- Building Lifelong Learners
- Literacy: Readers and Writers Workshop
- Hebrew Immersion
- Mishna Studies
- Torah Beyond the Classroom
- Parashat Hashavua
- Resource Room
Building Lifelong Learners
In elementary school we seek to develop the intellectual, social, and physical potential of each student in a nurturing learning environment. To ensure that all students become strong, successful thought and action leaders, they need to master the essential components of the curriculum, acquire knowledge, and develop skills consistent with 21st century learning and beyond.
The elementary school's mathematics program is rich, alive, and rigorous. Teachers have many tools at their disposal to reach every young mathematician in the classroom, including SmartBoards and an innovative and highly effective curriculum: the Morris Grunstein Singapore Math Program. From first grade, students build a critical conceptual foundation in mathematics. Whenever possible, math is learned and practiced across the curriculum. Using Singapore Math approaches, each concept is taught to establish mastery, enabling Hillel students to think more deeply and connect their learning more richly to other content areas.
Hillel uses an inquiry/project-based approach to learning science. Using a variety of tools and programs, students are able to experiment, build, hypothesize, test, and collaborate with one another in class. True to its mission, Hillel prepares all students to be stewards of the earth. Sustainability principles are routinely explored and practiced both on and off-campus, whether children are recycling paper goods in the art room or just going on a hike.
Using Lucy Caulkins's Readers and Writers Workshop from Columbia University Teachers' College, teachers focus language arts classes on promoting high literacy skills that will last a lifetime. Students are exposed to a variety of literature using many exciting approaches such as read-alouds, literature circles, weekly visits to the school's library, author studies, and writing celebrations. Critical skills include fluency, comprehension, and analysis. At all times, emphasis is placed upon developing critical thinking skills through effective written and oral communication.
Writing workshops are found in every elementary school classroom. Students most often write about personal experiences, and are also assigned to write about literature or poetry.
The Ivrit immersion program is driven by the belief that mastery of Hebrew promotes students’ understanding of their history, culture, and tradition. It also excites them about lifelong Jewish learning, fosters a sense of belonging to the Jewish people and cultivates strong ties with Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel) and Am Yisrael (the Jewish people). We seek to create a community of Hebrew speakers who can participate in a casual or sophisticated discussion in Hebrew or read an article in an Israeli newspaper using a critical lens.
iTaLAM is a new web-based adaptive program based on the TaL AM curriculum. The iTaLAM program uses a "blended learning" model, which draws on the TaL AM Hebrew literacy and Jewish Heritage curriculum. iTaLAM has updated the curriculum to harness the benefits of technology and to facilitate adaptive and personalized learning.
Our students will be able to experience learning activities in a multimedia environment using games, animated stories, and songs, making the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
Chaverim B’Ivrit חברים בעברית series is a new approach to acquire Hebrew language as a second language for students in elementary school.
It is based on acquisition of new communicative competence and focuses on three aspects:
- The psycholinguistic: the information that accumulates by acquiring a second language and cognitive processes involved in language learning
- The educational aspect: focus on the learner and the learning process
- The social/cultural aspect: relevant to the cultural background of the Jewish students
The Ivrit department uses the frameworks for learning, teaching, and assessing foreign language skills named the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines. Students are assessed through the “Avant Assessment”, which is the leading language proficiency assessment provider giving students a true picture of their language proficiency skills. All Avant proficiency tests are aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
לימודי ארץ ישראל/ Israel Education
Teaching Israel in Ivrit will foster authentic connection to Medinat Israel and will make the language relevant. Teaching Israel will also nurture a passion and a connection, with a lifelong meaningful relationship between a learner and a place that is both timely and timeless.
By learning and experiencing Israel’s geography, history and culture, the students will gain appreciation for the language of Medinat Israel. The knowledge, experience, and appreciation will instill the will (and courage) to advocate for Israel.
This unique curriculum was developed by our Ivrit department and will be taught to all students in grades 1-8, while adapting it to the unique characteristics of each class, in accordance with the goals of the curriculum.
Our students' exposure to the study of mishnayot begins in fourth grade. One of the most important goals of Mishna studies is the acquisition of foundational concepts of the oral Torah, Torah shebeal-peh. Students learn to analyze, compare and reconcile divergent opinions presented in the Mishna. At Hillel, we emphasize the importance of learning the skills and format of the Mishna through the COMDAT methodology. Within our curriculum from Sulamot, our students learn how to break apart a Mishna so that they have the ability to learn any Mishna in Shas. Students develop a connection to the text as they explore how major themes in the Mishna apply to their daily lives. The third year of the Mishna program concentrates on preparing students for a smooth transition into the study of Gemara in 7th Grade.
Our Tanach program begins in Pre-1, when our children spend a year gaining kriah fluency in order to begin learning Chumash at the end of first grade. In second grade, our students begin to learn Chumash using the L'havin U'lehaskil curriculum. This curriculum helps teach our students the skills in order to become independent learners. Through a spiraled curriculum, skills are taught, mastered, and reviewed as they get older. In addition, the L'havin U'lehaskil curriculum has a focus on assessments to ensure each child is mastering the content. Navi is started in 4th grade as students become proficient in learning of the pshat level understanding of the text.
Torah Beyond the Classroom
The study of Torah at Hillel does not stop when the school day ends. Motzaei Shabbat offers a meaningful learning opportunity. Geared mostly toward elementary students, the Motzaei Shabbat Parent-Child Learning program brings parents and children together in an intergenerational setting. Parents have the opportunity to interact in a Beit Midrash setting with their young children. The evening wraps up with prizes and pizza each week and a grand prize at the end of the winter season.
Hillel has completed its first year of an exciting and ground-breaking new initiative to create and implement a unified, school-wide, Parashat Hashavua curriculum. This expansive undertaking is led by a group of educators, dedicated parents, and rabbis. Each teacher presents a new component of the parasha at a more advanced level than the previous, making an efficient progression in the student's growth from year to year and a logical scope and sequence. Our new parasha curriculum concentrates on the mastery of knowledge of the pshat of the Chumash text, and distinguishes between this, and stories or lessons advanced by Rashi and Midrashei Chazal. Students learn to think critically about the pesukim in Chumash. Each week's parasha sheet brings thought-provoking issues home to the family Shabbat table for further discussion and investigation. Last year, the curriculum was successfully implemented in our Nursery through 5th grade.
At Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy we seek to provide an opportunity for students to learn and appreciate what it means to live as a Torah Jew. With this in mind, we developed a new Halacha curriculum with the mission of creating knowledgeable Halachic Jews who are familiar with the standard halachic terms and customs. The Halacha syllabus focuses on teaching and exposing the students to practical halacha as well as the theory of halacha. The students are able to then relate and apply this halachic theory to their daily lives. Students study the source of the halacha from text of the primary source and then track the process of the mesorah as we learn its applications in modern day life.
Our Middle School curriculum is being designed and guided jointly by the Machon Lehalacha v'Hora'ah led by the very popular Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon together with our Middle School Judaic Studies department.
Hillel is equipped with a Resource Room that addresses the academic needs of students who require academic support. The teachers in the Resource Room work with students in small groups or one-on-one. These teachers also work in the classroom when appropriate. Our Resource Room Specialists are trained to educate each child according to her or his unique needs and learning styles. Staff members focus on support in General Studies, with the main focus on supporting reading and written expression. The department also has a learning specialist to support the Judaic Studies program. Students utilize the Resource Room after evaluation by the administration and faculty in partnership with the parents. For more information, please contact Ms. Jackie Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org.