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, July 29, 2011

HaShavuah - July 27

27 tammuz, 5771
July 29, 2011

Shalom Netivot Shalom Families,

Another exciting week has passed and we have the highlights of our week
listed here for you.

-This week we continued our progress on our Netivot Shalom Camp book and
we finished it up at the end of the week. The children have decided to
call it "I Love Netivot Shalom Camp". As a group we look at the images
on the pages and write down our thoughts and quotes. Come in and read it
sometime this coming week and you can see what we have been up to.

- We keep finding more spiders on our play structure and we keep moving
them to the bushes where they won't get stepped on.

- At circle time on Monday, the children and William used our tape
recorder to practice call and response the way William sometimes does at
circle times.

- On Tuesday we had an excellent fild trip to The Berkeley Youth
Alternative Community Garden a few blocks away. We got to see what kinds
of plants Ofra is growing in her plot as well as the plants growing in
other's garden plots. On the way, we passed by Tobie's and Shirley's
homes and both of them came out to see us. Shirley even decided to come
along and join us on our field trip. Tobie considered it but was unable
to join us. In the garden itself we saw a huge variety of plants,
flowers and edibles. We some older kids gardening with the BYA garden
programmer. We checked out the bee hives that we keep there. One bee box
has a wooden panel that can be removed revealing a window with a view of
the inside of the bee hive. We saw how it gets very crowded in there
with bees, the honeycomb, and the honey of course. The children had a
chance to pick some tomatoes and harvest some carrots. On the way home,
Shirley brought out her little dog Daisy and we had a chance to say
hello by petting her. When we got back to school, we ate carrots,
tomatillos and plums with our lunches.

- On Wednesday we planted three types of organic carrots in the play
yard garden bed.

- We opened up the worm bin and took out some compost to use in the
garden bed. While we were at it, we held the worms in our hands. One
child commented a few times on how "cute" they were. We mixed the
compost with our existing dirt before planting the carrots.

- Inspired by "Pancakes for Breakfast" by Tomie DePaolo we cooked
pancakes for snack. We made gluten-free and buckwheat pancakes. We had a
discussion about gluten and how it is not good for some people's bodies.

- We read "Eliezer v'Hagezer"/ "Eliezer and the Carrot" this week. On
Friday we got to act it out at circle time. A child acted as the carrot
by laying on the ground and we had Eliezer, Elisheva, Avigail, the dog,
the cat and the mouse pull left and right together to get the carrot out
of the earth.

- Our insect identification book was used several times this week. We
found a couple of insects that nobody knew to identify. One child
suggested we use our book to see what the insect is named. We are pretty
sure that what we found were weevils. Another time we identified an
earwig and even found the matching information card from the set we are
keeping in the science area.

- We continue to enjoy the many books we have written and illustrated by
Tomie DePaolo.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William

Friday, July 22, 2011

HaShavuah - July 22

Shalom Netivot Shalom Preschool Families,

We have had a most enjoyable week at school and we explored and partook
in several new experiences.
Here are the highlights of our week:

- We took our first field trip of the summer to Berkeley Way Mini Park.

-We keep discovering more insects and critters in the play yard. We have
been taking close looks at them.

- We have been reading several insect and bug related stories, both
science related and fictional stories.

- Photographs of our summer activities have been developed and mounted
on paper. We are in the process of making Netivot Shalom summer camp
book, inspired by Todd Parr.

- We have begun writing words and quotes to go with the pages of our
summer camp book.

- We have been looking at a few other books by Todd Parr and enjoying
his style of art and how he draws his people with colorful skin.

- We pitched a tent in the play yard on Wednesday and had it up for the
rest of the week. The children explored how the zippers function. Books
were placed inside and the space became a reading tent. We wanted to
experience some "camping" at school. We discussed camp fires and
different things that happen when people go camping as the children played.

