Archive | January, 2017

January 23-27

31 Jan

Eagles Agreements

img_1461While we established classroom expectations at the beginning of the school year, we decided to revisit them this week and change some of the language to match our lessons with Mr. Healy. As a class, we talked about what each of these agreements means, and the kinds of words and actions we can use to show we understand them. We chose the term “Body Bubble” to take the place of keeping hands to self because we need to remember to keep our entire bodies in our own space, particularly in line, not just our hands. The other Eagles Agreements include 1st Time Listening, Use a Strong and Respectful Voice, Clean Up Together, and Use Walking Feet. We will review these more concrete expectations regularly to ensure every Eagle feels safe and successful in our classroom and as we travel throughout the building. Please consider reviewing our Eagles Agreements with your child at home, as well.

Eagles Book Fair!

It was just an ordinary Open Exploration time in our classroom when our block area was transformed into a Book Fair! A few Eagles decided to take all of the books from our book shelf and book bins and lay them out on the floor. A few minutes later someone called out “Book Fair!” and before we knew it, nearly every child was engaged. They made money ($1 per book, pretty good deal!), decorated a sign, and made scanners for purchasing books.  Over the next day or two, different children took part in running the book fair. We will see where it goes from here, but it was sure cute to watch its creation!



Continuing our study of liquids and solids, the students pretended to be solid and liquid molecules. They moved about in fluid motion to demonstrate the way molecules in liquids move; allowing them to take the shape of their container. To become solid molecules, they squeezed into a tight group all together representing the way solid figures hold their shape.


Additionally, we experimented with a variety of liquids to see which ones were more dense. For this activity, Morah Tracy slowly poured different liquids into a beaker and we watched as they created layers. As a result, we learned that honey was the most dense liquid, or the liquid with the most “stuff” packed in it. The liquids were layered in the following order: Honey, Corn Syrup, Dish Soap, Water, Vegetable Oil, and finally, Rubbing Alcohol. We learned that it is important to pour the less dense liquids slowly down the side of the container so they do not mix from the force of being poured too fast.


Although these scientific concepts can be challenging to fully understand at such a young age, our Eagles were able to see that some liquids are heavier than others, while still taking the shape of their container. They also enjoyed testing some liquids out themselves!



Judaics with Morah Chani

We returned to Parsha stories this week. Morah Chani told the story of the Jewish people being enslaved in Egypt and Moshe’s birth. Also, how he was raised in the palace. Next, she will continue the story with the 10 plagues.


Art Experiences: Painting, Building, and Glue!

27 Jan

It has been a great couple of weeks in the Chickadee classroom. We are exploring painting further as it is something that children love! During our morning circle we go around and ask everyone what they want to do during free play time. More often than not, the answer is “paint!”

We put sand in the paint and had so much fun discovering this new texture and how it made the paint look on paper. The Chickadees are continuing to explore glue and how it works. Our sand painting lead to our next project- sand and glue! We painted with glue and then sprinkled colorful sand on top to make unique designs. Not only was it fun to experiment with this new technique, it was a joy to watch the Chickadees work together on large poster paper and share the supplies.

We continued to use our gluing skills this week by gluing colorful shapes and feathers to paper. Previously, we had only ever tried this with glue sticks and it was great to see the Chickadees jump into this new experience enthusiastically.

We have a very creative class! The Chickadees are fantastic and resourceful builders no matter what materials they are working with. Some favorite materials are the MagnaTiles, Legos, and tree blocks.

This week we took advantage of the beautiful sunshine and went for a nature walk! The Chickadees did a great job holding on to the walking rope and listening to the Morahs. It was a fun opportunity to practice sequencing skills. The Chickadees needed to pay attention to who is front and behind them and the importance of staying in order so the rope doesn’t get twisted. Outside, we saw a cat, lots of trees and houses, birds, and even found an acorn! This sparked the conversation about seeds and trees – something we are taking about more and more as we get closer to Tu B’Shevat.


We love the Chickadees! We are so grateful for a healthy, happy week with lots of laughing, talking, exploring, and having fun!

