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December 3rd – 8th

8 Dec

Eagles’ Exploration and Learning

Color Mixing

This week we read the book “Little Blue and Little Yellow” By Leo Lionni which is about two friends (blue and yellow) who discover that when they mix together, they become a new color of green.  We introduced primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and asked the children what they know about how new colors are made when you mix two primary colors together. We then mixed liquid watercolors to experiment what new colors we could make.  On Tuesday, we continued our experimentation of mixing colors by doing an activity that involved marbles, which is always lots of fun.  The children put two primary colored Tempera paints and a marble in a small container with a lid.  They then got to shake around the marble and paint and were surprised to open the container and find a new color!


New Activities

During the conference days we had some free time to rearrange the class and to add different activities.  The children have been having fun making rubber band patterns on the Geoboard, creating more patterns using popsicle sticks and using building prompts to strengthen their building skills with the blocks and Magnatiles.  The most popular new activity is the Pipes and Connectors.  You may have seen some wonderful Sukkahs in the hallway built by students of Moreh David (Tova K’s dad) using PVC pipes and connectors.  They were no longer being used, so Moreh David generously let us use them for a while.  The children have enjoyed building many different things with them and they have been doing really well following our rules to keep everyone safe.  Right now this activity is an outside work where they have more space to use them, but when the rain really kicks in we will find space inside to use them.  Through building with pipes and connectors the children are learning problem solving skills, teamwork and using their imaginations.  The pipes can very easily be made into some kind of weapons, but of course, they know that weapons are not allowed in school, so their ‘weapons’ quickly turned into cannons to shoot ice cream and food for the squirrels in the woods behind the playground.


How to Interrupt a Teacher Politely

Last week we taught the children how to interrupt a teacher politely.  When they need help from a teacher we encourage them not to call to us from across the classroom, but to come up to ask for help.  We have been learning how to ask to help during our Second Step lessons.  If the teacher is talking to another child or adult the children then need to interrupt us using the following steps:

  1. Child puts their hand on teachers hip or shoulder
  2. Teacher puts their hand over the child’s, letting them know the teacher knows they need help
  3. The child waits patiently with their hands behind their back until the teacher talks to them
  4. When the teacher is able to, they talk with the child.

The children understand that if they need urgent help because they or someone else is hurt then they can interrupt verbally.  This method is something we are all practicing, even us teachers!  It takes a little discipline on the adult and child’s part, but once they are in the habit it makes things much easier.  We highly recommend trying it at home!

Second Step

Our Second Step puppet friends, Sam and Sarah, demonstrated to the class how to ask for help in a respectful and effective way. First, Sarah was whining and yelling about not being able to find the green paint. Her friend, Sam, encouraged her to use a strong and respectful voice because he could not really understand what she needed. When Sarah tried again, using a strong and respectful voice, Sam let her know that he was happy to help her and really appreciated how she asked. He said that this time he could hear and understand her words much better. A couple of students also had a chance to demonstrate. As mentioned previously with Polite Interrupting, we are encouraging the Eagles to use a strong and respectful voice to express their needs to us, as well as their peers. That said, we are also explaining that if it is an emergency, they should get our attention any way that can. We have shared different situations, such as a classmate falling or someone getting stuck on the climber outside, that would be considered emergencies.



This week the Eagles learned two important but unrelated stories in Jewish history.

First they learned the story from this week’s parasha, Vayeshev. This is the beginning of Yosef’s (Joseph’s) complicated relationship with his family. His father gifts him a beautiful kutonet pasim, striped tunic. This leads to great jealousy, sibling rivalry at its worst, between him and his 11 brothers. We counted various items to see how big of a family Yosef had. This tension is compounded as Yosef tells his brothers of his dreams in which they symbolically bow to him. Then the brothers play a horrible trick on him! They grab his kutonet pasim, throw him into a big pit, and leaving him there. When they return to rescue him, he is gone, having been taken by a caravan to Mitzrayim, Egypt. Through no fault of his own, Yosef ends up in jail. There he meets two people and accurately interprets their dreams.  The brothers return to their father and lie, saying they do not know what happened to Yosef but maybe they found his ripped kutonet pasim.

