The Sunflowers are the Newest Monets and Rembrandts

The children have been fortunate to experience different types of art with Morah Debra. Morah Debra introduced them to painting with many different kinds of “brushes”.  They used cotton balls to dot the paint onto the paper, wrapped pipe cleaners around pine cones and used them to paint on the paper.  The children also showed off their artistic ability using other objects such as brissel blocks and wood blocks.


The children are looking forward to making cornbread for our Thanksgiving feast.  It is amazing how they  enjoy learning about the history and different customs of Thanksgiving.

Looking forward to seeing all the parents at the Back to School Night Thursday night.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, And Morah Debra

By |November 14, 2018|

American Customs in Gan Tziporim

Our birthday celebrations are a special time.  It is a time that encourages giving and friendship.  Besides baking a birthday cake for Ella and  decorating her treasure box gift, the children joined together to sing and play some lively birthday games.  They played the Israeli circle game of “Uga, Uga Uga” (Cake, Cake, Cake) while also learning the terminology for sit and stand in Hebrew – lashevet and lakum.  Then they played an old classic American children’s circle game, “Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window”.  The children stood in a circle holding hands high up in arches (to form the “windows” in the song).  Ella was the first “Blue Bird” who flew in and out of the arches or “windows”. During the second verse, the “bird” (Ella) chose a partner by patting him/her on the shoulders. The second child then followed holding the first child’s shoulders while they passed through the “windows”. The game continued on until all the children made a chain and there were only two children left forming an arch (or “window”). The morahs made the final arches.  The children giggled as they tapped each other on the shoulders and followed on the long chain through the windows.  Ella’s family enjoyed watching the fun- her mother, two grandmothers and her great-grandmother.  It was wonderful having the four generations in our classroom to celebrate!


The children enjoyed another fun sing-along with Morah Jill.  They sang about falling leaves, five round orange pumpkins, a sad turkey sitting on a backyard fence, and danced a Thanksgiving food dance.

The children have been introduced to their own personal journals.  There is a space on each page for the children to draw a picture.  The […]

By |November 14, 2018|

Cooking Club at IBECC

Who knew you could make pizza with yogurt!! Who knew you could make dough with just two ingredients!!

We know it now!! We measured 1 cup self rising flour and 1 cup Greek yogurt and mixed them together and Voila!! Easy and delicious pizza dough!!

The children really enjoyed doing it all themselves. They took turns pouring in the ingredients and mixing them together. After kneading the dough and spreading it in the pan, they enjoyed spreading the tomato sauce and decorating with cheese.

But wait! We made vegetable slices!! The children are so proficient at cutting vegetables with plastic knives! They  know how to hold their fingers ever so carefully when holding the vegetable with one hand and slicing with the other.

Easy cheesy pizza!! Thanks for the recipe Morah Pam!!


By |November 13, 2018|

Doing What Comes Nature(ally) — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

Asher is a big brother! Mazal Tov to the entire Aminoff family on the birth of a baby boy. We made a cake for his family to enjoy on Shabbat. We took turns greasing the pan and then flouring it, pouring in the cake mix, and stirring. We can’t wait to taste it!

The integration of natural materials and loose parts is a fundamental part of our Reggio-inspired preschool. Wood chips fulfill both categories. The addition of wooden arches opened up a world of possibilities.
It is so exciting for us, as teachers, to watch the children discover the magic of simple materials. Daniela, Dovid, and Asher stacked. Mazali made a garage for her cars using the wood chips. Aryeh and David figured out how to make a tunnel and then take a ride on it.  David also found a new use for the arch – a rocking chair! Perhaps there are some loose parts in your homes that will inspire your children!

Speaking of natural materials, we took advantage of the sun and warm(ish) weather to play outside. The children really enjoy digging (you can probably tell by their clothes) and they exhibit a sense of pride when they fill up their cups. On Thursday, the children poured the dirt into a ziploc bag and added acorn tops that they had collected. Next week we will have some squishy fun digging out the caps and using them to make a seasonal creation. Because there’s never too much dirt, we also visited the outdoor classroom, where the children engaged in impromptu water play.


