Language Arts and Reading
Our language arts curriculum provides a literacy-rich environment from the students’ earliest years. The children experience a wide range of instruction and practice in reading, writing, listening, discussing and speaking through various elements of literacy.
First through Fourth graders participate in Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, a curriculum that focuses on cultivating lifelong readers and writers. This child-centered curriculum promotes independent and authentic reading and writing opportunities while actively engaging students and exposing them to a variety of literary genres. Teachers model and provide guided practice of skills and strategies, and give feedback through one-on-one conferences and small group instruction. Each workshop session ends with a sharing of children’s work and learning. Word Study and spelling are also central aspects of our balanced literacy approach.
Our primary school follows the Investigations curriculum, an extensively researched and widely used 21st century mathematics curriculum. This curriculum, based on the Common Core Standards, supports children in developing a strong conceptual foundation and skills based on that foundation. Each unit focuses, in depth, on a content area for students to develop and practice ideas across a variety of activities and contexts that build on each other. The units and mathematical investigations are carefully designed to invite all children into mathematics; to address the learning needs of students with various strengths, needs, and interests.
Our curriculum is designed to:
- Support students to make sense of mathematics and learn that they can be mathematical thinkers
- Focus on computational fluency with whole numbers as a major goal of the primary grades
- Provide substantive work in important areas of mathematics—rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and early algebra—and connections among them
- Emphasize reasoning about mathematical ideas
- Communicate mathematics content and pedagogy to teachers
- Engage the range of learners in understanding mathematics
Science is forever progressing, and here at Hillel Torah, we are progressing with it. Science is not simply about collecting and memorizing facts about the world, but about training our children to think, hypothesize, observe, and experiment. We foster hands-on learning experiences that enable our students to think and act as scientists. Through Hillel Torah’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative, our students learn and synthesize facts and laws and principles that govern our universe, as we prepare them for future scientific studies at Hillel Torah and beyond.
Our social studies learning centers around a core of historical and geographical knowledge, emphasizing children’s place in the world around them and recognizing and appreciating the similarities and differences between people and places. Children actively extend their understanding and knowledge of the world around them and acquire the strategies to become curious, engaged, analytical, and lifelong learners.
Kindergarten through fourth grade classes visit the library weekly in order to learn to appreciate a variety of literature. The children delve into diverse themes through the texts we read together, discover the distinctiveness of different genres, and discuss elements of story, such as character, setting, problems and resolutions. The students explore the styles of age-appropriate authors at every grade level. The library program provides opportunities for the children to learn library and information skills. Mastering these skills enable the students to function in our library—and any library!