What a fun week! We began the week by wrapping up our TuB'Shevat theme- finishing up our tree art projects, and then on Tuesday, enjoying the Montessori-wide seder together. We all sat down on some tablecloths on the gym floor and the children loved listening to Morah Lana explaining the significance of each delicious fruit as they tasted it! Each class also sang a song and it was so much fun to sing and to watch the other classes perform. I think everyone's favorite part was having chocolate pudding at the end!
For the rest of the week, we focused on pets. We learned that the difference between pets and other animals is that pets live in our home with us. We also learned that some animals, like rabbits, reptiles, and birds, can be a little tricky, because they can be kept as pets, but they also can live in the wild! The children have enjoyed making pet footprints in play dough with some animal figurines, and playing a matching game with pictures of pets.
On Friday, the weather was so warm we could hardly believe it!! After celebrating Shabbat together in the chapel and in our classroom, we headed right outside and played for as long as we could! The children enjoyed making sand creations in the sandbox- including vanilla soup and avocado applesauce!- and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Then we headed in for an indoor circle time to regroup before lunch.
We started the week mixing blue and red together to make purple (In Hebrew too)! So we had to make some purple play dough of course. Then we added some animals to make tracks in the play dough, to tie into our study of pets.
The children loved the Tu Bishvat celebration with the Alim, Anafim and Keshet classrooms. We tasted many seasonal fruits that are commonly eaten in Israel. The children had the opportunity to dig a tiny hole in some chocolate pudding and planted carob chips, as this is the season for planting trees. We also enjoyed eating the yummy pudding as part of our hard work planting trees. Each class sang a different song for the holiday. Ask your child to sing “Planting seeds on Tu Bishvat”.
We end the week with joining our older friends in the Chapel ushering in Shabbat. We headed back to our classroom to recite the blessings over the candles, wine and challah!
What an exciting week we had. This week we focused on Tu B’Shevat and planting. Since we don’t live in an area where we can plant trees outside (well at least typically we can’t) we took to planting in our classroom instead. On Monday we worked on repotting one of our classroom plants. We noticed that it was quite compact in its container and was drooping down a lot. We discussed that plants grow bigger, just like we do, and we need bigger clothes as we grow, just like a plant might need a bigger pot as it grows. We carefully removed the old pot from the plant and took the dirt out from around the roots so they had room to spread out a bit more. We then put the plant into a bigger pot, added in more soil, and gave it some water. The plant seems much happier (spreading out more) now that it is in its bigger pot. This experience was a wonderful one because it gave us the ability to look at the roots, which are normally hidden underground.
On Tuesday we joined the other Montessori classes in the gym for our Tu B’Shevat seder (thanks to all those that sent in materials for this wonderful experience). We gathered in the gym, sat around our floor table clothes and joined together to learn about the soil changing and the 4 different varieties of fruit. For each of the seasons we enjoyed a bit of grape juice of varying shades. We started with white grape juice for the barren soil, next was light pink juice to represent everything blooming and starting to grow, dark pink was after when everything is in full bloom and then purple juice for winter when everything is dark and dormant again. We enjoyed lots of different fruit in the 4 categories as well. The children delighted in planting a seed in the soil (chocolate chip in chocolate pudding) and watched as Morah Lana watered it (added milk). Miraculously by the end of our seder it had turned into chocolate pudding and the children loved getting to eat it.
In our classroom we enjoyed planting parsley this week, in hopes that it will be ready to put fresh parsley on our passover seder plates. The pots are currently soaking up lots of sunshine in our classroom window and it will be quite exciting for the children to watch them grow.
In between all the Tu B’Shevat, trees and growing we had time to make challah and enjoyed eating it during our Shabbat celebration on Friday.
This week we did not have any Shabbat guests, but that’s ok, we still enjoyed our trip to the chapel with the other classrooms. The story this week was all about receiving and hearing the 10 commandments and Morah Lana called on different children to hold up the numbers 1-10 as we heard about these very important rules.
Next week we will be venturing into the world of animals- starting off with pets! Have a great weekend, Shabbat Shalom.
This week we continued talking about the magic and mystery of TREES. We discussed more in depth how special trees are to us. We talked about the secret of the roots of a tree. In the damp world below, the roots spread through the soil to form a woody network. Trees have most of it physically hidden underground. We talked about how the main roots divide into smaller ones. Trees do most things slowly but they drink very fast!l A big tree can absorb over 100 gallons of water from the soil every day. Also, because trees grow and change slowly it’s hard to tell how busy they really are. So year after year, trees stand still but there is a lot going on under the surface. Trees living in a forest work together to survive when they help one another. So if a tree is damaged and starts to die, its neighbors will pass it food to keep it alive.
On Tuesday, we had a special celebration for TuB'Shevat. There was an abundance of food that the children enjoyed eating. It was a lovely celebration of the Birthday of the Trees. Our class sang the song Inch by Inch, a song about planting a garden. It was very sweet.
On Wednesday, we did show and tell in the morning. Then we had a nice work day. The children were busy with the Montessori materials. We took out new Practical Life activities which the children enjoyed as well.
On Thursday, we had a visit from Morah Dawn and she talked about music notes with the children.
On Friday, we went down to the Chapel. We enjoyed the Shabbat songs and the Parsha with Morah Lana. The Shabbat box went home with Lily’s family.
On Monday it was the official day of TuB’Shevat and the Kindergartners joined in the Ezra Olympics with the 1st-8th graders. Two Kindergartners are assigned to a team and, although a little intimidated by all the ‘bigger kids’ they performed well and had so much fun! They took part in various events, including putting together a tree poster (page by page according to instructions by the Ezra 8th grade team leaders), planting parsley seeds, and an obstacle course in the gym. They were all very excited and I’m sure at least some of you heard all about it.
The following day we enjoyed our Montessori TuB’Shevat seder with all the Montessori classes and as we told the story through the seasons, from the barren ground in winter time (white grape juice) to early Spring (light pink grape juice) as the earth warms up… to the Fall (deep red grape juice). Along the way we spoke about the various fruit, many of which grow in Israel, paying attention to the groups of fruit; those with a peel that cannot be eaten (banana, oranges…) and fruit with a hard pit that is inedible (apricots, cherries…) and all the symbolism as related to us as people (tough exterior but warm and kind within).
There was lots of eating and trying different fruit, and songs related to the holiday in between. Keshet sang Hashkediah Porachat (almond trees are blooming) and then later on, Tzadik K’tamar (a song and dance about date palms). Of course we included the story of Honi, who planted carob seeds, even though he knew that carob trees take seventy years to bear fruit! He plants for the future - for his grandchildren who may get to enjoy the fruit. We planted carob seeds ( chocolate chips) in the soil (chocolate pudding mix) and watered it with rain (milk) and the seder concluded with chocolate pudding dessert!
Thanks for sending in money on TuB’Shevat - we raised enough to buy a tree to be planted in Israel! Hopefully the certificate will arrive soon and they can appreciate their contribution!
We continued with our clock - using the ones we made and adjusting the hands to practice O’Clock, 30 minutes past/after, and then this week, 15 minutes after. The clocks are coming home today, so feel free to keep on practicing.
Next week we will start our unit on money, introducing the US coins and their values. Leading up to this, the children chose fabric and enthusiastically sewed their own wallet. We thought this may take at least a few days; at dismissal on day one we were well ahead of schedule!
See this week’s photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/SRnBZUbyFCrG7MRh7
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