Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving in Kitah Gimmel

Emergent curriculum is about constantly evolving in response to our children’s changing needs and interests.  We as educators plan a thoughtful curriculum based on the needs of the classroom and as well as what we think would capture their interest and challenge them.  There are always turns along the way….
 We started our conversation about Thanksgiving – we went outside by one of our wooden ships (which has now become known as the Mayflower) and we told and acted the story of the unhappiness of the Pilgrims, their purposeful trip over the big, wide ocean to a new world (for them).  They were in a new land which was nothing like what they knew and with new and very different people then themselves.  We talked a lot of friendship and bravery.  The children became Pilgrims on the Mayflower, they walked off the ramp and had excited faces and scary faces too looking around “this new world” and new people.   “Where could the Pilgrims live?  What would they eat?  Where would they go to school?” were asked.   “We need tools to build now!”  and a cheer went up and ALL immediately needed a tool to start to build what was needed. Now, this was the new route they wanted to head towards  and Morah Debby and I understood and flowed with it.  We borrowed tools from Kitah Bet (thank you!) and started to build what the Pilgrims needed.  Teamwork and community was built then!  Afterwards, the tools came back with us into our classroom and have become an integral part of our telling and acting of the Thanksgiving story.

Morah Risa

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kitah Bet: If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words...


Fall is fun in Kitah Bet

Fall is my favorite time of year!
The leaves are turning colors, the summer humidity is gone, and the great outdoors is full of all of kinds of interesting things. Last week, Morah Miriam created a unique clothes line between two big trees right outside in our playground. The children collected colorful leaves, pine cones, and other things from outside. They displayed them on the string using clothes pins to hang their treasures.  . The children also made fall trees. Each child glued different fall colored leaves on their trees. We displayed them on our wall so all can see their beautiful masterpieces. On our rainy day last week, Morah Leah made colorful playdough with help from the children. They got to see how to make one of their favorite activities first hand. And, how to make it in four different colors! Of course, the best part was when they got to play with their newly made playdough.
One thing I observed from watching the children this week is how kind they are to the Kitah Alef class. The children, though only a little older, help and assist the younger ones without any prompting. It is wonderful to watch them easily share and help with the younger children. I also have observed since the beginning of school how quickly the children are transitioning from  parallel play to playing with one another. They are learning and experiencing so much here and I am always in awe of how quickly they grow.

Morah Kim

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

O is for Octopus

When KDH parents Jon Crane and Lindy Miller signed on to be room parents, I'm not sure what they thought that would entail. Maybe some simple shopping and phone calls.....
Imagine Lindy's surprise this week when I asked her to buy an octopus at the Farmers Market. Our texting went like this: 
"Question: When are you going to the Farmers Market. We need an octopus."
"Uhhh...Seriously? Like a whole one?"
"Yeah.  If you find it too creepy, I'll go."
"I'm happy to."
The next day, Amitai informed the class, "You know you can get an octopus at the market." He was excited to go shopping with his mom.

Amitai and his dad came in this morning lugging a very large octopus! We put it aside for the class to examine later in the morning.
Our lucky day, Ziva's dad came in and offered to read to us. We gave him, An Octopus is Amazing. The class sat spellbound as he read to us all about the octopus, its suctions cups, how it changes colors, has no bones, squeezes into small spaces and how it sprays an ink like liquid to keep predators away. Oh yes, it has eight arms. 

We took the octopus outside and gave everyone a plastic glove. We admired all the suction cups, found the head, eyes and mouth and counted the arms. It was a BIG octopus.
KDH loving to share, left the octopus with Morah Gail (who is a docent at the aquarium) to show to Kitah Gimel and talk to them about it.

'Was a fun and informative morning, made possible by the helping hands, generous hearts, and involvement of our wonderful parents.  Thank you!!

Morah Ruth

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Literacy Outside with KDH

KDH children are always picking up the small branches and "cleaning up" the yard. Today, there was creativity added to this activity. They picked up branches that looked like letters. We had a few "Y's", a T and an a lower case "i".   What to do about the dot? Sholom picked up a ball to dot the i. This will actually lead right into a book I had set aside to read to the class, Alphabet Adventure, about the dot of an i that is missing. 

As we were ready to go inside, Amitai picked up a small branch that looked like the number 1!

Literacy and Math outdoors! We are always learning while we play.

Morah Ruth