Friday, March 31, 2017

This week we discovered why we have the new and interesting things in our classroom.
We learned the Passover story. 
Morah Tzivie told us that many years ago, the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt.
We learned a slave is someone who has no choice about working. They have to.  They are not free to choose.
Pharaoh made the Jewish people build his buildings with no rest, with little materials or tools. 
They had no time to do mitzvahs and help their friends, or to celebrate Shabbat.  The Jewish people had to work all day, all night.  
They were sad and tired. The Jewish people prayed to Hashem.
Hashem cared about the people so He sent Moshe, the kind and wise Jewish leader, to tell Pharaoh: Let My People Go
Morah Katie: How many times did Moshe go to Pharaoh?
Mason: 10! 10 times before he said GO.  Not after the water turned to blood.
Emily: The frogs. Frogs everywhere.  Everywhere the frogs.
Lochlan: And there were bugs, itchy bugs all over and he didn’t let them go.  He wanted them to keep building. But it was sad because I know there are construction vehicles and they didn’t have any. And it is a sad story.
Morah Katie: It is a sad story.  What is something you do when are sad?
Lochlan: Cry.
Morah Katie: Is there an interesting food we eat on the Seder plate that helps remind us of the tears?
Mason: Salt water!
Matan: They were sad because they kept building.  
Morah Katie: When did they finally get to go?
Matan: After all the stuff.
Mason: After the 10 times.
Art helped the children retell the experience of the Jewish people while they lived in Egypt.
I pretended to be Pharaoh.
Morah Katie: What did Pharaoh say to Moses: 
Miles: No, No No. 
Mason: HE doesn't let them go.  
Morah Katie: Ok, I got it. Build. Build. Please build me some buildings.  Oh wait...
Keep building. Don't stop, no resting.  Lochlan what shape building are you going to create? Oh wait... Just build! Build! More Glue! More Sticks! 
Lakshmi would you like to make a building, or pyramid?
Lakshmi: Not now.
Morah Katie: OH but I am Pharaoh and I say you must do it.
Lakshmi: ( giggling) Oh Morah Katie not now.
Lochlan: Morah Katie you are not a good mean Pharaoh.(laughing)
Morah Katie: That is the kindest thing anyone has ever told me. Thank you.  Emily, what are those beans? 
Emily: Oh they are just the beans that are leaving.  They are leaving now.
Morah Katie: Is that the path the Jewish people took as they fled Egypt when Pharaoh finally told them to go?
Emily: OH yes. No more building and no more frogs everywhere.
Morah Katie: What are they taking with them to eat?
Lochlan: Matzah.
Mason: Yeah, they are packing it to eat but they are also in a rush.
Morah Katie: Why are they in rush?
Lochlan: (slight sigh) They don't want to keep building.

Having heard the Passover story, some of our friends were upset.  It began to sink in that the Jewish people did not have an easy life with forklifts or bulldozers, and not being able to choose what to do and when to do must have been very frustrating.
Matan: I'd want to put Pharaoh in jail.
Fortunately, we came to the part of the story in which a great miracle occurred.  All the sadness and worry disappeared and was replaced with awe, joy and wonderment.
Morah Tzivie: The Jewish People had been traveling and had gotten to a sea.  How do you cross a sea or a river?
Sadie: Boat
Lochlan: I've been on a plane.
Morah Tzivie: When we go from Vancouver to Portland, we cross the Columbia River on a bridge.
But they did not have a bridge or a boat or a plane. The sea split.
The Jewish people crossed and knew they were safe from Pharaoh and Egypt.
We experimented with water so that we could better understand the miracle of the 
"Splitting of the sea."
We filled a tub with water and tried to split the water.  We all tried, none of us were successful.
We tried to prevent the water from moving, it found a way around.  We couldn't split it or stop it.
Mason: I thought maybe we could split. We didn't.  
Lochlan: It doesn't split. And all the people got through. 
Morah Katie: Yes, all the Jewish people got across.
We did not recreate the splitting of the sea in a tub of water.
But that didn't stop us from trying again, this time with a log.  
We learned that Hashem made a miracle and that was the only way the sea could split.
We have all the items to set a Seder dinner.
We know the story of Passover, and why we have a Seder dinner with a special plate and crunchy matzah with 4 cups of wine. 
Next week, we will explore the real items to get us ready for our Seder dinners with our families.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Many interesting and exciting things to discover

We found some new and interesting things in our classroom this week.
Mason/Jade/Lochlan: Why is there a brick in the classroom?
Jade: I have bricks in my house, they build my house.
Mason: Yeah people use bricks to build stuff.
Lochlan: Lots of buildings have bricks. It is heavy, but I am strong.
 Miles: I am strong, I can lift it. Oh IT is heavy.
Mason: Yeah it is heavy.
We  found some familiar things.
Sadie saw the brick, took her notebook down and looked for a certain picture. 
Once she found it, she began to search for that activity in the classroom. 
When she found it, she matched it to last years picture.
Olivia: I wish I knew more of my Hebrew so I could tell Piper what these are.
I know they are for a holiday. 

