Interview with Author Deborah Freedman


Photo by Dora S.

By Roberto T.

On Thursday, Dec. 6th, author and illustrator Deborah Freedman visited the school and spoke with students in grades Pre-K through 5th grade about being an author and illustrator. Fifth grade student Roberto T. had the chance to sit down and ask Deborah some questions about what it’s like to be a published author.

Q. What convinced you to start writing picture books? A. I read to my children when they were young and fell in love with picture books.
Q. What age did you start to be an author/illustrator? A. I started drawing when I was a kid. When I started writing pictures for my kids, I started making stories/illustrating books.
Q. What gave you your ideas? A. Every book comes from a different idea. My first book was called Scribble and it about two sisters and how they liked to draw. When I was a child, I liked to draw and felt that I had two sides to my own personality.
Q. What is your favorite book that you made? A. I don’t have a favorite book.
Q. What is your favorite genre to read? A. I don’t really have a favorite genre; I like to switch between fiction and non-fiction.
Q. Where was your first book written? A. At home.
Q. What has been your experience at BCHA? A. It’s been wonderful! Everyone has been listening well and asking interesting questions.
Q. Would you like to say anything else? A. “Good writers are readers and are patient.”

Winter Book Fair: A Book Fair Winter Wonderland


Photo by Hannah C.

Charlotte M.

Every winter and spring, BCHA holds a book fair as a Parents Association fundraiser, where students and BCHA teachers and visitors can purchase all kinds of books. In the Beit Midrash space, books of all kinds have been set up and the space has been transformed into a mini-bookstore wonderland. Teachers take their students to the book fair for 30 minutes at a time and students get to choose their own books for purchase. There is also Chanukah gelt and cool book accessories. Books are very reasonably priced stating at $4.99 for paperbacks and more for hardcovers. Parent volunteers put in a lot of work for this event. Mrs. Tobin, one of the chairs for this event, said that it took about five to six hours to set up the book fair, which includes about 2,000 books available for purchase.
BCHA has been running this event for more than 15 years and so far the 5th, 2nd and 3rd grade classes have purchased the most books.
“We couldn’t have done it without Mrs. Salm and all the volunteers. We are donating books to classrooms, so teachers should come and pick them up.”

Chanukah: The Festival of Light

By Charlotte M.

Hanuka-Menorah-by-Gil-Dekel-2014Chanukah is coming up soon. Are you ready for all the latkes, jelly doughnuts and presents?
Chanukah starts on Sunday, Dec. 2nd, and lasts for eight days; the significance of the eight days is to celebrate the oil that lasted eight days in the Temple. The Greeks told the Israelites that they could not practice their religion. The Israelites knew that this was wrong, rebelled and eventually fought off the Greeks. They went to the Temple to light the Menorah, but the Greeks had put unkosher animals in the Temple and damaged the holy objects. The Israelites cleaned the Temple up and looked for an unbroken jar or oil to light the Menorah. They found one, but they thought it would only last for one day, while they needed it to last for eight days until the new oil came. But a miracle happened — the oil lasted for eight days. Jews from all over the world celebrate this miracle and this wonderful holiday.
Top 5 things to do during Chanukah:
1) Eat or bake latkes and jelly doughnuts
2) Light the menorah
3) Give small gifts to friends and loved ones.
4) Play the dreidel game
5) Learn the story of Chanukah

Makerspace Madness

By Hannah C.

The mini-pumpkin volcano is one example of a Makerspace science experiment. (Photo by Dora S.)

Makerspace is the perfect way to express your creativity, tinker, learn and have fun. Makerspace Lunch and Learn classes take place in the Makerspace Studio on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during lunch and recess time. In this semester alone, students have conducted science experiments, participated in a cranberry and spaghetti tower challenge, used a button-making machine and many other types of activities.
Here are the top 10 reasons why students enjoy Makerspace:

  1. Students can can express your personality through projects and crafts.
  2. The teachers are the helpful and knowledgeable.
  3. The challenges are exciting.
  4. Students can get a quick lunch and then go to Makerspace.
  5. The experiments are fun and exciting.
  6. Students can socialize and learn at the same time.
  7. The projects are fun and creative.
  8. Many of the materials are bright with many different colors and textures.
  9. The activities are interesting
  10. You can just lose yourself in a project!

Go check it out for your self! You will definitely find something to do and will love the final result.

Seventh Graders Attend Greenkill

Charlotte M.

