Channukah oh Channukah come light the Menorah

We began our Channukah unit by learning about the Menorah and Dreidels.  We counted the candles, tried spinning the Dreidels and built up some excitement for the holiday.  We also learned about the yummy food we eat on this holidays, potato latkes and sweet doughnuts, Holidays are delicious.  We also learned about the story of Channukah that happened long ago and the miracle of oil that was suppose to only light the Menorah for one night but stayed shining bright for eight whole nights.

We’ve been busy playing with table tray activities and all the fun Channukah props, puzzles, and stencils in the classroom.

We made take-home Menorahs! First we glued pretty tissue paper to the base, next we glued beads that will hold the candles, we added some glitter and made candles out of q-tips, complete with a flame and some more glitter.  This was a great way to exercise our ever growing fine-motor skills and crafting abilities. Happy Channukah!

 

 

Thanksgiving and Winter

Thanksgiving has come and gone but the lessons we learned from the story planted seeds of kindness and helpfulness in us forever.  We learned about the Pilgrims who wanted a new place to live because the king didn’t let them celebrate their holidays.  “That’s not fair, people can celebrate their holidays if they want, that king is not nice.” (a quote from a friend 🙂 We discussed how different America looked back then and how different life was for the people who lived there.  We also learned about the Native Americans who knew how to live one with nature and showed kindness to the Pilgrims when they were struggling to survive in America.  We used the puppets and the story wall to retell the story of Thanksgiving together with friends.

 

We made Tzedaka Buddies (like a piggy bank) as a take-home project for Thanksgiving to commemorate the lesson of helping those less fortunate.  We already give Tzedaka (charity) in class every morning but now we can do it at home and when it’s full we can give the money to people who need it.

We made apple and cinnamon buns to share with everyone at the Thanksgiving Feast.  First, we helped wash and cut the apples, then we made the buns with the apples hiding inside, “like a surprise.”

First snow has fallen so of course we are making snowflakes.  We used rollers and cookie cutters to make snowflakes out of salt dough.  After we baked them hard we painted them white.  Next we will add some glitter and hang them all around our classroom.  We also painted snowmen!

We love learning letters. Last week we made doughnuts out of play dough for letter D.  This week we made rainbow letter E.

Highlights this week include a Birthday celebration and a guest reader.

C is for corn!

C is the letter of the week and C is for corn and cat.  We used our fine motor skills to make “Corny C’s” and colored a cat in our letter C books.  We also traced and dotted the letter to get to know it a little better.

Dry corn and acorns are the new addition to our Nature Center.  The corn is so much fun to touch and feel and mix, we love putting our hands in the corn sensory bin.  We also learned some things about acorns.  We learned that squirrels and chipmunks love them very much and collect and hide them in preparation for winter.  We found out that squirrels only like the perfect acorns that don’t have cracks or holes in them.  We sorted our acorns just like the squirrels do and found many perfect ones.  We also practiced using magnifying glasses to take a closer look at them.  Nature is amazing!

Highlights from center time include: stamping our names, singing the ABC’s with the pointer, puzzles, blocks, trucks, painting, drawing and play-doh.

Numbers. Construction, Letters and more…

This week we’ve been focusing on numbers 1-10.  We’ve been working on one-to-one correspondence, number recognition and developing a better sense of numbers like which is more or less.  The wood rounds and gems number activity seems to be a big hit and everyone wants a turn.

 

There is construction happening in our school so of course we have many questions about it.  We got to meet Scott The Builder, who is in charge of the construction.  He came to read to us some books about construction truck, tools and machines.  We also got to see some of the big trucks and a model of the building that is soon to go up.  Construction is awesome!

Other Highlights of this week include a guest reader (our friend’s big brother), learning and practicing letter B and painting Autumn leaves.

Autumn

 

Autumn is in full swing in our class and we are having a great time exploring nature and noticing the changes around our school.  We went on another nature walk to sharpen our observation skills and look for signs of Autumn.  We noticed that the trees are very colorful and we remembered that on our last nature walk the trees were still mostly green, but not anymore.  We found so many different color leaves and collected them to take a closer look at in our classroom.  We also found many acorns and pinecones.  We added all the things we found to our Nature Window.

We painted Autumn trees just like the ones we saw on our nature walk.  We’re becoming such good painters and now we can paint the things that we see.

During Circle Time we looked closely at the leaves we found outside.  We noticed they’re not all the same color or shape or size.  First, we sorted the leaves by shape and learned that different trees have different leaves.  Then we sorted each type of leaf by size.  We’ve been working on “Small, Medium, Big” so sorting the leaves from smallest to largest was a breeze for us. Lastly, we took time to notice all the colors on the leaves.  Some of them still had a little green, some had brown spots, some were bright red and yellow, some were crunchy and some not.  We discussed the concept of same and different.  We also pained leaves to decorate our classroom and bring those beautiful Autumn colors into our class.

During Center Time you can find us working on fine-motor skills while using tiny tongs to pick up acorns and acorn caps, manipulating toothpicks to stick them into play-doh and stacking pony beeds on them (very popular new activity tray in our class).  We’re also working on scissor skills, handwriting skills by tracing letters in our names and practicing pre-reading skills by taking picture walks through books in the class library.

