Another week together has flown by! It is truly an amazing and wonderful sight to see our littlest ones bringing a mat to the floor, unrolling it, selecting work from the self, bringing it to the mat, and working with concentration, then returning their work to the shelf and rolling up and returning their mat when they are finished. Yes, some children are already completing the full cycle of all of these steps on their own, and those who are not are doing some of them on their own already!
This week the children have enjoyed the new button transfer activity on our practical life shelf. We have also added some extensions to existing materials and activities that the children began with at the start of the school year.
We made our own challah for Shabbat together this week. We are so excited to be able to include food prep again this year. Most of the children really enjoyed helping to measure and mix the ingredients for the dough, and all of the children enjoyed eating it on Friday!
We enjoyed the cool fall air on Friday! As the weather gets a little unpredictable this time of year, we encourage families to check the forecast and dress the children in layers.
Next week, we will continue to talk about changes we see outdoors as Fall progresses all around us, and we will start learning about Yom Kippur.
We are continuing to be more familiar with using Hebrew vocabulary for the upcoming chag/holiday of Rosh Hashanah, i,e. apples/tapuchim, honey/dvash and saying have a sweet new year in hebrew, Shanah Tovah Umetukah. The children enjoy the sounds the shofar makes. Ie T'keyah (1 blast), Shevarim (3 short blasts), Teruah (9 blasts) and of course the T’keyah Gadolah (the long drawn out blast). Some of the children try to mimic the sound, which is fun to hear. We sing our apples and honey song several times during the day and we have added honey to enjoy with snack.
It was another fun busy week in our room and it was so wonderful to see so many of you at our open house this week.
We are learning the routines of the day and getting better every day! The children are really beginning to open up and show their little personalities and are making our classroom come alive.
The children have been spending lots of time sorting a variety of different materials which is helping them to hone their visual distinction skills. For the children who are ready we have added different math or language games and activities onto these, as extensions, to help strengthen those skills and really see what levels all the children are on.
We have enjoyed a variety of art projects this week for Rosh Hashanah as well. The children loved sponge painting onto a paper plate and then gluing on a brown stem and green leaf. We also worked on a sewing activity by using brown yarn around a shofar cutout and learned that we should always try to start from the back and work through the holes that come right next to the one the yarn is in.
On Wednesday we dove into making our own challah dough! The children were so excited about the process and eager to help with every step. Watching the yeast start to react with the addition of water and sugar was so exciting, as well as measuring and adding in all the different ingredients. Some of the children came and went from the table where we were making the dough, while others sat glued to their seats enjoying watching exactly what it takes to make the challah. It was quite exciting to leave our dough before we went outside and come back in and see how much it had grown (risen). We tucked our dough into the fridge on Wednesday (to pause it from rising) and then continued on with breading it on Thursday. The children enjoyed learning about making the challah round for Rosh Hashanah and delighted in helping to braid it into a special round loaf. They were even more excited to eat it on Friday for Shabbat. We will be making and enjoying fresh baked challah almost weekly and can’t wait to see our little bakers progress with making it themselves.
Friday we once again joined Alim and Keshet in the chapel for songs and this time Morah Lana shared a story, a lore about how the challah became round. We again loved marching around with our little stuffed Torahs. Once back in the classroom, Benji and Emma helped lead the prayers and movements for our Shabbat blessings as our Shabbat helpers.
Have a wonderful long weekend, Shabbat Shalom, Shanah Tova, Happy New Year.
This week we celebrated our first Birthday Celebration of the year!!!!! Happy Birthday to Lily!!!! Yay! Montessori Birthday Celebrations are super special not only because it is a special day for the child, it’s also a way for the children to have a learning opportunity on how long a year really is in their lives. The birthday child walks around the sun holding the planet Earth to symbolize one year passing. It helps the children understand the concept of time and basic astronomy. The sun is the center and there are strips of paper with the months labeled surrounding the sun. The birthday child can begin their walk on the month they were born on and walk one rotation around symbolizing one year that passed by. The number of rotations depends on the child’s age. The children especially loved the photos of their friends during the celebrations.
There was a World Map lesson this week. The children were shown how a Globe is a sphere and is not flat. I demonstrated cutting a ball of playdough in half and making it flat into two spheres. We practiced the placement of the continents with a felt map and sang the Planet song to help memorize the names of the seven continents. We will be practicing this song a lot.
The children were busy in the classroom working. Many lessons throughout the classroom have started this week. We continued the discussion of Rosh Hashanah through fun songs, books and art projects.
The week just prior to Rosh Hashanah involves repetition of songs, all the familiar and favorites, as well as Avinu Malkeinu, which the children sang repeatedly in English and Hebrew! During Morning Meeting we introduced the repetition of the first verse of the Shema, which some are familiar with, while others are beginning to join in.
We noticed that while it is still September on our Gregorian calendar, the Hebrew calendar is in the month of Elul and Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new month, the Head of the Year, Tishrei. We are singing the months of the year in Hebrew, more like a chant - your child will repeat it for you … by the end of the school year!
While on the topic of calendar, we noticed the start of the new season on Thursday, September 22, the Fall (or Autumn!) Equinox. You can ask your child to explain what that is (we demonstrated with the globe of the world moving around the ‘sun,’ mentioning the equator and that on this day the days and nights are the same length.) This involved discussion about the Earth turning on its own (imaginary) axis, day and night, while it moves (very slowly) around the sun. The first day of Autumn began with a thunderstorm and these Keshet kids were quite excited - it was noisy - but it seems they are mostly looking forward to displaying the sheleg / snow card on our calendar/ weather board!
We are using a “breathing ball” to practice our slow, deep breaths and bumble bee breath (ask them to teach you this!)
In yoga we made up poses for Rosh Hashanah, including an apple, shofar, pomegranate, trees etc. and we talked about seeds turning into apple trees and made up poses for that as well. We talk about how the yoga and breathing practices make us feel and when it would be helpful to remember to pull them “out of our toolbox” in daily life.
In Science we are learning about the Honey Bee, creating fuzzy tissue paper bee collages, singing the beehive song and discovering all sorts of bee facts. Ask your child how many queen bees there are in the hive, what the queen bee’s job is, what the worker bees do, how the bees communicate with each other… We all love acting out scenarios, and while bee scenarios sucking nectar from a flower with a proboscis is fun, stinging a bear (Morah Verred) to protect the hive is clearly the most fun of all! We labeled ‘parts of a bee’ and sewed a bee onto the Rosh Hashanah challah cover that you will be happy to receive in time for the chag.
In Math the children worked in pairs, discussing between themselves how their kite would look, and then colored them accordingly. They are working in their Math workbooks, cutting and gluing and following directions, pairing and sorting and matching accordingly.
We are continuing to learn and use Hebrew in our daily classroom life and communicating in both Hebrew and English (and sometimes Spanish!) all day.
SHANAH TOVAH U’METUKAH!!
See this week’s photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/Rd65g5n6qQb2NAbs7