Gan Tziporim

Traveling, Trees, and ABC’s in Gan Tziporim

Every morning we review the current parashah, Lech Lecha. The children have demonstrated their understanding and retention of the parashah through their ability to retell the story. With very little prompting, they can recall the names of Abraham and Sarah, Canaan, and Mitzrayim and other pertinent details. They also continued to want to dress up as Abraham and Sarah and snack in their tent.

We brought into the classroom two bins loaded with beans, lentils, and popping corn. For young children, their senses are the most familiar and basic way to explore, process, and understand new information. Their senses are used to collect data and then formulate answers to their own questions. Playing with the beans helps them with language, social, and dramatic play skills as they negotiate with one another to share “tools”, create stories, and build dialogue. Small and large motor skills are utilized as the children think of new ways to use the materials (beans). It has also proven to be quite calming. The children made “cups of tea” and added “honey”. They measured how many beans could be poured from one container to another, and a literacy project emerged as they decided to create menus for the foods they were cooking and serving.


The children continued with the tree project, painting the twigs and the roots of the tree. Once dry, we were able attach the twigs to the branches of the tree and hang all the beautiful leaves the children painted. The roots were attached to the bottom of the tree.


English and Hebrew literacy skills continued through the week.  The children practice holding their writing utensils properly.  They focused writing on particular points on their HWT practice sheets […]

By |October 19, 2018|

Lots of Nature in Gan Tziporim

The week started with yet another celebration, but this time it was a birthday!  Simon is now four years old! Simon’s mom read a funny book about Mr. Tickle.  We sang happy birthday and then played 2 circle games – Uga Uga, Uga, an Israeli game about cake, and Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window, a classic American preschool game. The children enjoyed the games very much.  Simon chose a lovely dinosaur floor puzzle as a class gift and the children decorated a special wooden box for treasures as a gift to Simon.  They cut and pasted beautifully patterned napkins which were then modge-podged onto the box.

The parshah this week is Noach, a very accessible one for children.  After discussing the story and the reasons behind the flood, the children were very open to the idea of building an ark  They were taken into the discovery room which is filled with all kinds of unique materials with which to create all manner of things.  They chose some pink styrofoam pieces and some larger cardboard and wooden pieces.  These were brought back to our classroom and the children set to work combining them with our wooden blocks and round log chips, to create their version of the great ark.  Noach and his family were added and of course all of those animals too!  This has been an ongoing project for the week.

Work continues on the class tree.  In the discovery room we found materials to fashion branches for the tree.  The children painted the cardboard pieces and when totally dry they will be […]

By |October 11, 2018|

All About Trees in Gan Tziporim

The Chagim are over and now we are putting our minds and hands to other topics of interest. But something wonderful occurred during Sukkot that we wanted to share with you.  We had constructed sukkahs prior to and during the holiday in a variety of ways (pop-up sukkah, wrapping material around trees in the playground, and edible sukkahs for snack).  But now we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to actually “build” our very own little sukkah in our classroom!  It all began with our broken rocking chairs and the need to “repair” them with our own real and child-sized tools.  The children continued hammering and screwing nails into pieces of wood.  Morah Fran’s friend, Bob, came to our school with pieces of wood, screws, and fresh cut schach.  He helped the children find which pieces of wood belonged together, and provided them with screws and screwdrivers to assemble it.  The children helped drape pieces of material for the walls and lay the schach on top.  They were so enthusiastic and had the best time!


An interest emerged several weeks ago on the playground.  Lia drew an outline of the trunk of a tree with chalk and the whole class participated in filling in the outline with soil (to simulate the bark) and then added fallen leaves for the top of the tree. It was inspiring to see how fully engaged the children were in recreating their image of a tree.  We knew we needed to pursue this emergent interest further and saw an opportunity when we began talking about this week’s parashah of Breisheet.  As we came to […]

By |October 5, 2018|

We Are Ready for Sukkot in Gan Tziporim

The week began, for all the children, encountering Suburban Torah’s huge and beautiful sukkah.  This definitely put everyone in the mindset for Sukkot, thinking about the lovely rituals of decorating and eating in the sukkah and being thankful to Hashem for the bounty provided to us. Following Yom Kippur, we returned to school with thoughts of decorating the sukkah.  There were many posters made in prior years, decorated with student photos. Our class picked out the ones they wanted to hang up and chose where to hang them.  Later in the day the children assembled a new poster, with their photos mounted on etrogim which they had painted.  We explained the use of the etrog and lulov for the holiday, and had them pose, correctly holding a stuffed pair.  Also introduced was the “pitom” on the etrog and how important it is not to break it.  We read the book, The Mystery of the Missing Pitom by Beverly Mach Geller.  The children completed their decorations for their own sukkahs at home.  Those children who chose to make rimonim (pomegranates), painted the  “seeds” red, and then added their pictures.  The children who chose to make etrogim, added a clove “pitom” and their pictures.

Morah Rachelle brought us a pop-up sukkah to use in our classroom.  The children couldn’t wait to go inside!  And they knew just what to do; they brought in all the fruits and vegetables from our housekeeping area and then added all the paraphernalia needed to cook and serve meals.  The children are very enthusiastic about using tools and building things with them.  So in order to serve their interest, we are hoping to build our own little class sukkah next week.  With […]

By |September 21, 2018|