- We played with shaving cream out in the play yard on a table. The
shaving cream makes great "mortar" when we construct with our soft foam

- At the begining of the week. William was reading stories with the
children. He shared the book "Pancakes for Breakfast" by Tomie DePaolo,
which is a story without any words. There was silence as William flipped
through the pages and the children looked at the images. On Wednesday,
we used our tape recorder to creat and record the words for "Pancakes
for Breakfast", for every page the children described what they were
seeing. The following day at circle time we listened to our recorded
voices as we looked at the images.

- We currently have a large selection of Tomie DePaolo books in our
library that have been borrowed from the Public Library.

- We cooked scrambled eggs on Wednesday. The children cut red peppers,
green onions and grated the cheese. Each child cracked their own egg and
added the ingredients of their liking, then William cooked them up on
the electric skillet.

- We have had an excellent time with Yarden these last four weeks. Today
was her last day with us. The children and the teachers made a special
card for her expressing our gratitude.

We hope everyone has a pleasant weekend
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William

Friday, July 15, 2011

HaShavuah - July 15

July 15, 2011

Shalom Preschool Families,

We continued our explorations of authors and illustrators this week,
along with many other interesting activities and moments throughout the
Here are some of the highlights of this week:

- From the public library, we now have a vast selection of Ruth Krauss
books. Ruth Krauss was Crocket Johnson's wife, and as we found out last
week, Johnson drew some illustrations in a couple of her books. We
discovered that Ruth Krauss has a few different people illustrate her
books. Some are illustrated by Maurice Sendak. In fact, one book she
wrote called "Bears" has a character in it that looks and is dressed
just like Max from "Where the Wild Things Are".

- At circle time on Monday, we listened to our tape recorder. Last week
we recoreded our circle time and we used it this week to guide our
circle time. We got to sing along with ourselves.

-We are still interested in the PJ Library book "I love Camp" by Todd
Parr. We related it to ourselves here at Netivot shalom. The children
mentioned the things we do and like at school in the summer time. The
teachers have been listing the things they mention as well as shooting
some photos of the very things they are talking about.

- While reading "I Love Camp", we talked about the page that shows a
campfire. We discussed how we don't have a safe place for campfires at
Netivort Shalom. From there we began to talk about fire safety. We had a
firedrill to practice our evacuation plan. We also talked about "stop,
drop, and roll", so we know what to do if we ever get into some danger
near a fire.

- We baked pies on Wednesday, we were inspired by Harold, because with
his purple crayon he made many pies and ate a piece of each one. We made
apple pie.

- On Thursday at cirlce time, we read " What a Good Big Brother", a most
relevant story to read right now seeing as we have a new big brother in
the kitah. Mazal tov to the Sorek Family, Hagit, Nadav and Ido, on the
birth of their new baby boy!

- We discovered a roley poley bug in the dirt. We watched it crawl on
the cement for several minutes. The chidlren also discovered a spider on
the play structure building a web. We observed it for several minutes
before we put it in the bushes to be sure we didn't step on it.

- The dead moth we found last week, and then misplaced last Friday was
rediscovered under a piece of furniture. We put it in our magnifying
container in our science area.

- We played with our toy bugs in play dough. We identified the insects
and bugs that we were familiar with from our selection of little bug toys.

- We did some collage work with glue and various materials.

- Some children got involved in writing notes and tucking them away in
our "kotel". This "kotel" is located in the corner of the room where the
"mishkan Shalom" is located. On the wall is a wooden lattice where the
kids have placed their notes.

- In our science area, we explored our magnets and used the image cards
that go with them. The children follow the patternes in the images and
replicate them with the magnets. We also explored different things that
can be done with magnets when the attract each other or repel each other.

- We are learning symmetry and counting and practicing our one-to-one
correspondense with our lady bug felt board activity. She has black dots
that the children place on her back.

We are looking forward to another week of great moments, as well as our
first field trip of the summer to Berkeley Way Mini Park.

Again, the invitation still stands for all of you to bring in your
favorite picture books to share with the kitah.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William