March 10-14 2014
8-12 Adar II 5774
Jewish Every Week
Every week we roll out our miniature Torah scroll to the week's parshah. Last week we also rolled out a miniature megillah. And every day we recite tefilah/prayers at circle time and brachot/blessings before snack and lunch. This week we really saw the fruits of our labors in each of these areas!
Now when we get to the call-and-response Elohai Neshama the children lead the prayer, with the teachers providing the response!
When we first teach the children to recite the bracha before eating it isn't necessarily easy on the ears. However, after more than half a year of reciting it day in and day out, the bracha consistently sounds beautiful!
This week, without any direct initiation from the teachers, children spontaneously began making megilah and Torah scrolls! Perhaps this is due in part to our rolling out of our miniature Torah scroll each week (and megillah the past two weeks).
Later in the week we demonstrated the difference between a Torah scroll and a megillah scroll by wrapping children in a large piece of paper, two children for a Torah scroll and one for a megillah scroll! We also talked about how the Torah has many books with many stories while the Megillat Esther, scroll of Esther, has only one story.
We also made a Megillat Esther. Using a special kind of crayon, we placed two symbols hidden in our megillah. Then when we painted over the special crayon the hidden Magen David were revealed. We talked about how this was similar to Esther, who first hid her Jewishness and then revealed it.
The past two weeks Melita sang Purim songs with us! Including: "Purim's a Time" (which tells the story of Purim in brief), "HaKovah Sheli" (for those who don't know this song is like B-I-N-G-O), "Guess What I Am" (riddles in song with Purim objects for the answers), and of course, "Chag Purim" ("Hava Narisha Rahsh Rahsh Rahsh")!
Many of these songs, as well as other Purim songs, we sang throughout the week!
We made hamantaschen again this week!
We dressed up on our Purim costumes and delivered Mishloach Manot to Lisa, Molly, Daniel, Rabbi Creditor, and Lauren as part of our Purim Parade!
The children began having Treasure Hunts this week!
In Book Club we read chapters 3 and 4 of My Father's Dragon, drew in our machbarot/notebooks, and talked about maps!
Dancing Clean-Up continued this week!
The children love dancing (to klezmer and New Orleans brass band music) while they clean up!
We did Partner Play twice this week because each time, while we were sitting at snack, the children requested it! I forgot to mention last week that Partner Play is something we learned on our professional development day of learning through the JFECE. In case you missed it last week, below is a description of Partner Play.
After snack the children are divided into duets. These dynamic duos are chosen at random, a different pairing each day. The children are instructed to begin their after snack play time with their partner. In the few cases where it is challenging for new playmates to negotiate initiating play together the teachers help talk them through different possible ideas of what to play. Once the children choose their activity it is smooth sailing together. Many of the children continue growing these friendships at other times of the week, choosing to play with their former partners outside of partner play time, usually in a group, thus connecting children to even more new playmates. We haven't had much exclusion among the children this year but there are a handful of groupings that choose to play together most of the time. One of the many goals of Partner Play is to mix up the classroom's social network groupings. And it has been very successful in doing so. It's fun too!
Many of the children can recognize all their classmates names, whether they are looking at them or listening to the teachers spell them out!
Shabbat Shalom v'Chag Purim Sameach!,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William