Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Pesach Experience

You are busy preparing for Pesach in your homes. We are busy preparing ourselves for Pesach at school. From all of these activities, everyone should have understanding of Seder and Pesach.

The children were already experts in the story of the Exodus from Egypt from learning about it in the parshiot of Shemot. Like here, and here. They were thrilled to be able to anticipate which plague comes next and how Paroh will react. But this time the experiential piece was a little different.  


 The tactile table was filled with red floral beads. The sensory experience is amazing and the imaginative play which ensued was hilarious.
This giant frog is attacking Paroh!

Trays of magic sand became a reoccurring theme of Egyptian life.
First the trays included molds to make pyramids and the students delighted in making structures.
After the plagues began, the molds were removed. I don't have pictures of anyone playing without the molds because no one really did. They activity was no longer enjoyable. I told the students how Paroh made their work harder and harder.

The plagues happened in the sands of Egypt and the students enjoyed burying cattle, dropping hail, and flying locust with sand.

 Students also enjoyed playing Pesach. They assigned roles, sang seder songs, and hunted for the Afikomen.

Of course we are busy Pesach cleaning too.

 We have done so much more, but this is just a snapshot!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Marvelous M

I have been eagerly waiting for M because there are so many marvelous activities connected to this letter.
Some examples are:


Mud/Magic Sand/Moon Sand (one item, with many names, all starting with the letter M)

Mailman or Mommy imaginative play.

Marble Tracks
 Memory (these card were made with the school's phonetics program images).
 As they played, they decided to turn the game into 'Go Fish', showing how they can stretch play into new learning opportunities. 
 I could spend ages on 'M' from moon to microscopes to maps and onward, but instead it is time for MATZA! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

L is Lost...

Most of my pictures from L are lost. Here are a few which survived.
 Lincoln Logs serve various purposes. 

 Always love Legos.

 Fine motor and patterning on the Lite-Brite.

 L is for Letters and we are getting really good at them!

 L is for Ladder and we are constructing them out of popsicle sticks. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

K is for...


 Kitchen utensils!

Then we brainstormed possibilities for 'k' crafts. The ideas we came up with were making key chains, kaleidoscope, kangaroo pouches, kitten ears, or kites. We voted a few times, working on counting, and kite making won. 
Truthfully, I had mixed feelings about this. I was thrilled at their independence in creating and choosing an activity. But I am not good at kite making and I didn't want to do something I wasn't confident about. My lack of confidence in kite building stems from my efforts to make kites last summer at Camp Yavneh (see here). To try and rectify this, I surveyed former campers and made various trial kites with other TDS students. Still nothing flew well. 
 Then Morah Racheli found instructions for a kite from a single piece of paper.
 The students made the paper beautiful!
 Morah Racheli assembled them and the students flew them!
Ignore the sound. It is just so you can see they actually flew.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Purim!

Purim is such a happy time! Here is some of the fun we have relating to the festival.

 We made a palace for Achashverosh.

And we acted out the story together, to make the megilla each student took home.
 Then during free play, the students reenacted the Purim story, over and over.
 I encouraged them to paint the first palace. Then they started building their own.
 I love the independently-driven activities almost as much as I love the complexity of their structures.

And of course we made hamantaschen!

 I hope Purim in your home and synagogue is as fun as Purim preparations were in our class.

Purim Sameach!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Just 'J'

J doesn't have as many exciting options as some weeks, but we are having lots of fun.
 J is for jewel counting.
   Just coloring.

 Teamwork on jungle puzzle.

 Jeep rides.
  Jotting a note.

 Jungle gym fun.

 Jam-filled hamantachen.

And my personal favorite, JUICE!
We bought fruit at MacPhersons and sliced it up.

Then students each had a turn with the juicer.  

And everyone enjoyed fresh squeezed juice.

And tomorrow the school is having 'jammy' day!

Hooray for J!