Academics

1-2 Kehillah

1-2 Kehillah

Peek into our 1-2 Kehillah any morning, and you will see children sitting in a circle for their morning meeting, turning to face each other, making eye contact, and greeting each other with a "Boker Tov." This act of seeing each other and being seen, every day, is the foundation of the children bonding as a Kehillah, a community. Stay a little longer and you will hear the children learning to read and write in two languages supported by our 1:1 technology program, or practicing their math fact fluency while working in small and dynamic differentiated groups. Through individualized attention and project-based learning, our teachers foster academic achievement across disciplines and stimulate critical thinking. They nurture strong relationships with each student, creating an environment of trust and growth in which students take ownership of their learning.
Learn More About the 1-2 Kehillah Curriculum

List of 5 items.

  • Judaic Studies and Hebrew Language

    Jewish life is celebrated each and every day at Schechter Bergen — from spirited morning Tefillah (prayer) to building connections to the land and people of Israel through the lens of history, geography and culture. With music and song incorporated into the curriculum and the celebration of Shabbat and Hagim (holidays), students develop their Hebrew language skills and strengthen their connection to Israel and to their Jewish identity. 

    First-grade students master the Hebrew alphabet and then begin the exciting journey of learning to read Hebrew. They receive their first Ariyot hoveret (Hebrew language workbook) with a special ceremony to acknowledge the significance of the moment. Over the course of the year, a focus is placed on developing vocabulary and grammar to help students further strengthen their language skills and Hebrew foundation. At the end of the year, having learned how to decode Hebrew with fluency, the children's’ accomplishments are celebrated during a ceremony as each child is presented with their own Siddur, marking the achievement of their learning and celebrating their unique place within our Kehillah.  

    In the second grade, students build upon their Hebrew language skills and are able to write sentences and short paragraphs. Their developing skills allow them to make meaning from the material they read and to respond to questions asked in Hebrew. A highlight of the year is the second-grade Humash ceremony. Family and friends gather to share in the moment as students receive their very own Humash. Beginning the study of Torah opens the door for students to understand the language of Torah, think critically about this sacred text and deepen their appreciation and connection with the stories of the Jewish people — a continued goal for their years ahead.
  • Language Arts

    In Language Arts, first-grade students learn strategies to decode words and read with accuracy. They continue to build on the foundations of reading and writing introduced in Kindergarten, working on reading with expression and beginning to extract the main ideas and characters from the stories they read. First-grade students launch their Writers Workshop with a storytelling and sketching unit where students come to realize that storytelling is simply a rehearsal for writing. As they progress to putting these experiences on paper, they learn that the act of writing is making ordinary experiences extraordinary. In second grade, reading comprehension continues to develop through a deeper study of inference and critical thinking questions. Writing proficiency expands to paragraphs and descriptive “small moments,” and children begin to self-edit their work and practice peer-to-peer editing skills. Students continue working in differentiated, fluid reading groups, and use the Fundations curriculum for grammar, usage, and mechanics of language.
  • Social Studies

    Students are introduced to project-based learning through rich interdisciplinary studies that weave together creativity, values-based learning and fundamentals of science, social studies, math and literacy. Our classes are active places of learning where children in the second grade enter into a deep interdisciplinary exploration of New York City, building upon their first-grade study of communities and “how to be a good citizen.” A field trip to New York City is coupled with exploration of its geography, transportation systems, famous citizens and landmarks. As students explore New York’s bridges and buildings, they design structures in science class to emphasize their study of stability and support as characteristics of the property of strength of matter. The New York City unit culminates in a partnership with their art class studies, with students designing and building their own imagined models of Central Park.
  • Math

    Students are encouraged to explore and discuss math in hands-on, creative ways. In first grade, students will learn problem solving strategies, develop their fact fluency and extend their counting and sequencing knowledge using authentic approaches. They learn to appreciate that there are multiple ways of solving a problem and play math games with partners to make their learning both fun and meaningful. In second grade, students extend their knowledge to facts in the 1,000s, solving addition and subtraction with regrouping, practicing early multiplication, and extracting more complex information from word problems. Students use math in real-world problem solving, which gives them the opportunity to see the purpose and meaning behind what they learn.
  • Science

    In science, students are encouraged to learn through play and use their senses to make observations. First-grade students identify characteristics of living organisms, gain an understanding about how the human body works, delve into the world of microbes, investigate sound and light, and learn about arthropods. As they step into their roles as scientists, they will observe cells under microscopes, create x-rays and study living Bess Beetles. In second grade, students learn about observable properties of matter, the concept of “reduce-reuse-recycle,” and plant adaptations. They create density rainbows, experiment with variables of light and plant growth and upcycle paper — activities that serve to develop students’ knowledge of the scientific process, problem solving, and design.
"The Kehillah model provides us with an even greater opportunity to target each child’s learning and development. In this model, teacher teams of 4-5 educators work collaboratively to observe, guide, teach, and assess each child’s learning on an ongoing basis, allowing us to create flexible and fluid learning groups."

- Lauren Goldman-Brown, Principal, Early Childhood, 1-2 & 3-4 Kehillot
275 McKinley Ave. | New Milford, NJ 07646 | Phone: 201-262-9898 | Fax: 201-262-3026 | info@ssdsbergen.org