Morah Katie: Do you remember the name of the holiday? 
Olivia: It's not Purim because that just happened. It's Passover.

Matan: These guys, I know them.  
Matan: What is that, why are they dipping? It looks like the brick. 
Morah Katie: I know, isn't it interesting? I'm so excited to get busy with all our Passover, Pesach, activities.
The new items in our classroom are getting us excited to learn more about our upcoming holiday.
We discovered we are going to eat a very special meal.
Morah Katie: Think about what you may have had for dinner last night.
Raise your hand if you remember.  At my house we had some chicken and avocado with some rice.
We had some water, CJ had almond milk.  I did not put candles on my dinner table last night
Matan: Chicken. And we had cups to drink with.
Maya: Mushrooms, potatoes and garlic butter.  We had some spoons, forks, food.
Olivia: Fish sticks and kale salad.  Yeah, we had the plates and stuff to eat with.
Morah Katie: Think about your Shabbat dinner table.  Shabbat dinner is not just any dinner.  
What are the special things you put on your Shabbat table?
Sadie: Candles 
Lochlan: One cup.
Jade: We have challah.
Morah Katie: Guess what? Pesach ba, Pesach ba, Passover is coming Passover is coming. It is a very special day and we eat a very interesting and different dinner.
At Passover we don't eat
Lochlan: The challah.
Morah Katie: We eat 
Colette: Matzah.
Morah Katie: We also eat
Lochlan: From the Seder plate.
Morah Katie: And we instead of 1 cup of wine we have
Mason/Sophia: We have four!
Olivia: And we can keep this cup for Elijah.
Morah Katie: Our table has transformed!  
 Morah Katie: What does a Shabbat dinner and a Seder dinner have in common?
Olivia: The Candles.
Jade: Look, it's matzah on the game.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Let's Build

We had a Build Challenge this week.
We began with our blocks.
We challenged the children to replicate what they saw in pictures.
Block play supports learning opportunities in the preschool classroom.  
It stimulates imagination and creativity.
We asked them to think broadly beyond the photo challenge, "what else can you do to this block structure?"
Block play fosters math and science.  
The children kept adding length to their road, "Let's make it longer/how many more blocks do we need? Look I can carry five!/Look two of the medium blocks make one long block!" 
Block play develops self esteem.
Mason: I made stairs!
Building continued on the playground
Block play fosters spatial awareness.
After some  serious work and planning for bike routes, 
a long, balance path was created.
The path also required cooperation and teamwork which fosters friendships.
We encouraged the children to create with Lego, big and small.
Miles: My two sections can come apart.
Lochlan: I have a tall tower.
Colette: My tower is tall too.
Lochlan: I'm building a lighthouse for boats in the fog.
Emily: I'm building a boat for me and my mom to go on.
Lochlan: Yeah and in the fog you can see the light.
Miles: I made a boat.
Olivia: I wanted to make a car, but there were no wheels or circles so I made a flying car instead.
And look you can see through it.
The rain stopped and the sun came out.
We grabbed the chance for outdoor play and build time.
Maya: This is heavy. I don't know if I can do it.
Morah Katie: Have you tried rolling it? It is heavy. But I think you are pretty strong and Hashem did give you two strong arms and two strong legs.  I have faith in your ability to push it.
Jade: Yeah we can do it.
Maya: Yeah I can, we can do it.
Sophia: Ummm... Morah Katie I rolled it but I think I DO need help lifting it. It is a bit heavy for me.
Morah Katie. I did watch you roll a lot of logs Sophia.  You are strong, and I am also happy to help you lift a log.
Colette: Now we can roll it. 
Maya: We can take turns.
Collette: We can.
In addition to building with blocks and Lego bricks this week, we also continued to build friendships.
One way to do this is to pay attention to what our friend is saying even when they don't use words.
We made fun pasta faces to help us identify feelings we might see on our friends faces.
We discussed what these faces might feel and when:
Morah Katie: What part of a friends body can tell you how they are feeling?
Olivia: Face.
Morah Katie: What makes you feel happy?
Sadie: When my friends give me hugs to make me feel better.
Mason: When someone plays with me.
Matan: When Ari plays with me.
Lakshmi: When someone hugs me when I am sad.
Emily: Morah Katie and Morah Jillian make me happy.
Morah Katie: Thank you Emily, that is so kind, I feel so happy.  What about the Sad face, when do you feel sad?
Lochlan: When mom says to get dressed for school and I can't and she says I can.
Mason: When mom gives me a time out.
Sadie: When my mom and dad put me in time out.
Emily: When my mom puts me in time out.
Morah Katie: Wow.  Do you guys know why you get a time out?
Mason: We do something wrong.
Morah Katie: Maybe you made a poor choice. What can you do instead? What can you do differently?
Mason: Make a better choice?
Morah Katie: That sounds like a better idea and maybe a happier one.  
At school, what can you do when you see your friend's unhappy face?  
Lochlan: When we stop and listen our friends feel happy. 
Morah Katie: You can stop and check on them. What will you hope to see on their face?
Miles: A smile.