September 5th-it was special meeting new friends today and learning about all the centers in our classroom! September 6th- we have started exploring some of the interesting activities in our classroom and learn to clean up when activity time is over. September 8th- What a fun day! We shared new play doh and have been trying to make them into balls or sticks. The special toy of the day was Legos; wow, did we make a tall tower. When it fell, we worked together to fix it. Enjoy your weekend September 11th- Today we started " All About Me" week. The children made self-portraits, using a mirror to help focus on their facial features. We also graphed our favorite colors and flavors of ice cream, comparing more and less. September 12th- We are establishing class rules, such as helping friends and be kind. September 13- We learned about fingerprints, finding them in playdoh, and on paper when we touched the ink pad. September 14- Since we have been learning about human homes, we wanted to build some in the classroom. Our book of the day was A House is a House for Me. September 18- We read a book by Leo Lionni called A Color His Own. As the chameleon searches for his own color, we blended colors on a coffee with drops of water. We helped make rainbows. September 19th-We used colored tiles to look at the light, then added another color to see how the colors changed. The children were amazed as they created new colors by overlapping the tiles. September 20th- the class had the opportunity to mix and blend new colors by mixing paint on our easel. They were so excited to change the colors themselves. September 28th- We wrapped up our week of learning about maps, compasses, and magnets by painting with magnets! We put paper inside a box, added a few drops of paint and some small magnets, then moved them around with another magnet under the box. Each one came out unique and different. We also made our own shofars, representing the ram's horn blown during the highest Jewish holiday. October 2nd- As an introduction to autumn, we investigated apples with all of our senses. We noticed how they felt, smelled, and tasted, of course! We looked at the different parts of an apple: stem, peel/skin, flesh, core, and pits. We made two picture graphs, one for our favorite color, the other for which one tasted the best. The results were surprising. October 3rd -We began noticing the changes in nature as autumn continues. We have become aware of the chill in the early in the morning and the leaves on the trees turning different colors. We continue to learn new letters using Handwriting Without Tears! October 4th- We read a nonfiction book called When Autumn Comes, which had real photographs of the ways nature changes around this time of year. We got to see the sukkah, a traditional sort of shack in which Jewish people eat their meals during the holiday of Sukkot. To help celebrate, we made a big paper chain for decorating the sukkah; it was 48 links long! Enjoy your extended weekend and we'll see everyone on Tuesday. October 10th- Today, we learned that the leaves are green because of chlorophyll. When plants get ready for winter, they stop making chlorophyll and we can see the colors hiding behind it. We even made a display of what happens; please feel free to interact with our bulletin board! October 16th - Mat Man made a return to our class today! This a game we use with the children from our Handwriting Without Tears program. We made easy work of creating the letters we have already learned to write, and introduced this week's handwriting letter, B, as well. We had fun trying to create letters out of playdoh, too! October 17th - Part of our theme this week is harvest time and the farm. We read a rebus book titled Inside a Barn in the Country, which we made interactive. The children had so much fun making the animal sounds, some of them wanted to read it again. When our turn came to use the Promethean board, the class was very excited to see some videos of real farm animals in their home environment. We also made decorations to celebrate Diwali; watch for them on our bulletin board. October 18th - Our school is so fortunate to have such great parents! They put together a lovely party for Diwali, the Hindu new year and festival of light. Our class got to make a traditional craft, a children's version of a Diva lamp, which should be in your child's backpack; please look for it because it is made of clay and might be a bit fragile. We sampled some treats and even got to dress in traditional clothes. Miss Billi even wore a sari! We want to thank everyone involved in making our celebration so special and sharing Diwali with us. October 19th- We continued our farm theme today by sorting farm animals and wild animals. We also played a silly game where we got to flap like a chicken, roll like a pig, gallop like a horse, and milk a cow like the farmer! There was a lot of laughter and fun. Separately, if you have not done so, please send in a smock for your child. Anything that will protect their clothes will do, even old clothes. This way, we can try to keep everyone clean while we create our projects. October 20th- Our class was very busy today. We started our day by hosting our weekly Shabbat party. It's nice to have our friends in Miss Clara's class come share in the celebration. Next, we went to the gym and jumped around with a coach. The children did so well, they each got a "smelly" stamp that smelled like chocolate. Then, we headed to library. We read a book about farm animals and got to choose a new book to borrow. Please enjoy the book and be sure to return it by next Friday so your child may choose another one. Then, we took advantage of the beautiful weather by playing on the playground. Before we knew it, it was lunchtime! Even lunch is special on Fridays and we got to have our favorite, pizza! And ice cream to top it off! What a day! October 23rd- We became science detectives today. First, we made observations about an apple; we noticed how it looked, its weight, the skin's texture, and the apple's scent. Next, we cut it open and noticed its scent was stronger and the flesh was slightly yellow. Then, we made predictions about how it might change if we left the cut apple uncovered. By the end of the day, the flesh had started to turn very slightly brown. We will check it tomorrow and see what has changed overnight. October 24th- Today was a good day to start to learn more about weather. The children colored pictures of different types of weather and knew quite a few of them, such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, and snowy. We learned about some of the more unfamiliar forms of weather, as well. We defined foggy