KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM CURRICULUM OVERVIEW 2009-2010
The Kindergarten child enters school excited about learning and takes pride in his/her new world of school. It is our goal to reinforce that pride and to nurture and encourage the child to develop an eagerness to learn and to experience the joy of being in school. This first year of formal schooling should have a profound and positive impact on all future years of learning. Our Kindergarten children will find school to be a wonderful and happy place, a place where each child will be carefully nurtured, loved and guided to grow happily and positively in all areas, academically socially and emotionally.
The following overview is designed to provide you, our parents, with an outline of all the major areas we cover throughout the Kindergarten year.
READING READINESS/LANGUAGE ARTS
The Language Arts/Reading Readiness Kindergarten Program combines the foundation skills of speaking, listening, reading readiness and emergent writing skills. Children’s listening skills are strengthened through story-telling time. They are introduced to poetry, finger plays, songs and numerous children’s books and authors.
•Learning to recognize letter in and out of alphabetical order (capitals and lower case)
•Print all letters upper and lower case
•Simple word recognition
•Phonics (Beginning, middle and ending consonants sounds, short vowel sounds)
•Learn to recognize need for punctuation (period, comma, quotation marks, question mark, exclamation mark)
•Story enjoyment (understanding terms-author, title, illustrator, character and plot)
•Making our own books – individual format as well as
•Beginning reading comprehension
•Guided reading (in small groups)
•Developing a love and life-long appreciation for literature
The Kindergarten mathematics program strives to take advantage of the innate curiosity and enthusiasm young children have for learning. The children are encouraged to learn through discovery and to use a variety of manipulatives which enhance concept development. They will develop understanding and insight into the patterns of mathematics through use of concrete materials, and see the relationships and interconnections of mathematical ideas and concepts. Activities include:
•Patterning: extending, completing, describing and analyzing patterns based on colors, size shape and number.
•Sorting and classifying: similarities/differences and comparisons.
•Counting: sequencing numbers at least from 1-20, counting 1’s, 5’s and 10’s.
•Writing Numbers: numerals from 1-20 and words one to ten.
•Numbers: exposure to numbers from 0-100 , one-to-one correspondence; likenesses/differences; fractions (1/2,1/3 ¼).
•Simple addition/subtraction of numerals from 0-10, use of the 0 and to recognize,
understand and apply mathematical symbols + and –
•Spatial Position: up/down, in/out, etc.
•Graphing: comparing counting, organizing data and discovering patterns.
•Estimating: small and large objects
•Time: day/night, before/after, month/week, year, and hour.
•Money: dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and penny.
The goal of the Kindergarten science program is to spark the child’s interest and curiosity in his/her environment. Kindergarten science brings interactive, hands-on activities which inspire imagination and vision in these young minds. Working with their senses: see, hear, taste, smell, and touch, allows them to experiment, create observations, and find solutions to problems. In addition, individual and group science activities will allow for individual confidence and the learning of team effort. The children will learn:
•The five senses: taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight.
•Plants: plant seeds, parts of a plant, “Things that Grow,” seasons and insects
•Hygiene/Nutrition: bathing, dental care, healthy eating and sleeping habits
•Oceanography: “Under the Sea” unit
The teaching of Social Studies involves emphasizing responsibilities of citizenship beginning in the classroom and extending to future world citizens of the Twenty-first Century. Children are encouraged to appreciate who they are as they learn to accept differences in others. The children can begin to see the past, present, and future as a cumulative, evolving, living tradition that emphasizes cooperation and good citizenship. The curriculum includes:
o Family: importance and respect
o Community: leaders, helpers, etc.
o Transportation/Air, land and water
o Conflict/Resolution skills
o Team building
o Social skills
o Where we live (city, state, country, address, phone number)
o Other cultures
o Respect for others/friendship
•Songs for fun
•Rhythms and movement activities
•Related music to expand reading, math, science, social studies
•Seasonal and holiday activities
•Activities to encourage exploration
The majority of the Judaic Kindergarten curriculum is focused on the Chagim (holidays): Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shmnei Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover, Lag B’Omer and Shavuot. When discussing the importance of Israel, the Land and its people, we stress the connection to the Jewish holidays, and especially Israel Independence Day as well as Yom Yerushalayim. In addition to the themes and lessons naturally set by the holidays, the Judaic curriculum includes: daily Tefilah (prayer), Derech Eretz (good behavior & Jewish values), Weekly Parsha and Torah Role Models, Shabbat and the synagogue, Brachot (Blessings) and Hebrew language.
