Why Kesher Nevatim
Nevatim (“sprouts”) delivers progressive Jewish education in a warm, intimate, and family oriented environment. Housed in a sunlit loft space, the program maintains a multi-age class (two years and nine months to five years old) in the Reggio-Emilia tradition. Children in the Nevatim program enjoy the support of spirited and experienced staff, with a small child-to-teacher ratio to ensure that their needs are met. Each day that a child walks through our doors, he or she has the opportunity to shape the class culture, pursue personal interests, and build developmentally appropriate skills and abilities. Kesher families are reflective and inclusive of the diverse communities in which we live.
Nevatim is a “child-inspired” program. Honoring the child’s natural curiosity about their world and others informs and shapes our daily life in the classroom. We trust in the child’s capabilities and drive towards independence. We draw from the insights of acknowledged thought leaders in early childhood education like Malaguzzi (Reggio), Montessori, Steiner, Piaget, Katz, Paley, Bandera, Hawkins, and Thelen, along with current research to shape the framework of our practices.
Our curriculum is co-created through listening to and observing our children. What excites them? Where do we hear inquiry and wonder? Space! Sharks! Mapping! Rocks! Light! Piggy & Gerald in the Mo Willems books! Babies! Water colors! These have all been investigations, both short and long, over the past few years. The materials and activities are intentionally designed to foster a flexible mindset to include both divergent and convergent thinking. The children learn through their play.
Our goal is to create an environment of social-emotional safety and connection, while providing the resources for exploration and investigation. Our children are “active creators” of their learning. Teachers serve as collaborators, observers, inspirers, thought provokers, and provide guidance and scaffolding.
Consideration of a child’s temperament and individual style guides our approach with each child. Whether for example, the child takes time to reflect and is slower paced, or jumps right in and is faster paced, is a global or linear thinker, prefers one-to-one relationships or likes to be the life of the party, each child has a place in our classroom.
Parents play an important role in partnering with us regarding their child and participation in our program. The environment is referred to as the “third teacher” while parents are considered the “first teacher.” Parent communication and involvement is key in supporting a connection and linkage between home and Nevatim. There are several scheduled meetings between teacher and parent throughout the year, along with ongoing open communication.
Nevatim is more than a preschool. We are a preschool AND a community. Parents bring their interests into the classroom, play different roles in supporting the needs of the program, and gather together i.e. at the playground, Shabbat dinners, hiking and camping trips. Our program is as strong as the teachers and families working together.
Imagine ~ Explore ~ Connect
Resources for additional reading:
Our class curriculum balances the emphasis on Jewish tradition with the concept of emergent curriculum. Judaism shines through in many exciting ways such as storytelling, singing, ritual, cooking, games, and more. Alternatively, emergent curriculum suggests a style of teaching in which staff closely follows the child’s cues regarding what ideas and objects they are ready to explore, play with, and learn from.
Nevatim is a place where Judaism is integral. We offer an exciting and nurturing environment designed to develop children into curious, joyous, and interconnected beings.
Kesher Nevatim provides an integrated daily routine of learning through exploration, scrutiny, and self-reflection. In every class, our teachers emphasize the strategies and processes involved in learning and self-growth, creating a unique opportunity to prepare our students to live intelligent, thoughtful, and fulfilling lives in a rapidly changing society. You can see our general daily routine below.
8:30 Shalom. Arrivals and exploration time. Child initiated and teacher supported activities.
10:00 Kibud (snack). Children clean up classroom and transition to group snack, which is a balanced meal provided by Nevatim, and conversation.
10:30 Ma’agal (meeting/circle-time). Children welcome each other and their teachers share information about the day.
11:00 Z’man Ba’khutz (outdoor play). Outdoor play happens nearly every day (weather dependent according to EEC guidelines). During inclement weather, children engage in gross motor activities in the Ulam (common area).
12:00 Arukhat Zoharayim (lunch). Children eat lunch together and afterwards, brush their teeth. Lunch is provided by parents.
1:00 Zman Shaket (quiet time). Children start quiet time with gentle yoga. All children are required to rest for 45 minutes. Children who do not nap engage in quiet activities while others are sleeping.
3:00 Transition out of nap, quite activity until Kibud.
3:30 Kibud (snack). Afternoon snack. Healthy options provided by Nevatim.
4:00 Z’man Ba’khutz (outdoor play). Afternoon outdoor play or indoor gross motor skills activities.
4:50 Transition and short exploration/activity time.
5:00 Ma’agal (final circle time). Children have a final opportunity to gather with each other and close the day together.
5:15- 5:25 L’hitraot (pick up). Parents/caretakers pick up their children and leave by 5:30
Outdoor Play and Field Trips
Outdoor play is integral to our program, as are field trips to fun and enriching destinations in our local community, including local libraries and museums.