The Colors of Us

Good afternoon Tzeeporim families and friends!

We were so happy to be together again after a long Winter Break. We started the week off by meeting for Circle Time and sharing our favorite thing we did over Winter Break with one another. One friend went to LEGO Land, another friend started moving into a new house, and another traveled to Texas! We  really enjoyed learning about each other’s experiences.

We came to school dressed for a Spirit Day in celebration of the Jacksonville Jaguar’s victory against the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s playoff game. So many preschool friends (and teachers) were dressed in their Jaguar gear!

Our Letter of the Week was Letter “I”. We brainstormed a list of words that started with the letter “I” including iguana, igloo, ice, and ice cream. We used the letter I to create an “ice cream cone” for our ABC books.

Our Shape of the Week was a circle. We are revisiting our two-dimensional shapes a second time before we explore three-dimensional shapes later this school year. We used circles to make patterns this week and focused on creating ABAB patterns with different colored circles.

During Circle Time one day, one of our friends asked a Math question. He said, “What is 11 + 12”? We said, “WHOA! Those numbers are too big to count on our fingers!  Let’s use linking cubes!”  In groups, our friends worked together to add a stick of 11 linking cubes to a stick of 12 linking cubes. They worked together and every friend had a chance to use one-to-one correspondence to count how many cubes there were altogether. We all came up with the same correct answer! We are amazing mathematicians!

This week we explored diversity through a variety of literature. During Storytime we read an array of picture books, including The Colors of Us by Karen Katz, Bright Eyes, Brown Skin by Cheryl Hudson, and Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. In The Colors of Us we learned that our skin color can be the color of cinnamon, honey, a peach, or a jewel. Our hair color, skin color and eye color may be different, but our hearts and smiles are the same. We also read our Scholastic Weekly Reader about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We learned that he was an American hero who stood up for the rights of African Americans when the laws treated them unfairly by writing letters and marching in peaceful protests.

Our Vocabulary words this week were body parts we learned in the book Bright Eyes, Brown Skin. We learned the words cheek, chin, nose, and toes. We added them to our Word Wall and discussed the consonant blend /ch/ and how it is different from the /k/ sound that the letter C often makes when it stands alone. We made a list of “C” words that start with the /k/ sound, like cupcake, cake, and carnivore. We also made a list of “C” words that start with the /ch/ sound like cheese, chalk, chocolate, and Chase. We went out to the Courtyard and had fun doing “CH” activities like chasing each other during a game of soccer and coloring with chalk.

The literature we read was a fabulous launching point for creating Self-Portraits. First, we used pencils to draw ourselves. Then, we learned how to mix tempera paint for our skin colors, just like the main character in the book The Colors of Us. We started with white paint, and added brown. Some of us added a little red, some of us added a little yellow, and others added both!

Next, we added our hair color and eye color to our paintings. Some of us have black hair, others have brown hair, and still others have blonde hair. Our eyes are different too! Some of us have green eyes, others have blue eyes, and still others have brown eyes!

Lastly, we added details to our self-portraits with gel sticks and oil pastels. We added hair bows, clothes, and beautifully colored backgrounds with an array of different colors.

We were so proud of our completed Self-Portraits! Do you think we did a fantastic job capturing our similarities and differences?

We enjoyed playing in Learning Centers.

The weather was a bit rainy and damp this week, so during Recess we enjoyed inside play with the parachute, jump ropes, and sports scooters.

When the weather was bright and sunny, we enjoyed having our lunch in the courtyard.

In Jewish Studies, we davened together. We really know the prayers Modei AniMa TovuShema, and Adon Olam. One of our friends even led Adon Olam this week! We can’t wait to see who leads next week. We began learning about the upcoming holiday of Tu B’Shevat, or the New Year of the Trees. We discussed all of the things we can get from trees. One friend said we can get splinters! We thought that was a very clever answer and so did Morah Rachel! We learned that the first tree to bloom in Israel in the spring is the almond tree. We pretended to be almonds growing into almond trees.

In Music, we practiced using our rhythm sticks. We are preparing a special song for the Mother’s Day program in May and we keep working on it to perfect our rhythmic timing. We danced with shaky eggs and used bells to sing an ABC song.

In Science, we learned about our sense of touch. We learned about things that are smooth, rough, bumpy, and smooth. Ms. Heather brought out “Henry the House Monster”, and we took turns reaching into his mouth, grabbing an item, and describing its texture to our friends. We loved taking the item out and discovering what it was!

