Welcome to Beth Yeshurun Day School’s NAEYC-accredited Early Childhood program, which serves children from 15 months old through Pre-Kindergarten. Our classrooms provide a loving, engaging, and safe environment where our children grow socially, emotionally, academically, spiritually, and physically. We have an open-door policy and welcome all visitors to come explore our wonderful program.
Our teachers are experienced, enthusiastic professionals who provide a developmentally appropriate, play-based curriculum that allows children to learn at their own pace and challenges them to broaden their horizons. We offer a concrete curriculum that explores cognitive development as well as social and emotional growth while developing fine and gross motor skills.
Our loving environment meets the needs of every individual child while instilling Jewish values and traditions in their everyday lives. We rely on our partnership with parents and encourage constant communication between teachers, parents, and administration.
We invite you to read through the curriculum highlights and come visit our school. We are certain that you will realize that Beth Yeshurun Day School provides top-notch education in a safe and nurturing environment.
Riana Sherman, Early Childhood Principal
Reading and Writing
Our literacy program is based on the Classroom Storytelling Project from Rice University’s Center for Education. This program involves writing down children’s dictation, often in the form of Daily News, and then helping them dramatize these stories. This exercise validates their words, familiarizes children with the orthographic features of print (left to right, top to bottom), introduces beginning sight vocabulary, and exposes them to the alphabet and the sounds that the letters make. In addition, all children are immersed in a print-rich, literacy based environment in every classroom in an appropriate way for each age level. In pre-K, we utilize a developmentally based, flexible, multi-sensory, and effective program called Handwriting without Tears to develop good handwriting habits and improve fine motor coordination. Students at all EC levels participate in programming in our extensive library.
Mathematical concepts are integrated into all aspects of the curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways for all age levels. Through their play experiences, the children learn to count, recognize numerals, associate numerals with corresponding groups, understand one-to-one correspondence, and understand the “number line concept” which is the relationship of numbers to each other. We also present other mathematical concepts such as more and less; before and after; and heavier and lighter. These concepts are part of everything the children do — whether they realize it or not!
In Early Childhood, students hear Hebrew in song, in the synagogue, and through holiday and life cycle-oriented activities. All grades in Early Childhood experience an engaging Shabbat program on Friday mornings starting in the CDO program at 15 months old. CDO through Threes students participate in Hebrew classes once a week; in pre-K they take Hebrew two longer periods per week. During Hebrew classes, they engage in various modalities of learning including art and music with teachers from the elementary school.
Judaic life is an integral part of our everyday experience for all of our children. They learn to see the world through Jewish eyes by celebrating Shabbat together each Friday morning, living by Jewish values, observing Jewish holidays, reciting blessings, singing songs, reading stories, and instilling a love of Judaism interwoven throughout our day.
Science is integrated into the life of Early Childhood students from the earliest ages. Experimentation and testing of hypotheses are encouraged, and explicit scientific ideas are brought into the upper grades through project-based learning. Pre-K students participate in the elementary-school science lab program, as well.
Pre-K students visit our computer lab once per week. Students, who are most likely to have tablet-based computing experiences at this age, are introduced to mousing skills and basic keyboarding skills appropriate to their age and literacy levels.
Rhythms and Movement
Music is a central component of the BYDS Early Childhood experience. Our Rhythms program develops gross motor skills and a love of music. Taught by Jon Swann, each class attends several times during the week to learn songs, dances, creative movement, rhymes, motor skills, and Judaic music and rituals. In Pre-K, students will participate in elementary-school PE classes once per week.
Art is another critical aspect of the preschool experience. Through the Threes, students create artistically every day. In Pre-K, students additionally visit the elementary-school art teacher once per week, as well.
In-House Field Trips
All children are exposed to curriculum enrichment by experiencing In-House Field Trips such as Jump Bunch, Shofar Factory, and the Olive Press throughout the year.
Pre-K devotes several weeks at a time to the exploration of a topic chosen by the interests of the children. The chosen topic’s study involves all curriculum areas such as literacy, math, science, art and Judaic and culminates in an exhibition for the parents.