Pre-K / TK - Miss Kristine and Morah Raizel - Hebrew Academy Karp Early Childhood Center

Pre-K / TK - Miss Kristine and Morah Raizel

TK - Miss Kristine & Morah Raizel

 From Ms Kristine

Wow!!  I can't believe this is my last newsletter to you.   What an amazing year we had in TK.  Every child has grown and blossomed in their own amazing and significant ways.   Some of us started a little nervous or a little unsure, but everyone rose to the occasion, and in the end, we made it.  

As I prepared the Big Books for each child to send home, it was like a stroll down Memory Lane.  I can honestly say, I only remembered the good times as I looked back on the year.  It really is fun to reflect on the work we did, and how we did it.  Our children have become independent and capable students.  I am so proud of each and every child.  They were able to meet every challenge that was put before them and they did it with excitement.  Having a smaller group this year allowed me to be with them all day.   That's a total of about 1,325 hours together (not that I'm counting), and this has made us a very close group. I have cherished this year and will truly miss this great group of awesome children.  

I will also miss all of my wonderful and fun parents, grandparents and siblings.   Your encouragement and support helped make this year extra special.  Thank you for all your trust and kindness. 

It has been a busy and full year, but please keep going.  I know summer is full of relaxation and fun, but please do your best to keep working with your child.  Reading to them everyday is so beneficial as well as fine motor practice.  Let your child be a part of the process so they are engaged and enjoy what they do.

Our school year has ended, but you know where to find me and I would love to keep in touch.  

Have a blessed, safe and fun summer,

Thank you,

From Morah Raizel

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that the year is over.  The children have grown and have learned so much.  This week we reflected on our favorite parts of the year and talked about what may have been challenging in the beginning of the year, but is no longer a challenge.  

It has been an honor and pleasure to teach your children this year.  Wishing you a safe and relaxing summer!

TK / Pre-K June 7, 2024


WE HAVE BUTTERFLIES!  We have 3 beautiful butterflies as of Thursday afternoon.  I anticipate more by Friday.   We have 2 kits with 5 in each kit.  The 3 that emerged so far came from the same cup, so the other cup might be a day or two younger.  We have had so much to see, witnessing the metamorphosis, along with the active chrysalides who were moving earlier in the week.  It was good for the children to see that the chrysalides are living things.  
Our plan is to release the butterflies from the first cup this Friday.  We all agreed that we love them enough to set them free.  

This week, to welcome the new month, we made our final calendar for June.  We wrote our numbers and did ocean art.  The children had various materials to choose from and could do any combination to make what they wanted, staying in our ocean theme.   Everyone had fun being creative and unique. 

For our June art, we painted an underwater scene.  We first made a handprint, and the children added the detail to make their hand look like a clownfish.  We started the year with a handprint for the first day of TK, so I thought it was fitting that we end with one as well. However, at the end of TK, we made individual and detailed art out of that handprint.  We had 11 proud artists who were excited to hang their work.

We also did our June creative writing for our big book.  The writing prompt was, During Summer, I love to.....
  • Ari:  hike and swim 
  • Abriella:  go on a waterslide
  • Bella:  go surfing 
  • Dovber:  pick flowers
  • Elijah:  swim
  • Malkah:  find seashells
  • Rose:  go to the beach
  • Sarah G.: go on waterslides
  • Sarah N.: go on waterslides
  • Yaakov:  have a picnic
  • Zohar:  go surfing
We have some adventurous kids.  They have big and exciting ideas, but I am sure they will love whatever adventures come their way.  The children did bright and detailed illustrations and everyone wrote their own words.  

For literature, we read A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle.  This book lines up with our ocean theme and it is a classic book for this age.  However, as we come to the end of the school year....  the end of preschool.... we made a more personal connection.  As the children saw that the hermit crab was happy in his small shell and he made a comfortable home with his friends, after a year, he grew too big for that shell and he had to leave it behind.  As he gave his happy home away to a smaller crab, he was excited and ready to set out for a bigger home because he knew he was ready.  We talked about how we are getting ready to do the same thing as we move over to the big school and enter kindergarten.  We have spent this past year growing, learning, making friends, and doing great work to prepare for our next exciting step.  And when we make that step, we will be ready.  When the story ended, the children were surprisingly quiet and I got a few extra hugs.  

For the story connection, the children made their own hermit crab and decorated him with all the sea creatures he met along the way. Everyone put their own spin on their project and were able to walk me through their process.  

Have a great weekend, 

We are almost there!  Shavuos is in a few days.  The children are getting excited as the momentum before this special day builds up.  We learned about the Jewish people preparing for the historical event of the giving of the Torah.  They prepared for three days beforehand and camped around the mountain, “like one man with one heart”.  There was incredible harmony when the Jewish people received the Torah.  Hashem loves it when we get along.

We learned about the Jewish people thinking that it was a good idea to sleep the night before the Torah was given.  To fix that, we stay up learning Torah on the first night of Shavuos. We decorate our homes with flowers because Har Sinai was decorated with flowers, and we eat dairy because the Torah is sweet like milk and honey. 

 The children reviewed the Ten Commandments, the aseres hadibros.  We read the book, Shavuos Guess Who by Arielle Stern.  On Friday, we learned about Rus and how she is connected to the holiday of Shavuos.

The children created a lot of flower-themed artwork and began their special Shavuos project.  A

A big hit this week was our ice cream shop. The children were excited to work in the store.  Waiting to be a server or an ice cream scooper was not always easy, however, the children pulled through!

Wishing you a restful and rejuvenating Shabbos! 

PRE-K /TK - MAY 31, 2024



I can't believe we are approaching the end of the school year.  It really does feel like this year flew by.  We only have 11 more days together.  I still have so much I want to do with the children, but above all, I want to enjoy our time together.  I will plan carefully so we can continue to learn and grow, but make great memories as our time comes to an end. 

This week we concluded our work studying insects.  We couldn't finish this unit without learning about bees.  We learned some fun facts about bees.   Some of this we already knew from our growing and planting unit. 

  • - Bees collect and spread nectar, allowing flowers, trees and plants to grow. 
  • - Bees (honeybees) give us honey.  They make the honey from the nectar they collect and their body helps turn it into honey.    This all happens in the bee hive where all the bees work so hard as everyone has one important job. 
  • -  Worker bees are female and they are the ones with stingers.  Our girls loved this fact.  
  • - Male bees in the hive are called drones and they do not have stingers.  
  • - Bees are so good at flying with their tiny little wings, they can hover and even fly backwards.  And the buzz sound we hear is their tiny little wings moving so fast.  
  • - Bees do NOT want to sting us.  The most important fact we learned is that bees are very important to earth and to us as humans, so we need to be careful to not hurt them.  And in return, they will not hurt us.  

We made cute bees for a class activity because the children wanted bees in the classroom.  Since we already had butterflies and ladybugs hanging, it was fitting that we added bees to our display.  The children did a great job adding black detail to the yellow bee and attached wings and antennae to show they are insects.  As always, everyone added their own personal touch to their bee.  The boys gave their bees a yarmulke, while some of the girls added long hair to theirs.  Everyone was focused and proud of the finished product. 

BUTTERFLY UPDATE;  We have 10 chrysalides.  It was a close call when I arrived Tuesday morning to see only 5 of the 10 chrysalides had properly attached.  One was even buried in all the waste.  With the children watching with anticipation, I hot glued the struggling chrysalides to the top where they need to be to properly finish their third stage of their metamorphosis.  This sounds terrible, but it doesn't hurt them and it works.  We have 9 that look strong, and one that I'm not sure about (the one that was buried in the waste).  My guess is that we will have butterflies between  Monday and Wednesday.  I will leave sugar water and a flower for them over the weekend just in case they emerge early.  They entered this third stage over the 3 day weekend, so I don't know what day it began.  We will, however, have butterflies next week. 

