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, January 31, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashavuah
January 31, 2014
30 Shvat, 5774
 
Shalom Nachshonim Families,
 
We have had a very busy week and we have lots to share with all of you. Here are the highlights of our week in the Nachshonim kitah.
 
-On Monday, we made another batch of lemonade and drank it at snacktime.
 
-On Tuesday and Wednesday, the children played with the mint-green play dough they made last week. The children created "birthday cakes" with craft sticks and mini farm animals.
 
-We have started our new practice of sending a book bag home with a different child each week. We have a "Baby Owls" book bag. In it is a "Baby Owls" board book, a journal with lots of blank pages, and a little baby owl stuffie. Each week, a child will get to take Baby Owl and the book home. In the journal, the children can draw and dictate what they would like to write in the journal to share with us when we read the journal together at circle time. This week, Baby Owl is at Amiela's house. We look forward to reading about her experience.
 
-This week, we had four different Nevonim helpers who came and spend the day with us. They were Reuben, Yael, Noa and Jai. We apreciate their help and their company!
 
-The children have been creating many things with blocks and magnet tiles. It is very exciting to see how the stuctures they are creating are much more elaborate than they have been in the past!
 
-This week we listened to a Raffi tape casette a lot. On it are a couple of songs that we really enjoy. "6 Little Ducks" and "Sodeo".
 
-The children worked on some gluing art projects on Wednesday morning.
 
-We played in the social hall a lot this week and we had a chacne to use the balance beam.
 
-We found some puddles in the courtyard and some of the children enjoyed walking through and jumping in them.
 
-We played with wet sand in the sensory table this week.
 
-We have been reading some very relevant books about feelings and emotions. This helps us sort out conflicts and understand what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what is not. Some of these books are "When Sophie Gets Angry. Really Really Angry", "Care and Understand", "The Happy Book" that Menachem gifted us when he returned from his trip in Ghana, and "The Way I Feel".
 
-On Friday we baked challah and decorated our challah bags out in the yard.
 
May you all have a very pleasant weekend.

 Shabbat Shalom,
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
January 27-31, 2014
26-30 Shevat 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum
 
boat making with cardboard, paper, tape, corks and popsicle sticks
--stocking the classroom with cardboard, paper, tape, corks, and popsicle sticks
----and books about boats

This week we tested our boats and how they float.

We also talked about mayim/water, the drought, the rain, and why we need water.
We did a rain/geshem dance!

We made a mailbox.  This was a multi-day project including cutting out the mail slot one day, painting the mailbox another day, decorating the painted mailbox with markers on still another day.  Finally, the mailbox was ready and with the teachers assistance the children wrote letters, placed them in envelopes, addressed the envelopes, and placed them in the mailbox.  We talked about stamps and will add these before emptying our mailbox to send our mail out on our field trip to the post office this coming Thursday (parent volunteers needed).

Pre-Kindergarten Projects

We read "Captain Jiri and Rabbi Jacob" by Hirsch in a "bookclub."  We talked about the ideas of the book -- that you need learning and a strong body.  We then made our own notebooks and books.

Jewish Curriculum

Inspired by Ima and Rabbi Dorothy Richman's teaching on Sunday, we told the children the story of Daniel in the lion's den.  We shared with the children that Daniel spoke some of the words of Modeh Ani prayer in gratitude to God.

Every Week

Melita sang songs with us this week!

Last week we added a Halleluyah prayer (from Psalm 150) to our morning tefillah. In between halleluyah's the children shared what they are thankful to God for.  This list is on display in the kitah.

Every week the children make an individual challah.  We also make two challot for Pretend Shabbat, in shapes inspired by the week's Torah portion.  This week's shape was: the Mishkan, AKA a mailbox.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashavuah She'avar/ Last week
January28, 2014
27 Shvat, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
We hope you are having a pleasant week. We would love to share with all of you the highlights of last weeks activities in the kitah. 

