Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friends and Mitzvot

A look at this week:
As the Jewish New Year is officially upon us and Yom Kippur just about here, this week we focused on friends and mitzvot. Throughout the week we had many reminders of what it means to do mitzvot, whether you are a friend at school who sits next to someone who is sad, a little mouse who helps an animal (who is usually mean) in the swamp with a sore tooth, or a person who gives tzedakah. We have a few friends here at the Gan who are really remembering their tzedakah everyday for circle time. And we keep reminding all our other friends to try to remember to bring some on a daily basis!

While learning how important it is to give tzedakah to help others, we did a math exercise with pennies. The children were able to match pennies to circles, color in the circles, count the pennies (as they placed them in a pretend tzedakah box as since we were using fake pennies) and then trace and write the number of pennies. This seemed to be a favorite activity of the week!

We also had many activities about friends. We made friendship bracelets and one day we made enough to put one in everyone’s mailboxes. This was a nice surprise for the children to all find that they had mail! We also drew portraits of our friends, play in blocks or home living with friends and even made pages about why we consider each child in our class as a friend! These pages are displayed on one of the boards in the entry way to the classroom! And although we normally do not play with our food, the children were given different pieces of fruits and vegetables to make friends during snack time. After making the friends, the children ate their friends and asked to do more “food playing” activities in the future!

Conversations from the week:
During circle time this week, Morah Tzivie led us in a discussion about thanking Hashem for things. Here is a glimpse at that conversation.
Morah: What do you want to thank Hashem for?
Lizzy: My mommy.
Avery: My momma.
Miriam: My flowers.
Jayden: My mommy and my daddy.
Levi: Hashem gave us food.
Mussie: For giving us the Torah.
Morah: I thank Hashem for letting me come to school every day and see my friends. That makes me happy. What makes you happy?
Jayden: Getting a quarter.
Lizzy: Riding my bike.
Miriam: Petting horses.
Morah: You can thank Hashem for everything that makes you happy.
Jayden: Giving my daddy money.
Josh: Giving my mommy money.

We also had a fun conversation before making our people at snack time.
Morah: What have we been talking about? What did we make in the art area this week?
Mussie: Bracelets. Friendship bracelets.
Morah: What have we been talking about this week?
Avery: Fish
Morah: Yes, we talked about our fish. What else?
Mussie: The penny thing.
Morah: The tzedakah activity. When we give tzedakah, what are we doing?
Mussie: We are doing a mitzvah.
Morah: And what’s so important about doing a mitzvah? How are we treating others? Do we want to treat others nicely?
Class: Yeah!
Morah: Who is an easy person to do something nice for?
Mussie: People.
Morah: Who at school would be the easiest?
Miriam: The kids
Morah: And who are “the kids?”
Mussie: Our friends.

A look at next week:
Next week we are going to focus on Sukkot. We have many fun activities that revolve around making sukkahs and items for the sukkahs!

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