Montessori Preschool, Sep 9-13

The weather has been beautiful his week and outdoor time has been fun.  The children are playing ball games; catch, basketball and 'volleyball,' riding bikes and concocting all sorts of sand treats. Indoors we are busy from the moment the doors open. We present lessons to the children in all areas and while someone is folding cloths, another is sweeping up the spilled lentils (a pouring activity), a group of children are playing a 'what's missing game?' with the geometric solids and another is creating words with the moveable alphabet. The room is a buzz of activity, but relatively quiet. And that's just the first part of the day!  We come together for group time twice a day, read the date and weather, sing hello to everyone, share news, say the Shema, demonstrate a 'grace and courtesy' lesson (which could be practicing rolling out a mat, placing a chair at the table, carrying a tray, politely asking a question, carefully turning the pages of a book...) and sing a song or two.  At the second group, just prior to lunch, we read a story book, play a game and/or sing. This week we are introducing the next holiday, Rosh Hashanah.  We learned the colors red (adom), green (yarok) and yellow (tzahov), apples (tapuach) and read Up, Up, Up! It's Apple Picking Time, by Jody Fiches Shapiro. We're singing 'Five little apples on the apple tree' - ask your child to sing it for you (with actions), and also this song ( to the tune of the Macarena):
'Apples, apples,(tap shoulders) honey, honey, (tap knees)
They're so yummy in my tummy (rub belly)
Apples, apples,(tap shoulders) honey, honey, (tap knees)
Yay it's Rosh Hashanah!' (jump up and down whilst clapping)
You may have noticed a large, green oval tape line on our classroom floor - that's for 'Walking On The Line,' a Montessori mindfulness activity where we play classical music and the children are invited one by one to walk on the line, slowly (in time to the music) and without talking.  This provides a calm, peaceful and relaxing, somewhat meditative atmosphere, and many of the children wanted to continue walking after the ten minute period.  
Our theme this week was discussing the signs of fall, leaves (leaves changing color, falling off of trees), apples and touching on Rosh Hashanah. The children participated in an apple tasting at the beginning of the week. Gala apples, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious apples were the apples that were available to taste. We tried the apples by themselves, and also tried them with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon on top. We created a class tasting chart that is hung up outside of our classroom if you would like to see which Apple your child liked best! It is color coordinated—a green apple cutout means they liked Granny Smith the best, and a red apple cutout means they liked the Gala apple best. (Red Delicious was for our tasting with the sugar and cinnamon!) We talked about how apples can be sour or sweet and there are different variations of sweet and sour. We also sliced an apple together to see what the inside may look like. We discussed the different parts of an apple (tapuach in Hebrew)— the stem, the skin, the flesh, the core and the seeds. Two apple cores were left out for the children to examine and count the seeds.

Books we read this week: “Little Tree”, “Leaf Man”, “Apples”, “Apples and Honey”, and “Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride”, and “A Taste of Honey”.

The children also created “red” collages. They glued different red textures onto yellow or white paper. We also created marker murals as a class. The children then could create a “story” and tell me what it was. Please look for one of these creative stories outside of our classroom authored by Ben G, Ben F and Jakob.

We introduced our classroom calendar this week at group time and the children love taking turns changing the day of the week. Classroom “news” is still very popular at group as well. Also at group, we participated in the “Apple Tree Song”. Together we acted out how an apple tree grows and used hand signs and gestures to show the apples growing on the tree, sun shining, the wind blowing, the rain falling and lastly the apples falling to the ground. 
See our photos here
Monday, September 30 - Rosh Hashanah, no school
Tuesday, October 1 - Rosh Hashanah, no school
Tuesday, October 8 -Erev Yom Kippur, noon dismissal
Wednesday, October 9- Yom Kippur, no school
Monday, October 14 - Columbus Day and Sukkot, no school
Tuesday, October 15 -Sukkot, no school
Friday, October 18 - Ezra Special Person Day, 10:30am-12:30pm (Grandparents or Special Person visit, details to follow soon)
Monday, October 21 - Shemini Atzeret, no school
Tuesday, October 22 -Simchat Torah, no school
Happy, fun weekend!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Lana, Morah Sheryl, Morah Nicole, Morah Marisol, Morah Haley, Morah Theresa



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