October 15-18 2013
11-14 Cheshvan 5774
Check it out! The children can now hang their own artwork in the kitah!
There has been a lot of pretend play in the kitah this week. Some examples:
a couch can be ...
chairs can be ...
a table can be ...
a birthday party
string can be ...
a bucket can be ...
a pot of soup
The children have continued to explore the themes we began seeing in the kitah/classroom last week. Building and boats have been combined and some children are making miniature boats out of popsicle sticks and tape. The children are continuing to care for babies.
The theme of balance has grown and expanded throughout the week. String has been used to explore balance, becoming spider webs, tails, and rescue ropes. We also brought out the balance beam. The children practiced balancing by walking on the beam. The beam also requires them to construct it themselves and they did, exploring different shapes including a straight line, curving line, square and triangle.
We played a focus game with tape and bean bags. The children used the bean bags to try to hit one of three targets on the wall, each worth a different amount of points, which the children practiced adding up to get their score for each round.
On a related theme, the children explored symmetry by making omanut/art in which they fold a piece of paper in half, paint one side, then close the paper so that the mirror image is copied onto the other half of the paper. In circle time the children also played a game where they made a shape with their body and another child made a mirror image of the shape with their body.
We rocked out to The Macaroons! We were dancing and singing along while playing air guitar, drums, accordion, keyboards. We even froze and answered questions about Hebrew and Jewish holidays as they related to the songs!
Still so much dress up, in dresses, skirts, aprons, hats, and more, with multiple layers on at once!
Rabbi Creditor sang his song Modeh Ani with the children. Then he talked about lending a helping hand to others, as the parents do in this week's Torah parsha/portion. This was the inspiration for this week's pretend Shabbat Challot, made in the shape of two hands.
This is an important theme in both kitot/classrooms.
Hands Are Not For Hitting is a picture book classic. Helping is one of the many things it share that one can do with one's hands. It also has a picture of a child crossing the street holding an adult's hand, just as both Hagar does with Yishmael and Avraham with Yitzchak in the parsha.
Kind Little Rivka tells the story of next week's parsha, with additional details added from midrash. In this story Rivka bandages a boy's foot, lends a helping hand to a woman who is lost, and gives her seat to a tired old man before giving water to Eliezer and all his camels.
There is also a book in the kitah, by Lawrence Kishner and Karen Kushner, called Because Nothing Looks Like God. As described in the section titled "for parents and teachers" at the back of the book, this book "suggests that God does not dramatically intervene in the world except through the use of human hands," giving examples of actions children can perform themselves, or as the book puts it, "with your hands."
Speaking of ways children can offer helping hands to others, this week we talked about two middot, orchnasat orchim/welcoming guests and bikkur cholim/visiting the sick.
Orchnasat orchim/welcoming guests is featured in this week's parsha with Avraham and Sarah welcoming guests into their home. The children practiced saying bruchim habaim/blessed is your coming when guests visited our classroom, including Ima Jess (who made playdoh with the children on Wednesday), congregant Ruth (who also visited the classroom on Wednesday), Melita, Menachem, even moreh/teacher Collin.
Bikkur cholim/visiting the sick is featured in the book Bear Feels Sick, by the author/illustrator of Bear Snores On.
This week Melita sang songs with us about cats, dogs, other animals, and rainbows. Later we noticed the children playing pretending to be kitty cats and puppy dogs or pretending to care for kitty cats and puppy dogs.
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: Caps for Sale, Chu's Day, Everyone's Ready For Fun?
Ruth, Shirley, and William