We wrapped up the week with a special Mystery Reader- our friend’s big brother who goes to the MJGDS Middle School. He read the book My Rhinoceros to us. We really enjoyed it!!

We welcoming Shabbat together with our preschool friends in the Main Sanctuary. We had a wonderful ema and aba to represent our class.

During Show and Tell, we enjoyed seeing what our friends brought to share. We didn’t have a specific theme this week and wanted to give our friends the opportunity to bring anything they wanted from home.

We hope everyone enjoys a reflective and meaningful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. We are looking forward to joining together again next week when we get to show off our silly side and delve into rhyming words!

Shabbat Shalom!

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn


If You Give a Pig a Pancake…

Dear Tzeeporim families and friends,

Did you know that if you read If You Give a Pig a Pancake to a class of prekindergarten students, lots of phenomenal things might happen?

If you read If You Give a Pig a Pancake to your students, they might recognize that the title has two words that start with the letter P! If they recognize that those words start with the Letter P, then they might create a Letter P List with a PLETHORA of words that begin with P, like pizza, princess, potato, plane, puppy, and popcorn. If they come up with a list of words that begin with the letter P, they might realize that P is their Letter of the Week and be inspired to practice writing the letter P to improve their fine motor skills.

If they finish writing and tracing the letter P, they might decide to turn a pink P into a pink pig for their ABC Books.

If they finish their page for their ABC books, they might decide to dot-paint the letter P because they realize the word PAINT starts with P as well!

When they are finished painting, they will realize it is time to PERFORM at River Garden! They will take a Field Trip to River Garden and perform Hanukkah songs perfectly for all of the seniors to enjoy. They will probably be proud to do a mitzvah and even enjoy sufganiot (doughnuts) as a sweet treat after the peformance!

After they perform, the students will decide to have a Chanukah Party and invite their parents to come celebrate too! They will listen to stories from PJ Library, play dreidel in small groups, eat a plethora of delicious snacks, including perfectly crispy, golden latkes prepared in the preschool kitchen.

If they have a Chanukah party, then they will go to Gardening with Ms. Heather afterward. Ms. Heather will teach them all about sweet POTATOES and how to make sweet potato people slips that will sprout over Winter Break.

Then, in Jewish Studies, the students will talk about presents that they received for Chanukah and Morah Miriam will read them a book about being grateful for what they have.

If they read a book about being grateful, they might return to the classroom to listen to their peer discuss all of the amazing adventures she had with Pete the Cat in Seaword. She will tell the class about drinking lemonade, ice, and seeing penguins! The students will be so excited to realize that the word penguins starts with the letter P as well!

After sitting on the carpet and learning about Pete’s adventures, the students will realize they want to sing and move! They will go to Music with Ms. Emily and play rhythm sticks. They will listen to songs and prance around the room!

If they do a little movement in Music, they will want to learn about movement in Science with Ms. Heather. She will ask them what kind of things fly in the air and they will say things like butterflies, insects, and planes! She will give each of them a paper bag and they will use the contents to build their own hoop gliders, which fly just like planes!

During Storytime, if you read If You Give a Moose a Muffin the students will start to realize that all of these incredible Laura Numeroff books have similar story structures. They will want to create some of their own stories.

They will work diligently in Writing Center to create their own books with the a similar title and share them with the class.

If they finishing sharing their stories, they will enjoy an engaging Mystery Reader!

If they listen to the Mystery Reader, they will walk in a parade to welcome Shabbat together with their preschool pals.

If they enjoy Shabbat with their friends, they will want to wrap up the week by sharing their Show and Tell items that start with the letter “P”, like pirate ships, powerful trucks, puppies, & even, Peppa Pig!

We had a positively perfect week learning about the Letter P and reading Laura Numeroff books. We are so excited to join together again soon and learn new things on our Tzeeporim journey together!


Ms. Alicia & Ms. Carolyn


Candles, Candles Burning Bright

Chag Chanukah Sameach!

We have enjoyed an exciting and festive week together learning about and celebrating Hanukkah together as a class, and with our preschool and day school friends.

Our Letter of the Week was G. We added gold gelt to the letter G for our ABC books. We even traced the words “Gold Gelt” with gold glitter glue! As we were creating our page, we enjoyed many discussions about words that begin with the letter G, like gold, gelt, glitter, glue, great, good, girl, game, giraffe, go, and goat. We were able to add all of them to our “Letter G List” during Circle Time!

We played with playdough during Table Time and cut out some important Hanukkah symbols, like dreidels, Magen Davids, and menorahs.

