I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with the children in Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st-2nd) over the last week. Children have been building scenes to explore ideas about sh’mitah (“release,” the agricultural sabbatical year). Each pair of children has a building tray with different sets of loose materials such as corks, glass gems, and metal washers.

One of the things that has stood out to me this week is that the children in Nitzanim do a lot of trading of materials. All throughout our exploration time, children walk themselves to another pair and negotiate a trade. It may seem simple, but these trades, conducted in calm voices, with calm bodies, and with each child feeling satisfied, are HUGE! Check out just some of the social-emotional skills that children have grown this year in order to be able to trade:

  • Speaking with kindness
  • Working with everyone in the group
  • Finding solutions that work for both parties
  • Sharing materials equitably
  • And so much more!
Terrible photo! But here we are, mid-trade.

Nitzanim, what a beautiful community you’ve grown this year!

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