On Oct. 22nd and October 23rd, the 7th grade class traveled to the New York YMCA for the annual Greenkill retreat. The trip took two hours. They first did team building activities and then the did the low elements. They then went to eat lunch and then they climbed a ladder that was really high. They went on hikes and built shelters out of sticks and climbed across a rope bridge across running water. Then they did archery and ate dinner. After dinner, they went to the gym for an hour and a half and then went to an animal show. They saw many different types of animals and learned a lot. Then they went to look for sticks to use to roast marshmallows.

After that, all students sat in a dark room and passed around a candle while saying meaningful things about their experience at school. Then they went to sleep. When they woke up, they packed up quickly and went to pray together and eat breakfast. Then they went to the woods and learned to light a fire without a match. They then went climbing on a rock wall and then went to eat lunch and went on the bus for the long ride home.

All students seemed to have a great time on the retreat and recommended it for all future 7th grade students. Ella H. said, “It was fun. I loved when we passed around the candle!”

Top 5 Technology Tools for the Classroom

By Roberto T.

flat lay photography of macbook pro beside paper

Technology is a major part of education and what middle school student doesn’t enjoy using technology at home and at school? Here are some favorite tools that are helpful in the school setting.

Google Classroom: This platform is great if you’re school uses Google Classroom. Students receive notifications of classwork from teachers and also teachers can access your work directly from Google Classroom.

Quizlet: This is a free web site that allows you to create is a flash cards and games that match your classwork and play games to learn.

Kahoot: This is also a free web site that allows the user to create trivia games on all topics. Teachers often use this with students to test their knowledge of a certain topic.

The Homeword (HW) App: The “HW” app allows you to place all your school work in one app and rate by priority. This is a free app and is available on the iOS and Android platform.

Photomath. This app you will help you solve math problems at your own level; available on both the iOS and Android platform.

BCHA Players Organize Fundraiser for School Play

By Hannah C.

Photo by Hannah C.

This year at BCHA, the BCHA Players will be acting and producing the play, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: The Broadway Musical. The performances take place on Thursday, Dec. 13th at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16th at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Student actors are organizing a fundraiser for the play, selling yellow bags of prizes. Each bag costs $2.00, with a chance to win a special prize. Prizes include raffle tickets, a free snack at the snack bar and many other types of prizes. Each bag will have a toy in it.
For more information, please contact one of the cast members.

Kids in the Hall Feature

BCHA Roving Reporter Noa F. posed the following questions to three different students wandering the halls the other day and these are the answers? What would you say if you were posed this question: Do you think that the current dress code is fair? Why or why not?

pexels-photo-913136.jpegIsabel L., 5th Grade: No. I think that the dress code is not fair because people express themselves basically by wearing their own individual clothes and if everyone wears the same thing, then no one can really express them self.




IMG_8233Gavin D., 6th Grade: No. It’s not fair for people to have to buy more clothes when those dress code clothes don’t fit anymore. Kids keep on growing and parents have to keep buying clothes and finding the right clothes that fit the dress code is sometimes hard and expensive for parents.


IMG_8234Gidon G. 6th Grade: No. It is more expensive to buy certain dress code outfits that just wearing shorts or sweatpants and a t-shirt, for example.

Top 10 Best Things about Fall


Photo by Noa F.

By Noa F.

Think that Fall is just for pumpkin-spiced lattes and fleeces? Think again. Here is a top-10 list of the best things about Fall:

  1. Leaves falling
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. Pumpkin picking
  4. Carving pumpkins
  5. Bright colors
  6. Starting a new season
  7. Colder weather (no more sweating or air conditioning)
  8. Having hot cocoa
  9. The beautiful foliage
  10. Delicious food

The Cafe Menu: Re-imagined

By Shira H.

Photo by Shira H. and Noa F.

I like healthy eating as much as the next person, but some days while I am sitting in the cafe eating my carrot sticks and hummus, I like to imagine my perfect (and not so healthy) lunch menu. (Hint: there is never any broccoli and the salad bar is transformed into a giant candy bar station.) Here is my dream menu:

  • Day 1: On Monday we have pizza and French fries with all the soda you can drink. To top it all off, homemade cookies with a glass of milk.
  • Day 2: On Tuesday, chips and salsa with a cup of ice-cold lemonade is for lunch. For a special treat: rainbow Popsicles.
  • Day 3 (Special): Wednesday is a special of waffles and ice-cream with sprinkles and a tall glass of milk.
  • Day 4: For Thursday, we will be eating sushi with soy sauce and Sprite. For dessert, yummy mini-Hershey bars for everyone.
  • Day 5: On Friday, we will have BBQ hot dogs, hamburgers, and much more fixings. For drinks, sparking cola. For an extra touch, a scoop of sorbet (watermelon-flavored, of course.)