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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

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 is 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: Jews Around the World

Students will learn about the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Jews around the world.  Students will engage with unique cultures, and at the same time understand the shared universal values that connect all of us as Jews. After an exploration of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewry, students research Jewish life in countries around the world. In addition, students will also learn about Israelis their own age: what they do for fun, their favorite sports, and foods, and what their schools are like by participating in the "Circles" ("Ma'agalim") School to School Program, in partnership with the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism.  

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 shares universal values amongst cultures.
  • Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. Our relationship with the modern state of Israel can be complex, but knowledge of and participation in Israel is an important part of modern Jewish identity.

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?
  • How can a relationship with Israel be part of my Jewish identity?

6th Grade

B’nai Mitzvah and Beyond

In sixth grade, our students will participate in Moving Traditions, which brings together Jewish teachings on self-reflection, ethics, and spirituality with a developmental psychology-based and gender-critical understanding of the needs of Jewish teens. The Moving Traditions B’nai Mitzvah program is a new model of Jewish education for students and parents that speaks directly to the psychological, spiritual, social, and developmental issues that preteens face as they prepare for and celebrate the rite of passage.

In addition, students will spend time understanding why doing social action is important and show how to successfully plan, execute, and evaluate a social action project or initiative. They will examine the differences between Chesed, Tzedakah and Tzedek and consider what aspects of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, are most meaningful to them. In doing so, students will develop the skills they need to design their own Mitzvah project for their B’nai Mitzvah.  

We begin by taking seriously pre-teens’ questions about B'nai Mitzvah and the ethical implications of those questions. We specifically focus on questions that go beyond the ritual itself, the parshah, and the service.

These questions include:

  • What does becoming a “teen” really mean?
  • How do I feel about being the center of attention?
  • When do I try to fit in and when do I just be myself?
  • How do I manage stress?
  • Who are my friends? And what part will they play in this process?
  • What does the community expect from me?
  • What do I expect from myself?
  • What do my parents expect of me?
  • What does the Jewish ritual mean to me?
  • How do I feel about continuing to be active in Jewish life?
  • What does it mean to be a mensch?

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.

Fri, September 17 2021 11 Tishrei 5782