Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trying to Build a Sukkah

This week the students enjoyed outside constructions time.  They were provided with PVC pipe of various sizes and connectors. They were very excited to try them out. "Let's make a rocket ship!" Ori suggested.
"No, how about we make guns?" Yitzi countered.
"Nah. Let's make a sukkah," Yochanan said.
"Yeah!!!!" they cheered.
Everyone set off to try and build a sukkah. 

First there was lots of parallel play bulding where everyone attempted to build their own sukkah.

 This was not very successful. [Interestingly, Allison C. and Chaya B. had the clearest understanding of how to build a structure. I wonder if it is an innate gift or from observing their fathers].
 The students were growing frustrated with the lack of immediate results and wondered off to do something else. 
 Donny was thrilled to come to recess and find the building material. As he began to work, the preschool returned, thrilled to have a big leader.
 Classmates of Donny saw his work and excited joined in.
 Now it was a team effort of spacial reasoning, problem solving, and good communication.
 Except for Binyomin who continued with his design plan next to the others.
 Everyone was excited about it. 
 But it involved more math than they realized, to get the different pieces to line up.
It was almost finished when...
 Donny's recess ended and another group came out.
 The kindergarten and first graders attacked the project with gusto.

But did not have the same finesse as the previous group, and without Donny's leadership, the structure collapsed. 

After Yom Kippur, Donny came out for recess and looked for the sukkah. When I explained what happened, he decided to start again.
 Again the big kids worked on it.

 With help from a few Pre-Kers.

 And it was almost finished with the 'big' kids had at work on their cooperation, communication, mathematics, and construction.
The rest of pre-K was enjoying playing ball instead.

It is probably better that we will be in our own Sukkot and not at school over Sukkot. 
Chag Sameach!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How The Blacktop Got Its Stripes

This summer, our playground got the incredible enhancement of a blacktop. The blacktop is wonderful for many reasons, including the riding toys are more enjoyable and mud is minimal. 
The preschool loves the new blacktop, but to further enhance its fun, markings for a basketball court, four square, and hopscotch were added. Whether or not we make use of these additions, we enjoyed watching the workers stripe our field.
First we enjoyed looking at the worker's truck. The students enjoyed spotting the letters on their stencils and comparing them to the stencils in our room.
Although the truck was interesting, everyone was interested in their funny car/bike/painting gizmo.
 A few kids sat, waiting patiently for the man to start. 

 Finally he did! It was amazing!
 Quickly everyone came to see the magic happen.

Children love observing all the wonderful things which happen to shape our world.

I thought the completed stripes would primarily be for 'the big kids'. But preschool is putting them to good use too.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Shofar, so good!

We start the school year with the blasts of the shofar.

We have had many discussions about the shofar. The children have shared their pre-acquired knowledge, like that it is a ram's horn.

Then we discussed the sound.

"The sound is beautiful!"
"No, it sounds scary."
"It makes me feel funny inside when I hear it."
"It makes lots of different sounds."
"But only if you blow it. Never hit it."

Every insight was worthwhile.
We heard books about shofar, like "Shofy and Blowfy".
We compared different shofars and concluded that they all look different and sound different but are all wonderful - just like us!

We practiced our crayon 'rules' (paper stays on, no snapping) and colored 2-D shofarot.

 We painted 3-D shofarot on cups and practiced our painting 'rules' (wear a smock, wipe the brush, return the brush to the right color). They were lovely!

These cups work like shofarot, as they are also wind instruments. 

And we enjoyed a toy shofar in our pretend play corner.

Thank you, Rabbi Chait, for sharing your shofar with us!