READING (please select to find more information)
We at the Day School at Baltimore Hebrew apply a multi‐sensory approach to reading in grades K‐2. Both basal readers and literary books are used in conjunction with a phonics program. In reading, novels and various other trade books are used from different genres such as historical fiction, realistic fiction, poetry, fantasy, science and social studies. Books of Judaic content are also included. Students respond to what they read in various ways that address different learning styles and interests as well as their developing skills at each grade level. Emphasis is placed on fluency, comprehension, and enjoyment of the reading material. Students work in small groups as well as independently.
WRITING AND GRAMMAR (please select to find more information)The Day School Writing Program at each grade level encourages students to increase their writing proficiency and thereby improve their communication skills. The writing program includes grammar and mechanics, and various forms of composition. Third and fourth grade students learn to use the computer for word processing and use these skills for many of their essays and stories. Students in the middle school grades are encouraged to make full use of technology to improve their writing skills, and are provided with ample opportunities to use the technology lab. Students progress from writing individual letters and words in Kindergarten to sentences, paragraphs, and multi-paragraph essays and research reports as their skills develop through the years. Students write to share knowledge and insights as well as for self-expression
This program focuses on learning basic phonetic sounds and blending letters to read words. Listening, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills are incorporated.
The first grade curriculum incorporates phonics, sight words, basal readers, and literary books. A multi-sensory approach is applied to this program.
The second grade curriculum integrates phonics, sight words, basal readers and literary books within the program. One main goal is to develop an interest in reading by reading with the child as well as independent reading. The second grade-reading curriculum incorporates a multi-sensory approach. Phonics, sight words, basal readers and novels are included in this program.
The reading, writing, and language arts curriculum is standards based and developed to meet the diverse learning styles of the student population. Emphasis is placed on developing knowledge of genres and authors, working through the writing process and improving spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
The fourth grade reading program is literature based. Students read trade books from different genres such as historical fiction, realistic fiction, and fantasy, as well as books of Judaic content and poetry. As they read the books, they participate in activities which help to broaden vocabulary skills and improve reading comprehension skills. Students respond to what they read in a variety of ways, addressing various learning styles and interests. They study books in small groups and independently. Fourth graders increase not only their reading skills, but also their appreciation and enjoyment of various types of writing.
The fifth grade reading program challenges students to read for various purposes. Reading becomes not only an enjoyable pastime, but also a useful and important tool used to understand past events as well as the world in which we live. Fifth grade students expand their vocabulary and are encouraged to discuss what they have read both with their peers and adults.
KINDERGARTENThe Kindergarten Writing program is integrated with all other areas of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to begin writing letters, words, and sentences as responses to topics of discussion in reading, science, social studies, and math. Students begin by dictating to their teacher and are guided into independent writing as they become developmentally ready. Group brainstorming leading to teacher directed writing experiences are often used as ways to model sentence formation, spelling, and punctuation. Students are regularly encouraged to circle words that they can identify in group stories
The first grade grammar and writing program takes students from writing sentences to writing short stories. Along the way, they practice the steps of the writing process as they complete each piece of writing. In addition, students learn how nouns, verbs, and adjectives are used. They also practice the basics of capitalization and punctuation. Judaic themes and concepts are integrated into the writing and language arts program as often as possible.
GRADE 2The second grade writing and grammar program builds on the skills and concepts that students practiced in grade one. Students write paragraphs for various purposes practicing skills previously acquired, as well as incorporating newly introduced skills. Frequently, writing experiences involve Judaic themes or topics. For example, students practice writing a friendly letter by writing “Thank you” notes for Hanukkah gifts. In addition, their journals often include response to Judaic prompts relating to holidays.
The third grade writing program is a challenging one which combines grammar, usage, and mechanics instruction and practice with instruction and practice in various forms of writing. Students are encouraged to use the skills learned while writing for other purposes and in other content areas to increase and demonstrate proficiency. Judaic concepts and themes are frequently sources for written expression.
Fourth grade students expand the writing and grammar skills they have been working on in the primary grades. They begin the year by reviewing paragraph writing and go on to complete several five paragraph essays and a research report. The research report focuses on the biographies of famous Jewish Americans. Judaic topics frequently become sources for writing experiences in the fourth grade. Grammar study covers writing correct sentences, higher level study of nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives, as well as an introduction to adverbs and prepositions. More advanced usages of capital letters and punctuation marks are also practiced in grade four.
In the fifth grade, students review grammar and composition skills learned in earlier years, and extend their knowledge in each area with more sophisticated skills and concepts. They cover identification and correct use of various parts of speech, capital letters and punctuation, and sentence structure. Fifth graders practice writing for various purposes and in various formats. They write in journals as well as complete more formal types of compositions, such as narratives, descriptive essays, persuasive essays, and poetry.