Snowballs!

What a fun week we had talking about snow!

We started off by reading “Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert. We collected “good things,” just like the narrator of the story. After we used fine motor and math skills to classify and sort the items, we used them to build our own snow person (or pet). The students practiced photography by framing and taking photos of their own collage!

Some of us have been eagerly awaiting pajama day, and this week was finally the time! We spent time Wednesday and Thursday in the fabulous snow room. Each classroom contributed artwork to adorn the walls and cotton balls to make it snow. Thank you to everyone who sent in “snowballs.” We thoroughly enjoyed them!

In addition to snowballs, we also explored ice! We used salt water to slightly melt the ice, then we placed a string on the ice. As the salt water flowed away, the ice began to refreeze!

See how we measured up to a penguin!

Our creative, resourceful teachers put together activities for us. We made an abstract ice painting with liquid watercolors, and melted ice with colorful saltwater!  Then, we took on a mission to save some animals frozen in the ice!

In Jewish Studies, we continued learning about Tu B’Shevat and began preparing for our Shoobie Doobie Shabbat Program on Feb 9th. You will receive an email with more info this week. Here’s a sneak peek!

In Music, we learned the names of a range of interesting instruments as we played them!

We saw our letter and shape of the week everywhere we turned! A triangle nose on the snowman,  the letter N in our snacks,  triangle flags, and letters written in the sand!

We received a new item to try for snack: Sunbutter sunflower seed butter! Almost everyone tried it the first time around. After seeing the results of our poll, the person who didn’t want to try the Sunbutter had a taste.. and she liked it!

Coach Whitney created an obstacle course for us to navigate in P.E. In an unexpected twist, she added animal movements to the course! We had to crawl like inchworms, balance like giraffes and hop like kangaroos.

Our Show & Tell was warm and snuggly. We all brought something we wear in winter.

Finally, Shabbat has arrived. We have worked so hard all week and now it is time to join with family to light candles, break bread and rest.

We had a (snow)ball playing and learning about winter. We cant wait to be back at school again next week to celebrate Tu B’Shevat!

See you then,

Ms. Alyse and Ms. Stephanie

Silly Sally

Shalom!

This week, we read “Silly Sally” by Audrey Wood. In this story, we found many rhyming words, and we practiced listening for and saying words that rhyme.

To avoid the cold, we spent our gardening time indoors. Ms. Heather connected last week’s texture lesson to our garden. We felt seed pods, butter lettuce leaves, and bumpy broccoli! We used this knowledge to create our own Texture Reference Guides.

In Music, We played a variety of instruments and explored movements. We are learning self-control and discipline by using rhythm sticks as we prepare for our Mother’s Day Program. It is hard work but we hope you’ll love our presentation!

In Science we experienced sound waves! First Ms. Heather played a tricky guessing game with us. Then, we predicted whether the glasses containing water would sound differently from each other. Finally, we got to play Telephone with a string and two cups!

Our class meteorologist checked the weather, and reported that we could not go outside to play. So, we got out some wiggles indoors!

Since we have been making our own patterns in class, Show & Tell this week was to bring a patterned item from home. Some of us wore our patterns, others played with toys that were patterned, and one friend drew a picture of himself wearing a pattern!

Our abas and ema lead our class in Shabbat blessings. We lit candles, drank “wine” and ate challah. One of our abas had a special guest! It is a great joy to spend this time together with our class as we prepare to welcome Shabbat in our own homes.

We hope you had a peaceful and restful Shabbat, and we are excited to see you next week.

Ms. Alyse and Ms. Stephanie

The Colors of Us

Welcome back to school! Our students had a wonderful Winter Break and returned to school excited to be together again!

When we arrived to our classroom, we noticed our centers had been rearranged a little bit. So we took time to explore!

Many of us came to school in Jags gear to celebrate our team’s victory.  Go Jaguars!

In Jewish Studies we learned about Tu B’Shevat, and brainstormed things that we get from trees. Some of the ideas included fruit, wood, leaves, shade and air. Then we pretended to be seeds that grew into tall trees blowing in the breeze!