Throughout this story we paused regularly to reflect on the actions of the characters, giving them thumbs up, down, or in the middle. Did we think they act in the right way? What could they have done differently?

Then each student made their own kutonet pasim with watercolors. They enjoyed the painting but each tunic is meant to empower them about making better choices when they are feeling jealous, angry, or frustrated.
There is less than one week until Hanukkah! The class enjoyed the story of the Maccabees leading the Jewish people against King Antiochus to preserve the right to be Jewish. When it was explained that the Menorah was always lit to provide a constant light source in the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple, the children were confused. Why were there lights, or nightlights, or flashlights? Eventually a student recommended candle light and we discussed using oil like candles.

As the story continues and the Maccabees are victorious against Antiochus and work to rededicate the Temple that he trashed, the crucial oil cannot be found for lighting the seven branched Menorah. Finally only one jug, enough for one day is found. Miraculously it lasts for eight. The students pretended to learn Torah each day near the Menorah, sleep at night, and wake each morning shocked by the miracle that the oil is still burning seven consecutive times. Finally the week necessary for procuring new olive oil is over and they are able to light it as usual.

The students made shields so they can protect the Temple with the Maccabees (or be Wonder Woman).  We began making Channukiyot, the nine branched candelabra to celebrate the eight days that the seven branched Menorah continually burned. It is a good thing we love numbers in the Eagles!

The students compared the letters on the dreidel to the letters on the alef-bet chart. This led to a more focused look at the shape of each letter and they noticed that many letters look similar to another letter. This is an exciting step in early literacy.  

Ivrit with Bentzi

This week Morah Chani reviewed the Hebrew names of family members and the children continued their work on the bayit they are making for their Mishpacha.


Story Drama

This week in Story Drama, Morah Anne Marie shared a book called There’s NO Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent. The children thoroughly enjoyed being dragons–flying all over and breathing fire!




November 20th and 21st

23 Nov

Eagles Exploration and Learning



The Eagles are Thankful for….

M: “School because I love it and I have fun.  My family.”

S: “My parents when they give me what I want!”

E: “My couch because I can rest on it.  My family because they play with me.”

J: “My family because I love them.”

M: My family because they give me hugs.”

N: “My favorite stuffed animal because I like to snuggle with it.”

M: “Cuddling with my stuffies.”

T: ” When my parents give me warm hugs”

T: ” My family because I can make them things and they love me.”

A: “Building with Legos”

S: “Art”


Sharing Family Books

This week the children began sharing their family books.  The children really enjoy telling their classmates all about their family and while listening to their peers, the children are practicing respectful listening.  It was also a great way for Jacob to introduce his new baby brother.  We will continue to have the children share their books in the coming weeks.


Ivrit with Bentzi

This week Morah Chani introduced the Hebrew names for the family members; Mother (Ima), Father (Abba), Sister (Achot), Brother (Ach), Grandmother (Savta) and Grandfather (Sabba).  We also learned the vocabulary for house (Bayit) and family (Mishpachah). To continue our learning of this new vocabulary, Morah Chani taught the children a fun song called “I Want you to Meet My Family”.




Have a Great Thanksgiving!


November 13th – 17th

17 Nov

Eagles’ Exploration and Learning

Ramp Play

The children continued having fun with ramps this week. They created ramps using different materials such as Magnatiles and boxes.  We also got to create more ramps using the materials the 8th Graders left us.

Fine Motor Development

Throughout the week we provide activities to help children refine their fine motor skills such as; using tongs and tweezers to transfer large and small pom poms, cutting, and coloring and tracing lines.  This week we introduced a fun game to the children to help encourage those children who can be reluctant to participate in small motor activities.  Using the different line tracing patterns we had, we made large die with a different tracing pattern on each side.  The children roll the die and trace the corresponding pattern.  The children enjoyed playing this game and some traced so many strips that they made books from them.  We will continue to help the children strengthen their fine motor skills, so they are able to hold pencils in an efficient way.

Painting Nature

Fall creates so many natural ways for the children to create wonderful art.  This week we challenged their observation and drawing skills and encouraged them to draw Fall still life pictures.  They used pencils to draw what they saw and traced over their lines with a skinny Sharpie pen.  They then used liquid watercolors to paint their picture, which really highlights the black lines they drew.  Despite being provided with the same objects (gourds and leaves) we really enjoyed seeing how unique each child’s work was.  Some children drew just one, or just a few things, while others drew everything they could see, including the mirror they were placed on.

Second Step

What is an Attent-o-Scope?

Well, it’s a tool you can make with your own hands to help you focus in on one person or thing, so you are not distracted by your surroundings. This week, the Eagles had fun making Attent-o-Scopes to practice their focusing skills. We used our Attent-o-Scopes to spy our Listening Rules poster and point out specific details we saw. For example, the girl is pointing to her eyes (for Eyes Watching) and the boy is cupping his ears (for Ears Listening). Next, the Eagles had to really focus when they were shown a tray of items from around the classroom. Using their Attent-o-Scopes, the children studied the items on the tray. After a bit of careful focusing, they guessed what was missing when something was secretly removed from the tray. The Eagles were so focused using their Attent-o-Scopes, they could not be fooled!


The adventures of the first Jewish family continues in this week’s Torah portion, Toldot. Rivkah gives birth to twin boys, Yaakov and Eisav. The babies look very different. Eisav is born with lots of red hair.  Many students made puppets of Rivkah and the twins.

As the boys grow up, their interests are different. Yaakov sits at home and learns Torah. Eisav is outside, hunting. One day Eisav comes home and sees Yaakov making soup. Without using any kind manners, he demands Yaakov give him that red soup. They agree that Eisav will trade special brachot from their father for the soup.

What do you think was in the soup? The class discussed stone soup and brainstormed soup ingredients. The list ranged from practical (tomatoes) to absurd (parts of the building).

Later, we read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Elhert.  After the book, a new list was compiled by the students, with more vegetables (with a few unusual options including pickles and apples). Then we made soup!

The students used plastic knives and happily cut up a wide variety of vegetables. The students decided to include the apples, but that pickles should be eaten on the side.  As the soup cooked, the whole wing of the school smelled amazing! We understood why Eisav wanted red soup so badly.

We enjoyed vegetable soup with our lunches. Not everyone enjoyed the soup, but it was a fun experience for everyone.  There was some disappointment that we are holding the pickles for another activity.

After lunch, Rivkah [the puppet] explained to the class that Eisav was very angry that Yaakov got the special brachot from their father. Since angry people need bigger body bubbles, Yaakov was going away for a while, to stay with her family.  She would miss him and just like Rivkah’s Shabbat candles brought joy when Sarah was gone, so too would they bring light in Yaakov’s absence.

We read a few books about Shabbat candles and painted the candlesticks we formed last week.

Shabbat Party

Thank-you to Shaya’s family for hosting our Shabbat Party this week.

Story Drama

This week we read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.  The children had fun hiding under a parachute which was their Chrysalis (cocoon), and then

emerging as butterflies.

My Gym

This week Moreh Ryan introduced the children to kushballs.  They enjoyed petting these ‘porcupines’ and using them to enhance eye-hand coordination.

Then he taught the children how to use a hockey stick and puck.

Finally there was a dance party with ribbon sticks.


Unfortunately, Morah Jan was sick this week. She should have some chicken soup with rice. In her absence, Morah Rubissa supervised a project based on the Hebrew book, אליעזר והגזר, Eliezer v’hagezer. This classic Hebrew tale recounts the efforts of gardner, Eliezer,  to pick an enormous carrot.  One by one his family comes to help. A small mouse [עכבר -achbar] comes, and with his help, out comes an enormous carrot!

The children loved hearing the story, reviewing the Hebrew words, and acting out the adventure.  Then they began constructing their own paper carrot and drew the people involved in their own version of carrot excavation.


November 6th -10th

10 Nov

 Eagles’ Exploration and Learning

Second Step: Focused Listening

         Eyes are Watching, Ears are Listening, Voices Quiet, Bodies Calm.            This is how we listen. This is how we use our brain.

Our puppet friend, Sam, introduced the Eagles to his friend, Sarah, this week. Sam reminded the children about how nicely they welcomed him into their class and he asked if they could do the same for Sarah. Of course they did, and Sam thought maybe they could also teach Sarah what they know about being a good listener.  The Eagles taught Sarah a song (shown above) that we sing every day to help us get ready for listening, learning, and exploring.