At Art Center, we worked on several Hanukkah crafts include Magen David decorations. We painted the stars gold, since it was our color of the week. After they were dry, we added gold sequins and glitter glue.

We also painted a chanukiah to take home. We began creating in it stages. First, first we painted them with liquid watercolors. Then, we added gold glitter paint as a varnish. Lastly, we added brass candle holders so we can really use them to light candles at home.

We cut out and assembled our own Weekly Reader rebus book about holiday cards. We learned the fundamentals of cards including that a mail carrier has to deliver them and they need a stamp in the upper right hand corner. of the envelope.

Ms. Whitney joined us for a special PJ Library Storytime. She read two Hanukkah books to us. We especially liked the book I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz. It was so funny!

We met with our VPK Buddies to enjoy a Hanukkah celebration together. Morah Liat from the day school led us in lighting the chanukiyah, and then we played Hanukkah bingo, enjoyed rounds of dreidel, and ate an edible driedel too! It was so much fun getting to spend time together.

During Jewish Studies, we did an amazing job performing our Hanukkah program for all of the day school students and teachers. We think everyone may have been convinced we were REAL Maccabees!

As a Jewish Studies project, we had fun putting our Odd Potatoes on display for Hanukkah in the Odd Potato Exhibit. At home, we worked with our parents to make a Hanukkah themed potato! We saw a potato menorah, a gelt potato, a “Menorah-saurus Rex”, and lots of creative Maccabees.


We enjoyed Science twice this week. On Tuesday, we enjoyed Science outside in the garden and we learned about liquids and solids. We learned that a solid can become a liquid as a result of melting. First, we brainstormed things that melt, like ice, candles, and cheese. Then, we worked in teams to build our own Hanukkah menorah out of ice. We lined up the blue ice cubes first, and then balanced the yellow cubes on top. Lastly, we made our own beeswax shamash candle for the first night of Hanukkah.

On Thursday, we enjoyed Science in the Discovery Studio. We learned about friction. We did an experiment to test the speed changes of a toy car when it was rolled down a variety of surfaces. We realized that the car moved quickly down a ramp when it was bare or had tin foil on it, but the car moved slowly when it had a towel on it! The towel created friction. Individually, we tested out spinning dreidels on different surfaces. We realized it was easiest to spin a dreidel on a smooth, flat surface without a lot of friction. When we were done with friction experiments, we enjoyed some time discovering in the studio!

We enjoyed Music with Ms. Emily. We learned a new song with our shakey eggs, practiced using our rhythm sticks, and had fun doing some movement activities to music.

On Friday, we enjoyed a great Mystery Reader Mommy. She read fantastic books about Hanukkah to us.

We welcomed Shabbat with our preschool friends and were represented by a wonderful ema and aba. Our Head of Schools joined us wearing a Hanukkah dress and menorah hat. Our Hazzan played his guitar while wearing a vibrant and festive Hanukkah sweater. Our Rabbi, dressed as a big blue dreidel, joined us to tell a story about a Hanukkah bear.  It was a fun Hanukkah Shabbat!

We concluded our week with an illuminating Show and Tell. Our friends were asked to bring in something to share that lights up. We enjoyed learning about light up cars and monster trucks, flashlights, night lights, menorahs, light up dreidels, and so many more things! After we all had the opportunity to share, we turned off the lights and shared our glowing Show and Tell treasures with one another in the dark.

We want to wish all of our Tzeeporim families and friends a Chag Sameach! We hope your Hanukkah is filled with hope and light.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hanukkah,
Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn

I Have a Little Dreidel

Dear Tzeeporim families and friends,

Our Letter of the Week last week, was letter H. We made a huge list of H words with words like Hanukkah, happy, heart, and hungry. We traced the letter H. We turned our letter H into a house using cut outs of geometric shapes like triangles, squares, and rectangles.

Did you know that Hopscotch starts with the letter H too? We designed our own hopscotches with teacher assistance and then used sidewalk chalk to create them outside on the playground. We used twelve squares since 12 was our Number of the Week. Every student had a different vision for what they wanted their hopscotch to be like, so each one was unique. We had fun hopping on our hopscotches, and trying out the ones our friends created as well.

We Hula Hooped in the hallway, because those words start with the letter H too!

We spent time playing with our friends both inside and outside which makes us feel SO happy. We also gave our friends hugs.

During Storytime, we read many books about Hanukkah, like I Have a Little Dreidel.  We used the wooden hanukiyah in our classroom to practice lighting the Hanukkah candles. We sang the song “Candles, Candles, Burning Bright” as we did it.

