Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pre-K, Phone Home

I am not a believer in needless rote memorization. But some is needed. In Parashat Vayishlach I explain, "Dina, Yaakov's daughter, got separated from her family.  This is very dangerous!" We discussed why this is dangerous, how it could theoretically happen to someone (because the students insisted it could never happen), and what they would do if, chas v'shalom, it ever happened to them.

"I'd call ummm, 111," Nechama suggested.
"I'd call 911," Syma countered,
"911! 911! 911!" the class chorused together.
"Good! You all know to call 911 if there is an emergency.  Like a fire," I replied. "But if you are out somewhere, and suddenly can't find your family, what would you do?" I asked.
"I would never lose my family," Nehorai insisted.
"I would call my family and they would find me!" Allison replied.
"Excellent! How would you call them?"
"With a phone," Yitzy responded dryly.
"Do you know your phone number?" I asked. Everyone stared at me blankly.  "How about your address?"
"I live on Myrtle Street!" Syma proudly replied. When pressed for an address, she cleverly remarked that she would have a policeman drive her on Myrtle street until they found her Volvo and then she would know she was home.

My goal was for everyone to work on memorizing their mother's cell phone number. If you have a preferred emergency contact, please let me know.
"Does this mean you will get us each a real phone?" Yitzy asked. Yaakov began to cheer at this prospect.

 We started with audio, oral and kinetic learning. Each child reviewed they phone number, hearing it and saying it.

 Then they had to jump out the numbers.
 This was good reinforcement for those working on number recognition.
 Great for fine motor coordination.
Fun for everyone.
 The numbers were printed up and the students are putting them up with magnets.
We will keep practicing in different ways at school.

If your child has a difficult time remembering your phone number, use a sharpie to write the number inside his or her shoe. Your child can show the number to an adult if he or she get separated from you. A great tip for summer safety.: Please reinforce this at home. Sing the number on the car ride to school. Have your child say them over and over while washing their hands.

Until my offspring memorized my phone number, I wrote it on their arms and across their stomachs whenever we attended a large function.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

If You Give a Pre-Ker a Muffin...

Today MacPherson's (remember when we went there?) had 10 lbs of bananas for $.99.  This was clearly a sign that we needed to bake, the most delicious way to reinforce mathematics.
 Peeling (pincher fingers in action)

 Mashing (sensory feedback)
 Taking turns to add all the ingredients and stirring.

During this process, we worked on number recognition, counting, addition, subtraction, mentioned fractions, and number to objective correlation. 

The muffins were done but the children were not.

"I love baking! We should bake more!" suggested Allison.  
"Yeah!!!" almost everyone agreed.
"No, I don't like baking. Except chocolate cookies," Nechama shared.
"We should bake lots more. And then have a bake sale," suggest Syma.
"Yeah!" agreed Yitzy. "We'll be like the big kids."
"We could open a bakery," added Yaakov, excitedly. "And we'll make lots of money! When the school runs out of money, we will give them ours."

I think their plan (for selling baked goods) is an amazing one, involving so many valuable educational components!  IYH, we will move forward on this, making the Pre-K Snack Shop. We hope to sell our baked good as part of a healthy snack option for the whole school. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Leaf Fun

During Sukkot break, the look of our playground changed. The children enjoyed playing with the leaves in a variety of ways. They were motivated and engaged for a very long time, always finding new ways to extend the play. If your child is not in these photos, they were enjoying an aspect of the playground other than the new autumn leaves.

Monday, September 26, 2016

First Field Trip!

Today we went to MacPherson's to buy apples and all the Simanim for Rosh Hashana.
 The journey was exciting, with everyone walking so nicely.
 Everyone selected something from the shopping list.
 We almost forgot carrots, but Dassi reminded us.
Tomorrow we will start projects with our groceries.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fantastic Fun on Day One

Day one of school was full of smiles and fun as the students became (re)acquainted with the classmates, classroom, and Morahs..

Image result for david goes to school Our curriculum revolved around properly orientating the students with the daily schedule, school building, and expectations.
The students learned the four class rules and compared them with David's behavior in David Shannon's David Goes to School.

We also read the beloved Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes.
Image result for rocking in my school shoes After this book, we rocked in our school shoes for a tour of the school, including the brand new lunchroom.

Tomorrow, to review names, our memory, and be like Pete the Cat, we will see who can match school shoes to their wearer. You can see it here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Beautiful Things Come Out

Today we have the great pleasure of seeing two different, deeply beautiful items, outside of their casing.
First was butterflies! This morning three butterflies emerged from their chrysalis. The metamorphosis has been miraculous to observe. Today we watched them emerge, their wings harden, their proboscis merge, and their first attempts at flight. It was amazing.

A few days ago Chana asked an incredible philosophical question. "Does a caterpillar know it will become a butterfly? Or does it realize it when it is in the chrysalis? Or only when it is a butterfly he looks and says, 'Oh! I'm a butterfly!'?" When do we realize what we are and what we will be?

In preparation for Shavuot we learned about the Torah and its parts. In our classroom, we have a small 'not-quite-real' Torah. Today, Rabbi Margoloese took the real Torah out of the Aron HaKodesh and shared it with us. It was a pleasure for all to behold.