Kindergarten is the foundation for elementary aged learning. With this in mind there is a strong focus on setting up our students to be successful lifelong learners. This is accomplished through interactive learning that focuses on the whole child; socially, emotionally and academically.
Social Emotionally students learn to share their space with others, recognizing ways in which to be kind members of the learning community. Academically, students focus on the foundation for Torah and Hebrew learning with a large focus on Hebrew reading. Students work at their own pace to achieve the goals of basic Hebrew reading skills through play. They learn about Shabbat, Jewish holidays, Brachot, and Jewish traditions through fun hands-on activities and through songs. Students add to their morning Tefillah as part of their morning routine and circle time. They also discuss the weekly Parsha using drama, music, and art.
First Grade is a huge transition year for our young learners and so balancing age appropriate learning with interactive play based instruction allows for students to acclimate to the rigors of academic learning. Students continue to master Hebrew Language through the iTalAm curriculum, strengthening their reading, writing, comprehension, and spoken Hebrew skills. Students also begin to study Torah (the book of Bereshit) by first gaining a deep appreciation for Hashem and His beautiful Torah. Students gain primary Lashon Hakodesh skills and begin learning to read and translate key pesukim from the Chumash. The weekly Parsha (Torah portion) is studied so that students gain familiarity with the stories and the mitzvot of the Torah. Parsha is also a vehicle for learning about Jewish values such as Kibbud Av V’Em (honoring parents) and doing Chesed (acts of loving kindness). The Jewish Holidays is a major theme of the year. They also continue learning about Tefillot (prayers) and Brachot (blessings), and celebrate their Mesibat Siddur in December, celebrating the milestone of Hebrew reading fluency.
Students continue their Torah study using the skill based LeHavin U’LeHaskil curriculum for Parshiyot Lech Lecha and VaYera. They develop their Hebrew language skills through the iTalAm curriculum, focusing on grammar, conversational Hebrew, and creative writing. They gain a deeper understanding of the stories and lessons of the weekly Parsha (Torah portion), and the Chagim (holidays) come alive as the children learn the special laws and customs of each Chag. As they increase the number of Tefillot (prayers) that they recite, they learn the meaning of many Tefillot including the Shemoneh Esrei, the 19 blessings of the Amidah. In addition, they begin to study the basics of Halacha (Jewish law).
Students continue their study of Bereshit with Parshiyot Chayei Sarah, Toldot, and VaYeitzei through LeHavin U’Lehaskil. They continue developing their Chumash decoding skills and building their vocabulary as they begin learning how to read Rashi. Hebrew skills are developed further using the iTalAm Ivrit curriculum. The Jewish Calendar is a major focus in this grade level, as students explore the mazalot of each month as well as days of note, including the dates of Chagim. In Parshat Hashavua, students learn how to share a Dvar Torah at their Shabbat table. They deepen their understanding of the Halachot of Chagim. They continue developing Middot (ethical characteristics) and increase the number of Tefillot.
Students culminate their study of Bereshit, learning Parshiyot VaYishlach, VaYeshev, Miketz, VaYigash, and VaYechi, completing the Lehavin U’Lehaskil curriculum. They also begin learning Navi (Prophets), starting with the book of Yehoshua (Joshua) with a strong focus on connections to Eretz Yisrael and the state of Israel today. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and critical thinking. In Tefilla, the students begin to lead prayers as chazzan, increase their understanding of Tefilla, and the davening is less abridged. Middot are studied as they arise in the parshiyot studied. Chagim are studied with additional halachot and minhagim.
Students begin learning Sefer Shemot (Exodus) using the skills they have gained in the previous elementary grades. They complete the pinnacle parshiot of Shemot, Va’era, and Bo adding in additional commentaries to better understand the Peshat. In Navi, they continue with Sefer Shoftim (Judges) through project based learning. Students begin learning Mishna (Oral Law) using the Sulamot curriculum and the CoMDAT process of understanding a Mishna. The curriculum also offers students the ability to apply Halachic rulings to real life examples and put into practice the concepts being learned. Chagim throughout the year are explored through a halachic lens, with a deeper appreciation for minhagim and traditions that enhance the experience.
Upper Elementary (Fourth and Fifth Grade) Hebrew
Students in Fourth and Fifth Grade learn in a leveled learning environment using the Ulpan Or curriculum. Novice/Beginners is a safe space for students with limited exposure to Hebrew language, or for those who require extra support. Intermediate learners is a space for students who are comfortable with progressing at a slower pace. Advanced learners have the affinity and exposure to Hebrew language to be able to progress at a faster and more intense pace. Each level has differentiated learning within the learning allowing for multi-tiered learning to occur. Ulpan Or focusses on ensuring spoken language is enhanced with reading and written skills. The Jewish calendar, chagim, and daily life are explored through the learning platform.