Challa for Shabat

Each Friday we celebrate a Shabat Party. We have a Shabat Ima and Shabat Aba, we sing the songs and bless the wine and challa. That Challa is the highlight of the party, and today our children made their own. Each challa is a different size and shape, depending on the child’s creation....
A Good Night Sleep – Is that a Dream?

A Good Night Sleep – Is that a Dream?

Struggling to put your little one to sleep? Rocking the crib for 20 min till your arm is numb?  Pushing a stroller forever before they are quiet and asleep?  Staying in your child’s room for an hour making sure they are fully asleep before you can leave? Are you driving them in the car to help them fall asleep? And then, they wake up at night and crawl into your bed – sticking their elbow right in the middle of your spine, or want to touch your hair or your neck to fall asleep. By that time – you are so exhausted, that you cannot get up to get them out of your bed and bring them back to their bed.  Sleep is critical for a child’s development. Brain cells are created and the body rejuvenates itself during their sleep. … [Sleep] is the primary activity of the brain during early development. ….. the sleep-wake cycles are regulated by light and dark and these rhythms take time to develop, resulting in the irregular sleep schedules of newborns. The rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle. By the age of two, most children have spent more time asleep than awake and overall. Source: National Sleep Foundation Children NEED their sleep. They cannot be themselves without it. They need between 12 – 14 hours (including nap time) per day. Without their sleep, children start to develop a behavioral pattern that makes you think – Is that my child?  How do you get there? How do you teach children to fall asleep...
Jewish Montessori Finds its Way Home

Jewish Montessori Finds its Way Home

North Bethesda, MD – This month, Jewish families all around the world celebrated their Passover holiday commemorating the Jews’ departure from Egypt and the beginning of their journey to a new home. One local School is celebrating its arrival at a new home. Alef Bet Montessori will be returning to the Luxmanor neighborhood in North Bethesda after purchasing the property at 6125 Tuckerman Lane. Renovations of the farm-style house will be completed this summer. Architects Alan Dynerman and Bill Putnam of the DC firm Dynerman Architects, say the renovations of the existing structure will double the useable space while maintaining the building’s sense of “home” supported by the Montessori pedagogy.  Alef Bet Montessori started more than 10 years ago leasing space on Old Georgetown Road in the Luxmanor neighborhood. The school grew, relocated twice and has now, finally, found its permanent home and is now open for registration. Program Director Ellie Lichtash shared: “Finding a home for our school was pivotal to our future sustainability. We have moved too often, and people began referring to us as the “Wandering School.” Our new home reassures the parents and the community that we are here to stay. Just like the Little Engine That Could…we are the little school that finally reached the top of our mountain.” _______________________________________________________________ Alef Bet Montessori School is an AMI Certified Jewish preschool serving the Rockville, Potomac, Silver Spring, Bethesda and Chevy Chase areas. The program integrates a traditional Montessori curriculum with Hebrew and Judaic Studies. It currently maintains a Toddler Program (Beginning at 15 months) and a Primary Program encompassing ages 3-6 years old. The program...
Passover is Here – Hebrew Lessons for Passover אביב הגיע פסח בא

