Kindergarten

List of 4 items.

  • Hebrew

    The primary goal of the kindergarten Hebrew program is the development of listening and speaking skills through concrete experiences. Lessons are conducted entirely in Hebrew, and students are given time to sort out the language that they hear and understand until they are ready to use it for their own expressive purposes. The topics of each Hebrew unit are drawn from children’s own life experiences, as well as from the themes of the kindergarten curriculum. The objectives are to support the skills the students are working on throughout their day, such as sorting, matching, and sequencing of the learned topics. Throughout the lessons, students interact with a wide variety of age appropriate and authentic Israeli materials from literature, art, and music. Instructional strategies include Total Physical Response (TPR), Language Experience Approach, dramatic and role play, and the use of visuals, songs, games, and rhymes. By the end of the year, students are able to use four hundred Hebrew words actively and have passive comprehension of many more.
  • Torah

    Children begin their exposure to Torah narrative by listening to the stories of the Torah from Creation through entering the Promised Land. The teacher helps children identify lessons and mitzvot from the stories, and develop an understanding that the Torah is meaningful to the Jewish people.
  • Tefillot (Prayer)

    Children experience tefillot as an opportunity for personal expression and for asking questions about God. Tefillot also functions as a tool to build self-esteem, self-discipline and to facilitate a positive social environment. Students develop competence in learning the words and basic meanings of prayers. Prayers taught in kindergarten include: Modeh Ani, Mah Tovu, Shema, Oseh Shalom, and Adon Olam. 
  • Holidays and Shabbat

    Children are introduced to the basic themes, symbols, and traditions of each holiday. Holiday units are interwoven with art, literacy, and math. Children learn Hebrew words associated with the holidays and develop skills in reciting certain blessings. Songs, craft projects, and school-wide celebrations help bring the holidays to life.

    Shabbat is celebrated every week in the classroom with candle-lighting, tzedakah (giving money to charity), Kiddush, and motzi (prayers over grape juice and challah). Children learn the connection between Shabbat and the Creation story, and begin to understand the concept of a day of rest. Once years the entire Kindergarten class is joined by their families, and the students lead the Havdalah service.

1st Grade Judaic Studies

List of 4 items.

  • Hebrew

    Our Hebrew program, Tal Am, is based on the notion that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students use music, games, and visual aids to acquire Hebrew proficiency. By the end of first grade, students should be able to:
    • identify letters and vowels in print and script, and decode words of multiple syllables
    • read and comprehend sentences of up to three words using vocabulary learned in class
    • write sentences of three to four words using various parts of speech
    • begin to follow basic classroom instructions and stories in Hebrew
    • participate orally in classroom conversations with structure and guidance
    The Hebrew program begins shifting some of its focus towards written communication, and the rudiments of reading and writing are taught. Using games, skits, books, stories, songs, puzzles, brainstorming sessions, and worksheets, the children review and continue to build their vocabulary and knowledge of basic grammar, language patterns, and sentence structure. Daily routines and parts of morning the meeting are conducted in Hebrew, as are selected art and math activities.

    Key goals for first grade include understanding and using standard and routine phrases, singular and plural forms, masculine and feminine forms, vocabulary building with particular emphasis on verbs, and reading and writing all letters and vowel sounds.
  • Torah

    Each week the parashah (Torah portion) is discussed in English, focusing on major themes and making them relevant to first graders. Students are exposed to one verse from each parashah in Biblical Hebrew, and take home family activities connected to one idea from each parashah. Particular attention is given to learning Parashat Noah in simple Hebrew.
  • Tefillot (Prayers)

    Tefillot addresses children’s natural curiosity about God and the world. Through activities and discussions, we strive to communicate the meaning of the prayers on a first grade level. Students are given the opportunity to create their own prayers. They begin the year by following tefillot orally, and by the end of the year they are able to read prayers from the siddur. Prayers learned in first grade include Birkot HaShahar, Barechu, blessings surrounding the Shema, and the beginning of the Amidah. A highlight of first grade is the Siddur Ceremony, a milestone event during which students receive their first prayer book.
  • Holidays and Shabbat

    Our study of Jewish holidays fosters Jewish identity by allowing children to explore Jewish traditions using stories, dances, creative arts, and songs. Students become familiar with the meaning and observances of each holiday. Teachers introduce specific Hebrew vocabulary related to the symbols and customs of the holidays. The children learn about Shabbat in Hebrew, with vocabulary related to the Friday night rituals and the concepts of work and rest. We welcome Shabbat each week with a hachanah l’Shabbat celebration which includes singing, dancing, story-telling, and a special Shabbat treat.

