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 begin their journey of Torah study at the beginning, delving into the stories, characters and events found in Genesis. 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.
Using a cross-curricular approach, our second graders are treated to a program called Deep Dives. Each of the four units is filled with experiential learning opportunities that delve into the real-life applications of the mitzvot and values of our faith as exemplified in specific Torah stories. Incorporating art, music, exploration, adventures around campus and mitzvah projects, the year will bring new insights, lasting memories, and a deep, profound appreciation for Judaism’s teachings.
Each week when the third grade students come to class, they will be whisked halfway around the world and will be immersed in all things Israel. They will learn about modern geography, leaders, the incredible art and innovations of this nation. In addition, they will become familiarized with the richness of the customs, culture and cuisine of Israel. Third grade also marks the moment when students begin to decode and read Hebrew. Being able to decode and read Hebrew prepares them for the start of their B’nei Mitzvah prayer mastery beginning the following year.
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 never have had the opportunity to ask and to consider ideas that elicit new understandings for them. They will also delve further into Torah study through a close reading and analysis of more of the events and characters from Genesis. Beginning their formal B’nei Mitzvah prayer mastery, students are guided and supported through their mastery of the Barchu, Shema, and V’ahavta. By the end of the year, they will be able to read, chant, explain the meaning of, and demonstrate the choreography for each of these essential prayers.
Fifth grade takes a close look at the prophets from the Bible. Their stories are analyzed and parsed apart in order to reveal the richness in the wisdom of their words. The newly uncovered understandings are then applied to the modern world so our students fully recognize the timelessness of the messages. Stage two in B’nei Mitzvah preparation includes the mastery of the full Kiddush, Avot V’Imahot, and G’vurot. Students will learn to read, chant, explain the meaning of, and demonstrate the choreography for each of these prayers. They also create their own Yad for torah reading.
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. In Hebrew, students will be guided through mastery of the Torah and Haftarah blessings and Nissim B’Chol Yom. This completes the requisite prayers and allows students to begin all other preparations for their B’nei Mitzvah, including the creation of their own, hand painted, silk tallit.