Friday, September 28, 2018

I have a little Sukkah

We began our week in the middle of Sukkot. 
We dove right into crafts and activities.
The real lulav and estrog inspired us to create one with fun materials from our art shelf.
 We "built" a paper sukkah on the wall of our classroom, to expand our home living fun.

 We traveled outside for a nature walk to collect some sticks and twigs for more classroom sukkah activities.
Morah Katie: Why do we need sticks and twigs, what will we use them for?
Lochlan: The roof of the sukkah.
Moshe: The schach.

 We had plenty of schach to use for our sukkah collages.
We used the collected twigs to help us create sukkahs for the dollhouse family.

 We had the privilege of a special guest who helped us make the blessing with the lulav and estrog.
Efraim gently helped each child hold the lulav and estrog, and patiently lead his young friend as they said the blessing.

Morah Katie: What is similar about the sukkah and the classroom?
Lochlan: They both have walls.
Clive: The sukkah has a door, the classroom has a door.
Evan: We play in them. 
Emily: We eat in them.
Morah Katie: What is different?
Lochlan: You can see the sky in the sukkah.  
Emily: I can't see the sky in here.
Evan: The Earth is the floor in the sukkah, this is not the Earth, this is the floor.
We ate lunch and made the blessing with Rabbi Greenberg.
Emily: I love it here.  It is so beautiful.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Being good friends

We prepared for Yom Kippur this week in a couple of ways.
We began by singing a song about feelings.
The song asks us to show certain feelings on our faces:
Show me happy
Show me sad
Show me silly
Show me mad
Show me tired
Show me shy
Show me scared
Show me surprised
The children have a really good time making the faces.  The "sad" and "mad" faces always cause the most giggles.

We extended this at our tinker table.
We had items out to create different feelings we might have on our face, or that we may see on a friend's face.

We build on the feelings song with another song.
Let's be friends, Let's be friends
Let's share and play, Let's share and play.
I will care for you, you will care for me,
everyday, everyday.

Oops I'm sorry, oops I'm sorry, 
What did I do? What did I do?
I didn't mean to hurt you, I want to make it better.
I made a mistake, I'll fix my mistake.
If my friends see that a friend's face is suddenly looking sad/mad, they know what to do.
If they made a mistake and caused someone to feel bad, they can say: I'm sorry. What can I do to help you feel better? 
If my friend is the one who is feeling bad, he/she can say: I am feeling mad because_______.  Please help me fix this by_________.

In our peaceful classroom, we know there is a lot we are capable of doing and achieving.
We are proud of those things, and we know that when mistakes happen we can fix them.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lochlan: Mitzvahs are kind things we do.
Moshe: They help people.
Emily: When I do a mitzvah I can make someone smile.
Eli: When someone feels sad you can play with them.

There are moments in our day when we come across a challenge. Things don't go as we planned, supplies run out, friends say no.  We no longer feel sweet.  What we choose to do in those moments is important.  

Morah Katie: How many of you dipped your apples in honey on Rosh Hashanah? (All my friends raised their hands.) We know that mitzvahs help everyone feel sweet like those honey dipped apples.
Yet sometimes, we are going to feel not so sweet. We are going to feel sour, more like a lemon. When you feel like a sour lemon what are somethings you can do?
Emily: I can find someone to play with.
Lochlan: I can help someone.
Clive: I can ask my mom and dad for help.
Morah Katie: You are really thinking of solutions to turn feeling sour into feeling sweet! 
All of these ideas could turn a challenging situation into a positive experience.

Taste test: Making a Lemon Sweet
Step 1: Taste a Lemon (the sour experience)
Step 2:  Dip the Lemon in some honey (begin to think of a positive solution-do a mitzvah for someone/ask for help/find a friend)
Step 3: Dip apples in honey (Attempt the positive solution to begin changing the situation)
Step 4: Enjoy the sweetness.