Friday, May 30, 2014

Strong Proud Thoughtful

Shavuot is just 4 days away!
Morah Katie: A holiday is coming up any day now...
Sroli: Shavuot!
Morah Katie: Why do we celebrate Shavuot?
Zim: Hashem loves us and gave us the Torah.
This week we took a trip to the synagogue to look at the big Torah.
 Rabbi Greenburg showed us the ark where the Torah is kept.
 He brought it down for a closer look.
We all gave it a hug.
We looked at the words in the Torah, the words that teach us mitzvahs and stories to help us make good choices. 

We got to put the beautiful crown back on the Torah.

Sroli: Hashem gave the Torah on Har Sinai because he wasn’t a braggy mountain.
Efraim: He wants us to be like Har Sinai.
Morah Katie: What was Mount Sinai like?
Zim: He didn’t brag like the other mountains. He talked more nicely.
Amelia: I am drawing the flower mountain, it was pretty but kind of bossy.
Jack: I made the volcano with it's exploding lava.
Morah Katie: How does it make you feel when people around you begin to brag?
Sroli: Not so good.
Judah: Makes you feel sad.
Anton: I like to walk away.
Morah Katie: How would you want them to speak to you?
Efraim: Kindly.
Morah Katie: If someone spoke in a caring and thoughtful way how would you feel?
Efraim: Happy.
Sroli: I'd smile.
Every morning we sing:
Hareini Mikabel alay mitzvat Asei
shel viahavta lirie-acha camocha
 I take upon myself the mitzvah of loving my fellow friend as myself

Morah Katie: What does loving my fellow friend as myself mean?
Efraim: Be happy with them.
Sroli: Invite them to play.
Judah: Look at their face to see how they feel.
Isaac: Help them.
Efraim: Speak kindly.
Sroli: Share a toy.
Morah Katie: When you do those things how do you feel?
Sroli: Good.
Morah Katie: When you feel good, is it easier to help others feel good?
Kids: Yes.
Morah Katie: When you help a friend, do you feel proud?
Kids: (thinking...)
Morah Katie: Pride can be an interesting feeling. 
I would like to share something with you:
 Yesterday Natan drew a beautiful picture. 
When he was done he asked for help writing his name. 
I asked him what part of his name could he write?
Natan said: I will try my N.
Do you know what? Natan wrote his very own N for the very first time! Natan, how did you feel?
Natan: Happy 
Morah Katie: When you do something that makes you feel proud, you feel happy.  When you are feeling happy and proud, are you better able to care for others?
Kids: Yes!
Morah Katie: What does the Torah teach us?
Anton: To do good things!
Sroli: To help!
Efraim: Be kind.
Jack: To make helpful choices.

Some kind and thoughtful moments from the week:
Jack: Anton can I play with you?
Anton: No I want to play by myself.
Jack turns to walk away.
Anton: Jack actually you can play with me. It would be more fun.

Abigail is feeling proud that she latched her helmet by herself.
On the playground Efraim wanted a turn on a bike.
Initially, Efraim was feeling frustrated. He found a kind voice:
Efraim: Abigail, may you share the bike?
Abigail: Yes! I can share. Here have my bike.
Efraim: Thank you Abigail.

Sroli: I made 2 Torahs!
I am feeling proud.

Efraim: I made Har Sinai, that is Moshe at top.
Moments too quick for the camera:
Judah giving Archie a nice and gentle hug in line after playtime.
Ari helping Archie wash his hands.
Amelia checking in Evan when she heard him crying.
Zim helping Natan put his sock on.  
Efraim telling Abigail her notebook looks interesting.
Jack helping Natan tape his art on the wall. 
Anton helping Judah put the blocks away.

Fortunately, these moments happen daily at The Gan.  
Each year as we learn in greater detail why Shavuot is special, I am pleased to witness that these children  are strong enough to make good choices, proud of their choices and who they are, and thoughtful caring people.  

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