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, May 30, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 30, 2014
1 Sivan, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

It's been a very busy and fun week. Here are the highlights of what we have been up to.

Flowers and how they grow continued...
-We observed some flower arrangements that we found in the social hall after the weekend. We had them in our class the whole week long as we learned more about flowers.
-We observed some pink flowers that Asher brought into the kitah one morning.
- We also smelled some flowers that Ofra brought into the kitah one morning from her walk to school.
- We talked about why we place flowers in water after we pick them. We spoke about how the flower is no longer growing after we remove it and how the flower will "drink" the water to slow down the wilting process. We did an experiment using a celery stalk and a cup of water with food coloring. If you place the celery in the colored water, eventually the celery will drink this colored water and you can see the color in the stalk and the leaves.

-We started the week on Monday with oil pastels on black paper available at the table.

-We had water play indoors this week.

-We played with ceramic clay out in the play yard. 

- We brought out our wooden stringing beads and the kids have been enjoying them.

- We have been enjoying a book called "Polo and the Dragon". It is a picture book with no words. We can tell the story in both Hebrew and English.
-There is a part in the story where Polo is in his boat on the water and it begins to snow, then the water turns to ice. We were inspired to make our ice cubes after we started talking about how water turns to ice when it gets cold. We poured water into small paper cups and placed them in the freezer. The following day, we took the ice we made to the play yard to play with and watch melt. We talked about liquids versus solids and hot versus cold.

- We sang and played "Scooby - Do" out in the play yard and the children used the play structure to show the rest of us what they can do.

We are looking forward to seeing your kids again next week.

Shabbat Shalom Kulam.

Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

March 30, 2014
Iyar 30 5774

Dear Nevonim Parents.

As we have been continuing to count the Omer (the days between Pesah and Shavuot), we are getting very excited about the upcoming holiday of Shavuot.  This week we read many books including "No Rules for Michael" (although we read it as "No Rules for William" ), "the LIttlest Mountain" and we began the Book of Ruth.  Over three days we made borekas, making the dough one day, and filling and baking the next two days.  We ate them today and truly enjoyed the tradition of eating dairy for Shavuot.  We also made flower wreaths today to wear on our heads. We also sang "Eretz zavat Chalav."

Wednesday was a special day because it was "Yom Yerusahlayim," the day that celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem.  We sang many Jerusalem songs including "Yerushalayim shel Zehav". We brought out extra block sets so we could build a giant Jerusalem.  We also talked about who had been to Jerusalem and who was going this summer - which is a lot of people!  We read "Snow in Jerusalem" and "Ella's first Trip to Israel" and next week we will be writing notes to send to Jerusalem with Shirlee and Menachem so that they can put them in the kotel for us.  You can write one at home with your child, if you would like to participate in this as a family! Just bring them into the kitah and we will collect them.

Melita came in and sang songs with us about colors, about animals and about Shavuot.  We also had fun being silly with "Down by the Bay."  We missed Cheryl since there was no school on Monday and we look forward to seeing her on Monday.

Monday and Tuesday in class we will be celebrating the coming of Shavuot.  We would love it if your children wear white, and bring in flowers as we appreciate the bounty of spring!

The bookclub with the children who will be entering kindergarten in September finished the final chapter of the final book in the trilogy that we have been reading.  In order to celebrate, the bookclub "sponsored" snack by making popcorn (which was great fun making) as well as apricots (to look like tangerines) because much of what takes place in the books is in Popsicornia and the Island of Tangerines.  The six children also talked about the book during circle as a way to have closure.

In terms of emergent curriculum, we saw lots of monkeys this week (like Koofy the Kof in Ella's trip to Israel), cheetahs as always, a return of cats, and lots of cool rockets made with tinker toys.

It was a great week!  Shabbat Shalom.

Nevonim Teachers,
Ruth, Shirlee and William

Friday, May 23, 2014

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 23, 2014
23 Iyar, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

We have had a very pleasant week involving lots of activities.

Flowers, Honey and Bees continued...
- We tasted different kinds of honey from different flowers. We also tasted pollen. We tried honey from the forest, honey from flowers near the coast and wildflower honey.
-Our Zinnia sprouts are growing larger as we continue to water them.
-We went on a trip on Thursday to the local community garden on Bancroft Street. We Saw Ofra's and Tobie's garden plots. We ate mulberries from the tree and fresh string beans. We got to see the beehives at the garden. One of them has a window to look inside. We saw the honeycomb and the bees working hard in there.  After the community garden, we walked two Strawberry Creek Park and played at the playground. Todah Aba Michael and Aba Bruce for joining us.
- After our field trip when we had arrived at school, we looked closely at the honeycomb we have in a jar to see if it is the same as what we saw at the garden. We also a similar honeycomb in a picture in a book about bees and honey. 
-We observe some flowers that Ofra brought in from her walk to school one morning and we placed them in a vase.

