Torah, Torah, Torah!

Boker tov Tzeeporim families and friends!

We kicked, or rather hopped, our week off with a fantastic Sukkah Hop. We are grateful to our parent drivers and our hosts for chaperoning us and making sure we all enjoyed a truly memorable experience.  We enjoyed participating in the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah together with our VPK friends!

We started off visiting our Head of School’s sukkah. There, we learned about the lulav and the etrog. Her sukkah was decorated with rings, paintings, and hamsas. Mrs. Scharf-Anderson showed us the pitom of the etrog, and we learned that the etrog is not considered kosher if it falls off. We enjoyed sitting and eating a candy apple lollipop treat together.

Next, we visited our friend’s grandparents’ sukkah. It was covered in beautiful lattice and had a fantastic tree growing in the middle. We learned that even if a sukkah is shaded by a tree, it still needs a schach, or roof covering. The sukkah was decorated with a beautiful painting of the ushpizin, or guests, who visit the sukkah throughout Sukkot. We learned that the ushpizin are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. We enjoyed delicious yogurt and berry parfaits in the sukkah.

Our last stop on the Sukkah Hop was visiting the sukkah of our Hazzan. He welcomed all of us into his shady sukkah that was decorated with pretty plastic fruit and colorful lights. He even had a fan for his sukkah to keep things cool in the heat and humidity. We listened to the story The Very Crowded Sukkah, and enjoyed some delicious cake together.

We were busy on Tuesday preparing for Simchat Torah. We worked diligently to craft our felt Simchat Torah flags to use for Simchat Torah celebrations. Some of our friends even brought them to shul on Thursday night and Friday to celebrate! We talked about the fact that each felt flag was the shape of a rectangle, which is our shape of the week. We adorned each flag with a Torah, and placed a crown in the center of each Torah. We also added purple jewels to the handles of the Torah because the Torah is like a jewel to us.

We have our minds on MITZVOT (good deeds), and are so grateful to the friends who brought non-perishable goods to donate to victims of Hurricane Irma. We talked about the fact that many people are still recovering from the hurricane and are still without basic necessities, like food. We each carried one canned good or box and helped make an entire bag full of food to donate to those in need.

We enjoyed a SNACKTIVITY in the Goldman Sukkah together. We each took two pretzel rods and organic fruit roll ups, and rolled the roll ups to make our very own edible Torahs. They were sweet, just like the words of Torah are to our ears and our hearts. We enjoyed Storytime in the sukkah as well. We read Sammy Spider’s First Simchat Torah by Sylvia Rouss.

In Music with Ms. Emily, we continued to learn about rhythm. She taught us a new song that we will be learning together for the next several months. We have to really use our brain power to tap the rhythm and sing at the same time. We even learned about taking rests when we play music. We learned that a rest is when we don’t make any sound with our instruments. We also did a fun movement activity with scarves to “The Silly Pizza Song“. It was SO much fun!

In Gardening with Ms. Heather, we learned about plants. We talked about the things that plants need, like sun, water, and soil. Ms. Heather showed us three of the same plants and helped us to get started on a long-term experiment. One plant we hid from sunlight by putting a bucket over it. One plant will not receive water. One plant will remain planted in the soil to receive sunlight and water. We made our hypothesis. We all think the planted plant that receives sunlight and water will grow best. We can’t wait to find out if we are right.

We brainstormed a list of qualities for living and nonliving things. Then, we played a game with Ms. Heather to see if we could determine whether certain things were living or nonliving. We knew that trains were nonliving, and that plants are living, but some things, like rocks, were hard to determine. We had to really think about it! As a culminating activity, Ms. Heather gave us magnifying glasses to explore the garden beds. We were looking for clues to determine what animal might be munching on all of the veggies! We think it might be a squirrel!

We talked about how the sofer (scribe) who writes the Torah uses a special writing tool like a reed or a feather quill. We learned that it usually takes three years to write an entire Torah! As an Art activity, we used faux feather quills to paint designs and write our names.

We did our Weekly Reader entitled “School Rules” as a way to bridge our understanding of rules we follow in school with the commandments G-d gave us in the Torah. We discussed how rules and commandments give us a guide for making positive choices in our lives, both inside of the classroom and outside of the classroom.

We enjoyed an in-school Simchat Torah celebration with all of our Tzeeporim friends. We waved our flags, sang, and danced. It was a lively and fun celebration! Since we scroll the Torah back to the beginning on Simchat Torah, we also listened to an engaging rendition of Parsha Beresheet, which tells us about the six days of creation. We learned that HaShem rested on the seventh day, and that is why we observe Shabbat!

We had a truly festive and celebratory week. We hope our friends and families enjoyed a Chag Sameach! We’re looking forward to seeing all of our friends back at school this week when we get to explore Parsha Noah, learn about animals, rainbows, and buoyancy!

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn