The flower pots made with plaster- of- Paris came out well.  The children were involved with mixing the water into the powder and making sure there were no lumps and no thickening in the bottom of the cup that was used as a mold.  Following the mixing, a smaller cup was inserted into the larger cup to provide the opening in the cup/pot.  The plaster hardened pretty quickly and the next day we peeled the styrofoam cup/mold away from the pot.  The children painted the pots with acrylic paint. Some of the children left parts of their pots unpainted so that the natural color of the pot was visible.  The next step in the decoration process was to glue on small colorful tiles from Israel.  They were instructed to place the tiles in a pattern of their choice – circling around the pot, as vertical lines, or some variation.  Some of the children had other ideas and chose to place many tiles around the pot.  Each pot is attractive and unique.

The next step was to plant a lovely flower in the pot.  We chose pink to remind the children of the pink blossoms on the almond trees in Israel.  The children placed enough soil to cover the bottom of the pot.  Then the plant went in and finally the roots were covered up by the soil.  Last, each plant was given some water.  We provided a little dish for the pot to sit on.  Place the plant in a sunny window and watch it thrive!  

We read the book, Netta and Her Plant by Ellie Gellman.  This book was a perfect accompaniment to our own activity with our plants.  Netta’s class at school also prepares plants for Tu B’Shevat and takes them home to their families.  Through this book, the children learned the Hebrew words for plant, dew, and tree.  Netta drew pictures on paper to decorate her pot.  Following the reading of the book, the children also drew pictures of plants, flowers, and trees, but their pictures became Tu B’Shevat cards.  We know you will be delighted with both the plants and the cards.

Another book read that blended the holiday of Tu B’Shevat and our study of animals was One Small Place in a Tree, by Barbara Brenner.The book explains how after a bear uses a tree trunk to sharpen its claws, the bark chips and a tiny hole is formed.  Timber beetles tunnel inside and the hole grows bigger and bigger. Over many years the hole changes into a hollow space that allows squirrels and bluebirds, salamanders, tree frogs, and white footed mice to make a home for themselves.  

Lia’s sister, Daniella, celebrated her birthday at school by having a puppet show for the entire school.  The puppets were mostly Sesame Street characters and the children laughed so much and really enjoyed the show!  We also had a demonstration of the new Yoga Bootcamp,  The instructor was lively and energetic and the children enjoyed the class and wondered why it was so short!  The real class will be longer.
Sorry – I forgot to bring the ipad into the yoga demonstration so no pictures.  I hope you got them from the 3s.  Also some of my children wouldn’t participate – Lia and Emily.  
We have a few more pictures on the ipad from today (children planting).