What a magical week it has been! When kiddos arrived at Makom on Monday some were feeling unsure about the unknown of a new environment and new people. Throughout the week I saw campers emerging from their shells. By the end of the week there was laughter, friendship, and so many beautiful memories.
On our very first morning some friends gathered together and read the touch-it book If I were a Unicorn. On the last page the book reads, “If I were a unicorn I would have a princess just like you!” We decided that even though we could see ourselves in the shiny mirror featured on the page we didn’t see all of ourselves in the words or illustration. Kiddos eagerly took on the project of adapting the book. We each drew a tiny self portrait and taped it onto the last page. Then we decided what words to add in. One kiddo suggested that we add “prince” and then we talked about also adding the words “royal friend” to be even more inclusive. Learners reflected that all people can (and do) love unicorns as evidenced right in our community!
Later when two new friends reached a roadblock as they were building a collaborative lego creation, I observed thoughtful and sensitive problem solving and communication skills. One friend suggested a new approach, with an open mind the other listened and then responded:
“Oh yeah! Let’s do it that way! Now we are working together.”
During Tefillah: Prayer, Music, and Movement, as one kiddo led us in doing shalosh (three) jumps, another learner proclaimed, “we should learn how to say the colors in Hebrew!” From there, we embarked on an emergent study of colors. As we read The Mixed-up Chameleon by Eric Carle, kiddos called out the names of the colors in Hebrew. The next day during Tefillah, we co-wrote a story featuring some of our new color vocabulary words.
Tzeva By Makom’s Winter Break Campers
After reading The Sneetches by Dr Seuss we discussed what it feels like to have to change or suppress part of yourself. Learners reflected that we should all be able to express ourselves however we want. One kiddo said “different is amazing, that’s what makes us US!” Then we came up with a list of our own unique special traits and talents.
Our Special Traits and Talents:
- Loving my mom and dad. I love love.
- Being a good pet owner.
- How I look.
- Being a good reader.
- Loving my whole family.
- I love that I am smart.
- I like my eyebrows.
- That I celebrate Hanukkah.
- I am good at drawing.
- Loving unicorns.
- Putting on my socks.
During a moment of sadness, a learner who is a very impassioned reader was expressing some insecurities. Together we remembered our list of special talents and talked about what some of his special talents are. With a sense of pride and dignity he proclaimed “I am good at reading.” Together we made a plan that the next day he would lead us in our read-a-loud. I was so pleased to see the pleasure he took in helping us.
Kiddos continued with thoughtful and sensitive learning throughout the week. After reading Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie we generated a list of physical and non-physical things inside our bodies.
What is inside of me?
Learners reflected that germs were a physical thing, even if we can’t easily see them. Many were eager to share whatthey knew about germs. We were able to process our safety expectations at Makom through a new lens. When camp began, we brainstormed a Brit (two-way promise) and agreed on what the expectations for the week should be. As we discussed, one kiddo offered “we wash our hands so much to keep away the bad germs.”
Another learner shared that she feels scared of germs. We affirmed her feelings and processed some of what has happened throughout the pandemic. We came to understand that not all germs are bad, and we remembered the things we can do to protect ourselves and others.
On Tuesday kiddos were excited to bake muffins, we took turns pouring and mixing in the ingredients. One learner noticed that we didn’t have any frosting and together we experimented to create our own recipe for a very sugar-ey non-dairy frosting. As we sat outside enjoying our cupcakes we took turns critiquing our creation. We all agreed that our recipe was impressive and that we were proud of what we had made.
Our Frosting Recipe:
- 1 part powdered Sugar
- 1 part non-dairy milk
- 6 drops blue food coloring
- 6 drops red food coloring
Watching students laugh as they flex their knowledge and exercise their independence this week has truly been a privilege. We look forward to seeing you next time!