Congregation Netivot Shalom Preschool seeks to create a stimulating and enriching educational environment for each and every child.
We are devoted to helping children learn socialization skills, building their self-confidence and teaching them the preliminary skills to explore and experience the world independently from their parents.
In addition, we seek to ignite a spark in each child to lay claim to her or his Jewish heritage and commit him or her to a lifetime passion for learning.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Hashavuah September 25, 2020

HaShavuah September 25, 2020 Tishrei 7 5781 Ze'evim זאבים Ze’evim had our first full week in a while and WHAT A WEEK! On Monday we had Havdalah and starting talking about Yom Kippur and Tashlich. We focused on what sorrys from this year we were giving away and forgiveness (very abstract but we were getting it!). We also built forts! The afternoon crew made Summer, the water breathing, light blue dragon. We also did a cool art project with watercolor and crayons.  On Tuesday, we became fish and created an ocean in the courtyard complete with sharks, and submarines. Nes’s Dad, Mark, paid us a visit to blow the shofar! Later in the morning we all went on a walk to practice sticking together, we saw tons of beautiful flowers! In the afternoon we painted our dragon friend, Summer Wednesday, the fun didn’t stop! We continued talking about Tashlich, and forgiveness and read some amazing stories like “The Hardest Word” and “New Year at the Pier”. Lior came and we had tons of fun singing and dancing. Later in the morning we did a fall collage, with tons of gluing and cutting.  On Thursday, Judy and Ruth came with us to the park and we did Tashlich and had some fun in the sun! Ducky and Luna the dogs came to join us and we got to watch a ton of really cool construction. We went in the creek and watched our bread and sorrys float all the way down. With lighter hearts we returned to school, and built sky scrapers and cities with giant legos. Thank you to Ari Goodman's family for the legos and giant blocks! The afternoon crew continued building, and had a great time playing with water.  Friday, we closed out the week in style! We made packing peanut sculptures, and began decorating our sukkah. We became worker bees and cleaned up our classroom for Shabbat. After a delicious lunch, we gave tzedakah and had pretend Shabbat. Can’t wait to see what next week has in store! Dagim דָגִים What a fabulous week we’ve had in the Dagim class wrapping up our Rosh Hashanah celebrations, practicing Tashlich, and getting ready for Sukkot. We celebrated Arieh’s Third birthday with popsicles after we sang him happy birthday in French, Hebrew, and English.  We sang happy birthday to the world and talked about Rosh Hashana one more time. Our big theme has been becoming friends. We have been singing songs about friendship and we have been discussing how to treat our friends at circle time. We also had many conversations about how to use a respectful, and loving and kind tone of voice when you talk to your friends and teachers! We made decorations for our Sukkah by placing sticky tape around the children’s hands and then tossing blue and white strips of paper around calling it a “Spaghetti party!” Then the kids used their tape covered sticky “Froggy hands” to pick up all of the paper. We looped then together to make a lovely paper chain. We have had a lot of fun with paint, soap, water, and bubbles. On the hotter days this week we took out the turtle tubs and filled them up with different colored water and had a pool party. We also tried putting a house at the top of the slide to make a waterslide, but the children decided it was too scary so instead we had a pretend waterslide without water in it. We build our Sukkah and had pretend Shabbat at the end of the week. The kids loved drinking pretend grape juice and saying “L’Chaim!” We also let the children paint the bottoms of their feet and make a foot print mural for the Sukkah! 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