We had a wonderful visit by Morah Aimee and some of the children in the 3s, who led a sing-a-long with our class. Some of […]

By |November 9, 2018|

Gan Tziporim Are Helpers Learning From the Past

Everyday there is some discussion or new discovery about some aspect of the beginning of the colonization of America and about its native peoples.  We have read from or looked at pictures in a number of books – The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward, Thanksgiving by Lisa Herrington, The Lenape Indians by Josh Wilker, Spotlight on Native Americans – Delaware (Lenape) by Joseph Stanley, The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose, and Indians of the Eastern Woodlands. From these books, the children have learned how Native Americans from our part of the country grew food, hunted, dressed, and built their homes (wigwams and longhouses).  The children enjoy simulating what they have learned into their play.  We had a basket of colorful fish in our classroom and spontaneously, the children placed some fish on a blue floor tile in our classroom and started to pretend to fish like the Native Americans.   We then went into the Exploration Room and found small, bendable styrofoam “rods” to use as fishing rods, wooden alphabet letters to use as hooks, and even some more life-like looking fish to add to their pond.  On a subsequent day some of the children took wooden blocks and built Pilgrim homes and barns for their animals.

We are celebrating Ella’s fourth birthday this week and the children worked hard to make a treasure box for her trinkets.  They cut pieces of colorful napkins and glued them onto the outer and inner lid and sides of a wooden cigar box. We modge podged over the napkins to add a shiny and sturdier finish.  The children are getting good practice in cutting and also learning what a mitzvah it is to give to others.


By |November 9, 2018|

Thanksgiving is Coming in the Sunflowers

The children enjoyed hearing the story of Thanksgiving, how the Pilgrims came over from England to America on a vey big boat called the Mayflower. Funny how learning about Thanksgiving came when the Sunflowers were learning about boats in their unit on transportation. Wonder if that was a coinsidence?!  After the Pilgrams landed in Plymouth they had no food and were not really sure how to harvest food.  The Native Americans were kind enough to teach the Pilgrims how to farm and harvest food.  To show their appreciation the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to a feast which today we call Thanksgiving.  In school, the children have been taking care of their own gardens.  Morah Aimee planted corn with the children while Morah Pam and Morah Debra showed the children how to get the fields ready  for harvesting by plowing  the land.  The children then “planted” peas, rice and beans.  Learning about the different types of clothing that was worn in this era prompted the children to want to make and wear these clothes.  The children have begun to make the clothes of the Native Americans.


The children are eager  grow their knowledge about Thanksgiving in the next weeks.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |November 9, 2018|

The Sunflowers are Very Resourceful

The children get excited when they start their week with music.  The way the children sit with anticipation and eagerness to hear what song Morah Jill is going to sing or teach them is amazing.  The children love using the props that Morah Jill uses; leaves, fruit, and scarves to name a few.  Following the directions Morah Jill gives is key to making music class such a sucess.  The children wish that their time with Morah Jill would never end.


Even though the time with Morah Jill had to come to an end, the children were not ready to let the music end.  Morah Aimee and Morah Debra took out some special instruments so the children could continue to enjoy the music.  The children followed or copied a beat that Morah Aimee beat on the drums. It was remarkable how well the children did following the beat.  We have a very musical group of children.


