Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learning the Alef-Bais… all over again!

DSC02259Gavriel Zev is greatly enjoying our weekly alef-bais “studies.”  I wasn’t originally planning a handwriting component, but his handwriting in English is coming along by leaps and bounds, so I have decided to bring in Hebrew handwriting as well. I was about to create something myself, but then I found two sites with helpful alef-bais printables:

  1. From Israel:  letter-by-letter vocabulary sheets (click the letter you want and a .doc file will download)
  2. Christian Hebrew alphabet tracing pages (individual PDFs with a cute picture and tracing outlines for each letter)

Now, when I say “helpful,” both sites offer separate files for each letter and the tracing pages include script and Rashi fonts, which we don’t need at all.  So after I downloaded all of these (hint: if you’re using Firefox, consider a tool called “DownThemAll!” that grabs every link on a page super-quickly for you!) I removed the pages I didn’t want and consolidated each set into a single PDF file (one for the vocab sheets; one for the tracing pages) (hint: I use a free utility called PDFill for all my PDF magic) (and by the way, I don’t get a kickback for telling you about these programs!). 

Note: It took me a while to comb through the various doc and pdf files, and although these are not MY files, I still have them on my hard drive.  If you’re interested in a copy of either of the two PDFs I created (vocabulary and letter-tracing), which I am technically probably not authorized to distribute, drop me an email (remove the X’s if you REALLY want to reach me!) and I’ll accidentally send it along.

Once I had two PDF files with exactly what I wanted, I printed them in two different ways:

  1. I printed the tracing pages in 2-up, double-sided booklet form to create a cute write-in booklet (ignore my woeful handwriting on the cover – but don’tcha love the pinking shears?!?).  It turned out a little small… we shall see if it’s too small for GZ to write in or if he will enjoy the challenge.  (If it’s too small, I’ll reprint it in full-page size.)  I discovered Adobe Reader has a clever option when you go to print to change the side of the binding, so I chose “right” to make the book open the Hebrew way.
  2. I printed the vocabulary pages 4-up on blue cardstock (to differentiate them from the Latin vocabulary that I’ve printed the same way).  Adobe Reader also has a feature to print 2-up REVERSED, so you’ll notice the order of the letters is in Hebrew “reading order” – left to right and top to bottom.  Hopefully, this will painlessly give both kids practice in reading the letters the Hebrew way, as will the fact that the Wiggle Worm itself goes from right to left!  (by the way, printing 4-up like this has given us the most perfect Latin flashcards from these colouring pages!)

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I also created a YouTube playlist of helpful alef-bais-related songs and things.  They’re cute!

 

Our letter-song for this week (Week 4, Dalet) is “David, Melech Yisrael.”  We have two tunes for this song…

First, the classic, “chai, chai, pizza pie” version… the kids like this one best:

And the one I prefer, the folky Carlebach version (no video, sorry):

I think my children hate this last one… but tough luck!

What are you loving, learning, and SINGING with your kids this week???

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