2nd Grade Judaic Studies

List of 4 items.

  • Hebrew

    In 2nd grade, students expand their skills in Hebrew reading, comprehension, and oral written expression through songs, games, pantomime, and puzzles. Hebrew language is also learned through the routines of working with the daily calendar and schedule. Grammatical concepts covered include present tense, infinitives, roots, noun-adjective agreement, and subject/verb agreement. Children write on topics such as their families, seasons, and holidays.

    Writing is supported by a focus on learning language patterns that are reinforced through diagrams, movements, readings, exercises, and colorful and accessible reference charts. Group writing is also employed and is additionally used to support phonics and reading skills. Opportunities for writing Hebrew also emerge out of children’s reading experiences, pictures and photographs that are used as writing prompts, and their work in Torah. The handwriting practice they receive enables them to move toward script writing, and they are increasingly asked to spell high-frequency words correctly.
  • Torah

    The goals of our program are to develop a love of Torah study and to relate daily experiences to issues that emerge from the Torah narratives. Second graders learn the first two parashot of Bereshit (Genesis) in Hebrew. Themes discussed include the values of faith in God, generosity, hospitality, justice, compassion, and strong family relationships, as well as the mitzvot of tzedaka. Torah study emphasizes the relationship between God and the Jewish people, as a community and as individuals. Children become increasingly independent in their ability to study the text and use it without having to translate it word-for-word into English. The children learn the new vocabulary lists and engage in comprehension activities that supply necessary information for each verse.

    In addition to understanding the text, children respond to questions that require inference and sensitivity to the nuances of the text, as well as invitations to place themselves in the shoes of the biblical characters. In class discussion, they inquire into philosophical questions, relate the stories to their own lives, and use art, drama, and movement to enhance their learning.
    The grand event of the year is Kabbalat Torah - receiving the bible, which signified the beginning of Torah studies with the actual Hebrew text.
  • Tefillot (Prayers)

    We aim to provide students with the language and opportunity to express their spiritual needs and relationship to God. Children learn to recite and understand selected prayers and to develop kavannah–a connection to the spirit of the prayer experience. Second graders assume greater independence as hazzanim - prayer leaders and enrich their repertoire of prayers with additions such as the blessings before and after the Shema as well as the Gevurot blessings of the Amidah.
  • Holidays and Shabbat

    Second graders learn history, mitzvot, and customs in order to strengthen their sense of Jewish identity and solidify their understanding that they have a vital place in the chain of Jewish tradition. Preparations for holidays and Shabbat include hands-on activities involving all of the senses, as well as stories, songs, prayers, and blessings. Every Friday we celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat, welcoming Shabbat, closing our week as a classroom community.

3rd Grade Judaic Studies

List of 4 items.

  • Hebrew

    Third graders develop increased comfort expressing themselves verbally and in writing. They read and comprehend texts in present and past tense using strategies for figuring out the meaning of new words. They apply grammar concepts learned in class as they write paragraphs, poems, and dialogues. They express ideas and opinions in group discussions and ask questions to clarify content and meaning. Our program includes Haverim B’Ivrit, a series of books oriented to the daily life and concerns of Jewish children of this age, as well as stories from a variety of sources. Our Hebrew language program is an integral part of the curriculum. Hebrew is a key that opens the doors of Jewish learning and connects us with Jews past and present.

