Thursday, December 14, 2017

Clay Play at Chanukah time in KDH

Clay is a medium that is always available in the art center. The importance of children working with clay cannot be overstated. It supports sensory development, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, creative expression, motor planning and emotional development. Take a piece of clay, spray some water on it. Pinch, pull, roll out, and squeeze some more! It is soothing and empowering for young and old alike.

We've been talking about the amphora, the clay jug, in the Chanukah story, in which the the pure olive oil used to light the Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash, was stored.  Imagine our delight when Henia and Pearl brought in two small jugs to show their classmates. Perfect provocations for clay play.

We often begin clay play by kneading the clay to make it just right for working with. We don't want it too hard to manipulate or so soft that it cannot hold its shape. Then we usually make balls. Using our thumbs we begin to shape the clay. Holding the clay with one hand and squeezing and pulling, we continue to work the clay. If we are not satisfied, we can always start over by kneading int back into a ball.
Pinching, pushing and pulling, we shape the clay..... It is beginning to look like a jug?
Make a cover and handles....
Set out to dry.......

Morah Ruth
Morah Sara
The artisans of KDH

How to make applesauce by KDH

Chanukah in KDH is definitely a culinary delightful time! 

Yesterday we prepared the applesauce that we will eat with our latkes this morning in celebration of the first day of Chanukah. 
Do you want to make some delicious applesauce? Our instructions:

1. Wash the apples.

2. Cut the apples up. Discard the cores.

3. Put the cut up apples in a pot with a small amount of water.

4. Cook until the flesh of the apples soften.

5. Put into a food mill and turn the handle. Watch as the applesauce drips through the holes into the bowl.

6. Eat and Enjoy!!

Morah Ruth
Morah Sara
All the cooks of KDH.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Extended Day December Update

Dear Extended Day Families,
Your children have been busy building and creating! During the Fall season we explored a variety of materials such as, wire and weaving, hammering both wood and pumpkins, and building “Tzedakah Island” and a “Cozy Corner out of boxes, glue, and tape!
Wire and Weaving


This was our first wire piece, made with beads, feathers, and recycled plastic collected from broken playground toys. 


We reused this plastic plant tray for our first weaving project. The children wove ribbon, pipe cleaners, and yarn through through the grids.

The children are currently weaving and wrapping wire on a wrought iron, hanging planter. Another upcycled treasure. 

The children almost finished weaving the railing on our playground, using a variety of yarn, cord, and ribbon. They started this project on Yard Day.

Hammering Wood and Pumpkins     

The wooden fence installation is still in progress. The children painted pieces of scrap wood on Yard Day and are attaching them to the fence (with a Morah’s help) using hammers and screw drivers.
Leftover pumpkins are great for practicing our hammering skills! The children use wooden mallets to hammer golf tees into the pumpkin.

Building “Tzedakah Island”

We started decorating and building with boxes outside.

The children transformed the Morah’s recycling into “Tzedakah Island.” The children are currently adding people, roads, and vehicles.
Cozy Corner 

Our outside boxes were recently turned into a “Cozy Corner.” Children can use it when they simply want some quiet time or need a safe sace to regulate their emotions.

All of these art projects allow your children to strengthen their fine and gross motors skills while exposing then to a variety of mediums. They are learning problem solving, critical thinking, and social skills as they create beautiful art together!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us. It is so much fun watching them learn and grow.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Morah Jessica and Morah Yachova

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Mighty and the Small (the Very Small!)

The Mighty and the Small (the Very Small!)

     It's time to learn about Chanukah.  How do we acquire knowledge about our Judaic history and traditions?  We listen to stories, sing songs, and we learn a dance.  (Above, we spin like dreidels to the tune Drey Little Dreidel.  We pay attention carefully to the music so we know when to spin and stop.)
Above: Morah Estee and the Kitah Gimmel yeledim listen and learn the story of Joseph.  She tells the story as she moves the pieces.  The next day, the entire storyboard is available for the children to explore independently.  The storyboard remains on an easily accessible shelf for at least a week so that every child has multiple opportunities to investigate the story.
     We also work with small, very small items.  Why is this? 
     At a recent conference that many of us attended, a presenter reinforced a concept:  Small world play encourages imagination, familiarity with new concepts, executive function skills, story telling and early literacy skills, and self-regulation.  (Paradigm conference, Atlanta, GA, Ahava, November 2017, Small World: The Beauty of Jewish Holidays and Themes in Very Small Packages, Ali Yaker)
            We know that this is so by our informal observation of the children "at play."  After they hear their Morah tell the story, Shane and Eli retell the events at the table.  The children are free to choose which tray they would like to explore.  They return the tray to the shelf when they are finished, without needing the Morah's assistance.
Logan has an opportunity to reenact the events from the Portion of the Week about Joseph.
The story of the Maccabees is retold by the children, complete with small figures, a cave and maps of Israel and Greece.
     All are welcome for the exploration of the Chanukah story.  We work independently as individuals, in pairs or in small group.  It's our choice.  On these occasions we learn and practice our self-regulation skills. As we handle the pieces, we articulate the story ("Here's the Beit HaMikdash!") This retelling, again and yet again, strengthens our emerging literacy skills.  Our learning extends to other areas, too.  The children have recently begun reenacting the story of the Maccabees on the playground.  There's learning everywhere--and what a fun way to learn!

Happy Chanukah!
The Kitah Gimmel Morahs

Friday, December 1, 2017

Feasting and Crafting with Our Favorite People

What a special, annual event we have going here at IJP. You know, the one where we prepare a meal for our Very Important and Loved Grandparents and People!

We started out by talking about what we are thankful for. Here's what they said:

Leora- I’m thankful for my Ima and Aba.

Asher G- I’m thankful for people who love me.

Asher S - I’m thankful for hats!

Erez- Ima, Abba and Grandparents. 

Yonah- Mommy, Daddy and Adom. 

Adom- Mommy, Daddy and Yonah

Lev- Ima!

Mason- Elmo!

Parker- A lion. 

Mina- Mommy.

Elliot- Mommy and Daddy and Reuben. 

Lily- Cookies and cows!

Gavi- Daddy!

Liav- Mommy and daddy. 

We then announced that our Grandparents were coming and for those who's Grandparents couldn't make it we invited a special person to come. Their faces lit up with joy for the anticipated guests.  We talked about how we would make food for them then we'd do arts and crafts while they were here.  

We decided to make a delicious dip for fresh veggies. 

We pulled apart the parsley.

Cut the green onions. 

We squeezed the juice out of the lemons (the crowd favorite)!

Once all of the ingredients were prepared the Morahs mixed them up and the Mommy's prepared the veggies cup offering.