Monthly Archives: February 27, 2019

A is for APPLE

This week the Sunflowers began putting together their Alphabet book. Along with learning different songs to help with letter recognition, the children started making an alphabet book. A is for APPLE, B is for BEES, C is for COOKIES…. It is a remarkable sight to watch the children come alive with excitement when they are able to realize they know words that begin with the letters in the alphabet. The children are also proud of themselves as they are beginning to remember what letter follows the next in the alphabet.

The children’s eagerness to expand their excursion into learning the next letter in the alphabet is enormous. Yes, we are exploring the letter E. It is exciting to watch the information encode into their minds.

The children are enjoying all the different books by Dr. Seuss. Their eagerness to what comes next in the story is incredible. If we could only read all day. Listening to THE CAT IN THE HAT was so much fun. THING 1 AND THING 2 were so silly. The children began making a hat to resemble the CAT IN THE HAT’s hat. They can’t make it fast enough and are looking forward to wearing it to our Friday celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Stretching our arms and legs is always a good thing. The children come up with creative ways to run around during our indoor play time. Whether it’s playing tag, riding scooters in the social hall, riding big wheels or pushing strollers while playing house in the downstairs gym, the children are constantly busy.

Please stay tuned for more fun and exciting happenings in the Sunflowers. We are very busy preparing for Dr. […]

By |February 27, 2019|

Shushan and Dr. Seuss in Gan Tziporim

How many ways can the Palace of Shushan be created? According to the children of Gan Tziporim – dozens! Inspired by the book, It’s Purim Time! by Latifa Berry Kropf, the children wanted to use the same kind of cardboard blocks photographed in the book to build their own palace. Luckily our school owns a large amount of these blocks and we brought them to our room. The children were delighted and set right to work. They experimented with height and width, and also added some of our wooden blocks that replicated the archways and curved windows they had seen in the photos of Middle-Eastern castles we had printed up from the internet.

Morah Rachelle thought that the Synagogue lobby could benefit from some Purim gaiety.  Large cardboard boxes, silver acrylic paint, and brushes were placed on a table, and like a magnet, the children were drawn to the fun of painting the boxes.  We also had beautiful gold and silver cloth, and these were used to cover some more boxes. It’s fun to use a variety of materials and textures when executing these projects.  We were able to repurpose some cardboard crates from a previous year, to add a proper roof to our palace.  Next on the agenda was to get all the pieces upstairs to the lobby and assemble them all together.  The children took pride in their work.


And yet another Shushan Palace!  This time the children were excited to have our own classroom palace.  For this project we happened upon some cardboard tubes that were sturdy and just the right color for Middle-Eastern architecture.  The children used their fine cutting skills to cut out arched windows from copper-colored foil paper.  They then […]

By |February 27, 2019|

We got messy in the Little Beginners

As we continue our Purim activities, we painted our masks with different color paint and shared all the colors.

We read books and played.

Snack time!

Hide and seek. 🙂

Bikes and strollers

We played with and ate whipped cream. (Instead of shaving cream.)

Playing in the exploration room.

Have a good Shabbos. See you next week!

Morah Kerry and Morah Deena

By |February 26, 2019|

Purim and Dr.Seuss Fun– Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Fish are now swimming in our fish tanks! As the final step in our Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish project, the children chose a variety of colored fish to glue on to their fish tank. They can’t wait to show it to you at our Dr. Seuss party on Friday, March 1, at 12:15 p.m. Then, using dot dots, crayons, and markers, and working at both the table and the easel (children’s choice), we decorated bigger fish that we will use for a special game during the party.

During snack we read The Story of Purim and identified the main characters. Before introducing the major Purim symbols using the Purim symbols chart, we talked about Chanukah. Why? To help the children understand that each holiday has its own traditions and mitzvot. The children remembered that on Chanukah we light a Chanukiah with candles and eat latkes. Using the chart, we talked about two of the traditions associated with Purim: eating hamantaschen and reading the megillah. We will add new concepts every day.

Another Purim activity focused on sound, a precursor to making groggers. In the Exploration Room, we filled large laundry containers with heavy drawer handles. When we shook them, they made a very loud noise! Then we filled them with pompoms. We couldn’t hear a thing! Banging on the table in the upstairs play area created a different sound – not as loud as drawer handles but not as soft as pompoms.

By |February 25, 2019|

Chag Purim Gan Tziporim

The children made many choices while putting together their groggers. They had already chosen the container for their grogger and the sounds (beans, rice and beads) that their grogger would make when shaken. The next step was to decorate the outside of the container. A variety of colorful paper was provided and the children cut and glued it on in their own imaginative way. A Styrofoam ball had been hot-glued to the top or ends of the containers to keep in the beans, etc., and to provide a head. The children chose the “hair” they wanted for the head and a picture of their own faces wearing a funny expression was also glued to the head. How cute!

Several weeks ago we had done an experiment to see how beans sprout roots.  The beans were placed on a wet paper towel and then enclosed in a zip-lock bag. They were then left on our windowsill.  When we checked them after a week, nothing had happened.  We decided to leave them on the windowsill for a while longer.  When we checked again it seemed that the beans had started to get moldy and we thought the experiment had not worked.  But on further examination, we discovered that a number of the beans had actually sprouted not only roots, but also stems and the beginnings of leaves!  So it was time to plant these in soil and watch them grow.  We also discovered that a sweet potato that had been brought in sprouting some roots, had also grown some leaves as well.  We also planted it in soil.  We will have to keep watch to see how well our new plants grow.

The children decided that the groggers […]

By |February 25, 2019|

“WHERE’S ELMER?”, asked the Sunflowers

The Sunflowers enjoyed listening to the book ELMER by David McKee which Caleb brought in to school.

