This week we were really all back in the swing of things as we explored the themes of Israel for its birthday, and continued with all things springtime.
Some new work introduced this week was an Israel matching game in our math area- some children simply matched the cards while others made it more challenging by making it a memory game with cards turned face down, a tricky bead transfer activity with a small spoon and a pop-it, stringing paper flowers, and a two-part sequin transfer activity where the children must first open two jars before carefully scooping and transferring brightly colored sequins from one jar to the next.
Some sensorial activities that got a bit of an upgrade this week were our small cylinder blocks, which were replaced with a larger one with more pieces- and much heavier!, and two color gradients to match colored pegs to as opposed to one gray scale gradient. The children were all excited to try these new additions to well known classroom staples.
On Thursday we had music class with Morah Dawn. The children were invited to use the bongos to play either piano (soft) or forte (loud), and the others had to guess which one was being played. Unsurprisingly, all of the children chose to play forte! Morah Dawn mixed it up a bit by playing both, and the children did a great job of guessing correctly each time!
On Monday we started decorating our flags/degel for Yom HaAtzmaut. The children learned the colors of the Israeli flag, kachol/blue and lavan/white, and the Magen David/ The Star of David. We read a great book, “Ella’s Trip to Israel” by Vivian Newman.
The children also assisted with snack preparation by peeling clementines and cutting grapes! We even had some yummy tri color mini peppers!
We discussed the many uses of the word Shalom. We will practice using it when we greet each other and say so long, as well as having a loving and peaceful classroom!
On Tuesday we finger painted kachol v lavan and glued on Magen David’s! We read, “Sammy Spider’s , “First Trip to Israel “, by Sylvia S. Rouss
On Wednesday we had a fun Israeli Day Parade all around the school! We sang Israeli songs and waved our flags proudly!
We painted doves, a symbol of peace, with cotton balls.
We read, “Shalom Everybodeee Grover’s Adventures in Israel “ by Tilda Balsley and Tom Leigh and “Listen Israel is all Around “, by Jamie Kiffel Alcheh.
Thursday the children were busy completing any art work that they wanted to finish. We read a Shabbat story, “Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup” by Pamela Mayer.
On Friday we sang our way down to the chapel. Morah Lana spoke about the Parsha Hashavuah and all about the importance of the Cohen Hagadol. The children had fun using blue/kachol play dough to end our wonderful week of celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut! We finished the week with another terrific Shabbat book, “Wait! It’s Friday!”, by Chris Barash.
We ate yummy challah made by the Alim class. We also had a Shabbat dance party!
This week was a fun celebration week for Israel. We talked about Israel's 75th Birthday!!!!!!!! There was fun preparation for this fun day!!!!!!
On Monday the children were shown new activities throughout the classroom, including eyeglass polishing. We had some new artwork . We did a fun Flower making activity with tissue paper. Also, we made homemade Israel flags for our parade on Wednesday. We used a metal inset to make the magen Davidn symbol inside the Israel flag.
On Tuesday, we finished making the Flags and made festive blue and white bracelets to wear for Wednesday.
On Wednesday, we sang songs and did a special parade throughout the school with the rest of the Montessori children in the morning. Then for lunch, we had a very special lunch with falafel, pitas, hummus and salad. It was DELISH!!!! What a fun and exciting day we had.
On Thursday, we had Show and Tell day. The kiddos loved presenting their special items to their friends. Morah Dawn came to visit us in the classroom. She reviewed the same concept from the previous week with Forte and Piano. The children had a turn with the drums.
On Friday, we went down to the chapel and enjoyed our lovely routine with all the Montessori children. We sang songs and listened to the Parsha. The Shabbat Box went home with Eli and his family this weekend.
This week was all about Israel, blue and white. We spent time discussing different aspects of Israel leading up to Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day).
On Monday a wonderful surprise met us in the classroom. We had a container of caterpillars. They were very tiny and we were all so excited to see them. We spent some time at circle looking at them and many children checked in on them multiple times during the week and spent time gazing into their container. As the week progressed we saw them grow and grow. They are now much bigger than they were on Monday but still have a bit more growing to do. We are so excited to see what happens to them next! On Monday we also began discussing the country of Israel. We enjoyed looking at a mini book all about Israel and learned lots of facts about the country, including how the flag was created, what the national bird is (the hoopoe), some things that grow in Israel (pomegranates, dates, olives) and some important landmarks as well including the Western Wall. We learned that this wall was part of the second great temple and has 3 names. They are the Western Wall, the Wailing wall, and ha Kotel. The children had a chance to look at a picture of the wall and then during the week they had a chance to work on an art project with a tracing from the wall.
