Curriculum Overview
 
Curriculum Overview
 
First grade, our children’s first exposure to formal learning, is much more than learning to read and write in Hebrew and English, although those are among the key elements. Learning to listen, speak and write in both languages are critical skills for future success as well. Good work habits in the classroom and at home aid a child in becoming a responsible, diligent learner and foster critical thinking skills as he/she progresses from grade to grade. The highlight of  first grade is the Chagigat Siddur, the celebration were each child is given his/her own siddur, marking the beginning of reading and chanting teffillot from a real siddur. In Torah Studies, in addition to Lashon, parashat hashavua and dinim are taught. In General Studies, students begin their formal education in writing, language arts, math, science and social studies, which are main subjects taught in each grade throughout the Yeshivah.
 
Second grade begins the formal study of Torah, the highlight being Chagigat Chumash. In a beautiful class program, each child is called up to receive his/her first Chumash Bereshit, symbolically continuing the tradition of Torah learning handed down from Moshe Rabeinu to each generation. We begin Chumash with Parshat Lech Lecha in Biblical Hebrew. The first two parshiot of Bereshiet and Noach are taught as stories in regular modern Hebrew at the beginning of the year. General Studies continues to emphasize basic skills in the core subjects of writing, language arts, math, science and social studies which includes current events. 
 
Third grade begins to learn Rashi reading/writing in their Chumash lessons. Formal computer lessons begin in Hebrew. 
 
Fourth grade classes implement a unique interactive Chumash and Navi curriculum designed by our faculty using the SmartBoard as a teaching tool. They complete the study of Chumash Bereshit as well as the book of Yehoshua in Navi. 
 
Fifth grade, the final grade of Lower Division, students begin the study of the book of Shmot in Chumash as well as the book of Shoftim. They make their own shofarot at the start of the year at the Shofar Factory Program, and participate in the annual fifth grade Melave Malka marking the beginning of the end of lower division. Prizes for Derech Eretz and Midot Tovot are awarded at this time. 
 
 
Writing
 
Educational authorities recognize the importance of writing as a teaching tool for students and the vast benefits of being a good writer. Writing is not only the key to success in school but in life as well. As such Lower Division has implemented Writing Fundamentals. 
 
Writing Fundamentals immerses children in literature. By learning how writers write, children become better writers. Class units focus on books of a theme – personal narrative, for example, an author study, letter writing or non-fiction. By paying attention to where words appear on a page, what illustrations are used, or how a book is organized, students understand how an author thinks. Their creative energy is encouraged by minimal correction on their written work, but in mini workshops students practice the more technical writing skills that they will eventually master. A professional developer from Writing Fundamentals is regularly in our school, giving sample lessons in classes and working with our teachers on innovative methodology. 
 
Math
 
Lower Division Singapore Math Program teaches children to learn and think concretely, first, using manipulative materials, then conceptually, and finally abstractly. Students progress well in homogeneous streaming groups, and take advantage of the website “ThinkCentral” for reinforcement, use of virtual manipulatives, and exciting interactive whiteboard lessons. Developing a math vocabulary, writing math journals, and using the “close” method of reading to solve problems are just a few of our innovations. Children read a problem, reword it, analyze what is needed to solve it, and explain in writing, how they arrived at their answer. Co-curricular activities for math enrichment are a fifth grade math bee and the challenging Math League contests for our fourth and fifth graders.