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, January 27, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 27, 2012
3 Shvat, 5772

Dear Nevonim Parents,

As the rainy day began our week, we continued talking about winter
subjects - we read lots of books about bears and hibernation including
the Very Cranky Bear, Big Bear and Little Bear and Polar Nights. We have
had a lot of fun acting out the Very Cranky Bear with lots of
performances featuring many children. On Monday we had rainy day fun in
the social hall and in our kitah. We used chalk both outside in the
rain and on our winter mural. We also explored using a lot of glitter
this week for our winter wonderland (as your children's clothing
probably showed you!) We have had wintery snacks also, oatmeal one
day, baked potatoes for another and then we "smashed" our potatoes today.

The children discovered a water creature whose identity has been a great
scientific exploration all week. We did research on the computer and in
books to try to determine what kind of animal it is - the children
guessed "water dog" as it has a tail and whiskers, but it has now shed
its skin and so we are exploring further. This led to a discussion of
tadpoles and amphibians (one of the guesses as to what it was) - so now
we have been talking about these as well. We were very surprised to
learn that while polar bears do not actually hibernate - (except for
pregnant moms) - frogs actually do hibernate!

We also continued our drama theme by acting out many books including the
very popular and interesting Estie the Mensch which led us to talk about
what it means to be a mensch at home and at school. At circle today, we
made a spiderweb out of yarn which was based on each child talking about
what made him/her a mensch (a good person). On Tuesday we went to the
library and as always enjoyed hearing Nora the librarian read us new books.

We began talking about Tu Bshvat which is a week from Wednesday. We
made many different kinds of found object trees including one out of
recycled tin cans that also served as our Shabbat vase! The trees from
torn paper decorate our classroom as does a huge amount of new art that
we are very proud of.

Over the next week we will have two very special family Tu Bshvat events
that you are all invited to. The first, led by Naomi's Savta Irene will
be on Sunday, February 5, 2012
2-3 or 3:30 at the Botanic Garden in Tilden Regional Park. The other
will take place on the actual day of Tu Bshvat, Wednesday February 8th
at 10:00 in the upstairs art room and will be a Tu BShvat Seder led by
Rabbi Bochner - as this has limited space, we ask that if you plan to
attend you RSVP on the signup sheet which will be on the door of the
kitah. This is also not an event that we recommend for toddlers.

This week Shabbatasaurus went home with Isaac and Wild Thing with Liam.
Next Friday Wild Thing will go home with Isaac and Shabbatasaurus with
Clara! Keep your eyes open for these visitors from our kitah.

Have a great weekend,

Nevonim Teachers,

Caitlin, Ruth and ShirleyHa

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 27, 2012
3 Shvat, 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
We have had another eventful week here at school and we have much to share with you all.

-  On Monday, Anna was out sick and we had Tobie in as a sub. At circle time, we sent Anna "refuah shlemah" for her to have a full recovery. We filled a pretend box with things we thought she would like. The children put in hugs, kisses, food, soup and smiles.

- We are still involved in explorations of wheels.
- We have eight wheels in the kitah/classroom. We have been rolling them to each other and spinning them like tops.
- At circle time on Tuesday, we made a train out of our bodies and we traveled around the kitah as we sang "Hene Rakevet"/"Here is a Train".
- We took a journey out to the parking lot on Wednesday to have a close look at Anna's car. She opened the hood and we had a chance to see the motor inside. We talked about all of the things that we recognized on the car. We also discussed the safety precautions that are necessary before walking out into the parking lot such as: Staying close together, looking for cars before we step out into the lot, and staying near Anna's car.
-The children have been pointing out the round things they see and mentioning that it is round like a wheel.

- We continue decorating large paper bags for a tzedakah project.
-On Monday we discussed what tzedakah is and how it is a mitzva. We talked about our tzedakah boxes and how we use that money we collect to give away.

- On Wednesday we cooked pancakes for snack.

- On Tuesday in the play yard, one child found a GIGANTIC worm. It was about 6 inches long. We were quite interested in it.

- We played with Ooblek!

- We have  begun talking about Tu B'shvat that is coming up next month. We sang "Tu B'Shvat Hege'a"/ Tu B'Shvat is Here with our songbook that has pictures.

- We were gifted two wonderful books from Israel that Ellie, Danielle and family gave us upon their return. One story is about Aunt Tova and her hats. Aunt Tova plants seeds in three different hats and from each one a tree grows. Anna grew up knowing a song that goes with this story and she sang it to us.

