HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAISY in the Sunflowers

Last week after our discussion about Groundhog Day, the children all took a vote whether or not they wanted the groundhog to see his shadow, meaning we would have six more weeks of winter, or if they wanted the groundhog to NOT see his shadow, meaning spring is near.  The vote was unanimous.  No one in the Sunflowers wanted the groundhog to see his shadow.  The children were very happy to come back to school to find out that last Shabbat Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow.  So far his prediction has been true and the children have enjoyed being able to play outside.

Last week Morah Debra told the children that this Tuesday will be her dog, Daisy’s birthday.  The children decided that Daisy needed to have a birthday party.  On Monday the children baked a very special cake for her. Each child took turns adding and mixing all the ingredients before it was placed into the pan and put into the oven to bake.  The children were so excited Tuesday morning to be greeted by Daisy.  Daisy spent the entire day with the children. Daisy visited every classroom and the shul office.  Everyone had a fantastic time playing with Daisy.  Daisy in turn had a fantastic time.  She joined in for circle time, storytime, playtime, and our outside time.  Daisy loved her party.  We sang “Happy Birthday” to her and “how old are you now”.  Daisy is five years old.  The children and of course Daisy enjoyed the cake and fruit which Morah Debra brought in.   The children took another vote which again was unanimous. Daisy can come and be in our class anytime.

The children have been busy strengthening both their gross […]

By |February 6, 2019|

First days in the Little Beginners

We were so busy the first day of school, we met all our new friends, Morah’s and played in our classroom. We had fun dot painting playing in the kitchen and rolling and squeezing our play dough and lots of singing and books.

Snack was so yummy! Animal crackers and circle crackers.


Playing hide and seek together.


Bubble time fun! We loved popping and chasing after the bubbles.

Having fun playing in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.

We had fun drawing with crayons.

Have a great Shabbat! We will see you next Tuesday!

Morah Deena and Morah Kerry

By |February 6, 2019|

Cooperative Learning in Gan Tziporim

The children started learning a new letter this week, the letter “Cc”.  It is a fairly easy letter to write and all of the children were able to execute it with no difficulty.  Since the lower case “c” is the same (except for size) to the upper case “C”,  there is no problem with recognition.  The children also worked on sound recognition.  They identified the pictures on a worksheet that had the initial “C” sound – cup, candy, comb, camera, etc.  Most of the children could understand the initial sound difference between words such as cap and ball.  Practice identifying “C” words at home would be beneficial.


The children also had practice with the Hebrew alef bet.  They learned the letter “hey” and learned its sound by saying the words: hadas – myrtle; har – mountain; and Havdalah.  Pictures were pasted on the sheet with the large “hey” and the children found the matching words and cut and pasted them next to the correct picture. This exercise gives practice with vocabulary as well as letter sound.


Working with clay is a good sensory/fine motor activity as well as a great creative outlet.  The children were able to create whatever came to their minds using both soft clay and also adding to pieces they had created several months ago (beads, pipe cleaners and styrofoam were also part of these pieces).  There were free form pieces as well as tea pots, tea cups and challah.


The children spend a great deal of free play time building with blocks.  They are constantly adding to and refining the stories connected to the block building.  We have continued with our study of animals in winter and the children have taken this theme […]

By |February 5, 2019|

Happy Birthday Dovid! in the Butterflies

Today we celebrated Dovid’s birthday with delicious cake his friends made themselves. Because Dovid loves to look at pictures of his friends and say their names, the children decorated a picture frame with their pictures. First, the children painted it and then added stickers. We know that Dovid will enjoy this gift at home.

We celebrated another birthday this week. Morah Debra brought in her dog, Daisy, on the occasion of her 5th birthday. The children had a great time petting her and watching her tail swish from side to side.

We are excited to share that Elisheva is a big sister! Mazal Tov to the entire Herrera family on the birth of Dovid Aryeh. The children all had a chance to take a peek at the baby and decided he is very little.

Yellow is our color of the week. We had a great time painting with yellow, red, blue and green paint as a way of reinforcing color recognition. The children are getting more adventurous as they test out mixing different colors and using a variety of tools to put paint on paper. All of this is an excellent exercise in fine motor and visual development.

Spring in winter! The children were so happy to play outside in the playground, where they chased bubbles, slid down the slide, and colored with crayons.

Thank you to David and the Romanoff family for our healthy snack of delicious apples. We will enjoy them all week.

More to come…..

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |February 1, 2019|

Happy Birthday, Asher! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

On Friday we celebrated Asher’s 3rd birthday with his parents and grandfather, Rabbi Rubin. Because Asher loves to collect different objects, the children transformed a large canister into a beautiful treasure holder as their gift to him. We also ate yummy cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday in English and Hebrew. In honor of his birthday, Asher was Shabbat Abba and Chana was Shabbat Ema.

Thank you to Asher and his family for the class gift of The Magic School Bus in Time of the Dinosaurs book, in honor of Asher’s birthday. We will enjoy reading it to the class all year.

The polar vortex did not stop up from having warm indoor fun. In the Exploration Room, the children experimented with the sensory wall, sang the ABCs as we built an alphabet block tower, and created castles out of cardboard and styrofoam. 

A gentle reminder: Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, February 7. If you have not yet had a chance to sign up, please check your email for the sign-up sheet or email us at [email protected]
Have a joyous and peaceful Shabbat,
Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |February 1, 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|

Now We “Know” Our ABC’S in the Sunflowers

The children are beginning to recognize many letters of the alphabet.  We help them along through visual pictures, fingerplays, and songs all while having a lot of fun!  We have been focusing on the letters “A” and “B” and familiar words such as the colors RED and BLUE. By using ideas that the children are familiar with for pre-reading skills, they build on the knowledge they already have and feel successful. Since most of the children are so familiar with these colors and letters, they are easily attracted to activities that encourage them to spell and read.  You can see what they see by looking at the songs below:

In addition to this, the children are enjoying some free play.  They have discovered our newly renovated kitchen.  They are already demonstrating their culinary abilities.

And as always, we celebrated Shabbat with our friends.  We enjoy our Shabbat Party with blessings, songs, and challah.

Shabbat Shalom

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, Morah Debra

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|