Monday, September 8, 2014


The way we acquire and retain knowledge is by connecting  the new information to what we already know. The teachers' job is to figure out how to connect the new idea to the information that the children already have mastered. This is the natural process of learning. The more connections that teachers help the children make the more it becomes a habit. Children begin looking for connections themselves. We also connect literacy, science, art, holidays, and music with each other.
Sometimes we work to make the connections and sometimes we just get lucky.  Morah Gail brought in two Rosh Hashana books this morning that she took out of the library over the weekend. I brought in soil and seeds for planting. At circle time Morah Gail read the book, Talia and the Rude Vegetables , by Linda Elovitz Marshall. The story is about a girl Talia who goes to gather from the garden what she thinks her grandmother has asked for, that is rude vegetables. Her grandmother wants to make a stew for Rosh Hashana. Talia gathers ornery onions, crooked carrots, garish garlic and more. She also puts aside vegetables and gives them to the rabbi for families in need. The book gave us some good laughs and provided thought about helping others. But what are root vegetables? Out to the garden we went. We dug up the leftover parsley root and potatoes and prepared the soil for planting beets, carrots and radishes.

Connections: Literacy, Rosh Hashana, doing mitzvot, root vegetables and gardening. And of course, enjoying it all!

Morah Ruth

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back at School IJP

Back to School at IJP 5774-2014

It is wonderful to be back in session, to see the bright excited faces; some cautiously excited and others getting right into back to their routine at IJP. Some highlights of this week. 

Kitah Alef is beginning to move from solitary play in all corners, and nooks in the room, to a more cohesive everyone together;  dumping, placing, climbing, touching and pretend playing.

 In Kitah Bet, we are getting used to the routine and where things go and playing together. During morning work time, one of the children was helping another put some sticks into small holes in a container, and said, "Lemme show you, it's tricky".  We have so much to learn and teach each other and our environment supports this in a wonderful way. Cleaning up after ourselves is not a break in the day but a learning experience in it of itself, to that end we keep paper towels handy, have very definitive places for things and have child sized brooms.  One child was helping to sweep and exclaimed, " I always like helping".  This is a spirit we intend to foster and cultivate.

Our Children in Kitah Gimmel are quickly showing an empathetic and nurturing side.  We have on child who has a mommy that is expecting a baby and some with babies already at home.  The dramatic play's overriding theme right now has been preparing meals and taking care of the babies.  The natural manner with which the children display care for their babies, is heart warming.  They are modeling off of beautiful behaviors that they are exposed to, presumably at home. 

Friendships are deepening in Kitah Daled/Hey, all of our Yeladim (children) know each other from before this season, and the excitement to be together after some time apart is palpable.  This week we talked about the Commandment of the Torah, that is relevant to this weeks Parsha (Torah Portion) called "Hashavat A-veida" meaning, returning a lost item.  Immediately the children were able to perform this on the yard.  A lone hair clip which had been sitting there for  a few days, all of a sudden had a purpose! To be returned to its rightful owner.  And a few of our discerning children noticed it and made sure to find its rightful owner and are now the proud owners of a mitzvah (good deed) done. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Am Special In Kitah Bet

Welcome to Kitah Bet,

The first few days of school have been wonderful!
They have been all about getting to know each other, connecting, getting comfortable in the classroom environment,  becoming familiar with the classroom routines, learning our Morah's and friend’s names, and most importantly playing, singing and having a great time together.

At IJP the children are viewed as collaborators: they are competent, curious, inquisitive, unique, and creative. To this end, we are starting their school year, and for many of the children their school career, with an exploration of the concept of self, with an All About Me unit.

Drawing Self-portraits  is a great way for children of all ages to explore the concept of self. It is something they will do on a monthly basis in Kitahs Gimmel & Daled. We decided to try our hands at it this week in Kitah Bet. There are many skills being acquired as your child creates their self-portrait. They are developing basic math skills such as shape recognition and understanding the part to whole relationship. They are naming facial features and learning color recognition.

Some conversations while drawing self portraits:
Yoni drew his self portrait and as he finished, he got up and went to the sign in board and took off the picture of himself and brought it to me saying "Yoni".

Morah L: "Shaya what color crayon would you like to use to draw your eyes?"
Shaya: "Blue"

Hannah drew on her self portrait and said "hair" then she drew some more and said "nose"

An invitation to draw: The center was set up with a mirror on a stand, paper and crayons.

The children loved looking at themselves in the mirror. 

We looked in the mirror identified each part of our face and then we drew

 .We noticed that everyone's face is different, well, almost everyone:

 These twins have faces that are identical! How cool.

Morah Leah

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mother's Day Celebrated

It was a few weeks ago, but not forgotten, what a joy we had at our Mothers Day Celebration in our classroom. 
First the moms and special guest arrived into our classroom. They recieved their gifts that we made for them, sharing our love of books and reading; a book mark! 
Then we sat at the table to makeflower arrangements to take home for our Shabbat table.  We also had some time to play with  tray activities with our moms.

We had a fun time playing our group game, "guess which quote your child commented about you". 

We went outside to play on the ship waiting for the rest of the school to come out .We sang our shabbat songs with the entire school onstage and ate yummy snacks that the children prepared.
We had a great day celebrating our moms.... graduation Day is next...Stay Tuned!!!   

Butterflies for Kitah Gimmel

Mazal Tov its 4 new butterflies born in Kitah Gimmel !!!

On Monday morning the children were so happy to see the butterflies that emerged from their chrysalis. 

 After snack we went outside to let the butterflies fly!

Some sweet comments flew around us like a butterfly:

They are going to look for their mommy,

They are going to have a play-date on a tree
They are going to look for nectar
They are exercising their wings
They are flying to the sun 
We will miss them!