We have added Ms. Alyssa to our toddler team. We are so happy to have her with us. She is great with the kids and has such positive energy. She will be the lead teacher during extended day portion of the day. Welcome, Alyssa!!
Last week we started learning about Rosh Hashanah. For those of you new to the Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New year. It literally means “head of the year”. It is a time for new beginnings and starts a ten day period in which we begin to ask for forgiveness for things we may have done in the past year. This is a pretty heavy topic for the toddlers to grasp. So our Rosh Hashanah is more geared towards the celebration with apples and honey and blowing of the shofar. The blowing of the shofar is symbolic for how Jewish people used to communicate to one another that the New Year had arrived. We continued this week learning about Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which is the holiest day of the year. For toddlers this is discussed in the simplest of terms; saying sorry, being a good friend, helping your family. The shofar (which is a ram’s horn) is also blown during Yom Kippur services.
On Monday we dot-dot painted paper to make our own shofar. I printed the names of each of the different ways the shofar is blown – tekiah (sustained blast), shevarim (three medium blasts in a row), teruah (many staccato blasts) and tekiah gedolah (one VERY long blast) on the paper and we folded them into a shofar for each of them. The toddlers have LOVED holding them to their mouths to make the sounds along with me. Some are saying the words along with me.
We also read books about being a good friend. The kids colored paper on which to mount a class composite photo. They were laminated and sent home with the kids. I hope they enjoy looking at pictures of all their friends and starting to say their names.
We also made applesauce (kind-of). Toddlers love to help cook, but with Covid it is tricky to make food in a group. So…we cut, measured, sprinkled and stirred our ingredients and then I threw them away and served store bought chunky cinnamon applesauce. It’s too bad we had to toss it, but it was actually extra fun because they could all take a turn sprinkling cinnamon and pouring in sugar and water – which provided lots of extra turns!
The torah readings at this time of year include the story of Jonah and the Big Fish. In the toddler room I retold the story using props. It is fun to tell stories in other ways than just in book format. After listening to me they had a chance to play in the water with fish, and Jonahs and scoopers. As always water play is a big hit.
We loved our time outside and in the Big Room…
On Friday we celebrated Shabbat with Rabbi Locketz through zoom. The kids all get to hold an item related to the service (kiddish cup, candles, challah) and hold it up when Rabbi talks about it on the call.
Next week is another Jewish holiday to celebrate – Sukkot! Ms. Hannah is planning lots of fun things for us to do! Just a reminder, no school on Monday for Yom Kippur.
Shabbat Shalom,Ms.Katie, Ms. Hannah & Ms. Alyssa
On a side note, if you see your child in photos with their pacifier in their mouth it is usually to keep art supplies, sensory items, or playground mulch out of their mouths! We use pacifiers very little during the school day, except in those circumstances.