Curriculum

Our curriculum is all about S.P.I.C.E.S., the Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional and Spiritual development of your child.

How do we cater to all these areas of development day in and day out? We follow a daily schedule that creates a balance of activities and we base our instructional strategy on the famous Jewish adage of “Chanoch Le’nar Al Pi Darko”-“Educate the child according to his way”. His way is best explained by the following motto:

Tell Me I forget
Show Me I remember
Involve ME I understand

At Gan Chamesh, we will not merely Tell your child or Show your child. We will actively involve your child in every aspect of his/her education. This is why you will not find us just telling your child about apples & honey, the Shofar, the Aleph Bet or the weekly Torah Portion. Nor will you find us just showing any of the above. Rather you will see your child involved in manipulating, transforming objects to make real-life connections rather than memorizing facts he will quickly forget. Your child will be discovering bees making honey, feeling horns on ram’s head, engaging in tactile and visual discrimination activities to differentiate letters and shapes etc.

Our curriculum strives to create a balance between the Jewish calendar and the every day lives and interests of the children. It is therefore designed around common monthly themes that web concepts from our Torah portions, values curriculum, and holidays and explore them in the various disciplines of art, math, science, reading, listening, music, and drama.

Our curriculum offers a good balance of child-initiated and teacher-directed activities. We believe that when this balance is struck and when the various areas of the curriculum are truly developmentally appropriate, then children can begin the process of building a  strong enthusiasm for learning, a love for being Jewish and the deep foundation for a positive Jewish identity which will serve them throughout their lives.

The goals of our curriculum include the development of fundamental skills including:

Auditory Discrimination skills, Listening Comprehension,  Following directions, Predicting, Comparing & Contrasting,  Visual Memory, Patterning Skills, Problem-Solving skills, Seriation skills, Shape Recognition skills, Alef Bet (in order), Alphabet (in order), Print Concepts, Writing, Numbers (0-12),  One to One correspondence, Classification skills, Color Recognition, Small Motor Skills,   Large Motor Skills, Eye-hand Coordination, Self-concept, Dramatic Play, Cause & Effect, Self-help Skills, Language,  Emergent Literacy, Photographical Awareness,  Counting,  Sorting,  Sequencing,  Positional Concepts,  Graphing, Classifying, Shapes, Colors,  Science, Experimenting,  Independent Thinking, Small/Large muscle control, Socialization, Creative Expression.

The curriculum at our school is based on age-appropriate developmentally accepted practice. The classroom set up is comprised of learning centers which include blocks, art, dramatic play, books, manipulatives and scientific discovery. These centers allow the children to have choices and to actively explore. They learn by interacting with their peers, teachers and the varying things in their environment. Each center has a specific aim and with the teacher's guidance, helps the children's emotional, cognitive and physical growth.

The daily schedule is planned to include active and quiet times, gross and fine motor activities and child-initiated as well as staff-initiated activities. Outdoor (weather permitting) or indoor play is scheduled each day.We integrate an emergent curriculum approach into a thematic approach to create a synthesis of programs including the best guided and individualized educational opportunities.

INTEGRATING TRADITION AND JEWISH PRIDE

Lesson plans at Gan Chamesh are built around the events influencing the children at the time that they are being taught. Weather changes, special animal habits, national celebrations and holiday seasons all determine what will be brought into the classroom at any particular time of year. All these are laced into the general curriculum to allow the children to learn from what is going on around them.

During the season of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, when it is traditional to dip apple into honey and blow the shofar (a ram's horn), we take the opportunity to make the holiday a scientific experience!  The children learn all about apples, honeybees and how they make honey and about the different kinds of animals with antlers.  During Chanukah, when it is traditional to light a Menorah in the home, the children learn about fire safety, firefighters and how they help our communities.  This is the pattern that follows our curriculum throughout the year and provides the children with experiences that give them pride in their tradition!