Welcome to the Netivot Shalom Preschool! For more information, please contact Lauren Kindorf, our CNS Preschool Director at preschool@netivotshalom.org or 510-549-9447, ext. 110.

Monday, April 7, 2014

HaShavua'im - Nachshonim

Hashavuah
April 7, 2014
7 Nissan, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
The last couple of weeks have been lots of fun. We are preparing for the upcoming chag/holiday of Pesach/Passover. We would love to share with you some of the things we have been up to. 

Pesach is coming!
-To introduce the upcoming chag, we have been reading a good book called "Miriam and her Brother Moses". We saw how baby Moses was placed in a basket in the Nile River and how he was found by Pharaohs daughter and became an Egyptian prince.
-We have been reading my first Passover book, that talks about the story of baby Moses but also about the 10 plagues the way the Hebrews had to rush to freedom with the help of Moses and the rituals of Pesach.
-We got some Pesach supplies from the preschool's Passover box including pretend afikomen, afikomen covers and cleaning supplies to clean chametz.
-We have been playing a game of hide the pretend afikomen. 
-There are a lot of aspects to this holiday, we have been learning about baby Moses and how he helped set the Jews free from slavery and we are also discussing the Passover Seder. 
-We have been thinking about baby Moses, so we washed our baby dolls in bins of water.
-We made our own matza on Wednesday morning in the oven.
- We checked out our frozen challah dough and looked at it's size. We discussed the nature of chametz and how bread rises so it is not something that people eat during Pesach. We were sure to observe how it had risen on Friday morning for we baked it.

Rainy day activities 
-One day we were outside when the rain started and we decided to go inside and not get wet.
-We had fun in the social hall on a rainy days. We used the balance beam, the tumbling mat, our train set and our soft balls.

-Sensory activities of Play Dough and Sticky Foam

-Cutting and gluing art activities

-Found a small hole in our puppet theater curtain made by a snip from scissors. The children watched Anna repair it with her sewing kit.

-We are growing another round of wheatgrass for Rena and Shira our guinea pigs. We watered it and watched it grow. When it was ready we gave it to our pets.

-Anna has been reading some classic books in Hebrew.

-Anna was out a few days and we have had both Judith and Caitlin subbing for us.

-The song yummy in my tummy is STILL being requested at lunchtime. At one point, all of the children were swaying from side to side around the table.

-We said goodbye to Hillel, who has returned to Jerusalem. We enjoyed his company.

Shavuah Tov everyone, we will have more to share soon.
Ofra and Anna

Sunday, March 30, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
March 24-28 2014 
22-26 Adar II 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,


Emergent Curriculum

In small groups we walked to the mailbox to mail the grandparent letters.

We played in the rain!

Combining emergent interests with Jewish themes, we researched what kind of riverboats would have been used in Ancient Egypt.  Then we made riverboats and tested them in the water.

The Bookclub read chapters 7 & 8 in My Father's Dragon.  Discussion included "crossroads," "riverbanks," and "grooming."

In response to the wonderful books by author Peter H. Reynolds we are making an art gallery in our kitah!  This week we painted on large pieces of paper after reading The Dot.

Jewish Curriculum

We painted a huge collaborative Nile River Painting! Now on display in the kitah.

Partner Play lead to Nile River Partner Paintings when a teacher placed paper cut down the middle on our easel. Some of these paintings are also on display in the kitah.

We learned a new song about boats which we sang at circle time and before snack and lunch.

We told the story of Pesach a little bit at a time throughout the week.
The children are incorporating many elements from the story into their play, including boats, caring for baby Moshe, and the plagues (in the form of frogs, songs, and artmaking).

We have been reading many Pesach-themed books, including "The lIttle Red Hen and the Passover Matzah," "Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim," "The Four Questions," and "The Littlest Frog."

We have been singing Pesach songs, including "Avadim Hayinu," "Oh Listen, Oh Listen," There Were Frogs," and "Aviv Higiya Pesach Ba."

Every Week

This week Melita sand many wonderful songs with us.  Many of the songs this week celebrated Spring.  She brought her djembe drum and the children learned how to use nature sounds to create a collage of many different rhythms happening at once.

