Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Come light the menorah...

With the Gan children.

A Look at This Week:
While Chanukah is in full swing, so is our learning at school. This week we focused on the menorah. Most of our activities had something to do with the menorah. On Monday we started the week by making a class menorah out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls (there may have been a wrapping paper roll added in as well) and tissue paper for the flames. Each day we "lit" the menorah just like we lit menorahs at our homes the night before! Then we started our activities. Many of the children enjoyed making pop-up Chanukah cards. The cards either had dreidels or menorahs in the middle (the children chose which one they wanted) and they were required to copy some words into their cards and add their names. These were taken home on a daily basis. We built menorahs in the block area, pretended to light the menorah in the home living area and made playdough menorahs in the art area. All week long, while children were answering the morning question (and signing in) and doing their journals, they also had the opportunity to color on our large menorah that we will be adding to our wall display at the end of the week. We had a large number of math activities to go along with our study of the menorah as candles are a fun thing to count! We sorted candles by color, put menorahs in order by the number of candles that were lit and we also picked numbers and added that many candles to the paper menorahs! It was definitely a fun week full of activities to help us enjoy the celebration of Chanukah. One more activity that was enjoyed (though it had nothing to do with menorahs) was sound song bingo. Some of the children have been learning a song that helps them with their letter sounds. We even used this song to make a word wall in the classroom. We have taken copies of the pictures of the words from the song and have made bingo boards and then played bingo with these boards. It is a favorite game in the classroom right now!
Listening in to the discussions going on in the class:
It was really interesting to listen to one child go to another this morning and ask the other child if they were "going to be a good boy today." The other child answered "yes." The first child then responded saying, "so you aren't going to hit anyone? You aren't going to kick anyone? And you are going to listen? Because I don't like it when you hit or kick me. That is not being a good boy."
Just thought that I should share this conversation since it goes to show that at least the rules are understood if not always followed!
And looking into the future:
Although I normally mention what we will be working on next week, I am unable to do that as The Gan will be closed for the next two weeks for winter break. When we do resume, on Monday, January 4th, we will be spending the week talking about Israel and doing many fun activities that will take us on a pretend trip to another part of our world. And speaking of our world. The children have brought in about 88 mitzvah notes so far this year. They are definitely working on making the world a better place one mitzvah at a time. We hope to continue to see mitzvah notes coming in as everyone is always excited to share their notes and add them to our wall. And one big mitzvah that seems to be the leader of mitzvahs on our wall is many of the children are willing to share their tzedakah with others when the others do not have tzedakah, which is another thing we collect on a daily basis.

Playing sound song bingo

Candle number match

Playdough menorahs

Candle order

Menorah building

Candle number match

"Lighting" the class menorah

Candle color match

The musical performance by the Gan Children at the Clark County Chanukah Celebration!

The announcement of the performing group!

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