We practiced ABAB patterns with circles, our shape of the week. Later, we played Mystery Pattern and Mystery Counting games to solidify our skills.

We read Bright Eyes, Brown Skin and used some of our vocabulary words chin, face, hair, and share to practice phoneme deletion. For example, “chin” without “Ch” is “in.” This is a favorite game of our students! Feel free to play this game at home.

We also read The Colors of Us. This is a story about a girl who is preparing to paint portraits of people in her neighborhood. She mixes colors to get just the right shade for each person’s skin. This was a great example for us as we began our own self-portraits!

First, we drew our faces in pencil.

Next we mixed yellow, red, black and white paint, just like the girl in The Colors of Us. We used our hands to see if the paint matched our skin color. When we got the shade just right, we put our brushes to paper.

Then we added hair to our portraits. Some of us needed to mix brown and white, while others used yellow and brown.

Finally, we were introduced to oil pastels. We used this new medium to draw the features of our face and clothing. We used paint sticks to be white post detectives and cover the rest of the white paper.

We are so proud of our completed self portraits!

In Music, we are continuing to practice with rhythm sticks as we prepare a song for our Mother’s Day program in May. Afterward, we got to dance with scarves and stomp to Ms. Emily’s drumbeat.

In Science, Ms. Heather played a game with us to test our sense of touch. She introduced us to Henry the House Monster, who eats anything he finds around the house! We found an array of random items that Henry had eaten.

We learned about our sense of touch and got to explore items that we described as bumpy, smooth or rough.

On Friday, Ms. Dale was our Mystery Reader! She read us Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? with a twist. We learned the American Sign Language signs for the colors and animals in the story! Here are some of them:

Our two emas led our class in Shabbat blessings.

We hope you enjoy your weekend. See you Tuesday morning!

Todah,

Ms. Alyse and Ms. Stephanie

Chag Hanukkah Sameach

Monday we took our Hanukkah Program on the road! We had a mitzvah field trip to River Garden Hebrew Home to visit the seniors at the home.

Tuesday we had our VPK Hanukkah Party! First we heard two stories from Ms Whitney, then we “lit” a hanukiyah together.

We then split off into several groups where we played a few rounds of dreidel, before building our own mini dreidels.  Afterward, we reconvened with our class for a delicious snack of latkes, fruit, a donut hole, and juice.

We then headed back to class for gardening with Ms Heather. We didn’t have to go outside today, because we set up a sweet potato experiment. In teams of 2 or 3, we looked for roots already growing, placed toothpicks in the sides of the potatoes and gave them faces!

On Wednesday we began our author study of Laura Joffe Numeroff. She wrote the If You Give a Moose a Muffin series. We noticed that moose and muffin have the same beginning sound so we played a word game. Each student brainstormed a word that begins with the first letter of their name! Here are some of the words we came up with:

If you give Rena a Rainbow

If you give Eva an Elephant

If you give Paloma a Pencil

If you give  Bradley a Basketball

If you give Richmond a Raccoon

If you give Emma an Egg

If you give Alexa an Apple

On Thursday we worked hard with our rhythm sticks in Ms Emily’s class.

And later our class got a lesson in flight from Ms Heather. We built and tested our own hoop gliders!

On Friday, Rabbi Rosenblum surprised us as our Mystery Reader! Not only is she a recent addition to the synagogue staff, but she is also a family member of one of our classmates! Rabbi Rosenblum continued our author study by reading If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and If You Take a Mouse to School. In the latter story, the mouse does some exercise. Our class was inspired! We used our bodies to do pushups, bridges, jumping jacks and stretches.

Our terrific ema and aba lead us as we welcomed Shabbat together.

And finally, we had a thrilling Show and Tell for the letter T!

Thank you for all you do! We hope you have a wonderful winter break with your families and loved ones. We are looking forward to a great 2018 learning and growing together.

Ms. Alyse and Ms. Stephanie