This week was all about kindness! For these very young ones, we focused this week on ways they can be kind and see kindness in their everyday lives- sharing, taking turns, and having good manners. Ask your child how to say please, thank you, and I'm sorry in English, American Sign Language, and Hebrew!! We are pleased to be able to say that we really have noticed the children using these "polite words" more often in the classroom.
We read many books about being kind and having good manners, including Baby Be Kind by Jane Cowen-Fletcher and Thank You: Modeh Ani by Rabbi Alyson Solomon. We also took the opportunity to read some of our winter themed books again when we had a brief flurry- have to seize it as it comes!
This week saw the introduction of some evergreen sprigs to our nature tray, which some children were excited to explore, and the reintroduction of rock scrubbing to our practical life shelf, which was quite popular. In the art area, many children were very fond of using watercolor paints on a coffee filter!
On Friday, the children not only enjoyed celebrating Shabbat together, but also got the opportunity to play with some pretend snow in the sensory table, which was very fun for a rainy day!
Our theme for this week was kindness and being a kind person. We talked about how the children are kind at home and how they can be kind to their friends.
The children started the week helping to prepare snack by washing and cutting (doing their best and watching their fingers) (reviewing banana, apple and pears in both English and Hebrew).
On Tuesday the children were practicing their yoga moves! It was fun doing the cat/cow, downward dog, deep breathing, and stretching (also translated into Hebrew).
The children enjoyed listening to several stories during our circle time, including Sammy the Spider’s First Mitzvah and Estie the Mensch.
We ushered in Shabbat in the Chapel this morning. We listened to this week's Parshah. This week's story was about how Jacob’s sons’ families were growing as their lands were prosperous. A new king ruled Egypt and did not want the Israelite people to increase in numbers, so he oppressed them with harsh labor and charged that Egyptian person to cast every male born into the Nile River. Hence this is the beginning of Moses’ story. How Miriam, Moses’ sister, saved his life by meeting Pharoh’s daughter, and Moses’ discovery of the burning bush.
What a wonderful week we had. Everyone was eager to be back at school and were excited to talk more about winter. This week we focused on what animals do in winter. The children learned that animals have three options; hibernate, adapt, or migrate. The children were very interested in learning that hibernation means to sleep for a very long time. They were mesmerized by how many different animals hibernate (not just bears!). We learned that there are different ways to hibernate, some animals really do just stay in the same spot and sleep for months on end while others sleep for several days at a time and might wake to briefly eat and excrete before returning to slumber. Some animals hibernate in caves (bats), their shells (turtles and snails), underground (woodchucks, chipmunks, hedgehogs) and more. We talked about several kinds of animals that migrate as well. The children learned that animals in our area migrate in favor of warmer climates and a couple that do this are geese and monarch butterflies. We did use this opportunity to also discuss that there are other animals that migrate to find food, to mate, or for warmer temperatures.
Our Montessori work continued on during all this and the children have enjoyed exploring the ten frame, looking at sound pouches and playing games with these manipulatives, working on snack preparation, sweeping up the classroom and more. We sure are busy!
This week we once again made challah and we all agreed this is some of the best loaves we have made! Every week we tweak the recipe just so and it sure does taste great.
Friday we were joined in the chapel by RJ’s dad (and mom but she had to sit with her class). We loved trying to keep up with Morah Lana doing all the hand motions for the song David Melech and of course delighted in singing about the challot in the baker shop. This week’s story kept our attention well! We learned about a young Hebrew baby that was put in a basket and sent down the Nile River to escape being killed (or put to the side as Morah Lana said). We heard about how his mother was hired to care for him (they didn't know it was actually his mother), and how he grew up to be a nice, kind, gentle man. G-d spoke to him and instructed him to help out the Hebrew people and at first he didn’t believe this voice he heard. On command his staff turned into a snake and then he believed more. He then went before Pharaoh and asked for the Hebrews to be freed. Next week we will hear about more of this story (spoiler alert this is when we learn about the 10 plagues). We came back to our room and enjoyed our fresh baked challah along with some grape juice. It truly was a wonderful shabbat together.
We hope you all have a wonderful shabbat and a great long weekend and we will see you on Tuesday.
We continued with the Space Unit this week. We read a lot more books regarding the Planets. We focused on each planet and what makes them different from one another. We continued practicing the Planet song and the kids are really understanding the placement of the planets with the song. I always ask the children if they would like to stand up and do a solo with the planet song. Most of them have done this with ease and confidence. The Space activities on the are still in full swing and getting a lot of use during work time.
We started a big art project where the children are making their own planets. They chose what color to paint their planet and we added shiny 3D pieces to it. They all loved it!!!!
Morah Dawn practiced more with the students timing with music theory using shakers. The kids really enjoyed their music lesson.
We went down to the Chapel on Friday morning with Lily’s family. We are all enjoying this weekly ritual at school. It’s been nice seeing parents sign up and coming in to enjoy Shabbat with all of us. Morah Lana sang songs with the students and told everyone about the special Parsha this week. It was acted out with props which the children enjoyed. The Shabbat box went home with Lily’s family. We can’t wait to hear about all the adventures with our friend the Fox “Shual”. Enjoy the long weekend.
Keshet kids are working on the analogue clock - with practice and repetition in counting by 5’s, and reinforcement and understanding of ‘half’ and ‘quarter’. They watercolor painted their own circle, wrote the numbers from 1-12, and will put it all together to create their own clock, with moveable hands. We will keep the clocks at school as we continue to practice telling the time the ‘old fashioned way’.
We have been talking about kindness and being mindful of others’ feelings, in relation to our classmates, and also within the wider context. As Martin Luther King, Jr Day approaches, we are learning about this time in our recent history and discussing how our respect for all people matters! We shared Dr. King’s story, with thought and discussion, and also, more generally, shared ways that we can make a difference. We also read “If You’re Going To A March”, by Martha Freeman (a new classroom book given by Emmanuelle's parents in honor of her recent birthday). The children had lots of questions and we spoke not only in terms of color of skin, but hair color, length, curly, straight… and how ridiculous this idea of separation was (is).
We had a visit from an Israeli emissary on Tuesday, Ra’anan, who taught us about density with an experimental science class on the Dead Sea. We all wondered why people seem to float in the dead sea. Each student had their own cup of tap water into which we dropped an egg, we then added a lot of salt to each cup and placed the egg back in, it floated! The students wondered if sugar might have the same effect, we all made educated guesses. Ask your child what happened to the egg in the cup of sugar water!
In Hebrew we are working through our work books and playing different games in our classroom to help the students remember the name and sound of each letter as well as common words we use in the classroom! We learned a song about washing our hands and played a yoga/hebrew hybrid game where we practiced action words and body parts!
The students are practicing their reading - all excited about reading their little books, and the phonogram of the week was ‘ay’ to compliment last week’s ‘ai’ -no one ever said English was a simple language!
On Friday Keshet students joined the older students in a Martin Luther King Day celebration in the Bnai Jacob Chapel, where the 5/6 students gave brief presentations on unsung heroes of the Civil Rights movement and we all sang Civil Rights-era songs, including ‘We Shall Overcome’. We made American flags and held them high.
See this week’s photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/Rw9jHx1HTQ1iExaw6