Collage of Gan Shalom students in class

Curriculum

Gan Shalom’s curriculum is rooted in our vision to offer children and their families an opportunity to build a foundation for learning —both academically and spiritually. In addition to traditional school subjects, this means focusing on the development of social skills that build strong bonds and encourage students to celebrate their differences.

“We love the respectful and caring staff, ample outdoor and free play time, carefully selected enrichment activities, and cultural/language opportunities at Gan Shalom. My children love going to school each day.”
— Gan Shalom Parent

Our Approach

Our teachers have adopted The Creative Curriculum®, a comprehensive and rigorously researched approach that honors creativity and respects the role teachers and parents play in making learning exciting, challenging and relevant for every child. Twice a year, in the fall and spring, parent/teacher conferences are held. We’ll share information about child’s development and identify developmentally-appropriate goals using the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment.

Judaic Values

As a Jewish preschool, Gan Shalom also incorporates Judaic values into the classroom. Stories, music, singing, dancing, cooking, art projects and special Shabbat programs are featured each week. Area clergy actively participate in your child’s journey with the Jewish faith, offering lessons in Hebrew and Jewish customs and treating classrooms to Rabbi story hours.

Learning by Age Group

Wondering what your child will be working on during their time with us? Here’s an overview of the curriculum based on age level.

Age 2

Our Twos program is full of creativity and movement and is designed to meet the developmental needs of a growing two year old. We help give them the stimulation they need to develop and grow into a healthy and happy preschooler through group time, art, stories, music and movement, science, and a state-of-the-art playground. Our teachers are warm and caring, enabling each child to successfully transition into a daily routine that stimulates their independence while still giving them the nurturing attention they need.

Language development is part of everything that goes on in the daily routine and is facilitated through rich hands-on activities. Children are introduced to new cognitive, fine motor, and gross motor skills through nursery rhymes, songs, finger plays, and art projects. Teachers ask open-ended questions and help children find solutions and accomplish tasks with increasing independence.

Transitioning between the home and preschool environment is a key area of focus during your child’s first few weeks of school. Our staff partner with each family to build routines and provide children with lots of one-on-one time and TLC. “Potty training” is incorporated into their daily routine with a relaxed attitude, enabling each child the opportunity to progress at their own rate of development.

Age 3

Our Threes program is designed to enhance children’s confidence and build their social and cognitive skills. With a slightly more structured routine than in previous years, children build on their pre-writing, pre-reading, and pre-math skills through art, crafts, music and movement, group time and learning centers. In addition, science and nature are incorporated through our outdoor classroom, where children have opportunities to explore, observe, and appreciate nature.

Independence is fine-tuned as children become more self-reliant and are able to “do it themselves.” Children gain increasing independence with life skills such as pouring their own juice, cleaning up, and taking care of their own belongings. Fine motor skills are also enhanced through cutting, drawing, painting, and more.

Our wonderful staff creates a warm and nurturing environment, which in turn helps children develop trusting and positive relationships with their peers. Problem-solving, sharing, cooperation and decision-making are incorporated into the daily routine, giving children life-long skills and habits. The children build the social, physical, and cognitive foundation necessary for the more academic-intensive years to follow.

Pre-Kindergarten

In the Pre-Kindergarten program, children fine-tune the skills they will need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally in our elementary program. Focus is placed on critical thinking, reading, writing and math readiness skills, and the use of technology is expanded.

Children master reading and writing readiness skills through a multi-sensory approach, which includes songs, games, and group activities. Individualized instruction is provided to help children develop proper pencil grip and letter/number formation. Sorting, matching, classifying, and patterning with a variety of manipulatives helps develop strong critical thinking, spatial reasoning, and numeracy skills. In addition to stimulating children’s imagination and creativity, art activities are designed to continue to strengthen fine motor development.

Special Activities

From field trips to music lessons and sports, we offer ongoing enrichment activities for all students. These unique opportunities help your child grow in new directions with active learning.