Kindergarten at OHDS introduces young children to the world of school, integrating art, music, movement, dramatic play and hands-on exploration to build a foundation for Torah learning, language development, and mathematical and scientific thinking. The daily social experience, both within and outside of the classroom, brings frequent opportunities for students to learn to communicate, solve problems and build responsibility and independence.
From the first day of kindergarten, children learn to identify with their rich Judaic culture and heritage and to feel a sense of gratitude and awe for the wonders of creation. Understanding that every day is a gift from G-d, the students celebrate Jewish experiences using all of their senses and tapping into their natural curiosity and creativity. Kindergarteners experience the stories of the Torah in a personal way, not only discussing the stories, but expressing their understanding through art, movement and play. Through comprehensive exposure to the aleph bet, vocabulary, stories and songs, our kindergartners become prepared for the joys of reading, writing and speaking in Hebrew.
As young scientists, kindergartners learn to slow down and take time to quietly observe the uniqueness of the plants, animals and insects in their environment. Drawing becomes a tremendous tool for our budding naturalist to notice subtle patterns, colors and shapes that make each creation unique. As mathematicians, kindergartners notice patterns everywhere, from the visual to the musical to the abstract patterns of our number system, learning to repeat, predict and create their own as they build a solid understanding of our base ten system. As young readers, students delight in the joys of literacy, from enchanting read-aloud chapter books to browsing the pages of a beautiful picture book during library time. Kindergartners are given the space to develop at their own pace, learning letters and sounds through chants and games, and delving into whatever level of reading and writing they are ready for.
General Studies Curriculum Overview
English Language Arts
Through songs, stories, hands-on centers activities, writing and discussion, students:
- Engage with the world of books, poems, and songs with joy and excitement
- Demonstrate mastery of all sounds and letters
- Begin decoding consonant-vowel-consonant words, “magic e” words and recognize kindergarten sight words
- Read pre-primer books with understanding
- Ask and answer questions about main ideas and details related to a read-aloud text
- Respond to open-ended interpretive questions about a read-aloud text and give evidence from the text
- Write all capital and lower case letters.
- Use inventive spelling to write words
- Write simple descriptive sentences describing personal experiences and observations
- Write and illustrate stories
- Engage in the complete writing process including planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing
Using a hands-on, place value-centered curriculum, students:
- Explore the world of numbers with curiosity and perseverance
- Know number names and the counting sequence
- Count to tell the number of objects
- Compare numbers
- Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from
- Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value
- Describe and compare measurable attributes
- Classify objects and count the number of objects in categories (beginning graphing)
- Identify and describe shapes
- Analyze, compare, create and compose shapes
- Identify and continue patterns
Through outdoor experiences, field trips, reading, discussion and art integration, students:
- Build scientific information and thinking skills through the exploration of nature
- Learn about butterflies, owls, oak trees, compost, turkey vultures, raccoons and more
- Spend time outside, seeing, touching, smelling, hearing and feeling connected to the outdoors
- Name and describe common mammals, insects and plants of the local coastal woodland habitat
- Closely observe nature by noticing, articulating and representing differences and similarities – for example, using words and pictures to describe similarities and differences between two oak trees or noticing how hummingbird wings differ from turkey vulture wings
Through songs, stories, art and experiential learning, students:
- Learn about our world with respect and thoughtfulness
- Describe and explain the importance of key American symbols and celebrations
- Sing traditional American songs
- Learn about the relationship between the Wampanoag tribe and the Mayflower pilgrims
- Participate in classroom community through sharing and rotating class chores
Judaic Studies Curriculum Overview
- Students are progressively immersed in a Hebrew environment and become increasingly familiar with everyday words and routine expressions used in the classroom.
- Students are introduced to the aleph-bet and by the end of the year are able to read short two and three letter words.
- Students learn to recognize basic everyday vocabulary words, including colors, clothing, classroom materials, food and numbers.
- Students lead calendar, applying the Hebrew words they accumulate to describe the weather, identify the month and the day of the week.
- Students learn relevant Holiday vocabulary incrementally, as the year progresses.
Jewish Studies (Limudei Kodesh)
This is the entry point for students’ internalizing and understanding of where they come from. Through storytelling, play-acting, puppetry, cooking, singing and discussions, students learn about Shabbat, its meanings and blessings; they bake Challot and prepare levivot (latkes); they create a Bereshit book and learn about Safrut; and students contribute to Tzedakah and understand the meaning of Derekh Eretz.
Torah Study (Limud Torah)
- Students examine the physical and spiritual trajectories taken by our forefathers and foremothers in the study of Parashat HaShavuah (weekly Torah portion).
- Students develop empathy towards the dilemmas faced by the personalities they meet in the pages of the Chumash.
- Students discuss the experiences lived by their ancestors.
- Students connect the study of Torah to their everyday lives.
Prayer and Blessings (Tefillot u’Brachot)
- Students recite the blessings over different food categories and after meals (Birkat HaMazon).
- Students lead their class in the introductory morning prayers (Shacharit).
- Students cultivate an intrinsic understanding of the meaning of Derekh Eretz Kadma LaTorah.
- Students improve their behavior vis-à-vis each other through ongoing reflection of VeAhavta Le’Re’echa Kamocha.
- Students reflect on their behavior and how it affects others.
- Students learn about symbols of Medinat Israel – the Degel (flag), the Semel (emblem) and the anthem (Hatikvah), through hands on activities and art.
- Students develop an understanding of the connection between Israel and the Jewish People through stories and celebrations.