Our birthday celebrations are a special time. It is a time that encourages giving and friendship. Besides baking a birthday cake for Ella and decorating her treasure box gift, the children joined together to sing and play some lively birthday games. They played the Israeli circle game of “Uga, Uga Uga” (Cake, Cake, Cake) while also learning the terminology for sit and stand in Hebrew – lashevet and lakum. Then they played an old classic American children’s circle game, “Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window”. The children stood in a circle holding hands high up in arches (to form the “windows” in the song). Ella was the first “Blue Bird” who flew in and out of the arches or “windows”. During the second verse, the “bird” (Ella) chose a partner by patting him/her on the shoulders. The second child then followed holding the first child’s shoulders while they passed through the “windows”. The game continued on until all the children made a chain and there were only two children left forming an arch (or “window”). The morahs made the final arches. The children giggled as they tapped each other on the shoulders and followed on the long chain through the windows. Ella’s family enjoyed watching the fun- her mother, two grandmothers and her great-grandmother. It was wonderful having the four generations in our classroom to celebrate!
The children enjoyed another fun sing-along with Morah Jill. They sang about falling leaves, five round orange pumpkins, a sad turkey sitting on a backyard fence, and danced a Thanksgiving food dance.
The children have been introduced to their own personal journals. There is a space on each page for the children to draw a picture. The rest of the page has lines to write down the children’s dictation explaining their drawings. We did not have to call the children over to participate in this activity. They were all excited to have their own books and to express themselves in word and picture.
To go along with the letter “Ll” that the children have been working on with the Handwriting Without Tears program, we have been finding words that begin with the initial L sound – legs, lips, leaves, Lia, Lieba, Lauren. Phonetics has also been used during our morning meeting time when we sing our name song, and write the attendance, weather, and date on the whiteboard. The children also continue working on their names and their classmates names with the magnet letters. We have also used sandpaper alphabet cards to add a sensory element to learning the alphabet letters.
As the children complete one Thanksgiving project, several more are underway. The children finished sewing their beads on the mesh strips. This project took time, good eye-hand coordination, and patience. The results are lovely and “child-authentic”. The children noticed a present-day Lenape child on the cover of a book about the Lenape, dressed in full celebratory regalia. He was wearing a beaded headband and that is from whence the project emanated. We hot-glued the mesh strip onto a strip of oak tag and the children chose a few feathers to attach. When looking through our resource material, pictures and text, we noticed that the chief of the tribe wore headpieces with many feathers, but the ordinary native populace only used a few. We wish to be respectful of the true customs of our indigenous people. The children will have the opportunity to wear their headbands at the school feast. Our class will be preparing a vegetable soup (an extension of our study of vegetables) for the school feast and we will send each family a request for a particular vegetable soon.
We look forward to seeing many of you at our Back-to-School night this Thursday evening. It will be a fun and informative event.
Morah Fran and Morah Yafit