RS Curriculum (Grades K-6)
We invite you to learn more about our program and curriculum.
We recognize that kindergarten students are just entering a new world of social and academic expectations. At WBT, our program supports the students through this transition, reinforcing verbal, written, classroom, and social skills within a Jewish context. Our youngest community members learn about core Jewish values such as tikkun olam, friendship, and honoring the elderly.
Using a child-centered approach to instruction, students experience Shabbat and all of the holidays in a joyful, hands-on environment. Kindergarten students participate in Hebrew Through Movement, their first introduction to the language, perfectly tailored to their needs and level. We also encourage new relationships and a sense of belonging through community building activities such as music, sports, and cooking.
First grade students continue their exploration of Jewish values using real world, developmentally appropriate examples of how Jewish philosophy is applicable to their everyday lives. Active, hands-on, interactive lessons and projects set the stage for fun and learning.
Hebrew Through Movement is continued in first grade in order to reinforce concepts and learning from the previous year and move them forward, building familiarity and comfort with the language. Each holiday is also discussed and celebrated, adding to and expanding their ideas and understanding. Students will also have an opportunity to build friendships and connections during enrichment activities such as music, sports, cooking, and others.
Tapping into the things that are important to students this age, their studies will continue the exploration of what it means to live Jewishly. Students will do deep dives into the values that form the foundation of a Jewish approach to relationships with a particular focus on social justice as well as the Torah stories that teach these concepts. Students will see how they can affect change in their own lives and make a difference.
Hebrew Through Movement, a fun, active, interactive program designed to teach basic common words and phrases in Hebrew, continues during this year and students will add to their verbal and auditory vocabulary. An introduction to the Hebrew alphabet is also a fundamental part of the second grade experience which encourages reading readiness for the following year. Students will also be treated to beautiful art projects that underscore the values they are learning. Cooking classes bring holiday observation to life as the students learn to prepare holiday-specific foods while learning about the origins of the celebrations and the symbolism of the various foods used in preparation.
In third grade, we build on our values curriculum, and help students gain a deeper understanding of the relevance of Jewish teachings to their lives. Concepts such as the power of speech, gratitude, and responsibility form the basis for Torah study and the examination of how their values influence the decisions they make every day, with a special focus on how those concepts play out within families.
Third grade also marks the moment when students begin to decode and read Hebrew in preparation for the start of their B’nei Mitzvah prayer mastery beginning the following year. As in all grade levels, building a sense of community within the classroom is an essential component of our program and we support new and existing relationships among the students through games, activities and discussions.
In fourth grade, our students are encouraged to grapple with their concept of and belief in God. Deep, rich, meaningful discussions and activities enable students to give voice to the questions they may have never had the opportunity to ask and to consider ideas that elicit new understandings for them. They will also delve further into Jewish values and philosophy through the lens of how it relates to themselves.
Beginning their formal B’nei Mitzvah prayer mastery, students will be able to read, chant, explain the meaning of, and demonstrate the choreography for each of the prayers they learn.
When considering an average fifth grader, they exhibit a growing independence and sense of responsibility, engage in quite a bit of media consumption, and place a high value on peer relationships. When taking all of this into consideration, our fifth grade curriculum examines some foundational Jewish values through the lens of peer relationships and how those values factor into the decisions they make. Strength of character, forgiveness, and seeing the best in others are just some examples of the concepts covered.
Students also continue their B’nei Mitzvah preparations and will be able to explain the meaning of, read, chant and know the choreography for the next set of prayers they will lead during their service. A high priority is placed on building a sense of community within the classroom and students are encouraged to utilize positive interpersonal skills through cooperation and effective communication skills.
Students in sixth grade learn about the religious and cultural customs that bind us together as a community at WBT and one people, worldwide. They will be studying about each major lifecycle event as honored and celebrated by Jews, here and abroad. These events include: birth, bris/naming, b’nei mitzvah, confirmation, weddings, and funerals. Since sixth grade students are largely consumed with how they fit in to their surroundings, community is built in the classroom through meaningful conversations and activities that occur in an emotionally safe environment that is underscored by foundational Jewish values of how we treat others.
In Hebrew, students continue mastery of the remainder of the requisite B’nei Mitzvah prayers and allows students to begin all other preparations for their B’nei Mitzvah, including the creation of their own personally designed, hand painted, silk tallit.