Have a great weekend, 


It’s Shavuos time!  Last week we finished with Lag B’Omer. This week we began talking about Shavuos.  We read the book, The Very Best Gift by Genendel Krohn.  It describes how Hashem asked all the world's nations if they would like to accept the Torah.  There was one nation that said yes, the Jews!  We said, “naaseh vinishma, we will do and we will listen.”  We continued to talk about the mountains that were all vying for the opportunity to host the giving of the Torah.  There was only one mountain that was quiet and did not boast.  It was Har Sinai!  Har Sinai understood that Hashem made him just right and he was content.  Since Torah comes from the word, hora’ah, which means lesson, Hashem wanted to teach us that all of our gifts come from Hashem. 

This week the children traced their Hebrew names and carefully decorated them. They also began to create their own Har Sinai art.  The children were very intentional in their work.  On Thursday, the children made necklaces with their Hebrew names. 

Next week we will continue learning more about Shavuos with discussions, art, stories, and more.

Wishing you a restful and peaceful Shabbos,


TK / Pre-K May 24, 2024

FROM MIS. KRISTINE (Scroll down for Judaic News.)

This week, we continued  our unit on insects.  We learned that not all "bugs" are insects.  Insects have a head, two body parts (thorax and abdomen), antennae, six legs and wings (some undeveloped).  Our children were able to figure out that spiders and earthworms are not insects.  We did a color and word match activity with all our new vocabulary.   Our kids are getting so good at this, that nobody asked for help, and everyone got it right.  And, two of the words looked similar.   Bravo TK.

We also made fun ladybugs that were painted, cut, assembled and given spots.  The children successfully counted the spots they put on each wing and created a math equation to show the sum.  They even read the equation correctly, showing  a 1:1 correspondence with the spots and the numbers. 

The children are really starting to recognize environmental print.  Basically, this is them making sense out of print in a given environment or context.  They might be able to point to the correct words on food labels, store signs, or clothing brands.  The beginning letter sound helps and previous knowledge does the rest.  They may not actually be reading, but to them, they are.  This is building confidence, and that is a big step in this process.  We are finding opportunities in class to see what we might already know, or can figure out.  It is so fun to see their wheels turn. 

Color words are easier to pick up because they see it so much around the classroom, home, and in books.  I set up a fun game in circle time where the children matched the color words with colors.  The game had clues and the kids loved the active participation.  Everyone got a turn and was able to read a  word and match it to the color.  We followed with a creative writing activity where the children drew a butterfly and colored it any color(s) they could imagine.  They followed by finding the color word in our word bank and wrote it on their own.  Some children chose to do three or four colors.  They were so proud, they asked to show off their work in class.  I love when they feel so accomplished and successful.

For art, we had fun painting butterflies.  They children were given a picture to fill in with detail.  They remembered that butterflies are symmetrical, so they tried very hard to paint each side the same, using fine point brushes for accuracy in the detail.  The painted butterflies might not have had perfect  symmetry, but they used their imagination to bring it all together. 

As we wait with anticipation for our butterflies, we did a sequencing activity showing the four stages of the butterfly's metamorphosis.  They had different options to demonstrate the butterfly story,  as long as it was in the correct order.  They came up with the idea of taping the strip of paper together into a circle, showing  that it keeps going, just like the lifecycle keeps going around and around.  They  loved that they came up with that new idea. 

We have also had a lot of fun in the computer lab.  The children are logging in on their own and opening the assigned learning activities with great success.  They are being challenged but having so much fun in the process.  We look forward to each week as we are given new challenges and experiences.  

BUTTERFLY UPDATE;  We have 10 fat caterpillars.  They all look pretty strong.   They should be forming their chrysalides any day now. 

Have a great weekend,


The children are getting very excited about Lag B’Omer!  Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s story is miraculous and fascinating.  The children love hearing about the interesting details of his story.  He hid in a cave for 13 years and ate carobs and figs.  His son Elazar lived with him and they were sometimes frequented by Eliyahu Hanavi, Elijah the Prophet, who taught them the secrets of the Torah.  After twelve years, Rabbi Shimon emerged from his cave and was instructed to return to the cave.  After another year, he was told to leave the cave on Lag B’Omer.  Lag B’Omer is the day that he passed away and his students were instructed to rejoice and not mourn which is why Jews all over the world will be making special Lag B’Omer events.


