Monday, October 9, 2017

Kitah Alef Prepares for Sukkot and Simchat Torah

In the short time we had between Rosh Hashana and Sukkot, we packed in multi-sensory experiences to introduce the children to the themes of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

Using the color green like schach and popsicle sticks like the natural walls of the sukkah, we engaged in an open-ended painting process. Some children scraped the paint on their papers like Riva while others explored the feeling of the paint with their hands. Another time we used a box to shake the paint and sticks together to see what resulted.

Some people hang decorations in their sukkah so we transferred this idea to our classroom space. Together we can make our room even more beautiful. 

Another day we decorated CD's by gluing on colorful sequins with toddler-friendly glue brushes. Some children were kept busy just by brushing on the glue like Oliver and Leo, while others liked to sprinkle the sequins on and see them stick.

Busy workers used tools to build a small sukkah in our classroom. In doing so we learned the names of various tools as well as their differing uses. Hudson chose to bang the sukkah with a hammer and Eric moved the saw up and down, feeling the bumpy effect made by the ridges.

Hendrix made a connection between the tools and the screws in the furniture around the room. He looked all around, turning his screwdriver wherever he found a screw.

We explored the mitzvah of shaking a lulav and etrog with a plush play set. One day we brought in real lemons to feel and smell since they are similar to an etrog.

Rabbi Sollish presented an interesting demonstration of a real lulav and etrog. He showed us each part of the lulav branches and then brought the etrog around to see. 

Thanks to Kitah Bet, we had a small-scale sukkah on the playground to use! We stood inside, sat inside, and sometimes pretended to have a meal inside too.

 Immediately following Sukkot is the holiday of Simchat Torah. This is where we rejoice in having the Torah by finishing reading through it and starting all over again. It's customary to take all of the Torahs out of the ark to dance with them!

We made flags for the children to wave as they dance with the Torahs on Simchat Torah. To make them we pressed paint under bubble wrap to blend the colors. The bubbles were fun to pop too!

When our flags were finished, we brought them to circle time to dance together with our Torahs! 

Chag Sukkot and Simchat Torah Sameach!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Too Many Books? Never!

Too Many Books?  Can't Be!
          We're a busy group.  We like to build, to paint, to mess around with Play-doh.  Another classic, truly classic, on-going activity for Kitah Gimmel is  . . .our books!
     The morning begins with some independent "reading."  We investigate what's in our class Library.  The books change with the seasons.  Will we see Sukkot books there now?  You bet!
     Sometimes we interact with a buddy or two while we're reading.  Sometimes we choose to go it alone, while still hanging-out next to our friends.  (This reminds me of my husband and myself on a Sunday morning, reading the local newspaper!)
     Sometimes we swap our books with our friends, so everyone has a turn to experience each of the books.
     We bring books to the table, too.  
     Or we stretch out on our big rug, with plenty of room to look through two or three books in a single sitting.  We're able to focus on a story while our friends play.  Sometimes they join us . . .and sometimes we join them.
     The Morahs share a story, or two or three, during Snack and Lunch.  One of the girls needed to leave for a minute to go to the bathroom.  "Wait," she said, "I'll be right back!"  She didn't want to miss a second of the story.
    Our visitors read to us, too.  Here, Asher's Meema reads a book to us while Ash pays close attention. Eli L's mom read to us one morning.  Morah Susan's friend, Morah Mindy, shared one of Morah Susan's favorite books, Shofy and Blowfy, right before Rosh Hashannah.
Morah Estee usually shares three stories during Lunch!  

(Above, Morah Susan uses a bear prop to tell a Rosh Hashannah story about the apple.  (L) more story-telling props about the apple, (R) Three fall-related stories, with a squirrel puppet.

     (As an aside, I'd like to mention that there's almost nothing better than juvenile literature, even for an adult.  There's a lot to learn from the simplest of stories.  The Kitah Gimmel children felt the tension in The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House when Mama Nut scolded the children for being poor listeners.  Was there still love?  You bet!   The story ended on a happy, and very loving, note.
     My new favorite (or one of my many new favorites!) is actually an old book, Earl the Squirrel by Don Freeman.  You may know this writer/illustrator as the author of the classics Corduroy the Bear, Norman the Doorman, MopTop and Dandelion.  I just discovered Earl recently; it was published posthumously, much later than Freeman's other books.  The squirrel Earl learns to appreciate himself, accomplish a task and make his mommy proud . . .an inspiring lesson for any age group. Hip, hip, hooray for kids' books!)

Morah Susan, with Morah Estee and Morah Jainea, and the book lovers of Kitah Gimmel

Friday, September 29, 2017

Extended Day Weeks Four and Five


Our outdoor mural has a new home in the darkroom! The transparency of the mural lends itself well to light and shadow play. The image above shows the children projecting shapes onto the mural and tracing them using permanent markers. In future weeks the children will continue to use this art piece in their exploration of light.


      Morah Yachova has been setting up some really exciting experiences for outside play, 
such as:


nature rubbings, sensory experiences, magnifying glasses, and a variety of materials for  building.


The children have continued to build incredible creations! Recently, the materials of choice have been magnets and Legos.

The children have also been very interested in drawing, cutting, and gluing. Expect to receive some beautiful artwork!


                                        Check out our super fun specials!

Shabbat Shalom!~Morah Jessica and the Extended Day Staff