We crafted our Hanukkah Crafts at Art Center. We worked on candle lighting mats and decorative dreidels.

We spent time in Learning Centers painting, playing with playdough, building, and doing letter-sound correspondence puzzles to build our Print Knowledge.

We were invited to visit the Scholastic Book Fair at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. We enjoyed getting to see Clifford the Big Red Dog again, and enjoyed a great storytime with Ms. Hallett, the day school librarian.

In Jewish Studies, we practiced for our upcoming Hanukkah program in the auditorium. We wore our Maccabee shields and sang our songs loudly!

In Music, we all told Ms. Emily what we are MOST excited about for Hanukkah. Then, we did some rhythm activities. We practiced using our rhythm sticks. We also used our bodies to walk or stomp across the room to the beat of music. We had fun at the end of class dancing to some happy, upbeat music from the movie “Trolls”.

During Science, we cut up herbs from the garden with Ms. Heather to make delicious herbed bread sticks. We enjoyed making then, and we really enjoyed eating them! It was such a fun way to combine gardening, science and cooking into one engaging activity!

In Afternoon Art with Ms. Gutterman, our class used real clay to sculpt our own dreidels in homage to the song “I Have a Little Dreidel”.

We were thrilled to hear about Pete the Cat’s recent trip to Philadelphia over Thanksgiving break. Our friend did an exceptional job of explaining what he and Pete did together in the City of Brotherly Love. Pete enjoyed flying on an airplane for the second time this year, staying in a hotel room, eating a delicious doughnut, visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, and even getting to see a real Thanksgiving Parade in person! It was an exciting trip. We can’t wait to see where Pete goes next.

We concluded our week with an AMAZING Mystery Reader. Not only is our Mystery Reader one of our VPK Buddies, but he is also a big brother to one of our friends! He read two fantastic books to our class. The first one was called Llama Llama Mad at Mama, and the second one was about Curious George visiting a chocolate factory. When he was done reading, he even gave us chocolate coins. We talked about how they are called gelt and we use them during Hanukkah when we play dreidel.

We enjoyed welcoming Shabbat with our Tzeeporim and Parparim friends. We had a wonderful ema to represent our class. She collected tzedakah, and helped to lead kiddush.

During Show and Tell, our friends shared with us items that spin!

We enjoyed such an engaging week last week learning about and preparing for Hanukkah. We can’t wait to begin celebrating Hanukkah together with our classmates this week!


Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn



My Favorite Bear

Good evening Tzeeporim families and friends!

This week, we delved into the concept of hibernation. We learned that hibernation occurs during the winter when it is too cold and icy for animals to forage for food. Often times, their food even becomes frozen and inedible! We read a Science Spin magazine called “Go to Sleep, Animals” which gave us great insight into hibernation. We learned that bears, frogs, ladybugs, and bats all hibernate in the winter. We had discussions about the changing seasons, and what happens in the environment when the seasons change from fall to winter.

During Storytime, we read numerous books about bears, including My Favorite Bear by Andrea Gabriel and Alaska’s Three Bears by Shelley Gill. We learned that different bears prefer to live in different climates when they are not hibernating.  For example, a polar bear enjoys living in areas with snow and ice, but a grizzly bear prefers a warmer, grassier environment.

Our Color of the Week, was brown and we had fun painting paper plates brown and turning them into brown bears.

As Math learning activity, each friend worked individually to sort and count colorful counting bears. We divided them into groups by color. There were group of red bears, orange bears, yellow bears, green bears, and blue bears. We counted how many bears were in each group and determined how many bears there were altogether, which group had the most, and which group had the least. We used one-to-one correspondence to count each and every bear!

Our Letter of the Week was “R”. We practiced tracing the letter R to improve our fine motor skills. We turned our letter “R” into a raccoon for our ABC books. We discovered that raccoons do not hibernate during the winter, but sometimes they hide in their dens to escape the cold for many weeks at a time.

We spent a lot of time in Learning Centers choosing our own learning activities and interacting with our peers during both the morning and the afternoon. We practice some of the most challenging skills during that time, including communicating effectively with our teachers and peers, and learning to share, take turns, and collaborate.

We enjoyed two thrilling visits from Clifford the Big Red Dog! He came to visit us from the Galinsky Academy Scholastic Book Fair and we were elated. We were sure to let Clifford know that we just read a book about him titled The Big Leaf Pile. We couldn’t wait to take our pictures with Clifford and we are so excited to visit the Book Fair next week.

In Jewish Studies, we learned the story of Hanukkah and began practicing our songs for Hanukkah. We learned that Judah Maccabee was the hero who helped the Maccabees defeat King Antiochus. We are excited to dress up as Maccabees with shiny silver shields!

We enjoyed two engaging Science lessons this week with Ms. Heather. On Tuesday, she taught us about Mars Rovers. Then, we had the opportunity to design our own Mars Rovers.

On Thursday, we learned about liquids and solids. We were able to create our own oobleck which is considered a non-Newtonian fluid because it has properties similar to both liquids and solids.

In Gardening, we went searching for beans in the garden beds. We found yellow wax beans, green beans, green snap peas, and Dragon Tongue beans. Sometimes we had to search very diligently, because the green colored beans were camouflaged with the green leaves in the garden. We were so thrilled to take our beans home and share them with our families!

On Friday, we enjoyed a great Mystery Reader. She read a fantastic book called Zoo Day by Anne Rockwell. It mentioned many of the animals we had discussed this week that hibernate in the winter, like snakes!

We welcomed Shabbat together with our preschool friends and had a wonderful ema and aba to represent our class! They collected tzedakah, sang on the bimah, and helped to lead kiddush.

During Show and Tell, we each got to share an animal that hibernates with our friends. Even our friends who didn’t bring an item from home shared what animal they would have brought if they could bring any one!

We concluded our week with a fun digital reading of the story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. We got to watch Mr. Rosen read the story and do all of the hand motions to the book. We did hand motions and sound effects with him- it was fun!

We’re looking forward to learning and growing together next week when we begin preparing for Hanukkah together!

Shabbat Shalom!

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn


Happy Thanksgiving!

Good afternoon Tzeeporim families and friends!

We enjoyed a short, but sweet week preparing for Thanksgiving together and getting to perform our Thanksgiving songs for our families.

We finished working on our “Fall Leaf” mixed media art. We added photographs of ourselves and glued on fall leaves to complete our Art Work.

We had fun coloring Thanksgiving themed pictures.

We enjoyed learning about Wampanoags in our Weekly Reader. The Wampanoag were native people who lived in the northeast for thousands of years before the European settlers colonized the area around Plymouth. Last week, we learned about the Pilgrims, but this week we were able to compare and contrast what we learned with the new information we discovered about the Wampanoag people. We learned they lived in a dwelling called a wetu (pronounced “we” “too”), and we were excited to add the words wetu and Wampanoag to our Letter W list we started last week. We had fun learning about what we might find inside of a wetu and we played a digital game about it online.

We prepared our fruit turkeys and fruit salad for the Thanksgiving Feast! Thank you to all of our wonderful families for contributing fruit to the salad. We know it was enjoyed by all at the feast and that everyone appreciated it!

We culminated our week together with a festive Thanksgiving Program. We put on our turkey costumes and got ready to strut out turkey tail feathers.

We got on the bimah and sang our Thanksgiving songs. We did a great job performing!

We feel thankful each, and every day that we get to spend time with our students and watch them learn and grow. We wish all of our friends and families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn

Feast for 10

Good afternoon Tzeeporim families and friends!

Last week, we began preparing for Thanksgiving by engaging in many Thanksgiving related activities and reading books that centered on a Thanksgiving theme.

During Story Time, we enjoyed reading Feast for 10 and One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims. Both books taught us different things about Thanksgiving, but they also reinforced counting up to ten, our Number of the Week. We added vocabulary words to our Word Wall, which helps us to identify initial letters and phonemes. Our vocabulary words this week were fall, feast, food, and turkey.

We practiced our Thanksgiving songs many times! We also began creating our costumes for the Thanksgiving Program. We are going to be turkeys! We worked diligently creating turkey feathers using a variety of materials, including watercolor, glitter, tissue paper, and gel paint.

Our Letter of the Week was W. We turned our W into a grey worm, because grey was also our Color of the Week.

Our friends who stay in the afternoon had fun reading the book sixteen runaway pumpkins and adding orange tissue paper to the orange pumpkins the painted recently.

We played in Learning Centers as well, engaging in conversations with both teachers and our peers. We continue to practice using kind words with one another, problem solving, and taking turns when we work together. These are some of the most challenging skills we practice in prekindergarten, but certainly the most valuable!

We ventured outside during Science to take a look at the beautiful trees in Beth Shalom Park. We were excited to extend our understanding of collecting materials and sorting them into piles during a “Tree Scavenger Hunt”. We looked for bark, leaves, pine needles, sticks, and pine cones. Later, we worked in pairs to measure the circumference of trees. After we measured, Ms. Heather did a mathematical calculation based on the circumference to determine the age of the trees. One of the trees was 75 yeas old!

Together with Tzeeporim 1, we gathered together to enjoy a special PJ Library Story Time with Ms. Whitney.

We met our VPK Buddies from the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School this week as well. It was SO exciting! We completed a questionnaire together, so we could see what we had in common. Then, we all learned a new song with our Head of Schools, Mrs. Scharf-Anderson. We will be performing the song together during our Hanukkah Program in December.

Our class mascot, Pete the Cat, returned to school after a fun trip to New York City with one of our classmates! He had the best time visiting Central Park, and even going to a dentist’s office! He can’t wait for his next adventure!

During Music with Ms. Emily, we took some time to practice for our Thanksgiving program, and then, we got to enjoy some rhythm and movement activities. We especially love the song “We Are the Dinosaurs!” and had fun stomping around with beautiful scarves.

On Friday, we enjoyed a special Mystery Reader when our friend’s Dad stopped by to read two stories with us.

We welcomed Shabbat together with our Tzeeporim and Parparim friends. Our ema and aba did a wonderful job representing our class!

We culminated our week together with Show and Tell. All students were asked to bring in something from home that represents a food they enjoy for Thanksgiving. Our friends were very creative! Some drew their own pictures of food they like to eat. Some friends found play food from their play kitchens at home. Still other friends cut out images of food from newspapers and magazines. All friends had the opportunity to tell us about their favorite Thanksgiving food, even if they did not bring something tangible to show the class.

We are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving at school this coming week with our families and friends!


Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn





Leaf Man

Good evening Tzeeporim families and friends!

Last week, our Letter of the Week was C and our color of the week was black. We turned our letter C into a black cat with pointy triangle ears, whiskers, a triangle nose, and circular eyes.

Our theme this week centered on leaves. During Storytime, we read several books that related to leaves. The first book was The Big Leaf Pile in which Clifford the Big Red Dog was the main character. We learned about the importance of being a good friend and telling our friends the truth. We also explored two Lois Ehlert books about leaves. The first was Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf and the second was Leaf Man.

We absolutely loved the picture book Leaf Man because the illustrator used leaves to create images. For example, one page showed the image of a turtle made out of leaves and another page showed a real leaf man created using a Sugar Maple leaf and acorns. As an Art & Photography activity, our friends made their own leaf man collages and even photographed their own creations with the iPad. They were able to use pine needles, pine cones, acorns, and leaves that they had collected on our nature walk last week and combine them with mini pumpkins to create their own art. We were falling head over heals in love with their creations!

As open ended activity at Art Center, many of our friends did leaf tracing and leaf rubbings to create their own leaf inspired art. We loved that they colored their leaves some of their favorite colors and that no two leaves looked the same!

During Recess, the students were inspired by the leaf piles in the story The Big Leaf Pile. Many of our friends decided to work together, just like the characters in the story to make their own leaf piles. It was exciting to see them reenacting the story without any teacher prompting and demonstrating how to work together!

Our Weekly Reader this week was about Veteran’s Day. We read the digital version of the magazine together as a class, watched a short video clip about veterans, and then played some really cool pattern building games. As a culminating activity, we worked individually and in small groups to answer some questions about a map. We all did a fantastic job following directions and using our own sense of direction!

We spent a great deal of time interacting and communicating with others in our Learning Centers.

In Gardening, we learned how seeds travel. Ms. Heather read a book to us called The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. We learned that sometimes seeds travel in the wind, and other times animals and humans pick up seeds on their clothing and transport them to new locations. We experimented with transporting seeds by creating wind by blowing through straws. We put socks our our hands to mimic people walking through the grass. We also created our own biodegradable planters out of toilet paper rolls.

In Jewish Studies, we learned about Yosef (Joseph) the son of Yaakov and Rivka. We learned about his coat of many colors! We began preparing for Thanksgiving. We practiced standing on the bimah and singing our songs.

In Music, we played with shaky eggs, did the ABCs with bells in our hands, and participated in a lot of engaging rhythmic activities with our rhythm sticks. The best part was tapping along to the rhythm of a song from the movie “Moana”.

We culminated our week with a fun Mystery Reader! Our Mystery Reader Mommy read some really cute books to us. Our favorite was one about Peppa Pig. We were all giggling together!

