the sunflowers

It is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter in the Sunflowers

The snow has been falling in the Sunflowers.  After reviewing the four seasons with the children, we have been reading books together on the topic of winter. One of the books we have read, SNOWY DAY, is about a  boy who likes the snow.  He makes tracks in the snow by walking with his feet inward and outward,  dragging a stick so it looks like the tracks of a snake that slithered by.  The boy goes on an adventure in the snow.  He loves the snow so much that he decides to place a snowball in his pocket for later when he is at home, only to find out it melted.  The boy was okay with that since he was going to do it all over again the next day.  The children made their own footprints with the help of Mr. Potato head’s feet and some toy animals.  They dipped the feet of the toys into shaving cream and then pressed it onto pieces of paper.  The children enjoyed touching and playing with the shaving cream too.

Another way in which it was snowing in the Sunflowers was when the children folded a piece of paper in half and then in half again in order to make snowflakes.  It was great to see how well the children hold and use a pair of scissors. The dexterity that they have in their fingers is magical.  The different designs that came from this exercise were remarkable.  The children also made snowflakes using glue and glitter.  They placed some glue on paper and added the glitter and had a blast shaking the extra glitter off.

Another winter favorite is the book […]

By |December 13, 2018|

Let’s Make Olive Oil in the Sunflowers

Rabbi Rosenblum came to school this week to show us how to make olive oil that can be used to light our chanukiot.  First, the children, with the help of the morot, took the pits out of the olives.  It was not so easy to do.  Rabbi Rosenblum then asked for a lot of volunteers to help him. The children sat patiently to see when they would be called up to help. After taking the pits out we then put the olives into a big bucket called an olive press. Next, we turned a handle which pressed the juice out of the olives.  Singing Chanukah songs made to time go by while we waited for all the juice to be drawn out from the olives. Rabbi  Rosenblum then poured the juice into a test tube which he then placed into a scrambler.  It made a really loud noise.  When the timer went off, he took it out of the scrambler and we could see how the oil had separated from the juice.  Rabbi Rosenblum then placed the oil into the chanukiah.  Next, we had to make the wicks.  Rubbing a piece of cotton between our hands a certain way became magical because when finished a wick was made. Rabbi Rosenblum the lit the Chanukiah and the children helped him make the brachot.  Thank you to Rabbi Rosenblum for a fun and exciting experience.

Morah Jill came to sing with us this week.  With the help of a special Chanukah book, Morah Jill reviewed in song the story of Chanukah.  The children then acted it out pretending to be candles standing tall as the flame shining so bright. As the candles […]

By |December 7, 2018|

Chanukah is here in the Sunflowers

The children have been so excited to celebrate Chanukah.  Painting, building, saying the brachot and, lighting our class Chanukiah has been so much fun, just like we are sure the children are doing at home with their beautiful Chanukiah.  The children painted cardboard rolls with Morah Debra while Morah Aimee and laid it out on the floor before we adhered it to our bulletin board. Using tissue paper the flame was ignited.

The children loved working on different projects that reinforced and recreated the Chanukah story and miracle. They loved being part of Judah the Maccabee’s army and creating their very own shield. Watching the children spin the dreidel has been a blast. Their fingers are really getting a workout as they get better and better at it.

Morah Aimee used blocks to retell the story of Chanukah.  The children built the Beit Hamikdash and then the children became the Greeks and knocked it down.  While cleaning up the Beit Hamikdash the children discovered the menorah, like the one they had in the real Beit Hamikdash, by building one out of blocks. Finally, the one remaining vile of oil that lasted for eight days instead of one, shined as the children used mini lights for the flame.  What a beautiful way to show their creativity.

Happy Chanukah,

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra




By |December 5, 2018|

The Sunflowers are busy like the Macacbees

The children have been very busy getting ready for Chanukah.  Learning the story of how King Antiyocus did not want the Jewish people to practice their religion anymore and how he and his army went into the Temple and tried to destroy it; and  how Judah the Macabee and his brothers took a small army and surprised King Antiyocus and his army and defeated them reclaiming the Temple and their religion. When the Jews went to clean up the Temple they found only one vile of oil to light the Menorah.  To everyone’s amazement, the oil lasted eight days thus giving us the holiday of Chanukah.  The children have spent the week practicing the brachot we say when we light the chanukiyah.  Knowing that on the first night we say three brachot and the rest of the nights we say two. Singing Chanukah songs is of course a favorite activity of ours. Throughout the week, the children have been busy preparing some beautiful Chanukah decorations that they are looking forward to sharing with their families. Watching the children work with different ways to decorate their dreidels was remarkable. They used glue in a couple different ways and used the dexterity in their fingers to be able to peel off the back of stickers, and dot paint. When all the decorating was finished the children strung their dreidels together. We were hoping that we would be able to spin our dreidels like the Jewish people did to hide their Torah learning from  King Antiyocus, but since we were not able to, we hope you will string it up in your houses.


The children used watercolors to paint a special Chanukah keepsake. […]

By |November 30, 2018|

Another Thanksgiving Celebrated in the Sunflowers

We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your children shared all the songs that they enjoyed learning and singing in class as well as retelling you the Thanksgiving story.  When teaching the Thanksgiving story, the children were amazed at how far the Pilgrims had to travel (sail) on the Mayflower before arriving at Plymouth.  The children also could not believe that the Pilgrims had to learn how to grow their food instead of being able to go to the grocery store to buy it.  The children were thankful that the Native Americans were there to teach the Pilgrims how to farm and harvest their food.

