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 25, 2013

HaShavuah - Nevonim


January 25, 2013
Shevat 155773

Dear Nevonim Parents,

We had more fun this week with space and trees, and trees in space. We rooted our avocado pits and will be watching them grow. We listened to two Jewish stories about Honi, Honi and the Carob Tree and Honi and the Rainmaker. We had many meaningful discussions about what trees give us - air, shade, fruit, nuts, chocolate, coffee, rubber, cork, paper, wood, etc. One day we decorated our yard trees with paper airplanes which we launched into the trees many times! One day we took a nature walk to see trees, gather leaves and hug a few of our tree friends at the park. With these leaves, we made decorations for the kitah and for the table for the Tu B'shevat seder that Rabbi Shalom led for us on Thursday. We celebrated all four seasons with a different kind of juice and a blessing, and we celebrated fruit from trees with a pit you can't eat, with a peel you can't eat, and fruit that is fully edible. We heard a story about an apple tree at summer camp that kept staying alive, despite great odds. We sang and acted out the song "Etzei Zeytim Omdim" (the olive trees are standing). We had our own fruit tasting at snack today - you can see the results posted on the kitah door.

We sang tree songs with Melita. We did several plays about monkeys in trees. We learned about the Northern Lights. We played Go Fish. We built with legos. We played cat and dog and veterinarian. We played restaurant. Many children helped illustrate a book for Purim with a poem written by Rena - stay tuned for its publication soon!

Menachem taught us about this week's parashah, by parting the sea of children at circle and then watching the circle close again. We learned how it was the bravery of Nachson that helped the water divide as he stepped forward to enter the water. Today at Pretend Shabbat, some of the children showed this in a play.
Next week we hope to go the botanical garden on Thursday for a field trip with Savta Irene, but we still need more drivers. Let us know if you can help.

Thanks! Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

Nevonim Teachers,

Caitlin, Ruth, Shirlee and William

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 22, 2013
10 Shvat, 5773

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
We would like to fill you in on our activities from last week. We continued our interest in cats and we have been talking about the exciting chag/holiday of Tu B'Shvat.

-We had several cat books on our shelf last week. "Only the Cat Saw", "The Kitten Book", and "Ginger".
- Another book we are touroughly enjoying is called "I am Maru". This book is about a special cat that lives in Japan. This cat is well known and famous because of his YouTube videos. We did not watch them, but we do have the book that his owner published about Maru's quirky habbits and tendency to squeeze into boxes.
-At circle time, we had a chance to look at photographs of cats that both Tobie and Ofra brought in to share.
-We then started hanging these pictures on the wall for us to enjoy.
-We also hung up a poster of Maru the cat!

-On Tuesday we had a very small crowd of children so we walked across the street to Berkeley Way Mini Park. We talked about safety as we walk across the street and how we must hold hands the whole way until we arrive.
- Because we had such a small class on Tuesday, we invited some of our Nevonim friends to come and join us for our music session with Melita.

-We mixed paints from the primary colors.

-Finger painting!
-We have taken down our old artwork and we are replacing them with new ones to decorate our space.

Tu B'Shvat
-We have a few enjoyable books about etzim/trees and growing plants in our reading corner. "A Tree is Nice", "The Carrot Seed".
-We also have a great song book in Hebrew called Doda Tova/Aunt Tova. Doda Tova has a hat, and in it she plants seeds and grows fruit trees in her hat! Then, she shares the fruit with neighbors, guests and children.

-On Friday, Ofra was out and Collin was subbing for her.

We have already begun another week of excitement and we will let you know all about it at the end of the week.