Once Melita sang the song "I've Got Peace Like a River" while having the children lie down on their backs.  Sometimes we conclude our circle with the children lying down listening to this song which then flows right into their recitation of the Shema.  "I've got peace-ssss-Shema ..."

We learned a new Halleluyah to the tune of Pachelbel's canon, the famous one in D major. 

At circle this week the children had the opportunity to share which of the tefilot/prayers, of the four that we recite everyday, are their favorites.  This list is on display in the kitah.

Shirlee starts here Pesach break early with a trip to Israel so Caitlin will be joining us in the kitah in the mornings for the next two weeks.  We'll miss you, Shirlee!  Yeah Caitlin!

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashavuah She'avar/Last week
March 25, 2014
23 Adar Bet, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

Here are the highlights of last weeks activities in the kitah.

- We had Havdallah with the Nevonim children on Monday.

-After a couple weeks of using puppets to act out the Purim story, we have brought down a puppet theater from Lauren's office and the puppet shows continue.

- Last week we had picture day.

Sensory activities
- We have been playing with our "Feely Can". It is a container with a fabric on top so you cannot see inside and we have been playing a guessing game with the objects we hide inside.
- We had a few play dough activities in the morning.
-We played with ceramic clay out in the play yard. 

- We have three new documentation boards hanging on the wall in the hallway. The children are dictating words for us to write on the boards.

- We had an outdoor picnic for lunch in the courtyard on a warm Thursday.

-This week, we are seeing that the children are exploring their skills on the monkey bars. The children are growing taller and more able to use them.

-The magnet tiles are back in the kitah.

More to come soon!
Shavuah Tov,
Ofra and Anna

Friday, March 21, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
March 17-21 2014 
15-19 Adar II 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,


Emergent Curriculum

emergent literacy

We now have two book clubs in our kitah!  One is reading My Father's Dragon, Chapters 5 & 6, including a discussion about how to outwit tigers and rhinos.  The other, by popular demand, is reading various books including Make Way For Ducklings and the Maisy series.

In response to the wonderful books by author Peter H. Reynolds we are making an art gallery in our kitah!  We began by making Ish Drawings, inspired by Reynolds book Ish.  (These ish drawings are already on display in the kitah! And even the frames were made, ith teacher assistance, by the children themselves.)  When children make an ish drawing they not only practice writing their name but also see a teacher write their description of the picture, spelling out the words as we go.  For example they might explain that a drawing is "motorcycle-ish," thus learning how to spell motorcycle (especially if they really like motorcycles and draw more than one of them).  But that's not all!  Just making the ish drawing itself is teaching them literacy.  Understanding that the line drawing of a motorcycle represents a real motorcycle is the same concept as the letters m-o-t-o-r-c-y-c-l-e representing a real motorcycle.  So even those children who are not yet recognizing letters are building a foundation for learning to read.

We also used Q-tips and markers dipped in watercolors to paint on coffee filters.  The resulting art looks a lot like the sky in Reynolds book Sky Color, which teaches children that the sky is actually not blue but is in fact a different mixture of colors in each moment!

When we removed magnet tiles from the classroom the children began building with the Lincoln Logs we put out in their place!  The Lincoln Logs present new opportunities and new challenges for the children.

When we put large rectangles of cardboard out they became: skateboards! snowboards! labeled and signed, btw) and started a new dance craze! Before you know it these children will be breakdancing! Backspin anyone? Windmill? Moonwalk?

At one moment this week a child told me she was missing her mom.  A few others chimed in that they were missing their moms, dads, sisters.  William shared that he was missing his baby and suggested a Missing Party!  The children decided that it should happen outside and suggested having missing cake, missing presents, missing running, missing dancing, missing sleeping, and missing breakfast.  I don't think we stopped missing our families but we sure had a lot of fun!

Partner Play!
This week the children started requesting Partner Play throughout the day (on the days we have Partner Play it happens after snack).  I told the children we weren't having Partner Play at that moment and asked them who they wanted to play with.  Then I watched as one child went up to another child, requested that they play together, and then the two children negotiated what they would play together.  This happened multiple times throughout the week as children used the social skills we have been cultivating through Partner Play to deepen new friendships.

