Monthly Archives: January 31, 2019

Gan Tziporim Celebrate Lieba’s Fifth Birthday!

We celebrated Lieba’s fifth birthday this week.  As is our custom, the children all helped decorate a lovely box for her in which to keep her trinkets.  They cut up and glued beautiful printed napkins onto the cover and sides of the wooden box.  Then we modge podged the box to a glossy shine – so pretty!


We decided to bake cupcakes as the special treat to celebrate Lieba’s birthday.  Lieba requested chocolate cupcakes and we also decided to bake vanilla cupcakes for those children that preferred that flavor.  Lieba poured in the cake mix and then added oil, water, and eggs for each batter.  She was super careful to examine all of the eggs for blood spots before adding them to the mixes.  Then all the children took turns mixing the two batters.

Lieba also requested that we play the game Bluebird, Bluebird because all the children laugh when they follow each other around the circle.  We thank Lieba’s family for reading the entertaining book which they brought us for a class gift.


Some of the girls enjoyed building a house with blocks for the family of dolls that they were playing with. They created a unique design and even included a little corral for their horses and other pets.


The children worked on the Hebrew letter Dalet.  They cut and glued the pictures of the words beginning with the initial Dalet sound: devorah – bee; delet – door; and dag – fish (which amused them to hear since it sounds like the English, dog).


We encourage the children to write in their journals.  They draw a picture and then dictate a story to go along with the illustration.  Lia drew a charming picture of a flower that a […]

By |January 31, 2019|

Gan Tziporim Happy to Be Back

It was lovely to have had a vacation break, but then delightful to return to see our children, families, and teachers.  We decided to have a sharing time so we could learn about what everyone did on their winter break.  Some of us had the opportunity to travel on cruises or visit other places (Mexico, Florida, Israel), while others relaxed and had playdates or visited fun places like Imagination Station.  This was a good chance for the children to have practice organizing their thoughts and learning to express themselves in front of a group. They enjoyed all the attention too.
We thought it would be beneficial to continue with the review of the Hebrew alphabet.  The children worked on the letter Gimel, cutting and gluing pictures of words with the initial sound of the Gimel.  The words were: gahl – wheel; gamal – camel; and gezer – carrot.  The children are becoming more proficient in their cutting skills as well as their Hebrew literacy.

Since we discussed and celebrated trees for Tu B’Shevat, we decided to expand the theme of growing things by doing an experiment with beans.  First the children watched a stop gap video of beans growing in the ground.  They were able to see the roots, stems and leaves sprouting.  We had the children count out five red beans and place them on wet paper towels.  They then folded the towels over the beans and inserted them in zip lock bags. The bags were placed on the window sill. We will wait a week and then check to see what has happened to the beans.  Will they look like the beans we saw in the video?
 It’s always fun to pay a visit to […]

By |January 31, 2019|

Finding Our Shadow in The Sunflowers

We were so excited to come back to school this week. We welcomed back the children and they welcomed the teachers. Everyone had a chance to share what they did over the break.

We reviewed our discussion about hibernating. We remembered that it is very hard for animals to find food outdoors in the winter time. The ground may be frozen. Many plants and berries don’t grow. Lakes and streams may freeze over and the animals can’t find fish and underwater plants to eat. So, many animals hibernate; they take a long winter rest. Their heart slow down and their breathing slows down and they do not need so much food to eat. The children in the Sunflower class love to practice hibernating!! They may even ask you to join them!!

We finished up our unit on hibernation and we started to talk about Groundhog Day. The Morot explained to the children the myth that if a groundhog comes out of his home and sees if he sees his shadow, there could be 6 more weeks of Winter. If he does not, then Spring could come early. Using the overhead projector, we tried to find our own shadows. Each of the children had a turn to stand in front of the light and each of them struck a pose! This was so much fun.

The children created a groundhog puppet using a paper bag.They glued on his eyes, ears, and a nose. They also glued on his body and BIG white teeth. After they were dry, we got to play with them and make them move.

We also sang 2 songs about a groundhogs:

By |January 30, 2019|

Welcome Chana! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

It is so heartwarming to see how delighted the children are to be back in school. We missed them so much! On Monday they didn’t miss a beat as they happily reunited with their friends and their favorite toys.

