Curriculum Overview – Learning Through Play
Reading and Writing Readiness
The goal of our pre-literacy program is to create lifelong readers who love stories and see beauty and magic in both written and spoken word. Our students are exposed to all forms of Jewish and secular stories and poetry. Stories help foster a sense of identity, connecting our past, present and future. Daily stories, language games, activities, reading and writing centers are an integral a part of every child’s day. The children are surrounded in every classroom with a print-rich environment including letters, words and pictures that encourage them to apply their imaginations and use language in age-appropriate ways. The children are encouraged to learn and develop their written and oral language skills according to their own individual ability and interest level, using programs like Handwriting Without Tears, Creative Curriculum, and Primary Phonics.
The goal of our math program is to help children understand that numbers represent concrete things of value. Children learn that there is a connection between numbers and the real world. We orient the children about numbers as fun, exciting, intellectually stimulating and critical to all learning. Number games and activities will be a part of every classroom for every age at The Gan. All different types of blocks, math games, unifix cubes and other small manipulative are available in each class to help the children understand the relationship between numbers and our world. The math program will build a foundation so that math will forever be a fun, stimulating and concrete activity for our children. Everyday Counts and Number Worlds Curriculum will be used to enhance the Math curriculum.
The goal of our science program is to provide every opportunity for our children to discover then explore the universe. Our science units will include weather, animals, birds, bugs, leaves, rocks, seashells and more. Every age has a chance to discover the world through science. God’s wondrous role in creation is also integrated in the exploration and creative thinking. Each age group has the chance to see, touch and experience the world through special science experiments. These experiments will utilize microscopes, magnifying glasses and other age-appropriate scientific tools that serve the children in digging deep into nature and conceptual thinking and theorizing. When our children complete The Gan, they have a foundation and a sharpened curiosity and appreciation for the wonders and beauty of our universe.
Art, Music and Drama
The goal of the music, art and drama program is to expand each child’s creative thinking and expression of both thoughts and feelings. Music, art and drama are integral parts of The Gan’s program, and are a vital part of individual subjects in learning math, science, reading and Jewish studies. Children are exposed to various art mediums, many types of music and instruments, and role-playing experiences within the classroom daily. Through this consistent exposure to music, art and drama, we will foster and develop each child’s innate ability to grow, learn and use his/her imagination.
The goal of our Jewish studies curriculum is to give our students a solid foundation in Jewish life, language and ritual. Judaism gives us a language and framework to teach values, morals, ethics and basic concepts about the world. In Judaism, we have beautiful traditions that empower us to practice social justice, kindness, respect for animals, each other, and the environment. Basic information about the holidays, Sabbath, Torah stories and Israeli culture will be taught through songs, stories, art and drama. We will have weekly Shabbat and Havdallah celebrations, and teach basic Jewish concepts in a fun, informative and interactive way. We will have regular programs of song and celebration with our Temple clergy that will help foster a sense of connection and love for the Temple and the Jewish community. We use the curriculums Jewish Everyday and What’s Jewish About Butterflies to make sure our goals are age appropriate.
***We use Developmentally Appropriate Practices with an inspiration from Montessori and an infusion of Judaism.
***We use The Conscious Discipline to teach core social skills and to do character development. Daily Curriculum and Instant Curriculum, as well as the resources via online are used to supplement all areas of development and learning.