Monthly Archives: September 21, 2018

We Are Ready for Sukkot in Gan Tziporim

The week began, for all the children, encountering Suburban Torah’s huge and beautiful sukkah.  This definitely put everyone in the mindset for Sukkot, thinking about the lovely rituals of decorating and eating in the sukkah and being thankful to Hashem for the bounty provided to us. Following Yom Kippur, we returned to school with thoughts of decorating the sukkah.  There were many posters made in prior years, decorated with student photos. Our class picked out the ones they wanted to hang up and chose where to hang them.  Later in the day the children assembled a new poster, with their photos mounted on etrogim which they had painted.  We explained the use of the etrog and lulov for the holiday, and had them pose, correctly holding a stuffed pair.  Also introduced was the “pitom” on the etrog and how important it is not to break it.  We read the book, The Mystery of the Missing Pitom by Beverly Mach Geller.  The children completed their decorations for their own sukkahs at home.  Those children who chose to make rimonim (pomegranates), painted the  “seeds” red, and then added their pictures.  The children who chose to make etrogim, added a clove “pitom” and their pictures.

Morah Rachelle brought us a pop-up sukkah to use in our classroom.  The children couldn’t wait to go inside!  And they knew just what to do; they brought in all the fruits and vegetables from our housekeeping area and then added all the paraphernalia needed to cook and serve meals.  The children are very enthusiastic about using tools and building things with them.  So in order to serve their interest, we are hoping to build our own little class sukkah next week.  With […]

By |September 21, 2018|

Sukkot is Very Special-Gan Parparim (aka Toddlers)

We hope you had an easy and meaningful fast. Now it’s on to Sukkot.

With toddlers, it’s all about the senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. What an ideal way to experience Sukkot.

We began on Monday when the children arrived at school and saw the shul Sukkah for the first time. Then they heard Mr. George and Mr. Florian hammering the poles to make sure the sukkah  was safe. We looked up and saw a sukkah doesn’t have a roof like our houses do or carpet on the floor.

During circle time, we explained that during Sukkot we thank Hashem for all of the fruits and vegetables he helped us to grow. One of the ways we thank Hashem is to build a sukkah, a special kind of house. When we look up in a sukkah we can see the sky. A sukkah only has 3 sides. We spend as much time in the sukkah with family and friends as we can.  During Sukkot we wave a lulav and etrog because Hashem is everywhere. We read “The Very Crowded Sukkah” by Leslie Kimmelman and the children especially liked the part where all kinds of animals visited the sukkah when the family went to sleep. We also read “Its Sukkah Time” by Berry Kropf.

Because the sukkah is like our house, we want it to look pretty. Each child “filled” an apple with a photo of themselves and decorated it with stickers. Using stickers is a great way to strengthen fine motor skills and prepare children for writing. Using thin paintbrushes for the first time, they painted the other side. This use of different sized brushes is another way for the children to practice fine […]

By |September 21, 2018|

All Ready for Sukkot in the Sunflowers

In the Sunflowers class we have been very busy getting ready for the holiday of Sukkot.  Today we were able to shake a real lulav and etrog.  We even had our picture taken holding a soft lulav and etrog.  We read the book  THE APPLE TREE’S DISCOVERY.  The children loved that it talked about how the apple tree  wanted to have stars around it all the time.   In the end, when an apple was  split open, there was a star inside. The children wanted to see if there really are stars inside an  apple.  Morah Aimee cut open three apples, to everyone’s surprise there was  star in each apple.   The children then enjoyed painting with the apples.

The children have also enjoyed playing in both the Shul’s real sukkah outside and the pop-up sukkah that we have inside.


Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday.  Have a  Chag Sameach.