In addition to our welcoming the children back to school, the children warmly welcomed our newest friend, Chana Dobroskin. Chana, her baby brother, and parents, Aviva and Shneur, live in Livingston.

Over the next several weeks, we will be working on color recognition. This week we are focusing on red, blue, and green. Since the children can’t get enough of the Sesame Street books we have in class, we decided that Elmo (red), Cookie Monster (blue), and Oscar the Grouch (green) came to visit.

The Social Hall is a wonderful indoor play space. We love to ride red, green, and blue scooters, play roly-poly and hide-and-seek. It’s also a venue for our newest favorite activity — re-purposing empty boxes from around the shul and transforming them into imaginary airplanes, trains, and cozy places to take a pretend nap.

By |January 29, 2019|

Look who came to visit the Sunflowers!

In the Sunflowers Classroom we have been fortunate to have some wonderful visitors. Ms. Sharon Kessel from the Eye of Hope came with her dog Quill. Quill is training to become a seeing eye dog. We explained to the children that not everyone is able to see. Quill and other dogs help these people get around. Ms. Kessel showed us what BRAILLE is. It is special raised dots that represent each letter in the alphabet so a vision impaired person can read. The vision impaired also use a walking stick to help them get around. Seeing eye dogs like Quill learn to follow commands and to feel out the environment to make sure it safe for the person. At the end, all of the children enjoyed petting Quill. This was a wonderful experience for everyone.

Thank you to Daniella in the Toddler Class for celebrating her birthday with the entire school. Her family brought in UNCLE JOHN’S PUPPET SHOW. The children were entertained with a magic show followed by a fantastic puppet show. In the magic show, the children saw Uncle John pull a rabbit out of his hat, a card trick, after ripping up tissue paper he made it turn into a hat. Uncle John made a drawing board come alive. He drew a face on a white board and then made it move. This was the favorite trick. The puppet show was made up of puppets from our favorite children’s TV shows. Ernie and Bert and The Count from Sesame Street, Barney, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Bob the Builder to name a few. The children enjoyed singing all of their favorite songs; WHEELS ON THE BUS, IF […]

By |January 18, 2019|

Trees, Puppets, and Vacation in the Toddlers

The children had a taste — literally — of Tu B’Shevat, as they sampled dried figs, raisins, and apricots. Elisheva, Aryeh, and Dovid love liked the apricots and (almost) everyone enjoyed their raisins. We played “pin the fruit” on the tree as another way to celebrate the holiday.

Each child also made their own tree, which incorporated natural materials in the design. This free-form project honed fine motor skills as well as decision making and personal expression as each child decided where to glue the branches and the number and colors of the flowers. We hope you enjoy it when celebrating Tu B’Shevat at home.

Thank you to the Goldenthal family for hosting Uncle John’s Puppet Show in honor of Daniela’s 3rd birthday. The entire school shrieked with laughter at the antics of Sesame Street puppets and were astounded by card tricks and a rabbit jumping out of a hat.

Daniela was delighted with the treasure box our class made for her. When asked what she would put in it, she excitedly said “new treasures.”

Thank you to Elisheva and the Herrera family for our delicious healthy snack of clementines and peaches.

It’s hard to believe that vacation marks the halfway point of the school year. The childrens’ growth — physical, emotional, and social — is remarkable. We hope that you all have a wonderful vacation during which many new memories are made.

Thank you for sharing your children with us.

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |January 15, 2019|

Gan Tziporim are getting ready for Tu B’Shvat

The children are reviewing the Hebrew letters they have learned so far and are creating a book which will eventually include all the letters they will learn this year.  So far they have reviewed aleph and bet and also some words that begin with these letters – for bet we have balone (balloon), bayit (house), and bahnahnah (banana).  The children have also been asking to write in their journals.  Besides some of their own ideas for stories, we have been guiding them by asking them to draw a self-portrait and then answering questions about themselves.  They have provided their full names, where they live, age, who they live with, eye and hair color, and favorite foods and toys. It will be fun to check these journals out in several years to learn who they were at age four and five.
 We don’t know if the children are experimenting with height or were influenced by the pictures and fantasy play about Rapunzel that has been very popular in our class! They usually build structures with the blocks that are lower and spread out but now there is this tower.  They understood that there was a limit with how tall the structure would be before it would topple over.  Great math/physics problems.  
Quill, the seeing eye puppy came for a visit.  Her trainer explained all about blind people and how they have a need for help in getting around.  The dogs are highly trained to ignore […]

