Monthly Archives: November 22, 2016

Last minute Thanksgiving preparations with the Butterflies!

Our feast is tomorrow! After lots of preparation, we are all ready.

Today we made some delicious sweet potatoes to serve. First we thought about what color the inside might be. Some children thought blue or red. We cut one open and it was orange! We mashed them with a big spoon.

We also decorated a tablecloth with Thanksgiving stamps and rollers (and of course a few handprints for good measure).

We’re looking forward to our Thanksgiving celebration together tomorrow and we hope your weekend will be fun and full of lots of relaxing family time. See you on Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

By |November 22, 2016|

The Sunflowers Honor Sarah Imeinu

The Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah and Rashi commenting on Bereishit 24:67) tells us that the Shabbat lamps lit each week by Sarah Imeinu continued to burn from Erev Shabbat to Erev Shabbat, and her home was full of blessings. Sarah was known to honor Shabbat. We are sure she cooked the most special meals to honor this special day from Hashem. She must have chosen the most special grains and beans and vegetables as a way to teach those around her this special mitzva. We remember Sarah now and find ways to make Shabbat special, too. This week we decided to take some special beans and grains to make a Shabbat candlestick. We wish our Shabbat candles would be as bright as Sarah Imeinu.

Also in this week’s Parsha we find that Yitzchak, Avraham’s son, is grown up.  Avraham wants to find a wife for him and wants the girl to be kind, caring and a good person.  He chooses his trustworthy servant Eliezer to go to Charan to find the right wife for Yitzchak.  Eliezer takes camels and gifts. He davens to Hashem to help him figure out a way to find a girl who has a kind heart and will be hospitable like Avraham and Sarah.   Eliezer decides to stop at a well where he knows girls come to fill up their pitchers with water.   He decides that if he meets a girl who offers water to him and his camels then this would be a sign that she is kind and would be the right girl for Yitzchak.  He prays to Hashem to help him.  Rivka is that girl.   She not only gives Eliezer water but she runs back and forth filling up her pitcher to give […]

By |November 22, 2016|

Thankful Sunflowers

When we spoke about the holiday of Thanksgiving, we talked about the name given to the holiday. The children kept repeating the name over and over, faster and slower. They began to hear it as two words, thanks and giving. That was interesting. We asked why the holiday would be called that. Who was thankful and for what? The Pilgrims wanted to thank the Native Americans for teaching them how to plant food and how to live in the cold winters in America. So the Pilgrims made a feast to say thank you. In our circle time we talked about what we have in our lives that makes us say thank you. Anna is thankful for her baby, Sammy. Eli is thankful for his drawing pens. Effie is thankful for his new big bike. Mae is thankful for her bed. Noam is thankful for his Abba and Ima. Tal is thankful for his superhero toys.

We wrote what the yeladim answered on foam leaves. They then decorated their leaves with the corn kernels that we dyed last week. We hung our leaves on our “Thankful tree”, and it looks so nice in the room. We always have to be thankful for what we have.

By |November 22, 2016|

Parshat Vayeira: Jerusalem and the Holiness of Sacrifice

“Take now your son… and go to the land of Moriah; bring him up there as an offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you.” (Bereishit 22:2)

The great Rav Chaim of Tzanz, author of the Divrei Chaim, points out that God chose two mountains to play a significant role in Jewish history: Mount Sinai, where the Torah was given to the people of Israel, and Mount Moriah, where Avraham bound his son Yitzchak, and upon which the Beit Hamikdash was eventually built.  Both of these mountains were made holy, but it was specifically Mount Moriah, and not Mount Sinai, that was chosen to be the site of God’s house in this earth.  But why did God choose Mount Moriah?  One can certainly argue that Mount Sinai, where God revealed Himself to the people of Israel and gave them the Torah, is a more appropriate location for the Beit Hamikdash!

