And just like that, our final full week of school is over! It's so hard to believe we are already there and yet, it is also amazing to see how far all of these children have come since their first days at Ezra.
This week we have been not only continuing our work with the ocean theme, but also working on some end of year and Father's Day surprises as well.
Watercolor painting was very popular this week- but we can't tell you what the final product is yet!!
The children have also been practicing their threading and weaving skills, and markers have been a popular material in the art area.
During work time some children have been working with a teacher on a special science sorting activity that was introduced last week. We are sorting a simple set of six photos of things found at the beach or ocean into the categories of living or non living. Some of these are tricky! The children are asked to think about whether the item in the photo can grow, and whether it needs food and air. They are also noticing that while the photo of a hermit crab inside a shell is 'alive,' because the crab is a living thing, the photo of just a shell itself is not.
During circle time this week we have been discussing and practicing how to approach the situation of wanting a turn with something that someone is already using. The children have practiced asking for a turn, giving a turn, and saying no to a turn and taking the rejection gracefully. They are learning to say things like "You may have it when I am finished," or to ask for an adult's help with the frustration of waiting for a turn. The children were all very patient when waiting their turn during our role play! This is something that will need lots of practice, and it will not always be remembered by these little ones in the moment! But they are growing into it every day.
Wednesday and Thursday were a little rough because we had to stay indoors, but our teachers made it fun! On Wednesday Morah Wendy led all the preschool children in some fun movement activities in the gym, playing games and freeze dance together. And Thursday, Morah Jessica came prepared with some kids' Zumba and yoga classes, and then Morah Dawn surprised us with a special dance party for our last music class! Still, it was a great relief to get outside on Friday, and we made sure to take full advantage of the playground. The children were very happy to be able to run and jump and climb outside again!
We continue our exploration of all sea/yam (Hebrew) life. Monday we painted a paper plate into the shape of a clam. It was fun watching each child focus on their work!
Tuesday we were fortunate to receive 3 ripe bananas. So we whipped up some banana muffins! The children loved mashing the bananas, cracking eggs and smelling the sweet vanilla! Recipe:
3 bananas mashed
2 eggs, add ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup vegetable oil and cream together. Add 1 tsp vanilla and blend. Then add 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ cups flour and combine. Then pour the mashed bananas to the mixture (it was hard for the children to fold the bananas). Preheat the oven to 350 bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, scoop approximately ½ cup into a lined muffin tin! Enjoy.
Wednesday it was challah dough making! I am so fortunate to have amazing sous chefs! They not only help make the dough but they also help scrub the table and sweep the floor from any flour spills(we have quite a few of those!).
Thursday the children tried their hand at sewing ridges on their clams and coloring angelfish(dag).
Friday we joined everyone in the Chapel for the end of the week Shabbat celebration! Morah Lana explained how Hashem had B’nai Israel follow in the desert. Hashem had a cloud(ananim) to follow during the day(Yom) and fire (aish) at night (balilah), and how we used the shofar blasts as a signal for B’nai Israel to assemble. Ashley’s mom, Amy, joined us in the classroom to celebrate Shabbat on this, our last Shabbat of the school year together! We also had Ashley’s grandmother and great grandmother join us in the Chapel!
It was a fun week of Ocean Life activities. We read several books regarding the ocean and fishes. We had fun art projects available for the kids to enjoy in the classroom.
On Monday, it was "Paint a Shell" day. The children picked out a few shells and decorated them. We added paint and glitter to make them fancy.
On Tuesday, we had a fun Beach Day. We pretended to be at the beach and had snacks on our beach towels. We enjoyed telling stories on what to look forward to this summer. It was very sweet and special.
On Wednesday, this was Octopus Day. The children were working on taping paper rings together for weeks now and we added the rings to our special Octopus friend in our Ocean Mural in the classroom.
On Thursday, we enjoyed our Last Show and Tell with all the kids. This was very special to them. They spoke in front of their peers and explained why their show and tell was important to them. This was a favorite activity among the students throughout the year!!
On Friday, we went down to the Chapel to sing songs and enjoy the Parsha with the other Montessori students. We blessed the challah one last time as a classroom family. We talked about what activities we will be doing next week for the last week of school and the children are super excited. Have a nice weekend.
