Our comprehensive and developmentally appropriate program is designed to promote each child's creative, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.
The curriculum is a combination of thoughtful planning on the part of the teachers, and emergent interests on the part of the children! Children can choose daily from learning centers which most interest them, including blocks, art, sensory areas, dramatic play, books, manipulatives and scientific discovery. These centers allow the children to make choices and to actively explore and discover.
The daily schedule is planned to include active and quiet times, gross and fine motor activities and child-initiated as well as staff-initiated activities. Outdoor and indoor play is scheduled each day. Children's interests are explored through inquiry, reflection, documentation, and extension.
Assessment is also an important part of our program. A portfolio for each child contains developmental checklists, work samples and anecdotal records. Our goal is that all children reach their individual potential.
We promote the development of self-motivation and active investigational skills through questioning, exploring and observing, and the thinking and problem solving abilities needed to thrive in a world of challenge and competition. Children are surrounded with books, literacy experiences and a print-rich environment to prepare them for pre-reading and the reading that follows.
Each child is encouraged to work and play with others, to develop language and communication skills, to respect the rights and privacy of their peers and most of all to develop feelings of empathy, kindness, courtesy, helpfulness and acceptance.
Children are provided constant opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills, to develop finger strength and dexterity, and eye-hand and body coordination. And, Morah Rivka plays the accordion and keyboard, so there's always lots of Music & Movement at the school.
Children are encouraged to develop a positive self-concept, to understand the difference between right and wrong and to develop responsibility. They are encouraged to recognize that people are different and to be accepting of others. Respectful Conflict Resolution techniques are used throughout our preschool throughout the day. Children are given the skills to peacefully discuss and resolve issues in a productive, purposeful way that respects all the parties involved. Conflict resolution helps children learn and practice appropriate ways to respond to others and to express their feelings constructively.
INTEGRATING TRADITION, JEWISH PRIDE, AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORY
Lesson planning at Gan Israel Preschool reflects events and influences that are important to the children. Weather changes, special animal habits, national celebrations and holiday seasons all determine what will be brought into the classroom at any particular time of year. All these are woven into the general curriculum to allow the children to learn from what is going on around them.
In addition to this, curriculum is also emergent, meaning the teachers take special note of what the children are interested in. Emergent curriculum describes the kind of curriculum that develops when exploring what is "socially relevant, intellectually engaging, and personally meaningful to children."
Children are encouraged to further explore their ideas, test their theories, and construct their own knowledge.