Shalom! We have arrived in the middle of March and are definitely feeling spring fever in PreK. The kids have loved the few times we’ve gotten to go outside in our record snowpack. And now, with the rain, the kids are eagerly watching the snow melt. Eli told us that he listened to the birds this week, and it’s true that the birds are more vocal. They feel spring is coming! This week in class, we continued our excitement over the Purim story, learned about simple machines like levers, studied and made a life-sized poster of a horse, and introduced the letter X.
Monday: Ms. Sarah taught the class as I was out sick recuperating from a stomach virus. Thank you, Ms. Sarah! Sarah told me that the kids were really helpful and knowledgeable about where things were in the classroom and our classroom procedures. I’ve been stressing all year how important the value of hospitality and helpfulness is, and these children exemplified it with MS. Sarah on Monday. I’m kvelling!! They also had art with Ms. Beth.
Tuesday: Today, we learned about the letter X. The kids can easily recognize the sound, but the tricky part is that they hear it in words with -cks, like kicks and tricks. Around the room, the kids were busy with puzzles, reading and drawing. We got outside on the playground, and the kids had a productive day clearing snow off the slides and hauling snow chunks around. Because of the warmer temperatures, the snowpack had a crust of ice that held many of the kids: they simply ran on top of it. Not so for me, but I always have fun when I’m outside, no matter the weather.
Wednesday: After a fun music class with Rabbi Crimmings, our class convened for snack where I read a book about horses. Why horses? Maya is very interested in horses, and also in the Purim story, Mordechai is rewarded by the king with a horse ride around Shushan, much to Haman’s disliking. I thought it would be fun to learn a little about an animal of that time.
We decided to make a big horse poster, something that everyone would do together. Putting our social skill study into practice, we brainstormed some potential problems we may face. Questions like: what if everyone wants a different color horse, or how will we navigate what parts we get to color? The kids took all our questions seriously, and then really worked together to be gentle around our huge paper. We should finish the horse on Friday, and then it will be up in the hallway, artwork signifying not only a beautiful animal but also some very positive cooperation.
Thursday: Today we celebrated Lily’s 5th birthday with the help of her sister and parents. They came for lunch, with a riddle game (so fun for Asher and Eli!), a book and a treat. Thank you!
I noticed last week, Asher made an art project, and he described it as a machine. So, I thought we could talk about machines and make some in class. We learned about levers, which are simple machines that make work easier. We made a little see-saw out of a board and a toy tunnel, which was our fulchrum. The children and I also went through some three letter words with –a, like cat, hat, map, tag, etc. They had to sound them out to match the word with the correct picture. By the end of our list, they were really getting the hang of sounding them out. Their excitement was joyous.
Friday: In addition to Shabbat services, the kids who express interest can label our horse’s body parts for our wall. We will continue our conversations about Jewish identity and what it means to take care of our Jewish community, when we read The Only One Club. We will write and draw a reflection from the book too.
A peek at next week: Our Purim celebrations will last all week. Each day, kids will have the opportunity to create a different Purim craft. We will also learn about the letter Yy, pulleys and other simple machines.
L’hitraot, Ms. Amanda