Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pesach Preparation and Model Seder in KDH

KDH began preparing for Pesach immediately following Purim. The children shared with us the cleaning that had begun in their homes. At school we took the chometz foods out of the Dramatic Play area and filled it with matzah, kiddush cups, and seder plates....
We talked about what we knew about Pesach and what we'd like to make. A haggadah to use at home is always popular. Each page had many steps. We talked and sang as we worked.

What were the things we would need for the Pesach Seder?
 Grapejuice or wine.
Maror/Horseradish root
Salt Water
Zeroah/Roasted Bone

KDH washed, picked and squeezed the grapes. Then we put them all in a pot, cooked them and after it cooled we strained the liquid. We had made the grape juice for our Model Seder!

Matzah baking began with giving tzedakah and a puppet show. Next, we examined the wheat and thrashed it to get the kernels. The children ground the kernels with a hand grinder to make flour.
Quickly, the flour was mixed with water to make the dough. Next everyone got a piece of dough, rolled it out and poked holes in it. Then the dough was baked. Voila! Matzah!

Rabbi Sollish/Mad Scientist came in and did a flour experiment with us. What fun!

As we got closer to Pesach, we painted a kearah/Seder plate.

The children performed Bedikat Chametz, looking for Chametz as we do at home. 

Next we turned our attention to all the special foods.

We washed, peeled and grated the apples for the charoset. We mixed them with grape juice and a little sugar.Yummy charoset that reminds us of the cement  and bricks the Jews made as slaves in Egypt.
We peeled and grated the Maror. The lettuce was washed and checked.
The hard boiled eggs were peeled for the Seder. Celery was washed and cut up for the Karpas.

The children set up the Seder plate, put out the Matzah and grape juice and set the table.

A beautiful model seder was experienced by all. 
KDH was ready to celebrate Pesach at home.
Chag Sameach.

Morah Ruth
Morah Sara

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pesach in Pre-KA

Its all hands on deck as we prepare for Pesach in Pre-KA

sand and pyramids just like in Egypt

a pyramid

Painting our hagaddahs

Baby Moshe in a basket

Pesach Comes Alive in KDH

Pesach Comes Alive in KDH
                      Enjoy these videos. Two were spontaneous, "Baby Moshe" was totally 
planned and produced by the children.

"Bang Bang Bang. Bang Your Hammer..."

"Oh Listen, Oh Listen, Oh Listen King Pharaoh..."

"Where is baby Moshe..."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pesach, We Celebrate, With Matzah, Maror and the Seder Plate

We're Ready for Pesach . . .

We learned a lot about spring.  On our trip last month, we noticed the trees, plants and flowers of our neighborhood.  We sketched the daffodils that were growing on our school's property.  We went on a springtime scavenger hunt, too. 

        Then, our Sensory Table became a Bug Bin.  Our table was full of pastel-colored rice, flowers and plastic bugs.  Signs of spring were everywhere!  (Above, Ari, Leiba, Yoni and friends enjoy Morning Arrival time at the Bug Bin.)
        We worked in pairs with pastel-colored chalk as we sketched rosemary and azalea flowers.

       It's spring, and we know that Passover is just around the corner.  It is known as the Springtime Holiday.  Morah Yael shared a story with us.  It was about a hen who grew wheat from seed, harvested the wheat, and made matzah.  Morah Yael held up a sheaf of wheat for us to see.  We touched it, too.  Then, we used a rock to grind it.  The kernels were very tough!
       Morah Dena was our guest reader. She also shared a book about Pesach.
     Matzah Man became one of favorite stories.  Rami and Noa retell the story using the Matzah Man puppet.
     At Circle Time, we played a game:  Passover food or Chametz?  We took turns placing our food magnets on the floor in the appropriate place.  Our surprise?  We discovered that so many delicious foods, like apples, bananas, pears, oranges, are permissible on Pesach.  We had focused on the chametz foods, not realizing that there are so many "regular" foods for us to eat.
     Our Morah brought in fresh parsley for us to experience.  Many of us use parsley for Karpas, to dip in salt water.  Reed gets a close look at the parsley and begins making an illustration of it.
     Sam prepares his Mah Nishtana book.  Because we learned how to sew on burlap earlier in the year, we continued with this skill when we made mini-Mesubin pillows.  We know that reclining is a sign of freedom, and that we recline at the Seder.