- We baked challah
We are looking forward to seeing you next week.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna

Friday, January 20, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 20, 2012
25 Tevet 5772

Well as the weather has gotten colder and rainier, we have been talking
about winter alot! We made a great 3 dimensional collage with snow and
igloos hanging up in the kitah now. We sang rain songs and learned a
very old prayer for rain with Rabbi Shalom. "moshiv haruach vmorid
hageshem." We made rain sounds and chanted on Wednesday and the rain
came on Friday! We have been talking and learning about hibernating and
animals that hibernate. We have been reading about many of these
animals in Jan Brett's Snowy Days book.Today, some of us got very wet in
the rain! We also explored what happens to chalk when it gets wet -
both outside and on a mass media mural in the kitah.

We learned about the power of yeast as we measured and kneaded pizza
dough with Jeanine. We custom made individual pizzas the next day as we
have been playing restaurant lots of different ways and we will continue
with this theme next week!


Nevonim Teachers,
Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

Save the date: February 12 at the CJM!

Dear Families,  On Sunday, February 12th, from 10-11:30 AM,  the Contemporary Jewish Museum is delighted to be partnering with Netivot Shalom Preschool for Preschool Gallery Hour, when the Museum opens early specifically for preschoolers and their families!  Doors will open at 9:45 AM sharp, and admission tickets can be purchased (kids are always FREE, and adult admission is $12 per head).  Families can participate in the following activities at their own pace:  1)      Create musical instruments in the Education Center Classrooms;  2)      Informally tour our California and / or Music exhibits, led by preschool educators and plenty of hands-on activities;  3)      Move to the groove of the worldly music of Asheba!   After the program, why not grab some lunch at our new eatery, American Box Café @ the CJM, featuring local, sustainable fare for the whole family? (For kids, the café offers such favorites such as:  Kids Grilled Cheese Box; AB & J Box-Chef Chad's Almond Butter and House-made Jam Sandwich; and a Corn & Cheese Quesadilla. Snacks and desserts have a healthy bend as well.)  We truly look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Preschool Gallery Hour. Our address is 736 Mission Street, between 3rd Street and 4th Street.  See you soon, and please let me know if you have any questions!  Daniel  Daniel Barash Family Programs Manager Contemporary Jewish Museum

Friday, January 13, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 13, 2012
18 Tevet 5772

Dear Nevonim Families,

This week we really got to know our substitute teacher Colin well
because Caitlin was out much of the week. We heard Coln's guitar one
day and his mandolin was a big hit for several days. We heard and sang
Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle, Twinkle LIttle Star and many other tunes.
Many children were very enthusiastic restaranteurs - we had menus, order
forms, food and tables set the whole week - we learned the Hebrew words
for restaurant (misada) and waiter (meltzar) as well as many food names.

We saw an outpouring of creativity in the art department - bracelets,
spiderwebs, traps as well as "ish" drawings. (a picture that looks sort
of like something - like flower-ish). On our walls we have some great
mishpachah (family) portraits which is an ongoing project.

Over several days we explored different versions of the Three Bears
story including Jan Brett's Snow Bear version and a super modern one
where the bears eat chili instead of porridge! We measured and cooked
our own gluten free porridge using oats, water, dried cranberries,
sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. We cooked in the classroom and had
lots of fun acting the story out - first with teachers and then children.

On Tuesday we sang and danced with Melita and we went to the Berkeley
Way Mini Park - on the alphabet train. We have been using children's
names as a vehicle for playing with letters, resulting in a huge
outpouring of "writing". We have been using math to play board games
and measure project. We are very excited with a new Ms. Frizzle science
experiment book that we will start using next week. We have been
continuing with our Torah stories.

On Wednesday, Rabbi Shalom came and told us a midrash based on this
week's Torah portion, the first chapter of Shemot (Exodus). It was a
story to explain why Moshe had a speech impairment. To paraphrase: The
story goes that in order to test his desires when he was a baby, Moshe
had to choose between a bowl of gems and one of hot coals. The angel
Gabriel interceded so the young Moshe chose the coals and in so doing he
burnt his mouth. Even with this damage, he still rose to become a great
leader. This teaches us all that our strengths and weaknesses add to
our abilities.

We hope you all enjoy your long weekend celebrating another powerful
leader and we will see you all on Tuesday, hopefully with Caitlin back
with us!


Nevonim Teachers
Caitlin, Ruth, Shirley

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 13, 2012
18 Tevet, 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

Another exciting week has passed and we have lots to share with all of you.

