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, October 25, 2013

HaShavuah - Nevonim

October 21-25 2013
18-22 Cheshvan 5774
Shalom Kulam,
Mazal Tov to the Neta family on the birth of their son!  We recited the shehechiyanu in class to celebrate Lilit's entry into big sisterhood!

Emergent Curriculum
This week several of the children opened a library in the kitah/classroom.  Books can be checked out with a card to remind the borrower to return the book (and the librarians are sure to keep you honest as well).  Perhaps you would like to borrow a book from our library?  We have a fabulous selection of books! 
Children continue to care for babies, growing their imaginations, practicing nurturing others with love, negotiating decisions with the other parents (at times the most difficult part of parenting, wouldn't you agree?), and developing fine motor skills.
Still so much dress up, in dresses, skirts, aprons, hats, and more, with multiple layers on at once! SO MUCH dress up that we are planning to expand our dress up area! Keep your eyes open for a window into what emerges.
You might remember from last week's HaShavuah that we already started reading a book about Rivka's kindness in this week's parsha/ Torah portion.  Some children were so inspired by this story that they chose to dress up as Rivka!  They were very excited to show the rabbi when he visited the kitah that day.
A fascinating part of an emergent curriculum is bringing things into the classroom and seeing what catches the children's interest.  For Parshat Bereshit we served yogurt and blackberries to introduce the idea of God creating light and dark on the first day.  Now, whenever we serve food that is black and white, like this week then we had cereal with milk and raisins, the children notice and point out that we are again eating darkness and lightness.  
This week this idea was extended to include eating midbar/desert (in the form of cereal), and yam/the sea (in the form of milk). 

Activities initiated by the teachers this week included:
-eating lunch by candlelight
-filling balloons with water, freezing them, removing the balloon and then painting the large ice spheres with food coloring using eye droppers.  The children also had the opportunity to melt the ice spheres by applying salt.
-We also made a graph of all the names of all the children in the kitah (and teachers and a few pets) showing how many letters are in each child's name.  This documentation is on display in the kitah.
-We also made, with the children, a calendar of the days of the week on our classroom whiteboard.  The calendar itself didn't last but it inspired the children to draw on the whiteboard with dry erase markers.
Orchnasat orchim/welcoming guests is featured again in this week's parsha, this time featuring Rivka.  We learned a new song, a welcome song in Arabic from children's music giant Ella Jenkins, which we translated into Hebrew, "bruchim haba'im."  We sang this song to Nachshonim when they came to our class for Havdalah.  We also sang it at circle time to Ima Jess, who volunteered again to help us with cooking, and congregant Ruth who also volunteered again this week.
A big thank you to Ima Dorothy, Yael's Ima, for volunteering by leading Pretend Shabbat this week!
We LOVE having parent involvement in the classroom! Email Ruth ( if you're interested in volunteering!

Rabbi Creditor came to our kitah and told this story emphasizing Rivka/Rebecca and Yitzchak/Isaac's shared love of gamalim/camels.  This connects to the middah/virtue of tsar balei chaim/caring for all living creatures.

Remember that you can involve your children in gemilut chasadim/acts of lovingkindness by helping out two of our preschool families.  
To help out Lilah's family click on this link:
If you have questions about the jobs, you can talk with Laura Callan or email Lilah's Ima, Elana, at
To prepare food for Lilit's family click on this link:
Again, if you have questions you can contact Laura Callan
Every Week

This week Melita sang songs with us about farms and animals.
Every week we are scrolling our mini-Torah for children to the week's parsha.
Every week there are classic picture books on our bookshelf.  This week's popular favorites included: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, and many of the Maisy books by Lucy Cousins.
Every week we recite some tefilot/prayers at circle time.  We sing Modah Ani, Elohai Neshama, Mah Tovu, and end with the Shema.  We begin Elohai Neshama with a call and response siniging.  This week when we began the song the children sang along for the first "call."  So we, the teachers, stopped singing the call.  The children became the leaders of the song and we sang the response.
Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirley, and William

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