Dr. Natalie Billington reflects on her family's decision to send her daughter, Amelia, to the inaugural year of Gurim Junior Kindergarten.
Gurim Junior Kindergarten Program
gurim: An experiential, child-centered Junior Kindergarten
Gurim (Cubs), is a school-based, early childhood program at CESJDS that balances academics and play in a developmentally appropriate setting. The program focuses on real world experiences, structured fun, learning through play and song, and building community.
|" Lev is building an important foundation in his academic career while also having the leeway to be a little boy. He is using his body to learn numbers, and establishing a Hebrew vocabulary through puppetry. No other program exists with this dynamism."|
- Alanna Kotler, mom of Lev
Gurim junior kindergarten Highlights
The Gurim program supports children's learning in all developmental domains.
- Learning through play across the curriculum, i.e. learning sets of 2 in math by finding a buddy or stacking two blocks
- Enrichment experiences in STEM, Art, Music, Library, and Physical Education, provided by teacher specialists
- Handwriting Without Tears® – a multi-sensory approach to using pencil and paper, and developing fine and gross motor skills
- Phono-graphix® lessons that teach the nature of basic English code
- ‘Hebrew at the Center’ approach that promotes oral language using props, pictures, and other creative tools, as well as authentic songs and books from Israel
|" Amelia walked in on Day 1 totally happy, and now comes home everyday beaming. She is learning skills to help her manage school, channel her emotions, and engage socially."|
- Dr. Natalie Billington, mom of Ameila
Gurim spans the course of the traditional 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. CESJDS school day. Each day is balanced with large group, small group, and individual opportunities; indoor and outdoor activities; active and reflective time, including student-directed and teacher-directed lessons.
Arrival - Greeting and teacher-selected activities
Morning Meeting - Responsive Classroom routines and practices with whole group
Building Blocks® activities with story and manipulatives
Specials (Art, Science, Music, PE, Library)
Snack/ Independent Reading
Reading/Hebrew - Small group rotating instruction in Reading using Phono-Graphix®, Hebrew, and play
Math/ Hebrew - Small group rotating instruction in Math using Building Blocks® math curriculum, Hebrew, and play
Center time - Play with peers with student/teacher-directed play choices
Handwriting without Tears® - Students learn how to write through movement and participation
Yoga/Movement/Literacy- Movement program that works in conjunction with a story
Judaics - A creative approach to teaching Judaics with music, dance, puppets, and props
Rest time - A time for the children to relax, listen to music, or read a book
Dismissal - Bring closure to the school day in a fun and meaningful way
|"I am so grateful that there is a program like Gurim. It made my decision very easy. I want Mason to see that academics are important, but also to appreciate the atmosphere in which he is learning."|
- Morgan Duren, mom of Mason
Is your child ready for Kindergarten? CESJDS Gurim Junior Kindergarten teacher Eve Margol provides insight on kindergarten readiness.
Gurim teachers Eve Margol and Sivan Krowitz give an overview the the Gurim Junior Kindergarten.
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