Children Playing Dreidel

In Nursery, Hanukkah has been filled with light, celebration, and counting! Nursery students learned about the great miracle at the temple in Jerusalem and about how Hanukkah is celebrated today. We explored a real menorah and pretended to light the candles. At Chapel, Lower Division friends who celebrate Hanukkah brought in menorahs from home to share. It was so exciting to see how our Nursery friends and Lower Division friends celebrate with their families. Nursery friends also had the opportunity to show paper menorahs they had made in class to the rest of Lower Division. To make these menorahs, Nursery friends had to use their best counting and gluing skills. They counted out nine candles to add. Eight of the candles represent all eight nights of Hanukkah. The ninth is the shamash, or helper. We use that candle to light the others.

As part of our “festival of lights” festivities, Nursery learned to play the dreidel game. We learned that a dreidel is a spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each of the four sides: nun (נ), gimmel (ג), hey (ה), and shin (ש). At first, spinning the dreidel with two fingers was difficult. But as the Nursery friends practiced and exercised their fine motor muscles, the dreidels twirled and twirled. Landing on gimmel was the most exciting, of course – you get all of the treasure in the pot! Playing dreidel is a good opportunity for Nursery students to build foundational math skills, like adding by ones (“shin, shin, put one in”) and the concept of zero (in the dreidel game: nun).

Some of our favorite Hanukkah books include Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and Hanukkah Bear, both by Eric A. Kimmel. In Library, Ms. Bertozzi shared Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss.

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