As JK105 prepared for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, many of our classroom investigations centered around shofarot, apples, bees, honey and new fruits. The students explored the holiday symbols through various invitations and provocations by tasting different types of honey, sorting apples by color, graphing and tasting our favorite color apple and listening to the blasts of the shofar. The blast reminds us to wake up and get ready for the year to come. We concentrated on the significance of the shofar, the way it sounds, and how it makes us feel when we hear it.
We also learned a song about the various notes of the shofar that are blown:
• Teki’ah—one long blast
• Shevarim—three broken sounds
• Teru’ah—nine staccato notes.
Prior to Yom Kippur our class also participated in Tashlich. Tashlich, which translates to “casting off,” is a ceremony performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. During this ceremony, Jews symbolically cast off the sins of the previous year by tossing pebbles or bread crumbs into flowing water. Rather than walking to the lake to perform this ritual, we had our own version in our courtyard with Morah Rena. Each child tossed in a stone and thought about mistakes made and how they can do better. Afterwards,we made a short list together and wrote it on the blacktop using sidewalk chalk. Once our list was complete, the class used paint brushes dipped in water to “erase” our mistakes. Tashlich gives us the opportunity to teach children about hard feelings, saying we are sorry and that we all make mistakes and try to do better.