Explore etzim/trees continues as we explore citrus fruits:
-We got to observe and play with different kinds of citrus fruits. Then at snacktime we ate the giant grapefruit in the Mandarin orange.
-On Wednesday we compared citrus fruits again. We sliced them in half and saw that all of them had the shape of a star inside.
-We also discovered that Ruth brought us some lemons from the store. We are inspired by the book "Maisy Makes Lemonade" and we
made lemonade on Thursday. We juiced the fruit, then added sugar and water. We drank the lemonade at snacktime!

-We had visits this week from Melita, Menachem and Ruth.

-Elana, Lilah's Ima, came to spend time and play with us on Thursday. Thanks Elana for the company!

-We used the balance beam in the social hall.

-We now have a new practice at school where one child from the Nevonim Kitah can come and spend the day with us and be our helper. We had three different helpers last week on three different days. So far, it has a been a big success, where our helper wants to stay with us the whole day through and join us for lunch. Our children are also having a great time engaging with some of our friends across the hall.

-We made a new batch of mint green play dough on Wednesday.

More to come!
Shavuah Tov,
Ofra and Anna

Friday, January 24, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
January, 20-24 2014
19-23 Shevat 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum
 
Here is a list of activities emerging in the classroom.  In this regular font I'll list activities that the children initiated.  The other font is teacher initiated activities or resources.  You'll notice that most of the teacher initiated materials are in direct response to the children initiated activities.

-boat making with cardboard, paper, tape, corks and popsicle sticks
--stocking the classroom with cardboard, paper, tape, corks, and popsicle sticks
----and books about boats
-spaceship and rocket making with popsicle sticks, corks, paper, and tape
----books about space
-airplane making with popsicle sticks and tape
----books about airplanes
-dock making (for the boats of course) with cardboard, tape, and corks

-taking care of babies
----books about babies and their big brothers and big sisters
--Taking Care of Babies Documentation Board
----on display right outside the classroom
-------note: not all children who have been taking care of babies in the kitah are pictured on the board

-hotels for horses
-using acorn tops as hats for miniature people figurines

-mail, mail boxes, stamps, letters, addresses, envelopes

Jewish Curriculum

This week we were inspired by Parshat Mishpatim to talk about class rules.
(for more Jewish Curriculum see below under things that happen Every Week)

Every Week

Melita sang songs with us this week!

Rabbi Creditor came to our class this week and taught us about the importance of rules, because Parshat Mishpatim lists more rules than any other Torah portion.  He demonstrated the importance of rules with a story about "Hatzenplatz."  Then he summarized: "No rules - bad!  Rules - good! Asking why - better!"

This inspired the teachers to put the similarly themed PJ Library book "No Rules for Michael" out on the classroom bookshelf.

Extending the learning from last week's Torah portion we had three more children visit the Nachshomim classroom as helpers this week.  The children are very excited about this activity.  Those who haven't yet visited the Nachshonim classroom are asking regularly when their turn will come.  Those who have visited stay for the whole morning and then go home and tell their parents all about it!

This week we added a Halleluyah prayer (from Psalm 150) to our morning tefillah.  Perhaps Rabbi Dorothy Richman will need to add extra sessions to her parent education series to keep up with the children!  ;-)

Every week the children make an individual challah.  We also make two challot for Pretend Shabbat, in shapes inspired by the week's Torah portion.  This week's shapes were: a horse (inspired by the teaching in this week's parsha to return lost livestock to its owner, even if the owner is your enemy) and collage of small dough balls (representing the many rules included in this week's parsha).


Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Friday, January 17, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshohim

Hashavuah
January 17, 2014
16 Shvat, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

We had a very pleasant week at Netivot Shalom, which included Tu B'Shvat and our first field trip to the park!
Here are the highlights of our week:

-On Monday, we had the pleasure of seeing Lauren at school. In the morning, we prepared a card for her on a large piece of paper and the children drew on it with oil pastels. We gave it to her when she came to visit us in the kitah while we were eating lunch. Before Lauren's arrival, we talked about how she now has a special brace on her leg to keep her knee safe and we talked about how she will be using crutches to help her walk. We also mentioned that it might be a good idea to be very gentle with Lauren, especially if we want to give her a hug, so that we don't hurt her injury. She received many hugs. 