Tuesday we worked on cutting on the line to create our own Israeli flag. We had to cut very carefully so that we could see the two stripes and 2 triangles. We then took these pieces and glued them down to white paper looking at a mini flag for inspiration. In gym class Coach Oren taught us how to play 4 corners. It was quite exciting to try to sneak to the different corners while he wasn’t looking and hope he didn’t call out the corner we had chosen.
Wednesday was Yom Ha’atzmaut and the whole school was a sea of blue and white. There was excitement in the air as we arrived at school and the children excitedly showed off all their blue and white details. We enjoyed parading around the school with our flags and the other Montessori children while singing songs about Israel for all of the older grades to enjoy. As this was our class’ week to make challah the children decided that even our challah needed to be blue and white this week. With the help of a little food coloring we made half the dough blue and left the other half plain to create the blue and white challah. For lunch we all enjoyed the delicious falafel lunch provided by the PTO and the children gobbled it up.
Thursday the children were introduced to the new letter sound ‘g’. We identified all the objects in the sound pouch, this proved a little trickier when they pulled out a wrapped up box and kept saying it was a present, but were confused as to why it was in the ‘g’ bag. Everyone did a lot of thinking about what else it could be before finally realizing another name for that would be a gift! We enjoyed playing a couple of sorting games with the ‘g’ ‘l’ and ‘b’ pouches as well.
Morah Dawn came with the bongos again today and each child had a chance to try out a different musical dynamic for the other children to try and guess. There were a whole lot of fortissimo players in our class!
Friday we were joined in the chapel by Benji’s parents. Morah Lana returned to telling about the parsha this week and we heard all about how the Kohen Gadol used to dress and prepare to be dressed. The children loved watching as Morah Lana dressed up one of the Keshet children (Tamar- better known in our room as Alon’s sister) in her interpretation of the great Kohen’s clothing. She also showed off what this person might have worn on Yom Kippor and discussed how this great man would prepare himself and be prepared to enter the temple. The children were quite intrigued by the idea of the mikvah, which was explained to them as a mix between a bath and a pool, and how they had to go all the way under but also make sure they were completely surrounded by the water. The parsha went on to explain other rules which led to us reviewing the 10 commandments. After the chapel, we came back to the room to do our Shabbat blessings together and of course eat our delicious blue and white challah. Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you all back on Monday to talk about flowers. If anyone would like to bring in some flowers next week for us to explore we would love it!
Yom Huledet Sameach!
Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State of Israel, when members of the ‘provisional government’ read and signed a declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv.
Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence - the very existence of the state - to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. For Jews around the world, joining with Israelis celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut has become a concrete link in the Jewish connection to the land of Israel.
Here at Ezra Academy, we joined right in! The Keshet students have been learning about Israel and on the day led all the Montessori students in a parade around the school, singing and waving Israeli flags.
Later in the day, they joined the older students in Ezra Olympics, which began with a PTO sponsored falafel lunch! Though the team leaders, the 8th grade students, were enjoying their own celebrations in Israel, the 7th graders did a fine job of leading their teams in festive activities. These included Israeli dancing, Israeli graffiti, the popular ball game ‘Gaga’ and ‘Find it on the Israel Map’ question and answers.
In our Keshet class, all week long, we incorporated Israel themes, including coloring a flag, playing ‘Kachol v’ Lavan’ on the appropriately colored floor tiles in our classroom, learning the geography and history of Israel (the early settlers - reading ‘Joshua’s Dream, A Journey to the Land of Israel’ by Sheila F. Segal), creating a topographic map with the land and water forms, and labeling a map with the bodies of water and main cities - In English and Hebrew!
In math the children LOVED creating blue and white necklaces with the answers to the addition and subtraction equations recorded in beads, alternating between blue and white. We enjoyed stories, wrote our own ‘letters to grandma / savta’ after reading ‘First Rain’ by Charlotte Herman.
Our butterfly larva happened to arrive this week and we had to start the first recording in our observation booklets. The larvae are tiny right now, but they are eating and climbing and getting bigger each day!
And in between we are reading ‘Flat Stanley’ by Jeff Brown - a little chapter book that they are engrossed in.
Just another week in Keshet :)
Enjoy this week’s photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/danVAWJS4P8wU8zC7