Beth Shalom Early Learning Center

Early Childhood Education

Bird Beak Science

Hi -
This week in Science, in honor of the letter ‘B,’ we learned about bird beaks.

First, we did the following activity:

We sat in groups of 4-5 around plates. Everyone got an empty blue container and a tool (either a spoon, clothespin, tweezers or tongs).

Then we had to use our tools to pick up sponges, straws, packing peanuts, and rocks off of the plates and put them in our containers. No hands allowed!

When we had picked everything off the plates,

we sorted our collected items onto graphing mats:

It turned out that the children with the tweezers or the tongs picked up the greatest number of items and the children who had the clothespins and spoons picked up the fewest.

Next, we read a book about beaks that explained that different types of birds have different types of beaks that are good for eating different types of food.

We tried making our arms into flamingo heads. They eat with their beaks upside-down!

We also made our fingers into crossbeak bills. They use their beaks to pry open pinecones.

Then, everyone got a picture of a bird.

We looked carefully at the beaks on our birds.

We matched the pictures with the type of food the birds eat.

They are all birds, but they have very different beaks to eat very different things!

Last, we reviewed our first activity – and matched our beaks with the ones in the pictures. (spoon = spoonbill, etc.)

The shape of each tool made it easier or more difficult to pick up each type of object – just like the shape of a bird’s beak makes it easier or more difficult to pick up different types of food.

Great job everybody!

See you next week,


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Shababababa info sheet

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World Travelers- Part 2!

This summer we have been traveling around the world!  Our first three countries were Italy, South Africa, and Israel. (Click here to read about those weeks). Our next three countries were Russia, India, and China.


When we visited Russia, Morah Marina was our special teacher. She taught us Russian Words, about different kinds of Russian Food, and taught us special Russian Dances. She also told us Pushkin’s Folk Tale: The Fisherman and the Goldfish. Also thank you to Morah Nataly who brought in Russian Nesting Dolls and other fun items.

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After Russia we traveled to India. Ms. Sandhya brought in Saris and other items from India and Milo’s grandfather read us Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India. We played with different spices, made Naan pizza, and made rangoli.


Then last week we went to China. Ms. Yann came in and made dragons with us and Ms. Diane danced with us and also taught us numbers in Chinese. We used different media to make Chinese symbols and also practiced using chopsticks!




This week we are traveling to Australia and next week to Brazil. We’ve been great travelers!

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We Know The Months Of The Year!

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World Travelers!

We have had a great first three weeks of camp. We visited Italy, South Africa, and Israel.


The week we went to Italy we had a special visitor-Ms. Michele. She taught us colors and numbers in Italian. We also made bagel pizzas, found Italy on a map, and did a pasta shape match.

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The next week we traveled to South Africa. Hannah who is friends with one of our students came and helped us find South Africa on the map. She also brought the South African flag and some different crafts. We went on an African Safari through our building, made binoculars, and identified animals.




This week we traveled to Israel! We made chocolate balls, did Hebrew letter yoga, Israeli Dancing, and a Hamsa Craft. We had a lot of visitors including Morah Chen who did many projects with us!



See you next week as we travel to Russia with Morah Marina!


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Join Us For Shababababa!

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Dairy Science

Hi -

This week, with Shavuot coming up, we learned about Dairy Science.

We knew that dairy foods are made with milk and that milk comes from cows.

Everyone in the class agreed that cows are black and white. While it is true that some cows are black and white, like these Holsteins (the most common type of dairy cattle in the United States),

not all cattle are black and white. Some are brown and white and some are all white, all brown or all black.

No matter what color the cow is, they all produce white milk.

Note: When it comes to cattle, a baby boy or girl is called a calf, a mommy is called a cow, a ‘teenage’ girl that isn’t a mommy yet is called a heifer, and a boy / daddy is called a bull.

This week we did two activities in class. The first was to make butter. We poured some heavy cream into a container,

added a marble,

and screwed on the lid.

We put that aside for a minute, to introduce Activity Number Two.

Can cows fly? No. Can cows sting you? No. Can cows bite you? Yes – but, they only have bottom teeth, so they sort of bite/gum. We tried that:

Then we had a big surprise!

A Holstein came to visit our class!

We named her Supercow.

After we learned proper milking technique…

which included getting squirted…

everyone had a chance to milk Supercow.

