Curriculum by Grade

List of 14 items.

  • Pre-Kindergarten

    A Jewish day school early childhood experience is an opportunity to instill in children a love of learning. At Golda Och Academy, we believe that young children learn through play and interaction with other children and caring adults. We provide opportunities through planned activities, experiences and guided discovery for each child to grow in a number of dimensions – social, emotional, creative, moral, intellectual and spiritual. Children develop new skills and competencies through linguistic, logical, kinesthetic, artistic, musical and self expressive tasks. The school provides developmentally appropriate experiences that challenge them to observe, explore, experiment, draw conclusions, ask new questions and enjoy the satisfaction of solving problems. Teachers foster children’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. They stimulate children’s cognitive growth through a wide variety of hands-on activities with everyday phenomena from the natural environment that extend and enrich children’s interests and experiences.

    The early childhood classroom serves as a community where children learn to trust themselves and others. Kabbalat Shabbattefillah, and holiday preparations are joyful, shared experiences where the children become familiar and comfortable with basic Hebrew vocabulary and Jewish behaviors, rituals and concepts, including mitzvot, God and tzedakah.

    Since early childhood education provides the foundation and motivation for life-long learning, we want every child to experience success. We also believe that children benefit from learning to manage disappointments and conflicts in the context of a supportive school setting so that they can become more independent and effective young people.

    Through caring, nurturing relationships between teachers and children, our youngest students are encouraged to question thoughtfully and think for themselves. As they succeed, children develop self-esteem, feelings of competence and a sense of independence. As they interact with each other, they grow to understand the value of belonging to a group, a family, a community and the Jewish people.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    Handwriting and Writing
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the alphabet
    • Identify and name letters
    • Draw illustrations, trace letters and attempt to write words independently in their journals
    • Use word wall as a visual display for sight words
    • Demonstrate emergent writing skills
    Resource: Get Ready for the Code: A Primer for the Explode the Code Series Educators Publishing Service

    Reading
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Demonstrate knowledge of print and its uses
    • Use and appreciate books
    • Comprehend and respond to books and other texts
    • Interact during read alouds and book conversations
    • Use emergent reading skills
    • Identify and name letters
    • Use letter-sound knowledge
    • Demonstrate phonological awareness
    • Read fiction genres including fable, adventure, historical, realistic, and mystery
    • Read nonfiction genres including informational text
    • Read alouds, including but not limited to: Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom, Little Cloud, It Looked Like Spilt Milk, Little Yellow, Little Blue, My Many Colored Days, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    Pre-K and Gan students are exposed to Hebrew language through a range of multi-sensory activities and experiences. Focused primarily on oral Hebrew, Pre-K students acquire a basic vocabulary of Hebrew words and phrases that correspond to the holidays of the Jewish year as well as the language of the classroom, including basic objects and simple directions. Students become comfortable with interspersing this new vocabulary in their daily routines. In Gan, students are immersed in Hebrew under the guidance of native Hebrew speakers. Students continue to develop and expand their basic Hebrew vocabulary, and begin to learn how to identify the letters of the Alef Bet. In so doing, children build their phonemic awareness skills as they begin to recognize and sound out the letters and vowels in their names, the names of their classmates, and simple words to which they are exposed.

    In addition to Hebrew language acquisition, Pre-K and Gan students are exposed to a broader Judaic Studies program that encompasses tefillah (prayer), chagim (holidays), Jewish values and customs, Parasha, and Israel. Teachers use a blend of English and Hebrew in order to introduce students to this range of subjects which help our youngest students develop their Jewish identity, and establish a strong foundation in Jewish literacy.


    LIBRARY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Demonstrate proper book care
    • Demonstrate knowledge of procedures for borrowing and returning books
    • Know the basic parts of a book and the roles of author and illustrator
    • Respond to literature with retellings, predictions and discussions
    • Begin to recognize beginning, middle and end, as well as character and setting


    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop early math skills using the calendar
    • Count 100 days of school and participate in activities involved
    • Count to tell the number of objects
    • Develop number recognition
    • Develop the concept of sequencing
    • Sort items by attribute
    • Understand one-to-one correspondence
    • Begin to understand ABA patterns
    • Know more or less
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: Foundation for Common Core Standards: My Math Pre-Kindergarten
    Additional resources: “Starfall.com”, “SMART exchange”, “Leapfrog”



    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn and sing songs in Hebrew and English
    • Sing songs about Jewish holidays and other Jewish topics
    • Learn to use a variety of percussion instruments
    • Demonstrate skills in rhythm and harmony
    • Follow the instructions associated with songs: hand motions, singing and dancing
    • Use basic music vocabulary and rhythms
    • Sing Hebrew songs at their level
    • Perform for the special events such as the Zimria, Chanukah celebrations, and graduation
    • Learn how to use body movements and games to develop creativity


    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Understand personal space
    • Develop locomotor movements
    • Follow multi-step directions
    • Move safely through space


    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Use magnifying lenses to make observations
    • Classify and plant bulbs and seeds
    • Study hibernation and identify animal tracks
    • Identify edible plants in the school garden
    • Investigate the natural world
    • Name moon phases for Rosh Chodesh
    • Gain early experiences that will contribute to their understanding of structure, change and interaction


    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an understanding of holidays on the secular calendar
    • Identify key concepts relating to weather and different seasons
    • Understand the importance of making friends, communication, getting along and respect
    • Learn about their own community, safety and community helpers
    Resources: Scholastic News
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.



    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Turn on and off the computer and monitor
    • Identify the various parts of a computer including: keyboard, monitor, screen, tower and mouse
    • Demonstrate the ability to use a mouse to point, double click, and click and drag
    • Open and close a program
    • Use various programs to assist in mouse skills such as: Paint and Crayola Art
    • Use Word to understand basic keyboard and formatting
    • Identify a menu and select an option from it
    • Understand the basic concept of coding

  • Gan-Kindergarten

    A Jewish day school early childhood experience is an opportunity to instill in children a love of learning. At Golda Och Academy, we believe that young children learn through play and interaction with other children and caring adults. We provide opportunities through planned activities, experiences and guided discovery for each child to grow in a number of dimensions – social, emotional, creative, moral, intellectual and spiritual. Children develop new skills and competencies through linguistic, logical, kinesthetic, artistic, musical and self expressive tasks. The school provides developmentally appropriate experiences that challenge them to observe, explore, experiment, draw conclusions, ask new questions and enjoy the satisfaction of solving problems. Teachers foster children’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. They stimulate children’s cognitive growth through a wide variety of hands-on activities with everyday phenomena from the natural environment that extend and enrich children’s interests and experiences.

    The early childhood classroom serves as a community where children learn to trust themselves and others. Kabbalat Shabbattefillah, and holiday preparations are joyful, shared experiences where the children become familiar and comfortable with basic Hebrew vocabulary and Jewish behaviors, rituals and concepts, including mitzvot, God and tzedakah.

    Since early childhood education provides the foundation and motivation for life-long learning, we want every child to experience success. We also believe that children benefit from learning to manage disappointments and conflicts in the context of a supportive school setting so that they can become more independent and effective young people.

    Through caring, nurturing relationships between teachers and children, our youngest students are encouraged to question thoughtfully and think for themselves. As they succeed, children develop self-esteem, feelings of competence and a sense of independence. As they interact with each other, they grow to understand the value of belonging to a group, a family, a community and the Jewish people.

    Gan-Kindergarten is a wonderfully exciting year for each child. It is a year of discovery, development and growth. Through the efforts of a dedicated and talented staff, the school provides a caring and nurturing environment within which the children grow educationally, culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. The children learn to develop self-respect, pride and a positive self-image, while developing respect for others and the tools and confidence necessary for independent thinking and discovery.

    ART

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Create artwork in different mediums and styles
    • Introduce different artists and their artwork
    • Begin to develop an art vocabulary
    • Engage in creative ways to solve an artistic problem
    • Experiment with various media and approaches to creating artwork
    • Develop skills such as cutting with scissors, gluing, assembling and designing


    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    Spelling/Phonics
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop a solid foundation of sound-symbol recognition and phonemic awareness
    Resources: McRuffy Phonics and Reading, McRuffy Press
    Orton-Gillingham for spelling and recognition of sight words

    Handwriting
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Write fluently and legibly
    Resource: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, Zaner Bloser

    Reading
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Recognize and name all upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet
    • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
    • With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text
    • With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details
    • With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story
    • Interact during read alouds and book conversations
    • Use emergent reading skills
    • With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of teach in telling a story
    • Read fiction genres
    • Read nonfiction genres
    • Apply sentence mechanics (upper case, punctuation)
    • Resources: Leveled reader libraries, classroom libraries, Reading A-Z printables, author study books, decodable books
    • Reads alouds, including but not limited to: The Kissing Hand, First Day of Kindergarten, The Leaves on the Trees, Pumpkin Soup, The Snowy Day
    Writing
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
    • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
    • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
    • Increase independence and fluency
    • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.

    Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Launching the Writing Workshop, Narratives, How to Books, Persuasive Writing, Poetry


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    Gan-Kindergarten students are exposed to Hebrew language through a range of multi-sensory activities and experiences. Students are immersed in Hebrew under the guidance of native Hebrew speakers. Students continue to develop and expand their basic Hebrew vocabulary, and begin to learn how to identify the letters of the Alef Bet. In so doing, children build their phonemic awareness skills as they begin to recognize and sound out the letters and vowels in their names, the names of their classmates, and simple words to which they are exposed.

    In addition to Hebrew language acquisition, Gan-Kindergarten students are exposed to a broader Judaic Studies program that encompasses tefillah (prayer), chagim (holidays), Jewish values and customs, Parasha, and Israel. Teachers use a blend of English and Hebrew in order to introduce students to this range of subjects which help our youngest students develop their Jewish identity, and establish a strong foundation in Jewish literacy.


    LIBRARY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Demonstrate proper book care
    • Demonstrate knowledge of procedures for borrowing and returning books
    • Know the basic parts of a book and the roles of author and illustrator
    • Respond to literature with retellings, predictions and discussions
    • Begin to recognize beginning, middle and end, as well as character and setting

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Know number names and the count sequence
    • Know number sense through 100
    • Count to tell the number of objects
    • Compare numbers
    • Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart or taking from
    • Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value
    • Identify and describe shapes (circles, squares, hexagon, pentagon, diamond)
    • Develop the concept of sorting
    • Begin to understand two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes
    • Begin to understand time
    • Begin to understand money
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math


    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn and sing songs in Hebrew and English
    • Sing songs about Jewish holidays and other Jewish topics
    • Learn to use a variety of percussion instruments
    • Demonstrate skills in rhythm and harmony
    • Follow the instructions associated with songs: hand motions, singing and dancing
    • Use basic music vocabulary and rhythms
    • Sing Hebrew songs at their level
    • Perform for the special events such as the Zimria, Chanukah celebrations, and graduation
    • Learn how to use body movements and games to develop creativity


    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Work on motor skill development
    • Improve their movement concepts, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and agility
    • Engage in non-competitive games that stress cooperation and team spirit while emphasizing the importance of physical activity and fitness
    • Develop spatial awareness

    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop curiosity and interest in the objects that make up their world
    • Investigate materials constructively during free exploration and in guided discovery
    • Classify habitats and identify animals
    • Explore the outdoor garden
    • Measure and record observations
    • Integrate science with chagim
    • Make predictions, describe observations and draw conclusions
    • Observe the similarities and differences in the larvae, pupae and adults of butterflies that go through complete metamorphosis

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop a greater understanding of Jewish and secular holidays
    • Understand the geography of Israel
    • Understand the importance of being a part of a classroom community as well as friendship
    • Learn about the significance of classroom helpers and jobs
    Resources: Time for Kids Magazine
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.



