Fall has arrived at The Kaplan Cooperative Preschool, and along with it comes our annual trip to the farm. All the classes travelled to Green Meadows Farm where these city kids had a chance to have some hands-on experience with rural life. Children, along with their families, had an opportunity to take a hay ride down a country road, pet some chickens, and finally, pick out a pumpkin to take back home to Hoboken.
We were lucky to experience beautiful weather during the trip. The guides at the farm were wonderful in helping each child have an opportunity to come in close contact with various animals. We were so lucky feed the goats, milk Daisy the cow, and we even saw lots of brand new baby piggies!
All the classes at Kaplan have used this opportunity as a touching off point for class discussions and themes. Students have enjoyed talking about how animals start off as babies, just like kids do. The baby pigs helped the kids to realize that animals have mommies and daddies, too. This larger understanding of the world around them is an important developmental stage, and a concept that is reinforced daily at Kaplan.
As we look back on our day in the country, and our study of farms, many of the classes have taken the time to create art projects based on their trip. All around the school, pigs, cows and chickens are lurking around every corner. Some classes have built small barns complete with real hay and finger puppet animals.
A day at the farm is always a special experience for city kids – it’s not often they get to see that much grass, let alone milk a cow! We were especially grateful for the many families that came to experience the wonders of that crazy rural world together. It was a truly special experience to be able to gather together beneath a perfect autumn sky and share our Ha’motzi and a picnic lunch together before picking a pumpkin and heading back to the city.
Nora DeBenedetto, Goorim teacher
Self-portraits are a classic activity to do at the beginning of the school year. They help the children reflect about themselves in a concrete way (they are looking at their features, considering their size, shape and how they relate to each other); but it also helps them come out of themselves as they see each others' work and discuss their similarities and differences.
In the fours' class, this year we used mostly natural materials (shells, acorns, pinecones...) to make a collage.