Passover is Here – Hebrew Lessons for Passover אביב הגיע פסח בא

In preparation for Passover (Pesach) our children learn a large number of words in Hebrew and used them each day.  They also learned 3 songs in Hebrew: Ma Nishtana, Echad Mi Yoda, and Moshe BaTaiva. Ask them to sing the songs to you. .לכבוד חג הפסח המתקרב הילדים למדו אוצר מילים נרחב ושירים על פסח . בזמן ההכנות לקראת הפסח תבקשו מהילדים שילמדו אותכם את האוצר מילים שלמדו. הילדים ישמחו להשתתף איתכם בשירת מה נשתנה , אחד מי יודע ומשה בתיבה They have several activities in Hebrew and enriched their Hebrew vocabulary. Here are the words that they learned: אוצר המילים הנלמד: מצה  Matza כוס של אליהו  Kos shel Eliyahu קערת  פסח Kearat Peasach חמץ Chametz 4 כוסות  Arba Kosot הגדה של פסח Haggada shel Pesach יין Yayin משה בתיבה  Moshe BaTaiva מצרי Mitzri מצות  Matzot יציאת מצריים Yezitat Miztraim סדר  Seder עבדים Avadim לנקות Lenakot The Primary class also learned in Hebrew the full 4 names of the Passover Holiday: Pesach פסח,  Hag Ha-Aviv חג האביב, Hag HaMatzot חג המצות, Hag HaChairut חג הירות . They also learned why does Pesach has 4 names and what do they mean? Please ask them about it. Getting ready for Passover is a huge project in our school. Our primary class had wonderful activities in preparation for the holiday: Prepared the Hagada (the Seder Night book) and a Kiddush Cup for Elihayu HaNavi. We learned the songs of Ma Nishtana, and Echad Me Yodai and Moshe Ba-Teava (משה בתיבה). We had a wonderful Seder last week with a full Pesach plate and we tasted the matza, and Matza ball soup. They...

My First Taste of Matza

The Toddler class had a wonderful Seder Meal yesterday…. The tables were set, and a line of props were set to mark the line of Israel leaving from Eygpt. We checked for crumbs of bread in the class with a feather, blessed the candles and tasted the grape juice. Each had a Seder Plate with all the ingredients. We mixed the water with salt, and dipped the celery in the salt water. We hid the affikoman under the chair – and we found it! and last we tasted our first Matza ever. Happy Passover to...
Be Strong

Be Strong

Our Yoga teacher is working with the kids. What makes you strong, she asks: Eva (4): My dad runs a lot, and it makes me strong Victoria (5): I do treks. Mia (3): קטשופ וציפס (Ketchup and french fries) Jamy (5): doing exercise Gabrielle (4): gymnastics, I do flip overs and jump high in the air Mia Noa (5): I run. Cucumber make me strong. Madelan (4): I run. Zalman (5): Muscles make me strong Elliot (4): My heart makes me strong Natalia (6): Eating food Dylan (5): Eating healthy And who makes you strong? Dylan :...
A New Friend – First Day

A New Friend – First Day

Calel is starting school. He just turned 2. Nadiv is so excited to show Calel how to walk to class, and meet all the new friends. Calel takes one more look to see if Mommy is there at the door, and walks away to his class with Nadiv. Off they go, crossing the hallway and turning to the class.  Nadiv is also 2, but he has been to the class since the fall. His backpack is almost as big as he is, but he carries it with great pride. Nadiv will help Calel to find a spot for his bag, and take his coat off. They both will do it by themselves – soooooo...
Effortless Writing & Reading by Preschool Children

Effortless Writing & Reading by Preschool Children

In any good language environment the teacher makes sure that experience precedes the learning of vocabulary words.  She will introduce real fruits before using FRUIT CARDS. She can introduce a game – identify “Living and Non Living” items, where a child has to sort the living objects (trees, animals) from non living (bucket, flashlight). Books and cards are valuable for practice to improve a child’s abilities, and create a rich and enjoyable vocabulary.  Children learn LETTER RECOGNITION in a different way in the class. The teacher does not teach the name of the consonants, but their sounds. When a child knows the names of objects in pictures and cards, we introduce the I SPY GAME: Point to an object, e.g. a ball. She will say – I spy something in my hand that starts with a “buh” sound (not the name of the letter bee) or I spy something that ends with a “nn” sound – while holding a pen. You can play this game with your child while driving in a car. A teacher will know when a child is ready – knowing the names of items, including sounds of letters, touching and feeling – shows his readiness. At this point she will introduce more materials. Reading and writing in a Montessori classroom is a sensorial experience. Tactile and hands on materials are helpful to allow the child to teach herself to read and write sometimes as early as 3 or 4 years old. This is the SENSITIVE PERIOD  in a child’s life, where learning is effortless. Writing becomes a game and playtime. Surely he can learn reading and writing later in...