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Showing posts from October, 2012

Left to their own devices…

The kids were plotting and scheming in a giggling way while I was in the shower this morning, concentrating intently on a Very Important Project. When I came out, I that they had created – well – THESE.  Perfect matching silhouettes in black construction paper.  I suppose I should be grateful that they kept their clothes on and crafted these solely from memory.

Rainbow in a storm…

Easy, quick science exploration to go along with the building-a-rainbow one that didn’t work. This doesn’t really demonstrate any of the scientific principles we’ve been learning about (“all colours of light are contained within white light”), but it’s easy and quick and a bit impressive to watch.  You could use it for an art class on colour mixing, as well.  (here’s another quick and easy colour-mixing art project we did a while back) Scroll down to see the steps here (“Milk and Rainbows”). And here’s the one that didn’t work, which we got from Mr Q Science, but which I looked up online because he doesn’t give a picture.  Looks quick and easy, and we even have a big glass pan.  But our flashlight is the wrong kind – it has several smaller LEDs instead of one big steady beam.  It doesn’t cast a light beam so much as emit unfocussed pale light in every possible direction.  :-( (and it’s the only one in the house that I could find) I’m trying to teach the kids that even when ou

Parsha Resources: Week by Week

Here, for your convenience and great edification, is an up-to-date index of all parsha resources at this site – including Parsha Overviews, Poems and Riddles.  Some of the links aren’t linked up yet; I plan to get all the keywords in place someday soon.  If you find a broken one, please leave a comment and I’ll fix it. Genesis Bereishis בראשית : Exodus Shemos שמות: Leviticus Vayikra ויקרא: Numbers Bamidbar במדבר : Deuteronomy Devarim דברים: Bereishis Noach Lech Lecha Vayeira Chayei Sarah Toldos Vayeitzei Vayishlach Vayeishev Mikeitz Vayigash Vayechi Shemos Vaeira Bo Beshalach Yisro Mishpatim Terumah Tetzaveh Ki Sisa Vayakhel Pekudei Vayikra Tzav Shemini Tazria Metzora Acharei Mos Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukosai Bamidbar Nasso Behaaloscha Shlach Korach Chukas Balak Pinchas Matos Masei Devarim Vaeschanan Eikev Re’ay   Shoftim Ki Seitzei Ki Savo Nitzavim Vayelech Haazinu VeZos HaBracha And don’t forget… You can access all my Jewish printables fro

Short Parsha Riddles: Lech Lecha / לֶךְ לְךָ

בְּרֵאשִׁית / Bereishis / Genesis 12:1-17:27 Click for printable PDF version . Don’t forget to read this week’s Parsha Poems (Lech Lecha Poem 1 and Poem 2 ) and parsha overview .  Plus… copywork and parsha activities – something for every week of the year. פָּרָשָׁת לֶךְ-לְךָ Parshas Lech Lecha בְּרֵאשִׁית / Bereishis / Genesis 12:1-17:27 [ 1 ] Leave your land, get on your way, Shlepping and trudging for many a day; For Hashem had spoken, and so we know, Avram went when Hashem said, “__________!” [ 2 ] Avram stood out among others around, Treading that holy and crumbling ground. But he wasn’t the first one to walk there or stand, Because there were __________ then in the land. [ 3 ] He changed his life at Hashem’s holy word, Moving though others might think it absurd. The very first Jew, and none more so than He, He came from across, so they called him __________! [ 4 ] BONUS The midrash says you’ve met me before But another “name” in those days I bore; Much older no

It has a name –?!?

I was previewing this (reasonably good, and free!) second-grade Chumash workbook on and I was puttering along through a preview of the book when I came upon this page: And I was like, “what the heck is an esnachta ?”  Let alone drawing one.  Let alone finding one. Now, don’t laugh if you have known this since birth – this must happen to baalei teshuvah all the time.  Because it turns out I do know what an esnachta (etnachta, to some) is… the thingamabob I have always thought of as the “spur,” the rodeo-inspired doohickey I gradually worked out for myself over a period of not days or weeks but YEARS.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you will – you’ve seen them all over the place in the Chumash.  It’s the little red thing underneath this word: That’s an Esnachta.  The word, and the doohickey.  All on my own, I learned that besides being trop (Torah cantillation marks), which I usually ignore, it was ALSO crucial grammatical Torah punctuation which – natche

