Added to all the other wonderful things our students have been learning, is something special to prepare them for kindergarten (and their future lives) – writing their letters. This week we have launched the Handwriting Without Tears program (HWT). This will eventually be used in conjunction with a phonics element. The children will learn to write their letters as well as the phonetic sound of the letters. This week the children worked on the proper grip for holding a writing utensil. They were instructed to “scribble” on specific items on their papers; for instance they were asked to color the stars on one sheet and to color the fireworks on another sheet. Questions were asked about the pictures as well (colors of stars, have they seen fireworks, etc). Next week will include discussion of colors and shapes. Each lesson builds up to a readiness to write the lines and curves necessary for proper formation of letters.
The children also continued with the magnet letters and spelling out their names. They are encouraged to name the letters in their names and then spell out their names. For children who are easily able to accomplish this, they have been asked to spell out their classmates names. This will allow them to learn different letters and also to sight read their friend’s names. We are also singing a morning song which asks the children to identify their own name and the names of their friends. The children also see everyone’s names on the birds they use to check in each morning. A lot of literacy in going on in Gan Tziporim!
Every few days we have been introducing new materials to the children. This week magnets and magnifying glasses were brought out. The children had a great time seeing what items their magnets stuck to! They found out that the tools were made of the right material – they had iron in them. Magnifying glasses were used to examine the tree stump and branch we brought into the classroom. There were lots of interesting things attached to the branch and rings to check out on the stump.
We found a great picture of the three levels of the ark. Morah hung it up and our students immediately set to work building their own model to match the picture! Such creativity! You will enjoy reading the book all about our tayvah that we built.
Please enjoy a restful Shabbat.
Morah Fran and Morah Yafit