This is a child’s introduction to a classroom setting and enables young toddlers to explore materials in a well-equipped classroom with the comfort and safety of a nearby parent or caregiver. Teachers plan age-appropriate activities including painting, water table play, music, cooking, indoor/outdoor experiences as well as Shabbat and holiday celebrations. This is also an opportunity for parents to get to know one another.
The goal of Temple Sinai's two year old program is to provide a comfortable, trusting, first school experience. Parent/caregiver participation is an essential ingredient and we begin with parents or caregivers in the classroom. In this way, we allow children to make the transition from home and parent to school and teachers with their familiar person available.
Through carefully planned activities, children learn that other adults can care for them and that they can care for themselves. Our small classes and excellent teacher-to-child ratio assist each child/parent "couple" in making this transition at their own pace. We recognize that not every child is ready to separate at the same time.
Children at this age learn through their senses and our 2 year old classrooms provide many opportunities for sensory exploration. Easel painting, water play, digging in sand and play dough are just a few of the daily activities. A typical day of a 2 year old includes exploration, clean up, snack, story time, music/creative movement, an indoor play room or outdoor time. We also offer cooking and baking and weekly Shabbat celebrations. Many 2 year olds begin the prior summer in our camp program.
The major developmental focus of our 3 year old program is socialization. Our nurturing staff and well equipped classrooms provide the ideal setting for exploring relationships, making friends and learning to be part of a group.
In the 3 year old class, children are exposed to age-appropriate art, science, music, movement, language and number experiences. Children are most interested in reading about their own activities and our language program is designed to include their personal experiences. Through dictation, labeling and storytelling, children begin to make the connection between the spoken language and printed word. Mathematical concepts become tangible for 3 year olds as they measure pumpkins, sort buttons, sequence Legos, count the children in their class, count candles on a menorah, search for shapes in their classrooms and set tables for snack. Thematic units revolve around the holidays and changing seasons. Towards the end of the school year, as we observe firsthand the metamorphosis of caterpillars to butterflies, we reflect on the growth and change in the children.
Classes for four and five year olds provide a rich learning environment to enhance the development of reading and math proficiency. Language skills are promoted through activities including dictating experience stories, sequencing story events, labeling and making group charts. Children are exposed to the continuous availability and reading aloud of books. The exploration of patterns (the foundation of all mathematical concepts), measurement, problem-solving and graphing all encourage mathematical thinking. Materials such as Cuisenaire rods, Unifix cubes, tape measures and pattern blocks are used.
In addition to the holidays and changing seasons, various thematic units are introduced which are built upon children's interests and experiences. This provides a concrete basis for their classroom activities. For instance, a unit on the neighborhood includes a walking trip to a local pizza parlor. The integrated curriculum might include dictating the trip experience into a personal class story, making pizza in the classroom, graphing choices of toppings, an art experience, and games, songs and stories.
The culmination is a highlight for our 4 year olds. They are invited back to school one evening for a Pizza/Pajama night. Clad in pajamas, slippers, toting flashlights and their favorite stuffed animals, the children excitedly spend a fun evening in school with their teachers.
Temple Sinai of Bergen CountyOne Engle StreetTenafly, New Jersey 07670 Phone: (201) 568-3035Fax: (201) 568-6095