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 19, 2013

HaShavuah - Summer Fun 2

Shalom Kulam,

So much happened in these second two weeks of our summer session.  Last session we had a Maisy book and a Pigeon book and both were very popular with the children.  So this session we gathered up all of our Maisy and Pigeon books, close to twenty in all I think, and put them in the classroom.  By the end of the first week this led to the collaborative creation of Pigeon book of our own, with many of the children contributing a page to the book.  A Maisy book was also started and pages added to that book throughout the second week.  I still remember from my own childhood when I first discovered what the alphabet was for and dictated my first story to my mother.  Is there a better way to develop a child's emerging literacy than to share with them the discovery that by writing stories can be preserved from one moment to the next, v'dor l'dor (and from generation to generation).

Last session some of the children began creating their own language but this sessions focus has been more musical with children making up their own songs and singing them back to each other, line by line in a call and response style.  Children (and teachers!) also make music with drums, guitars, shakers, and tambourines.  Our favorite songs? "Down by the Bay," which included making up our own original silly rhymes, and Rabbi Menachem's "Shabbat Shalom" niggun to the melody of "David Melech Yisrael."  

We had pretend picnics on multiple days and even a picnic lunch outside this past Thursday at lunchtime.  
 
Elaborate houses for animal figurines have been made, children have played family and animal family, both with figurines and themselves as the family members.  Some children even played hide and seek with the animal figurines, directing each other to the hiding places saying "Cold!," "Super Cold!," "Warmer, warmer ..." and "Boiling!"  We learned the names of sea creatures in Hebrew, including "kelev yam (seal)," "sus yam (walrus)," and "susan yam (sea horse)." 
 
We made a giant mural, added glycerin to our paint, made vehicles of various sorts out of bristle blocks, painted on black paper for Tisha B'Av, and glued glittering gold onto another mural.

Speaking of Tisha B'Av and gold, the children heard the story of the Golden Calf this week during circle and we discussed other kinds of "golden calves" like hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, and not sharing instead of following G-d's rules for living a life of chesed and nedivut.

Some children made dreidels out of magnet tiles which broke open when spun, revealing the animals placed inside.  Magnet tiles were also used to make elaborate cities, buildings, homes and hiding places.  

Food from our dress up area was sold and shared throughout the classroom.  Then when we made new playdough, in a color variously described by the children as "pink," "orange," "salmon," or "sunset," this playdough was also made into food of all kinds for sharing with our friends and teachers. 

There was also dancing, dentistry, painting, paper cutouts, soccer, sticky foam, falcons, chalk (outside on the concrete and the play structure, and chalk (inside on black paper).  Oh, and an ohel (tent)! 
 
 Shabbat Shalom,
William, Ruth, and Caitlin

--
Lauren Kindorf
Preschool Director
Congregation Netivot Shalom
1316 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
phone: 510/549.9447 ext. 110

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