Tu B'Shvat activities:
-We have nice smooth slices of tree trunks and branches and we are able to see the rings inside.
-At circle time, we talked about all of the parts of a tree that we can see. We used our indoor Ficus plant as our guide to spot the trunk, branches and leaves. We also talked about the parts we cannot see, the roots in the dirt that drink the water it needs to grow. 
-We mixed green and brown paints from primary colors.
- We looked at and played with a collection of things made out of wood such as bowls, cups, a hairbrush with a wooden handle, a clothespin, wooden toys, and pencils. We noticed that our furniture is made of wood and we also observed that different kinds of wood have different colors and wood grain patterns. 
-We planted more parsley seeds outside in the planter box and now, we water and wait. 


Our first field trip:
-On Thursday, in honor of Tu B'Shvat, we went on our very first field trip to Strawberry Creek Park. Thank you Miranda and Jeremy Weintraub for joining us and helping us stay safe! The children had a chance to play on the playground for a while and we also ran around on the basketball courts. We found hills to climb and we spotted many trees, some with big wide trunks and some with thin trunks. Before heading home, we sang Happy Birthday to the trees while we were in their shade. We hope to take more field trips on a regular basis so we will keep you posted. 

-We now have a turntable and a roundhouse for our train set.

- Mazal tov to Aviel who is now 3 years old! We celebrated his birthday on Friday and we had the pleasure of seeing all of his family members in our kitah for a special birthday snack. 

Enjoy your weekends.
Shabbat Shalom,
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
January, 13-17 2014
12-16 Shevat 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum
 
To demonstrate what is emerging in the classroom this week we will again share "snapshots" of the classroom:

January 16th at 10:04am

1 child carrying a baby
3 building with magnet tiles
3 playing "guitars" (actually blocks)
1 playing percussion (actual percussion instrument)
1 drawing with watercolor pencils
2 playing family
3 looking at books
1 traveling across the floor perched on two blocks

a few minutes later the classroom looked like this:

January 16th at 10:08am

1 child carrying a baby
4 building with magnet tiles (a different group than above)
3 pretending to eat playdoh muffins
3 playing percussion
1 drawing with watercolor pencils
2 playing family
1 sliding a miniature lion across the floor

and here are two snapshots from outside in the play yard, later that same day:

January 16th at Noon

2 children bouncing on balls
2 pretending large sponges are babies
1 beneath the play structure with eight balls in a small space
2 in the tunnel
1 in the sandbox, burying a submarine
2 in the wagon

January 16th 12:01pm

2 children rolling on balls
1 climbing on the play structure
3 beneath the play structure with eight balls in a small space
3 on the monkey bars
3 in the sandbox
2 in the wagon

Jewish Curriculum

For Tu B'Shvat we:

Heard the story of Honi the Circlemaker, 
   his 70 year sleep 
   and the savta/grandmother who planted a tree 
   so her grandchildren would benefit from the fruit (literally) of her labors
Sang Tu B'Shvat songs in both English and Ivrit/Hebrew
   including Tu B'Shvat Higeeyah
   and The Green Grass Grows All Around 
      (with body motions we learned from Melita)
Made a tree mural and hand print trees
   (which are on display in the kitah)
Made a Date Palm challah 
   with real dates in it!
Talked at circle time about things that trees give us
Sanded wood
Sang Yom Huledet Sameach/Happy Birthday to the trees
Made Mud Dough 
   (like playdoh only with soil)!
Collected leaves and made leaf prints with paint on paper!
Had a Tu B'Shvat Seder where we
   ate oranges(inedible rind), dates(inedible seed), mulberries(all edible) 
   smelled rosemary
   connected these fruits to the changing seasons of the year
Made Seven Species Muffins (Thanks Ima Jess!)
  one of the ingredients was pomegranate syrup from our own pomegranate tree
     made earlier in the year  
   also included dates, figs, raisins, olive oil, wheat and barley flour  
        (recipe available upon request)
   
Every Week

Melita sang Tu B'Shvat themed songs with us this week!

