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.

Monday, September 18, 2017

HaShavuah - Nevonim

September15, 2017   24 elul, 5777

Shalom Families,

This week we talked about Rosh HaShana. We worked with circles, that symbolize the circularity of the year: The kids explored reflective CD's and solid wooden circles on the light table. We made salad spinner art, on round paper, using apple colors- red, yellow, green. We also created a communal painting, using round hard lids and soft sponges, but sadly the rain ruined it. At least we got to enjoy the process! We also made round Challah for Ma'agal Shabbat (Shabbat circle).
We talked about apples and honey, and read the book "from flower to honey", that explains how honey is made. We sang the song "apples and honey for Rosh HaShana" and talked about what "Shana Tova" means. Some of us chose to make cards for families and friends.
We had an apple tasting experiment- the kids helped make a chart (using our brand new and oh-so-fun Tempera sticks) which you can find hanging on our closet door, and each child tasted 3 different colored apples (red, yellow, green) and marked his favorite.
We found some beautiful red pomegranates growing on the row of trees near the sidewalk, and picked 3 of them. We talked about how eating pomegranates is a Rosh HaShana tradition and what it means (that you'll get to do lots of good deeds this year, as many as there are seeds). We looked, smelled, touched, and of course tasted the pomegranate (it was sour! But some kids loved it). We also made some pomegranate inspired art, with red oil pastels. 
Melita came to sing with us for the first time this year, and we sang "It all starts over again"
We had our first Havdalla of the year. 
Krissy, our beloved former teacher, came to work with us on Tuesday, it was very exciting.
There's some serious play going on with our working cameras. Some of the pictures they take are really good!
We did a lot of dancing this week, to the songs: My Roots Go Down, Animal Action the Freeze Dance!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Anna, Angelina and Colin

Monday, September 11, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

The first week of school was pleasure. We are really happy to get to know your children. Here are the highlights of our week.

- We are getting to know each other's names and getting acquainted with each other.
- We are jumping right in and getting familiar with classroom routines and the schedule of the day.
-We have been looking at our family pictures on the wall.
-We are practicing washing our hands, we do that a lot at school. Before and after each meal and after visits to the bathroom. We sing a hand washing song as we scrub with soap. (to the tune of row, row, row your boat).
-The children made paintings with tempera and brushes.
- Playing with play dough.
-On Friday we made challah for Ma'agal shabbat (shabbat circle) and to take home.
-We have been singing a lot of classic children's songs in Hebrew. We have a song book and a CD.
-Ofra brought her ukulele to share with everyone.
-We have been singing a lot of songs together.

We look forward to another great week at school. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have anything on your mind.

Shavuah Tov

Ofra and Jennaba

Friday, September 8, 2017

HaShavuah - Nevonim

Shalom Families.

We had a wonderful first week! We were all very happy to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones (Welcome Ayelet and Shaya!)- that goes for children and teachers alike.
We did some Q-tip paintings, we used tempera paints on the easel outside, and played with ooblek in the sensory table. Another well loved sensory activity is sticky foam. 
We practiced our fine motor skills with beading of small beads on pipe cleaners, as we made necklaces and bracelets.
We made Challah dough for Ma'agal Shabbat (Shabbat circle).
Our second year Nevonim-ers have special quality time with a teacher every day, so we can focus on different, age appropriate activities, in small groups.
We read a few good books this week: The books "Oh- no" and "Today I will fly" encouraged a discussion about helping friends, and the book "Duck- Rabbit" helped us understand how we can disagree with someone and still stay friends.
On Friday we practiced our Hebrew some more, with the book "Et Ze" ("That").
We sang a lot of songs that require the children's participation (like- "I am a fine musician", "Everybody do this just like me" and "If all of the rain drops were lemon drops and gum drops") and the children practiced taking turns, listening to others and waiting patiently (Which is NEVER easy, no matter how old we are...).
Of course, we had our first Ma'agal Shabbat for the year! What fun!