Dancing Clean-Up continued this week to a new song about dancing!  

Jewish Curriculum

Although Purim is past that didn't stop the children from continuing with mask-making!

In addition to learning about this week's parshah from R. Creditor, we talked about the beginning of Aviv/Spring and learned about King Solomon's building of the temple.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Friday, March 14, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
March 10-14 2014 
8-12 Adar II 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Jewish Every Week

Every week we roll out our miniature Torah scroll to the week's parshah.  Last week we also rolled out a miniature megillah.  And every day we recite tefilah/prayers at circle time and brachot/blessings before snack and lunch.  This week we really saw the fruits of our labors in each of these areas!

Now when we get to the call-and-response Elohai Neshama the children lead the prayer, with the teachers providing the response!

When we first teach the children to recite the bracha before eating it isn't necessarily easy on the ears.  However, after more than half a year of reciting it day in and day out, the bracha consistently sounds beautiful!
 
This week, without any direct initiation from the teachers, children spontaneously began making megilah and Torah scrolls!  Perhaps this is due in part to our rolling out of our miniature Torah scroll each week (and megillah the past two weeks).

Later in the week we demonstrated the difference between a Torah scroll and a megillah scroll by wrapping children in a large piece of paper, two children for a Torah scroll and one for a megillah scroll!  We also talked about how the Torah has many books with many stories while the Megillat Esther, scroll of Esther, has only one story.

We also made a Megillat Esther.  Using a special kind of crayon, we placed two symbols hidden in our megillah.  Then when we painted over the special crayon the hidden Magen David were revealed.  We talked about how this was similar to Esther, who first hid her Jewishness and then revealed it.

The past two weeks Melita sang Purim songs with us!  Including: "Purim's a Time" (which tells the story of Purim in brief), "HaKovah Sheli" (for those who don't know this song is like B-I-N-G-O), "Guess What I Am" (riddles in song with Purim objects for the answers), and of course, "Chag Purim" ("Hava Narisha Rahsh Rahsh Rahsh")! 

Many of these songs, as well as other Purim songs, we sang throughout the week!

We made hamantaschen again this week!

We dressed up on our Purim costumes and delivered Mishloach Manot to Lisa, Molly, Daniel, Rabbi Creditor, and Lauren as part of our Purim Parade!

Emergent Curriculum

The children began having Treasure Hunts this week!

In Book Club we read chapters 3 and 4 of My Father's Dragon, drew in our machbarot/notebooks, and talked about maps!

Dancing Clean-Up continued this week!
The children love dancing (to klezmer and New Orleans brass band music) while they clean up!  

Partner Play!
We did Partner Play twice this week because each time, while we were sitting at snack, the children requested it!  I forgot to mention last week that Partner Play is something we learned on our professional development day of learning through the JFECE.  In case you missed it last week, below is a description of Partner Play.

After snack the children are divided into duets.  These dynamic duos are chosen at random, a different pairing each day.  The children are instructed to begin their after snack play time with their partner.  In the few cases where it is challenging for new playmates to negotiate initiating play together the teachers help talk them through different possible ideas of what to play.  Once the children choose their activity it is smooth sailing together.  Many of the children continue growing these friendships at other times of the week, choosing to play with their former partners outside of partner play time, usually in a group, thus connecting children to even more new playmates.  We haven't had much exclusion among the children this year but there are a handful of groupings that choose to play together most of the time.  One of the many goals of Partner Play is to mix up the classroom's social network groupings.  And it has been very successful in doing so.  It's fun too!


emergent literacy

Many of the children can recognize all their classmates names, whether they are looking at them or listening to the teachers spell them out!

Shabbat Shalom v'Chag Purim Sameach!,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ha'Shavua'im - Nachshonim

Ha'shvua'im/ The last two weeks
March 10, 2014
8 Adar Bet, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

We have not had a chance to fill you in on our kitah activities for a couple of weeks. Here is what we have been up to the last two weeks at gan/preschool.