By |January 13, 2019|

Quill Comes to Visit — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

The highlight of our week was meeting and petting Quill, a beautiful seeing eye puppy fostered by Sharon Kessel. In preparation for his visit, we talked about how some dogs are helpers for people whose eyes don’t work very well. (When Ethan heard the word “helper,” he said, “like the rabbi.”)  We also read Spot Goes to the Circus.
Not only did the children have the opportunity to pet him (the fur was soft), they were also able to see and touch a harness and cane. It was a truly memorable experience that brought doing mitzvot to life.
We continued our focus on Tu B’Shevat. Every day we sang “Happy Birthday Dear Trees.” We began making our own trees using natural materials and loose parts. The wood chips and tree stump figured prominently in our free play.
And finally, we returned to the Exploration Room to investigate its newest addition- an engaging hands on activity board created with love by the ingenious Sheina Herrara, mother of Shalom Nissim and Elisheva. This amazing activity board represents what the Exploration Room is all about: the opportunity for the children to examine by touch, sight, and sound the use of every day objects. Thank you, Sheina, for this invaluable addition to IBEEC.
Elisheva was Shabbat Ema and Aryeh was Shabbat Abba. The dinosaur once again came to visit as well as some animals on their way to shul.
Wishing you a peaceful and joyous Shabbat.
Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |January 13, 2019|

We’ve got rhythm…We’ve got music… Who could ask for anything more! in the Sunflowers

The Sunflowers love for music is marvelous.  The children just can’t get enough of it.   The class was fortunate to have Zachary’s mom come play her guitar for us.  The children gladly sang along and followed the hand motions to some of their favorites.  IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM, SHAKE OUR SILLIES OUT  to name a few.  After singing our favorites, the children then learned a new song. It’s called MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS  by Bob Dylan.  Morah Debra held the book up and turned the pages showing off the beautiful illustrations as Zachary’s mom sang the song.  It was an amazing experience watching the class sit with bated breath for what the next animal to get a name would be.


Morah Jill came to play with the Sunflowers this week.  Everyone enjoyed being able to use scarves and shakers as part of their music experience. Utilizing the entire space in the exploration room is always a blast whether we’re marching, following the leader, or this week being bunnies and having Morah jill catch us and give the children a “carrot”.  Each music class starts with the HELLO SONG followed by all the fun exciting songs Morah Jill brings with her.  This week’s songs were:






The beat goes on and on as the children were able to experience playing a […]

By |January 13, 2019|

Trees in Gan Tziporim

With the holiday of Tu B’Shevat just around the corner, the topic of trees has returned for us. We began the week singing songs about Tu B’Shevat with Morah Jill.  She had the children use colorful scarves to emulate trees “dancing” and blowing in the breeze. Songs about the holiday were sung in the English and Hebrew versions.

Since we had spent a lot of time learning about fruits and vegetables, this was a good opportunity to inform the children about the practice of eating dried fruits during Tu B’Shevat in Israel. We discussed how we are now able to get most fruits that we would like to eat at any time of the year.  Air transport from other countries is easier and there are seasonal differences too. But years ago this wasn’t possible and even today in Israel, during the winter months, many fruits are not available and Israel does not import them like we do here in the U.S.  So dried fruits were introduced instead. They are very popular in Israel. We brought in raisins, dried cranberries, and dates.  The raisins were the most popular with the children.  We will be bringing in some other dried fruits during the next few days.  The children recited the shehecheyanu blessing over the dried fruits.

In Israel, at this time, the almond tree is blooming.  We printed up pictures of the almond tree in bloom, with its beautiful pink blossoms.  We also had pictures of the almond as it looks on the tree and also with its hard shell and out of the shell.  And we were able to show videos of the almond tree as it looks in […]

By |January 10, 2019|