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 21, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim


September 21, 2012

5 Tishrei 5773


Dear Nevonim Parents,


We had a short but very sweet week.  We started the week by talking about Tashlich, the custom of casting one's sins into a moving body of water between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  Since children have no sins, we discussed mistakes we made last year that we don't want to make this year (we got examples like hitting and yelling).  We read two beautiful books about the tradition - one called New Year  at the Pier and one Tashlich at Turtle Rock.  Then with great parent volunteers (thank you Kara, Peter and Laura), we headed out on our first field trip to Strawberry Creek Park.  We cast our crumbs (mistakes) into the water from the bridge, and then played and took advantage of the slide still being there!


We have expanded Tashlich to include talking about water and water creatures.  Many of the children are very interested in the sea creature toys we have; some have become sharks and whales etc. outside.  We read a book on Thursday that Menachem brought back from Ghana called Crocodile Bread.  We looked at what was the same and what was different about the lives of the children in the book.  On Friday, we followed their directions and made our challah dough into a crocodile which was great fun.


We made a giant whale out of newspaper and then covered it in paper mache.  We heard the story of Jonah and the whale which is traditionally chanted on Yom Kippur.  We also sang "Jonah Lives in the Belly of the Whale" sung to the tune of "We all Live on a Yellow Submarine" and written by William.


In small groups we played lots of math chicken games, set up for Pretend Shabbat (counting out cups and other fun tasks).  We also made French Toast one day, and playdough that same day.  We played a game called Scooby Doo that allows all the children to perform something for their friends and we played the whole thing in Hebrew!  We have also been having lots of fun with music games inspired by the Wednesday class.  We welcomed back our friend Rikki which has been a nice way to start this new year.


Have a great and peaceful Shabbat,


Nevonim Teachers

Caitlin, Ruth and Shirlee

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

September 21, 2012
5 Tishrei, 5772
Shalom Nachshonim Families,
We had a short week, but still quite exciting! Here are some of the things that took place in the kitah this week.
-To begin with, we would like to share with all of you that we love to dance and sing, and we find ourselves doing just that often throughout the day.
-We have placed a height chart on the wall and we have made marks to see how tall the children are.  We plan to use this again at the end of the school year to see how much we have grown.
- On Tuesday, we made green play dough together. We used the electric skillet to prepare it so we had some discussion about staying safe when it is on.
- We have been reading many books about feelings and how to make each other feel good, such as "Hands Are Not For Hitting", "The Way I Feel", and books about friends.
- Ofra brought in a yellow corn to eat at lunch time. She also brought a decorative corn that she grew at the community garden. It is very colorful, and the kernels are shades of purple, blue, red and orange. We were able to compare the two. We have put it in our science area to observe and explore.
- On Friday we baked challah to take home and for our pretend Shabbat.
- We have been using lots of Hebrew in the kitah. We have been singing, reading and conversing in Hebrew.
- We hung more art on the well to brighten our environment.
We hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HaShavuah - Nevonim

September 14, 2012
27 Elul 5773
Dear Nevonim Parents,
While this was our last week of learning this year, it was a wonderful week.  We played with lots of ideas and concepts of Rosh HaShanah.  We explored circles and roundness through games, art and food!  We played a guessing game at circle time using Rosh HaShanah symbols.  We made round art on a spinner with round berachot for New Year's greetings.  We also used spyroart to explore circles further. 
We ate pomegranates, apples and made our own egg-free round challah in a spiral shape. We opened a pomegranate  (rimon) and coundted the seeds - we estimated it to be 613 just like the mitzvot.  We also looked at shapes in nature including spirals, stars, and circles.  With the round challah, we had a birthday party for the world (Happy 5773) and lit a candle which the ruach (wind) blew out for us.  We read the book The World's Birthday: A Rosh HaShanah Story. 
In order to look at how the shofar announces the new year we read "Wake Up and Beat the Drums".  We practiced blowing shofarot that Nevo's family loaned us, and we got a surprise shofar show from Naia's abba Peter.  We also read a book about a secret shofar in Spain.
We ate lots of apples and honey and sang many songs about them with Melita and without her.  We sang Apples and Hoeny, Thanks Alot, A Bee Song and Apple Tree. We played a game of "Who took the apples from the apple jar?" and one where children had to carry apple pieces in a spoon without dropping them.  We read a book called "The Apple Tree's Discovery" about the hidden star inside apples and we talked about what it special inside each of us that is a gift (matanah) from G-d.
On Wednesday, Beekeeper Alice brought a real working hive, honey and bee supplies to teach us about D'vorot (bees). In addition to being hands-on, interesting and tasty, this visit inspired bee play all week.  The mishkan became a hive, our bees buzzed around, gathering nectar and putting it in the honeycomb.  Like Alice, our beekeepers used a feather to tickle us and smoke to scare us.
Besides this fun, we had a visit form librarian Nora to read to us.  We welcomed back our guinea pigs (chazirei yam).  We played with new magnet blocks and moon sand.  We played cards.  In the afternoon a group of children constructed a new stepstool for our higher sink.  We also enjoyed used rhythm sticks in small groups.
On Wednesday, we will walk to Strawberry Creek Park to do our own tashlikh.
Shanah Tovah!
Nevonim Teachers,
Caitlin, Ruth and Shirlee