With the weather not allowing the children to go outside and play, Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra were resourceful with different activities to keep the children busy during the time that they would go outside to play.  Using the sand table was fun.  The children loved the way the sand felt going between their fingers, digging and scooping the children felt like they were at the beach. Playing ” Who can do what I do” is a favorite game where the children copied the actions that Morah Pam does.  This time we tried to see all the different body parts we could wiggle.  Wiggling our ears was the favorite thing to wiggle. “Rub a dub dub three men in a tub”,  it was adorable how the children climbed into the pool […]

By |November 8, 2018|

Gan Tziporim Learn About Fruits

While learning about vegetables, we discovered that some plants that we think of as vegetables are actually fruit!  These vegetable grow from seeds and produce seeds – tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers.  We learned some things about fruit from the book, Fruit – A First Discovery Book by Gallimard Jeunesse and Pascale de Bourgoing.  The book explained that the fleshy part of a plant is the fruit and that it contains the seeds.  The seeds of an apple are at the center, or core, of the apple. When planted in soil, the seeds from an apple grow roots and leaves and develop into a sapling or young apple tree.  It blossoms in the spring, and from those blossoms apples begin to grow and are ripe for picking in the fall.  Many fruits grow on trees, such as pears, kiwis, and figs.  Some fruit grow on vines – such as grapes. bananas, and watermelon.  Strawberries grow on plants close to the ground and have seeds on the outside of the fruit. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons,and limes also grow on trees in warm, sunny places.  The children were able to examine and eat apples and pears (Bosc and Bartlett).  They enjoyed the sweetness of the pears.  When presented with an orange, a grapefruit, a lemon, and a lime, the children all recognized the orange and the lemon but were unsure about some of the other fruits.  We explained that these are all known as citrus fruit.  When smelling the fruit,  Lieba and Lauren agreed that, “the orange smells the sweetest and the lemon smells the most sour.” Everyone wanted a piece of the orange.  Ezra, Simon, Uriel and Lieba were willing to taste the lime.  Uriel thought it tasted […]

By |November 8, 2018|

Color Fun in Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

This week we will continue our exploration of red and green. On Monday, the children chose red and green objects and put them in a box. We are inviting small groups of children to feel and name the objects and their color. The box is available for the children to play with throughout the week.


The children are beginning to learn the songs that Morah Jill sings and had a great time moving their bodies while pretending to be leaves.


Each time we visit the Exploration Room, we offer the children different materials to play with.  On this visit, we turned on the overhead projector and placed a clear egg carton on top, which created a mosaic. The children took turns putting translucent colored chips in the egg carton cups and to their amazement, the colors appeared on the mosaic on the wall. Many of them walked up to the wall to touch the color and you could see they were trying to figure out how it got there. This activity involved fine motor development (putting the chips in the clear cups), color recognition, and imagination. The children also discovered they could make “snow” by pulling apart a piece of styrofoam. Then we “shoveled” the snow (using a broom and dustpan) off the table.


The Five Little Monkeys book is a favorite of the children; today a monkey came to visit while we were reading the story!


By |November 7, 2018|

Let’s Make a Road in Gan Prachim- The Sunflowers

Now that our sailboat has set sail,  the children have to wait for the sailboat to catch up to the rest of the fleet.

While that happens, the children have been sweating away making and paving a road as our unit on transportation continues.  Making a road took a lot of effort. First the children had to dig the dirt and pat it smooth and then the children paved the road by spreading the tar (paint). Fortunately, the tar wasn’t so hot because the children had a wonderful time using their hands. We then had a discussion about the different uses for a road. The children liked  that we can walk on a road, pull a cart, and most importantly drive a car on the road. The children then told their teachers all the different types of vehicles they know about.  Trucks, minivans, small cars and, of course the all time favorite, a race car. Apparently all the children like to go super fast. Morah Pam taught everybody a special car song.   ZOOM ZOOM RIDING IN THE CAR… The children enjoyed sharing where they like to go in the car with their moms and dads. The children enjoy going to the ice cream store, the cookie store, the park, and Morah Pam’s favorite store, Trader Joe’s. The children truly enjoy spending time with you while going to different places.

The children are excited to start learning about Thanksgiving.

We will see you all on Monday. Enjoy the long weekend.

Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, Morah Debra

By |November 5, 2018|