Morah Pam and Morah Aimee


By |September 21, 2018|

In the Sunflowers

In the Sunflowers today we continued to talk about the upcoming holiday of Yom Kippur.   The children remembered how  important it is to be kind to our friends and how we ask for forgiveness   if we accidentally hurt our friends.  The children enjoyed making their YOM KIPPUR SOCKS  (shoes) that they can wear to shul instead of their Shabbat shoes.  The children also enjoyed when their friends from the Gan Tziporim (4 year old class) shared their water bottles, shovels, and bubbles with us when we were outside on the playground.  We used our good  manners  and said “Thank You.”

Below the children enjoyed trying on their Yom Kippur socks.


The children can not wait to come back to school on Thursday and start to build our very own sukkah  for our classroom.  It is going to be so much fun.  Putting the walls up,  the roof (Sachach), and the decorations is going to be a lot of hard work.  We know that the children will be up  for the task.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out.


Wishing everyone a very easy and meaningful fast.

Morah Pam and Morah Aimee

By |September 17, 2018|

We Are Kind to Each Other–Gan Parparim (aka Toddlers)

While 2 year olds can’t understand the meaning behind Yom Kippur, they can understand it is important to be kind and share with their friends. This morning during circle time we talked about being kind to our friends —  in concrete terms — such as waiting “2 minutes” for their turn with a particular toy and comforting a child who has a boo-boo. This is a concept and practice that will be a central theme throughout the school year.

And it is wonderful that the children love to play together as you can see from the pictures below and in the project they are bringing home to you today.

A reminder. There is no school tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, and regular school days on Thursday and Friday.

Wishing you an easy and meaningful fast.

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie


By |September 17, 2018|

All Set for Yom Kippur in Gan Tziporim

In order to understand the meaning behind the holiday of Yom Kippur, we read the book Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur by Sylvia A. Rouss.
The book present the concept of teshuvah, including saying and meaning the words I am sorry. It is presented in an accessible format, with common, easily relatable mistakes that children make such as not listening when mommy or daddy ask to clean up, or playing ball in the house, or accidentally breaking something. The discussion really resonated with the children as you could hear in their play throughout the day.

The children really enjoy giving to each other and especially as we sing our tzedakah song each morning. Through our discussions about kindness towards others, they like to imagine how people would use the tzedakah money. Your children created these lovely Tzedakah Bears to keep at home to collect their own Tzedakah. Kindly help them learn the mitzvah of giving. When our school tzedakah box is full, we will use the money to purchase things people need and give it to them. We are sure your children will enjoy doing this at home with their special Tzedakah Bear. They are so excited to watch it fill up!!

We look forward to our Sukkot preparations!! We will see you all on Thursday!! Gmar Chatima Tova. May we have an easy and meaningful fast.


Morah Yafit and Morah Fran


By |September 17, 2018|

A Busy (Short) Week–Gan Parparim (aka Toddlers)

G’mar chatimah tovah. We hope you had a wonderful chag and enjoyed the artwork the children brought home.

Speaking of the children, they were so happy to return to school and we were so happy to see them! They even remembered (with a little prompting) that lunches go in the “lunch basket” and sippy cups on the “sippy cup shelf.” It’s clear they are proud of themselves. Sometimes they are ready to be more independent than we even think is possible! They even love helping us sweep up the room and after the rain, they wanted to dry the slides outside.

We thought you would like to know our daily schedule. It basically goes like this: welcome, free play, davening/circle time, snack, outdoor (or in inclement weather, indoor) play in the playground or our outdoor classroom (on the side of the shul), art and/or story time, and lunch. After lunch, the children who stay until 2 p.m. choose a toy (another opportunity to develop independence) to play with quietly on their mats and some rest. Some have been choosing cars and others like the dolls). Then we might go outside, play ball and ride scooters in the gym, open the kitchen area….

Creating art is a huge favorite in our classroom. Our Free Form Art exhibit, which is growing daily, features dot-dotting, rubber stamping, and works using crayons and markers. Daniela especially enjoyed the large (paper) canvas. These works will make their way home to you so we can display new creations. Our children love building all sorts of sculptures with our classroom accessories. This week, Asher took great care in creating a sculpture of a birthday cake for his mother.


By |September 14, 2018|

In the Sunflowers

In the sunflowers this week the children were eager to return to school and share with their friends how their Rosh Hashanah was.  The children enjoyed hearing the shofar being blown in shul; TEKIYAH, SHEVARIM, TERUAH, AND TEKIYAH GEDOLAH.  Dipping the apple in the honey was so yummy.  After hearing how everyone’s holiday went, the children couldn’t resist singing DIP THE APPLE IN THE HONEY… We started to talk about the next holiday of YOM KIPPUR.  We talked about how important it is to be kind to our friends and always say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. We also ask “What can I do to make you feel better?” The compassion the children show to each other is beautiful to observe. WE talked about some of the ways we celebrate this special day. The children said we got o shul and we mentioned that our mommies and daddies stay in shul for a very, very long time. We even talked about some things that we do that are so different than what we normally do like our mommies and daddies don’t eat- they fast. And how silly we thought it was to find out that we don’t wear our Shabbat shoes and instead we wear sneakers or slippers!! We can’t wait to talk more about these things next week!!

Here are some pictures of us being good friends.


We had our first Fire Drill practice this week. First, we talked inside our classroom about safety and ways to be safe. The children were able to give us a whole list of ways they know to stay safe from holding hands while crossing the street to walking safely on the steps. We spoke about how sometimes we […]

By |September 14, 2018|

Gan Tziporim

G’mar chatimah tovah – we hope the children’s gift of honey cake added some sweetness to the hag and your New Year.  They certainly enjoyed the process of measuring, pouring, and mixing the ingredients.  They also learned about two new ingredients – baking soda (to add softness) and baking powder (to add height).  We stressed the need for cleanliness when cooking and baking so as not to spread germs.  Everyone carefully washed hands prior to baking and some had to repeat the washing if they touched their face or hair; an important lesson.

An important value and life lesson of the holidays is to care for others – both our family and friends and the world around us.  To bring this to an understandable and accessible level for the children we discussed what it means to be a friend – how to get along with friends and how to show we care about them.  The children contributed the concepts that they need to share their toys, take turns, and accept different ideas.  They can give a hug when a friend is hurt. We also read the book, Making Friends by Fred Rogers, which discussed similar thoughts and gave advice on dealing with differing opinions.  Another value the children are familiar with is the giving of tzedakah.  We defined tzedakah as following Hashem’s “rules” and helping others is part of that.  The children enjoy singing the tzedakah song each morning as they put their pennies in the box.  Further discussion involved what the tzedakah money might help do.  The children understood that the money that is contributed could help people who don’t have enough money buy clothing and food or toys […]

By |September 14, 2018|

Our Beginnings/Rosh Hashanah in the Sunflowers

We have had so much fun during the first week at school! We loved the playground and the Exploration room.  And especially playing with our friends.

This week we read books about the first day of school and Rosh Hashanah including Apples and Honey by Joan Holub and Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson.

Rosh Hashanah is on its way. We talked about that it is the beginning of the year.   We were able to hold, feel and play with real shofars. We used magnifying glasses to look closer and saw why we felt bumps on each one. We noticed that some of the shofars had stripes and some had two colors or more. We wished we had our own shofars so we decided to create them in our classroom.

We also discussed how we eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet New Year.  We heard that one reason why we eat them could be that since they are round it symbolizes how the cycle of the year goes around and around. So many of the children expressed that they love to eat apples, so, we tasted 3 different color apples with honey.  Then we graphed which color apple each child liked best.

We enjoyed celebrating Shabbat with our friends.  We drank grape juice and tasted Challah.  We even got up and danced to the songs.

Thank you again, Morah Kerry! We loved having you with us!!

We wish you a healthy and happy New Year and look forward to seeing the children next week.


Morah Aimee and Morah Pam

By |September 7, 2018|