Today is February 16, 2019 -
General Curriculum Overview
We believe that children learn through play, through active exploration of materials, the environment, and experiences with other children and skilled, caring teachers. Through their experiences, children construct knowledge about the world. Our methods encourage hands-on experiential learning and problem solving rather than rote instruction and memorization. In developing curriculum at the Conservative Synagogue our teachers our guided by the State of Connecticut Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS). The goals and objectives within these programs guide the teachers’ ongoing assessment of children. These goals and objectives help us define what young children should know, understand and be able to do. They also inform our decisions about what, how and when to teach young children the skills and knowledge they need for success in school and in life. Additionally the curriculum guidelines outlined above allow for adaptations and modifications that ensure access to the curriculum for all children. We are committed to Developmentally Appropriate Practice as defined by NAEYC.
In addition to the guidelines and frameworks mentioned above, our curriculum decisions are also guided by the children’s natural interests, life experiences, and the cycle of the Jewish calendar. Academic content areas such as math, language and literacy, science, and social studies are embedded in the children’s play and daily activities. Teachers utilize their observations to understand individual needs, strengths and interest. When there is a demonstrated interest in a particular topic either through teacher provocation or observations through play, teachers plan “investigations” also known as The Project Approach. This is an in-depth study that could last several weeks or several months based on the level of interest demonstrated by the children. The daily schedule provides a balance between large and small group activities along with active and quiet activities. All of our classrooms have a quiet “get-away space” for children who need time away from the group.
The Judaic curriculum is carefully woven in to the fabric of daily preschool life in an authentic and developmentally appropriate way. Children in our program delight in the sensory experiences that come with celebrating Jewish life, whether we are baking challah, smelling latkes, counting the candles in a Hanukkah menorah or celebrating Shabbat each week with Rabbi Wiederhorn and Cantor Cattan. Throughout the year, each child has an opportunity to invite his/her family to join in the school and classroom celebration of Shabbat. There are many other opportunities for families to come and celebrate holidays including Purim, Hanukkah and Passover. Our children develop strong connections to Israel through relationships with our young Israeli emissaries.
The Connecticut Preschool Framework is used through observation to authentically and meaningfully assess each child’s progress. This information is shared with parents throughout the year.