Help your students complete the ID information on the first page of their planners. Make sure that students know their Hebrew names and can write them in Hebrew characters. Provide correct spellings for the names of the rabbi, cantor, and educational director. It would be nice to take the kids' pictures on the first day of school. If you use an instant camera, the students can immediately paste their photographs in the space provided. Have a glue stick available. It might be best to arrange for a parent to come in to take the pictures or to appoint several students to be class photographers.
This is an appropriate time to share your goals as the teacher. Talk with your students about what you plan to teach them and what skills you hope they will learn. What do your students especially look forward to learning and doing this year?
If possible, let students refer to a class list so they can copy the names and phone numbers of their classmates. They can collect email addresses on their own to add to the list. This would be a good time to introduce new students to the class.
Near the end of the year, arrange a special time during class to have the students sign the autograph page in the booklet.
SECULAR DATES OF JEWISH HOLIDAYS
Use the chart on the back cover of this guide to help your students enter the secular dates of this year's Jewish holidays in the planner. This would be an appropriate time to talk about what we celebrate on each of the holidays listed and in which Hebrew month each holiday falls. You might also tell students the dates of secular legal holidays on which school does not meet.
THE MITZVAH OF THE MONTH
Each page in the 10-month student planner suggests a mitzvah for or students to undertake, a specific way to practice it, and a traditional quotation. Your teaching of these mitzvot during the course of the school year can be of great value. As we learn in Pirke Avot, "The performance of one mitzvah leads to another" (4:2).