Rav Chaim answers this question with an extraordinary statement.  “A place where a Jew once stretched forth his neck to be slaughtered, as Yitzchak so willingly did at Mount Moriah, is holier in God’s eyes than a place where God’s presence was revealed to the world and where the holy Torah itself was given!” (Otzar HaMachshavah shel Hachassidus)

In only a few months from now, on Yom Yerushalayim, Jews all over the world will mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Yerushalayim, and the six miraculous days that changed the course of history.  With God’s help, many of us will join the Mizrachi World Movement’s Yom Yerushalayim mission, where together with hundreds of thousands of our fellow Jews, we will march through the streets of the Holy City, our eyes and hearts directed […]

By |November 18, 2016|

Pumpkin Spice is Oh So Nice in the Sunflowers

We thoroughly enjoyed looking at and feeling all the different types of vegetables that we brought into our kitah. We did notice that none of them had a very strong smell from the outside before they were cut, but they felt very heavy. The yeladim picked up each type of squash and the other vegetables. They felt their different weights. They realized that the pumpkin was the heaviest. When we cut open the vegetables we compared their flesh and seeds. The children observed again that the pumpkin had the biggest seeds.

So now we saw the inside of a pumpkin. We noticed its orange colored flesh. We even baked it and tasted it. It was not too sweet.

The children remembered how we made Pomegranate Play Dough back at Rosh Hashanah time. We decided to make Pumpkin Play Dough for Thanksgiving!!
Our recipe called for canned pumpkin to make our special Pumpkin Spice Play Dough. When we opened the canned pumpkin, we compared what the canned pumpkin looked like to what the real pumpkin looked like. That was interesting. The yeladim loved taking the pumpkin in their hands and squishing it!! They loved mixing the playdough with their hands as well. We counted and measured all the ingredients.

It feels so smooth and cool when we play with it! We love playing with it every day.

By |November 17, 2016|

Parshat V’yeira with the Sunflowers

In this week’s Parsha, V’yeira, Avraham sat in his tent and always loved to welcome guests. What a special mitzvah this is. The mitzvah of hachnasat orchim. One hot and sunny day in the desert, three people came to visit Avraham. But they were not just any three people. They were angels sent from Hashem to tell Avraham some very special news; that his wife Sarah was going to have a baby. Sarah was 90 years old, too old to have a baby. She could not believe it, so she laughed when she heard the news! That is why she named her baby boy Yitzchak. Yitzchak means “to laugh” in Hebrew.
The yeladim had the opportunity to be “angels” themselves. They walked in sand pretending to be on their way to meet Avraham in his tent. They took of their shoes, rolled up their pants and enjoyed feeling the sand on their feet.

After that, they walked on a long piece of paper with brown paint and made footprints all over the paper.

We expanded our conversation about hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests. We spoke about how sometimes on Shabbos our families invite people over for lunch. We made a special sign with footprints on it. We added the words, Bruchim Habaim. Now you can show everyone that your home always welcomes visitors.

By |November 17, 2016|

Introducing the IBECC Sunflower Players!

The yeladim love learning the story of Thanksgiving. We love singing all our Thanksgiving songs and telling the story using the felt board. But our favorite part is acting out the story on the stage. Role playing gives each child the opportunity to try on different personalities in a safe way. Some children are naturally cautious and quieter; some are innately strong and more comfortable “strutting their stuff”. Taking on the personality of different types of people helps children to understand different viewpoints and opinions. This is the beginning of so many important skills including being empathic, socially aware, and even debating opinions.

The yeladim in our class were each given a different part in the play; the king of England, the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. It was so great to see how each child played their role so seriously. And they didn’t want to stop at one show!! They enjoyed reenacting the story in so many different ways in so many areas of our school; from the exploration room to our classroom and even the indoor playroom. All this repetition brought out different aspects, encouraging the children to keep thinking of the why and the how, giving them the opportunity to delve into the story even deeper.  Hope you enjoy the pictures!