    It is both the language of classical Jewish texts, from the Tanakh (Bible) to the Siddur (prayer book) and the modern, living language that unites us with Israel. We seek to have our students develop proficiency in reading, speaking, and understanding both written and oral Hebrew, as well as some ability in writing. Our Hebrew program is taught through the immersion process (ivrit b'ivrit) wherein the teacher speaks in Hebrew and the goal is for students to do the same. The ability to speak Hebrew with confidence will enable our students and graduates to feel at home in Israel and to communicate with Jews around the world. In third grade, students are introduced to a new Hebrew program called Haverim B’Ivrit. This program uses stories that students can relate to and places an emphasis on everyday conversational Hebrew used in Israel.
  • Torah

    Third graders begin to acquire text skills that enable them to study Torah in the original language. We expose students to the original Biblical text to build their familiarity with its structure. Each week we choose themes from the weekly Torah portion – including family relationships, justice, reconciliation, and relationship with God – to explore with the children in depth. The milestone event for this grade is the Tanakh celebration held in the spring. They learn the organization of the Torah, Books, Chapter, and Verses. Beginning with the story of God’s command to Avram to leave his homeland, the children learn about the major episodes of Avraham’s life. The children study Avraham to see the personal and religious qualities he possessed. By learning that he was the first Jew and the beginning of our people, of our people’s relationship with God, and our role as a Chosen People. The focus of the school year is the lives and events of the Avot and Emahot (Forefathers and Foremothers). The children study the travels of the Avot. There is a connection made between the lives of the Avot and our connection to the Land of Israel and to the Jewish people as a whole. As the children study each of the three Avot, they come to appreciate the nature of the religious quest.
  • Tefillot (Prayers)

    Our program strives to help students connect their prayers to their day-to-day experiences and feelings, while building fluency and comprehension of the meaning of the prayers. In Grade 3, the focus is on the weekday blessings within the Shema. Students learn to identify and comprehend key words that reveal the central meaning of each blessing and to recite prayers with fluency and accuracy. Appropriate blessings are taught in connection with daily practice and holiday observances. A brief tefillah is incorporated in the morning routine of General Studies classes.
  • Holidays and Shabbat

    Students learn about the origins and background of the holidays, and practice skills related to holiday customs and mitzvot. Third graders’ understanding of the lessons of the holidays and the connections between these lessons and their lives deepen as they experience the cycle of the Jewish calendar. As the year progresses, Hebrew becomes the primary language of instruction for the holidays.

4th Grade Judaic Studies

List of 4 items.

  • Torah

    Students in this grade use Torah text and the textbooks produced by the MaToK Program, the joint Torah Curriculum Development Project of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Department of Education and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Melton Research Center. The program aims to instill in children the view that the Bible is a text different in kind, and not only in degree, from every other type of text. It is a sacred text which they are encountering, and, hence, the approach they take to reading it is deeper, more inquiring, and more reverent than the way they read other books. From the beginning of their Biblical studies, students are engaged in the making of meaning through the interpretation of Biblical texts. Students study major narratives in the book of Bereshit (Genesis) in fourth grade.
  • Hebrew

    We seek to have our students develop proficiency in reading, speaking, and understanding both written and oral Hebrew, as well as some ability in writing. Our Hebrew program is taught through the immersion process (ivrit b'ivrit) wherein the teacher speaks in Hebrew and the goal is for students to do the same. Students in 4th Grade continue to strengthen their understanding of the Hebrew language through listening, speaking, reading, writing and building vocabulary. Students continue to learn principles of Hebrew grammar, strengthening their grasp of the past tense as they are introduced to the future tense. In the fourth grade, students will also be using Haverim B’Ivrit. Other curricular materials may be used based on student needs. Students will be grouped based on their Hebrew knowledge.
  • Tefillot (Prayers)

    Tefillah links Jews from the past to the present. Students participate in prayer services on a daily basis. During this time, students learn both the kevah (fixed words and times) and kavannah (meaning and intention) of the prayers for the weekday and Shabbat service. Every Friday afternoon, students participate in a class Kabbalat Shabbat service to anticipate the arrival of Shabbat.
  • Jewish Holidays

    Through the weekly and monthly life of the school, the children see Shabbat and the Jewish holidays as special moments for Jewish celebration. Connections are made between the mitzvot of the Torah, our Jewish life in school, and our lives as Jews at home and in the wider world. Since the holidays are annual celebrations, the classes review and include the learning from previous years.

