Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The children have enjoyed learning  about and celebrating Chanukah.
In the midst of the Chanukah season, they have continued to participate 
in a few key ideas we promote daily at The Gan.
The morahs created a short video to highlight a few of 
these foundational ideas.
We wish you a joyful winter break.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Chanukah is here!
Morah Tzivie is helping us learn how to light the menorah.
As we enjoy these fun nights with our families, we continue to put the story of the Maccabees in action in the classroom.
We had fun banding together to create a building block Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple in Jerusalem).
Lochlan: We used all the blocks, it was hard work.
Chanukah fun was all around.
These young children discovered ways they are brave like the Maccabees every day in their own preschool way.
Lochlan: Not being scared of a cave with scary sounds, it can hit the walls and the echos can be loud.
Jade: Being nervous about singing on stage but singing anyway.
Colette: Going to my 1st swim class when I didn't want to because it looked scary but I did it anyway.
Lakshmi: Trying something new.
Miles: Not being scared in the dark by practicing being in the dark. 
Maya: Going to Great Wold Lodge when I wasn't sure if I wanted to go.
Carson: Not being scared of the dark. Turning on a flashlight can help you be brave.
Matan: Standing up for whats right.

We had great fun helping to fill the coin menorah! 
This blog will post on the third day of Chanukah, that means we get FIVE more days of fun!
Can't wait to see what days 6,7 and 8 bring!
Happy Chanukah!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Menorahs and Maccabees

We had menorahs on our minds this week.
Morah Katie: Why do we celebrate Chanukah with menorahs?
Moshe: Candles.
Rowen: Soldiers said no Torah no Shabbat. Kids spinned dreidels. Light the menorahs and Shabbat!
Moshe: The Oil.
Morah Katie: Yes. We light candles in menorahs to remember the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 nights.
Matan: The Maccabees stood up for what was right.
Morah Katie: I agree.
Morah Tzivie brought a special menorah to share.
This menorah uses oil.
Morah Tzivie: Fire needs food to keep going.  Oil can be food for fire.
What happens when the oil, or wax for a candle, is gone?
Lochlan: The fire is all gone.
Morah Tzivie: But what happened to the oil in the menorah at the Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple)?
Maya: It kept for 8 days.
Morah Tzivie: A miracle happened. 
We are going to try an experiment. I am going to light this cup of oil in the menorah. I will place it on a shelf. We will watch to see if it burns down, or if it lasts.
We kept track of the oil.
The oil was out mid lunch, no miracle occurred.
We read a book about how olive oil is made.  It is quite a process of collecting the olives. Then smashing, pressing and squeezing the olives to get the oil- the oil from first press was used in the Beit HaMikdash.
We decided to try some olive pressing of our own.
Morah Katie: Would you want to be an olive farmer?
Evan: I like smashing olives, I like eating olives.
Lochlan: It would be hard work.
Morah Jillian: Are you getting a lot of oil from your olive?
Emily: No.
Morah Jillian: What did they use oil for? 
Aura: The menorah.
Morah Katie: How many olives did you smash? 
Everyone: One.
Morah Katie: Did that one olive create a lot of oil?
Everyone: No.
Morah Katie: How many olives do you think it would take to make enough oil to light the menorah in the Holy Temple?
Colette: 6100.
Morah Katie: Tell me again, what was the great miracle that happened? 
Moshe: The oil.
Colette: It lasted. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

We are singing a new song:
Chanukah, Chanukah
Chanukah is near, Chanukah is near.
We'll light 8 candles in a row,
Light 8 candles and see them glow,
Light 8 candles so we all know 
It's Chanukah, it's Chanukah.
Morah Tzivie shared some exciting items with us this week.
Colette: That's a menorah.
Morah Tzivie: You knew!
Colette: I have one at home.
Miles: Me too.
Morah Tzivie: Which holiday do we use the menorah for?
Lochlan/Matan: Chanukah!
Morah Tzivie: What mitzvah do we do on Chanukah?
Maya: Light the candles.
Morah Tzivie: How many candles can the menorah hold? 
Kids: 8
Morah Tzivie: Let's count together. See this guy, the tall one? We don't count him.  He is helper candle. He lights the candles.
Everyone: 1, 2, 3, 4,   5, 6, 7, 8.
Morah Tzivie: What is the tall candle called?
Miles: Shamash.
Morah Tzivie: That's right!
Morah Tzivie shared the Chanukah story.
The children explored the story with Chanukah toys and activities.
Morah Katie: What I should expect to see and experience if I travel back in time to Jerusalem during the time when Judah Maccabee lived?
Maya: Well there is a mean king
Jade: A greedy king.
Maya: Soldiers are saying no mitzvahs, no shabbat.
Matan: No Torah's.
Lochlan: All the learning places are closed.  
Matan: Judah Maccabee told the Jews to stand up for what's right.
Morah Katie: But the army looks pretty big.
Maya: The Jewish people hid in caves. The kids studied Torah and played dreidel to trick the soldiers.
Morah Katie: Are you trying to tell me if the Jewish kids can be brave, maybe if I go back in time and join the Maccabee's I should be brave too?
Maya: Yeah.
Morah Katie: Ok, I'll take Judah Maccabee's advice and stand up for what's right.  Tell me what happens next.
Matan: The Greeks get chased away!
Maya: Hashem made it and they go to the temple and it's a mess!
Lochlan: And there was no olive oil. 
Moshe: One! One! Right there!
Colette: Just for one day.
Matan: They had to go so far to get more.
Colette: It would take eight days.  But the one lasted!
Morah Katie: Such a great miracle. 
Matan: Yep.
Morah Tzivie and the children pretended to be the brave Jewish children from the Chanukah story. 
Fortunately, we can sing with the Torah loudly and proudly.