rd Grade

 Balloons and Noach's Ark

1.jpgHow big was Noach's ark?

3rd grade was determined to find out.  Their teacher, Miss Bracha Kosofsky, marched them through the building to count the tiles from one end of the hall to the other.  Each tile is 1 foot.  They also measured the width of the ark.

The best part came when they measured the height.  Miss Kosofsky brought each child a helium balloon with a very long string.  Holding the end of the string, the balloons rose to the height of Noach's ark.  Of course, the students brought their balloons home.

So what are we talking about?  300 cubits long; 50 cubits wide; 60 cubits high.  Or, 450'-600' long; 75'-100' wide; 90'-120' high.

What an uplifting way to teach about Noach's ark!! 

Acorn Treats

 Acorn Treats

4.jpgMrs. Yael Neffinger, mother to 2 LYA graduates, volunteers at Urban Wildlife Rehabilitation, a small mammal rehabilitation facility.  Urban Wildlife relies on volunteers and donations.

While attending Sukkot services at LYA, Yael noticed all the acorns around LYA.  She realized this would make an excellent treat for Urban Wildlife's 3 raccoons.  At Yael's request, LYA staff mobilized students to collect acorns at recess.  Students from toddlers on up are filling 5-gallon buckets with acorns for the raccoons.  The first bucket has already been filled and delivered to Urban Wildlife.

The students had a great time and the raccoons will get a great treat!

Mixtures & Solutions

 Focus on 5th Grade

IMG_9352.JPGWhat is the difference between a mixture and a solution?  The 5th grade scientists were determined to find the answer in the most delicious way possible.

First, the students studied mixtures.  They discovered that a mixture forms when two or more substances are mixed together but their atoms don't combine.  They knew that parts of a mixture could be easily separated.

They made a giant fruit salad: apples, grapes, strawberries and more!  No matter how many kinds of fruit were added, their atoms still were not combined.

IMG_9354.JPGNext, they studied solutions.  A solution is a mixture in which substances dissolve, or separate into their most basic particles.  The particles of one substance are spread evenly through another substance.

Of course the only way to truly understand this was to make lemonade!  The students watched the sugar crystals break into particles and slip among the water particles.  They couldn't see the lemonade particles, but they knew they were there - especially when they tasted the delicious lemonade!

Fruit salad and lemonade - perfect science experiment!

7 Habits in Middle School

 Focus on Middle School

3.jpgYou most certainly know by now that Habit #1 is Be Proactive.  This means to choose how you react to situations and events.

Middle school took part in an activity to practice this habit and think about it.  Hula hoops were set up around the room.  Students were presented with different situations, such as:

You didn't do your homework.
Your team lost at recess.
The teacher told you she wouldn't take your question.
You didn't like what was for lunch.
Students laughed at you when you made a mistake.

8.jpgIn each case, students were to decide if it was something they were in control of or not.  If it was something they had control over, they stepped into the hula hoop.  If it was beyond their control, they stepped out of the hula hoop.

The activity got students thinking about how they react to different events, and to carefully consider the best reaction.  Exactly what it means to Be Proactive.

Coding KIBO

 Coding KIBO

Fullscreen capture 10282016 122900 AM.jpgStudents of Early Childhood and Kindergarten continue to enjoy using KIBO, their robot.  

This week the kindergarten students completed their first task independently using KIBO.  The students needed to move KIBO from a bet to a vet.  While the task seemed simple, it required much problem solving.  At first the students thought that it would take KIBO ten steps to move forward to their target. Imagine their surprise after coding KIBO to find out that he only needed to take 4 steps forward.  After adjusting their program to move KIBO forward to the letter, they then were asked to turn KIBO to help him move to a third letter.  

Fullscreen capture 10282016 122750 AM.jpgKIBO is more than just a fun robot. Students use all  kinds of life-skills, such as planning, estimating, evaluating, and adjusting the plan.  KIBO is programmed using barcodes that give commands, such as move forward and turn.

LYA is grateful to Diane Troderman for bringing KIBO to the community's schools. 

Polar Bear Fat

 14.jpgThe 5th graders are not sure if they would rather be polar bears or students.  Polar bears don't have to go to school and do homework.  But they do live in immense cold.  How can they survive in such cold?

5th graders coated one hand in Crisco and placed both hands in cold water.  The hand that was coated was much warmer.  Of course, the blubber on polar bears is much thicker than the Crisco on the students' hands.

I bet the school for polar bears saves a lot of money on heat.


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