AFIKOMIN AFIKOMIN… where are you? where are you? The Sunflowers want to know.

Pesach is only 3 days away.  The Sunflowers have been so busy getting ready.   They enjoyed a picnic on the carpet to eat the last of the CHAMETZ.   It was so much fun.  After our picnic, the Sunflowers enjoyed a school wide Model Seder.   Everyone was eager to share all the wonderful Pesach facts that they learned.  The 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s gathered around the tables and went through the entire Seder.

Kadeish קדש – recital of Kiddush blessing and drinking of the first cup of wine
Urchatz ורחץ – the washing of the hands
Karpas כרפס – dipping of the karpas in salt water
Yachatz יחץ – breaking the middle matzo; the larger piece becomes the afikoman
Maggid מגיד – retelling the Passover story, including the recital of “the four questions” and drinking of the second cup of wine
Rachtzah רחצה – second washing of the hands
Motzi מוציא, Matzo מצה – blessing before eating matzo
Maror מרור – eating of the maror
Koreich כורך – eating of a sandwich made of matzo and maror
Shulchan oreich שלחן עורך – lit. “set table” – the serving of the holiday meal
Tzafun צפון – eating of the afikoman
Bareich ברך – blessing after the meal and drinking of the third cup of wine
Hallel הלל – recital of the Hallel, traditionally recited on festivals; drinking of the fourth cup of wine
Nirtzah נירצה – say “Next Year in Jerusalem!”


Morah Pam hid the AFIKOMIN. All the children went to look for it and it was Maggie who  found it.

Morah Aimee and Morah Debra were so brave and ate MAROR, real horseradish,  and they LIKED IT!!!  The children opted to eat the romaine lettuce.

The children eating their way through the Seder was the best part.  It was incredible […]

By |April 17, 2019|

Seder Time in the Little Beginners

We started our day hearing the story of Pesach with the 4s class.

We we’re now ready to start our Seder.

We said the bracha over the wine.

We washed our hands with and without brachot.

We dipped and tasted Karpas and maror.

We loved eating the charoset and hard boiled eggs.

Have a Chag Kasher Vasmach!

See you all back on April 30.

Morah Kerry and Morah Deena

By |April 16, 2019|

Pesach Is (Almost) Here! in the Butterflies

Our last few days before the Pesach break have been very  busy.
We finished the pillows we’ll use at the Seder. Stuffing them was a great exercise in eye-hand coordination. We also transformed shopping bags into works of art fitting to hold all of the materials the children will use during Pesach.

We peeled the eggs that all our IBECC friends ate at the model Seder. This fun activity was a wonderful way to practice our fine motor skills.

It was also time to clean our classroom. The emptied sand table made a great “bathtub” in which to wash our favorite playthings.

We sang lots of Pesach songs with Morah Jill and even played “bounce the giant matza ball!”

Once our classroom was clean, it was time to put together our feather, spoon, and candle so we learn how to search for chametz at home. The children took turns sweeping the Corn Chex chametz with a feather onto the spoon.


The highlight of the week was the school-wide model Seder.


Wishing you a Zissen Pesach – a healthy and happy Pesach filled with family, love, and laughter. We look forward to seeing how much the children have grown and hearing all about their Pesach adventures when we return to school.
Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |April 15, 2019|

Gan Tziporim Sing, Sew, and Set Up their Pesach Seder Table

After having let their creative juices flow, painting free-form designs with liquid watercolors, the children engaged in an activity requiring precise methods to achieve the desired results.  They sewed up the sides of their paintings with a plastic needle and the color yarn of their choice.  This activity required good fine motor skills and the ability to repeatedly place their needles in the proper position.  All of the children were able to accomplish this after a few attempts.  They then were able to create an even more attractive stitch, by reversing the direction of their initial stitches.  The completed project resulted in an attractive Afikomen pouch.  We hope all our families enjoy using it at their Seders.

We had the opportunity to again join, Morah Jill, for a rousing round of Pesach songs.  It was a lively time, with special props and movements.  The children jumped like the frogs in Egypt and we even got to bounce a giant matzah ball on our Yam Suf parachute!

Our Gan Tziporim Beauty Shop!

Some of the children decided to set up a Seder table, complete with tablecloth and table settings and good food to eat.

The children continued to practice the phonetic “Jj” sound with words such as; jar, jaw, and jet.  We also read the book, Jump! The Sound of J, by Cynthia Fitterer Klingel and Robert B. Noyed, which presented a story using the “J” sound in a rhyming format.

Our school-wide Model Seder was a great success!  The children followed the order of the Seder by singing the special song.  They were involved with the Seder from start to finish.  Our class set the table, laying out the plates, napkins, and cutlery.  They participated in all the songs, […]

By |April 15, 2019|


The Butterflies (the Twos) invited The Sunflowers to experience the Exodus from Mitzrayim. By using blue tarps to represent water, the children crossed through the Red Sea as if they were B’nai Yisrael leaving Mitzrayim.  Everyone had a wonderful time.  Playing musical instruments, singing Pesach songs, and just being happy to be free were just a few things the children enjoyed  best.

Everyone one has spring on the mind.  The hint of warmer weather has been a great ray of sunshine for everyone; especially the Sunflowers. The children took out the Play-Dough and were making caterpillars and flower among other fun things.

With four school days left before the Passover holiday, the children continue to review the Passover story, the order of the Seder, and of course, sing all the wonderful Passover songs. We are sure that the children are looking forward to participating in the Seder this year.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, Morah Debra





By |April 12, 2019|

Parsley and Pillow Talk — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Now that our parsley plants are now under a hydroponic lamp, we talked about how this lamp acts like the sun to help plants grow. We also noticed that some of the plants are growing more quickly than others.  It was fascinating to observe the children’s reaction.

We have finished our Haggadah covers. The children dot dotted it and glued on four cups of wine and three Matzohs just like we have at our Seder table. They chose from different materials and glued them on the wine cups. They are very beautiful.

On to pillow talk! We talked about whether we use pillows at home, whether they are big or little, and if they are soft. We then discussed how we lean on pillows at the Seder to remind us that we are free to rest, play, and enjoy wonderful dinners with our families. First, the children painted the pillowcases with fabric paint (these pillowcases are washable, although we suggest washing them in like colors on a cold setting.)

The children had many opportunities over the past few weeks to get familiar with the food symbols that are found on a seder plate. After looking at a real Seder plate, they made there own. They chose a color of paper and a doily and had fun sticking sticker pictures of the items on the doily. They have become very adept at using their pincer fingers to peel and stick. We try to use different skills and muscles for each activity. The actions we use are to strengthen muscles to help with writing skills.

The Jewish people are free! Together with the 3s, we re-enacted the crossing of the Red Sea. It’s hard to believe it’s only a week […]

By |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|