We enjoyed an all school Shabbat with all of our preschool friends, and had a wonderful ema and aba to represent our class. Our ema and aba even had some special guests, and we are so grateful they were able to join us!

We began thinking about the week ahead during Show and Tell. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, we brought in things from home that we are thankful for. We are thankful for toys, purple pandas, baby doll, trucks, turkeys, baseball, siblings, moms, dads, and glow sticks.

We had a great week last week learning about leaves! We can’t wait for the upcoming week when we will focus our attention on preparing for Thanksgiving, and the many things we have to be thankful for at school and home.

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn

Camping Conversations

Good afternoon Tzeeporim families and friends,

Last week, we took time to enjoy the fall season. We spent a little extra time on the playground and out in nature to immerse ourselves in the cool breeze and the changing leaves on the trees.

Our book of the week during Storytime was Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes. It was the story about bunny named Bailey who is a little bit sad because his brother and sister get to go camping, but he is too little to go. We talked about many of the things we have to wait to do until we are bigger, like drive cars and have sleepovers with friends.

In the story, Bailey has a pretend camp out in his house with a real tent and he gets to roast marshmallows over the stove. We added several vocabulary words to our Word Wall related to camping, including camping, tent, marshmallow, hot dog, and stars. A star was also our shape of the week!

After reading, we completed a Math activity to increase our math concept vocabulary. We determined which of our friends would like to go camping inside like Bailey and which of our friends would prefer to camp outside, like Bailey’s siblings.  We used terms like more than and less than.

As an Emergent Writing activity, we made lists of items we would bring with us on a camping trip. We added items like flashlights, sleeping bags, and firewood to our lists. We had fun using a flashlight to help us sing our ABC Song too! We turned off the lights to make the room feel like a campsite at night, and then our Song Leader shone the light on each letter as we sang our song.

We took a lovely Nature Walk outside to collect items for our Sensory Table. We collected acorns, leaves, pine cones, and as many brown leaves as we could. We tried to leave the green leaves on the trees to allow them to continue to grow, although truth be told, some of our friends could not resist adding a little green to our collection.

Our Color of the Week was orange, so we had fun painting bright orange pumpkins on the easel in Art Center. We can’t wait to finish working on them next week!

Our Letter of the Week was M. We made a mighty magnificent list of M words including names like Max and Mommy, and words like Monday, muffin, and magnet. We had a marvelous time turning our Ms into mice with little ears, noses, whiskers, and small googly eyes. We traced the letter M and we even turned our snack into the letter M!

In Jewish Studies, we learned that Avraham and Sarah had a son named, Yitzhak and that he married Rivka! We learned that all of these things happened in the book of Beresheet (Genesis in English).

In Gardening, we found out that birds can have a challenging time foraging for food during Winter. Although we are still in Fall, we decided to help the birds in advance by making home made bird feeders out of pine cones. Ms. Heather helped us to spread shortening all over our pine cones and then roll them around in seeds to give the birds something to eat.

In Music, we combined classes with Tzeeporim 1 to learn a new song for a special end of the year program. Ms. Emily assigned each of us a letter of the alphabet, and we started learning a very special new song together. We had a very bustling and busy Music class this week!

In Science, Ms. Heather taught us about simple machines. Did you know the word machine starts with the letter M? So cool! She set up several pulley stations around the room, and we took turns learning how to use the pulleys and identifying how they help us to lift heavy things and transport objects from place to place. We practiced taking turns and had a wonderful time exploring!

We created, explored, and built in Learning Centers as well.

We enjoyed a special Mystery Reader when our friend Mrs. Helen joined us to read two stories about fall. We enjoyed talking to her about squirrels, acorns, and the colors of beautiful fall leaves. At the end, she even gave each of us our own beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves to take home. It was a special visit!

The ema and aba for our class did a wonderful job on the bimah during Shabbat. Our ema enjoyed sitting with her special visitors, her grandparents! Our aba, knew all of the answers to Morah Rachel and Morah Miriam’s questions about the Torah portion for the week- he was really listening in Jewish Studies and we were so impressed by his knowledge! Our ema and aba helped to lead kiddush as well!

We culminated our week with an excited Show and Tell. Most of our friends brought in cool leaves from home that they found or that their parents helped them to find. Some were small, and others, like a banana leaf, were humongous!

Last week was a marvelous week together learning about camping, we can’t wait for the upcoming week when we get to explore leaves together and continue to enjoy the fall season.

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn




Mouse Paint

Good morning Tzeeporim families and friends!

This week in Tzeeporim, we explored the letter A, the number 7, and hearts. We tapped into our inner artists and explored primary and secondary colors.

We traced the letter A, and then we turned the letter A into an alligator for our ABC books. We made the letter A with our snacks too!

We traced the number 7 and added 7 stickers to a sticker jar. We even used linking cubes to make the number 7.

We spent time in Learning Centers building, writing, creating, and imagining.

We enjoyed when Ms. Whitney from PJ Library Jacksonville stopped by to read us a story!

We used our gross motor skills outside during Recess. Playing outside with our friends also gives us good practice being cooperative and learning to take turns.

Our Curriculum centered on the text Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, and it provided so many great artistic experiences with color after exploring RAINBOWS last week.

After reading the book Mouse Paint, we learned how to mix our own secondary colors from primary colors. We took turns mixing our colors and completed a math equation with the colors. We followed the sequence of events in the text to create our equations. For example, RED + YELLOW = ORANGE, BLUE + YELLOW = GREEN, and RED + BLUE = PURPLE  

As a Sensory Activity, we mixed primary colored paint in plastic bags to see how colors combined with our fingers. We were able to finger paint without making a mess! We drew shapes in the paint and event practiced forming letters.

We painted with primary colors at the Art Easel. It was fun to paint on a vertical incline and to see how the paint mixed on the paper. Some of us had paintings with bright, vibrant colors! Some of us even discovered that we can create brown or grey paint by combining all of the primary colors. It was an exciting discovery.

At Art Center, we spent two days making “Mouse Paint” art. We covered our entire canvas panels with paint by mixing our primary paint colors directly on the canvas to create secondary colors. When they were dry, we peeled off the painter’s tape to reveal three white ovals. We turned the ovals into mice by adding ears, noses, tails, and eyes.

As an Emergent Writing activity, we wrote about our favorite colors in our journals. We created illustrations only using our favorite color.

During Storytime, we also read the book Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh. The book was about three mice who were trying to hide from a cat, so they used shapes to trick the cat. We extended our understanding of shapes and colors by creating shape collages using construction paper and glue.

In Science Center, we used different colored magnetic shapes to create houses and rocket ships.

At the Math and Manipulatives Center, we explored colors and shapes. We sorted colored bears into piles. We also used tangram puzzles to create different images using shapes like triangles, squares diamonds, hexagons, and trapezoids.

In Jewish Studies, we studied parsha Lech-Lecha, and learned that lech means “go”.  We found out that Avram would not pray to idols when he was young because he believed in one G-d. We learned that Avram was the first Jewish person, and that Sarai was his wife.  We discovered that HaShem changed their names to Avraham and Sarah, and told them they would have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. We had fun pretending to be Avraham and Sarah during a role play activity!

In Gardening, we analyzed the results from our plant experiment from the previous week. We concluded that plants need soil, water, AND sunlight to grow! This week, we learned about bugs that are good for the garden called “beneficials”, and those that are bad called “baddies”.  We each got to make bug superhero or villain masks, and then ventured out in the garden on a bug scavenger hunt. We found lots of caterpillars!

In Science, we learned about magnetism. We learned about North and South poles of a magnet. We discovered that magnets with the same charge repel and that magnets with opposite charges attract. Using special magnetic wands, we tested many objects to see if they were magnetic, such as paperclips, keys, clothespins, and spoons. Then, we were able to play with magnets at different sensory tables. It was great!

On Friday, we wrapped up our week with so many fun activities. We watched the book When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden on Storyline Online. The story a was about two rival artists (with similar painting styles to Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse) who learn to appreciate each other’s work. We learned that while all of us may have different ideas and express our creativity in different ways, all of us make important contributions in our classroom, just like Pigasso and Mootisse!

We enjoyed a fantastic Mystery Reader as well. She read two great books to us, and our favorite one was definitely Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. It was so silly!

We welcomed Shabbat with our Parparim and Tzeeporim friends. We had a wonderful ema and aba. Morah Rachel and Morah  Miriam dressed up as Avraham and Sarah, and showed us hachnasat orchim (hospitality) by welcoming us to their tent and giving us something to eat! We even enjoyed celebrating our ema’s birthday along with her mom and little brother. We sang Yom Huledet Sameach to her and devoured delicious cupcakes during Kiddush.

We concluded our week together by doing Show and Tell. This week, our friends brought in an item from home that was their favorite color.

Now that the weather is cooling down, we can’t wait to come back next week and learn about CAMPING! It is going to be so much fun!

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn