Thursday, April 20, 2017

Expect the Unexpected . . .

     Back after Pesach . . .there was some expected news, and some unexpected happenings.

     During Circle, we reviewed Passover.  Annabelle liked the matza, although she found it salty.  She reported that she drank both grape juice and wine.  Yannai told us he drank some wine.  Anslee had sparkling juice.  Becker didn't like the matza too much, but he did enjoy the grape juice--he had two cups!

     Caleb's matza had no "burns" on it, and Yinon found the afikomon.  (Yinon also came back with a beautiful sea-shell from his Pesach Florida vacation--sweet!)  Annika and Ezra also told us about finding the afikomon.

     Did the children sing at the Seder?  Evan told us he did, "a little bit!"

     We expected this kind of news.  This is what occurs on Pesach.  Then we noticed some unexpected happenings:

     All the children looked taller than ever.  Some had new haircuts, or new spring clothing, or both.  Natalie told us, "Look, I'm wearing open-toed shoes!"

     And, was it just us, or did all the children seem more capable, more mature?  As in Garrison Keillor's town of Lake Woebegone, the all children seem above-average.  Seriously.

     Lily drew a face during Morning Arrival Time.  She included two letter Y's, in place of eyes, on the face.  Maddy cleaned up her table area, all by herself, without being asked.  Sammy showed us her Geoboard with the careful arrangement of rubber bands.  She proudly announced, "Look it's an X!"  Evan engaged in a serious conversation with a Morah during free time.

     Morah India and I noticed the elaborate Magna-Tile construction on the rug.  "Did you add to this?" I asked her.  No, she didn't.  The children had built the intricate structure completely by themselves.  They included one little plastic "person" in the building.  No adult assisted in the building, and no adult offered any suggestions.  The structure was totally designed and built by the Kitah Gimmelniks.

     At the end of the day, we played Ants in the Pants, a take-off on tiddly-winks.  There was a small glitch; there wasn't enough of the little plastic ants to go around.  Now what?  The children quickly offered to share their "ants" with those who didn't have, and the problem was quickly solved.  Such cooperation!  (And, need we add, the children came up with the solution by themselves!)

     Want to see photos of the children's Magna-Tile creation?  Or the Geoboard designs?  The Ants in the Pants game?  Or more?  Go visit Shutterfly and enjoy!  This blog posting has no pics of the children.  Didn't expect that?  To make up for that, we're including something unexpected--one pic of a Morah enjoying her Pesach break.  We're happy to be back . . .

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Susan, with Morah India and all the Yeledim of Kitah Gimmel


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kitah Alef prepares for Pesach!

Kitah Alef is putting the final touches on their Pesach preparations. Our matzah bakery is in full swing, with soft matzah-colored playdough, aprons and matzah baker hats. Our rolling pins and forks will ensure that our matzah stays flat, flat, flat.

There is also pouring practice with real liquid! Water colored purple serves as our four cups of kiddush like we drink at the seder.

The last thing we do is check one more time all over our houses for any traces of chametz. Some people put chametz in foil, turn off the lights and search for those pieces with a candle or flashlight. This is called bedikat chametz - the search for chametz. We practiced that in school, each taking a turn to hold the flashlight and search for chametz. It was so exciting we did it again and again! Our classroom will surely be chametz-free.

Happy Pesach!

KDH Bucket Building

On Friday morning, Pearl and Henia came in and excitedly told the class, "Our mother brought in buckets, lots of bucket!!" Everyone agreed that we should go outside and see what that was all about! We found two tall stacks of black buckets that look like the ones used for flower bouquets in Trader Joe's.
The children quickly figured out how to stack the buckets. They built a fortress with bucket chairs inside. That was fun but small. They took that apart and built a house. They sat on the outside blocks that were in the house.
We wondered how many buckets we had. We counted...... and counted.... There were 107 buckets!
The buckets are also fun to use in the sandbox and put on our arms and legs to look like robots.
We can't wait to see what else the children will do with the buckets!

KDH Matzah Baking

KDH turned their room into a matzah bakery last Thursday. We lined up the tables and the children covered them with paper.
Shaya held up a stalk of wheat to show everyone. The children remembered that it is one of the Seven Species of Israel. The kernels need to be taken out and then are ground into flour.

Flour and water is mixed together to make the dough.
Each child had their own dough to roll out. They shared the special roller used to poke the holes.

Into a very hot oven went the rolled out dough and then we waited.
After the matzot baked and cooled off, we packed them up to be taken home.
The next day we watched a video of a matzah factory. Who works faster? The bakers at the factory or us!!

KDH Prepares for the Pesach Seder

KDH Prepares for the Pesach Seder

Preparations for Pesach started soon after we returned from Winter Break. Planting our parsley had to happen right away for it to grow in time.

Next step was discussing the hagaddah and having our pictures taken.

With the hagaddah completed and Purim behind us we were ready to fully delve into everything Pesach. The children started by taking down all the Purim decorations and costumes and creating their new Pesach pictures. Around the room hung pictures of a hagaddah, 4 cups of wine, Matzot and Pesach Seder plates. The dramatic area was set with a Pesach table. Songs could be heard while the children played and worked.

Next step, baking matzah. We learned the difference between Matzah and Challah. Why is one crunchy and flat and the other soft and fluffy. The class worked fast to make the matzah insuring it would not be chometz.

Wednesday morning the children came in and went to work. Dessert is important. Passover brownies made with potato starch were the first thing we made. The children peeled and grated apples for charoset. Horseradish was also peeled and grated for maror. They removed shells from the hard boiled eggs. Lettuce was washed and checked. The table was set.


With all this done, we were ready to start. We did Bedikat Chametz, looking for Chametz around the room, took an Erev Yom Tov nap and then went through the entire Hagaddah!!


Wishing you and your family a happy Pesach!