With structure, warmth, and joyous discovery, Kindergarten students gain new insight into the world around them and get excited for everything that the future holds.
Our experienced, caring teachers help our students prepare for reading and writing in English and Hebrew, mathematics, science, and more. As they celebrate Jewish holidays and learn more about their place in our Jewish and global communities, Kindergarteners develop a positive Jewish identity and practice their traditions with love and pride.
English Language Arts
Literacy is a natural process! When surrounded by a language-enriched environment, children intuitively learn to speak, read, and write.
As we respond to their efforts with encouragement and guidance, children learn that language and writing have the power to convey meaning. Through one-on-one sessions, small group lessons, conversation, storytelling, acting, and games, Kindergarteners learn to read, write, and speak about the world around them. Through read-alouds, our children gain an understanding of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Reading readiness skills include inferring and predicting stories, understanding story content and sequencing, auditory and visual discrimination and memory, forming words, recalling material, rhyming, letter recognition, homonyms, opposites, consonant blends, and sight words. The Foundations curriculum is used to develop our students’ understanding of how letters work together to make sounds as well.
Writing readiness skills that our children are taught include an understanding of sentences and sentence structure, sentence writing, upper and lowercase letters, inventive spelling, and punctuation.
A solid foundation in mathematics is essential to navigating our modern world. Through both hands-on learning and workbook exercises, students broaden their understanding of addition, subtraction, fractions, geometry, and more. NSHA uses math curricula that align with the state core standards.
Kindergarten mathematics readiness skills include: identifying and writing numbers 1-30, counting in sequence to 20, counting by 10s and 5s, simple addition and subtraction, number names around us (e.g. address, telephone number, how many children in the class), sets 0-10, geometric shapes, fractions, simple graphs, measuring, problem solving, patterning, and comparisons (concepts of more than, less than, equal to).
Through Social Studies, growing children develop a healthy sense of individuality and self-respect as they learn to relate to other people – in our community, and across the world!
In Social Studies, we discuss our immediate and extended families, the homes and habitats of people and animals, and cultures around the world similar to and different from our own. Students learn about the rules of our school community, and how to navigate their world with respect for others’ safety and feelings.
As a class, we observe American holidays including Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Election Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day, and Flag Day.
As they explore the complexities of the world around them, every child is a natural scientist – but in Science classes led by our specialized faculty member in our science center, our students make it official!
Kindergarteners learn the value of experiments – how scientists reach a conclusion by making predictions, experimenting, observing, and recording. Through experiments, along with integrated language and creative arts experiences, students learn about living and non-living things, the five senses, what happens inside the human body, magnifying glasses and magnets, planting and growing fruits and vegetables, the weather and seasons, the Solar System, water, the environment, and health and nutrition.
In our Kindergarten classrooms, children express themselves with music and art every day – and in every subject!
Creative arts are incorporated holistically into each aspect of our program. Exploration with visual artwork helps children strengthen their fine motor skills, hone their natural creativity, and express themselves and their emotions.
Students learn new songs to celebrate holidays, remember facts, and release energy in a constructive, joyous way. They sing spontaneously and as a group, dance, and move creatively and rhythmically (clapping hands, tapping toes, skipping, galloping, hopping, and more).
Through free play, organized games, and team sports, the Kindergarten gym program encourages students to develop gross motor skills, agility, balance, coordination, and the ability to follow instructions.
Our children are growing up in a world where technology is everywhere. To succeed, they’ll need to know how to navigate it all!
Students learn about computers, their hardware and components, and how to use a keyboard and computer mouse. They play educational computer programs, visit age-appropriate internet sites, and use educational apps through NSHA’s iPad program.
Kindergarteners at NSHA understand that Judaism is a complete guide for life, not a series of isolated activities.
Students deepen their relationship with Jewish history, our prayers, and our traditions through lessons that are seamlessly woven into their day. The Kindergarten Judaic Studies curriculum encourages a deep immersion into Torah values, tefillah, Shabbat, holidays, and customs. Students begin formal instruction in the Hebrew language with Ivrit b’Ivrit, and tackle the Parashat Hashavua each week. They say brachot and birkat hamazon before and after meals, and grow meaningful relationships with Eretz Yisrael.
Torah and Torah Values
Children develop immense pride in the Torah and their knowledge of its teachings and traditions, gaining a familiarity with the concept of mitzvot and the weekly Torah portion. Teachers discuss Torah and Torah values, and focus on how our Jewish responsibilities fit into our regular daily activities.
Our Kindergarteners learn about tzedakah, tefillah, respecting the elderly, their responsibility towards pets and animals, respect for books, and Derech Eretz – the proper and refined way of doing things, which includes using proper language – and understand that it is a religious obligation. Students gain an understanding of the different types of Jews around the world, and develop a love for Israel – the people and the land. They discuss family relationships and mutual obligations, learning to ask their loved ones, “How can I help?.” Kindergarteners grow plants, vegetables, and herbs in our GrowTorah garden (link) allowing them to learn about the precious nature of all of God’s creations and creatures and our responsibility to cultivate and protect them.
Each child develops their own positive relationship with prayer. Our teachers encourage our Kindergarteners to feel comfortable in tefillah so that they may use prayer as a means of self-expression to handle fear, sickness, happiness, joy, and gratitude.
In accordance with our commitment to the Torah, we emphasize traditional tefillah. As our children gain a better understanding of each prayer, they learn new tefillot.
Holidays and Shabbat
Jewish holidays and weekly Shabbat celebrations are incorporated into every curriculum area. Through song, dance, art, stories, cooking, and science, we infuse a feeling of joy and love of our Jewish heritage.
Yom Ha’Atzmaut is a focal point of the year and a day full of celebration. Our events include a full day trip to Israel coordinated by all of the Pre-K teachers working together. Each classroom and various areas of the school represent different places in Israel. Student board an EL AL airplane, sing and cheer upon landing and may visit the kotel, shuk, a kibbutz, Eilat, Tel Aviv and more. Strengthening our students’ Jewish identity and love and connection to Israel is critical every step of the way of their NSHA experience.
Kindergarteners prepare to read and write in English and Hebrew!
Reading readiness for Hebrew includes the presence of Hebrew words around the room, and in workbooks, games, and puzzles. Children interact with various forms of media that aid in the recognition of the aleph-bet and basic phonics. They are quickly able to understand class instructions and follow simple directions in Hebrew, and carry on conversations in Hebrew using simple verbs in the appropriate masculine, feminine, singular, and plural forms.
Hebrew reading and writing readiness skills include: letter identification, letter/sound recognition, vowel/sound recognition, sight words, printing letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and writing one’s own name in Hebrew. Hebrew vocabulary covered in kindergarten includes numbers, colors, class objects and equipment, body parts, clothing, weather, foods, family members, religious objects, and objects in our community.
We use the “Migdalor” Hebrew Language program and the “Aleh” BJE Program, as well as the Aleph-Bet Sefer Workbooks for small group learning. The children learn to read and write each Hebrew letter, and learn their corresponding sound, using nikudot, Hebrew vowels.
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