We had a great week in the Yarok classroom getting to know about Purim. Setting up our castle, adding and talking about things a palace needs, and learning about the letter W filled up our days. We really want to get out and play in our record snowpack, but the cold weather had other plans.
Last Friday: I wanted to show you the results of our egg (tooth) brushing experiment. The kids were very curious and eager to brush their juice or soda-soaked eggs. First, they used water and brushing alone, then we added toothpaste. After the kids brushed and rinsed them as well as could be, I lined them up to see the differing levels of staining that occurred. Kind of interesting that the grape juice was the deepest stain; it even crystallized on the shell!
Monday: This morning, the kids got the first glimpse of our cardboard castle walls and new books about Purim, knights and castles for the bookcase. We read a great picture book called The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale, by Eric Kimmel.
Afterwards, the kids were deep into dramatic play with everyone in character, even Haman (he was off-screen, but accessible by telephone!). Some great teamwork and cooperation today by these kids.
Tuesday: A few more changes to the room saw Eli playing with the “small world” tabletop with loose parts for imaginative play, like bowls of rocks, pebbles, sticks, and blocks. Lily and Asher got right to work building some new puzzles. Phillip and Eli made some windows for the castle and also got some puppet show play going. Maya read and read more books: she is inhaling our book selection, and she’s really forcing me to up my game in this area. (I love it!)
Most exciting to our day was celebrating Asher’s 5th birthday with his mom, a story from home, and cupcakes. Thank you, Rabbi Crimmings, for making our afternoon so sweet.
Wednesday: Today we enjoyed music class with the Cantor and singing our Purim songs.
We also sang in our classroom too. We made a web about Purim, with everyone adding things they know about the holiday. My goal is for the children to get very comfortable with the story, so that we can break it down into setting, character, and plot. Today, we talked about the four main characters, Mordechai, Esther, Ahashverosh, and Haman.
Thursday: Our morning began with an introduction to wire. Avi had requested we make some necklaces like kings wear. Wire is a great art tool, as kids can thread beads onto it, but also bend and shape it into sculptures.
Our W list is growing a little each day, and we added a few more when we discussed interrogatives like when, where, what, why and how. The kids can all answer these correctly when asked them in a question, like, “When did you have your swim lesson?”, but isolating the meaning out of context is trickier. Just talking with them and introducing the ideas is enough- it’s about exposure.
Friday: Today we will discuss what it means to take care of each other- in our homes, in our classrooms, in our communities. Our value this month is about caring for our Jewish peoplehood. We’ll read some books about our Jewish homes, what makes someone a Jew, and others to introduce the concept of a peoplehood. We will also collect tzedakah, so please continue to send loose change for the kids to add to our class tzedakah box.
A peek at next week: The letter Xx, horses- how do they figure in the Purim story and in people’s lives long ago, and more stories about royalty and knights. I hoping to get some writing samples from the kids this week, as well as some castle sculptures from cardboard and tubes. We will also talk about pulleys and simple machines.
L’hitraot, Ms. Amanda