Purim

We had a great time learning about the holiday called Purim. We liked hearing about the king and queen so we decided to make our own crowns to wear.  We decorated the crowns using glitter paint, iridescent pieces of paper, and jewels.  Afterwards we wore our crowns and pretended to be kings and queens. 

        

Also to go with the story of Purim, we made graggers (noise makers) out of small, recycled water bottles. First we talked about the different things that make noise. We had a tray with different sections that had a different sound. We had cotton balls, kidney beans, and small pieces of paper towel, sand, and beads. We touched each item and described whether it was hard, soft, rough, smooth, etc. We then saw different white bottles with the tops on them. We each took a turn shaking the bottle, guessing what was inside, and if we heard a sound, what item was making the sound. After we shook each bottle, we opened it and saw if our guess was right or not. We also described each sound whether it was a soft sound, no sound, or a loud hard sound. The children then chose which item or items they would like to use to make a sound for their gragger. The children painted the small water bottles and added ribbon to the tops of their gragger and we loved shaking our graggers.

                      

 We worked on our number recognition and counting skills.  Each crown had a number on it, 1 to 10.  The children had to put that number of gems on each crown. For example, if the crown had number 7, the child would put 7 gems on the crown. We loved matching crown puzzles, and matching letters to make words like Queen, King, and Palace. The children also used their fine motor skills by using tweezers to take gems out of the sand and placing the gems into a treasure box. 

              

The children loved our palace and throne in our block area and enjoyed pretending to be a Queen and King. We even made a Palace wall out of blocks and some saw a picture of a Palace made out of blocks and decided to copy the picture and even extend on it by adding stairs to it. We also enjoyed making a wall all around our Palace!  

               

The Purimstory is read from a Megillah, and the children enjoyed making their own.  They painted a paper towel roll, ripped crepe paper and added it to the Megillah. The children then colored pictures that told the story of Purim, and taped the pictures together to make one big scroll. We had fun taking them home along with our graggers and crowns. 

          

Lastly for Purim, the children enjoyed making pretend Hamantash cookies out of salt dough. We rolled it, patted it, and practiced making triangle shapes.  After practicing making Hamantash, we made the real ones and that was very exciting! Each child made three Hamantash cookies, two to give away and one to eat. We had a huge gathering for the whole school, heard the story of Purim, and gave away our Mishloach Manot (food baskets) to another friend, danced and just had a wonderful time.

         

Author’s Unit

Hello Everyone!

We have been working hard on our authors unit.  We learned an author is the person who wrote the book and an illustrator is the person who drew the pictures.  We also learned that sometimes a person can be both author and illustrator, and that is exactly what we were making our ABC’S Class Book!

We took steps into making our book.  First we painted the pages using watercolor paint.  We then colored pictures of things that started with the sound of a certain letter, and then had fun creating letters working together out of our own selves!  Our class was excited when a friend’s name was called that started with a certain letter of the alphabet.  We took their picture and added it to the book.  We cannot wait to see it when it is finished.

We also had many things around our room that had to do with ABC’s.  We made letters using rocks, play-dough, and made letters out of blocks.  We stamped letters traced letters using cars and even traced letters using markers.    The children also enjoyed playing with the alphabet train floor puzzle and the small alphabet puzzle.

Even though we were busy with our ABC’s book and learning about authors and illustrators, we also learned about letter Kk, the sound Kk makes and words that start with Kk like kangaroo, Kaya, and ketchup.  We had fun q-tip painting letter K, making K out of construction paper, and making K out of play-dough.

 

Self Portraits – Building Self-Awareness

This week we began working on our self-portraits.  But before we can paint ourselves we need to get to know ourselves.   First, we discussed how everyone is unique and different people have different color hair, eyes, skin.  Some people are really tall, some short and some are somewhere in between.  Some people have long hair, some short and some have no hair at all.  To build self-awareness, we looked at ourselves in the mirror to get to know our faces a little better and of course make some silly faces too.  We also spoke about and explored the different parts of faces and where they are on our face.  This was a great opportunity to introduce and review words like above, below, between, under, over, top, bottom and middle.  We also spoke about emotions and how our faces change based on how we feel.  We read “All About Faces”, and played a fun “Expressions” game that came with a book.

We even made faces using rocks!  We chose and painted rocks and placed them in the appropriate places on the head to create unique and fun faces.  Who knew you could make faces out of rocks?!

We began our Self-Portraits by painting the canvas boards with a color of our choice.  Next we mixed paints to create different shades of flesh colors because we don’t all have the same color skin.   To help us figure out what color matches us best we sampled all the colors on our hands and chose the best match.  The next step of this project was to paint a head and a neck.  Stay tuned for the complete Masterpieces coming soon!

Other Highlights from this week include: letter of week H;  Making letters with gems; practicing zippers, buttons and buckles; making snowflakes; stacking odd shaped blocks, writing in sand, stamping letters and a Snowflake Memory Game.

Preparing for Self-Portraits and F is for face

We are preparing for a big project for the upcoming Art Gallery Event.  Our project is going to be self portraits so of course this week we’ve been busy practicing drawing and painting faces and even making them out of play-doh.  Our painting and observations skills have come a long way since September and we’re about to put them all to use to create our self portraits.

F is the letter of the week and F is for face!  This week we painted, dotted and traced F’s and also reviewed other letters we already learned.

Highlights from Center Time include counting frogs (F is for frog), building our names out of Bananagram letters and a friend’s Birthday.  Yay, we love to celebrate Birthdays.  We’re getting so big and smart.

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.