CHAGIM (the holidays)
Kindergarten children are introduced to the calendar of Jewish holidays. Each holiday is presented in order of occurrence with explanation of its purpose, history, laws, symbols and personal significance to the young child. Each holiday is creatively brought to life through songs, drama, cooking, art experiences and stories.
The children begin each morning with Tefilah using songs to help the children understand and learn the prayers. Prayers which are taught are: Modeh Ani - thank you for returning our soul, Al nitilat Yadayim – ritual hand washing, Reisheet Chochma – for giving us wisdom, Torah Tzivah Lanu – for the Torah, Adon Olam – praise for creation, Shma – G-d is one. The blessings for food and Grace after Meals are also learned. Tzedakah (charity) is collected everyday to instill the importance of caring and helping those less fortunate.
DERECH ERETZ (good behavior & Jewish values)
Our children learn that Derech Eretz is the correct way to behave. They learn examples of role models in the Torah and how their behavior with proper character traits (middot) affected our history. Children learn about how their actions and words affect the people around them and can make others happy or sad. Children learn that speaking respectfully, being kind and helpful, showing appreciation for what people do for us, eating neatly and being careful of our appearance, speaking in a nice tone and using appropriate words, and warmly welcoming guests are important components of acting with Derech Eretz.
PARASHAT HASHAVUA/WEEKLY TORAH PORTION
Our children are introduced to the weekly parsha (portion) reading beginning with Beresheet, the first parasha of the Torah. To bring the significance of the Parsha to life, the teachers introduce each one through story, drama, puppetry and/or song followed by an art project. The Torah portion emphasizes character traits (middot), mitzvoth (laws) and lessons that apply to our daily lives. The children learn about the Torah role models in each parasha and good behavior we can learn from each one. For example the children learn about the importance of honesty from Adam and Chavah (Eve), the importance of taking care of animals from Noach, hospitality from Abraham, dedication and self-sacrifice from Yitzchak (Isaac), chesed (kindness) from Moshe (Moses) and so on.
Throughout the school year, Kindergarten children are introduced to the beauty, laws and significance of Shabbat candles, Shalom Aleichem, Kiddush (blessing over wine), washing the hands, ha motzei (blessing of the Challah), zmirot (songs honoring Shabbat), and the birchat hamazon (grace after meals). Children are taught that Shabbat is a special day to spend with their families and is a present from G-d: a day to rest and rejoice. Each Friday the children celebrate with a “Shabbat Party” where one boy is the Shabbat “Abba” (father) and one girl is the Shabbat “Emma” (mother) and the children re-enact the Shabbat rituals that are done on Friday night at home.
Our children are introduced to Hebrew blessings which are said before eating. We teach the six different Brachot (blessings) we say to thank Hashem (G-d) for the food He provides for us. The children are introduced to the concept of thanking Hashem for everything He provides for us, our family, health, food, homes, etc.
HEBREW READING, WRITING AND CONVERSATION
Our children are introduced to the Hebrew alphabet (letters and sounds.). Hebrew vowels patach, (ah) kamatz, (ah) segol, (eh) tzairai (ey). Children begin writing block letters to reinforce reading. The class learns Hebrew words relating to the following subjects: the days of the week, counting, transportation, animals, the house, family, school, the body, the senses, clothing, colors, seasons, as well as Judaic subjects: Shabbat, the synagogue, Israel, Derech Eretz and the Chagim (holidays). Simple conversation takes place in Hebrew each day and children learn to respond correctly in Hebrew with simple responses.
Contracts from both sets of the secular and Judaic teachers are sent home every Friday in a special folder. The contracts are used as one way of communicating between school and the parents. The child’s contract will show not only what they learned, but also how they are doing in class academically and behaviorally. There is a place on the contract for the parents to write back if there are any questions, comments orconcerns.