This week we explored how different shaped objects move down ramps.  We experimented with different objects such as balls, blocks, cans and marker pens.  We discovered that the objects rolled or slid down the ramp depending on their shape. We also discovered that some objects such as cans both roll and slide depending on which way they are put on the ramp.  We discussed the reason why those object move down the ramp in different ways.  During open exploration time the children were free to explore the objects from the lesson and other objects they could find in the classroom.  We also challenged them to make different shapes from Playdough to see if they could create shapes that rolled, slid and did both down the ramp.


Ramp play during Open Exploration



Visit from 8th Graders!

Last week we discovered that the 8th Graders were also studying ramps, so we asked if they would come down and teach us something they have learned.  They built loop de loop ramps with the children and sent down cars of different weights.  Some cars went faster than others and the 8th Graders explained that it was Gravity that made lighter cars go down the ramp and through the loops at a different speed than heavier ones. This was a great extension to our learning and the Eagles really enjoyed working with the 8th Graders.  Thank-you Morah Balika and her students for sharing with us!


Graphing Siblings

As we prepare to talk more about our families and learn family words in Hebrew, we did a survey to find out how many siblings each of us has. We learned that many of us have only one sibling and a few of us have two siblings. Only two children have 3 brothers or sisters, but that will soon change when a classmate’s newest sibling arrives!




This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, marks the passing of the first matriarch of the Jewish people, Sarah, and the welcoming of the second, Rikvah.  The students learned the story through a puppet show. Yitzchak is now and grown up and needs to get married. The students made suggestions of what type of girl he would be matched with ranging from ‘Jewish’ and ‘single’ to ‘someone who loves to do many many mitzvot’ and included ‘she should be beautiful with long hair with a flower in it.’  When we had a good idea of type, Eliezer, Avraham’s best helper, set off to Charan, Avraham’s home town, to find a girl. He asks Hashem for help, that if he can find a girl who will offer to do the mitzvah of getting water for him and all his camels, Eliezer will know she is Yitzchak’s soulmate. The children were delighted when the camels slurped up the water and Rivkah agreed to marry Yitzchak.

We sang at their wedding and delighted in their love for each other. Yitzchak explained that he had been sad since his mother, Sarah, had passed away. Rivkah took over jobs Sarah had done, like making challah and lighting Shabbat candles. This helped Yitzchak feel better. (This narrative is based on Rashi’s commentary.)



To reinforce the learning, the students acted out the Torah portion, each holding a puppet.


Then we made salt dough (like challah dough – a little) and formed Shabbat candlesticks. These will go home, but they are not ready yet.



Brachot Posters

The Eagles have a good understanding of why we make brachot on food, but needed clarification on which bracha applied to each food item. Therefore, we made posters for each bracha. The students cut out and painted a variety of food pictures. Then they worked to sort them. Finally our posters are up so students can check what prayer goes to their food.



Shabbat Party

Thank-you to Zoey’s family for hosting our Shabbat Part this week and sharing lots of books with us!

Ivrit with Bentzi

We wrapped up our study of colors this week. The children learned “Color Song” from the CD Shirei Gan Shalom, Songs in the Garden. It’s a fun song with Hebrew color words and hand motions. You can find it on You Tube! Our Eagles practiced their coloring skills by coloring a picture of balloons with crayons or chalk.

Story Drama

This week Morah Anne-Marie read “What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story” By Adrian Johnson.  Ask your child what the big problem was this week and solutions they came up with.



Morah Jan read the Maurice Sendak book “Chicken Soup with Rice” to our Eagles. They then created a picture using cutting and drawing to show who they were eating chicken soup with. Some children decided they were eating with their moms or friends, while others said they were eating chicken soup with a monster or an alien! We’ve noticed that the Eagles’ cutting skills are becoming more controlled and that they are putting more thought into their drawings.

October 30th – November 3rd

3 Nov

Eagles’ Exploration and Learning


This week we continued our learning about ramps.  We used long blocks that were covered with different materials such as tin foil, a towel, and strips of velcro to explore friction.  The children experimented with the different ramps to see what objects would go down the ramp and which ones got stuck.  We sent cars down two different ramps at the same time to see which ramp was faster, when one was covered with material and the other wasn’t.  The class discussed the reason why cars went faster on the smooth blocks and slower on the bumpy ones.  We also looked at other things that affect the speed of the cars such as the angle of the ramp.  To help us understand friction, we did an experiment.  We put different objects down a wooden block ramp to see which ones went fast (creating less friction) and which objects went slower (creating more friction).

Exploring Ramps During Open Exploration


We continued our hammering fun by hammering golf tees into a pumpkin using real, small hammers.  At the end of the week we got to cut the pumpkin up and explore the slimy insides!

Nature Walk

We went on a walk around the school campus collecting leaves, sticks, pine cones, etc. We will use the materials for art in the coming days.


Trash Sorting!

The children are very conscientious about putting their trash in the correct bin (compost, recycling or trash), but they have been having a hard time remembering what goes where, which results in many questions for us at lunch and snack time!  So we collected different kinds of trash and this week the children helped us sort it into the right bins. We then made posters for each bin to help the children remember.

Second Step

As we continued to practice how we can greet and welcome new people into our classroom, the Eagles each took a “guest” (an animal figure) on a tour around the classroom. Their challenge was not to just name the activity or area in the classroom, but to explain to their guest what you can do with that activity. It wasn’t easy at first, but after a bit we could hear children telling their animal guest things like, “This is a color poster. You can use it to learn about the Hebrew colors.” Or, “These are ramps. You can put cars on them and see them go down.” After a few minutes, we gathered back together so some Eagles could share what they talked about on their tour.

We also played a Brain Game. Part of the Second Step program is geared towards helping Early Learners become more focused listeners. Brain Games are simple, but fun ways to practice listening and focusing. The game had only two rules: 1) Watch what I do. 2) Do the same. Morah Sheryl led the group in different hand motions and body movements and the children did a great job of following her lead. They were really focused and engaged.




Avraham and Sarah hurry to welcome guests into their tent at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Vayera. This mitzvah, hachnasat orchim, is part of the Second Step learning and the children enjoyed sharing their expertise on the matter. We reviewed all of the actions (like offering food and drink, sharing toys) and potential emotions (excitement, disappointment) involved in welcoming others into your home.

We discussed how Avraham’s tent had four doors so he could always welcome guests and counted doors on our tent and classroom. We created a project to give form to the idea of welcoming guests, where each child included their words on how Avraham and Sarah welcomed guests and how they themselves perform this mitzvah. The answers ranged from practical to spiritual to hilarious!

Hashem promised Avraham that he and Sarah will have as many children as their are sand on the ground and stars in the sky. We contemplated the number and nature of both of these items. We pretended to be them. We played with sand and items similar to stars. And we made a project out of both because we want to be shiny, beautiful, and guide others, like a star and we want to be fun to play with and able to close to others, like the sand. We all have traits of each and are all parts of Hashem’s promise. We are Jewish people!

Shabbat Party

Thank-you to Asher’s family for hosting a fun Shabbat Party.  We also celebrated Asher’s 5th Birthday – Happy Birthday Asher!



Story Drama

This week Morah Anne Marie read the book “Leonardo the Terrible Monster!” By Mo Willems.  Ask you child what the BIG problem was and how they solved it.


This week for art we went hunting for Spider webs!  The children had clipboards and they looked at the different shapes of the webs and tried to find the spiders.

October 23rd – 27th

27 Oct

Eagles’ Exploration and Learning

Sink and Float Science

In connection with our learning of Noah’s Ark last week, Morah Rubissa introduced the children to the concept that some things sink and some things float.  She showed the children different objects and the children hypothesized which items would sink and which would float.  We then introduced a new activity where the children experimented with different items to see if they would sink or float and sort the items accordingly. This week we read the book “Who Sank the Boat” and learned the reason why things sink or float.  We introduced the children to the words Density and Molecules.  Each child became a molecule and when we pretended to be objects that sink we moved close together and when we pretended to be objects that float we spread out.  Being Molecules in objects that float, with molecules that are spread out, is a perfect segway to us introducing our classroom agreements.



Classroom Agreements

Last week we read the book “How do Dinosaurs go to School” and discussed the behaviors the children agreed were respectful and not respectful.  This week we introduced our Classroom Agreements.  These are ways we all agree to act while in school.  We agree that we will:

  1. Clean up together
  2. Use walking feet inside
  3. Use strong, repsectful voices
  4. Demonstrate first time listening (doing or stopping something the first time we are asked)
  5. Stay in our Body Bubble

“Staying in our Body Bubble” means that we will make sure to be respectful of each others’ space and make sure we are not getting into each others space by pushing or hitting.  To remind the children what this means we can refer back to our learning of molecules and that the molecules of objects that float are spread out, as we should be, when we are in our Body Bubbles.


Second Step

This week we continued to talk about how to welcome people into our classroom.  The children practiced telling the new child (our puppet Sam) about our class. We asked the children what they would say to a new person in the room to make them feel welcome. They suggested they could say, “Do you want to play with me?” or “Would you like to do art with me?”.  We also asked the children what they might show a new friend in the classroom.  They said they could show him or her the blocks, books, how to make pictures or how to play in the kitchen, They also suggested that they could make a picture for the new friend.  This was a perfect lesson to remind the children how to welcome new friends, as this week May returned to school after an extended family visit to Israel.  The children were very excited she was here, greeted her respectfully, and helped her learn the rules and routines of our class.



The children have been creating their own ramps in the class for the cars, so following their interests, we provided different materials for them to create ramps for cars and marbles, and other items they want to use.



This week’s Torah portion is Lech Lecha, wherein Hashem commands Avram to venture out on a journey, from home to an unknown place.  First we were introduced to Avram and gained understanding on what made him great by reading “Abraham’s Search for God”.  Throughout the reading, I read his name as Avram. Several students corrected me, insisting his name was Avraham. Everyone enjoyed the tale of how Avram comes to realize Hashem.

“When Avraham realized there was a Hashem, Hashem began speaking to him. Hashem tells him to go on a journey to an unknown place. If you were told you were going to an unknown place, what type of questions might you ask?”  The children all agreed they (like Avram) had no questions.

“Great. Let’s line up then.” They began asking questions to each other. “What?” “Why?” We started on a journey up the stairs. On the first landing, the questions began in earnest. “Where are we going?” “Why are we doing this?” “Are we there yet?”

At the second landing we took a rest. “Avram did not ask the questions you are asking because he trusted Hashem so much. Hashem tells Avram 3 important things. First, he is going to be the father of the most special, wonderful group of people in the whole wide world, the father of all of the Jewish people.”  We paused to reaffirm our Jewishness and Jewish pride and then continued walking.

At the next landing, “Hashem promises Avram that the most special place in the whole wide world will belong to his children, the Jewish people. Do you know what this most special place is called?” Excitedly, many students yelled, “Israel!!”

Just before the fifth floor we stopped again. We looked out on the forest around school and pretended it was Israel. “Avram will be the father of all of the Jewish people. Israel will belong to Avram’s children. And Avram’s name will no longer be Avram.  Sarai will change her name too. Hashem will add the letter ‘hey’ to their names. They are now Avraham and Sarah. They are very special people with very special names. You are very special people with special names, too.”

Then a paper with each child’s name in Hebrew and English was held up. The students tried to guess the name, reviewed some letters, and heard about the beauty of their Hebrew names. Then the letters were colored in, making name posters.  The importance, letters, and uniqueness of our names is a topic we will continue to explore.

We also introduced a new activity where the children get to build their names and all of their classmates names using Bananagram tiles.


Shabbat Party

Thank-you for Elias’ family for hosting our Shabbat Party this week.


Ivrit with Bentzi


This week, the children practiced retelling the story “A Tale of Five Balloons”, using magnets with pictures from different parts of the book. They took turns putting the magnet pictures on the board to eventually recreate the story. This was another way to review the Hebrew vocabulary related to the story, as well as practicing the skill of sequencing events, which they will do more of in kindergarten and beyond!

Story Drama

This week Morah Anne Marie read the book “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina.  Ask your child what the BIG problem was and how they solved it!



On Thursday the children finished their owl pictures from last week with Morah Jan. She displayed their owls on the wall of the stairs leading down to EC. Check them out–they’re pretty cute! The children really enjoyed this project, which included both tearing and cutting paper, and we observed the Owl theme continue out on the playground. The Eagles became Owls! They hooted, flapped their wings, and flew all around.

During our afternoon circle on Thursday, we read a book called “Wow! Said the Owl”. This book tied in perfectly not only to the owl theme, but it is a book about color that ends in a rainbow, giving us another opportunity to practice color words in Hebrew.


October 16th – 20th

20 Oct

Eagles’ Exploration and Learning


This week, with the cooler weather coming, we practiced putting on our jackets.  We practice turning our sleeves the right way and using the ‘flip’ method to put on our jackets.


We have been doing a lot of cutting recently while making crafts for the holidays.  Many children still need practice holding and using scissors, which is typical for this age.  We reviewed how to hold scissors and to point them away from you when you cut.  The children practiced cutting paper strips that varied in difficulty.  Some strips were plain paper, others had straight, diagonal, and curvy lines.  We will continue helping the children refine their scissor skills throughout the year.



Second Step

This week we started the Second Step program, which is a socio-emotional program.  We met a puppet named Sam who was new to our classroom.  We practiced welcoming Sam and introducing ourselves.  The children told him the things they like to do in school. Sam felt very welcome and the Eagles continued to invite him to join us in Tefillah and our closing circle.


We read the book “How do Dinosaurs Go to School”, and thought about the different ways the dinosaurs acted.  We discussed behaviors that we agreed were respectful and kind and not respectful.  Using copies from the pages in the book showing the dinosaurs acting in different ways in school, we sorted them into respectful and not respectful behaviors.  The children agreed that respectful behaviors in school include sitting quietly during circle, helping  friends, and following directions.  They also agreed that interrupting friends and teachers, yelling, and making silly noises to distract their peers were not respectful behaviors.  We will continue to discuss these kinds of behaviors and work together to create classroom agreements about how we should act in school.



This week’s Torah portion is Noach, recounting the story of Noah’s ark. This leads to many exciting learning opportunities, building on their learning in Robins.

First we talked about the negative behavior Hashem observed in almost everyone in the whole world. No one had any kindness for anyone else! We talked about the kindness we show others and how we feel when we experience the opposite. Social-emotional reflection is key.

Then Hashem commanded one of the only kind people, Noach [Noah] to build a teyvah [ark]. It took him 120 years, but he did it! We talked about what would be needed to build it, and everyone was excited about building tools. The students had previously expressed an interest in hammering so during Open Exploration we hammered.

Students used real hammers, hammering 100 nails into a mail tube. Their strength and ability grew with each attempt.  Hammering is a valuable developmental skill, helping children gain increasing control over their bodies, hand–eye coordination, manipulative skills and muscular strength. We also stressed that hammers are tools, not toys. This means they have a specific purpose and method of being used.  The students were wonderful about respecting the hammers.


Tap tap boards, a method for artistically using smaller hammers and tacks, were also introduced.

After lots of hammering, the students also painted and glued on a paper to represent the teyvah and made animal matching cards.

The students were pleasantly surprised when the tube became a rainstick, as Noach’s story continued. They also used small hammers and tacks to create art on ‘tap tap’ boards.

Ivrit with Bentzi

This week Bentzi (and Morah Chani!) reviewed color words with us. We practiced our Hebrew colors when we were told, “If you’re wearing adom (red), la’amod (stand up).” Then we would leshevet (sit down) and do another color. In addition to adom, we learned yarok (green), kachol (blue), tzahov (yellow), and segol (purple). Morah Chani and Bentzi begin each session with the song “Boker Tov” (Good Morning) and ends with “Shalom Chaverim” (Good-bye My Friends). Learning Hebrew color words with Morah Chani made for a nice transition into the colors of the rainbow in the story of Noach that Morah Rubissa later shared.


Story Drama

This week the problem was how to get a little girl who is a picky eater to eat new foods.  The children came up with ideas such as; throw the food up in the air and let her catch it and squeeze the tomatoes.  Morah Anne-Marie then shared the book “I will Never Eat a Tomato” By Lauren Child.  Charlie makes a lunch for Lola that she will not eat, so Charlie has to come up with creative ideas to get her to eat her lunch.


We read the book “Owl Babies” and the children began creating their own owls.  They tore paper for the feather and glued them on.  Next week they will add more details to their owls.