Northern Virginia Ethical Society

"Act so as to bring out the best in others, and thereby in yourself"
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2012, 09/23 And we're off! Week 2!
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It's amazing to me how quickly the kids adjust to the new schedule of coming to Sunday school. Some of our young ones having just met have already become fast friends. It's so cute to see!

After a warm welcome to everyone, we got started.  The children's story this week was read by the wonderful Delia Bysgyer. The book was Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza. The children listened and laughed and then got the treat of sitting up front for the music by the harpist. After the music we went back to the big classroom where talked about the book and introduced ourselves again. We then broke up into our classes.

The preschool class 
continued their focus on friendship and by popular request reread My Friend and I.  (At this age there is pleasure in repeating previously enjoyed books!)  They also read First Friends by Lenore Blegvad with classmates chiming in as children in the book offered to share their belongings.

         
The class visited the NoVES memorial tree that happens to be just outside the door of their classroom.  They noticed that the leaves on the tree were green that day. They took pictures of the class by the tree for future comparison.  They then decorated a small tree with green leaves for their classroom and made tree pictures to take home.  While coloring, they talked about summer, the hot sun and things they like to do in summer. This group of children seems to enjoy coloring and pasting, each with their own style!  

 

They  are adding new songs to their class songbook each week.  They already have Make New Friends, The More We Get Together and Hot Summer.

They will observe the tree each week, as a way to notice the seasons. This will allow the children to better understand and participate in the seasonal festivals the NoVES community celebrates together.   This Sunday, they will begin to explore how every person is unique and special.

The kindergarten/1st grade class did another week on courage. Since this is a young spritely group that needs to move, they first played with the wonderful world map with flags in the room. After a couple of rounds of learning about countries of the world, they then sat down to hear the book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. This story talks about how sometimes being courageous is also about being brave to be who you are and for speaking up for yourself and being kind to others, when perhaps they aren't being kind to you. The kids got a great laugh out of the idea of spaghetti in a hot dog bun. So, don't be surprised parents, if you get a strange dinner request! 

The students then drew, colored, cut out, and pasted two shields. The first shield was to show something they have been courageous about in the past and the second shield was to show what they planned to be brave about in the future. One little said she was going to be brave to try broccoli again!

The second and third graders studied Rosh Shonna this past Sunday.  They learned about how the Jewish people celebrated their new year.  They learned how to say "happy new year" in Hebrew -"L'shana tovah".  

They made shofars which modeled the ram's horn blown to celebrate the new year.  For their own celebration they went outside to blow their shofars and ate apples dipped in honey to symbolize the sweetness we hope for the coming year.

These students  are very excited because this  week's lesson is about Sukkot, a Jewish harvest festival. Sounds yummy!

The upper elementary class continued their discussion about the 12 Sunday School core principals. They then spoke about what they planned to do during the year - cover various religions and, hopefully, go to see their services - perhaps a Jewish temple, Muslim temple, Christian church and Unitarian church (we may also observe a Catholic service).  The first religion to be covered will be Judaism. Using a map of the middle east and a timeline, the class learned about how the Jews came to the fertile crescent, migrated to Canaan (Israel) and tried to maintain a civilization while being plagued by civil wars and invasions from other civilizations.  Finally the Jews were evicted from their homeland by the Romans (the diaspora).  Afterwards this class joined the younger class for the celebration of Rosh Hashana and ate apples and honey, which is a Jewish tradition.

This week they will begin talking about the Old Testament of the Bible.

The teens (7-9th grade) met up with the second teacher for the OWL curriculum whom they didn't get to meet the previous week. As you can imagine, being familiar and comfortable with everyone is an important part of this class! They then met up with Dave who will be working with the teens on off weeks. He brought several books he plans to be pulling learning activities from. The teens were especially interested in learning more about 50 Dangerous Things you Should Let Your Children Do. As part of their "getting to know everyone better" activity, they went outside and did something dangerous. They hammered nails and they had fun doing it too!

This past Sunday was also our Summer Pals Party. The kids were so excited about this party - several little girls even dressed up for the occasion!  The children made darling little crafts for their adult pals and the adults gave really thoughtful gifts to their little pals. We ended the party with frosting and decorating individual cupcake tops (bigger space to add more frosting). The gluten free chocolate cupcakes were a super big hit! They were more populare than the traditional yellow cake! Go figure!

And that's what you see photos from today - our party. Waiting for more permission slips so I can post more photos from the classrooms! The teachers are busy doing such great things!