as clouds that came down from the sky and make it difficult to see any distance. Lightning is the light we see in the sky sometimes when it rains and the loud rumbling noise that follows it is thunder. A storm is a combination of wind, rain, clouds, and often, thunder and lightning, too. The children looked out the window frequently to see if the weather had changed. October 25th- Our trip to White Post Farms and petting zoo was a great success. The children had their first experience riding on a school bus, which was exciting. When we got to our destination, there were so many animal enclosures, we didn't know where to go first! The children got to feed camels, antelope, goats, bulls, and zebras! We also got to see monkeys, kangaroos, parrots, turtles, and fish. Stay tuned for our pictures to be posted. As far as our Halloween party on Tuesday, we have a fun, very busy day planned. The children are encouraged to wear their costumes. We will be playing some fun games, as well as making jack-o-lanterns. We would like to celebrate with some Halloween treats, so if you would like to join in the fun, please feel free to send in a small treat for the class. If you have any questions regarding what would be an appropriate treat, please check with Mindy or Ilene. Thank you all in advance for your participation; it is greatly appreciated! October 26th- Our children are beginning to make some real progress with their handwriting! We practice everyday when they first arrive at school and the children are beginning to trace the letters and shapes with little to no assistance from us adults; it is very exciting to see the surprise on their faces. They also helped to predict what they believe will happen if we leave the cut apple out overnight. October 27th- The children have been practicing handwriting daily and we are starting to see some nice progress! In addition to our Handwriting Without Tears program, we also use erasable, laminated sheets to trace and try shapes, letters and their names. Please encourage your child to continue this at home. Friday is always a special day. We celebrated Shabbat, played on the playground, and got to choose another book to borrow from the library. What a nice ending to our week. October 30th- We had an exciting start to a an fun-filled week. Continuing our lessons about weather, we made our very own rainstorm! It is a very simple experiment using water, shaving cream, and food coloring; combined in the right order, we were able to see how rain clouds become so full of water, they can no longer hold onto any more and see how the rain falls. Don't forget- tomorrow is Halloween, so please send your child to school in costume. We will be playing games, making a craft to bring home, and even trick-or-treating with other classes, plus taking a trip across the parking lot to visit the firehouse, so we are all looking forward to a fun day! Please be sure to sign the permission slip so everyone can join in the fun! October 31st- What a fun day! We went on a trip to the firehouse across the parking lot from our school. Some of our students got to demonstrate "stop, drop, and roll", others tried on a firefighters' jacket (wow, it was heavy!), and we got to get into a real fire engine. When we returned to school, we played Halloween games, invited our friends in Miss Clara and Miss Dada's class to trick-or-treat with us, and heard one of Miss Billi's favorite Halloween stories. Everyone had a great day. November 1- Today we learned all about the number 3. One-to-One correspondence is a foundational math skill for preschoolers. It can take months or even an entire year for preschoolers to master this skill. For this reason it is important to provide our children with plenty of opportunities to practice one-to-one correspondence all year long. November 2nd- Today, the children made an interesting discovery. In recent weeks, they have been learning a lot about apples. We took the balance from our math center and found that an apple is heavy, compared with our toys and manipulatives. They were amazed to see the apple floating. From there, the class tried a few more objects from around the room. November 3rd- We have rearranged some areas of the classroom and, by far, the most popular center is our newly revamped writing center. With papers of different textures and colors, colored pencils, crayons, and glue sticks, the children could not resist. There are even envelopes for sending letters. Some beautiful work will be coming from that center. November 6th- With Thanksgiving nearly here, we are learning the difference between things that we need in order to live and things that we want. We will also be touching on the things we have now that did not exist long ago. We played a few games to reinforce the children's number and letter recognition. One particular favorite is called "BOOM!", a letter game in which the children get to jump up and yell "BOOM!" when the card shows up in the deck. November 7th- Today was a very busy day for our class. A real scientist, Miss Rebecca, came to demonstrate her equipment and had both Miss Clara's and our class participate in some experiments with water and food coloring. Today we also compared raw berries with cooked ones, measuring them on a balance, and ultimately smashing the cooked ones with a plastic hammer. Then we were able to paint, and although it was initially red, it turned purple, then gray as it dried. All in all, a great day for making discoveries! November 8th- Our visiting scientist, Miss Rebecca, returned today. This time, the children all had a turn looking through a real microscope. Then, they were asked to try to draw what they saw, which were onion cells. Everyone was fascinated by the microscope and several children wanted a second turn to look. If you have not already done so, please be sure to sign up for a parent-teacher conference, which will be on Thursday, the 16th. I look forward to speaking with you. November 13th- In preparation for learning about the first Thanksgiving tomorrow, we read a book called Why Should I Share? It offered the students many clear examples of how sharing can help make friendships. After the book, we played a game with stickers which we called "One for me and one for you". Each student was given two stickers; one for them to keep and one to be given to a friend. This concept can be difficult for young children to process but our game gave everyone the opportunity to give and receive. We will be concentrating on taking turns and working cooperatively. November 14th- The curiosity of one of our students wound up being the impetus for us to have a spur-of-the-moment science experiment. During snack today, she