Thursday, January 28, 2010

We are "growing" at the Gan

A Look at this Week:
We started the week with a nature walk outside. With the beautiful weather we had this week, how could we not? We went outside with our magnifying glasses to see what we could look at. And the children were all excited to come back in and share with Morah Tzivie that we found moss, worms (or as some of the said, "snakes!"), and plants. This was a perfect start since we really focused on the agricultural part of Tu B'shvat. Our activities really lead us to talk about how things grow. We took a few chances to look at our grass heads we made last week to see that a couple of them have started growing! Then we set up our next experiment. We talked about how raisins are dried up grapes. So we took some grapes and put them in cups on the window sill to see if we can make our own raisins. We will see how these turn out as we are watching them each day! We also made flowers out of coffee filters and then planted them and real flower seeds into flower pots that were made last week. In home living, we pretended to plant a garden (in a bucket of sand) and then harvest our bucket and make food out of the vegetables. We then used the idea of these vegetables to lead us to our discussion about soup, where we wrote what we would want to add into our soup in our writing area. And we even made our own Stone Soup after reading the book (please see the conversation below). We also made leaf people, painted with different vegetables and played with popcorn kernels. We had different size measuring devices to work with the idea of volume. And of course, the long awaited worms were on display this week as we watched them hide in the dirt and then occasionally come out to show themselves! Oh!...and we also planted our own little garden in the classroom. Right now our seeds are in egg cartons in the dirt with water. We will have to see if these plants start to grow as we watch them in the classroom!
Conversations from this week:
We read the book "Stone Soup" this week. Right after finishing it, we made stone soup. One of the things I liked about the adapted version of this book was that in the end of this book they actually talk about the "magical ingredient" that they used to make the soup was sharing. Such an important concept for children to understand. And we even discussed how nice it was that we were able to work together to make a wonderful soup for the classroom too!

Morah Amanda: How is this pot and the pot in the book different? So far there is one thing you already mentioned.
Avery: It's little.
Morah Amanda: It's little. Now, do you think I can build a fire under it?
Class: No.
Morah Amanda: No. That would be a little hard, especially since we are inside. So, in here, Mussie and Levi have already shared with us some potatoes, some carrots, some celery and some oil.
Miriam: Matzah balls?
Morah Amanda: No, there are no matzah balls. We are not going to make matzah ball soup. So we already have our magical ingredient, which is "sharing," right?
Class: right.
Morah Amanda: So what we are going to do is I am going to stir the vegetables and let them cook for just a minute or so over the heat.
Miriam: It is the best ever day.
Morah Amanda: And what is this?
Levi: A stone.
Morah Amanda: A stone. Should I put it in the pot?
Class: No.
Morah Amanda: Do you think that in the story they really needed the stone in the pot to make the soup?
Class: No
Morah Amanda: No. Do you know what they did? They said, "We're going to make stone soup. We're going to put a stone into our water to make soup." And then they asked for everyone to bring all the ingredients to make their soup. And we have all our ingredients in here already, right? Do you think we need to put the stone in?
Miriam: No.
Avery: No, it's for pretend.
Levi: Yes pretend.
Mussie: We will pretend!
Morah Amanda: What we are going to do is take turns and go fill up the cup with water and put it in the pot.
I felt I couldn't pass up sharing this conversation as I was laughing at the end of it. This took place during lunch.
Mussie: We have chocolate milk at home.
Miriam: So do I!
Mussie: I think our chocolate milk came from Eretz Yisrael. But I don't know how we get it. We must order it or something.
Miriam: We get our chocolate milk from cows.
A Look At Next Week:
Tzedakah, tzedakah, tzedakah, that is what we give. And next week we will be talking a lot about this. We will be discussing coins and what they are worth. We will be listening to different tzedkah boxes filled with coins to "hear" which one has more. We will be having a tzedakah race and we will be trying to build tzedkah boxes out of our blocks. Of course there are many more activities we will be doing as well. And please don't forget that on a daily basis we collect tzedakah in our class room during our davening time.
Our nature walk
Leaf people
Veggie painting
Our sand garden in home living
Popcorn play
Coffee filter flowers
Making and eating stone soup
Our class garden

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