     (Above: Ruth uses our parsley to create a page in her Mah Nishtana book.)

(Ari, above,  uses a sponge when working on her Mah Nishtana book.  Below, Hannah works on her book.)

(Below, Henia and Leiba using gold paint and sponges on their Mah Nishtana books.)

                        (Above, Sam sets the Pesach table; below, dramatic play at the table.) 

     As they set the table, the children asked, "Do we need candles on Pesach?  Grape juice?"  There are so many similarities between the Seder and our Shabbat table, and so many differences.  We sang some of Mah Nishtana, Why is this Night Different.
    We learn other songs, too:  parts of Dayenu, Who Knows One, and the refrain from the Order of the Seder song.   We like singing, "Pesach, We Celebrate . . ." (To hear the Uncle Moishy tune that we sung in class, go to   

     Morah Susan brought a big piece of cardboard to class.  It was huge!  What goes on in her house, we wondered.  Our Morah told us she bought a new outdoor table, and she had saved the box for us.

     We took the box outside and painted it.  It became the sea, for Yam Suf, the Reed Sea.  We gathered our toy people and horses to act out the story.

     (Below:  Ari and friends decide to add cars to the parting of the sea.  It's not as odd as it seems; the story is real.   When the children use representations of actual items in their lives in their dramatic play, it heightens their sense of closeness to the story.)

     After we completed most of our Mah Nistana books, we created Kos Eliyahu, Elijah cups, to use at the Seder.  We looked at a cluster of actual grapes to get an idea as to how to decorate our glasses.  We used glass paint, Q-Tips and Sharpees.  We learned the word cluster to describe our grapes, and the word vine, too.  When we examined the wheat with Morah Yael, we learned the word sheaf.  We are building vocabulary regularly.
(Below, Ruthie, Reed and Izzy decorate their glasses.)

     The Morot had to think about how the Kitah Gimmel boys and girls would bring their Pesach items home.  The teachers went together to the store, examining all the boxes at Richard's Variety, to see which one would be the perfect choice.  We brought some of the children's projects along with us and placed them in the different varieties of boxes.  We wanted to get a realistic idea of the spatial set-up.  We picked the boxes with the handles.  There were only about 11 on the shelf, but the cashier told us that there were 83 in stock!  We needed 16, so there would be enough.

     Days later, some of us went outside to pick flowers.  We made pastel-colored paint by mixing our regular paint with white.  We didn't know what to expect.  Then we realized that the colors got lighter!  We should do this again.  We dipped the flowers in the paint and used them as brushes on our boxes.  So pretty!  The colors remind us of spring, and spring reminds us of Pesach.  Some of the pieces of the flowers stuck to our boxes, adding a little bit of texture. 

     Levi works on his Shmot stick-puppets.  He can take these out at the Seder to act out the story of Baby Moses, Miriam and Pharaoh's daughter.  There's an adult Moshe, too.  Levi can continue the story . . .The stick puppets will go in his Pesach box. 
     So, of course we learned a lot about the story of Passover.  We learned about the Seder rituals, too, and some of the songs.  A big part of Passover is getting rid of the Chametz, so we had to clean, clean, clean.  Ari found some smidgens of left-over lunch in her cubby.  It was yucky, but we're big and mature, and we can clean.  We can help out for Pesach.  We're capable of cleaning, singing, setting the table, contributing to the conversation and so much more.  Enjoy!

  Happy Passover!

Morah Susan and Morah Yael

Monday, April 11, 2016

Kitah Bet Spring Walk

Passover is the chag of the springtime, and spring has certainly sprung! What with the beautiful weather and blooming trees all around us, we decided to go on a spring walk.

We collected petals, leaves and other tree items from the ground, making sure to take a sniff!

Sammy blows a dandelion

Hiding among the leaves

The walk provided the children with an awareness of their neighborhood as well as a tangible experience of the changing seasons.