January 17th – 20th

24 Jan

Fun in the Classroom


This week we learned more about defining characteristics of Liquid and Solids.  We learned that both liquid and solids are states of matter.  Solids are objects you can hold and keep their shape and liquids take on the shape of the container they are in.  We did an experiment to see how liquids take on the shape of their container.  We looked at liquids in different sized and shaped containers and tried to hypothesize which container had most liquid inside.  The children were surprised to learn that even though they had guessed that the tallest vessel had the most liquid in it, they actually all had the same amount of liquid.  We also explored Gak or Flubber, made from glue and Borax and Oobleck, made from cornstarch and water.  Both of them you can hold in your hand, but they also take up the shape of the container they are in and we were unsure whether to label liquid and solid.  After holding, manipulating and placing them into different containers, we concluded Gak and Oobleck can be labeled as both liquid and solid.  From our research we found that substances such as Gak and Oobleck are know as Non-Newtonian.  If any of you are more informed than us as to the correct term for these substances we would love to know!


This week Morah Chani continued talking with the children about the Hebrew words for Snowman and other winter words.  To reinforce the learning the children got to make a snowman they could eat!


January 9th – 12th

17 Jan

Fun in the Classroom


This week we began our exploration into Solids and liquids.  We asked the children how they know something is a liquid (“you can’t squash it”, “it moves on it’s own”, “it spills”) or a solid (“they are hard”, “they are hard to break”).  In the coming weeks we will be discussing other properties that distinguish liquids from solids.

We also did a science experiment with ice.  We started with small blocks of ice and we wanted to see what would make the ice melt quicker.  We tried Salt, Sugar, Baking Powder, Oil and Hand Sanitizer.  We hypothesized which item would melt the ice the quickest. After an hour in the classroom, it was evident that salt was the winner, followed closely by sugar and oil.


Judaic Studies

This week Morah Chani introduced the vocabulary for parts of the snowman.  We learned the words for: eyes, nose, mouth, snowman, cold, and snow.  She also introduced the vocabulary for Winter and winter clothing.  The children got to create their own snowmen using a variety of materials.


Bentzi enjoyed the weekend with Eliana and her family.  He went to a friend’s house for Shabbat, watched Eliana in her swim lesson and even did a science experiment with Mentos and Diet Coke!



Mr. Healy

This week Mr. Healy continued his conversation about ‘strong feelings’.  He helped the children identify the difference between feelings, such as happy or curious, and stronger feelings, such as angry or too excited.  At this time this is a difficult concept for the children to grasp, so we will continue to reinforce the language of “strong feelings” when we see children exhibit such feelings.  We re-read the book; “When Sophie gets Angry, Really, Really Angry”, which uses  illustrations to show what it feels like when you are REALLY angry.  Mr Healy taught us that when we feel these strong feelings we should use self-talk to tell ourselves to “Stop!”. Then name the feeling and take tummy breaths.



For the last few weeks the children have been learning about critters that live over and under the snow.  Morah Jan read the book “Over and Under the Snow”.  The children created snowy scenes above the ground and a cozy hole for a rabbit under the ground.


My Gym

Team Work!

After our gym time there was a lot of cones to clean up.  After stacking them they realized it was much too heavy to carry by themselves, so they worked together to carry them.

First week back!

9 Jan

Hello Hummingbird families! We certainly missed your kids and we have had such a great first week back with them. It seems like they are very happy to be back as well and we are so impressed by how easily they have all adjusted after being away for so long. They are growing up so quickly and we have heard so many new words and seen new behaviors since we last saw them. We hope everyone had a great Chanukah and Happy New Year! Enjoy the pictures.

We want to thank the most wonderful Hummingbird families for the incredible Chanukah gifts.  Just what the Morah’s needed.  We very much appreciate all the warm feelings sent our way, so again, Thank you Thank you!

