Ada completed (for the third time in her academic career) the study of the Alef-Bet letters. The milestone was celebrated in lots of ways.
One day, the class had a show-and-tell where each kid brought something that started with a letter of the Alef-Bet. They were supposed to write the word on an index card provided for the purpose. Ada, of course, wanted to bring something for EACH letter of the Alef-Bet. She prepared a list (I helped her with ideas for just a few of them.) and then went down the list getting all the items together and checking each item off as she found it. I was blown away. So was her Morah, as I found out the next time I spoke to her.
Another day, they baked Alef-Bet cookies for their celebration. Ada told me she made the letters of her name and it came out like "Vayikra." I had no idea what she was talking about until she explained that the last alef was small just like in the word vayikra in the Torah!
Ada is thrilled to have a real Alef-Bet book (the classic early primer) and confided to me that having real homework makes her feel very grown up. The first assignment was to read pages alef through yud (1 to 10) and I was supposed to sign the chart indicating that she did her homework. There was also a section for comments. Ada announced that she wanted to finish the whole book and that, when she finished, I should write a note to Morah in the "Compliments." Over-achiever, perhaps? When she got up to page 15, she noted that the page number said tet-vav (which is the numerical equivalent of 15). She said, "That says tet-vav, like tu in Tu B'Shvat so it means 15!" Her analysis of the things she learns and her ability to apply them in other situations blows me away! Talk about higher level critical thinking!