As we took turns milking, we also took turns shaking the cream. We shook..and shook…and shook…and shook.

and shook the container until we couldn’t hear the marble rolling around inside it anymore.

By the time everyone was finished milking the cow, the butter was ready…

and so was lunch. :) Perfect timing!

See you in two weeks -

Chag sameach,

Morah Elaine

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Around the World in 40 Days

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This summer we are going “Around the World in 40 Days.” Each week we will visit a new country. On our list: Italy, South Africa, Israel, Russia, India, China, Australia, and Brazil. For the different countries we will learn about food, clothing, customs, games, songs, and art. It is also a unique opportunity to have parents in our center who are familiar with these different countries to come and share with our children. It is a great opportunity for our children to experience different cultures right here at Beth Shalom.


At this age it is important for young minds to expand and to think about other cultures. By learning about others we begin to learn about not just differences but similarities. In an increasingly globalized society we have more associations across continents and in our neighborhoods. This summer we will take the opportunity to begin to open these doors and see these connections.


We already have some amazing volunteers who have agreed to help teach us about different countries. We will be making pasta and learning Italian letters with Ms. Michele. Ms. Yann will be helping us make dragons for China week, and Ms. Sandhya is going to help us do Rangoli for India week! Morah Marina is going to do Russian dancing with us and Lynn Berman is going to teach us Israeli dancing.


This is just part of our exciting summer. Of course we will end the same as we have for the past few with a petting zoo.


We are looking forward to traveling around the world with you. Thank you for all of our volunteers and if you have any suggestions for the summer or would like to volunteer, don’t hesitate to contact Kara.

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Floating and Sinking Science

Hi -

This week in Science, in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, we explored floating and sinking.

First we filled up a container with tap water and talked about what the words ‘float’ and ‘sink’ mean. Then we each picked an object out of a box. Everyone had a turn to guess whether his/her item would sink or float when we put it in the water. We tested our hypotheses. Depending on our result, we chose a card that said ‘sink’ or ‘float’ and placed it on a chart in the first column next to our object.

Here’s what we came up with:

Good scientists make sure that their experiments can be repeated with the same results. This time, we used a container filled with water from Morah Elaine’s house and we tested all of the objects again. We recorded our results on the chart in the second column next to the objects.

As we would expect, all of the objects that floated in the school water floated in the water from Morah Elaine’s house. Many of the objects that sank the first time sank the second time…but not all of them. Some of them sank the first time but floated the second time (the objects that are pulled off of the chart onto the table, above). That was surprising!

Why did some of the objects float in the second container but not in the first? The objects didn’t change and the containers were the same…

It had to be the water that was different. We knew that the water in the first container came from the classroom sink, but what exactly was in the second container? We weren’t really sure. Everyone got a drop of water from the second container to taste.

It tasted awful!

That’s because the water in the second container was completely saturated with salt. Note that while this water did come from my house, it did not come out of my faucet this way. :) I added lots and lots of salt to it before bringing it to school.

How salty was the water?

Let’s pretend that Zac’s hands are a pot full of tap water and we add some salt (aka white pompoms) to it. We heat the water, and then stir in the salt until it dissolves. We add more and more salt until the water can’t possibly hold any more. Then the salt starts coming out of the water and onto the table.

That’s pretty much what happened with the salt solution in the second container. I kept adding salt until the water couldn’t hold any more. That’s called a ‘super saturated salt solution.’

Next, we looked at a photo of the Earth taken from space.

All of the blue parts are water, but not all water is the same. Water in lakes, ponds, and streams is fresh water (like the water in container number 1). Water in the oceans and seas is salt water (sort of like the water in container number 2). As we discovered today, some things that sink in fresh water can float on salt water. If the water is salty enough, people can float on it without even trying. The best example of this is the Dead Sea (Salt Sea) in Israel. The Dead Sea has the saltiest water of anyplace on the whole Earth. We looked at some pictures of people reading newspapers and books while floating on the Dead Sea:

Finally, we learned a really big word, ‘buoyancy,’ which has to do with an object’s ability to float on the water.

As we discovered today, changing the amount of salt in a given amount of water, changes the buoyancy of objects that are placed in it. Adding salt to the water makes objects more buoyant (making it easier for them to float).

That’s a lot to think about!

See you next week,

Morah Elaine

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Camp Gan Shalom “Around the World in 40 Days”

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