The children were excited to see Zohar’s name in the book because that is the book that Rabbi Shimon wrote.


During choice time, the children made pictures of Rabbi Shimon’s cave, along with the tree and the stream in front of it.  They also made bonfire art, and Lag B’Omer hats!


We can do it!


A popular activity in the playground has been climbing over the plastic bubble on the climbing structure.  The children are excited to participate in this challenge and are so proud when they climb over the other side. This activity is only done with a teacher within arms reach :).


Wishing you a restful Shabbos and joyous Lag B’Omer, 

Friday, May 17, 2024

This week we are all about the butterflies.  We are learning about and witnessing the lifecycle of the butterfly. 

We started with making a spinning wheel that allows the children to see that the cycle is an ongoing circle.  They understand that the egg comes from the butterfly and the cycle starts all over again. Then, we practiced recognizing our vocabulary words by doing a word match for egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly.  The children colored a picture diagram and placed the words in the correct spot.  

We also built a diagram where the children displayed different pasta shapes for each stage and then they labeled each model with the proper word.   The children did this entire activity with confidence because they were all able to recognize the vocabulary.  I think that is pretty impressive.  

To add to the experience, we learned some fun facts about butterflies.  Our favorite one is that butterflies taste leaves with their feet.  Since butterflies go through a metamorphosis, they have a different diet from their previous form.  While caterpillars eat leaves, butterflies sip nectar.  Therefore, a butterfly tastes leaves with their feet.  This way, they make sure they lay their eggs on a good leaf for their little caterpillars as it will be their first bite of food once hatched.  The children thought that made them pretty good moms.  

Our study of butterflies is truly hands on.  I am sure you have heard the news....  We have butterflies!!!!!!  Well, we have 10 tiny caterpillars that will soon become butterflies.  They arrived Tuesday,  and in the past three days, our little caterpillars have doubled in size.  They will continue to eat and grow for about 7-10 more days.  At that point, they will form their chrysalides and stay at that stage for 7-10 more days.  So I am predicting we will have butterflies around June 3-7.   We will be waiting with anticipation.   

Our year is winding down, but we still want to stay on top of things and make sure our children have everything they need for a successful day in school.  Here are a few reminders.:

  • Please replace all clothes if something goes home soiled.  

  • Please send a clean and filled water bottle to school each day.

  • Please send your child to school in shoes they can play in.  Boots are not great for climbing and running.

  • Please keep all home toys HOME!

Thank you and have a great weekend,

Ms Kristine [email protected]

Pre-K Judaic News 

Dear Parents,

This week we got to focus on Israel.  We looked at pictures and talked about why Israel is special to every Jewish person.  On Tuesday, we had our Israel celebration where the children visited different cities in Israel.  They started in Yerushalayim, where they made pictures of their wishes from Hashem and then taped them to the “Kotel”.  They joined in Israeli dancing in Tel Aviv, dug for artifacts in Be’er Sheva, and painted in Tzfat.  The experience ended with singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Israel and eating delicious cupcakes.  Of course, we had falafel for lunch.  It was delicious.

On Wednesday, I asked the children what they love about Israel.  Here are their responses:

  • Yaakov: The falafels with things in.  I also love about Israel, a Kotel wall.

  • Zohar: That I eat matzah and make cupcakes for my friends.

  • Ari: The Kotel wall.

  • Dovber: The Kotel wall.

  • Abri: That it’s so kind and it gives us yummy food, falafels.

  • Elijah: The falafel.

  • Sarah G: Ballet

  • Rose: The people of it.

  • Bella:  They Beis Hamikdash.

  • Malkah: Falafel

We ended the week by continuing to talk about Rabbi Akiva and learning about his student, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.  The children are excited about the upcoming Lag B’Omer festivities. 

We will continue to learn more about the incredible story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Wishing you a restful, and peaceful, Shabbos!

Morah Raizel

[email protected]

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