September 30- October 4 2013
26-30 Tishrei 5774
Our study of B'reishit began last week when we unrolled a children's Torah scroll for Simchat Torah. Then we rolled it back up again so that it was "bookmarked" for B'reishit.
This week we began by singing California Cantor Alana Jagoda's song "Seven Days." We sang this song every day this week. Each day we pointed to an illustration of the day's events, using a poster from Alison Greengard's slight adaptation of the creation story entitled, appropriately, In The Beginning. We also wrote the days of the creation/week on stones with chalk. The next day we built on this by having each child choose a folded up note from a basket. Each note contained a simple illustration for each day (couresy of Morah Shirlee). As we sang the song, each child placed their note next to the stone marked with the day that corresponded with the illustration on their note. Finally, each child retrieved their note and a teacher numbered the note according to its day of creation.
The children made their own rendition of the creation of the world using a collage of many materials.
At snack one day Morah Shirlee asked the children, "What do you think it was like before the world was created?" Many of the children responded to this question and their responses are on display in the classroom above the children's creation of the world collage. We even had a heated debate to rival the many legendary debates from the Talmud. What was it really like before the world was created? Rav Alexander shared that it was"like Egypt" before the world was created. Rav Noa disagreed, stated that before it was like Egypt it was "all black." In my opinion the Torah supports both opinions.
Some of the books we read about the creation follow the Torah's telling very closely, like the aforementioned In The Beginning and Sarah Waldman's Light: The First Seven Days. Others have kabbalistic inspiration, like Howard Schwartz's Gathering Sparks and Jane Breskin Zalben's Light. Still others are the creations (no pun intended) of contemporary storytellers, like Martin Boroson's Becoming Me: A Story of Creation.
We practiced emergency safety this week with a fire drill. We perform emergency safety drills every month.
William daughter, baby Haya, and his wife, Ima Lauraina, visited the kitah this week. Amazing how quiet lunch time is when there is a four- month-old infant in the room!
We did paintings with chalk and sugar water. The children added the sugar to the water which then makes the colors of the chalk more vibrant.
Every week Rabbi Creditor comes to visit our classroom. This week he
explained that Noah's Ark was more like a submarine, since it had a roof and the flood waters were such a deluge that it was completely surrounded by water. Then he shared a wonderful drash about a gem in the middle of the ark that gave off light. The best moment however was when he added his own spin, suggesting that this special light can still be found, shining out at us when we look in another person's eyes. The wonder on each face as the children looked into each other's eyes was a joy to behold!
Melita also comes to visit our classroom every week. She sang many songs with us, including a song about the earth.
This week there was also much dancing in the classroom, games of tag outside, elaborate railroad tracks, and magnet tile bunk beds!
Morim Ruth, Shirley, and William