Summer is definitely here! We have been applying our sunscreen and taking our water breaks during outside time for sure!
We celebrated this week by beginning our ocean and beach theme. We have been reading books, singing songs, and doing activities related to all kinds of ocean life.
One popular activity this week has been a straining activity. The children use a small hand strainer, holding it over a bowl and using a pitcher to pour a mixture of water and colorful beads into the strainer. Some have been truly fascinated by the way that the water moves through the strainer, but the beads stay inside it! The children then carefully tip first the beads, then the water, back into the pitcher. This is not only an exercise in having a steady hand pouring, but it also gives them a sense of water vs solids, and requires them to use each of their hands in different ways at the same time, which is a very important skill to build on in the future and engages more of their brain!
Another popular activity has been fishing in our sensory table with magnetic fishing poles and colorful fish with metal washers attached so they can be caught. The children have even figured out how to work cooperatively, and when a fishing pole isn't available, many have enjoyed pushing the fish closer so that the fishing child can catch them more easily. Teamwork!!
One of the songs we have been singing this week is "Down By The Bay," and that has been a great hit! We sing it while reading the accompanying Raffi book (Also "Baby Beluga!") Try singing it with your child over the weekend- most have already learned most of the words to the chorus, and can even fill in verses such as "Did you ever see a fly wearing a..." (Tie!) They all love how silly the suggestions get.
Thursday was music with Morah Dawn, and the children had a wonderful time taking turns playing the rhythms "ta" (quarter note), "hold" (half note) and "watermelon" (whole note) on the tambourine. Unsurprisingly, "watermelon" seemed to be the most popular!!
The children also started on their special end of year projects this week, and next week we will begin a secret Father's Day one, too!
Tuesday the children made fish/dag prints with several different kinds of fishie cookie cutters! We have been practicing saying please and thank you in English and Hebrew. We continue to have apples and oranges for snack so we repeat practicing those words in Hebrew and where they are grown (a tree also in Hebrew)! Ask your child to share with you how big they can make a tree with their bodies.
Wednesday we made our challah dough and we are trying a new recipe! It was definitely easier for the children to manipulate.
We made fish/dag with sequin for scales!
Thursday the children used a piece of celery dipped in paint to create fish scales. They were very pleased with how their fish came out.
Friday we had fun in the Chapel singing and listening to a story, “Once Upon a Shabbos”,told by Morah Lana. Allie and Eric Padegimas, Drew’s parents, joined us for Shabbat in the Chapel and in the classroom! We all had a great time celebrating Shabbat and eating challah and grape juice.
This week we talked about the summer months ahead. We read many ocean life books. We started our Countdown to summer calendar.
On Monday we worked on new Practical Life activities in the classroom and art projects. They enjoyed a buried treasure chest filled with gems and sea life creatures to explore.
On Tuesday, we visited Coach Oren and played games with him in the gym.
On Wednesday we had a nice work time in the classroom with new activities that were shown on Monday. We made fish that look like pillows to decorate the classroom.
On Thursday we enjoyed flower arranging in the classroom. This activity is a multistep to help their motor skills like pouring water into the vases, using scissors for cutting the stems of the flowers and inserting the flowers into a vase to create a beautiful bouquet. All the children felt a sense of accomplishment in arranging the flowers and making our classroom beautiful.
On Friday, we did our weekly Shabbat in the chapel. We enjoyed a story, ‘Once Upon a Shabbos’, by Jacqueline Jules. Then we blessed the Challah. We had a fun dance party towards the end of the morning. Shabbat Shalom everyone. :)
Hello June! This heat sure makes us ready for summer! We “dove” right into talking about Oceans this week. Even though this was a shorter week we were busy. We learned that there are 5 oceans on Earth (well really they are all connected but they are split up into 5 areas). We used our globe and a small map of the world to identify and label all of the oceans and what places are near each ocean. We discussed that we are most familiar with the Atlantic Ocean as that is the ocean that we visit along the shoreline of Connecticut. We also learned about the Pacific, Arctic, Indian, and Southern Oceans. This week the children had the opportunity to try out some finger painting with blue and green paints. These paintings are going to be the backgrounds for the children’s very own ocean scene pictures. Next week we will be talking about Ocean animals and objects and the children will have the chance to add to their ocean scene pictures!