Have a great weekend everyone
Shabbat Shalom

Anna, Angelina, Colin and Marie

Friday, June 9, 2017

HaShavoua - Nachshonim

HaShavoua June 5-9 

Shalom everyone,

This week we played with pom-poms in the sensory table
We did some gluing, including collages of flower images, and yarn on cardboard. Mostly, we enjoyed making goopy puddles of glue and playing with them.
Lots of building with MagnaTiles and big Duplo Legos 
After noticing children squeezing into cardboard boxes, Anna and the kids made a trip upstairs to get the book "I am Maru" about a cat who does entertaining things.
We did some serious water play with squeeze bottles
We played inside Krissy's gigantic tent in the yard
We learned some facts about Beluga whales, and we keep adding more books to our library about sea creatures.
We "Baby Beluga" almost every day! The guitars always involved
We celebrated Alexandra's birthday on Thursday, and on Friday we celebrated Miriam's birthday! Mazal Tov!!
Today was the last Ma'agal Shabbat for this year. Time sure does fly...
Shabbat Shalom, Everyone,
Anna and Ofra

Friday, May 19, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshohim

 5-19-17 ~ Iyar 23, 5777

Shalom everyone

We started this week with parent-teacher conferences. It was a pleasure talking to you with undivided attention. This is the place to remind you all that if you need us or want to talk to us for any reason during the year, we can always find a time to sit together. 
We had a finger painting frenzy- the children enjoyed the sensory activity and the mixing of colors and creating new ones- they ended up making lots of art, some of it you can see on the wall.
We are enjoying our new red wagon in the play yard
The children invented a new game called "catch the lady bug". One child wears the lady bug costume while the others chase him/her in the social hall.
We are still inviting our Nevonim friends to join us for lunch and snack.
We did some drawing and writing with "teacher pens" (ball point pens)

Shabbat Shalom! Enjoy the weather :)
Anna and Ofra

HaShavuah - Nevonim

HaShavua, 5-19-17 ~ Iyar 23, 5777

What a week! 

In honor of Shavuot, we have been learning about grains. On Tuesday we went on the bus to Vital Vittles kosher organic bakery, and saw bread being sliced. We also saw machines that mix dough and mill wheat berries into flour, just like we did in the kitah that morning! We used our milled flour in this week's challah, together with our garden herbs. We enjoyed the bakery's cinnamon rolls as a treat, and they gave us fresh wheat rolls for the next day's snack.

On Wednesday, Megan, Nadav's mom, came to show us how to weave on our kitah's loom, and brought us mini looms for our own weaving! Over, under, over, under, our little fingers moved.

We enjoyed Melita's music and movement on Thursday, and welcomed Nate's dad to town on Friday at Ma'agal Shabbat.

Mazal tov to Ori, Nadav's Ima, on her Ph.D, and to Sarah, on her brothers' bar mitzvah!

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach,
Judy, Ruth, and Krissy


Monday, May 15, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 12, 2017  16 iyar, 5777
We had a very exciting week:
The fire fighters came to visit us! Eric the fire fighter put on his gear and showed us all the things he wears, including the mask, and a backpack with an oxygen tank. After that, we went to look at the fire truck. We also got a present- lots of red fire fighter hats

Other things that happened this week:
We played with giant boxes in the play yard, we put up the hammock again.
We went to Strawberry Creek park, where we played in the playground, ran around on the grass ant sat near the creek and threw sticks and leaves (but not ourselves!) in the water.
We enjoyed listening to a long story during circle time. The children sat and listened to all of  "Blueberries for Sal"
Those were this week's highlights.
See you all on Monday for Parent-Teacher conferences! 
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

May 12, 2017  16 iyar, 5777
Hello, all!
Last week we celebrated all things Israel, including 
  • enjoying some of our friends' pictures from their preschools
  • exploring the Israeli flag through all kinds of art media
  • taking a pretend flight
  • reading books and singing Israeli songs
  • making chummus
  • practicing the Alef-Bet
We also enjoyed our new marble run, did some torn paper collage, and had great fun with water on the warm days.

This week our focus shifts to the Omer, marking the days between Pesach and Shavuot. We explored wheat stalks and seeds today, looked at barley, corn, and millet, separated wheat from chaff. We even made pancakes!  We also made corn carrot muffins. We used an Omer counter that has a handle that turns. 

We had a very special visit from Engine Company #1, who taught us all about fire safety. We leaned about 911, smoke detectors, stop/drop/roll, and all the special compartments on the truck! There is even a surfboard!

This week we visited the park for some swinging, climbing, and ball playing. We also had a "bonfire" for Lag Ba'Omer (observed Sunday). Krissy brought her faux fire, we picnicked outdoors, and Leo played his violin!

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach, and see you Monday for conferences!

Judy, Ruth, and Krissy

Friday, May 5, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

This week we celebrated Israel's birthday!