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

September 14, 2012
27 Elul, 5772
Shalom Nachshonim Families!
Week two of school has been very exciting for us here at Netivot Shalom. We would love to share with you the highlights of our week.
- We read "The Shofar Calls to Us" and we learned about the different calls of the shorfar. We even used our voices to make the calls and our hands as the shofar.

-We brought in a couple of Shorfarot to our kitah for us to have a closer look and to have an oportunity to blow into the shorfar.

- We had a special visit from Rabbi Shalom Bochner who works upstairs. He met us out in the play yard with a very long shofar. Shalom showed us how he blows into the shofar to make noise and he taught us about the different calls the shofar makes.
-We had our first visit from Melita, our music specialist. She came with her guitar and we all sang together.
-While listening to Melita's CD on our stereo, we were changing a disc and one child pointed out the there was a rainbow on the wall (a reflection from the CD in the sunshine through the window). We pulled out two CD's from our closet that we use in our science area to make our  own rainbows on the ceiling.
-We have been placing our art on the walls.
- We finally got to meet our guinea pigs, Rena and Shira. We have been feeding them hay everyday, changning their water and feeding them treats like bell peppers.
-The Nevonim children made challah dough for us and together we baked a large round challah for Rosh Hashanah.
- On Thursday, we had another special visit from Nora the librarian. Nora comes to see us once a month and she brings with her an excellent selection of stories to read and she sings with us too.
-The Nevonim children delivered us some apple sturdel that the baked and we got to have a bit after lunch on Thursday.
- On Thursday, we did some apple tasting at snack time. We had three different types of apples: red, green and yellow. We had a chance to try them all. We then made a chart of all the children and what their favorite apple flavor was.
- We had a visit from our friend Jai, Jai will be joining the kitah in the beginning of October and he will be visiting us a couple of times with his parents before he begins.
- On Friday, after eveyone packed up their lunch, we got to eat apples with honey.

-We have been singing the Rosh Hashanah song "Tapuchim u'Dvash"/Apples and Honey a lot this week, and dancing to it.

-We then cut the apple cores in half to see that the seeds grow on the inside in the shape of a star. We used these apple cores to make prints with paint.
We hope everyone has a fantastic Rosh Hashanah.
Shana Tovah!
Ofra, Anna, and Tobi

Monday, September 10, 2012

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

September 7, 2012
20 Elul, 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

Our first week of school as has been delightful and smooth. Here are the
highlights of our week in the kitah/classroom.

- We are getting ourselves familiar with the kitah, our play materials,
the play yard and our daily routine. As well as getting to know each other.

-Some of the specific things we have discussed are safelty rules. We
have talked about safety with scissors and how to hold them in a safe
way when we are walking with them. Also, we have been practicing using
our walking feet when we are indoors.

- We have been practicing our hand washing skills A LOT! We have a
special hand washing song we sing as we scrub.

- We have had some enjoyable circle times this week. We have been
pretending to sleep until Anna tells us "Boker Tov"/good morning and we
all wake up. We then sing Mode Ani. We also sing songs, read books
and do movement activities with our bodies.