- Rikki has officially started her first week of school. It has been enjoyable to have a new face and friend in our kitah/classroom

-We have been exploring the theme of things that go with the use of wheels.
- We have, in our kitah, a very large cardboard tube. We have been propping it up on various furniture and it has become a tunnel/ramp for our toy cars to go down.
- We took plastic toy cars and put them in paint. We then used the toy cars to make tracks on a large sheet of butcher paper. We will be hanging this piece of art on our wall next week. Come and have a look!
- We have had several discussions about things with wheels. We talked about the shape of wheels and how they roll. The children named off all the things they could think of that have wheels. They came up with: bicycles, cars, motorcycles, firetrucks, our wheel barrow out in the play yard, our toy car out in the play yard, and our wagon.
-We also discussed the  things we see when we are inside of a car. We covered the process that a driver has to go through in order to drive a car. At circle time we acted out this process. We shut the door, buckled up, put the key in the ignition and stepped on the peddle as we turned our steering wheels. 
- We have been singing the songs we know that have to do with things with wheels. "Hene Rakavet"/ in Hebrew, it means "Here is a train", I've Been Working on the Railroad, and The Wheels on the Bus.
-Ofra brought in her rollerblades to school. She put them on out in the play yard to show how they work. The children were interested in pushing or pulling Ofra to make her roll on her wheels.

- On Monday we mixed paints in our paint jars so we would be ready for painting all week long.

- The cardboard tube is more than just a tunnel for our cars. This week it has also been used as a fire hose, and it is great to use when we tell secrets into each other's ears. If someone whispers in one end and someone listens on the other, our whispers are amplified.

- We had some sensory activities this week of Ooblek inside the classroom and shaving cream out in the play yard.

- We cooked French Toast for snack on Wednesday.

- We baked Challah for Shabbat, of course.

We look forward to seeing you all next week
Enjoy your extended weekends for Marin Luther King Jr. Day

Shabbat Shalom,
Ofra and Anna

Friday, January 6, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 6, 2012
11 Tevet 5772

Dear Nevonim Parents,

We had a great first week back.  We read Abiyoyo many times.  We heard lots of Caitlin's animal stories from her travel.  We continued our weaving projects and expanded them to weaving on a giant twisted fig branch.  That fig branch (originally from Ruth's tree) is now a fabulous flag pole with an American flag on one side and an Israeli flag on the other.  It is great to see what emerges from all of us together.  In keeping with that idea, we have changed our morning circle a little this week - in addition to prayers and singing, we are now hearing what children enjoyed doing or playing that morning before circle - it has been a great way to share all the exciting projects that happen throughout the room that not everyone gets to see - flags, sorting, making traps and making horizontal and vertical lines are all ideas that were shared. The sorting was an ongoing activity this week with lots of mini fruits being classified and counted in many ways. The trap making (some of it to trap mice and give them medicine) also continued after we talked about it at circle. 

On Monday, we also shared what we did on our vacations.  We read a favorite book called "In the Doghouse" which is very humorous.  We also did Havdallah with our Nachshonim friends.  On Tuesday we sang with Melita.  On Wednesday, Rabbi Shalom came to share a song and a story with us - the story was the one about the whole Torah being told while balancing on one leg - the important idea being Treat others how you want to be treated. We celebrated two birthdays this week, Naia on Monday (age 4) and Judah on Wednesday (age 5).  And of course today we made challot, bags and celebrated at Pretend Shabbat.

We played matching board games and bingo all week, reinforcing great math skills.  We had lots of fun outside using spraybottles to make paint art.  Inside we used eyedroppers and yarn to decorate the last of our tzedakah bags.  We also used a tunnel and stepping stones for many different purposes - obstacle courses, circus fun and magic tricks.  One of the most memorable uses was filling the stepping stones turned upside down with water and making "animal baths."

 The year is just beginning!

 Nevonim Teachers,

Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 6, 2012
11 Tevet, 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

It has been really great to be in the classroom again and to spend time
with your children again. We had a pleasant week after our two weeks
off. Here are some highlights from our week's activities:

- We talked about the loss of our beloved fish Chaim. We talked a little
bit about how we might feel without him and about how the classroom will
be a little bit different.

- On Monday, we looked a picture of our new student named Rikki. Rikki
will be joining us next week.

- We are working on a large communal drawing using very vibrant oil
pastels on black paper.

- We also did an experiment that one of nachshonim students suggested we
try. We took paper towels and drew on them with markers. Then we sprayed
the paper towels with our pray bottles and watched how the colors bled

- Sensory play out in the play yard. We played with shaving cream and
soft blocks. The shaving cream can be used as "mortar" to hold the
blocks together.

- We did the very important job of creating a new bed for the worms in
our worm bin. We tore up paper and cardboard and moistened it with
water. We mixed in some dirt and some worms to get things started. The
new bed sits on the old one and the idea is that the worms will work
their way up to the new bed.

- We had plenty of water play this week, taking advantage of this warm
weather. The Nachshonim and the Nevonim used our lilly pad buckets for
water play. By flipping them over, the children filled the buckets with
water and many of them chose to stand in the buckets filled with water.

- We have been using spray bottles for play out in the yard and we have
also been using them to water our plants.

-On Friday, we met Rikki! She came to visit the school with her mother.
We had a pleasant time playing with her for the first time.
- We made challah on Friday, as usual.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna