What a great week! We were all so excited to come back together after our Thanksgiving break and even more excited because Channukah had started! We settled back into our routines and were so busy this week. During circle time everyday we “lit” candles on our Channukiah and said the brachot (blessings). We enjoyed learning how to spin a dreidel and practiced using our two fingers to spin them around. At the easel we used blue and white paint to decorate a dreidel cutout and yellow and white paint to make gelt (coins). The children had fun dipping a dreidel into paint and using that to create. Some children were able to spin the dreidel and watched the paint splatter off and then create small circles at the end, while other children just enjoyed using the dreidel like a paint brush and loved seeing the lines and streaks appear. We also brought out the glue stick and enjoyed sticking two triangles together to make Jewish stars. We also put some Channukah wrapping paper out to cut and used the scraps to make a collage at the end of the week. Later in the week we practiced flipping latkes with a spatula and wooden frying pan! We sang I am a Latke, and enjoyed a fun rhyme about latkes; 5 little latkes sizzling in the pan, 1 jumped out and said “catch me if you can” and he jumped and he ran all around the kitchen floor, and when I turned my back, he ran right out the door. 4 little latkes sizzling in the pan… The children loved this rhyme and we repeated it many times during the week. This week in practical life we tried our hands out at a sewing card and focused on pushing the string in and out of the holes around the edge. We also practiced pouring from a pitcher into two smaller cups trying our best to stop pouring when the water reached the black line in the cup. This required a lot of concentration and practice and we are working towards not overflowing our cups. The magnetic blocks continued to be popular this week and the children are really enjoying building with them.
On Thursday we had a visit from Morah Sherri for our monthly yoga session. This time she did her Channukah yoga session. The children got to try out so many different poses. She also introduced us to a new way to play dreidel! She created yoga poses for each letter on the dreidel so each time you spin you do a different yoga pose. The children really enjoyed trying that out. She also told a brief story of Channukah through poses. We wrapped up by learning how to spin our bodies like dreidels!
We had a fun week celebrating the Joys of Channukah. There were new activities in Art and in Practical life. In the Art area, the children made beautiful stained glass stars, decorated Menorahs and colored in different Channukah Art. In the Practical Life area, there were fun Channukah activities to help refine their fine motor skills. The Sound of the Week was “Bb”. We read the Alphatale book called The Bubble Bear. There were worksheets available for the children to practice their letter formation. The Pink Tower was demonstrated to the children and they enjoyed working with this.
Alim Judaics - We learned how to play the Dreidel Game. Each child took a turn spinning the dreidel and either put a token in or took half, etc.. We also learned that the Hanukkiah candles are placed from right to left, as we read Hebrew, however, we light the candles left to right - ie; if it’s the 4th night of Chanukah, one would light the 4th candle 1st, then the 3rd candle, 2nd candle and finally the 1st candle - giving that night’s ‘candle’ the honor to be lit first.
Yoga Yeladim- We celebrated Chanukah, stretched to Chanukah tunes, spun like dreidles and acted out through Yoga - the story of Judah Maccabee defeating the mighty Greek army. We practiced Hero pose for Judah Maccabee and learned a new meditation on our hands- ‘Nes, Gadol, Hayah, Sham’ - A great Miracle happened ‘there’. I taught the children how to play my own version of a Yoga Dreidel Game, which was printed and sent home with your children to enjoy with the family.
We celebrated Shabbat singing and dancing to ‘Chanukah Bamba’, and a few other favorites. We then enjoyed reading the book, ‘ Is it Hanukkah yet?’ and my helpers, Zev and Lia sang the Shabbat prayers together.
Channukah all week long! When you’re working with one student, exchanging ten unit beads for a ten bar, and ten, ten bars for a hundred square… and in the background you hear…’Baruch atah adonai…. she’asah nisim lavotai’nu b’yamim hahem, ba’azman hazeh’ and look over to see two students creating a channukiah with pipe cleaners, pieces of wood, bottle caps and other recycled materials :) If you ask your child what their favorite part of the week was, perhaps they would say ‘acting out the story of Channukah’. Ask. Maybe it was playing the dreidel game, or singing with Morah Helene (visiting teacher / sub) as she played the autoharp.
Perhaps it would be learning about the skeleton; that most people have 206 bones in their body, or lying very still as their body outline was traced. Or pretending to bite and chew a cracker, the role of the salivary glands, the tongue, and pretending that the chewed up cracker passes through the throat into the esophagus (piece of scrunched up paper passing through a straw). We’re learning about the human body; with focus this week on the brain and the digestive system.
Yoga Yeladim - We celebrated Chanukah, stretched to Chanukah tunes, spun like dreidles and acted out through Yoga - the story of Judah Maccabee defeating the mighty Greek army. We practiced Hero pose for Judah Maccabee and learned a new meditation on our hands- ‘Nes, Gadol, Hayah, Sham’ - A great Miracle happened ‘there’. Ask your child how to do the ‘Hanukkiah’ pose, where their head is the Shammos, and they tuck in their thumbs while flickering the 4 fingers on both hands. I taught the children how to play my own version of a Yoga Dreidel Game, which was printed and sent home with your children to enjoy with the family.
See this week's photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/GGMoAGVgnFbhR7MV6