Monthly Archives: April 11, 2019

Gan Tziporim Bakes

Another five-year-old has joined our class – Ezra turned five this week!  So, of course, we knew we would have fun baking for his party.  Ezra chose vanilla cake.  He measured and poured, checked eggs for blood spots, and mixed it all together.  Then everyone lent a hand to mix up the batter thoroughly. There were yummy smells wafting through our hallways.  Next, we wanted to prepare a lovely gift for Ezra.  The children glued cut-up pieces of colorful napkins to a wooden box.  There were several pretty designs which created a decoupage treatment to the box.  It was modge podged to protect its surface and a picture of Ezra was the finishing touch.  The cupcakes and box were presented to Ezra at our class party.  Then, his mother Amy read a Pesach story and the party culminated with a happy game of Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window.   The children have really learned this game well and barely needed any directions.

Hebrew this week introduced the letter Lamed.  The children practiced forming this letter, and several others they’d already learned, using their bodies in yoga-type positions. They cut out pictures and words with the lamed sound and learned the vocabulary – heart- lev, clown – leytzan, and lulav.

Dara Dinur, kindly lent her time and expertise to us, to help us make challah.  Since the children experienced making matzah with the visit of the Model Matzah Factory, we thought it a good idea to contrast that with the much longer process of baking challah.  Again, they were able to measure the ingredients including flour, sugar, yeast, warm water, oil, eggs, salt.  The dough rose and we punched it down and let it rise again.  We decided […]

By |April 11, 2019|


Rabbi Rosenblum and The Matzah Factory came to IBECC.  The Sunflowers enjoyed a morning full of fun and excitement.  Learning how matzah is made and how quick it has to be made was a wonderful experience for all.  The children started by shucking the wheat and placing the seeds in the hand grinder where Lauren from the Fours and Rabbi Rosenblum turned it into flour.  From there, Ezra, another friend from the Fours, took the flour and poured it into a bowl.  Caleb then poured water into the flour where Rabbi Rosenblum mixed it together to make a dough. Everyone then received a piece of the dough and used a rolling pin to flatten it out and make it into matzah.  Rabbi Rosenblum then used a special instrument to put the little holes in the dough before placing it the special matzah oven.  Matzah cannot cook for more than 18 minutes if it will be Kosher for Pesach. We hope everyone enjoys the matzah that came home in the backpack.

The children continue to find many different ways to act out “being slaves” in Mitzraim and building so many buildings.

Stay tuned for more Sunflower excitement

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra


By |April 10, 2019|

Maror, Korech, and More Matzo — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

We reached Maror and Korech in the order of the Seder. We described Maror as spicy and bitter, to help the children understand. Before we could eat the maror, however, we had to make the charoset. We began by explaining that the heavy bricks Bnei Yisroel carried while slaves in Mitzrayim were made of mud. So we made our own “mud” by adding some water to the sand table. The children loved making “bricks” (and mud pies).

Then we talked about how the charoset we eat on Pesach is like the bricks the Jewish people made. What goes into our charoset? Apples, grape juice (to make it red), and raisins. How do we chop the apples? With the food processor of course. Our charoset was so delicious we couldn’t wait to eat it. After enjoying our snack, we took the “spicy/bitter” romaine lettuce, dipped it in the charoset, and shook it off. Then we said the bracha for Korech and ate it.

And since there can never be too much matzo, we had so much fun making our own as the Matzo Factory visited IBECC. We learned we only have 18 minutes to make the matzo. We rubbed stalks of wheat between our hands — it became easier when we suggested that the children pretend they were washing their hands. We rolled out our own dough very quickly so Rabbi Rosenblum could put it into the oven. When he took it out the dough had become matzo. It smelled delicious!


By |April 9, 2019|

Pesach is right around the corner in Gan Tziporim

New picture/word cards, with Pesach-related words, were placed in our basket.  When a child is in just the right mood to write, she will be motivated to take on all the new words.  Ella was in just such a mood and worked very hard and completed all five cards – Paraoh, Moshe, Miriam, Yocheved, Batya, and Yam Suf.  Way to go, Ella!



With Pesach right around the corner, our class has produced the last few pages of their Haggadahs. There was matzah to be made, a bunch of plagues to reproduce, happy Israelites celebrating their freedom, and even a live (and photographed) reenactment of the Israelites crossing through the parted Red Sea (Yom Suf).  The children were really very open to the whole experience and enjoyed working on the various pages.  They also had a great time participating in our Seder and remembering the names of each part of it.  And of course they love play-acting and portraying Bnai Yisrael and their great escape!

Though painting was involved, this was not part of the Haggadah.  Using our beautifully vivid liquid watercolors, the children created free-flowing designs for their Afikoman bags.  This was step one.  The next step will be to sew them together.

Yay, what fun – the Matzah Factory paid a visit.  Our participants had much to do to prepare the Shmurah Matzah.  They were required to extract the seeds from the wheat stalks, grind the seeds with the little grinding stones (Lauren experienced a great deal  of enjoyment turning that handle), Ezra got to pour the measured-out flour which was then mixed with just the right amount of water, everyone rolled out the dough till it was quite thin, and then Simon helped score the […]

By |April 9, 2019|

Matzah Matzah in the Little Beginners

The matzah bakery came to visit us at school. We squished the wheat in our hands and rolled our dough and put the matzah in the oven.

We then ate the matzah we baked.

We reviewed all our Pesach songs and practiced and are all ready for Pesach.

We also had lots of fun at playtime.

We played outside and had a blast.

We got tired from all the Pesach preparations.

Have a good shabbos. See you on Tuesday!

Morah Deena and Morah Kerry

By |April 9, 2019|

The Sun Rays Shined Upon the Sunflowers

The Sunflowers were so delighted to finally feel the sun rays upon their faces.  After being cooped up inside for so many months due to the cold, the Sunflowers  were so excited to be able to go outside this week. Climbing, sliding, drawing with chalk, and playing “King of the hill” were just a few activities the children did.  Also, playing with the fours is always fun. The children were so happy when a friend walked by with her dog.  Everyone ran to pet it.

The children experienced a new type of art.  Sponge painting. The different textures of the sponges made for some unique imprints.

The children had a wonderful time learning about the mitzvah of HAFRASHAT CHALLAH, separating the challah.   We mixed all the ingredients together, waited for the dough to rise, punched it down and kneaded it again.  Then we formed the challah rolls, waited again for the dough to rise, and then finally placed them in the oven and said the special bracha we make when making a lot of challah.  Morah Pam placed the dough that was separated to “burn” in the oven.  Everyone is looking forward to eating the challah on Shabbat.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |April 5, 2019|

Chametz and Matzo — Gan Parparim

Maggid offers such wonderful learning experiences that we’ll continue it next week. We paused, however, to talk about chametz and matzo.

The children already knew (from our Pesach story wall and Pesach songs) that the Jewish people had to leave Mitzrayim so fast that they didn’t have any time to bake yummy bread like challah. The only food they had time to make was a cracker called matzo. But what does time mean to a young child?

So we decided to make both challah and matzo to help the children understand the difference between chametz and matzo. We started with challah. First, we read the ingredients chart very slowly. We mixed the wet ingredients. We had to wait for the yeast to bubble. Then we mixed the dry ingredients together and finally, we combined the wet and dry ingredients. This took such a long time!! We looked at the dough to see how big it was.

The next day we again showed the children the dough. It looked bigger! Now it was time to make individual challah rolls. We made 3 snakes with the dough and braided or used our hands to squish it into balls. We used pastry brushes to “paint” the rolls with an egg to make it shiny. It was a lot of work and took a long time!

We began the week with chametz and ended with matzo! We looked at the ingredient list and saw that challah has a lot of ingredients and matzo only has two. Challah is soft and big and matzo is flat.

