Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter is arriving early at The Gan.
Morah Katie: What type of a scene shall we create for our winter mural?
Ben: Snowy
Levi: Maybe a gray sun?
Morah Katie: What should the trees look like?
Dena: No leaves.

We began learning about Israel, long long ago, before there were cars or grocery stores.
Morah Tzive explained that in Israel long ago some people lived in buildings close to each other in cities, some people lived on farms like our friend Shalom's family.
There were vineyards with grapes to make wine and grape juice for Shabbat.
There were many fruit trees: apple trees, orange trees and olive trees.

Morah Tzivie showed us pictures of Beit HaMikdash.
Morah Tzivie described how people would travel to the holy temple to meet with friends to sing, pray and celebrate.
We are using the pictures Morah Tzive showed us to inspire us to build a temple with the blocks.
Morah Tzivie told us about the special jobs the Kohen did. They put out the fresh challah, they had the privilege of keeping the temple clean and beautiful.
The Kohen also had the special job of lighting the menorah. It is a very special mitzvah to light the menorah. But it wasn't a menorah that would fit on a shelf, it was as big and high as the wall of our classroom!
Morah Tzive explained how the menorah the Kohen would light did not hold candles
but was filled with oil!
Oil that was pressed from olives. In ancient Israel people would ride horses to olive groves, collect olives and press the oil from them.
Rabbi showed us how an olive press is used to collect the oil.
Olives get put in the oil press
The crank is turned
Pretty hard work, also very exciting!
What is that we see?
The oil is put in the menorah and lit!

We experimented to see how long the small container of oil would stay lit.
It was lit before snack time
and was done burning during class time before lunch!
We are putting candles in menorahs; our menorahs' fit on our shelves.
We experimented with water and oil.
We have discovered that no matter how little, or how much oil is added to water, the two liquids will not mix!
Red water and blue water create purple water; red water and yellow water create orange water; but oil and purple water or oil and orange water will not mix.
The oil slides off the water!! Sometimes it makes a shell over the water!
Even when we mix the oil and water:
Shalom: It won't stay together. It slides away.
Kian: It won't mix!
We used play dough to create water molecules and chains of hydrocarbons (oil) which helped us to see that water is composed of very "excited" charged molecules, while the oil is hydrogen, carbon and oxygen assembled into a "relaxed" non charged chain.
(oxygen=purple hydrogen=blue carbon=pink)
We played Water/Oil, I asked the kids to behave as if they were a water molecule or an oil chain.
Be water: children jumping (charged water molecules)
Be oil: children moving in slow motion in a line (non charged hydrocarbon chain)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Germs aren't for Sharing

We had a visit from some nursing students on Tuesday.
Our guests were quite impressed that the children at The Gan knew what to do to prevent spreading germs.
Levi: We can cough into our elbows.
Noah: You should use a tissue to wipe your nose.
Tori: We can wash our hands.
The nursing students read us a book, Germs are not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick. We also made a craft to help remind us the of one of the ways to prevent sharing germs.
We drew our faces on paper plates
and covered our " runny noses" with tissue.
It was a nice reminder of how to best NOT share germs.
As an added reminder in this season of runny noses and coughs, please help remind your child to wash their hands in the morning when they arrive at school - an easy step to prevent the sharing of germs.
Creating Friendships
Gracie: I can sit by Shalom?
Morah Katie: Yes, if Shalom says yes.
Shalom: (nods yes with head)
Scout: I want to sit by Gracie.
Gracie: Sit by me.
Friendship building in action.

Social relationships surround the child in all aspects of their lives. Family is the first social group a child joins.
Pre-school provides children with the opportunity to choose their playmates.
These friendships, and opportunities they provide, help the children learn skills for navigating the social world.

Play in itself is a key opportunity to help the child create and sustain positive social interactions, such as learning to share, speaking up for ourselves with kind words and including others.
The development of social play is age related, and as a child grows and is offered social experiences, a particular sequence of play can be observed.
It is important to keep in mind that the following sequence is a guideline, with no set boundaries. The child moves through the stages based on age, temperament and personality. At times, it can appear that a child is in two stages simultaneously.

Unoccupied Play, during which the child watches but stays in his/her spot.

Onlooker play, during which the child will move around to watch the other children and ask questions, but refrains from joining in the play.

Solitary Independent Play occurs when the child engages and is active, but plays on his own.
Gracie and Aaron are both playing with the ball tube. Each taking turns, satisfying their own interest and curiosity.

Parallel Play, during which the child plays independently but is next to other children, often using the same materials or toys.
Aaron, Noah and Gracie are all dressing up.
Gracie went on to build with legos, Aaron went on to saw the blocks and Noah searched out anyone who might be in need of help.
Gracie and Scout are both playing in the sandbox, with separate goals.

Associative play, during which the child will play with other children using the same materials, toys and talks with them, however still acting on his own.
Levi, Ben and Dena are all creating butterflies, discussing how pressing the wings together create the same paint pattern on both wings.

Cooperative Play, the child plays in a group with the specific goal of doing a particular thing.
Noah, Levi, and Tori are playing hide and seek, to remain hidden they need to work together.
Noah, Dena, Kian are riding bikes, Tori isn't interested in riding bikes.
Tori chose to play with the pipes.
A little later on during recess Tori and Kian decide to "ride motorcycles".
The motorcycles drive into a gas station "to fill up and get some soda."
Dena: I want to pump the gas!
Kian: It looks like it needs to be fixed.
Noah: I will fix it!
Dena: Me too!
Kian: Let's fix it!

The children came together to create a pretend scenario they could all be involved in.

Kian: Noah you are my best friend.
Noah: Yeah lets make towers.
Kian: I am making the puzzle.
Noah: I don't want to make the puzzle.
Kian: Ok, let's eat lunch together.
Noah: Ok.