- We had an arts and crafts morning on Monday. We painted with tempera paints and watercolors.

-On Wednesday we put out puzzles, sequencing cards, and our "What's Wrong?" cards on the table

-We took two flat cardboard boxes and played with them outside. The children drew on them with chalk, poured water on them, and jumped on then.

-The Opposite Game at lunchtime continues!

-During our drama class with Cheryl, we read "Higher" and acted it out.

-The children played with cocoa mulch in the sensory table outside. 

That is all for now. We look forward  to another week with your children. Enjoy the long weekend.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

May 23 2014 
23 Iyyar 5774
Shalom Kulam,

This week we celebrated Lag B'Omer with a pretend bonfire and baked potatoes for snack!

The pretend bonfire inspired the children to suggest a fire drill so, since we use an emergent curriculum, we had a fire drill!

The children also noticed that the onions we planted earlier in the year were ready to be harvested so, since we use an emergent curriculum, we pulled them from the ground and cooked onions with some potatoes!

Every day we recite tefillot/prayers and every week Melita comes to sing with us.  We begin our tefilot by pretending to be asleep, then waking up and reciting Modah Ani.  This week the children pretended to be sleeping before Melita arrived.  When Melita arrived the children burst into song, and they didn't stop until they had recited Modeh Ani, Elohai Neshama, and Mah Tovu!  Melita was very impressed and we teachers gave ourselves a kol hakavod to see our students reciting these prayers without any adult involvement at all! Our work here is done!

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

Friday, May 16, 2014

HaShavuah - Nevonim

May 16 2014 
16 Iyyar 5774
Shalom Kulam,

Emergent Curriculum

The children have been playing soccer with bean bags (and football, too)!\

Making soccer fields with magnet tiles!

Making a motorcycle fun park with block's and motorcycles with wooden connectors.

The children love their families and they show it by playing FAMILY often!

We had another Missing Party this week!

Hot days are great for water play!

Jewish Curriculum

Children have been acting out the Pesach Story and the Pesach Seder in their pretend play!

We talked about Lag Ba'Omer!

We have been reading the book The Lag Ba'Omer Mystery!

We learned animal names in Hebrew at circle time!

Every Week

This week Melita's songs were mostly about animals!

We have been reciting the first part of the V'Ahavta as part of our morning prayers/tefillot for months now but this week we began reciting the full prayer!

Children are visiting the Nachshonim kitah/classroom as helpers once again!

Every week we have many ways to make clean up fun, including Dancing Clean Up!

A couple times a week the children request Partner Play!

Every week we have Drama with Cheryl!  The children are loving it!!!

Every week we learn about the week's Torah Portion.  This week's parshah, Parshat Bechukotai, says, in essence, that if you make a mess and don't clean it up, you'll have a mess.  If you clean up, then it will be clean.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ruth, Shirlee, and William

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashvua'im/ the last two weeks
May 16, 2014
16 Iyar, 5774

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

We have had a very eventful couple of weeks. Here are the highlights of the activities that took place in the kitah. 

-Last week we had conferences on Tuesday. Teachers had a day with grownups! It was nice to chat with all of you.

Planting Zinnia seeds outdoors and learning about flowers:
-We have planted Zinnia seeds in the play yard in various spots, as well as the planters that sits outside of our window.
-We have been watering our seeds.
-We gathered and collected different flowers that grow in the play yard. We brought them in to observe them. We looked at passion flower, pomegranate flowers, honeysuckle, geranium and trumpet vine flowers.
-We have been talking and reading about bees and how they visit flowers. As well as the flavors of honey and pollen. 
-We have discovered that our zinnias have sprouted.

-In continuation of getting ready from Yom Ha'atzmaut/ Israel's independence day, we continued our painting with blue and white paint.
-We have hung them up on our backwall in the kitah. They are hanging underneath the Israeli flag of blue and white.

-Last week we went on a field trip to the Berkeley Way Mini Park and we were accompanied by Chris, Lilah's Aba.
-This week we went back to the Berkeley Way Mini Park with the Nevonim kitah. Thank you Hillary and Janie for joining us.

-We now have the bristle blocks in our kitah.

-We made colorful artworks using liquid paint droppers and coffee filters. Have hung them up on the wall.
-On Wednesday, we made yummy pancakes with strawberry jam and ate them at snack time.

-Several times the last couple of weeks we have been sharing the play yard and Nevonim children. This is one of our steps in helping with our children's transition to the older kitah.

-We are still listening to our lunchtime playlist on our portable speaker. The songs that are requested daily are "Yummy Yummy In My Tummy",  "Six Little Ducks", "Baby Beluga",  "Lollipop" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones.

Stay tuned, more exciting things to share soon.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna