Our program is designed to foster children’s learning guided by the Jewish values of:
Social and Environmental Justice
Our Preschool follows a play-based/constructivist approach. The constructivist approach views children as active participants in their own learning. Education is then much more than rote memorization; instead, it is integrating and assimilating knowledge to be further used and explored. Constructivist strategies seek to ignite a child’s curiosity and love of learning. The emphasis is on the “whole child.”
The Temple Solel ECC provides an inclusive nurturing environment where children feel safe to try new things, discover their own potential, and explore decision-making and problem solving. Our child centered, play based program places equal emphasis upon cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
The curriculum is based on the understanding that children learn best by doing. The Talmud tells us that, “Only the lesson which is enjoyed, can be well learned.” Playing is how children learn. During their time here, we engage students’ senses to stimulate creative learning through touching, listening, smelling, looking, tasting, and feeling. Young children learn when they are active. Engaging hands –on-activities that excite and evoke questions, stimulate their intellectual curiosity and help them to become independent thinkers and problem solvers.
Our educational environment incorporates the above mentioned Jewish values, as well as Jewish beliefs and integrates these with secular content during the course of each day. Our Rabbis and Cantor are actively involved in our holiday celebrations with our children.
Our goal is to begin a lifelong process of Judaic learning and enrichment for our students.
Our programs include:
This program is built upon themed units to so as to engage and expose young children to a progression of learning. Our highly trained and experienced teachers customize the curriculum to meet the diverse interests and needs of each group of children. Age appropriate activities and materials are offered daily that allow children the ability to master important learning concepts. Through warm and nurturing encouragement, we help children build their self-confidence and self-help skills. The classroom environment focuses on building cognitive, emotional, social and physical skills. Opportunities are provided for each child to express him or herself creatively everyday through music, arts, dance and drama. Children do not need to be using a toilet and may attend school 2,3 or 5 days a week.
As our preschoolers progress through our program they gain more self-esteem and confidence as they attempt new challenges and skills. This class enhances that confidence by providing daily activities to help children become problem solvers and develop a love of learning. Through both independent and group exploration, structured and non-structured activities and hands on learning, children develop a variety of skills and knowledge in areas like early literacy, mathematics, science, and social skills. We provide numerous opportunities to problem solve and investigate and give many choices to participate in activities that interest and challenge. Throughout the day children are given the opportunity to express themselves through art, dictation, storytelling, dance, drama and independent thinking and expression. At this age the basics of shape making to prepare students for our handwriting program are introduced is first introduced. We also start to introduce letters and letter sounds in a fun and engaging way.
Our Pre-K program focuses on activities and lessons that help prepare your child for kindergarten and future school success. Focus on fine motor skills, phonics, social and emotional development are at the core of the curriculum. The children in Pre-K are exposed to journal writing (or drawing) to further develop their fine motor skills and the Hand Writing Without Tears curriculum as they advance in learning to write. We prepare your child to reason and analyze using different materials and create opportunities to ask and answer open ended questions, experiment with spatial relationships and promote an understanding of sequencing. We incorporate character building activities specifically designed to help children identify emotions, have group discussions, practice sharing ideas, thoughts and feelings. These activities provide multiple opportunities to cooperate, negotiate, problem solve and make independent choices.
Designed using the California mandated core-curriculum, teacher-directed lessons and child inspired projects balance the core subjects of language arts, math, science and social skills with other important life skills such as inquiry, creativity, confidence, critical thinking, risk-taking and self-discovery. Direct instruction of core subjects is balanced with unstructured playtimes in order to construct a developmentally appropriate Five Year Olds program.
We recognize that each child enters the Five Year Olds program at their own place along the developmental continuum. Through a variety of small group instruction times and individual assessments, we are able to meet each child where s/he is, and then nurture and support them as they move forward on their educational experience.
Each week, core curricular components are incorporated into the day; including social-emotional, language arts, handwriting, mathematical, and scientific concepts. During the Five Year Old afternoons, children make choices to play and work in many areas within the classroom. These areas are designed to be open-ended and promote a platform for imaginative play and discovery.
We also know that the outdoors is vital for healthy development, so children are offered time to play outside on a daily basis. Themes and projects, which are ever evolving and changing develop and grow from the interests of students and teachers. These projects and themes integrate math, science, art and language arts, allowing the children to learn while engaged in compelling activities that are interesting and exciting to them.
Cooperation, collaboration, leadership, responsibility among other skills are developed and fostered throughout the year. It is our hope to nurture and inspire self-confidence. We want each child to take responsibility in his or her own learning. And we seek to empower children to understand their place in our class as well as in our school community. Our Five Year Olds program is five days a week for full days.