We celebrated two Jewish holidays, Sukkot and Sinchat Torah.  We built a Sukkah in our class, made decorations, and cooked delicious vegetable soup to share with everyone at Supper in the Sukkah.  For Simchat Torah, we visited the Torah in Shul (Synagogue) and learned that the Torah teaches us to do Mitsvot (good deeds) and make the world a better place for everyone.  We also celebrated a friend’s Birthday and had a guest reader in class.  Celebrations are so much fun!!!

Yom Kippur and so much more.

 

Autumn is here and we can definitely see and feel the changes in our environment.  We wear warmer clothes, the leaves are changing and it gets dark outside so early.  Fall is here and of course we want to explore and learn all about it.  What better way to do that than with a nature walk around our school.  Here are some highlights.

We learned about another Jewish Holiday, called Yom Kippur.  We spoke about making good choices and how that isn’t always easy to do.  We all make mistakes but the important thing is to say sorry and try to make better choices next time.  We shared some stories of when we didn’t make good choices and how we fixed them and said sorry.  On Yom Kippur the loud sound of the Shofar reminds us that it’s never too late to say sorry and start making good choices.  Now that we’re such big boys and girls we are better at making those good choices and it makes us feel so proud.

We made noise-maker Shofars to take home.  Holidays are fun!

 

We’ve been working lots with letters and numbers.  This week we focused on letter A.  We construed the letter out of paper strips, totted it, traced it and pained an apple because it begins with A.  We also created play-doh numbers and had fun with the new alphabet puzzle.

This week we finished our beautiful Rosh Hashanah plates that will go home with a piece of apple-honey cake and a round challah with raisins.  Holidays are special days and we prepare in special ways.

(Skills – repeating AB pattern, strengthening fine-motor skills, painting within the lines.)

 

We had a great time baking the Apple-Honey Cake!  We got to grate apples, help follow the recipe and smell new spices like Allspice, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.  We helped mix the batter and add the indigence.  We also visited the Shul (Synagogue) where people come to celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.  There’s even a tent outside because the Shul isn’t big enough for all the people who will be coming for Rosh Hashanah.  “Wow, that tent is so huge!”

Highlights for this weeks Center Time include playing with the Rosh Hashanah Memory Matching game, new Alphabet Puzzle and playing Hair Salon.

We also Celebrated the first Birthday in our class and had a guest reader.  Happy Birthday friend!!!

 

Fun with Rosh Hashanah

 

We’ve been busy this week learning more about Rosh Hashanah and working on different skill while having fun with the Holiday.  During circle time, we learned about AB patterns and how they repeat over and over.  We made different patterns together using apples and then all by ourselves.  Patterns are fun and you can find them everywhere and make them in many different ways.

Once we were comfortable making patters, we used this new skill to decorate our take-home Rosh Hashanah plates with an apple pattern of our choice.  This task required lots of concentration and good fine-motor skills.

We also gave our hands and brains a good workout while rolling, counting and cutting play-doh apples.

During Center Time, we played with Rosh Hashanh trays; sorting and picking apples using tongs, lacing, using stencils to make apple pictures, feeling the Shofar, singing Holiday songs while using instruments and so much more.   We even got to hear a real Shofar, it was so loud.

Rosh Hashanah – A Sweet New Year!

This week we began learning about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  We spoke a bit about apples and honey because on Rosh Hashanah, we eat sweet foods like apples dipped in honey and round challah with raisins. We even had a tasting on apples and honey.  We spoke about how apples grow on trees and they can be red, yellow or green, they’re round and crunchy, the skin is smooth and inside there are seeds.  We also described the properties of honey; sweet, sticky, yellow and of course oh so yummy!  We also learned about the Shofar, which is made from an animal horn, and on Rosh Hashanah we hear the loud sound of the Shofar to remind us to make good, sweet choices in the new year.  Holidays are so much fun!

We practiced painting all the Rosh Hashanah things we spoke about in circle time; apples, shofar and round challah with raisins.  We love painting and now that we’re big kids we can paint the things we see.  We can choose colors intentionally, paint within lines and free-hand circles.  Our little hands can do some amazing things.

And here are a few highlights from Center Time.

Great Beginnings – School is so much fun!

We’ve been busy in the Three’s Class and it has been a great beginning to an exciting year.  We’ve been exploring our new classroom, practicing new routines and skills, getting to know new friends and reconnecting with old ones.  Here are some Highlights from Center Time.

Play-doh is great for working on fine-motor skills and strengthening our hands in preparation for writing skills.

Painting is fun and relaxing, it’s also great for practicing proper pencil grip.

 

The Kitchen Center is a popular spot.  You can find us here making meals, feeding babies, having parties and interacting with friends and having a great time.

Our Classroom is full of interesting things.  We’re having a great time exploring everything, figuring out what things are for and how to use them.

            Circle Time is fun and interactive.  We are big kids now and look how nicely we can sit, listen and learn.  We are working on waiting listening when our friends are speaking and waiting for our turn to speak.

 

We are also getting to know our classroom pet bunny. His name is Thirsty and we will be taking turns feeding him this year.  He’s a sweet bunny and loves it when friends pet him

We love books and you can find us in the library reading to friends or having some quiet time with a book.

We are learning how to write our names!  We started to practice this skill by tracing our names with dry-erase markers every morning.  Wow, that is big kid stuff!  School is so much fun!