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, November 30, 2018

HaShavuah November 30

HaShavuah November 30, 2018 22 Kislev 5779 After making it through the bad air of last week, and then the rains, and then Thanksgiving, we have all felt a strong sense of togetherness at the school - truly a kehillah! With this joyful feeling we have jumped right into anticipating Chanukah with its emphasis on lights, love and miracles. We now have so many children at school that we are going back to having Melita stay for an hour on Thursdays, 9:30 with Nevonim, followed by 10:00 with Nachshonim so we had lots of extra room for dancing to fun Chanukah music! This week's festive Shabbat Ma'agal was led again by Lior - Todah Rabah! Instead of a Shabbat family we have a new tradition of Shabbat Helpers since our school is itself a family - this week it was Shaya, Teo and Rafi G. who were the designated leaders. In Nevonim we talked about Parshat Vayeshev and learned about Joseph's striped coat and his dreams, emphasizing the importance of sharing. We played with stripes and paper strips. We introduced Chanukah with an abundance of beautiful chanukiyot that children brought in from home. We spun dreidels. We played musical chairs with mats. We did Alef Bet Yoga with the letters on the dreidel (Nun, Gimel, Hey, Shin). Because of the rain, we looked for worms outside and fed them. We also enjoyed getting wet, making puddles and fishing objects out of them. In the afternoon we did a felt board of the book "Rain". Nevonim kids have been very excited about creating an enchanted forest in the classroom and we have begun this exploration. We also harvested our last pomegranate from the trees in the year and ate it with great gusto. Angelina was sitting inside watching this feast, when many children came in to spontaneously share their pomegranate seeds with her - it is wonderful to see this generosity happen so naturally. In Nachshonim we made new green playdough with Elizabeth. We explored citrus fruit - we compared parts of a pomelo, a grapefruit, an orange, a tangerine, a lemon and a lime. We checked out the peel, the segments, the little juicy parts of pulp and, of course, we sampled all the fruit in a citrus frenzy which carried over to snack time. We started talking about Chanukah, the miracle of the little pitcher of oil that lasted for 8 days and nights. We sang Chanukah songs about chanukiyot and dreidels (s'vivonim). We also looked at a chanukiyah, loaded it with candles and lit them. We looked at the flame and the dripping wax and we talked about safety. We looked at dreidels, we talked about the letters and we tried spinning them. We had a fire drill and now we all know how to keep safe. We also had great fun playing in the rain on Thursday!

HaShavuah November 16

HaShavuah November 16, 2018 8 Kislev 5779 This week saw lots of kehillah, community, as we all pulled together to make a hard situation better. Naturally we had lots of quality time in the social hall - so thank you to the Netivot staff as we played in earshot of offices. Melita came to sing with us and we especially enjoyed her song "Thanks A Lot" in the spirit of Thanksgiving and acknowledging everything that we are grateful for, especially as so many people have lost so much this fire season. Because we have been talking about babies in the Nevonim kitah, we are collecting baby supplies to donate to the Berkeley Women's shelter if you have extra diapers and other baby related products. In the Nevonim kitah we talked about the Torah portion Parashat Vayetzei; we made and studied ladders like in Jacob's dream. We learned the Hebrew word for ladder "Sulam" . We also talked about Yaakov meeting Rachel at the well and we built wells for different communities of animals (kehillot). Itamar sang a song for us about it called "El Ha Maayan"! On Thursday Yael's Imah Idit came in to talk to us about being the mother of twins (Nilli and Orly). The children asked a lot of very good questions about what it is like for twins, comparing it to Yaakov and Esav who were born to Rivka. In the afternoon many of the older children practiced their math and classification skills with sets of bugs and other insects - we then studied all the different interesting adaptations that insects have - most of whom live in communities and work together. In the Nachshonim kitah since we couldn't go outside, we used the social hall for big body play (running, balancing, throwing balls goofing and wrestling on the mats. We also had fun with pom poms by picking them up with grabbers and we had an art table. WE used chalk pastels on colored paper and on boards. We went through gallons of tempera paint- on big paper, on our bodies, and mixing colors ourselves!

Friday, November 9, 2018

HaShavuah November 9, 2018

HaShavuah November 9, 2018 Kislev 1 5779 Today because of the poor air equality outside, we spent our Friday indoors, which was great fun because we have been learning about kehillah - community and we explored all parts of the synagogue today especially the social hall, and met many of the people who work here. In Nevonim we learned about Parshat Toldot which tells the story of the rivalry between Ya'akov and Esav - we worked really hard over 3 days making lentil soup, even chopping the onions ourselves. On the third day we ate the soup for snack. We practiced yoga, introducing the concept of Aleph Bet Yoga. We did art with powder paint. We used our marble run with paint to do some exciting art work. Rabbi Chai visited on Wednesday and taught us a creation song with hand gestures. We have been talking about different communities as we explore the idea of kehillah - many children created a feline community by becoming leopards with capes and tails. Next week on Thursday we will walking to the Berkeley Community Garden. In Nachshonim we did Q tip painting, we read some fun books like "Is Everyone Ready for Fun?" and we reinvented them. We built trains and underpasses in the social hall and ran around in the courtyard. We glued using squeezy Elmer bottles and feathers and yarn. We have introduced scissors and are learning how to handle them safely even when walking, we practiced watching what our hands are doing. We also welcomed our new friend Jonah to the kitah - we are all happy to have him to play with!

Friday, November 2, 2018

HaShavuah November 2

HaShavuah November 2, 2018 24 Cheshvan 5779 This was a week when all of us adults especially appreciated the joy and happiness in the classroom. The children got to practice their joyfulness twice this week with Abba Lior (Reef's Dad) who came to lead a musical circle on Tuesday and led Ma'agal Shabbat on Friday. Melita sang songs about animals and zoos with us, she gave us rhythm sticks to play with and did a feltboard game of "Polar Bear, What do you See?" Rabbi Chai came to visit both kitot on Wednesday and she made an even bigger tent this week. In Nevonim we explored Havdala with Judy, using herbs we picked from the garden. We talked about kindness to animals in Parashat Chayei Sarah which includes the story of Rivka offering water to Isaac's camels. We learned about bears and dens. We made apple sauce by first cutting apples with a spiralizer. We collected apple seeds and planted them. In Nachshonim we did beading with big beads and pipe cleaners. We explored seashells with magnifying glasses. We played with zebras in moon sand. We created with clay outside. We practiced our balance on the stumps around the sandbox. We poured water down a long shute into the sandbox. We sorted bears.