kept putting drops of water on her napkin. It seems that she was interested in how the water was absorbed. So, we used a clean paper towel, twisting the end of it tightly before placing the sharp point into a cup of colored water. We were able to watch as the water climbed UP the paper towel, eventually spilling out upon our table! When we poured water, it would only go down. How could water possibly defy gravity? Through a process called capillary action. The fibers of the paper were interwoven in such a way as to allow the water to move from one fiber to the next. Even the smallest things can be fascinating! November 14th- Since we have been learning about Thanksgiving and harvest time, we started to work on creating a cornucopia. Rather than merely color or paint, we used some of the items found around our classroom; wheels, play food, oddly shaped items, etc. So we are calling our work "environmental painting", using our everyday objects instead of plain paintbrushes. It allowed our students to explore different textures and patterns. It was also a lot of fun. Please watch for our finished product on our bulletin board! November 17th- Every Friday, we have a party to celebrate Shabbat. The children look forward to the singing, dancing, and silly games we play as we celebrate. It is so beautiful to share another culture's traditions with them and to see how much they enjoy, and remember, it. November 20th- The children started their costumes for our Thanksgiving feast today. They were coloring and gluing them together, sharing crayons and markers, glue and leaves. Our costumes would be rather drab since we are Pilgrims, who dressed in dark and muted colors to assert their faith, so we perked them up with the addition of some autumn "leaves" that we painted. Now, we are following their tradition but still were able to be creative. November 21st- We were baking cornbread today, in preparation for our Thanksgiving "feast" tomorrow. Baking and cooking are great STEM activities, covering math through measuring and using time and temperature. We get the science aspect by comparing the state of the batter before and after it is baked, paying attention to its weight and texture. We made enough to share with the whole school. November 22nd- We had our school-wide feast today! Each class contributed a dish that they made and everyone had the opportunity to try everything our friends in other classes made. There was cranberry compote, mashed potatoes, yams with marshmallows, carrots, and our cornbread. It was nice to share with everyone and learn about what they did to make their dish. The food must have been very good, since there was a lull once everyone was served. Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone one of our families! May your hearts, and stomachs, be full. November 27th- We had an exciting first day back, with so very many stories about being with our families. The children were very happy to be back at school and many of the stories revolved around not just the food but the traditions we share. It was a truly pleasant way to return from the long weekend. November 28th- Today we started an experiment involving the states of matter of water. One cup was left at room temperature in our classroom, another was placed in the freezer, and the last was placed outside on our windowsill. We will have to wait until tomorrow to examine the full effects. In the meantime, we have started working on our newest bulletin board display; stay tuned to see the results! November 30- Our experiment did not work out as we had expected, due to the weather being a bit too temperate, We will try again when the temperature is cooler and see if we can get water to phase into each of its states. December 1- Friday means Shabbat party and the children really look forward to the singing, dancing, prayers, and most especially the treats we reserve for our special day. They are always reluctant to leave our classroom to move on to our next activities! December 4- This week, we started our unit on how winter weather affects animals. Today we discussed the gold weather's effects on animals that hibernate, finding adequate food and safe shelter to ride out the worst if the winter months. We will be covering how other animals adapt or migrate in order to survive. December 5- Out entire school participated in creating animals who hibernate during the winter. We had a lot of fun creating our bats hanging from the top of the caves. Please be sure to stop by our collective mural and see the animals we created! December 6-As we learn about animals' survival techniques in the unforgiving winter weather conditions, we will try to replicate their conditions by having our own winter pajama party tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 7th. Please send your children in warm pajamas, slippers, and stuffed animals to imagine what it would be like to try to survive such cold and severe conditions. December 7 - We had our hibernation party today! Everyone looked adorable in their pajamas and stuffed animals. We got to experience being in a cave or den and had special treats to celebrate pretending to be a hibernating animal by playing in dens and caves. We had songs to sing and books to read about the animals who prepared for winter by storing food and readying themselves for the cold winter months. The children spent the day "readying" themselves for the long, cold winter. December 11- Today, we enjoyed a special treat; oversized gingerbread men, with icing and all sorts of decorations, donated to the entire school by a parent for the holidays! Of course, we could not have the children create their cookies without eating them, oversized though they were, so, needless to say, no one ate their lunch. What is the fun in the holidays if we can not indulge our little ones every once in a while? December 12- With Hanukkah beginning tonight, we talked about the traditions that are observed for the holiday. We know that there is a special candleholder called a menorah that has eight candles and one "helper" candle (nine in total). There are special foods, treats, and games associated with Hanukkah, the most famous being the dreidle game and song. We tried to make some of the spinning tops out of art clay, but we found it very challenging! December 13- As we walked down to the ulam today, we noticed the beautiful silver menorah. Only two of the candles had been lit, the one in the center, called the sammash, and the one furthest to the right. Tonight, there will be three candles; the center and two more, adding one more each night until the entire menorah is lit. We played a toss-the-pom-pom game, trying to get the highest score.