As we have been doing throughout our preparation for a Pesach, the children did every step of making the matzo themselves, including washing and drying the rolling pins. […]

By |April 4, 2019|

Work work work every day and every night in Gan Tziporim

Our class Haggadah is almost complete.  The children are working hard but also enjoying the process of preparing the pages and appreciating the results.  They drew a picture of Miriam watching over Moshe as he floated in the Nile.  They are really progressing in their ability with drawing and have been challenged to create recognizable people and animals.  In addition to Miriam, they have drawn a grown-up Moshe tending his sheep, and also the sheep!  They drew Paraoh, complete with headdress, saying: No! No! No!  And wait till you see the burning bush and the cute little mazahs.  Just a few more pages and you will have a delightful Haggadah and memento of their time in the 4s class.

Making printed Matzah

Our class held a model Seder.  The children prepared delicious charoset made with grated apples, crushed matzah, grape juice, apple sauce, cinnamon, and date spread. They seemed to like eating it as much as making it!  We held the Seder in our Art Studio and the children continued with drawing and creating many scenes from Maggid as a lovely decoration.  They helped carry everything to the Art Studio and also helped to set the table. Then we went through the entire order of the Haggadah, using a song to assist us all in remembering what takes place next.  We reviewed the Seder plate, asked the four questions, had our four cups of grape juice, did Urchatz and Rachtzah, the Motzi, Korech, etc.  It was great fun and quite a learning experience.

Making Charoset for our Seder plate.

The children learned the Hebrew letter “kaf”  with Morah Yafit this week.  The vocabulary they learned to go along with the letter “kaf” included:  kadur- ball, kelev – […]

By |April 3, 2019|

The Sunflowers had a Marvelous Music Monday

The Sunflowers experienced a marvelous music Monday with Morah Jill. The children are always excited when Morah Jill comes to sing with them.  They wait with bated breath to see what songs they will learn, along with what cool instruments Morah Jill will bring for them to use.  Morah Jill couldn’t believe how many Passover songs we knew.  She smiled when the children were able to sing along with her since they knew all the words.  Ma Nishtanah, The Frog song, and NO NO NO I Will Not Let You Go.  Morah Debra acted as Pharoh while we sang that song.  The children thought that was just the funniest thing.  Playing with frogs was great, especially when everyone was able to make them jump up and down on the blue parachute that was representing the YOM SOOF.   The jumping matzah ball was fun too.  Morah Jill taught us a counting song using matzah balls.

The children were given the challenge to build Paroh a city as if they were slaves in Mitzrayim.  The children absolutely met the challenge.  All the different ways they used the blocks to build was incredible.

Morah Debra also challenged the children.  Setting up a picture of a piece of matzah for them to draw was no easy task.  The children had no problem with the challenge.  Sheer matzah masterpieces.

We can not wait to see what type of adventures the rest of the week will have.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |April 3, 2019|

We Planted Parsley — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

A natural tie-in to Karpas was an exploration of how vegetables grow. We talked about how seeds are planted in soil and need sun and water to grow. Each child planted parsley seeds in cups they filled with soil from the Outdoor Classroom. They are very excited that they are able to “visit” their plants every day to see if they are sprouting. 

Our visit to the Outdoor Classroom included time to play with trucks and work on our balancing skills.

We turned our attention to Maggid.  We began with a reenactment of the Pesach story. The children were especially interested in Baby Moshe. Using the simplest of materials — a brown box transformed into a basket and a bin filled with water — they have been taking turns “floating” Baby Moshe down the river under the watching eye of “Miriam.”

Did the children carry heavy bricks like Bnai Yisroel in Mitzrayim? Yes, they did! They are heavy!


Pesach play is a big part of our day. The children boarded a train out of Egypt (pushing the chairs was hard work, just like the Jewish people had to do in Egypt) with the “matzoh” they made in a hurry. We like to look at pictures of the order of the Seder and point out what we have already learned. We also like to “read” the Pesach story on our story wall.

During music with Morah Jill we sang and danced to Pesach songs.





By |April 2, 2019|