Friday, 31 October 2014

Experiencing Lech Lecha

Just as last week's classroom activities were connected to parashat Noach, this week we are connecting to Lech Lecha (this won't happen every week, as I will definitely not be doing korbanot). 

In parashat Lech Lecha, Hashem makes a number of beautiful promises. Two that we are looking at are: 

13:16And I will make your seed like the sand of the earth, so that if a man will be able to count the sand of the earth, so will your seed be counted.
15:5And He took him outside, and He said, "Please look heavenward and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So will be your seed."

Rabbinic commentary states these two options aren't only given to innumerate Avraham's progeny. It is also to show the potential of each Jew's fate. We can stay on the ground and be the sand, or we can work to elevate ourselves to the greatest heights and truly shine. My goal is to help each of your children recognize their potential and help them work to be a star. 

To understand the stars and sand at school this week, we are touching, playing with, and writing in sand.
 

Stars are harder to get in the classroom in the middle of the day. For now, we are looking at other glowing and wonderful items.
Lite Brite! You had a lite-brite as a child, right? And you loved it? So did Pre-K!






Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Experiencing Noach

I don't have as much time to blog or do projects with my children because I am busy with my class.
Parashat Noach is wonderful to teach. My pedagogical approach is three tiered; experiential, creative, and scientific.

Here is the experiential component this year with my pre-K class.

Building the Teva. I guess this is more creative. We built out of blocks too, but it fell before I caught it on camera. 



Testing buoyancy and building in the water.



Locating the animals in their natural habitat.


Loading the animals onto the ark.
The children turned this into a show and enjoyed watching each other on the Teva.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Yom Kippur Yonah Project- So Much Fun!!!

Two years ago I posted Yom Kippur Crafts X 3, which is one of my most popular posts. It is about to get SOOO much better!

This year I had my class make the big fish for Jonah [Yonah] to hide in, just like I described in the aforementioned blog. 




In short: 
Cut a big fish twice for each student.
Let them finger-paint on one side. 
Place the other fish on top and let them pat t down. 
Peel off and marvel at mirror images.
Leave the fish to dry.

I had very thick paper towel tubes cut to fit between the fish pictures to hold a 3-D Yonah. 
Then I had a brilliant idea and found some balloons.
I stretched the balloons over one side of the tubes.
When the fish dried, I stapled them around the tube. 
Meanwhile the students fashioned Jonah out of pipe cleaners and added eyes to the fish. 
Do you understand the brilliance of this project yet?
As The Book of Jonah [Sefer Yonah] recounts, after three days in the fish's stomach, Yonah was spat out onto dry land. 
Place pipe cleaner Yonah inside the fish. 
Turn the tube mostly vertical. Count to three for the three days (optional). 
Pinch a small piece of the balloon, pull it back, and release. 
Yonah goes flying through the air (and onto dry land)!

This is incredibly entertaining for ALL ages. (It was hard for me to put my fish down so I could type this. My toddlers claps with glee every time Yonah goes whirling through the air).

Shana Tova! Techatevu V'Techatemu.