The children in שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) are fully immersed in the יוֹסֵף (Yosef) text, and each week we are adding more! (You can read what we read this week here, https://jewishenrichment.org/2023/01/23/yosef-theme-text-genesis-40-and-41/ )

The ideas are flowing, children are asking questions and becoming interpreters of text. While all of these amazing things are happening we are continuing our work on what it means to be a community who takes care of each other and plays/ learns in collaborative ways.

I wanted to share some interactions that took place among a group of children who built about part of the text together. The children decided to build פַּרְעֹה (Par’oh’s-Pharaoh’s) palace, in order to show the cupbearer getting their job back at פַּרְעֹה (Par’oh-Pharaoh)’s birthday party (Gen. 40:20-21). The things I want to focus on here are the ways in which children are communicating with each other.

In this first example, the children are participating in collaborative building, building with a partner and talking about what to build, the materials, the placement of those materials. The children are working on the step of integrating ideas from both children by checking with a partner about choices that you want to make.

Child 1: I am going to go build.

Child 2: Me too! Can I build with you?

Child 1: Sure! I want to build the…..

Child 2: That’s what I wanted to build! What [materials] should we build with?

Child 1: What if we do it like this? (Arranging the blocks in different way)

Child 2: Oh yeah, it should look like that!

In this second example, children are working on supporting each other in the physical work and problem solving, when they run out of the material that they really want to use:

Child 1: Look, it’s not staying up, we need more blocks.

Child 2: Oh, no! I want more of these (square blocks) but I can’t find more.

Child 1: We need more! Quick they are going to fall.

Child 3: I think I can help you, let me see! What about more like that one (narrow rectangles)?

Child 1: Yes, can you bring some?

In this third example, children are working on self-regulating and communicating feelings:

Child 1: (accidentally kicks block at the corner) Oops!

Child 2: Hey! Be careful! Don’t let it fall!

Child 1: I can fix it!

Child 2: This one was here, can you put that one (in hand) on top?

Child 1: Like this?

Child 2: Oh yeah, that’s better!

Kol Hakavod שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), on work we have been doing to become a caring, communicating and collaborative community!