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Kulanu Learning Curriculum Overview (K-6th)

Welcome

We look forward to welcoming your child into our kindergarten through 6th-grade Kulanu Learning program, which is on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Contact Rabbi Schwartz for more information.

Our Curriculum

SESAME SHUL (Pre-K)

Geared for our students in the year prior to kindergarten, Sesame Shul meets monthly and introduces Jewish values, holidays, and traditions in a developmentally appropriate way through stories, crafts, and participation in school-wide Kulanu programs.  Students will begin to become comfortable in the sanctuary during tefillah (services) and have meaningful Jewish learning experiences through a variety of different modalities.  Families will have opportunities to learn with their child and bring Judaism home to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom.    

Kindergarten-Second Grade

An Emerging Jewish Identity Through An Emergent Curriculum

Our K-2 program creates a rich, engaging environment for our students while creating a curriculum built upon student’s interests, curiosities, and theories. Partnership and collaboration among parents, students, and educators are considered essential to success.

  • An emergent curriculum is built upon the interests, experiences, and needs of each student. Jewish concepts and values are deeply embedded into each educational unit to enrich everyday learning in a meaningful and developmentally appropriate way.
  • A relaxed, unhurried classroom where students have time to pursue in-depth projects and investigations.  Learning is developmentally appropriate to meet the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of children.
  • Multiple forms of art and communication used by students to investigate, construct and represent an understanding of their world.
  • A rich learning environment created through the collaboration of students, families, and educators that supports multiple learning modalities (5 senses), and offers real-world projects and problem-solving moments.
  • Our program lays the foundation for a positive Jewish identity, the discovery of Jewish life through holidays, values, and mitzvot.
  • Observing, understanding, and communicating student’s learning through visual, audio, and written documentation.
  • A home-like environment that is welcoming, stimulates curiosity, and reflects beauty.
  • The teacher serves as a learner, researcher, resource, and guide.

Enduring Understandings

  • Jewish is who we are all the time; it is a part of every decision we make and every activity we choose. 
  • As Jews, we are bound by common values, language, stories, music, food, and traditions.
  • Judaism guides us in our treatment of other people and in our relationship with God.

Essential Questions

  • How can Judaism be part of my everyday life?
  • What common values, language, stories, music, food, and traditions do all Jews share?
  • How can Judaism guide me in how I treat other people?
  • How can Judaism guide my relationship with God? 

3rd and 4th grade

Deep Learning Through Driving Questions

Our third-fourth grade program is driven by the principles of Project Based Learning (PBL), an education method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.  

  • According to Dr. Tony Wagner in Most Likely To Succeed, “Education needs to help our youth discover their passions and purpose in life, develop the critical skills needed to be successful in pursuing their goals, be inspired on a daily basis to do their very best, and be active and informed citizens.”
  • Learning often takes place in collaborative groups, where students build a sense of community and a connection to authentic Jewish experiences. 
  • The process gives students a voice in the methods of inquiry and the form of the outcomes while also encouraging them to evaluate their own progress, and revise along the way.  As such, students ask questions, search for answers, and arrive at conclusions, leading them to construct something new: an idea, an interpretation, or a product.
  • Students delve into the depths of their own creativity and interests because they are given flexibility in the projects they are asked to create. The students develop their own learning, discovering and uncovering information. 

Driving Question: Who are our Jewish heroes?

Every hero must make choices—many difficult, some seemingly impossible. These choices, and a person’s actions that follow, make a hero. Students explore the many Jewish heroes from our sacred texts, stories, and history.   Students decide who are their heroes. What makes a Jewish hero? What makes a superhero? Does a hero have to be perfect?  Students gain an understanding of heroes’ common values. 

Enduring Understandings

  • Individuals throughout our sacred texts and history can inspire and help us become our best selves.
  • I am part of a Jewish family tree that goes all the way back to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and includes Jews in every age and nation.
  • By understanding the challenges, choices, contributions, opportunities our ancestors faced, and the similarities to my own, I can better choose how to live Jewishly today.

Essential Questions

  • How does learning about individuals from our sacred texts and collective history inspire and help us become our best selves?
  • What challenges, choices, contributions, and opportunities did my ancestors face that are similar to my own?

 

5th Grade

Thematic, Student-Driven Learning

Our fifth-grade program will be student-driven, one in which our students are active investigators, not just passive recipients of knowledge. Knowledge is available everywhere—not just from a classroom, book, or teacher.   Students will be encouraged to openly share their opinions, think beyond simple answers, and respectfully disagree with teachers and their classmates.  

Theme: My Jewish Community

Being Jewish means different things for each of us, and is impacted by our family and our community.   Students will learn about their local Jewish community and then explore their own family's Jewish history.   They will learn about the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Jews around the world, while also identifying the shared universal values that connect all of us as Jews.

Enduring Understandings

  • Each of us is an important member of the worldwide Jewish community with responsibility for others, just as they have responsibility for us.
  • I am part of a rich, diverse, multicultural heritage that is unique, while also sharing universal values amongst cultures.

Essential Questions

  • How do I have a responsibility to the Jewish people?
  • What universal values are shared amongst the diverse Jewish cultures throughout the world?

6th Grade

Enduring Understandings

  • The central concept of the prophets remains important for us today: we should work to create a more just society and help those who are less fortunate than we are.
  • To be a Jew is to be engaged in the ongoing work of tikkun olam – striving to improve the world in which we live.

Essential Questions

  • How do the prophets remind us to work to create a just society?
  • How can I engage in the ongoing work of tikkun olam?

The biblical prophets were individuals who constantly spoke out for justice and righteousness.  Students will explore the lives of prophets and the Jewish values they exemplify. Stories based on biblical texts bring each prophet vividly to life, while narrative provides historical context for considering the challenges faced by the prophets in their own day. Connections to modern-day events and people are explored as well, helping students discover the relevance of today in the ancient messages of our biblical ancestors. Questions throughout the text address students directly, to get them thinking and to draw out their views.

With the prophets in mind, students will explore the difference between social justice and social action, as well as tzedakah and tzedek.   They will work together in the planning and execution of a class mitzvah project, giving them the skills to implement a project for their B'nai Mitzvah. 

HOLIDAYS

Throughout the school year, families will be strongly encouraged to attend all of our congregational holiday celebrations to experience the cycle of Jewish time.   Within Kulanu, students will explore the themes, values, and practices of our holidays and will develop a greater connection to these sacred days.

ISRAEL

Students will encounter Israel and its rich culture and history in developmentally appropriate ways throughout their education at Kulanu.   Whether it be learning about the land, a particular Israeli figure, or special holidays, students will be exposed to the many facets of Israel and develop tools for them to develop a relationship with the Jewish Homeland.

FAMILY EDUCATION

Our programs facilitate Jewish experiences and inspire families from all backgrounds to seek out and create their own points of Jewish connection, both individually and together as a family.   Family education programs empower parents to be Jewish role models for their children by helping them attain the tools, props, skills, and information for Jewish living. Further, it gives a Jewish perspective to activities of everyday life.

Tuition

See tuition and fee details for the Kulanu Learning program.

Attendance

Regular attendance is the foundation of every educational program and is essential in building a spirit of community. It is the policy of Kulanu Learning that all students attend at least 2/3 of the class sessions. Special arrangements for independent study can be made with the educator if there are special circumstances.

Special Needs

My child has special learning needs. Can I enroll him/her? Yes. Please be certain to complete the special needs section of the registration application. We will make every attempt to meet your child’s needs. If we are not able to accommodate your child, we will work with you to find alternative ways to strengthen your child’s Jewish identity. Please contact Rabbi Schwartz for more information.

Mon, May 16 2022 15 Iyar 5782