Each day provides opportunities for the children to explore their world and to construct understandings. Activities strike a balance between free play and structured learning, individual and group activities, and indoor and outdoor time. We will journey through our year together, sharing stories, music, artistic expression, discovery, and physical activities. Learning is structured to provide the child opportunities to learn and grow cognitively, socio-emotionally, and in mastery of physical skills.
Movement is critical to the myelination of the brain, which promotes the development of sensory, motor, and cognitive functions required for academic readiness. Movement is also tied to social-emotional health, as it is through movement that children find themselves in space and learn to relate with those around them. In Bridge K, the children have plenty of time to explore fine and gross motor movements, both during circle time and in their outdoor play.
Our classroom features open-ended materials such as costumes and a variety of household and natural items, which encourage children to bring the objects to life with their own imagination. This free imaginative play offers children an opportunity to imitate and transform activities of daily life, and to practice social skills, creative thinking and problem-solving.
We build a rich foundation for literacy in English and Hebrew by singing songs and telling stories full of the beauty of language. Through repetitive exposure to language, children build brain pathways for phonological awareness, concentration, and memory. We prepare children for writing through activities that build fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, such as crayon drawing, watercolor painting, finger knitting, and beeswax modeling.
Math and Science
Early experiences in math and science come through concrete daily tasks and inquiry following the child’s own curiosity. Students engage in observation of nature, experimentation and record-keeping, cooking, gardening, and sorting/classifying/ordering play objects. The children are encouraged to build on their current understandings, finding out how things work and asking questions that guide future exploration.
Our tradition teaches that each human being is unique and special. One of the developmental tasks of children of this age is to recognize the needs and value of others. Throughout the year we will work to develop ‘menchlecheit’--knowing how to be a good person. We’ll learn why we should be kind to our classmates, and how to respect the needs of others as well as our own. Students will learn about the tradition of honoring our parents and also how we should treat our pets at home. We will look at the world around us and discover how we can contribute to make it a better place.
Every Jewish person has a special relationship with G-d. It is through prayer that we reach out and feel the divine presence. Our tradition provides us with beautiful prayer language and melodies to help us make this connection. There are also many modern prayer melodies. Through example, repetition, and joyful experience we will explore the world of Jewish prayer together. Students will learn key prayer words and phrases and will be supported in personal faith development.
Holidays and celebrations
The Jewish year provides time for thinking and time for gladness. Students will experience Jewish practices for each holiday and learn the basic theme behind each. We will celebrate our heritage together with traditional foods, crafts, and music. Students will also learn about the ritual objects and traditions associated with each holiday.
Students will become familiar with key words in Hebrew through auditory, visual, and kinesthetic experiences. We will speak together and practice Hebrew conversation, sing together to build our knowledge, and use our bodies to learn vocabulary through movement. Students will be familiar with basic Hebrew terms for holiday objects, parts of the body, colors, and the names for animals.
Our class is a model of community in which the students develop caring and respectful relationships with each other and the teachers. Students will gain an understanding of how to listen to each other, how to share materials, and how to help mend hurt feeling after a disagreement. These discussions will be framed in Jewish context through text and the words of our sages.