The Gan Year
The Gan (kindergarten) year focuses on social and emotional development, encouraging a child’s natural curiosity and emphasizing problem solving skills, independence, and identity building. This Gan experience is designed to set the foundation for learning as students gain skill sets that will be built upon in future grades.
Responsive classroom principles guide students in building and strengthening relationships and community, developing communication and reflection skills through daily morning meetings and closing circles. This helps set expectations for behaviors and works towards accomplishing personal as well as communal hopes and dreams.
Project Based learning
Through projects and investigations that align with emerging interests, students learn how to learn while developing a lifelong love of learning. Reading and literacy are taught in ways that are developmentally appropriate to individual students. Numeracy is taught in a relevant, experiential way, building number-sense and problem-solving skills through a combination of hands-on exploration and the sharing of different strategies and approaches.
Dual Immersion Language
A dual immersion language approach incorporates two full-time teachers who teach all subjects in both English and Hebrew, bringing purpose and relevance to the acquisition of a second language. Hebrew language immersion helps build a stronger connection to Jewish culture and Israel, while providing the cognitive benefits that have been associated with greater cognitive flexibility and stronger mastery of skill and content across all subject material – including grammatical concepts in one’s native language.
Play is a Child’s Work
In the words of noted kindergarten teacher and author Vivian Gussin Paley, “play is a child’s work”. Through projects, choice time, tinkering in STEAM lessons, recesses, and on the playground, students are provided ample opportunities each day for engaging in that important work, expressing themselves creatively while engaging in the real life challenges of navigating and exploring their world.