Thursday, February 25, 2010

All dressed up and celebrating we will do!

A Look at this week:

With Purim around the corner (Sunday) we have been finishing up our final week on learning about Purim. We talked a little about giving Shalach Manot (gifts of food) during Purim and hamantaschen (the three cornered cookie). We also heard more about the Purim story and even had our own Purim celebration! With the two main concepts of Shalach Manot and Hamantaschen, we were able to fill our days with fun, learning activities. This week we matched the shapes of hamantaschen filling with paper shapes and the words to describe them. We also filled a basket with hamantaschen to match the number we chose to work with. In blocks the children became creative as they tried to build baskets to put our shalach manot in. In home living they pretended to make baskets of shalach manot and give them to their fellow friends who were in home living with them. In art we played with very special clay; we made foods and then let them dry. While talking about foods, we also replanted our classroom garden and checked out how well our raisins are doing. The grapes have definitely started shriveling down and losing some of their juiciness.

For writing this week, some of the children attempted to write a recipe for hamantaschen. We also created special hamantaschen hats that some of the children were thrilled to show off before reading our story at the end of the day on Monday!

On Wednesday we had our big Purim celebration! All of the children from The Gan arrived, many in costume, and shared some experiences with their parent(s). We started out with our good morning train and paraded into the play area while we shook our groggers (noise makers) and sang songs. Then we returned to the classroom for mask making and hamantaschen making activities. Then we said good bye to our parents and our costumes and continued on with our day!

Listening In:

While the children were dressed as Queen Ester (3 of them), King Ahashverous (2 of them, though one didn't want to wear his costume), a dragon, a banana, Mordecia and Batman, Morah Tzivie also dressed as Queen Ester and I was dressed as a reporter. I took the opportunity to listen in to some of the conversations that the children were having with their parents while doing activities. Here is what I heard:

Mom: You can hang out with Batman today.

Josh: I can?

Mom: Yes!

Josh: And Batman will play with me?

Mom: Of course, cause you and Noah are friends.

Lizzy: Can I have some chips?

Morah Tzivie: Sure.

Mom: Do you want some help Lizzy?

Lizzy: No; Mussie's mom

Morah Tzivie: Mussies's mom can help.

Mom: The bow is coming to life.

Tyrus: It is? It's coming to life?

(They were coloring green dots on the bow of the mask at the time)

Mom: Noah, do you want more stickers?

Noah: No.

Mom: Look. Here are feathers. Do you want some feathers? What color do you want?

Noah picks a feather

Mom: You picked a green one.

It was a lot of fun to watch the children interact with their parents and to listen to the conversations that took place. And it was great to see so many of the parents at the celebration, sharing the experience with their children!

Looking ahead at next week:

Next week we are going to talk about the mezuzah, homes and also writing. The three of these go well together since mezuzahs are the little prayer boxes that are found on the door frames of Jewish homes (and other Jewish establishments). We will be talking about what makes our homes so important to us. We will be discussing where you find mezuzahs in a home and how the prayers in mezuzahs are written. We will be attempting to make our own ink and then trying to use it with feathers to do some writing. And of course, while we are working on writing we are going to do some letter, letter sound and word work!

Our Purim Parade!

The King has arrived!

Listening to directions for the activities and showing off our costumes!

Making masks at our Purim Party

Making Hamantaschen at our Purim Party

Showing off our Hamantaschen hats

Making clay foods

Weaving a basket

Playing the Hamantaschen Shape Match game

Building a basket for Shalach Manot

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