Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adventures in Math, Engineering, and PE

E couldn't join us for lesson today, since he caught up on a much needed nap.  I intended to do addition and subtraction with the Jenga blocks, but while I was getting my tea, M arranged some of the blocks in a 3x4 array, and announced that he had 12 blocks.  Whoa!  OK, buddy, you wanna do multiplication, you got it!  So I showed him how we write 3 groups of 4, and then we made several other "groups".  After a while, we did switch to addition and subtraction, which we also wrote down.
That's way cool!
Meantime, R was having a blast building with the blocks:

This got M's attention.....

Who then started doing some building of his own:

That roof turned out a bit too wide to span with a single block as he was attempting, so I showed him how to cantilever across it, and then he made a BIG BIG roof, and was SOOOOO proud!

Then we went out to meet E and his Imma and brother at the playground.  A bit chilly, but a good time was had by all:

R did some impressive ladder-climbing:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dod Hodu

Don't ask....  OK, you had to ask.  I made the outlines for the letters that spell out "Hodu" = Turkey, to help E learn to letter, since he likes doing mazes. M wanted to add "Dod" = Uncle, probably because it also uses the Vav.  Don't argue with a 3-year-old.  Just don't.

In fact, don't argue with a 2-year-old, either.  E wanted to stick to his mazes:

And DEFINITELY don't argue with a 1-year-old.  He knows EXACTLY what he wants to do:

And that's that!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We meet little D

A new little friend joined us today!  Little D is about R's age, and fit right in.  Here she is reading a book with her Imma on the ride-on toy while M is working the USA map puzzle:

And here are our usual 3 Stooges (M, E, and R), hiding their feet under the rug:

We hope D will join us again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Craft sticks

Art lesson today was gluing craft sticks.  M had fun making an Aleph and a house:

 while R just had fun making a mess with the sticks and the glue:

After a while, he got tired of this (or maybe I got tired of cleaning up after him...) and he moved to the little table to play with the sandpaper letters:

That kept him pleasantly occupied until M was done.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reading and playing

Today E joined us for a literacy lesson.  We played with several sets of Hebrew letters, identifying them and making words.  E really got into Et Le'ayet!  He asked for the names of all the pictures on the templates, and was very interested in the letters as well.  He is so funny -- he knows the words he is supposed to use in conversation (yes, no, thank you etc), but thinks it is a great game to refuse to say them.  Every now and again he will slip his cover, and imitate M's talking, though.  I think he is getting it!  He also likes to sing the Hebrew songs that he knows.  After the lesson, we all walked to the playground, and E and M were singing "Hiney Ma Tov uMa Na'im" while walking together:
Hiney ma tov uma naim...
...shevet (lekhet) akhim gam yakhad!
And here they are at the playground, enjoying the balmy November sun:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another new friend

Our new friend D joined us today, and joined right in the fun.  Here she is coloring maps together with the whole gang:
And here they are all enjoying outside time on the porch:
M, D, and R are swinging together....

...while E is swinging high above with his Imma!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Art in the yard

Another beautiful sunny day!  M has been asking for his finger paints again, so we all sat out in the yard and a great time was had by all, even the dinosaur:

Later on, M and R worked together with Et Le'ayet, with M telling R the letter names while working on copying the title of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in Hebrew:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A quiet, sunny day

Lesson today was comparison:  the idea of "less" and "more", while playing with lego blocks.  No pics, sorry.

Then we went outside to enjoy the gorgeous November weather -- 60 degrees! Here are R and M inspecting a confused caterpillar:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Learning with a friend

Today E came over again, and joined us in a literacy lesson.  Since he does not yet speak Hebrew, he worked on tracing mazes with his mom while M was tracing words and R was scribbling.  I forgot to take pictures of them while they worked, but here are the end products:

M was learning about the "Oh" and "Ooh" sounds of the letter Vav, using smiley stickers to put the dot in the right place for each word.  R made a nice straight line with the stickers on his paper.  I don't know if that was intentional.  E has nice hand control in his mazes -- Made me think of making him letter-shaped mazes to learn the alphabet.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Beit Sefer Lemalah"

As we were getting ready to start school today, M sat down with his Etch-a-Sketch and set his mind to writing "Beit Sefer Lemalah" (Lemalah School). He knew most of the letters, asked for help when he wasn't sure, and erased and started over several times in order to fix spacing, spelling and penmanship issues.

This is a very positive error:
He left out the silent "ayin" in "Lemalah", which suggest that he might have actually been trying to sound it out. He has certainly seen the word spelled out many times.

Now I got it!

Our morning routine has expanded somewhat.  After "Yadayim Lemalah", we dance a round or 2 of "Ooga Ooga", followed by "Shlosha Gamadim", which ends with us sitting down for circle time.  I tell them the day of the week, the weather, and the plan for the day. On Fridays we also add "Hayom Yom Shishi".  Then we do the prayer/exercise sequence I have described in a previous post, before doing the day's lesson.

I am still waiting for M to braid a challah roll.  These days he is mostly interested in shaping the dough into letters.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today we focused on the geography of Israel.  First, copying the basic shape, then identifying the approximate locations of the major cities:

 Here is his finished product:

Even more impressive, a while later he sat down unprompted, and produced this:

 He is also working hard on learning to dress himself.  Here he is, putting on both socks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Advanced topics in Art

M has been exploring 3d representation, pretty much on his own.  He asks us to draw different things, like houses, or boxes on staircases, or different kinds of people or animals, and then he will practice over and over to do the same.  Here is his current rendering of a house:

A house with a window, a walkway, a chimney and a tree.
 But the main lesson for today was learning about light and dark colors.  I started by reciting the story of Genesis to him, and talking about Dark=Night and Light=Day, and then we took the box of crayons and classified each color as dark or light.  Then I wrote the words "Layla" and "Yom" (Night and Day) for him to copy on each side.  He actually matched them up correctly!  Coincidence, or is he starting to decode?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Double it!

Last week we explored even numbers as counting by 2's.  Today we look at the idea of doubling.  M knows how to add small numbers, so I brought out the Jenga blocks, and asked him to count 1, then another 1 ==> 2.  Then 2 and another 2 ==> 4.  He liked standing them up like dominoes.  Here he is counting up 3 and another 3 ==> 6:

Oops, his head got cropped off here by accident, but his smile at counting up 4 + 4 = 8 is too good to miss:
"Hey, this is cool!"

"Never mind 5 + 5 = 10. Knocking them down is the best part!"
Later on he practiced doing it with his fingers, too.  I just love working with him!