Parshas Noach came alive in our classroom this week! To understand why Hashem
brought the mabul (flood), the children role played a story about theft. When a group of
children ran passed a woman selling apples, they grabbed some "just to taste." We
understood how terrible the aveira of stealing is.
We reenacted Noach's building the teiva (ark). We used blocks to create three floors and
placed the correct objects on each floor. Our class was filled with the sounds of a mabul
destroying the world as the children stamped their feet and clapped their hands.
We learned that Hashem uses the rainbow as a siman (sign) of His promise not to cause
another worldwide mabul.
Photo Above: Morah Shaindy displays the power and judgement of Hashem's flood by
showing a tree falling on the wicked people. At the same time, however, the teiva remains
intact, protected by Hashem.
Jonah places garbage on the bottom floor of the teiva.
Morah Shaindy shows a picture of a dove, which Noach sent forth from the teiva. When it
didn't return it was clear that the mabul was over.
Around the Classroom
Practical Life exercises teach life skills. These Montessori activities replicate work that a child sees adults doing in their daily lives. The practical life tools and furniture are child- sized. The tasks performed are self-correcting. The children develop concentration, fine and gross motor coordination through repetition indirectly preparing the child for sensorial, language and math activities.
Left: Gabriel separates beads from the sand using a sifter. Right: David sorts colored stars using a tweezer.
Sensorial materials educate and refine the senses. These activities organize and categorize sense perception. For example, the pink tower, broad stair and red rods expand the child’s knowledge of dimensions. The vocabulary words “smallest, biggest, thinnest, thickest, shortest and longest” enhance the child’s sensory education. The cylinders offer a more complicated variety of dimensions and shapes. The color boxes teach colors and various shades. A variety of materials are available to sort by sound, smell and touch. Red and blue sound cylinders teach a child to sort by sound, smelling bottles by smell and fabric pieces by touch. The handling of the sensorial materials attunes the child to the fine differences in their environment and prepares the hand and mind for the academic subjects.
Left: Leora is working with the circle tray from the geometric cabinet. Right: Shlomo learns about a cube, sphere and cone.
The Montessori language arts curriculum is sequential, multi-sensory and phonetic based. When the teachers observe the child's readiness, they introduce metal insets (which assist the child in writing straight and curved lines), I Spy games and sandpaper letters. Writing exercises always accompany sound and symbol lessons. Spelling and reading follow with opportunities for expressive writing available on Gan Aliya's shelves.
Top Left: Ezra reads a Primary Phonics reader independently. Top Right: Benzti uses the mental insets. Bottom Left: Sarah Shayna spells using the movable alphabet. Bottom Right: Jonah matches antonyms with Morah Daphna.
The language of math surrounds a child beginning at birth. “How many would you like?” “How old are you?” “Two for you and two for me." The Montessori math curriculum offers concrete experiences to help develop math concepts. The child puts together, takes away and divides objects, beads, and cubes.
Top: Sarah Shayna teaches Asher how to sequence numbers 1-6 and add corresponding quantities.
Top Left: Yechezkel uses the teen board to learn numbers 11-19. Top Right: Berel and Remi practice quantity recognition and sequencing
of numbers 1-10 using the red and blue number rods. Middle Left: Remi uses the sand tray to write the numeral "3" with Morah
Shaindy. Middle Right: Daniel sequences numbers 1-10 and adds the correct number
of links. Bottom Left: Sarala learns numbers 1-19 combining the teen board and the
short bead stair. Bottom Right: Bruria practices sequencing numbers with Morah Nancy.
Torah and Alef Bais
Gan Aliya strives to build in students a deep emuna in Hashem and love of His Torah. Utilizing the Montessori-style works designed by Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, the children begin to learn the 613 Mitzvos, refinement of their middos, Jewish holidays, Shabbos, the weekly Torah portion and Jewish History. These subjects teach them about who they are, where they come from, where they are going, and what their responsibility is as Jews. Children develop Hebrew literacy at their own pace. Using a variety of tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli to master the Alef Bais, children first recognize the letters and then begin to sound them out. After distinguishing between the many letters, words are read and Hebrew vocabulary is increased.
Top: Nina and DJ match the Rabbi Rietti shoreshim (Hebrew root word) cards to the correct pictures.
Middle Left: Yosef sequences the days of creation. Middle Right: Nathan and Charlie match the Yom Tov and Shabbos
objects. Bottom Left: Yehuda uses the sand tray to write the Hebrew letter
"gimmel." Bottom Right: Judah studies the Alef Bais letters using the large Alef Bais
Culture and Science
Coming next issue, the children learn about seasons, the earth's rotation around the sun, and the botany of trees.
Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan
We decorated crowns with umbrellas and rain drops since we now daven for rain in Eretz Yisrael. Morah sequenced the Jewish months of the year cards and we understood where Marcheshvan lies in the calendar. We welcomed Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan with yummy doughnuts! Chodesh Tov!
Wishing you an uplifting Shabbos full of kedusha and menucha!
Morah Shaindy, Morah Nancy, Morah Daphna, and Morah Dini