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September at BHA Preschool

09/23/2018 12:00:00 AM



[From our 9/23/18 preschool newsletter]

We welcome Autumn's cool air, perfect for exploring the garden soil: spotting pill bugs, pushing bean seeds into fresh compost, and discovering that our kale and broccoli seeds have transformed into tiny sprout forests. 

Rocks, shells, and other found treasures make their way by the bucketful to the sandbox, where they become a round, sparkly, strawberry cake.
And with Sukkoth beginning tonight, we've already begun building structures out of blocks, designing a sukkah on paper, and also cooking up a feast for sukkah visitors. BHA's Open to the Sky events in the Polhill Park sukkah go on all week starting now and details are here.
For a holiday that celebrates the harvest and transience, we have been helping the garden shift from summer to fall. We pulled out a basketful of potatoes and plan to roast them up soon! We have sampled beans and tomatoes, and the children take turns picking a marigold each day to add to our garland, as we count the number of school days we have had so far. The children have scooped and sprinkled compost onto the garden beds. They helped to cut down wilting sunflower stocks, pulling out the seeds to nibble and feed to the birds and squirrels.
Little by little our newer students are mastering transitions -- moving together with the more experienced preschoolers from outdoors to indoors, changing shoes, washing hands, and setting our places for snack. We have seen on many occasions an older child take the hand of a younger child to guide them gently in the process. The children are asking one another's names and seeking out new friends for collaboration.
Our circle time is full of routine as well as surprises. We have been checking the calendar, practicing a letter sound (short A and E so far), singing Rosh Hashanah songs, and doing sequences of movements that build the children's coordination in a group. 
Snack time is a gathering point for good discussion and also lots of questions, such as: Why are their clouds in the sky? and What sound do starfish make? We read stories, we check in about manners, and we have also begun to discuss where our food comes from.
Amidst all the transitions (from the garden into the classroom, from summer to fall, from being a new student to being a more experienced "guide,") our monarch caterpillars went into chrysalises, and last Thursday two emerged! We watched them take flight and flutter over the garden fence! Meanwhile, we celebrated our first Shabbat these past two Fridays, lighting the candles and embracing the rhythmic pause in our full and action-packed weeks.
October is around the corner! We would love to begin having visitors share something special they know, a book they love, or a game or activity. The children are interested in building, in collections, in babies (we have been reading about new babies since a couple of you are expecting a baby sooner or later), in instruments that make loud noises (like the shofar), in feelings and in food. Over the course of the school year, we would love to have each child's parent or parents visit and do something with the group. Let us know when the time is right for you!
All for now,
Ilana and Diana
Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782