-We had a look at our worms in the worm compost bin the we keep in the
play yard. We discussed how they eat our scraps of food and make soil
for our garden.
-The following day we fed our worms banana peels from our snack that day.

-We have been enjoying a great book called "Little Blue and Little
Yellow" by Leo Leoni. The story is about two collered dots that are
friends and they turn green when they hug.
-The children made paintings using blue and yellow paint and applying
the paint with q-tips. We are able to see how mixing the two colors
together makes green, just like Little Blue and Yellow in our story.

-We discovered a bee in the play yard on Thursday and we grew and
interest in her. She then flew away. The teachers retrieved a science
book from Lauren's office called "From Flower to Honey" that
describes the process of bees making honey.

- The children have been enjoying a song we like to sing and play called
"Dance Around and Jump Around". We dance until the song tells us to
stop, and then we work on freezing. We do something similar when we sit
down from snack or lunch, where we sing a song about drumming on the
table and then we "stop".

-The children have been making lots of paintings this week at the easle.
We will be hanging many of them on our walls next week.

We are both thrilled to get to know you and your children. We are
looking forward to more excitement and exploration next week!
Shabbat Shalom!
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

September 7, 2012
20 Elul 5772

Dear Nevonim Parents,

What an awesome week of learning we have had! Our first day we explored
the word Chaver (friend in Hebrew), we reconnected with old and new
friends, talked about our summer adventures and about what it means to
be a chaver in our kitah. We learned to spell the word with our bodies
through Aleph Bet Yoga. We also built a bayt (house in Hebrew)
collectively with each child conributing a block. Some of us in a small
group read a book called "Captain Jiri and Rabbi Jacob" based on a
Jewish folktale; from it we learned "not to fight", "to stand up for our
friends" and "it's ok to make mistakes" (all quotes from the children).

On our second day we focused on the value of Chesed (Lovingkindness in
Hebrew). We spelled this with Aleph Bet Yoga and we talked about how we
are loving and kind with examples from the kitah. We played a
cooperative puzzle game in small groups. We read "5 Little Gefiltes" and
compared being a mensch to be Chesed. At lunch we read a Jewish version
of Little Red Hen where all the animals are in Israel and they offer to
help and cooperate instead of the usual avoidance of responsibility!
The children understood the differences in the stories right away!

On our third day we explored the value of K'vod (respect in Hebrew)/ We
talked about and acted out what respect looks like; we spelled the word
in Aleph Bet Yoga and we learned to say Kol Ha'Kavod to each other when
we have done a "good job". We made real fruit salad, learning all the
words in Hebrew, then later in circle we made pretend cooperative fruit
salad and sang "Artic, Menta, Chocolat, Banana". At lunch we read "The
Pillow Stone", a story from Talmud Hulin 91b which evokes the idea of
cooperation (stones working together to become one pillow instead of
fighting). We read "The Dragon and the Knight" by Tomie de Paola about
a dragon and knight who don't really want to fight each other. In a
small group we "read" to each other In the Deep Blue Sea, a book which
many of the children can "read" and we then had it read to them in Hebrew.

Finally, today, we made challah and challah bags, we sang Shabbat songs
including Bim Bom and Shabbat Dinosaur and we set up our own Shabbat
table at circle time, choosing symbols of Shabbat for our table. At
lunch we heard the story of "the Stain on the Table" which tells how
Rabbi Akiva spilled wine on purpose in order to take away from the shame
an older man felt when he spilled on the table first. We discussed how
this is "Consideration of Others" - V'ahavta cmocha l'rayahtcha (treat
others the way you want to be treated.) In small groups we played
clafim (cards) including the game Milchamah (War) which promoted great
math skills and was fun!

Of course all week was also filled with exploring new dressup clothing,
a new arrangement of the toys, art outside and inside, and a very
elaborate and evolving Bubble Store: game that the children invented.

We hope you have a peaceful Shabbat and weekend. We will see you on
Monday when we begin a full week of Rosh HaShanah fun.

Nevonim Teachers,

Caitlin, Ruth and Shirlee