HaShavuah September 17, 2020

HaShavuayim September 17, 2020 Elul 28, 5780 Despite several unhealthy air days, we had a great third and fourth week of school. We kept exploring themes related to Rosh HaShanah - apples and honey, shofars, and wishes for the New Year. A big highlight last week was when former Netivot Shalom parent Peter Wahrhaftig came and blew the shofar separately for each pod! Today, Judy passed out sweet honey cake for everyone to take home. Ze'evim זאבים It’s been quite the crazy two weeks, with dark and smoky skies, but that couldn’t get the Ze'evim down! Tuesday (of last week) Peter came to blow the shofar and we learned all about the different sounds, even practicing on our own make believe ones. We braided our own Havdalah candles and talked about why the candles look the way they do. In the afternoon we played with oobleck and painted water color leaves, for our ongoing art project: a class apple tree for our New Years wishes. Wednesday since it was so dark outside we had a pretend slumber party complete with dancing, flashlights, and all the coziness imaginable. This week when the smoke cleared (YAY!) we were able to spend some amazing time enjoying outside. Lior came and sang with us and we danced in the dark! On Tuesday ( of this week) we learned about bees and made our own honeycomb prints using bubble wrap. During Havdalah we talked about the New Year and the order of the Havdalah blessings. On Wednesday, we decorated apples for our apple tree, and used different shades of green to paint the ‘leafy’ part of the tree. We made apple prints, and discovered that apples cut in half look a lot like butterflies — who knew?!? Lior came to lead music circle again and we formed our own spontaneous train! On Thursday, Judy came and sang songs with us about Rosh Hashanah, and talked about different Rosh Hashanah traditions. Later in the morning we completed work on our apple tree, and then had an amazing sensory experiencing playing with shaving cream! So fun! An emergent theme for this week was baking. On Wednesday the kids made their own bakery with chalk in the courtyard, and on Thursday used the shaving cream to create their own cakes. Hopefully next week will be filled with blue skies and smiling children - ken yehi ratzon! Dagim דָגִים What an unpredictable few weeks it has been! In the few days we have been at school together we have accomplished a whole lot. Getting ready for the holiday of Rosh Hashanah has been an exciting topic for all the kids in Dagim. We went on more pretend apple picking adventures, exploring different apple orchards and collecting our own honey. We played with plastic apples of different colors and discussed our favorite types of apples. We sang Rosh Hashanah songs together and had a birthday party for the world. We celebrated Malcolm's Birthday! His parent brought us popsicles and party hats. The children sang Happy Birthday to him 4 times and loves learning in in Hebrew. We've been playing a lot with primary colors. We've been experimenting with different mediums including powder paints, tempered paints, glue and paint, and watercolors. This week we mixed primary colors to make a colorful soap in our classroom. The kids loved rubbing the green and purple soap around their hands while singing the hand washing song. We started a car wash with soapy water and plastic cars that we drove through different colors of paint to create murals and temporary art. We did a lot more playing with babies, making diapers for them with leaves and tape. This week it was finally warm enough for us to take out the hose and have a sunshine rain party. The kids absolutely adored standing under the misting hose and getting wet while screaming and running around. Friendships have been emerging in the classroom between children who have never expressed interest in playing with one another before. It has been so delightful to watch the Dagim children develop new friendships! If you are looking to set up play dates to between your child and some of their classmates feel free to email us and we'll let you know who your children are playing with at school.

Friday, September 4, 2020

HaShavuah September 4, 2020

HaShavuah September 4, 2020 Elul 15, 5780 We had a great second week of school, really delving into Rosh HaShanah and feeling comfortable in our new spaces, embracing the newness of the year. We are looking forward to next week when Jewish Enrichment Specialist Judy Massarano will join us for outdoor circles, and former Preschool Parent, Peter Warhaftig, will come blow the shofar for us. Please note that we are closed on Monday, September 7th, in honor of Labor Day. We will see you on Tuesday. Ze'evim זאבים WHAT A WEEK! This week the Ze’evim continued to learn about Rosh Hashanah through reading stories and singing songs. We explored the shofar and learned about animals with horns. We worked on a flower collage throughout the week. The emergent theme was eggs, so later in the week we learned about animals that lay eggs and discussed how eggs work - - is a chocolate egg an egg? We seem to think so. The older afternoon crew went on our first walk of the year to find flowers that were all the colors of the rainbow; “California poppies“ (any orange flower) were the most popular plant. On Wednesday we welcomed Romi's abba, Lior, who led a fabulous music session outside with drums and songs. Today we celebrated Shabbat and welcomed our new friend Mor who arrived from Israel 2 weeks ago. B'ruchim Ha'Baim to Mor and his mishpachah! We can’t wait to see what next week brings! Dagim דָגִים What an excellent second week of school we have had! We explored color mixing with tempera and powder paints. We enjoyed painting our cottage and our windows over and over and then spraying the paint off. We decided to paint a rainbow together on the ground to help kids remember where to stand during pick-up and drop-off! The children were so excited about the rainbow that they wanted to make other rainbow things. We decided to make a rainbow baby robot out of boxes and rainbow tape! We have been talking a lot about families, siblings, and learning each other's names. At circle time we have been doing a lot of dramatic play! We absolutely loved pretending to visit an apple orchard and go apple picking! We found 3 different colours of apples. We pretended to make honey cakes, apple sauce and we found a pretend beehive. While we "collected" honey, Khaled was stung by an imaginary bee. The children laughed until they fell on the floor. We learned a few new songs about apples, frogs and Rosh Hashanah. The Dagim class absolutely love singing, they can sing for hours! Friday we baked pretend challah and had a pretend Shabbat! All the children loved drinking their pretend juice and saying "L'Chaim"!

Friday, August 28, 2020

HaShavuah August 28, 2020

HaShavuah August 28, 2020 Elul 8, 5780 We had a lovely first week with children making new friends and connections. Both classes spent time getting to know each other and celebrated their first Shabbat as a community. We look forward to a healthy and safe full schedule next week! We said a big "Shehiyanu" blessing for finishing our first week together! Ze'evim זאבים We have been getting to know our new space. We sang Rosh HaShanah songs. We talked about the new year. We read about bees and sang some bee songs. We picked pomegranates, cut them up and ate them - they were sour! We found a spider and baby spider in the pomegranate and we set them free on the olive tree. We played "the floor is lava" and we balanced on big carpet rolls and stepping stones. We did a lot of block building and lincoln logs. We played with playdough (each child chose the color he/she wanted and painted it). The twos started off the week with eco water beads, did a lot of painting, and Beatles dance parties. The fours did ice water color in the afternoon, read a ton of stories, and had some awesome dance sessions. Both age groups did a lot of climbing, biking, and playing outside (when the air was good!). Today we celebrated Shabbat together. Dagim דָגִים What a fun first week! The Dagim (Fish) class had a blast this week getting to know their new classmates and classroom. Each morning we started the day we art! We loved painting with tempera paints and watercolors in the morning! At snack time, we sang the blessings together and counted in Hebrew! We made our own Oobleck. The kids took turns pouring cornstarch and water together and we divided up the Oobleck amongst everyone. Each child got to choose their own color to drop into the Oobleck. Later on we took out some small plastic animals and played in our Oobleck with the animals! We discovered how much the Dagim children love singing songs! We sang a lot of songs together in the afternoon. The kids especially loved the songs we learned about fish, ducks, bees and frogs! We found a great location for a new single person hammock. The kids had so much fun taking turns and swinging around. They called it the hug hammock because it feels like it's hugging you when you sit inside. We took out our easel and explored making paintings in pairs. We also began painting out mud kitchen rainbow! We loved decorating our kitah with photos of families and showing one another our families. When the children missed their parents, they loved hugging the photos you sent us. Today with Jennaba and Ruth we had an indoors day, we read books, built towers, put together and used a giant balance beam. We had fun dancing to Animal Action and other songs. We talked about the symbols of Shabbat, did the blessings, and sang Shabbat songs!

Friday, March 13, 2020

HaShavuah March 13, 2020

HaShavuah March 13, 2020 Adar 17, 5780 Wow what a week we have had! It has been filled with lots of Purim celebration, a visit from firefighters and lots of talk about keeping our bodies healthy. Our Purim celebration included a costume parade around the school and out onto the street with many parents in costume joining us. Then Judy led us in song and a Purim bunny hop dance in the courtyard. After a hamantaschen snack we had a fun and festive music circle with Lior. Later in the day, many of us went to listen to the megillah and see the Purimspiel. On Thursday we had a great surprise visit from Berkeley Fire Department because they were delivering emergency equipment to the synagogue through an organization called Berkeley Ready. We got to see their giant hook and ladder truck and take a photo with the fire fighters. At Ma'agal Shabbat Moses and Miriam were joined by Aaron who explained that his attachment to the golden calf was how children might feel about a stuffed animal. This is our last Ma'agal together for a few weeks, but keep your eye out for a visit from Rabbi Chai and friends on your computer! In Nevonim, we decorated our kitah to look like a palace. We made hamantaschen. We enjoyed the Purim parade and lots of facepaint and costumes. Ofra did art with us. In Nachshonim, we made groggers. We got our room ready for Purim. We practiced Purim songs.

Friday, March 6, 2020

HaShavuah March 6, 2020

HaShavuah March 6, 2020 Adar 10, 5780 This week has been full of Purim and Handwashing! The teachers have been super vigilant about handwashing - reinforcing best practices and talking about why it is important, as well as spraying toys and surfaces twice a day. We had visits this week from Lior, Rabbi Chai, and Melita and of course, we sang lots of Purim songs. In the afternoon on Thursday we also had an awesome visit from the 4th/5th grade class of Edah afterschool program with Yafit (former Netivot Shalom Preschool emah). The older children led songs with our children including a wacky Edah original, they led a mask-making activity, read stories and left us with delicious shalach manot treats. Thank you Edah! We are thinking about making this a regular partnership and having them come to visit more often - it was lovely to see the two age groups interact. In Ma'agal Shabbat, not only did Moshe and Miriam dress up for Purim, they also taught us that in this week's Torah portion Tetsaveh, God also gets a costume, in the form of the Mishkan. In Nevonim, we had a fun music circle with Reef's abba Lior. We made groggers with rice. We made individual megillot. We made Purple Purim Bread. We made a tiny town with rainbow tape and toy people. We made pinch pots with Ofra for planting seeds and growing things. We had much fun doing face painting with Elizabeth. We made a giant Purim sign. We played with sensory beads and called them mermaid eggs. We had a circle where we learned about germs and hand-washing and played a game with a giant face and beanbags to learn what part of our faces not to touch to stay healthy. In Nachshonim, we made Purim decorations. We read and interacted with the Megillah and Judy made us all laugh with her funny storytelling. We did face painting and heard Purim stories. We made playdough and we all took turns mixing, pouring and adding some fun. We also had fun building Shushan, the town where the Purim story takes place.

Friday, February 28, 2020

HaShavuah February 28, 2020

HaShavuah February 28, 2020 Adar 3, 5780 It is time to rejoice - we are now in the month of Adar! We had a great week full of Purim fun and learning. On March 10th (Purim day) we will have our morning costume parade at 9:15, and music with Lior at 12:30, so save the date! There will also be other programming at Netivot Shalom (see below). We had great attendance at Sharon's talk on Wednesday - a big Todah Rabah to her for volunteering to give a very helpful and informative presentation, which is remarkably similar to the preschool's philosophy about creating independence and resilience in children. Thank you also to Laurie for organizing the food. In Ma'agal Shabbat we also talked about lost objects and how its is a mitzvah to return something to its owner. Moshe and Miriam taught us about this week's Torah portion Terumah which details the building of the Mishkan. We looked closely at the Mishkan in the sanctuary and noticed all its colors - blue, gold, purple and white, and that parts of it are made of wood. We also sang a Purim song to begin this holiday of silliness! In Nevonim we made playdough with beet powder. We cut open seed packets and soaked the seeds in water. We made purple sweet potato bread. We made a tropical rainforest jungle habitat. We have been learning about Purim through books, puppetry and grogger-making. We have been trying on different masks and using them to tell the Purim story. Once again we made blue rice (from blue butterfly pea flowers) and beans, only this time it turned out very blue and the children ate it with delight! On Thursday we celebrated Judah's 5th birthday with a special snack and his ema Liora entertained us with the story of his birth. In Nachshonim, we made hamantaschen out of loose parts and we made a paper collage. We talked more about triangles and circles and learned about Purim by reading Purim books with Judy. We made hamantaschen starter kits: we made strawberry jam and practiced our pouring skills by mixing dry ingredients into bags. We made groggers (noisemakers) and we were introduced to the people in the Purim story.