Tzmachim/Growing plants:
-On days when we didn't have much rain, we made sure to water our herbs and plants out in the garden
-We decided to grow more wheatgrass for the guinea pigs. We soaked the wheat berries over night. The next day we drained the water and rinsed the seeds, then spread them out on soil. We watered and covered them up with a bowl for two days to keep them in the dark. The following day we found our grass was a couple inches tall. We contiued to water and watch the grass grow. Rena and Shira were pleased.
-We talked about how the roots of the wheatgrass go down (and we can see them!) and the blades of grass grow up.

Social hall play on rainy days:
-Balance beam
-Blankets and books
-Scarves and ribbons
-Soft balls
-singing and dancing!

Shapes
-We used soft blocks of various shapes to make prints on paper with paint.
-At circle time we talked about the shapes of our soft blocks and magnet tiles and we did some comparing and contrasting.
-We did some indoor water pay with our soft blocks of many shapes, they float!
-We continue to use our geo-boards and rubber bands.
-Out in the play yard, we played with shaving cream and those same soft blocks. The shaving cream keeps the blocks together like glue when building.

Purim is coming!
-We have some Purim books on our shelf.
-We have been telling the Purim story with a puppetshow.  We have puppets for all the characters.
-We pulled out a box of dress-up clothes and everyone found a costume to wear. We then paraded to the Nevonim kitah to show everyone how we look. Then we made our way up to Lauren's office.

Artwork projects
-Gluing on paper
-Lots of painting
-play dough

-Emah Elana, Lilah's Emah, came to visit us one day and help us with a special art project.

-We are using a small portable speaker that Tobie got for the school to listen to music while we eat meals and out in the social hall.

-Anna was out a few days taking care of her daughter Liah. While she was out a few days, we had William and Caitlin filling in for her.

A new week has begun and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Shavuah Tov,
Ofra and Anna

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hashavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
March 3-7 2014 
1-5 Adar II 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum
 
This week the teachers instituted two new activities into the kitah.  Both of which have been very successful!

Dancing Clean-Up!
The children love dancing (to klezmer and New Orleans brass band music) while they clean up!  

Partner Play!
After snack each day this week the children were divided into duets.  These dynamic duos were chosen at random, a different pairing each day.  The children were instructed to begin their after snack play time with their partner.  In the few cases where it was challenging for new playmates to negotiate initiating play together the teachers helped talk them through different possible ideas of what to play.  Once the children chose their activity it was smooth sailing together.  Many of the children continued growing these friendships at other times of the week, choosing to play with their former partners outside of partner play time, usually in a group thus connecting children to even more new playmates.  We haven't had much exclusion among the children this year but there are a handful of groupings that choose to play together most of the time.  One of the many goals of Partner Play is to mix up the classroom's social network groupings.  And it has been very successful in doing so.  It's fun too!

also this week:

Spontaneous Drum Corps Marching Band Parade
What month of Adar is complete without one?!

Fun with Shaving Cream!

and:

emergent literacy
writing our names!
drawing and writing on our dry erase board!
book club and notebooks!

Jewish Curriculum

Purim-themed Books!

Getting Down with Groggers in the Kitah!

Making Groggers
with wooden boxes and tape!
with paper cups, tape, and popsicle sticks!

Purim-themed Collaborative Art Project
with masks, hamantaschen, and playing cards!
Why playing cards you ask???
Kings and Queens!!!
on display in the kitah!

Hamantaschen!
making dough with Ima Jess!
voting on fillings!
taking turns rolling and cutting dough, adding filling, and then forming cookies!

Aleph Bet Yoga
spelling Purim with our bodies!

Singing Purim Songs
"... shalosh pinot ..."
"... rahsh! rahsh! rahsh!"


Are you as excited about Purim's arrival next week as we are?  

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Welcome to the Netivot Shalom Preschool! For more information, please contact Lauren Kindorf, our CNS Preschool Director at preschool@netivotshalom.org or 510-549-9447, ext. 110.

Our friend Josh visited school today and brought his oboe!