    All children in the school learn about the State of Israel, focusing primarily on modern-day Israel Through our annual celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), the children learn about the geography of Israel and it major cities. Finally, the children regularly engage in projects fostering their connection to the State of Israel and our responsibility to Israeli Jews. These projects range from letter writing to tzedakah projects.

5th Grade Judaic Studies

List of 7 items.

  • Overview

    We look to our fifth graders becoming student leaders of their school community as well as serving as a “Dugma Ishit” – a personal example – to younger children. The year is marked by mastery of basic Jewish literacy skills and widening perspectives beginning with the study of Sefer Shemot, with its emphasis on the nation of Israel, rather than on the familial accounts of Bereishit. The students are introduced to a wider forum for the realization of Jewish values. Emergent Hebrew language fluency and strong text skills are also features of the year. Finally, with the acquisition of Torah reading skills, fifth graders are expected to assume leadership roles in Jewish ritual life. This is a year filled with affirmations and growth, as students prepare for the transition to middle school.
  • Hebrew Language

    The fifth grade curriculum provides opportunities for practicing directed, creative and generative thinking, as well as reflective exploration of the thinking processes (metacognition). Hebrew language instruction is taught using a multi modal approach, creating a visual and oral Hebrew environment in the classroom, which is comprised of interactive posters, music, library books, games, and mediums for dramatization and activity. Hebrew language is featured throughout the school by means of posters, signs, samples of children’s writing, and the modeling of adults using spoken Hebrew.  This program focuses on skills needed to transfer and apply learning in new contexts and situations. The program is child-centered with special attention to the beyond-the-classroom interests and needs of students, and develops active language production in children. Multiple genres are used, including stories, conversations, poems, songs, albums, and journals. Age appropriate stories take into account Jewish identity development and Jewish tradition, and the program as a whole treats Hebrew as a living language.
  • Shabbat and Holidays

    In the fifth grade the students learn to underlay the themes and tsources of Jewish holidays and modern Jewish celebrations, such as, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. They also establish knowledge of textual, agricultural and spiritual roots of the Jewish yearly cycle. An appreciation for Shabbat and Chagim, as opportunities for reflection, community and personal renewal is also cultivated. A leading role in home and synagogue ritual life is also encouraged. 
  • Tefillah Skills

    The students learn to Daven with havanah (understanding) and kavanah (intention), demonstrate the ability to lead Shabbat and Hol Shaharit, learn Torah trope and present an aliyah and take part in and lead a Torah service
  • Jewish Values and Jewish Community

    The ability to demonstrate familiarity with a wide lexicon of Jewish values/concepts such as Derech Eretz, Gemilut Hasadim and Lashon Hara will be accomplished in the 5th grade.  A demonstration of familiarity with advanced Kashrut issues will be attained. Being a positive example for younger peers and acting as leaders in the school community will also be taught. An appreciation for the bond between the world, the American Jewish community and the modern State of Israel is focused on throughout this grade. The responsibility of every Jew to support Israel is something that is continually instilled.
  • Torah Study

    In the fifth grade an understanding relating to the experience of Talmud Torah, studying of the Torah with more depth, inquiry and reverence than in any other area of study is achieved. The students are taught to view the Torah as the source of personal meaning and guide in ethical and spiritual life, as well as accessing the meanings through Talmud Torah.

    The ability to acquire a refined appreciation for the subtleties and nuances of the texts as gateways is accomplished. The students are able to read texts from Sefer Shmot (Exodus) and gain an understanding of the subjects, discuss the ideas, characters, events and themes of the narrative. Lastly, regarding the critical thinking skills in reading Torah text, the students are shown how to apply the text, including comparison and creating /testing hypotheses.
  • Jewish History

    The 5th grade students learn about their Jewish history through reading two different historical junior fictions. They are then engaged in follow- up activities that analyze their reading and the historical events that emerged from the book.

Why Bilingual Education?

List of 3 items.

A Sinai Temple School
A member of the Schechter
Day School Network
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