By |November 15, 2016|

What Do the Native Americans Wear? in the Butterfly Class

Yesterday we baked cornbread!

We counted each cup of flour, cornmeal, and sugar as we took turns pouring them in. The children even cracked the eggs themselves.

Baking together is a wonderful time to practice being patient as we go around the table giving each person a chance to add an ingredient. We count to 10 as each child mixes the batter and then passes it on.

It smelled so good when it came out of the oven. Our Thanksgiving feast is going to be delicious. Next up in the Butterfly Kitchen: turkey shaped cookies!

We are also learning all about the Native Americans. When we need new clothes, all we have to do is go to the store and buy them. Lucky us! But they had to make all their clothes themselves! They dyed their own fabrics, just like we made our tie dye shirts last week. Today the children helped cut fringes on the bottom of each shirt to look even more like the Native American clothing. (But they know it’s not real clothes like the shirts we wear every day – it’s just a costume that we’re making! That’s why we can cut it. We should never ever cut our clothing. : ))

The Native Americans were also known for the beading they did. The Butterfly Class is going to be known for their beading too! In addition to the beading project we did last week, we designed bracelets to wear. With our careful pincer grasp, we choose which beads we wanted. Look at us using our expert fine motor skills to thread the beads onto pipe cleaners! Such concentration.

We looked at a picture of some Native Americans and noticed that the hats they […]

By |November 15, 2016|

Thanksgiving Art with the Butterflies

We have been creating such wonderful things together! Here’s a little peek at the creativity happening in our classroom over the last few days.

We really enjoyed “getting to know” corn on the cob! We found on our table an ear of corn inside its green husk. We grasped the end of the husk and used our muscles to pull it down to see what was inside. This was so hard. We had to use two hands!! And surprise! We saw all the yellow kernels stuck together on the cob. And then we squeezed them and the juice sprayed out! It was so funny. Then we tasted it. Yum!!!

After all our corn explorations, we took the corn on the cob and rolled it in yellow paint. Back and forth! Our hands got covered in paint and it felt very wet. Then we rolled the corn onto a piece of cloth. And guess what we saw! The shape of the kernels came out onto the cloth. Just like it looked bumpy on the cob, it looked bumpy on the cloth too.

After it dried, we stamped leaf prints around the edges. Can you guess what special Thanksgiving centerpiece we’re making?

We also used our fine motor skills to thread beads onto wire to create something else for our Thanksgiving table.

The Native Americans lived in a kind of tent called a teepee. We decided to see if we could build one of our own! We found a few long branches and wound yarn all around them.

We also painted big pieces of butcher paper to be the walls. We made super long strokes with our paintbrushes.

Morah Rachelle showed us how to make dye. She asked us […]

By |November 11, 2016|

That’s Also a Squash? Be Safe When you Travel. With the Sunflowers

In our research about Native Americans we noted that they used the things they found in their environment for all their needs. Through looking at pictures of Native Americans we noticed that they used the skins of animals for very many things including blankets, clothing and even to build their homes. We brought into our classroom different fabrics with patterns of the different animals. During circle time the yeladim were able to examine, feel and compare the different textures and skin patterns that different animals have.

We continued our discussion of how the Native Americans dyed their clothes. Earlier in the week we took the corn kernels and separated them into different bags. We added a different color of food coloring to each bag and mixed the color and the kernels together. We let them sit for a few days and waited to see what would happen. At the end of the week we took out our kernels to look at. Our corn kernels that we dyed with food coloring looked so different than what they looked like before we added the food coloring!

Our exploration about using color to dye things was not over. We really wanted to feel what it was like to live at the time of the Native Americans and Pilgrims. Morah Rachelle explained that since there were no stores to buy certain items, the Native Americans had to use what they had; very often it was different plants, vegetables and fruits. The Native Americans honored the land by using as much as they could of what would grow. So we thought about the colors we knew and brainstormed together what foods we knew of that could be used […]

By |November 11, 2016|