This week a couple of new work activities were also introduced. In practical life a real small hammer was added with a block of wood and nails. The children have been very focused in figuring out how to hold the nail steady while gently tapping the head with the hammer. The children are really building their fine motor strength in their fingers in this activity. Some of the children also learned, a little late, how to gently tap the nail in at first so they can be more accurate and not bang their fingers! With lots of focus and practice the children have been steadily improving this skill. They have also learned how to use the back of the hammer to grip the nails and pull them back out of the wood so other children can enjoy this work as well. Another new work activity that was added was a language activity. The children had to look at a picture and then find the word for it from another stack of cards. The couple of children that tried it really enjoyed this slightly challenging work. They had to think about all the sounds they hear in a word to see if all those sounds were in the word card. Some children even took it a step further and added in spelling the words with the moveable alphabet.
In gym with Coach Oren we again played scooter tag but this week there was a third blue scooter added in for a bit more excitement.
On Thursday Morah Dawn brought back the tambourines and we worked on different rhythms with them but this time worked on the concept of a rest as well. This was portrayed by us saying “sh” and keeping our tambourines quiet for one or two beats. It was pretty tricky to keep the tambourines quiet when it was so exciting to listen to their sound, but we were able to accomplish it!
Oh and this week was the last week that our class was assigned to make challah. As promised earlier in the year, we made rainbow challah for our last week making (well, we made red, yellow and blue challah). The children were so excited to help mix in the colors and to braid up such beautiful dough.
On Friday we were joined in the chapel by Sophie’s mom. Morah Lana read and brought props for the book Once upon a Shabbos. The story was about a Bubbie (grandmother) who wanted to make kugel (noodle pie) but unfortunately had run out of honey. First she sent her grandson (and then her granddaughter, husband and finally herself) to the corner store (they were from Brooklyn) to get honey. Crazily enough each was met by a bear that threatened to eat them unless they gave it the honey they had just bought from the store. Of course they all obliged until it was finally Bubbies turn and she refused. She did offer to help the bear and soon learned that the bear was lost. In true Shabbat fashion the bubbie invited the bear over to eat with them and they enjoyed a yummy Shabbat kugel together. We then enjoyed our delicious rainbow challah together with our grape juice as well. Have a wonderful weekend. Shabbat Shalom.
This week we are talking about the ocean, oceanographers, and sharks. The Keshet students are very interested in ‘true stories’ and we read another good one, ‘Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist’, by Jess Keating. We learned about the Megalodon, a huge shark, now extinct, that lived about 26 million years ago. The largest shark living today, the whale shark is about 40 feet long and the smallest, the bamboo shark about 6 inches long. This involved estimating, measuring in feet / laying out many rulers.
Oil and watercolor ocean paintings, with reference to pictures of ocean life, were a hit this week.
Continuing from last week, and our study of flowers, pollination and parts of the flower, the students took apart Alstroemeria flowers and labeled the parts. Our tomato plants and basil are doing well in our garden and we’re still watering and waiting for any signs of sugar snap peas…
In Math this week we are estimating and then counting and comparing, and exploring ‘more than’ and ‘less than’ using the open triangle symbol.
In English we are refreshing nouns (‘names of people, places and things’) and introduced verbs (‘doing words’) and the Montessori symbols - black triangle for nouns and red circle for verbs. The children are reading sentence strips and recognising parts of speech. Some have added adjectives (‘describing the person, place or thing’) as they label the sentences / paragraphs.
As the year wraps up, it is so wonderful to see everything ‘come together’! There is an explosion into reading, each at their own level, with enthusiasm and perseverance!
We are almost finished reading Charlotte's Web and are enjoying daily story time while sipping on our water, after a hot and active recess.
In Hebrew our study of letters and vowels has progressed to reading words! We are having fun sounding out words and the children feel proud when they do so and know the meaning!
Enjoy this week’s photos