Ofra v'Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 21, 2013
Shevat 10, 5773
Dear Nevonim Parents,
We had a great week last week. We continued with the emergent themes of space and began learning about Tu B'shvat. We made a model of the solar system. We made pastel on black paper drawings of the planets. We learned about the cycles of the moon, and how this affects the Jewish calendar. We created a wall calendar, showing how the year is cyclical. Our homework of looking at the moon led to a great discussion of the moon and the fact that the moon has no light of its own, but is really sunlight being reflected.
We created a huge mural using foam paints which we will turn into Tu B'shvat decorations. We have had fun collecting avocado pits - a few came to us with good wish messages written on them! This week we would appreciate any small jars you could donate to us to use for rooting the pits. We learned two new Tu B'shvat songs, one in Hebrew and one in English. We also sang tree songs with Melita on Tuesday.
Many of us created a 3-dimensional model of San Francisco using found materials. We included an airport, the 49'ers stadium, a restaurant called T-Rex's Apple, the San Francisco Bay (complete with ferries and docks), a skyscraper, and other buildings. We played restaurant several days, writing our own menus and order forms, and preparing delicious "pretend" food. We also discussed how "Bo" means "come".
We hope you had a good, long weekend. We look forward to next week's busy schedule of events (Tu B'shvat Seder, PJ Havadallah). You can read more about these in a separate e-mail
Nevonim Teachers,
Caitlin, Ruth and Shirlee

phone: 510/549.9447 ext. 110

Friday, January 11, 2013

HaShavuah - Nevonim


January 11, 2013

29 Tevet 5773


Dear Nevonim Parents,


We had a nice week back after the long break. Everyone was very happy to see each other. Much of our week's focus in the kitah was on space (Chalal in Hebrew). We made a spaceship which grew and changed each day, with control panels, blasters, oxygen tanks, and cockpit. It was a big group project with painting and building from many children. We have started making the planets out of paper mache, as we have talked and learned about the planets, the sun and the moon and how all related to the earth. We also make individual jetpacks and astronaut costumes. We read many, many books about space and space travel.


We further explored space by looking up and drawing constellations of stars. We poked holes for the stars with pins on black paper and then put them on the lightbox so we could recreate the constellations in the night sky. Some of the constellations we looked at were Big and Little Dipper, Cassiopeia (crown) and Orion's Belt. We also made space necklaces and decorations.


Additionally, we talked about our winter vacations. We made 3-d collages, many of our houses. We made popcorn for snack and talked about the science of how it pops. We made up many stories, including several about princesses. Nora came to read books to us, including a very silly one about Minerva the chicken. We started talking about Exodus, which is the book of the Torah we are reading now. We read versions of the Moses story and even made our challah into a basket for baby Moses today for Pretend Shabbat.


We have been making lots of rock and roll music and dancing to it, thanks to the books about Pete the Cat. We heard that it has snowed in Jerusalem this week so we read a beautiful book called Snow in Jerusalem about a Muslim boy and a Jewish boy in Jerusalem who learn to share a cat called Snow.


Next week, we will continue space (as it is very engaging for all), but we will also start learning about the next holiday of Tu B'Shevat, the birthday of the trees. We would like to ask now for you to start saving your avocado pits for the kitah, so that we can sprout and grow enough avocado plants for every child!


Shabbat Shalom,


Ruth, Caitlin and Shrilee

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 11, 2013
29 tevet, 5773
Shalom Nachshonim Families,
Our first week back at school has been most exciting. It was nice to see everyone's friendly faces again.
Here are the highlights of our week in the kitah.

-We celebrated Menashe's third birthday on Monday! Menashe and his Ima Jenny brought in apples to share with us on his birthday and some of the children helped slice the apples.
-We learned a new song from Melita when she came to sing with us on Tuedsay called "Transportation What a Fascination" that we have been singing. The song suggests that we take various modes of transportation.
-We have two new song books currently on our shelf. We have been reading and singing "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More" and "Down By The Bay".
-It is no matter that our book "10 Shirim Rishonim"(first ten songs) has been on our bookshelf since September. We still use it nearly every day! Today we listened to the CD as we looked at the images in the book.
Sensory play
-We played with sticky foam on Monday and Tuesday.
-We made a fresh batch of playdough on Wednesday.

-We now have a version of "Goodnight Moon" that is gigantic in size. We read it a few times at circle time this week.
-The singing and dancing continues!
-The children have been crawling down the hallway while meowing as we make our way to the play yard. Next week we plan to pull out a few books about chatoolim/cats; we shall see what activities will follow if the interest grows.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra v'Anna