Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Thoughtful Seder

Some thoughts from the books the children made this week.
When I sit at the festive Passover Seder Table, I think about
Lochlan: Putting special things on my table.
When I light the bright Holiday candles, I think about
Makayah: The blessing.
When I eat flat crunchy matzah I think about
Moshe: The slaves in Egypt when they were sad.
When I drink 4 cups of sweet grape juice, I think about
Emily: The FOUR cups of wine.
When I eat some bitter Maror, I think about
Evan: King Pharaoh made the Jews do stuff and they had a hard bitter life.
When I dip a vegetable into salty water, I think about
Eli: The tears.

When I eat red and brown charoset, I think about
Clive: The materials used to make the bricks.
When I lean on a comfy pillow, I think about
Lochlan: How happy we are free.
When I see a tall Elijah's cup, I think about
Makayah: The blessings.
When I ask the 4 Questions in the Mah Nishtana, I think about
Moshe: Learning more about the slaves in Egypt.
When I hear the empowering story of the slaves in Egypt becoming free, I think about
Moshe: How happy I feel.
After the lovey Seder, I fall asleep and think about
Evan: That the Jewish people were free.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Passover is on it's way

We are learning about the empowering story of the Jewish slaves in Egypt becoming free.
The lives of the Jewish people were:
Lochlan: Not so easy.  They did not live happy lives.  
Evan: They were sad.
Clive: They felt bitter.
Moshe: They felt like giving up.
Morah Tzivie told us how Hashem did not want his people to be slaves. He told Moshe, who was a brave, kind and caring leader to go speak to Pharaoh have him let the Jews go.
Makayah: He said "Let them go".
Kids: Pharaoh said NO NO NO, I will not let them go.
Morah Tzivie: What happened?
Lochlan: The water turned to blood.
Morah Tzivie: They couldn't use their water!  Pharaoh said ok- Go! But then...
Annabel: He changed his mind.
Morah Tzivie: Moshe went back to Pharaoh and ask him to let his people go.  Hashem sent another consequence when Pharaoh said no.  This happened...
Kids: 10 times!
Morah Tzivie: Finally the Jewish people get to leave Egypt and be free!
We used art to depend our experience and understanding of the Passover story.
Morah Katie: What does the sand feel like?
Lochlan: Deserty. Egypt.
Morah Katie: Would you enjoy being out in the sand all day?
Lochlan: NO, it would be hard and hot.
Emily: I wouldn’t want to work in it all day long.
Moshe: It…feels…sandy.  
Morah Katie: Where did the Jewish people get the stuff to make the buildings and roads and pyramids for Pharaoh?
Makayah: They had to make it.
Morah Katie: How did they use the materials to create those big structures?
Emily: They didn’t have the stuff to carry the big boulders, they needed to use their hands and put stuff on their backs to carry stuff.
Morah Katie: How did the Jewish people feel when they were leaving Egypt?
Evan: Happy.
Emily: Good. He was a bad king.
Morah Katie: Please tell me what you know about Passover.
Lochlan: It's Pesach in Hebrew.
Makayah: We drink four cups of wine.
Lochlan: The Jews had to work for King Pharaoh and they never got to sleep or eat.
Moshe:  We only eat matzah, not challah for Passover.
Makayah: The Jewish people went away from King Pharaoh.
Moshe: We eat different foods.
Lochlan: Moshe tapped his stick on the sea and it split.
Morah Katie: You all know a lot.  What do you want to learn about Passover? About Pesach?
Lochlan: Where did the Jewish people go to?
Makayah: Why the food?
Lochlan: How long did they have to walk?
Morah Katie: These are great questions! We will discover the answers together. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

 One of my long time professional goals has been for the children to believe that their intellect and natural talent are just the beginning of their potential.
This can be best accomplished by helping the children develop habits of discovery and perseverance.
When they add dedication and hard work, they create resilience and a love of learning that will guide them toward greatness.
If skills and activities are done consistently, they become habits.
Once it becomes a habit, the child will just automatically revert to a growth mindset perspective every time it is needed in life.
What is resilience and perseverance in preschool?

Perseverance doesn’t have to conjure an image of a sweaty brow.
It can be a child working day after day mastering holding a pencil.
The child receives the lesson in holding the pencil.
The child repeatedly hears the gentle reminder to “pinch the tape.”
The child adjusts his grip. The child falls back to a fist grasp and is given a gentle reminder. Back and forth this is played out until one day, one week the child has mastered holding the pencil (or marker) properly.
We reinforce the practice of habit building with encouraging phrases saying: You are learning/
This is new, you’ll get it/You have really been working hard at that, and now you are doing it.
Once they have mastered something, we help our friends stretch their skills just a bit more.
As we layer on new uses for known skills and present new skills, we are showing the children they are continually growing and learning.
We are so fortunate to witness these young peacemakers using the skills we share with them to solve problems respectfully and with love.
There can be situations that can bring stress and worry to them.
Resilience in a preschool classroom occurs when a child experiences something unexpected and realizes he is capable of getting through it without a great deal of stress or worry.
One friend experienced this when his mom was delayed for dismissal.  It was a new and different experience for him.  He was not happy, he was concerned. He felt unsure.  I told him, he was safe, he could handle it.  I believed in him.  He told me what he felt he needed- time to think and breathe.
We waited for his mom together, quietly.  As mom walked to the door, I said quietly,"I knew you could do it."
One of the most exciting growth moments to witness is when a friend decides how they will respond to the NO they received.
THIS has been very impressive to watch.
We can, and have been empathizing with them, when their faces suddenly droop or pinch upon hearing NO when things have not gone their way.
Resilience is built when they decide what to do next. Do they stay in grief? Do they move deeper into anger? Do they search for a solution?
We help them acknowledge that they didn't get what they wanted. We encourage them to think about what they can do.  We assure them that we believe in them and in their capability.
 It may take some time, but we have observed that our friends know what will settle their hurt and bring them a sense of peace.

The Gan is a garden, we plant seeds that grow with practice and time and love.