Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thank you Class of 2016

From the look of it the kids didn't know it was the last week of school.
We harvested our many mitzvahs from our apple tree,
Maya: I have too many.
Morah Katie: I think you have a lot, I don't think you can have too many mitzvahs.
Maya: Yeah I have a lot.
 We took care of our garden and played hard on the playground.

Judah began his year with the geo-pattern shapes, 
so why not end the year by trying to match all the pattern cards with his friends.
 The classroom was busy with creativity and play.

 Abby: Thanks for coming to Shabbat Sadie.
Sadie: I say the blessing Böruch atöh adonöy.
Augie: I'm going to write a letter to a friend, I think to Judah.
Abram: I'm making bookmarks.
 Jade: I am making a big painting with all the colors.
Olivia, Maya and Augie created a house and played make believe.
Lochlan discovered the bead bar box for the first time and enjoyed exploring with them.
Asher, Emily and Jade made good use of the collage materials.
Evan turned 5.
It has been another wonderful year.
I am grateful to have spent 172 days with this amazing group of children. I asked them what they had learned this year, 
I learned the new word "loveful," which I am for each of them.  
Each day they cause me to smile and strive to be a better person.  
 Thank you for sharing your children with me. 
Have a fun and active summer!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Those mountains won't stop arguing!

Since Passover, we have been preparing for something special. 
Morah Tzivie shared with us that Hashem had a present for the Jewish people 
49 days from when they left Egypt.
And after 49 days we will celebrate the holiday 
Shavuot, the day we receive the Torah.
We have been counting the days on a mountain in our classroom.
But why a mountain? 
Morah Tzivie: What mountains do you know?
Augie: I know a few.
Jade: There is one with snow on it.
Ari: Mt. Hood, I take my ski lessons there.
Judah: Mt. Rainer. 
Abram: Mt. St. Helens is a volcano.
Clara: My mom saw it. There was ash when she was little.
Morah Tzivie: You are right. We have so many beautiful mountains around us. And there are beautiful mountains all over the world.   Hashem knew he wanted to give us the present on a mountain to remind us to be strong and proud.  But when the mountains heard this they began to brag and fight all over the world.
Morah Katie: Augie, what would you say to the waterfall mountain to help him not be so braggy?
Augie: I would say please stop talking meanly, you could say come on kids, come splash in my waterfalls.  That would be nicer then being braggy.
Morah Katie: Ari, how would you help the volcano speak more kindly around his mountain friends?
Ari: Well maybe he could just say I can explode hot lava but I can't keep snow on me and have hot lava at the same time.  
Morah Katie: Nora, how would you help the flower mountain be less boastful?
Nora: I would tell it to just invite some people on it to smell its flowers and maybe not talk so mean to its friends. It could be nice to the grass mountain.
Morah Katie: Jade you created the mountain covered in streams. It was pretty braggy about all its streams. 
Jade: Yeah it could just talk about the fish in its streams but it also didn't like when the tall mountain talked about how tall it was. It made my mountain feel small.
Evan: I'd tell my rocky rock climbing mountain to ask people to climb up it to the top, but not say it so mean just come play on me.
Clara: I'd tell the tall mountain, you don't have to talk so mean you can be tall and nice. You can hope to be chosen.  I'm tall too, I try to be nice.
All the mountains were made; suggestions for being kind and thoughtful were offered.
Which mountain did Hashem choose?
Evelyn: The sad mountain who was sad all the others were fighting. 
Lochlan: The mountain that gets covered in flowers and green grass,  Mt. Sinai.
Morah Tzivie: Mt. Sinai was so polite, he knew it was wrong to brag or to fight. 
 He was humble and didn't want others to feel bad.  
Mt. Sinai spoke kindly and respectfully, 
so Hashem said that is how I want my people to talk. 
I will give the Torah on Mt. Sinai.
Everyone contributed to created Mt. Sinai.
We looked at our classroom Torahs,
got ready to go to the synagogue,
and visited the real Torahs with Rabbi Greenberg.
Jade: It has a crown.
Augie: There are 2.
Judah: Wow They look heavy.
Rabbi: Yes, You will hold them when you are older, 13. 
But we can all kiss the Torah today, it is so special.
We each had a chance to kiss the Torah.
We practiced some songs.

Friday, June 3, 2016

164 days

We have been keeping a tally of how many days of school we have had all year.
Each week we used an image related to what we had been studying. 
This week we have put up 
I asked my friends if they could guess why I chose a heart for this week.
Judah: Because you love us so much. 
Morah Katie: That is true.

As our wall clearly states, our year is coming to a close.
We had a short, busy week creating one of our final art projects.
It required some self reflection.
As the children took time for self observation, I took the time to observe the growth in the skills they acquired or refined over the year.
My friends had conversations about hair and eye color, 
Ari: I have tan hair and brown eyes. 
Evan: I have green eyes, I don't have brown eyes.
Judah: My hair looks kinda gray.
Morah Katie: Gray? 
Judah: Well maybe not gray, but not brown or black.
Augie: You see I have white on my eye but I don't need to draw it on the paper because the paper is white, but I'm not white like the paper I'm more peach like the peach pencil. So I'm not going to draw the white of my eye but I'll use some peach.
Olivia: I have long hair.
Abram: And it's black.
Olivia: Well it's brown black.
Abram: Mine is black.
I made note that many of my friends were cutting on their own, and holding pencils correctly and writing with careful precision.
I watched how eagerly my friends created their masterpieces, 
and reflected on the individual growth of each child over the past year.
Looking back, September seems very long ago.

My friends have grown so much and bloomed into beautiful, caring, young people.