Rabbi Creditor came to our class this week and taught us about Yitro and how when God calls out to someone each person hears their own name (eg. Avraham hears Avraham, Moshe Moshe, Yitro Yitro, (insert your child's name here repeat your child's name here).

At circle we talked about Yitro telling Moshe he needed helpers.  We had already been planning to have one child each week visit the Nachshonim class as a helper so we wove this in with this week's parsha.  Our first helper visited the Nachshonim classroom this Friday and stayed the whole morning!  Guess she was enjoying herself!

This week we learned a new melody for Modah Ani and Elohai Neshama.  Our new Elohai also has call-and-response English lyrics.  We also added a new prayer, Mi Chamocha (which appeared in last week's parsha) sung to the tune of Bob Marley's Redemption Song.

Every week the children make an individual challah.  We also make two challot for Pretend Shabbat, in shapes inspired by the week's Torah portion.  This week's shapes were holiday and parsha themed: a Date Palm and the two tablets for the Ten Words.


Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Thursday, January 16, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashavuah
January 14, 2014
13 Shvat, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

It has been a very smooth transition back to school after the break. We are happy to welcome Ariella to the Nachshonim community! We also celebrated a birthday last week for Lilah who is now 3!

Here are the highlights of last weeks activities.

Tu B'Shvat Activities
-We are preparing for the chag/holiday of Tu B'Shvat. We have been reading a lot of books about planting and trees. We have two in particular that we really like about how a plant or a tree grows from a seed. "The Carrot Seed" and a Hebrew song book about Doda Tova/ Aunt Tova and how she places seeds in her hats that become fruit trees.
-Last week we began planting parsley seeds in the planter box outside.
-We are singing songs about trees and Tu B'shvat
-At circle time we sang "Happy Birthday" to the trees

-Tobie brought some new puppets for the children. She has also brought us some very fancy hats.

-We continued to hang our paintings on the wall.

-We made and played with ooblek. A mix of cornstarch with water.

-We were happy to welcome back Melita and Menachem to the kitah to share music with us.

-We now have binoculars in the science area.

We are looking forward to sharing more with you.
Ofra and Anna

Saturday, January 11, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavuah
January, 6-10 2014
5-9 Shevat 5774
 
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum
 
To demonstrate what is emerging in the classroom this week we will share with you two "snapshots" of the classroom:

January 8th at 10:51am

3 children drumming
3 wearing skirts and dancing
4 crowded around the small table in the corner playing with peg boards and pattern blocks
1 doing a puzzle
3 building with magnet tiles on the light board

January 9th at 9:48am

2 playing with blocks and miniature people
2 riding on a rocketship (made out of chairs)
2 building with magnet tiles on the light board
2 listening to a teacher read a book
2 playing dress up with baby dolls
2 playing with pegs in pegboards
1 cuddling with a teacher

Jewish Curriculum

For Tu B'Shvat we:

Sang Tu B'Shvat songs in both English and Ivrit/Hebrew
Made a tree mural
Made a tree challah
Talked at circle time about things that trees give us
Planted snow peas

Every Week

Melita sang Tu B'Shvat themed songs with us this week!

Rabbi Creditor came to our class this week and told us about the parting of the Sea of Reeds, AKA the Red Sea.  He use his guitar like a map to show us where this sea is and how the Israelites traveled to it.

Every week the children make an individual challah.  We also make two challot for Pretend Shabbat, in shapes inspired by the week's Torah portion, this week's shapes were more holiday themed: a flower and a tree.

Whenever a child has a birthday we do special things in the kitah.  These included making a crown, decorating a chair and lifting the child up in the chair (if they want us to), lighting birthday candles on a playdoh cake and singing Happy Birthday in both English and Hebrew, and having a special snack provided by the child's family for our morning snack time.  Families made also bring in photos from when the birthday child's early years.  This week we celebrated Menashe turning 4 and Reuben turning 5!

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William