Kindergarten: the adventure begins
Young children's early school experiences have a great impact on their future learning.
The goal of our kindergarten program is to instill in our new learners a love of learning and prepare them for their future school experiences. At Weizmann, we strive to make kindergarten, and children’s attitudes about school, positive and memorable.
Our kindergarten specialists tap into children's natural curiosity, providing engaging learning opportunities, and recognizing every child's unique character and abilities. A multisensory phonics program, reading and writing workshop, hands on math, dramatic play, cooking, and crafts are just some of our teaching tools.
We emphasize reading readiness, beginning writing, number sense, verbal communication, and firsthand active experiences.
All areas of development -- intellectual, social, physical and emotional -- are stressed.
Our morning begins with Morning Meeting, a time where the children gather together and greet each other by name, followed by an opportunity for the kindergarteners to share important goings ons in their lives and participate in conversations with their classmates.
For all academic areas, we follow the California State Standards.
In language arts our kindergarteners are encouraged to think of themselves as readers and writers from day one. Reading pictures, reading words, retelling stories, are all ways kindergarteners interact with books during independent, small group and partner reading times of the reading workshop. Read alouds are a favorite part of the day.
Kindergarteners start writing on day one in writing workshop, filling pages full of descriptive pictures and gradually starting to add letters, words and then sentences as they grow into independent writers.
In mathematics, students are exposed to basic concepts and skills including patterning, classifying, sorting, graphing, ordering of numbers, problem solving, writing numerical symbols and place values.
Kindergarteners begin the study of social studies by sharing and exploring the experiences they bring to school from their own families and communities. Students delve into the meaning of good citizenship, national symbols, work now and long ago, geography, time and chronology, and life in the past. Primary sources, picture books, videos, activities and class discussions are all part of the kindergarten social studies curriculum.
In science, students learn about forces and motion, energy and the sun, weather and Earth’s systems, Earth and human activity, and the needs of plants and animals, through exploration and hands-on activities. Kindergarteners learn the scientific method through participation in classroom science experiments.
Hebrew language instruction is introduced to the children through an immersion approach using songs and characters.
The students begin their Jewish studies with celebrations of Shabbat and Jewish holidays with their Big Buddies and the recounting of bible stories and prayers.
In P.E., kindergarteners learn about three fundamental body movement skills, which are locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative. Fundamental body movements are things such as running, jumping, and throwing a ball. Studies show that the younger a child masters fundamental movements, the more likely that child will be able to maintain an active lifestyle as an adult.
One of our most meaningful traditions is the relationship between the Kindergarten and our older Buddies. As they celebrate Shabbat, read together, and engage in STEAM activities, the younger children encourage empathy in their older friends, while the older students are inspired to provide positive role models for the kindergarteners.