We made blue and white flags- we painted on white paper with blue paint and attached flag poles
We ate hummus and pita bread for snack
We glued blue stripes and triangles on white paper

Also this week, we played with felt boards and lots of felt characters, accessories, animals, dinosaurs etc.
We enjoyed playing with clay outside

Have a wonderful weekend
Hope to see you on Sunday morning for our Preschool 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Friday, April 7, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

April 7, 2017   11 nisan, 5777

This week
  • We made "desert art" with sand and glue
  • We washed our "Baby Moses's
  • We turned the sensory table to the sea, with sand, water and sea shells
  • We are hiding our pretend Afikoman (made out of cardboard). Sometimes the teachers hide it, sometimes the kids do.
  • We brought some more baby dolls and put them in baskets, to float on the river Nile (Moses in the basket, משה בתיבה)
  • We had a fire drill on Thursday. On our way back to the Kitah, we acted out the crossing of the red sea- we put two big sheets of blue fabric, and spread them apart so we can cross in the middle
  • Sharing the story of  Pesach and Moses, we learned about Nachshon, who was the first to enter the water of the red sea, then the sea opened up and the people of Israel could cross
  • We did some sticker art
  • We had a lunch picnic in our play yard
Have a wonderful Pesach break, enjoy the spring, the holiday and the closeness of family

See you all on the other side!!

HaShavuah - Nevonim

April 7, 2017   11 nisan, 5777

Pesach is on the way! We decorated our own Matzah holders (3 pockets)! We even practiced our sewing. These are for square matzot.

Some children used old CD's for Seder plate art, while others tended their babies in baskets on the Nile. Some depicted the desert using sand and cork, while others used torn paper to form the parting waters.

We've been dusting! And--
Matza baking, building pyramids, even reenacting the Exodus!

We took a walk to the Berkeley Public Library. Some of the books seem to have as well, so if you find them at home, do bring them in after Pesach.

Happy Matzah!
Nevonim Staff

Monday, April 3, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

March 31, 2017  4 nisan, 5777

This week we...

- created water color art,
- had fun with the rocking boat in our Kitah
- started reading books about Pesach (especially the all time favorite "Miriam and her brother Moses"), as we prepare for the coming Chag (holiday) חג
- made yummy french toast for snack on Tuesday (Gotta finish that bread! :-)  )
- had another field trip to the community garden. We picked some more lemons, munched on kale and watched the bees (Thanks again to Judd and Michal for making this possible). Then we met our Nevonim friends at Strawberry Creek Park.
- played with toy dinosaurs and play dough
- brought our construction tools and protective goggles and we are hammering away!
- sang "Baby Beluga" a bunch of times with Ofra's Ukulele

Have a wonderful, restful Shabbat everyone!
Anna and Ofra

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ha'Shavoua She'Avar - Nachshonim

March 20, 2017  22 adar, 5777

So much happening in the Nachshonim class!

- We played with shaving cream

- We had a special activity on "Pi day", 3/14. Aba Judd brought in an activity about circles and segments of circles
- We played with our sorting/ counting bears, and with big Legos on the carpet
- We finally got to enjoy an avocado that we picked from the neighbor's tree. We waited more than a week! The other one will be ready next week.
- We had a wonderful field trip to Ofra's community garden and to strawberry creek park. The children picked and ate kale, parsley and lettuce from Ofra's plot. We also picked lemons from the tree to take with us.
- Out in the play yard, we enjoy the "monkey ropes" that are now tied across from the deck to the canopy.  The children are hanging and flipping upside down. 
- We also love Angelina's hammock out in the play yard

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hashvouaim - Adar 1-12 March 17 ~ Nachshonim

Shalom Families, 

Two weeks of PuRiM FuN!

Last week we made groggers: We painted and decorated them, and after the paint dried we filled them with beads and sealed them.
We sang Purim songs at circle time and with Melita
We told the Purim story with puppets at circle time
Shadow play: we traced our shadows outside, and noticed how our shadow follows us wherever we go
We worked with buttons- threading and sorting
Field trip! we crossed the bridge over strawberry creek. We played in the playground, observed the creek and tossed pebbles, twigs and leaves to the water. We want to thank our volunteers again! we really appreciate your time and your helping hands- you made this possible!
Ofra brought her fruit picker because we couldn't reach the strawberries growing on our strawberry tree. We picked a few and shared them. We also picked two avocados from the neighbor's tree and we are waiting for them to ripen.

This week, we did face painting
We played with animal masks and got really silly
We used the puppet theater with puppets and stuffies
We made Mishloach Manot and Hamantachen
We are enjoying some song books with CDs, that we have never heard before
We had a wonderful Purim parade at school- we walked inside the building, and on the streets, wearing our costumes, singing and shaking our groggers. Thanks to all the family members who could join us
Lastly, we have been reading stories about new babies and becoming big brothers, as we welcome Matan's and Noah's baby sisters to our Kehila (community). 
Shabbat shalom everyone, and HAPPY PURIM!!!
Ofra and Anna

HaShavua, Adar 12, 5777~March 10, 2017 ~ Nevonim

Purim! Just like Hamentaschen, our week was filled with sweetness*:

 *Oznei Haman/Hamentaschen! We made these with Matthew's grandma. 

*Triangle art! Come see our sparkly display.

*We built Shushan palace from:
Cardboard bricks
Wood, both indoors and out

*We acted out the story with puppets and our horse-on-a-stick.

*We decorated Mishloach Manot boxes with glitter, and delivered them to shul friends.

*We had 2 Purim parades with our costumes and ra'ashanim/ noisemakers.

*We delivered matanot la'evyonim from Lilah's family to the Rabbi, to give to those in need

Purim begins Saturday night.

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach,
Judy, Ruth, and Krissy

Monday, February 27, 2017

HaShavu'im - Nachshonim

February 24     28 shevat

Shalom Kulam,

Last week ...
We glued pieces of paper we ripped and cut the previous week
We strung beads on pipe cleaners
We played with ooblek at the sensory table outside
After playing a few rounds of  "what's missing" at circle time, the children took a blanket and a few objects and started playing among themselves
We spent time singing together and using musical instruments after lunchtime.
We celebrated Rafi's 3rd birthday! Mazal Tov!
Aba Dan (Matan's Aba) did a science experiment with us, using the ooblek at the sensory table, and speakers with music, and we watched the ooblek dance on top of the speaker (I'm all about that bass!)
Now that spring is almost here, the sun shines through our Kitah's window at lunchtime, and we are back to making reflections of rainbows with CDs on our ceiling and walls

This week...
We made pancakes for snack
We made a new documentation board with the children's help- find it on the wall over the lunch boxes 
Picture day- we had our individual photos and a class photo taken by the lovely Shoey
We made art with glue sticks and collage materials
We started reading Purim books in preparation of the upcoming holiday

Shabbat Shalom everyone! 

"Here comes the sun, it's all right!!"

Hashavuah - Nevonim

February 24   28 shevat
​We've had a lot of scientific experiences these weeks, between 
Dan the Science Man

​ teaching us about vibration and sound, and visiting the Lawrence Hall of Science! ​  
  • With Dan, we even got a taste of what must've been experienced at Sinai: The Torah tells us that the entire nation "saw the sounds." We saw sound move via ooblek and baking soda, on the surface of a container containing a speaker! Dan used his signal generator to create tones that the substances reacted to.
  • At LHS we loved our program called Hop, Wiggle, and Roll, where we got a chance to pet a rabbit, chinchilla, and turtle, watch a turtle race, and learn about these special creatures. 
We also experimented with the wonders of carbon paper, emptying and filling at the sensory table and investigated the inside of a music box.

Nadav shared his violin with us, and we had fun with Picture Day.
We ate outdoors and even made lemon muffins with the lemons from Lauren's tree ...
and here is Shabbat--hooray!

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach,
Judy, Ruth and Krissy

Monday, February 13, 2017

HaShvuayim, 2/10/17 - Shvat 14, 5077

Hello, all!
Our Tu B'Shvat and nature focus had led to varied activities:

-We transplanted a ficus tree, a Tu B'Shvat gift from Krissy. Todah rabbah, Krissy! Our new tree lives in the kitah.

-We have been reading about trees, using natural materials to create tree-inspired art, and discussing trees and growth. The Lorax had been a favorite.

-We transplanted kale sprouts!

-We will see if our big mystery seeds will sprout in a baggie with a wet cotton ball, in a sunny window.

-We did experiments and made hypotheses with Dan, Sivan's dad.
​Children knew that scientists r
ead books
​ and​
collect bones
​, and Dan added that they ​
ask questions
​ and d​
o tests
​ t​
o uncover the truth.
​They m​
ake guesses
​ called hypotheses​
​and ​
do experiment
. How many ping pong balls can we fit in the jar
​? was the question we set about answering. But "in the jar" is not "on the jar," so ​
 must understand the same question.
​ Just liket he jars can be filled with ping pong balls, they have air in them even when they appear to be empty.​ Using a c
​, Dan showed us that 
​ is in the jar​
​We saw the jar
n out of air! Flashlights illuminated the smoke, which acts like air. 

-We baked a Tu B'Shvat-themed challah, incorporating species that grow in the Land of Israel.  We even tasted pomegranate juice!
Shabbat Shalom Umevorach, and Tu B'Shvat samayach!
Judy, Ruth, and Krissy

Sunday, February 5, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

February 3     7 shvevat

Tu Be'Shvat is in the air ...

We made a tree from a cardboard tube and branches that the kids brought to school. We brought some tree critters and put them up on our tree
We added tomato seeds to our seed bag
We observed carrots from the farmer's market, that still have the green tops. We talked about root vegetables. Then we ate them for lunch.
We pulled out our box of nests and observed them at circle time. We got to hold the small hummingbird nest and feel the soft spot in the middle.
We watch our carrots grow in the root view. Right now, we see one squiggly root through the glass.

We also re-introduced the scissors, and enjoyed cutting paper as a morning activity

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone
Shabbat Shalom

Friday, January 27, 2017

HaShavu'im - Nachshonim

January27, 2017   22 tevet, 5777
Last week, 
The children helped make a documentation board with their photos to hang on the wall in the Kitah.
We made grape juice, using Ofra's juicer, and drank it at Ma'agal Shabbat
We played in the social hall on rainy days
We compared citrus fruits and wrote their names in English and Hebrew(Pomello, Grapefruit, Cara-Cara orange, Mandarin, Tangerine). 
The following day we tasted them all! Vitamin C boost for all the drippy noses :)
This week, 
We made new playdough after using the old batch for tree sculptures.
We had Pajama-Day, we made a "bed" with blankets and fabrics, and read night time stories like "Goodnight Moon" and "Bear Snores On".
As we continue to explore Tu- Be'Shvat:
We painted using redwood branches and pine needles as "paint brushes"
The carrot seeds in our root view have started to sprout
We enjoyed listening to Melita's new CD, especially the song "My roots go down"
We started (spontaneously) collecting seeds in a seed bag. So far we have an apple seed from one of the kids' lunch, and a snow pea seed donated by Colin.
Shabbat Shalom,
Anna, Ofra and Colin

Friday, January 20, 2017

HaShavuah - Nevonim

January 20, 1017   22 tevet, 5777

Hello, All,

These last few weeks we see so much growth and charge. Children are getting taller, beginning to absorb concepts, showing interest in letters, and then stepping back and starting all over. The cycle repeats again and again, until suddenly, a new stage has been reached!

Here are some of our latest adventures:

*We made carrot juice! We made carrot soup! We are getting to see how Ofra's juicer works.
*We used a book, Eliezer v'HaGezer, a classic Israeli tale, to engage in dramatic play and Hebrew learning.
*We read Matthew's book, Carrot Soup, and another story, The Carrot Seed.

Pam Weimer, from the Oakland Public School system, engaged us for more than an hour about the lives of bees! The children participated in four stations, all having to do with bees. They matched fragrances, they crafted their own antennae, they learned about the body parts of a bee, and they observed a hive in action. They were very involved for a long period of time, and had lots to share and questions to ask. They even learned the bee dance!

We donated our tzedakah of $50 to Habitat for Humanity. Some children knew the word "homeless." We expressed gratitude for our warm, dry homes.

Upcoming: Field trip to Lawrence Hall of Science, Feb. 15! Details to follow.
Picture Day, Feb. 22! Details to follow.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nevonim Staff

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

January 14, 2017  16 tevet, 5777

Shalom Kulam!

On Monday morning we did Havdallah. We had a close look at the twisted candle.
We played and explored our stacking magnets. We learned about how sometimes they attract and sometimes they repel.
We started talking about Tu-Be'Shvat, which will happen in a few weeks, and brought out plenty of books about trees and planting.
  • We made play dough sculptures with our old play dough, and twigs and leaves.
  • We made leaf art (we love spreading glue with our fingers).
  • We talked about wood and how it comes from trees. We looked at some of our wooden materials, and noticed that our furniture is made out of wood.
  • We brought down the Root-Vue, and planted some carrot seeds. We hope to watch them grow over the next few weeks. After planting the seeds, we read the book "the carrot seed" , and talked about how we eat the part of the carrot that is the root. We also looked at the seeds from Ofra's garden that are still attached to the plant, and talked about how the greens flower and then turn to seeds.
See you all on Tuesday!

Ofranna (that's Ofra and Anna!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Shalom families,

Welcome back! We were so glad to see everyone after our long break!

This week:
We had Colin with us, subbing for Ofra until she got back from Israel.
We played with the geo-boards, Colin showed us how to play on rubber bands just like a guitar.
We played with our sorting bears, and arranged them according to color, size and pattern cards.
We played with play dough.
On Friday we celebrated Teo's 3rd birthday. Happy birthday!!
Shabbat Shalom everyone