Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We're Growing, Growing, Growing...

As we approach the end of camp we're taking a look at the skills we've acquired that show how much we've grown.

We can say goodbye to Mommy and Daddy with a smile, remembering that they come back! We can utilize snack time as good practice for self-help skills.

                                                                  And we can help clean up afterwards!

  We can use careful strokes to dab glue on our papers.

We can do mitzvot like helping our friends with their water bottles, or holding the gate open as they walk by, or sharing trays.

                                                                                        Or helping our friends with shoes!        

It's hard to believe that when we come back from summer break we'll be in Kitah Bet! We're so big! Have a wonderful summer!

Friday, July 21, 2017

KDH in Space

       From the moon to the stars, Kitah Daled Hey have been exploring all over this universe. One day, during morning play, our class floor puzzle of the galaxy caught the class’s eye. Fascinated by the different planets across the universe, the stars, comets, the moon and the sun, our class only wanted to know more about the universe in which we live. Where do stars come from? Which planet is closest to the sun? How do spaceships get into space? What is inside of the planets?

        After spending the month of June exploring the nature around us, our students wanted to go beyond planet Earth and start learning about all of outer space. We started off learning about Nebulae. A Nebula is kind of like a space cloud, made of dust and gas. Nebulae can be various different colors and shapes, floating around in outer space. Scientists believe that stars can be created from inside a Nebula.  To visualize what this might look like, we created our own nebulae in a jar. Using cotton, water, paint, and sparkles, each child got to create his or her own kind of “Nebula” to take home. In addition to our Nebulae project, we have even had the chance to make our very own flying saucers, stars, aliens, and planets to hang around our “Galaxy” bulletin board.  

        Just as the universe is endless, so is our curiosity. The more we learn about space, the more questions we have, and the deeper in explanation we go. We’ve learned what makes up our planet, why magnets work, and why things float in space. “What’s gravity?” someone asked. With our minds and creativity expanding, sparked by this idea of outer space, we will be continuing to base our activities around the galaxy and try learning as much as possible. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Will it Float or Sink?

Why are there containers of water on the table? What if an object (button, miniature plastic animal, red cellophane wrap, plastic link, shell, etc.) is added to the water...does it float or sink? Why? What if Styrofoam is placed in the water...does it float or sink? Why? What if shaving cream is added to the water...will a miniature plastic elephant float or sink? Why? What if the toy elephant is put on the Styrofoam in the water...will it float or sink? Why?

What began as an introductory sensory and science experiment in Kitah Gimel at the start of camp has evolved into our summer theme - Water. Following the children's interests and questions, we are discussing and exploring the many aspects of water - from its sources, uses and properties to the ocean inhabitants and the weather. We introduced the concepts of Floating and Sinking and have expanded the experiments and discussion to wonder why there are these two options. What would happen if everything would float or if everything would sink? This question has led to a discussion of how HaShem created a world in harmony. Because there is a balance between things that float and things that sink, everything isn't in one place and we can enjoy the world with both these characteristics.

The campers' curiosity with "What If" and "Why" questions that accompany "Float or Sink?" experiments is still strong. Set out on the Science Table almost daily, the containers of water and test objects attract both individuals and clusters of children. They discuss and test their initial ideas and then discuss the results to design the next experiment. Looking for patterns in the results, they try again and again to arrive at the same (or different) outcome while giving imaginative and intuitive scientific responses to the "What If" and "Why" questions.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Art of Storytelling

      We're more than halfway through summer camp 2017! Time is flying because we are having loads of fun here at IJP! The effort put forth by the Morahs and administration to keep the children engaged, entertained, and having fun truly amazes me. Each day the Morahs pack in as much excitement as we can. Sometimes it feels as though there aren't enough hours in the day to complete every single activity. However, our extended day children are making the most of the extra playtime. We have plenty of fun in the sun, but when we're trying to beat the (sweltering) heat, our kiddos are inside focused on the art of storytelling. 

     We were inspired by the book, "Show Me a Story" by author Emily K. Neuburger to collectively write our own story and to explore a variety of mediums to tell our story. Our group is shrinking as families are traveling, but that hasn't stopped our progress!  So far we've created our own class story using a fill in the blank method; our story is tentatively entitled "A Turtle Hunt". We painted story stones, each representing a character or setting in the story, and this week we started on a story timeline. With the help of Morah Elizabeth, who happens to be a very talented illustrator, we mapped out the sequence of events in our story.
      The story begins at a girl Maggie's house. She has a matzah ball snack before starting on her journey to find a turtle. She encounters a quacking duck, a dog, crosses a big fish, enjoys ANOTHER bowl of matzah ball soup and finally discovers a turtle that looks like a frog, feels like a log, and smells like a skunk! These colorful details  were all imagined by YOUR kiddos. Each child cut, colored, glued, or taped a symbol down to complete this activity. We  put velcro on our main character Maggie so that we can move her to demonstrate her travel throughout the story. It's art, it's interactive, and it's storytelling! We're looking forward to finding new, creative ways to tell our story again and again in the last weeks of camp. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action!

This week in Kitah Daled Hey, we have been practicing and creating our very own play. Our skit is about a 15 minute long compilation of different songs from Annie, original versions of our favorite Star War's scenes, and even a joke show during intermission.
In just one week, our kids have been practicing hard, memorizing lines, and putting their all into their chosen parts. Each child is involved as much he or she wishes to be and was able to choose whichever role spoke to them.
While all that one student wanted to be was Assistant Director, helping ensure that the performance will run smoothly, another child got to fulfill her dream to play Annie, and another suggested the idea to add in a joke show.
It's been a wonder to see normally quiet and shy campers fully express themselves through the creativity in performing and helping to compose our very own original KDH production. The girls are passionately singing, dancing, and acting in our two chosen songs from Annie, "Hard Knock Life" and "Tomorrow". Every student has at least one joke of their choosing to share during our Joke Show intermission. And, the boys and a few girls star in Act II version of Star Wars.
Here is a behind-the-scenes clip during one of our practices!

The sense of importance and self-confidence shine brightly in the eyes of our young prodigies, as they wear their special costumes, contribute to the creation of the script, and diligently practice their lines.