Please select a Division and a Grade to see the curriculum.
SELECT A GRADE
Kindergarten students begin the year familiarizing themselves with each other, their new classroom and their many new teachers by participating in cooperative activities. As the year progresses students focus on creating a classroom community where the members support each other through encouraging words and negotiate conflicts peaceably. Modeling and role-playing activities aid in the development of a classroom conscience. Children learn to demonstrate confidence, value friendship, work cooperatively in small groups, develop leadership skills and enjoy independence within the support of the classroom and school environment.
Art experiences are media-driven, sensory-oriented and interdisciplinary as children practice their fine motor skills through drawing, writing, cutting, building and creating. Students study the color wheel with a focus on primary colors. Continuing their exploration, students create paintings using both geometric and their own invented shapes. Students also complete an activity that challenges them to sort colors into warm and cool categories and then to develop warm and cool color collage paintings. A study of artist Piet Mondrian furthers their experience with primary colors and the art element of line. Holiday related projects such as children’s illustrations of scenes from the Passover story remain favorites. No year is complete without a self-portrait framed in a pattern of the child’s own conception and execution.
Vocabulary taught builds on students’ existing knowledge. It continues to remain part of the classroom’s daily routine as students announce the month and year in Hebrew during morning meeting time. Oral activities such as Hebrew snack time and the singing of songs in Hebrew strengthen students’ understanding of the language and help instill a love of it. Students learn to read and write individual letters and vowels, build and read syllables and form full words and sentences.
The Jewish Studies curriculum provides students with traditional experiences connecting their Jewish heritage to their everyday lives. Holidays are observed both as part of a spiraling curriculum that increases in complexity from grade to grade, and as an integral and joyous aspect of Judaism. Such experiences are integrated into daily classroom life and extend to the home via holiday projects. Students strive to follow mitzvot and to create a kehila kedosha, a holy community. The values and traditions implicit in the Torah stories they learn are discussed and connected to students’ daily lives. Kabbalat Shabbat celebrations familiarize students with Jewish symbols and ritual objects, stories, songs and blessings—all of which are reinforced with Hebrew vocabulary and direct teaching.
The language arts program is an integral part of each day and includes a multitude of applications. The three main areas of our language arts program are speaking and listening; reading; and writing. Through the constant interaction with the spoken and written word, children's skills continuously expand. Students participate in a comprehensive word study program that includes phonics, reading fluency and handwriting.
Children encounter many forms of reading throughout the day. Shared reading, poetry and read-alouds provide students with rich literacy experiences on which to model their individual skills as readers. In addition, the children meet in reading groups for an introduction to and reinforcement of specific reading skills. These groups offer children to practice strategies such as identifying letters, vowels and sounds, as well as approaching new words in context and expanding their basic vocabulary. Children read books to become more familiar with using context and picture cues. When planning reading instruction, teachers consider each child’s level of readiness and specific instructional needs.
Teachers encourage the development of listening skills daily through class discussions. In sharing activities, students present information and respond to comments and questions from peers and teachers. By formulating questions to clarify understanding and participating in class discussions, children enhance their skills in verbal expression.
The program includes a modified Writer's Workshop, which enables children to express themselves through drawing and writing. In shared writing experiences, a teacher models appropriate conventions of writing while aiding the class in producing a cohesive work that is the result of being part of a collective. Stories, rhymes and poetry read on a daily basis allow children to become engrossed in different genres of literature and nurture their enjoyment of reading.
Students explore the benefit of reading books for information and pure enjoyment. Kindergarteners learn the basic vocabulary of books: author, illustrator, fiction and nonfiction. Classes visit the library each week to hear a story and borrow books. Children begin to follow their own interests in choosing books and are also introduced to books that will stretch their horizons. Read-aloud texts chosen from a variety of picture books, authors and illustrators, align with curricular themes and children’s interests.
The mathematics program is a hands-on curriculum based upon constructing mathematical concepts. This program stresses working with different manipulatives, active exploration, discovery through all five senses and discussion of children’s work, thinking and observations. In addition to formal instruction, there are many “math moments” during the day, including taking attendance, sorting blocks during cleanup time and navigating the calendar. Children explore numbers important to their lives, they learn counting skills, number writing, greater than and fewer than concepts, and joining and separating number sets. Children study measurement concepts and work with charts and graphs . Students investigate patterning and basic geometry as well. Students identify and know the value of common coins and can solve simple addition and subtraction problems both written and oral. Throughout the program, students learn to verbalize their mathematical thinking.
The program provides a supportive environment through singing, movement, games and playing instruments. Kindergartners learn basic musical note values, physically respond to notes played, and progress toward verbal identification of various rhythm patterns. In addition, children work with percussion instruments and play simple rhythms together.
Students focus on movement awareness and develop the skills to move safely in personal and shared space. This includes the development of spatial and directional concepts, exploring levels, directions and pathways and various locomotor and non-locomotor movements. Students participate in many gross motor and cooperative learning activities including parachute, scooter and hula-hoop challenges and games, which emphasize teamwork and fair play. Indeed, such cooperative learning is an integral portion of every class. Many of the Kindergarten classroom activities also give children practice in fine and gross motor skills. Classes go to Central Park and students further develop their gross motor skills while running, jumping, climbing, swinging and sliding.
Numerous hands-on activities allow students to investigate science concepts. Through experimentation, discussion and observation, students learn how and why trees and plants change with each season. Students begin to make connections between these seasonal events and the cyclical nature of the Jewish calendar, particularly with harvest and pilgrimage holidays. The year culminates with an in-depth study of Central Park.
The social studies program examines the spectrum of individual identity through a values-based approach. Jewish ethics are at the heart of students’ social emotional learning and classrooms regularly engage in giving back to their community. Kindergartners come to view themselves as individuals and as active participants in society. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students examine community through active investigation in activities related to science, art, math, music and literature. The year concludes with an in-depth study of Central Park, which includes much first-hand observation as well as the students’ constructing their own model park.
Located in New York City, Rodeph Sholom School is a coeducational nursery through eighth grade Reform Jewish independent school.
10 West 84th Street and 168 West 79th Street · New York, NY 10024