How do we only have one week left together? We have spent a lot of time inside together this week, due to the poor air quality. This has given us plenty of time to look at lots of different sea creatures. The children have been quite busy creating their own ocean scenes. There has been a lot of creativity amongst the children and they have been collaborating beautifully on how and what to add to their ocean scenes. There were ocean animal figurines added with nomenclature cards this week. The children really enjoyed holding the figurines, matching them to the cards, and figuring out what the name of each is. The children also had the opportunity to trace the names of many animals with a dry erase marker. There was also an ocean floor puzzle on the shelf that was quite popular.
On Tuesday we joined Coach Oren in the gym to play sharks and minnows with scooters. It was exciting to change it up a little with the scooters and the game fit perfectly into our theme for this week. The children were excited by the idea of “eating” their friends and using one hand as their shark fin.
Thursday we had our last music class for the year with Morah Dawn. This week we played a couple of music games. We started off with musical dots. When the children were out they had the chance to choose a scarf or a tambourine to dance to. We also enjoyed a couple rounds of freeze dance. The children were very excited to try to hold still when the music stopped. Once again when they got out they enjoyed dancing with the colored scarves and tambourines.
On top of all our exciting ocean activities this week we also celebrated 2 birthdays. We celebrated Benji turning 4 and Oliver turning 5. We were joined by both sets of their parents and enjoyed celebrating with them. The pictures that were brought in really helped us to get a great look into both children’s lives and build a story about them. Thank you so much for joining us and helping us celebrate.
Friday we were joined in the chapel by Oliver’s parents where we heard Morah Lana tell us about this week’s parsha (torah story). This week there were details about the Hebrews walking in the desert and how they knew which way to go, because how do you find your way in a desert? We learned that there was a cloud in the sky that led the way during the day and a flame or fire in the darkness and this led the Hebrews in the right direction and all they had to do was look to the sky to know where to go. We also learned how Moshe and Aaron called all the people together to give them important information. There were silver horns or trumpets that were blown and depending on how many horns were blown and how many blasts were sounded it told the people who should gather to hear the news. Some of the children were excited to recognize that the names of the blasts were 2 of the same that we hear on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippor ( tekiyah and teruah). It was a wonderful last Shabbat in the chapel together for this school year. Back in the classroom we first enjoyed Oliver’s birthday celebration and then we gathered at the tables for all the blessings and eating of challah and to drink grape juice together along with our yummy birthday cupcakes. Have a wonderful weekend and we are all excited for our last week together next week.
We celebrated Sahar’s 6th birthday on Thursday, June 8th, and Tamar’s 6th birthday a little shy of her actual birthday in July. It was wonderful to invite their families and share these happy moments. Lots to celebrate!
This week the children are practicing all familiar Montessori activities, reinforcing concepts learned, noticing how quickly they are able to complete an activity that they worked on for so long earlier in the year! (A few children mentioned this during the course of the week.) Noticeably the excitement of achievement, and desire to read, to share news (especially those that were too shy a few months ago) and their writing! We practice journal writing almost daily and, from the first entries (practicing letter formation and thinking of words) to the sentences this week, we couldn’t be prouder!
The highlighted sound this week was ‘igh’ and we came up with some good ones - sight, fight, night, light, tight, right ( and I, kite, bite, my, like) and after coming up with the words, and helping me spell them on the dry erase board, they wrote them down and then read their words to a teacher before adding to their folder.
The general theme this week was ocean life, including whales, sea sponges, eels, rays… They worked on ‘parts of the fish’ using labels to identify the various fins, lateral line, head, scales before water color painting the same outlined fish.
Bingo is a favorite, in all areas, from Hebrew letters and vowels to 4-letter words and sight words, to ocean creatures. We have a wonderful set of Ocean Life Bingo with picture cards and information on the back, which they can read or have read to them (coral reefs, how sea sponges obtain their food, the Atlantic Ocean being the saltiest of all the oceans (someone mentioned the Dead Sea, but that’s not an ocean), volcanic islands in the Pacific…)
On Friday we enjoyed our last Shabbat in the Chapel for this school year, with our rendition of the parsha Beha’alotcha. We listened, participated and watched as B’nai Israel followed Moses through the desert, following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Two students carried the cloud and fire, another two blew the silver trumpets - alerting B’nai Israel of an important message - another rule, or time to pack up their sukkot and start walking… Hannah’s parents and sister joined us back in our classroom where we celebrated Shabbat together with our candles, challah and grape juice.
We also enjoyed a surprise visit from the Ezra 8th graders who had written Hebrew stories and read them to groups of Keshet students. And the day would not be complete without a walk to the bake sale for cookies and brownies. Shabbat Shalom!
Enjoy this week’s photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/Bh3wFQSp6c32u7ec9