One hardly thinks of Gan (kindergarten) children as citizens of the world, however at SSA, woven into the tapestry of skills such as reading, writing, math, art, music, movement and playacting, there is an awareness of others. Letters of the alphabet soon transform into letters to people – friends and family.
“The Kindergarten classroom is an exciting, happy place to visit. The students are busy with their work: reading, writing, role playing and problem solving. With the children’s ever-increasing sight vocabulary, sentences they write continue to develop from simple subjects and verbs to colorful ones that include prepositions and modifiers. Smiles of pride beam from their faces as they read their writings to visitors or send letters off in the mail to family members and friends. A truly happy time in the classroom is when a letter is received in return!” -- Sally Ravenelle, kindergarten teacher
Language acquisition does not stop at a child's "mother tongue." Hebrew is integrated throughout the curriculum, and comprehensible input is key to its success. There is plenty of reinforcement in the creative projects and activities of the Judaic staff. For example, the word in Hebrew is parpar; in Spanish, mariposa; in English, butterfly, but at SSA that translates to "Monarch Madness," as Grade 1 students' imaginations take flight with the release of their newly emerged Monarch butterflies.
The project is integrated across the curriculum and coordinated with an international conservation exchange program.
"The whole point is to excite the children about what they are studying. When they are actively engaged in observing, manipulating, recording, and creating, they are much more likely to remember, assimilate, and expand their knowledge. I want this excitement to carry through for a lifetime!" – Judy Spitz, grade 1 teacher