Elmer is an an elephant with rainbow and white squares arranged as a patchwork. He has a cheerful and optimistic personality, and he loves practical jokes.

One day, Elmer decides that he wants to look like all the other elephants, and paints himself grey in order to ‘blend in’. Once painted, they – and the other jungle creatures – no longer recognize him. He returns to the herd and the other elephants stand quietly until Elmer can’t take the quiet anymore and he lifts his trunk and then, at the top of his voice, shouting “boo!” which unknowingly surprises the other elephants. The other elephants immediately realize that the grey elephant must be Elmer and applaud him for his best joke ever. When it begins to rain, the grey paint that Elmer has covered himself with starts to disappear, and Elmer’s “true colors” are revealed, much to the delight of his friends, who preferred his multicolored and fun loving personality. Following their happy reunion, the elephants reassure Elmer that they love him because of his differences, and not in spite of them, and they celebrate by painting themselves in multi-coloured paint (and Elmer paints himself gray), in recognition of Elmer’s unique appearance and personality.

The children enjoyed this story so much that they decided to make their version of ELMER.

The children have been enjoying working on their unit of farm animals. Along with making their farm animals they began to make a scene of a farm which includes a barn, a fence and a tractor. The children thought it was really funny that instead of OLD MACDONALD, their farm scene […]

By |February 22, 2019|

One Fish, Two Fish — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

During snack on Thursday we re-read Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish and then “Freddy the Fish” joined us during circle time.

We learned that some fish live in houses filled with blue water called fish tanks, and decided it would be fun to make our own. First we mixed blue paint into glue, and painted our fish tanks using paint brushes, toothbrushes, and sponges. We added some waves by placing bubble wrap (which was a lot of fun to pop), right on top of our glue paint. Some of us had a great time painting our hands the same color as the water. Next, we will add our colored fish.

As we all know, the grogger plays a huge part in Purim. To introduce this noisemaker, we spent time making sounds with different instruments. We noticed the different sounds each instrument makes by itself and the sounds made when we all play together. When we played our instruments on the sand table top and plastic bins, we made different sounds. All of the sound experimentation is leading up to the creation of our groggers.

Our Old McDonald song came to life. The children picked animal puppets and made the matching sound.

Welcome back Dahlia! Dahlia was our Shabbat Ema and David our Shabbat Abba.

Wishing you a joyous and peaceful Shabbat.
Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |February 21, 2019|

Gan Tziporim Builds Shushan

Builds ShushanGetting into the mood for Purim continues in Gan Tziporim!  Besides donning costumes and acting out the story themselves, the children worked on building the Palace in Shushan.  They used their wooden blocks, construction paper (turrets), and mini-figures (King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Mordechai, and Haman) to recreate the story as they understand it.  We are providing the children with the opportunities to retell the Megillah via a variety of mediums so that they fully understand the characters, plot, and theme.  It will come alive for them and be fully integrated and experienced.

Groggers are certainly an important part of Purim, especially for children.  They can get loud and noisy with total approval by their grown-ups.  Groggers can make different sounds.  We wanted the children to have the freedom to choose the sound, container, and decorations of their preference. We put out several containers of different sizes, shapes and materials for the children to choose for their grogger.  We also wanted to offer the children a choice of the sound they wished their grogger to make when shaken.  We discussed the idea of sounds and how when different instruments are played they evoke a different kind of sound – bells, cymbals, maracas.  The children brought over the instruments that were on display and played them.  Then they tested out the variety of beans, beads, and rice available, to see how they sounded when shaken in a container.  They chose the combination of  “noisemakers” that they liked and filled their containers with them.  The next step will be the adornments they choose for the outside of their groggers.

A new letter was introduced by the goat puppet.  Several children guessed that the goat was introducing the letter […]

By |February 21, 2019|

Purim at Gan Tziporim

It is always enjoyable to watch how the children react to new materials /playthings being brought into the classroom.  Having learned about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and completed miniature log cabins, the children welcomed the newly introduced Lincoln Logs building toy.  Since the logs have grooves that require them to be lined up perfectly in order to fit and stay together, this toy requires patience and perseverance and a different creative process to build a structure.

We like to bring literacy into our classroom utilizing a variety of means.  We have added word cards to our arsenal.  There are pictures of common things from nature (rabbit, puddle, butterfly) with the printed upper-case word beside it.  These were placed on a table with a basket of colored pencils.  The children are naturally curious and came to try their hand at writing the words.  We have also put out word cards connected to the holiday of Purim – the four mitzvot: tzedakah, shalach manot, reading the Megillah, and preparing the seudah; as well as grogger, mask, king, queen, hamentash, etc.

Many things took place this week connected with Purim.  We read and looked at several books connected to the holiday.  We read, It’s Purim Time, by Latifa Berry Kropf.  The children really liked this book because it contains photos of a PreK class doing the same things we do to prepare for and celebrate Purim.  We also looked at the book. Esther’s Story, by Diane Wolkstein.  The illustrations in the book depicted the clothing worn in ancient Persia in a more realistic way.  The attire of Queens and Kings is not like the Disney versions seen by many of the children.  The children had great fun dressing […]

By |February 20, 2019|

Purim is Coming! ~ Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

This week we are continuing to read Dr. Seuss books in preparation for our Dr. Seuss birthday party on March 1 (more details to follow). The One Fish Two Fish book is a big hit. We have also invited The Cat in the Hat to join us at circle time

When the children came in on Wednesday they noticed something new in our classroom — a story on the wall! The Story of Purim will be just one of the many ways the children will learn about about the holiday. After seeing the silly king with the crown on his head, they decided to crown themselves and their friends.

And what preschool day would be complete without Ring Around the Rosie?

The children enjoyed spraying with water and uses sponges to clean the paint. They really to use their muscles.

By |February 20, 2019|