There was so much energy in My Gym this week and the kids were so happy running around. Moreh Ryan brought out different kinds of balls, bowling pins, a ladder, and cones! The kids had a lot of fun throwing the balls in the bins and even managed to climb into the bins themselves! They also had a great time knocking over the pins with the balls or even just carrying them around. There are always so many smiles and laughter in My Gym!

It has been so cold this week but we managed to sneak outside for a little while! Riding bikes, playing basketball, kicking a soccer ball, and going down the slide are a few ways to stay warm!  It is always nice to get some fresh air.

We are so lucky to have a fun place to go when it is too cold. The nest remains our home away from home! We have been reading a lot of books this week on the comfy couch and playing with our puppet friends. There is so much to explore in the nest, the kids just love it!

In the classroom, we are starting to hear a lot of children standing up for themselves by using their words. This can look like ” Mine!” or even ” That is mine please don’t take.” We are also hearing conversations between the children which is beyond adorable! We have been working on clean up this week and we are very impressed by the progress they have made, they are really beginning to help us clean up and know where things go. Way to go Hummingbirds!

All of the kids amazing developmental milestones that we witness everyday are exciting, but the birth of language and watching the kids talk to one another is so precious.  We look forward to helping them find their voice, learn a few more words and partake in awesome hummingbird conversations.  We are going to support their burgeoning language by adding descriptors, colors or clarifying words to expand their vocabulary.


Julia, Eli, and Ronisha

January 3rd-6th

9 Jan

Fun in the Classroom

The Eagles were all very excited to be back at school this week, and we enjoyed hearing all their stories of the adventures they had over the vacation.  Despite the cold weather we still managed to play outside.  The children were very excited to discover ice on the playground and they had fun trying different ways to break and melt it.  They were so excited about the treasured ice they had found, that they wanted to keep in in their pockets for later!   This started conversations about why we couldn’t do this.  Following the children’s interest of the different properties of ice, in the coming weeks we will be experimenting with liquids and solids.

Last Semester Morah Jan, the art teacher, let the children play with Gak.  When they were done they got to take their own individual bag of Gak back to the classroom, but after many uses we had to throw it out before the break.  When we returned the children asked, “Where is the Gak?!”, so we made a new batch for the class.  It is fascinating to watch how they all use their Gak in different ways; using markers, seeing how far it will stretch, cutting it, or watching it ooze over the table.  Something we will be wondering about in the coming weeks is: Is Gak a liquid or a solid?

Heading into Winter Break we noticed that many of the Eagles were showing a greater interest in learning about letters and numbers. To follow up on their enthusiasm, we created some activities to help build their knowledge and develop their confidence as early readers and mathematicians. Along with the many other activities available, including art materials, puzzles, games, dramatic play, and building materials, these new letter and number activities will be available for our Eagles to explore if and when they feel interested.


Judaic studies


This week Morah Chani introduced the Eagles’ Tzedakah box.  During Tefillah every day the children will put a penny in the box.  At the end of the year we will decide, as a class, where it will be donated.  The Tefillah helper for the week will collect the money from their class mates.



Bentzi had fun with Ezra and his family over the break.  They went all the way to Portland and he didn’t ask once “Are we there yet?”.  He got to see lots of fun sights in Portland and got lots of snuggles from Ezra and his sister.

Shabbat Party

Thank-you to Eliana and her family for hosting our Shabbat Party this week.  We enjoyed delicious wafer crackers, strawberries,  and had fun listening to the story “Way too much Challah Dough!”



New Year!

9 Jan

We hope everyone had a great break! The Chickadees were so excited to be back at school! Everyone jumped right back were we left off.

The highlight of the week was My Gym. Everyone was so excited to see Moreh Ryan. He brought a rope ladder that was placed on the floor where we could jump from section to section. Even though all the kids loved it, the best part of My Gym this week was seeing how the children decided to use the materials. We had some “trapping” themselves between an upright mat, some became robots by putting cones on their arms. Others did some form of bowling. It was quite enjoyable to be a part of!


We also made yellow playdoh. The Chickadees decided to make it yellow to represent the cold but bright sunshine we experienced this past week.


We have had such a great first week back and we are excited to for the new year!