The children enjoyed learning how different the Pilgrims and Native Americans were from just a simple thing as the way they dressed.  They were very creative while they made their own Native American clothing and their Pilgrim hats.  Hopefully your child wore them to your Thanksgiving tables.  Before we broke for the Thanksgiving holiday, all the students came together for a school wide feast.  The Three’s contributions were cornbread and cookies that they made from scratch.  The children had a blast baking with Morah Aimee, singing some Thanksgiving songs with all our friends while sharing a meal consisting of yummy vegetable soups made by the Pre-Kers and cranberry relish made by the Butterflies.  Our cornbread and cookies, and of course since it was Wednesday, PIZZA were so delicious.  The children had a wonderful time eating with all their friends. Hopefully, we will be able to do this again soon.


The children came back to school all excited to share their Thanksgiving stories with us.  The children love celebrating holidays so much that when we told them that […]

By |November 27, 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|

Row Row Row Your Boat in the Sunflower

Our unit on transportation is coming along. The children love talking about boats so much that they decided to make their own sailboat. The children used giant tongue depressors for the boat and cloth material for the sail. They glued everything onto the ocean background that they worked so hard to paint last week. The children  welcomed  Morah Debra with open arms and showed her how we hold a partners hands or feet to sing ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT.  We are so excited to have Morah Debra with us.


Yeah!! We were so excited to spend more time with Morah Jill.  The children truly enjoy their time with her. Singing and dancing is always so much fun.  After singing the HELLO song, the children enjoyed becoming leaves with the help of scarves. Each child was given a scarf to wave around just like the leaves blow in the wind and in the end they fell to the floor like leaves fall from a tree. Morah Jill held up a giant leaf and a tiny leaf and taught the children the Hebrew words for big (gadol) and  little (katan).  The children really enjoyed that.


The children continue to have a bit of a hum throughout the day after spending some time with Morah Jill.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |October 30, 2018|

The Animals Went Two by Two In Gan Prachim, The Sunflowers

The children could not get enough of the story of Noah’s Ark that they wanted to create the story in our classroom.  The children spent weeks creating the water, and the ark in which the animals and Noah’s family lived.  Painting both the ark and water was not an easy task.  Getting the right shades of blue and brown took many class discussions.  “Should the water be light blue or dark blue?” “Should the ark be light brown or dark brown?” As you can see the children chose both light and dark colors.  They enjoyed using their hands to paint everything. The children also chose which animals were to board the ark.  They chose lions, bears,  pigs, cows, sheep, and frogs.  Morah Aimee helped the children load the animals. Of course the animals went into the ark “two by two”.  The children then boarded the ark.


In this weeks Parsha,Vayeira, Avram and Sarai liked welcoming guests into their home.  The children in Gan Pracjim also enjoy welcoming guests. They were such wonderful hosts to our two guest teachers, Morah Alana and Morah Eileen, who came into our classroom home  while we wait for Monday when we can welcome Morah Debra into our classroom.

The children always enjoy a song and a jig to get us into the Shabbat mode. They love Shabbat in the Shul with Rabbi Mischel and our classroom Shabbat party each week

Have a Shabbat Shalom.

Morah Pam and Morah Aimee

By |October 25, 2018|

A Sweet Treat for the Sunflowers

We are very excited to welcome our new teacher Morah Debra who will be joining us next week in our class. But first  we wanted to thank Morah Selene for all the wonderful days she spent playing and singing and reading to us. Morah Selene is so sweet so we decided to make a sweet treat in her honor. We learned from Avram and Sarai in the parsha to welcome guests and offer food, so that is just what we did for Morah Selene.

The children enjoyed making caramel apples (pareve) from scratch. Everyone took a turn adding and mixing the ingredients together.  The children brought their chairs over so they could watch from a safe distance as Morah Pam heated and stirred the ingredients.  They were fascinated as the ingredients changed color and texture. When the caramel was cool, the children again took turns dipping their apple into the caramel and then into sprinkles. Afterwards they placed their apple on wax paper to dry. The children were able to taste a small amount of the sweet caramel with a spoon.  We hope your child shared their apple with you.


Morah Pam and Morah Aimee

By |October 25, 2018|

Ding Ding Ding the Fire Truck is Here in the Sunflowers

The children were so happy to see the fire truck.  The Livingston Fire Department came to visit us at IBECC this week. The fire chief told the entire school all about fire safety.  When the fire chief was finished he showed the children all the different parts of the truck, he also put on his mask that he uses when he is putting out a fire to show the children that even-though he may look and sound scary, he is not. Like your mom’s, dad’s, teacher’s, policeman, a fireman is a friend too. When the fire chief was finished talking, the children enjoyed touching all the different parts of the fire truck.

The children were so happy to meet Morah Jill. Morah Jill is our wonderful music teacher. The children enjoyed singing  all of Morah Jill’s  songs.  Some were new and some the children knew. Some of the songs the children were able to use props; like scarfs and fruits. When it was time to clean up the props, the children did in such a helpful way. Morah Jill was so impressed with how nicely the children followed directions.  Morah Jill also said that she can not wait to come back next week.  Neither can the children.

It is always an amazing week when you can begin and end your week with a song. Shabbat in the shul with Rabbi Mischel is always a treat.

Have a Shabbat Shalom

Morah Pam and Morah Aimee


By |October 19, 2018|