At HALB Lev Chana, our teachers are always looking for fun, innovative, and multi-sensory ways to facilitate the learning of new information by our children. In our four-years-of-age Nursery classes, using Handwriting Without Tears as our guide, the morot introduced the children to alphabet letters through visual, auditory, concrete, and sensory experiences. For example, the children learned about quicksand for the letter Q: They looked at, felt, and combined three ingredients – cornstarch, sand, and water – and reported their observations while their morot encouraged them to make connections to prior knowledge. “It looks dirty and black,” “It was grainy and felt like porridge,” “It felt like the ooblik from last week” were some of their remarks.
They then took turns putting their hands in the quicksand and had conversations about floating and sinking items. Floating and sinking conversations were also happening when the children watched – enchanted and fascinated – as grapes were placed in two clear containers, one with water and one with seltzer. At first, they lay around the bottom of the bowl, and then they began to rise and “dance.” The children, encouraged by their morot, began thinking of reasons why the grapes were dancing. Finally, one boy noticed the bubbles attached to the grape and said that “it looks like there are balloons all over carrying the grape.” Without realizing it, the boy was describing the beginnings of the scientific concept of buoyancy. A “quality” and “great” time was had by all!