May 26, 2024 |

Gan Class Update 9-27-15

Posted on September 27, 2015

Hello Gan Class Families!

I hope that you all had a meaningful Yom Kippur experience and that you are ready for the more joyous celebrations of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

Today’s breakfast cereal was Life.  We had some great discussions about why this particular cereal was chosen for the Sunday after Yom Kippur.  Together, we decided it must be because we all hope to have been written in the Book of Life so that we can have a good year.  After breakfast we joined Robin and Cantor Ken in the Sanctuary for Tefilah.  During Tefilah we have the opportunity to hear and learn prayers and songs as a community with the other Temple Israel classes.  Today we learned about the branches that make up a lulav and even got to ask Cantor Ken some questions about his Sukkah.

Back in the classroom, we started with a community question.  This will happen every week! The question of the day was “Will you have a sukkah at your house?”. Though most of the Gan class students said they would not have a sukkah this year, they were looking forward to visiting other sukkot over the holiday.  At Morning Meeting we each got a classroom job.  The jobs will change each day so that everyone has a chance to do each thing.  Some of the jobs include the letter shaper, snack starter, Shabbat sharer and the counter.  Each job is super important to our classroom so everyone gets to help out!

The letters of the day were lamed and dalet.  Each week we will review our previously learned letters and most weeks we will learn at least one new letter.  Lamed makes the sound l- and starts the word lulav.  A lulav is something we shake in all directions during Sukkot to remind us that G-d is everywhere.  Dalet makes the sound d- and begins the word degel which is the Hebrew word for flag.  We made a connection to the Israeli flag that we saw during Tefilah when we sang Hatikvah (Israel’s National Anthem) and also learned that on Simchat Torah we wave flags during the celebration.

Our Celebrations topics today were the upcoming holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.  We will explore a sukkah next week during our sukkah walk but one important fact we found out about was that you are supposed to be able to see through the roof of a sukkah.  It was interesting to students that there are two different connections between the Jewish people and being in a sukkah.  The first is that when the Jews left Egypt, they slept in temporary dwellings similar to a sukkah.  The second is that farmers would sleep in a sukkah to be close to their crops.  Our Gan class students made their very own sukkah decorations today.  A picture of their creative leaves is below.

Our exploration of Simchat Torah was a blast!  We learned that Simchat Torah celebrates the day that we read the last part of the Torah and the very first part.  Students practiced hakafot, basically a Torah parade with a little dancing mixed in.  We did this seven times, just like will happen on Simchat Torah next week.  All the students were smiling and laughing as we practiced.
Next week we will be going on a Sukkah walk.  This is a great opportunity to explore a sukkah, experience shaking a lulav and complete at least one mitzvah!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the Gan Class.
Have a great week!