The children have been very busy with a variety of sensory activities.  Added to our dry bean/lentil/corn bins, is the box with colored sand, which has been used in a number of ways – making designs with sticks and other implements, moving around rocks with the numbers 1-10 written on them, sifting and pouring into bowls.  For good fine motor practice, the children have been threading beads onto pipe cleaners stuck into a styrofoam base.  The bead-threading is a precursor to another activity that ties into our study of the events and characters involved with the Thanksgiving story.

The children have been looking at the books we brought to class (and that we have also been reading to them) about New Jersey’s Indigenous people, the Lenape tribe, and also the Wampanoag tribe of Plymouth, Massachusetts.  There are drawings and photographs (reenactments) of these Native Americans and their customs and dress.  Several pictures show beaded headbands being worn by the Native Americans.  We were able to get mesh material that could serve as a facsimile of a headband and upon which the children would be able to sew beads. The children had also had some practice sewing on plastic mesh squares with the Hebrew letters, aleph and bet, written on them.  They had to learn to bring a plastic needle through the little holes to the back of the square, and then poke it through to the front of the square.  This is challenging to maneuver, but the children demonstrated patience and perseverance.  It was also a nice way to reinforce these Hebrew letters.  This demonstrates how one activity blends into and reinforces another activity.  And there is also an interconnectedness to the topics the children have been pursuing.

The Parsha for this week  has been Chayai Sarah.  Shabbat candle lighting is part of the story and the children got to use the beans from their sensory bins to form a candle holder.  They mixed the beans with Tacky Glue in a paper cup, inserted an aluminum candle holder, and left it to dry.  When dry, the cup will be peeled away, leaving the bean candle holder – a reminder of  this Parsha.

Shabbat Shalom!

We will have no school tomorrow, Friday Nov 2, for Teacher Professional Development Day.

We’ll see you Monday.