Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Water water everywhere, water all around

We learned that a liquid will fill and take the shape of whatever container it is put in.

We experimented with sinking and floating.
Things that were dense, heavier than water, sank.
Things that were buoyant, lighter than water, floated.

We experimented with an apple and an orange.
With the peel on the orange floated. The air in the peel made it buoyant.
We peeled the orange
and discovered that a peeled orange will sink!
Without the peel it is dense.

We did the same experiment with an apple, peel on and peeled. We discovered that apples will float both ways.
Morah Katie: Why did the orange float with the peel on, it felt heavy.
Kian: It was buoyant.
Morah Katie: Oh, remind me what that means?
Kian: It's light and floats.
Levi: Buoyant means it is lighter that water, it has air to lift it.
Morah Katie: Are oranges buoyant fruit then?
Dena: With the peel.
Morah Katie: What about apples, are they buoyant fruit?
Tori: YES! They float!

We put a sponge in water and saw it fill with water.
We watched it all day to see if would sink. Even though it was heavier wet than dry, it was still lighter than the water it displaced.

Morah Katie: When we have a cup of water, and we drop pebbles in the cup, what happens to the water?
Levi: It goes up.
Morah Katie: The pebbles displace, or move the water, it is as if they say to the water "make room for us!"the water moves. what will happen if we fill the cup of water with pebbles?
Daniel: It will go over.

We talked about how water erodes, slowly breaks apart or disintegrates, some solid things.
We put coco krispies in a small container of water in the morning and saw them become mushy, but still floating, by lunch.
We put a piece of paper in water. It first floated, but by lunch the water had permeated the paper, filled the tiny tiny air pockets, making it sink.

Now that we better understand the nature of water, when we begin talking about the "splitting of the sea" in our passover story, the great miracle will be better grasped by our minds.

U was our letter of the week.
We discovered that u, like a,e i and o - a very special group of letter friends called vowels, are very social letters. They rarely begin words, they prefer to be surrounded by their letter friends.
We will most often find them in the middle, like in hut, bug, cup,
We traded the middle sounds in these words and discovered we had created hot, big, cap. mut will turn into mat.

We are also learning about how our Seder meal will be different from our regular and our shabbat dinners.
We started with a beautifully set Shabbat table, and we replaced item by item until we had a Passover Seder table!
The Seder is all about provoking the children's curiosity by pointing out the strange differences, hence the famous "Ma Nishtana" questions.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The letter of the week may be "k" as in kites and kangaroos,

but butterflies have invaded our classroom.
Our first butterfly project involved a roll of the dice!
The children rolled a pair of dice, counted the results and had to glue that number of dots to their butterflies.
In addition to the development of fine motor control, these multi-step projects help develop the child's attention span and ability to follow directions independently.

We learned about the life cycle of the butterfly.
Morah Katie: What is the first stage of a butterfly's life?
Levi: Egg
Morah Katie: What grows from the egg?
Dena: Caterpillar
Morah Katie: When the caterpillar has grown nice and fat, what does it form around itself?
Tori: A cocoon
Morah Katie: Caterpillars do form cocoons. The caterpillar's that create cocoons turn into moths. Moths are different from butterflies. Butterflies are brightly colored and fly at day, moths are more simply colored and fly at night. A caterpillar which will turn into a butterfly will form a chrysalis. That is a new big word, say it with me
Morah Katie: What will come out of the chrysalis?
Tori: A butterfly!

We asked in song:
Butterfly, butterfly, what lovely wings
Butterfly, butterfly how my heart sings
Butterfly, Butterfly, I'd like to know,
When it rains, when it rains
where do you go?

We moved our palace from the group meeting room into the reading room and renamed it:
Reading Castle
As the children learn their sounds, they will discover the magic they hold by blending the sounds, and reading.
It will begin with a simple word,
and develop into reading books.
As my friends learn their sounds, they will write the sounds on paper and cover the bricks.
As they begin to write and read words, they will add the words.
As the children begin to read, they will write the title of the book on paper, the date it was read, and add it to the bricks.

We finished our week on "K" with kiwi for snack and some creative writing, the children composed the following poem:

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We have spent the past two weeks preparing for Purim.

These weeks have been full of:

building palaces,

and full of anticipation and excitement for the .....

We sang our joyful songs with our beautiful voices,

We presented our megillah

We paraded in our amazing costumes,

We made delicious hamentash

and we made crafts,
It was a delightful party and so fun to share the morning with our parents!