February 10-14, 2020

What's going on this week?  We decorated branches with scrunched up pink and white tissue paper for our TuB'Shevat seder centerpiece, painted pots of plants, pretended we were seeds that start to grow, roots first when watered with rain, love and sunshine.  The children love this kind of pretend play;  always willing participants.  We thought about all sorts of fruit and played a guessing game; those with skins that need to be removed (an outer covering, but no pit inside) like a banana,orange, fruit with an outer covering and a pit that can't be eaten (mango, avocado), fruit that can be eaten without having to remove an outer peel or pit (berries)... We drank four cups of grape juice, white (barren fields in winter), pink grape juice (spring), red grape juice (summertime) and dark red/purple grape juice (autumn). We told the story of an old man, Choni, who planted carob seeds all around Israel.  A man and his young children asked why he was planting seeds for a tree that would not bare fruit in his lifetime. It takes about 70 years for carob trees to bare fruit. Choni answered that there were trees that were planted before he was born so that he could enjoy their fruit and so he would make sure that there would be fruit for his grandchildren, and their generation. During our TuB'Shevat seder we tried all sorts of fruit and celebrated the trees and all they provide for us, and for all the insects, birds, animals... We planted little carob seeds (chocolate chips) in soil (chocolate pudding powder) and watered it (with milk) and then counted to 70 and after all those years flew by, we ate from the carob tree (chocolate pudding dessert)!  
And just like that our 'TREE' theme came to an end (well, some are coloring 'parts of the tree' booklets) and we are enthusiastically exploring 'TEETH.' We looked at all sorts of dental items, including floss, mouthwash, gum guards (in case you grind your teeth?!), toothbrushes, toothpaste, tooth pick for counting teeth and a dental mirror.  We played the 'mystery bag' where each child put their hand in the bag and guessed the item they felt.  Apparently some children use a 'flossie' tooth pick while others, like Morah Lana use dental floss.  This included a demonstration of how one would hold the string of dental floss, and culminated in Morah Lana demonstrating how she flosses her teeth, in front of a fascinated audience (I drew the line at flossing everyone's teeth).
Apparently the biggest fascination with a visit to the dentist includes the bib that you have to wear and that makes some children cry, and the stickers/ toys received at the end of the visit.  We will continue this theme when we return next week, but our visit from the dentist was postponed until later in March.  We'll be well prepared by then with our action poem:
When I go to the dentist
To let her see my teeth
She has a very special chair
With a button underneath.
She pushes the button
In and out
And I go for a ride
And then I open wide my mouth
So she can look inside!
This week we were very excited to have our TuB'Shevat Seder. We joined the other class on Tuesday and talked about how TuB’Shevat is the beginning of spring in Israel. We celebrate the birthday of the trees! We drank a progression of grape juices (from light colored to dark) and ate different fruits that symbolized our story of the farmer.  When first the farmer's fields are barren in the winter and dry, and then when the fields soften and he can plant seeds. We first ate banana, clementines, oranges, and almonds to symbolize the earth that protects us. We then ate dates, apricots, and olives (fruit with inedible pits) to symbolize the good, strong, energy inside of us. We then ate figs, berries, grapes and raisins to symbolize that G-d is everywhere, we eat the entire fruit. We then ate mango and avocado to symbolize that we may be tough on the outside but can be strong, spirited, and and also kind and sweet on the inside. 

We sang “Planting Trees on TuB’Shevat”:
Let’s plant seeds on TuB’Shevat
Maybe apples, or apricots
We’ll dig, dig, dig in a sunny spot
Where it’s not too cold and it’s not too hot 

We also sang “TuB’Shevat!”:
TuB’Shevat is on its way!
Clap, clap, clap your hands,
It’s a happy holiday!
Stamp, stamp, stamp your feet,
Now’s the time to sing and play,
TuB’Shevat is the birthday of the trees!
Plant, plant, plant a seed,
Plant it right into the ground,
Rain, rain, rain will fall,
Raindrops falling all around,
Sun, sun, sun, will shine,
Shining brightly in the sky,
To help the trees grow up so high,
Help them grow so high!
Grow, grow, start to grow, like the trees we see outside,
Stretch, stretch, stretch up high,
Branches reaching very wide,
Sway, sway, side to side,
Leaves are dancing in the breeze,
To celebrate a birthday, the birthday of the trees!

We created beautiful blossoming almond trees at the easel, and handprint blossoming fruit trees with Qtips. 

We were very excited to make Gak in our sensory table with Elmer’s glue, Borax, and water! It was a very engaging science experiment and the children were happy with our results. (Gak is like a rubbery playdough that happens to also be a little on the slimy side.)

The parashah this week is Yitro. The Israelites reach the land of Midian where Moses meets up with his father in law, Yitro. Moses reunites with his wife Zipporah and his sons Gershom and Eliezar. Moses recounted all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians on behalf of the Israelites. Yitro is impressed at how the Gd of the Hebrews has delivered them. He acknowledges that Gd is greater than all others and brings a sacrifice for Gd. 
Yitro observes how Moses would sit everyday to judge the people. He expressed his concern that Moses has taken on too much responsibility. He suggests that Moses establish a hierarchy of judges to help alleviate the burden. Moses selected capable, trustworthy men who feared Gd. 
The Israelites encamped before Mt. Sinai where Gd reveals the Ten Commandments. 
In addition to covering the story we spent time reviewing the Ten Commandments.
The parashah made a point of including the meaning to the names of Moses sons. This became one of the focal points to our parashah related crafts. We talked about how names have meanings and that everyone’s name is special. 
Most of the children completed a painting with their names and its meaning. The children also helped to color the pictures for each commandment. This group activity and the paintings can be found on our board.
Monday, February 17 and Tuesday, February 18 - no school, February break
Wednesday, February 19 - no school, Faculty Professional Development Day
Tuesday, March 10 - Purim dress up, regular school hours for Montessori
Thursday, March 26 - Parent Teacher Conferences, 1pm-3:30pm (regular day for children)
Wednesday, April 1 - Parent Teacher Conferences, 5pm-8:30pm (regular day for children)
Friday, April 3 - Passover play and seder for Montessori children and parents, 10:30am-12:30pm
Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7 - regular day for Montessori
Wednesday, April 8-17 - Passover break, no school
Monday, April 20 - School opens
Wednesday, April 29 - Yom Ha'atzmaut, dress in blue and white, Ezra PTO luncheon for Montessori and K-8
Monday, May 25 - Memorial day, no school
Friday, May 29 - Shavuot, no school
Friday, June 12 - Last day of school, end of year party on our playground for all children and parents, 3pm-5pm
(Monday, June 22 - First day of Summer Camp)
Please see this week’s photo’s here photos.app.goo.gl/WXz9RyYRz3tgqHTt5
Shabbat Shalom!
Enjoy the long weekend!!
Morah Lana, Morah Sheryl, Morah Nicole, Morah Marisol and Morah Haley


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