Cookies and Tiaras

Check out these two costumes, reblogged from sparkamovement , which wrote:  “ Girls’ toddler Cookie Monster costume vs. Boys’ toddler Cookie Monster costume . We’re not joking when we say gender expectations and sexualization start early.” Sure, the boys vs girls issue is interesting, but it’s ultimately irrelevant. Once you start hunting for a ready-made Cookie Monster costume, you've already bought in. Why not an original monster costume more in line with your kid's interests than some corporate marketing exec's???   If you want to be really radical, just skip Hallowe’en and put your money and energy into real holidays that will give your kids something more lasting than a couple of bags of candy.  I say “more lasting than” not “bereft of.”  In case anyone’s thinking of reporting me to CPS for depriving them, you should know that between Simchas Torah and Purim, we really do get plenty of candy.

Lech Lecha Parsha Summary: Planting the Seed

This is a basic overview of the parsha story in a format that can be adapted for a wide range of ages. Sources include parsha text, commentaries and midrash.  When introducing midrash or other non-pshat elements, I  use the words “some people think” or something similar ( find out why ).  If you find these overviews helpful, or if there’s a typo, or something is confusing you or your kids, I’d love to hear from you.  Pretty please, with sugar on top? Were you ever having fun, doing something you liked, when someone called you away? You were probably annoyed. If it was a parent, or another adult, I hope you’d come anyway, but for a friend, or your little brother, you might say no. This week’s parsha starts w ith Hashem calling to Avram – the great, great, great (plus a few more) grandson of Noach. Avram was living where he liked, with family all around him, but Hashem said to go – and Avram went. It was the first of ten times Hashem tested Avram. Do you think Avram passed all the

Kosher Cooking Carnival – Cheshvan 5773 Edition

Welcome to the October 17, 2012 (Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan) edition of kosher cooking carnival-kcc. And yes, I do still get a thrill writing 5773 – don’t you?  5773 is the year we make aliyah, in case anybody doesn’t know yet… the year that sounded so far off when we came home from Israel abruptly way back in, um, 5769. Anyway, this is the Kosher Kitchen Gadgets Edition , my fourth time hosting the KCC (here’s my last one ), which is presented each month thanks to the good grace, infinite patience / persistence and charm of its lovely / lively host, Batya .  Why gadgets??  Because the right gadget at the right time can make or break the cooking and eating experience.  Here are a few that jumped out and grabbed my tired eyeballs as I coasted around the kosher and not-so-kosher web… Any time dishes Gadget #1:  did you know you could serve hard-boiled eggs shaped like bunnies, fish, cars, whatever you want???  They’re featured and sold in this post by Tori Avey , Kosher Bento Box: Pas

Yet another uninspired picture study narration…

Blah.  This is for Mary Cassatt’s Children at the Shore: In the back there’s an ocean and in it there are 3 boats. On the shore, there are 2 children who look very fat. After this painting, their parents are going to come in one of the boats and take them for a boat ride. I don’t like this painting because the kind I do like is very, very bright and no dark. On one of the girls, there is a ribbon on her hat; the other girl doesn’t have a hat or a ribbon. In the painting, some of the boats are sailing and some of them are just coasting. The girls are digging with a shovel and buckets. Me, prompting… What kind of person do you think WOULD enjoy this painting, even though you don’t? I think Mary Cassatt would like this painting but I don’t like it – maybe her friends would, too. So much for Mary Cassatt being a good, approachable “first artist” for kids.  :-/ (we have studied her before… but Naomi Rivka’s mostly in a contrary mood at the moment and would say she doesn’t like anything

Bereishis Parsha Summary: A New Beginning…

This is a basic overview of the parsha story in a format that can be adapted for a wide range of ages. Sources include parsha text, commentaries and midrash.  When introducing midrash or other non-pshat elements, I  use the words “some people think” or something similar ( find out why ).  If you find these overviews helpful, or if there’s a typo, or something is confusing you or your kids, I’d love to hear from you.  Pretty please, with sugar on top? Images this week ( taken from here ) are by Sweet Publishing , freely shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Welcome back!!! Bereishis means in the beginning … but because we never start OR finish learning Torah, we just carry on what we’ve been learning so far. It’s a brand-new story, about a brand-new world, but it’s important to remember where the story leads – to Har Sinai, to the Torah, and then to eretz Yisrael. But all of that is hundreds of years away now as we rewind the