    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Turn on and off the computer and monitor
    • Identify the various parts and vocabulary of a computer including: keyboard, monitor, screen, tower and mouse
    • Demonstrate the ability to use a mouse to point, double click, and click and drag
    • Open and close a program
    • Use various programs to assist in mouse skills such as: Paint and Crayola Art
    • Use Word to understand the basic keyboard and do basic formatting and highlighting
    • Use Word to insert pictures using clip art
    • Demonstrate the ability to use one space between words
    • Understand what the Internet is and how to use it
    • Identify a menu and select an option from it
    • Understand the basic concept of coding
  • Grade 1

    First grade is a critical year in the education of each child. During this year, foundational skills in reading, writing and math are promoted while instilling the love and joy of learning. An understanding of each child’s developmental readiness is a critical component of all learning.

    ART
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Create artwork in a variety of media and themes
    • Learn about many famous artists and periods of art
    • Develop an art vocabulary
    • Acquire the vocabulary associated with different areas of art
    • Begin to understand positive and negative space
    • Become competent in gluing, cutting with scissors, sketching
    • Introduce the color wheel

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    Spelling/Phonics
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop a solid foundation of sound-symbol recognition and phonemic awareness
    • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
    • Resources: Custom designed Alphabet Lane stories
    • Orton-Gillingham for spelling and recognition of sight words
    Handwriting
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Write fluently and legibly
    • Learn proper methods of letter formation, placement and spacing
    Resource: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Unit 1, Zaner Bloser

    Grammar
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn the rules for capitalization, commas, periods, question marks, apostrophes, exclamation point, quotation marks
    • Learn parts of speech as well as literary devices
    Reading
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
    • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding
    • Ask and answer questions about key details in a text
    • Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson
    • Develop literal and inferential thinking skills
    • Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details
    • Interact during read alouds and book conversations
    • Use emergent reading skills
    • Read fiction genres
    • Read nonfiction genres
    Resources: Invitations to Literacy, Recipe for Reading, Leveled reader libraries, classroom libraries, Reading A-Z printables, author study books, decodable books
    Individual reading books as well as leveled groups included but limited to: Amelia Bedelia, Henry and Mudge, Horrible Harry, Nate the Great, I Can Read books, Hello Reader!
    Note: Use a multiple number of games, manipulatives and other activities that encourage engagement and interaction in reading

    Writing
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
    • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
    • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
    • Increase independence and fluency
    • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.
    Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue, Nonfiction Chapter Books, Writing Reviews, From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction, Poetry


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    • HEBREW LANGUAGE
      • Identify the phonetic values of the entire aleph bet
      • Write Hebrew block letters and script correctly
      • Read smoothly and with comprehension
      • Understand and use basic Hebrew words, phrases and sentences in a variety of settings
      • Construct a simple sentence in Hebrew
      • Differentiate verb and noun genders as well as plural and singular forms and apply them in written and verbal communication

    • JEWISH VALUES AND COMMUNITY
      • Understand and apply the concept of mitzvah in their own life
      • Understand the concept of derekh eretz and social values such as tzedakah, bikur holim and others contained in the Torah as guideposts for peer behavior and conflict resolution
      • Appreciate the need to treat other people with kavod and derekh eretz
      • Understand basic concepts of kashrut
      • Understand that the People of Israel has its own land- the Land of Israel
      • Identify with the State of Israel and with Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital

    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
      • Demonstrate familiarity with the symbols, rituals and practices of Erev Shabbat and Yom Shabbat (Shabbat evening and day)
      • Understand the major themes, symbols and practices of Jewish holidays
      • Identify and participate in liturgy and music appropriate for each holiday
      • Appreciate Shabbat and hagim as historical and spiritual links to Jewish heritage and opportunities for refreshment, enjoyment, community and family togetherness

    • TORAH: BIBLICAL TEXT
      • Understand the centrality of Torah study in Jewish life
      • Demonstrate knowledge of central accounts and themes in the Torah in an age-appropriate manner
      • Discuss the figures of early Biblical heroes - the patriarchs and matriarchs
      • Understand the concept of parashat hashavua and that the Torah is read each week
        • Identify key concepts of each weekly parsha through class discussion, home discussion and extension writing.

    • TEFILLAH: PRAYER
      • Participate in the main parts of Shaharit (morning service) with kavanah and havanah
      • Identify themes, key words and concepts of tefillah
      • Appreciate the beauty and richness of synagogue life
        • Use mindfulness as a tool to enhance participating with Kavanah and kavod.
        • Lead the prayers appropriate for snack time, while assigning the correct blessing for each food.


    LIBRARY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Begin to apply alphabetization skills in order to locate materials
    • Recognize the basic system of shelf order and understand that call numbers represent the “address” of a book on a shelf
    • Use the OPAC to search for titles, authors and keywords, with assistance
    • Identify a book’s publisher, copyright date, dedication page, table of contents and glossary
    • Begin to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction
    • Begin to make predictions and connections

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
    • Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction
    • Add and subtract within 20
    • Work with addition and subtraction equations
    • Extend the counting sequence
    • Understand place value
    • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
    • Measure lengths by iterating length units
    • Tell and write time
    • Represent and interpret data
    • Reason with shapes and their attributes
    • Begin to understand the concept of one more, one less/ten more, ten less
    • Develop sense of money
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math
    Additional resources- http://brainbashers.com/puzzles.asp, http://www.fun4brain.com/, http://www.funbrain.com/, http://www.playkidsgames.com/mathGames.htm
    Integration of Math, Hebrew, and Judaic Studies



    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an appreciation for music and be introduced to different composers
    • Learn and sing songs in Hebrew and English (for Jewish holidays and general topics)
    • Learn to use a variety of percussion instruments
    • Perform new rhythms on percussions or by hand clapping
    • Demonstrate skills in rhythm and harmony
    • Play special rhythms and harmony on xylophones
    • Perform for special events such as the Zimria and the Siddur ceremony

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Strengthen motor skill development
    • Improve their movement concepts, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and agility
    • Engage in non-competitive games that stress cooperation and team spirit while emphasizing the importance of physical activity
    • Understand the concepts of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’
    • Introduced to sportsmanship as individuals and teams

    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Understand science concepts through their own investigations
    • Develop curiosity and interest in the objects that make up their world
    • Understand weather and how it relates to the Earth’s tilt
    • Observe and describe changes that occur in weather over time
    • Observe and experiment with air
    • Investigate materials constructively during free exploration and in guided discovery
    • Organize and communicate observations through illustrations, writing, and individual insect reports

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Know geographical terms and identify them on a map
    • Develop map skills of the continents
    • Discuss current events
    • Develop a greater understanding of Jewish and secular holidays
    • Know Presidents throughout history
    • Know basic economic terms
    • Become aware of various world cultures
    Resources: Map Skills from Today-a Weekly Reader skills book, Scholastic News Weekly Reader
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.



    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Turn on and off the computer and monitor
    • Log onto the computer
    • Identify the various parts and vocabulary of a computer including: keyboard, monitor, screen, tower and mouse
    • Demonstrate the ability to use a mouse to point, double click, and click and drag
    • Open and close a program
    • Use various programs to assist in mouse skills such as: Paint and Crayola Art
    • Use Word to understand the basic keyboard and do basic formatting and highlighting
    • Use Word to insert pictures using Clip Art and Word Art
    • Use Word to type various integrated projects and use Spell Check
    • Demonstrate the ability to use one space between words
    • Understand what the Internet is and how to use it
    • Identify a menu and select an option from it
    • Save and retrieve documents onto the network
    • Obtain Basic keyboarding skills, including hand position
    • Identify the most commonly used keys on the keyboard and their location
    • Print a document
    • Demonstrate the ability to use one space between words
    • Understand the basic concept of coding
    • Understand basic 3D Creations using CAD software
  • Grade 2

    Second grade is a year of discovery and promise. Students strengthen basic foundational skills in all areas while the groundwork is set for good working habits. Children are encouraged to be independent thinkers who take risks.

    ART
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Build an art vocabulary while learning about select artists and their work
    • Create various projects using a variety of media
    • Design with various materials and tools to explore personal creativity
    • Experiment with various materials and tools
    • Develop a better understanding of spatial layout
    • Begin to grasp different lines, textures, shapes and design
    • Identify primary and secondary colors


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    • HEBREW LANGUAGE
      • Speak using simple and complete Hebrew sentences
      • Write using simple and complete Hebrew sentences
      • Distinguish basic concepts in Hebrew grammar, including: gender, number, and tense
      • Locate information in a given text
      • Improve reading fluency
      • Improve reading comprehension
      • Learn new vocabulary
      • Proofread and correct one’s work
      • Use a Hebrew-English dictionary to find nouns and correct spelling

    • JEWISH VALUES AND COMMUNITY
      • Understand that Torah values and mitzvot apply to them directly and their relationships with peers, family and teachers
      • Understand the basic concepts of kashrut and identify Kosher symbols
      • Take responsibility in supporting classmates and demonstrating sensitivity and understanding
      • Identify landmarks on a map of Israel as well as Israel’s flag, national anthem and Israel’s role as cultural, religious and historical center of Jewish life

    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
      • Become literate in the origin stories of the Jewish holidays
      • Understand the rituals of Shabbat and how they take place chronologically in the Shabbat routine
      • Associate holidays with particular mitzvot
      • Associate holidays with personal practices (ask forgiveness on Yom Kippur, think about ways to preserve nature on Tu Bishvat, etc.)
      • Appreciate historical and spiritual dimensions of the major Jewish holidays
      • Enjoy Shabbat as a time for family, community and spirituality
      • Respect the pluralism of the Jewish community in an environment which encourages diversity

    • TORAH: BIBLICAL TEXT
      • Develop textual analysis and critical thinking skills
      • Identify the basic storyline and characters of the first part of Bereishit
      • Understand and appreciate the centrality of Torah in Jewish life
      • Understand Torah as a guide to life
      • Gain a deeper understanding of the Parashat Hashavua as the underlying rhythm of Jewish life
        • Relate the deeper message of the Parasha to one’s own life and practices through writing and art activities

    • TEFILLAH: PRAYER
      • Participate in and lead the Daven central elements of the Shaharit service
      • Understand key words, phrases and concepts in the liturgy
      • Pray Daven with havanah and kavanah (understanding and intention)


    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

    Spelling
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Build proficiency with common spelling rules
    • Link spelling to word meaning
    Resource: Steck-Vaughn Core Skills Spelling Grade 3, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Spelling City for wordlist

    Handwriting

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Practice correct letter formation with appropriate spacing between words
    • Understand concepts such as abbreviations and letter writing
    Resource: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, Zaner-Bloser

    Grammar

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Practice grammar skills taught in Writer’s Workshop
    Resource: Daily Paragraph Editing, Evan Moor

    Reading

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Decode grade level words
    • Read with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding
    • Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of text
    • Demonstrate understanding of characters, setting and plot
    • Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges
    • Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters
    • Understand story structure
    • Learn about point of view
    • Develop literal and inferential thinking skills
    • Compare and contrast different versions of a fiction story/different texts on a nonfiction topic
    • Make connections to events in a story
    • Learn new vocabulary
    • Understand nonfiction text features
    • Find support for points in a nonfiction text

    Resources:
    Nonfiction publications: Grizzly Bears, Journey to a New Land, Up and Away, Star Gazers, Star Stuff, Galaxies, Galaxies, Constellations
    Examples of novels: Frog and Toad All Year, The School Mouse, The Horrible Harry books, Chibi, The Cam Jansen Books, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Clementine
    Read alouds included but not limited to: Ferdinand, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Molly’s Pilgrim, Wayside School Stories, Suddenly, Chester’s Way

    Writing

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
    • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
    • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
    • Increase independence and fluency
    • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.
    Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Teaching Books, Narrative, Lab Reports and Science Books, Writing About Reading and Poetry

    LIBRARY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Begin to locate age appropriate fiction and nonfiction books
    • Recognize that the OPAC is searchable by keyword, subject, author or title
    • Identify trusted places in the community where they can seek information (school, museums, governmental agencies, public libraries)
    • Identify Caldecott, Newbery and Sydney Taylor literature awards and understand their significance

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
    • Add and subtract within 20
    • Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication
    • Understand place value
    • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
    • Understand data analysis and graphing
    • Measure and estimate lengths in standard units
    • Relate addition and subtraction to length
    • Work with time and money
    • Represent and interpret data
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math
    Creative Publications: Problem Solver II Grade II
    Scholastic: Math Games to Master Basic Skills
    Math centers are used in this grade with material coming from various sources.


    MUSIC

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an appreciation for music and be introduced to different composers
    • Learn and sing new Hebrew and English songs (for Jewish holidays and general topics)
    • Demonstrate skills in harmony and rhythm while using rhythm instruments
    • Learn new rhythms and use them to accompany songs by clapping
    • Use the xylophones and the percussion instruments for creativity and to accompany songs
    • Perform for special events such as the Zimria and the Chumash celebration

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop physical fitness and athletic skills through organized games and sports activities
    • Enjoy and have fun with peers in a non-competitive environment while stressing good sportsmanship
    • Develop team sports skills
    • Display an understanding of sportsmanship
    • Understand the importance of wellness
    • Work in groups to complete tasks

    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Investigate materials constructively during free exploration in a guided discovery
    • Acquire the vocabulary associated with balance and motion and solids, liquids and gases
    • Develop a growing curiosity and interest in the motion of objects
    • Experiment with concepts of balance, counter weight and stability
    • Observe and describe the properties of solids and liquids
    • Observe and describe what happens when solids or other liquids are added to water
    • Use information gathered to conduct an investigation on an unknown material
    • Investigate the solar system and phases of the moon
    • Organize and communicate observations through illustrations, writing, and individual mammal reports

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an understanding of where we live: communities, city, state, country
    • Learn terms and concepts relating to map and globe skills and landforms
    • Learn about local and state government
    • Understand American History as it relates to immigration (integrated with Molly’s Pilgrim project) and people in the past with an emphasis on Native Americans
    • Understand the significance of Ellis Island
    • Learn about local economies as it relates to goods and services
    Resources: Scott Foresman-Social Studies, People and Places
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.


    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Use Word to type and edit basic paragraphs with proper grammar and punctuation
    • Insert and manipulate graphics, word art textboxes and tables in Word
    • Understand and use intermediate technology vocabulary
    • Locate, retrieve and save documents to and from classroom networked folders
    • Learn how to insert and animate the various objects and slides inserted into their slideshow
    • Demonstrate basic use of Photoshop
    • Recognize and place fingers properly on the home row keys
    • Demonstrate proper basic keyboarding techniques
    • Demonstrate basic code creations
    • Understand basic 3D Creations using CAD software
  • Grade 3

    In third grade the students and teachers explore values necessary to co-exist in a friendly respectful school environment. The 4 C’s—Communication, Caring, Cooperation and Consideration (Menschlichkeit)—are hopefully extended outside the classroom as well.

    ART
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Build and use an art vocabulary while learning about select artists and their artwork
    • Create artwork using a variety of artistic processes, tools and materials
    • Explain positive and negative space
    • Review warm and cool colors
    • Become familiar with line, texture, shape, form, layout, design
    • Expand art vocabulary

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    • Spelling
      Students will know and be able to:
      • Build proficiency with common spelling rules
      • Link spelling to word meaning
      • Develop the critical link between vocabulary and reading comprehension (Wordly Wise)
      • Help successfully comprehend content-area texts
    • Resource: Steck-Vaughn Core Skills Spelling Grade 4, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Wordly Wise 3000, by Kenneth Hodkinson and Sandra Adams

    • Handwriting
      Students will know and be able to:
      • Continue to practice correct letter formation with appropriate spacing between wordsLearn the correct developmental sequence of letters
      • Resource: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, Zaner-Bloser

    • Grammar
      Students will know and be able to:
      • Practice grammar skills taught in Writer’s WorkshopLearn subject/predicate sentence structure, building descriptions with adjectives and adverbs, introduce prepositions
    • Resource: Houghton Mifflin Reading Anthology

    • Reading
      Students will know and be able to:
      • Read with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
      • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding
      • Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers
      • Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
      • Use context clues to determine meaning of unknown words
      • Develop inferential thinking skills
      • Demonstrate reading comprehension through retelling, summarizing and paraphrasing
      • Sequence skill development
      • Learn about conflict and resolution in a story
      • Understand cause and effect
      • Understand nonfiction text features
      • Find support for points in a nonfiction text
    • Resources:
    • Examples of novels: Charlotte’s Web, Ramona, Super Fudge, Lemonade War, 3rd Grade Angels, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Chocolate Touch, Iggie’s House
    • Read alouds included but not limited to: Ramona, Judy Moody, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Chocolate Factory, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Marvin Redpost

    • Writing
      Students will know and be able to:
      • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
      • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
      • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
      • Increase independence and fluency
      • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.
    • Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    • Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Teaching Books, Crafting True Stories, The Art of Information Writing, Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials and Fairy Tales, Poetry

    LIBRARY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Locate fiction and nonfiction books using OPAC
    • Understand the function of the table of contents, index and glossary
    • Understand the concept of plagiarism
    • Know how to, with support, log in to and navigate school databases and bookmarked websites
    • Begin to identify and distinguish among genres

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Solve problems involving multi-digit addition and subtraction
    • Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division
    • Understand properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division
    • Multiply and divide within 100
    • Solve problems involving the four operations, and identify and explain patterns of arithmetic
    • Develop a greater sense of estimation
    • Develop rounding skills
    • Use place value understanding to perform multi-digit arithmetic
    • Develop understanding of fractions as numbers
    • Solve problems involving measurement
    • Represent and interpret data
    • Begin to understand geometric measurement
    • Understand concepts of perimeter and area
    • Reason with shapes and their attributes
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math
    Additional resources: “Boxcars and One-Eyed Jacks”, “Nimble with Numbers”, “Games for Math”


    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an appreciation for music and be introduced to different composers
    • Learn and sing more challenging selected songs in Hebrew and English (for Jewish holidays and general topics)
    • Demonstrate skills in harmony and rhythm
    • Focus on the meaning of the Hebrew words, interpretation and understanding of the songs
    • Learn more complicated rhythms and use them to accompany songs by clapping
    • Participate in optional band instrument instruction
    • Use the xylophones and the percussions for accompanying songs
    • Perform for special events such as the Zimria and the Rosh Chodesh celebration

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Participate in organized games and sports to develop physical fitness and athletic skills.
    • Learn good sportsmanship in a non-competitive friendly environment
    • Understand team games and sports
    • Learn how to win and lose graciously
    • Develop communication and team building skills

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn about the voyage of Christopher Columbus
    • Understand the history of Thanksgiving
    • Develop an understanding of immigration
    • Perform research on world countries
    • Focus on how technological progress has affected society highlighting different inventions throughout history
    • Understand the significance and impact of Black History and Women’s History
    • Gain a deeper understanding of current events
    Resources: Scott Foresman-Social Studies, Communities
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.


    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Demonstrate intermediate keyboarding techniques
    • Demonstrate text formatting including: cut, copy and paste and bulleted lists
    • Understand and use intermediate technology vocabulary
    • Identify and use hyperlinks
    • Use online search techniques to research specific information
    • Demonstrate how to identify a credible source on the internet
    • Create and format a slideshow in MS PowerPoint
    • Demonstrate use of Photoshop
    • Understand basic 3D Creations using CAD software
    • Demonstrate basic and intermediate coding techniques

    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Classify and compare the Five Senses
    • Investigate Simple Machines
    • Examine chemicals and analyze them using scientific methodology
    • Explore ideas and inventions using the techniques of chromatography, rubbing, carbon printing and mirror imaging
    • Utilize language and math skills in the context of science while acquiring appropriate vocabulary
    • Organize and communicate observations through illustrations, writing, individual ideas and invention presentations


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    • HEBREW LANGUAGE
      • Identify main ideas in a text
      • Write complete, grammatically correct Hebrew sentences
      • Master conjugation of verbs in present tense
      • Locate information in a given text
      • Improve reading comprehension
      • Learn and retain new vocabulary

    • JEWISH VALUES AND COMMUNITY
      • Reinforce Jewish values focusing on personal responsibility, caring and involvement that inform behavior to peers, family members, parents and teachers
      • Understand the importance of tzedakah and gemilut hasadim and frequently take part in these crucial mitzvot
      • Perform communal tasks as a part of the classroom community such as leading tefillah, making bikur holim calls to classmates, leading Kabbalat Shabbat and others
      • Demonstrate basic knowledge of kashrut
      • Appreciate the effort required to establish and maintain the State of Israel as the Jewish Homeland

    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
      • Understand the mitzvot of remembering and keeping Shabbat
        Identify the holidays, Shabbat Mevarchim, and Rosh Chodesh on the Jewish calendar
      • Understand what makes each month special
      • Assume a leading role in celebrating the holidays at home
      • Learn the rituals, observances and symbols of each holiday
      • Understand the mitzvot associated with each holiday

    • TORAH: BIBLICAL TEXT
      • Understand that the Torah as sifrei kodesh, sacred writ, is a text different in kind, and not only in degree, from every other type of text
      • Relate to the experience of Talmud Torah, the study of Torah as deeper, more inquiring and more reverent than the way they read other books
      • View the Torah as the source of personal meaning and guidance in ethical and spiritual life
      • Acquire an appreciation for the subtleties and nuances of the texts as gateways to meaning
      • Read texts from Bereishit with understanding and to discuss ideas, characters, events and themes of the narrative
      • Develop critical thinking skills in reading Torah text

    • TEFILLAH: PRAYER
      • Understand the basic structure of the Shaharit morning service
      • Lead tefillah for most of the morning service including Ashrei, Barukh She’amar, Ahavah Rabbah, Shema, Amidah and Aleinu
        • Participate in a full Rosh Chodesh service
        • Be able to relate the meaning of the berachot of the Amidah to their own lives
  • Grade 4

    In fourth grade students will acquire greater independence while developing critical and creative thinking skills. Students will enjoy a stimulating learning environment, which focuses on cooperation and respect for each other.

    ART
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Create various projects using a variety of media
    • Simulate the style of a famous artist’s artwork
    • Feel empowered to design artwork that is meaningful and personal
    • Identify and describe elements and principles in a variety of media artworks
    • Understand primary, secondary and complementary colors
    • Develop the knowledge of blending and mixing of colors to form other colors

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    Spelling
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Build proficiency with common spelling rules
    • Link spelling to word meaning
    • Develop the critical link between vocabulary and reading comprehension (Wordly Wise)
    • Help successfully comprehend content-area texts
    Resource: Steck-Vaughn Core Skills Spelling Grade 5, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Wordly Wise 4000, by Kenneth Hodkinson and Sandra Adams

    Handwriting
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Continue to practice cursive handwriting skills
    Resource: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, Zaner-Bloser

    Grammar
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Practice grammar skills taught in Writer’s Workshop
    Resource: Grammar Workshop, Sadlier

    Reading
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Read with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding
    • Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story drawing on specific details in the text
    • Compare and contrast the point of view from which stories are narrated
    • Use context clues to determine meaning of unknown words
    • Demonstrate reading comprehension through retelling, summarizing and paraphrasing
    • Learn more about making predictions and drawing conclusions
    • Understand cause and effect
    • Understand nonfiction text features
    • Find support for points in a nonfiction text

    Resources:
    Examples of novels: The Landry News, Tales of Despereaux, Nothing But the Truth, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Fourth Grade Rats, The Kid Who Ran for President, The Mystery of Harris Burdick, Jumanji, Bud Not Buddy
    Read alouds included but not limited to: Shiloh Trilogy, Fox, Nicky Fifth

    Writing
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
    • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
    • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
    • Increase independence and fluency
    • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.
    Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Realistic Fiction, Boxes and Bullets, Personal and Persuasive Essays, Bringing History to Life, Writing About Fiction, Poetry



    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    • HEBREW LANGUAGE
      • Read with fluency and expression
      • Make inferences from a text
      • Write opinions in complete, grammatically correct Hebrew sentences
      • Master conjugation of verbs in past tense
      • Learn conjugation of verbs in future tense
      • Paraphrase a text in complete Hebrew sentences

    • JEWISH VALUES AND COMMUNITY
      • Draw on a basic lexicon of Jewish values focusing on personal responsibility, caring and involvement that inform behavior to peers, family members, parents and teachers
      • Understand the importance of tzedakah and gemilut hasadim and frequently take part in these crucial mitzvot
      • Perform tasks as a part of the classroom community such as leading tefillah and , making bikur holim calls to classmates, leading Kabbalat Shabbat and others
      • Take part in the communal life of the school and wider community
        • Continue to develop and strengthen their relationship with the State of Israel through classroom learning and increased experiential activities planned by our Rishonim

    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
      • Develop a deep familiarity with the practices, liturgy, mitzvot, major customs and sources of Shabbat and Jewish holidays
      • Develop an appreciation for the centrality of the Jewish calendar’s cycle of celebrations and commemorations in Jewish life

    • TEFILLAH: PRAYER
      • Daven with havanah and kavanah
      • Understand the basic structure of all Jewish liturgy
      • Lead the Shaharit and Rosh Chodesh service, including Hallel

    LIBRARY
    Students will be know and able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Locate materials using OPAC with minimal assistance
    • Identify, locate and utilize reference sources such as school databases to conduct research
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the main classifications within the Dewey Decimal System
    • Increase their awareness of cyber safety

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with whole numbers to solve problems
    • Represent and solve problems within addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
    • Gain familiarity with factors and multiples
    • Understand place value for multi-digit whole numbers
    • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic
    • Further develop a greater sense of estimation
    • Extend understanding of fractions equivalence and ordering
    • Understand decimal notation for fractions and compare decimal fractions
    • Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurement from a larger unit to a smaller unit
    • Understand concepts of perimeter and area
    • Represent and interpret data
    • Continue to develop an understanding of geometry
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math
    Additional resources: www.SunDog.com, Front Row


    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an appreciation for music
    • Demonstrate skills in vocal and rhythmic music
    • Gain experience with basic guitar or xylophone techniques
    • Improvise/compose using guitar or xylophone
    • Learn Hebrew and English songs
    • Participate in optional band instrument instruction


    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Build a sense of fairness and understanding of good sportsmanship by participating in games and team sports
    • Develop athletic skills and maintain physical fitness
    • Develop sportsmanship and leadership skills
    • Develop cooperation and communication skills that enable the completion of group tasks
    • Understand fitness concepts

    SCIENCE
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Earth materials unit
      • Compare and contrast the layers of the earth
      • Identify and measure the properties of rocks and minerals
      • Define the rock cycle
      • Gain knowledge of tectonic plates
      • Examine fossils and create simulated fossils
      • Observe different crystals and grow borax crystals

    • Magnets & electricity unit
      • Test magnet strength
      • Gain knowledge of the magnetic poles
      • Explain magnetic lines on earth
      • Investigate different circuit types; simple, parallel, series, open, closed
      • Examine motors and light bulbs in circuits
      • Create schematic drawings
      • Compare and contrast conductors vs. insulators

    • Skeletal & muscular systems of the body
      • Define a cell and list the main parts of it
      • Examine cells using a microscope
      • Create cell models that include organelles
      • Identify the structures inside bones
      • List the functions of bones
      • Assemble a simulated human skeleton
      • Dissect owl pellets to distinguish its contents
      • Investigate different joints in the skeleton
      • Understand how muscles work
      • Construct a muscle model

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Identify and map all of the capitals and states of the United States of America
    • Identify the regions of the United States
    • Learn about the geography of New Jersey
    • Deepen the understanding of Native American and European Settlers
    • Develop and understanding about colonial times and independence from Great Britain
    • Learn about slavery and the Civil War
    • Research and write about presidential biographies
    • Develop an understanding of the government
    Resources: Scott Foresman-Social Studies, New Jersey
    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.



    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Demonstrate intermediate and advanced keyboarding techniques
    • Demonstrate intermediate text formatting
    • Understand and use intermediate and advanced technology vocabulary
    • Identify and use hyperlinks
    • Use online search techniques to research specific information
    • Demonstrate how to identify a credible source on the internet
    • Create and format a slideshow in MS PowerPoint
    • Demonstrate knowledge and use of desktop publishing skills
    • Demonstrate knowledge and use of spreadsheet terms and skills
    • Demonstrate basic and intermediate coding techniques
    • Understand basic 3D Creations using CAD software
  • Grade 5

    Our fifth grade program lays the foundation for a successful transition to Middle School. Students are encouraged to be critical and independent thinkers, active learners and problem solvers.


    ART
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Create various projects using different media
    • Develop fluency of art terms and vocabulary
    • Better understanding of the color wheel – warm and cool colors, primary, secondary and complementary colors
    • Competency of cutting with scissors, gluing, assembling, blending and mixing of colors
    • Expression of personality through their artwork
    • Ability to easily use lines, textures, shapes, forms in their layouts and designs
    • Awareness of positive and negative space in artwork

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
    • Spelling
    • Students will know and be able to:
      • Build proficiency with common spelling rules grouped according to rule
      • Link spelling to word meaning
      • Practice in multiple modes (analogies, categories)
    • Resource: Steck-Vaughn Core Skills Spelling Grade 6, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Grammar
    • Students will know and be able to:
      • Practice grammar skills taught in Writer’s Workshop
      • Learn through comprehensive instruction and review of parts of speech, sentence structure and editing practice
    • Resource: Sadlier-Oxford Grammar Workshop, Level Blue
    • Reading
    • Students will know and be able to:
      • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
      • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding
      • Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
      • Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama on specific details in the text
      • Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described
      • Use context clues to determine meaning of unknown words, including figurative language such as metaphors, similes, personification
      • Predict outcomes
      • Demonstrate reading comprehension through retelling, summarizing and paraphrasing
      • Understand cause and effect
      • Understand nonfiction text features
      • Find support for points in a nonfiction text
    • Resources:
      • Examples of novels: Sing Down the Moon, Tuck Everlasting, Cricket in Time Square, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Number the Stars, Ben and Me
      • Read alouds included but not limited to: The Secret School, The Great Cake Mystery, Pictures of Hollis Woods, The Yellow Star
    • Writing
    • Students will know and be able to:
      • Learn opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
      • Foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
      • Develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
      • Increase independence and fluency
      • Learn from a ladder of exemplar texts (mentor texts) that model writing progressions across grades.
    • Resources: Columbia University Teachers College Writer’s Workshop-Reading and Writing Project
    • Heinemann Units of Study Genres by Lucy Calkins: Narrative Craft, The Lens of History: Research Reports, Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir, Poetry


    HEBREW LANGUAGE AND JUDAIC STUDIES
    • HEBREW LANGUAGE
      • Solidify oral comprehension and expression
      • Use correct subject/verb/adjective agreement
      • Identify command forms of regular verbs and grammatical exceptions
      • Write comprehensive paragraphs, stories, short book reports
      • Expand vocabulary of nouns, verbs and adjectives
      • Improve correct use of present, past and infinitive verbs
      • Learn conjugation of verbs in future tense
      • Expand use of Hebrew numbers
      • Improve comprehension skills through use of inference and context
    • JEWISH VALUES AND COMMUNITY
      • Demonstrate familiarity with a wide lexicon of Jewish values/concepts such as Derekh Eretz (respect), Gemilut Hasadim (acts of kindness and charity), Lashon HaRa (gossip) and many more
      • Demonstrate familiarity with advanced Kashrut issues
      • Understand the importance of Tikkun Olam - world repair - and Tzedakah (supporting the needy) and seek opportunities to serve the community
      • Set a positive example for younger peers and act as leaders in the school community
      • Appreciate the bond between the world, the American Jewish community and the modern State of Israel as well as the responsibility of every Jew to support Israel
    • SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
      • Demonstrate familiarity with underlying themes and sources of Jewish holidays and modern Jewish celebrations such as Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut
      • Demonstrate knowledge of textual, agricultural and spiritual roots of the Jewish yearly cycle
      • Appreciate Shabbat and hagim as opportunities for reflection, community and personal renewal
      • Take a leading role in home and synagogue ritual life
    • TEFILLAH: PRAYER
      • Daven with havanah (understanding) and kavanah (intention)
      • Demonstrate the ability to lead Shabbat and Hol Shaharit and participate in Mincha
      • Learn Torah trope and present an aliyah brachot (blessings)
      • Participate in and lead a Torah service

    LIBRARY
    Students will be know and able to:
    • Apply reading, listening and viewing skills in response to grade level appropriate text
    • Build on their ability to evaluate Internet and print resources for accuracy, credibility and relevance.
    • Understand and practice the principles of the Internet Standards of Acceptable Use and Behavior.
    • Be exposed to a good representation of grade level appropriate text

    MATHEMATICS
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Write and interpret numerical expressions
    • Represent and solve problems within addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
    • Analyze patterns and relationships
    • Understand the place value system
    • Perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths
    • Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions
    • Develop greater understand of multiplying fractions
    • Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system
    • Represent and interpret data
    • Understand concepts in geometry: plane and solid shapes, symmetry, congruency, perimeter, area, volume, circumference
    Resources: McGraw-Hill Publishing: My Math consumable text and specific reinforcement and/or enrichment activities from website
    Additional resources: www.commoncoresheets.com, www.superteacherworksheets.com, www.k5learning.com, www.education.com
    Dynamath Magazine, Front Row
    Resources for Games: Joanne Currah and Jane Felling: Rolling Dough, Dega Dice, Dice Words, All Hands on Deck



    MUSIC
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Develop an appreciation for music
    • Demonstrate skills in vocal and rhythmic music
    • Gain experience with basic guitar or xylophone techniques
    • Improvise/compose using guitar or xylophone
    • Learn Hebrew and English songs
    • Participate in optional band instrument instruction


    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Students will know and able to:
    • Participate in team sports and games building a sense of good sportsmanship
    • Hone appropriate motor skills while maintaining physical fitness
    • Understand the importance of fitness and healthy choices
    • Demonstrate the ability to self-officiate team games
    • Actively participate in cooperative activities

    SCIENCE
    • Food & nutrition unit
      • Describe food chains and food webs
      • Illustrate models of food chains and food webs in different ecosystems
      • Define the six key nutrients
      • Conduct experiments on food to test for the presence of fat, acids, and vitamins
      • Compare and contrast food labels
      • Understand how food indicators work
      • Explain how the digestive system breaks down food
      • Investigate how saliva and teeth break down food and how bile breaks down fats
      • Measure the length of a human’s digestive system

    • Solar Energy unit
      • Describe the different parts of the sun
      • Measure and compare temperatures in sun vs. shade
      • Conduct temperature tests of earth’s materials
      • Mixtures & solutions unit
      • Examine different mixtures
      • Observe and compare salt solutions of different concentrations
      • Conduct saturation investigations
      • Observe and compare reactants and products of chemical reactions

    • Microworlds unit
      • Examine different lenses
      • Compare and contrast concave and convex lenses
      • Identify the parts of a microscope
      • Learn about wet mount and well microscope slides
      • Observe microscopic organisms

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Deepen understanding of colonial life in America
    • Learn about the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War
    • Develop and understanding of the Constitution Era
    • Learn how government works
    • Discuss political ideas
    • Draw comparisons between events of past and current events
    • Study of the election process
    • Research, write, edit, create a bibliography and oral presentation on an individual state report project
    Resources: Scott Foresman-Social Studies, Building a Nation, text and workbook, News of the Nation-series of high-interest reading material highlight specific areas of study

    There is an opportunity for technology to be integrated as well.




    TECHNOLOGY
    Students will know and be able to:
    • Demonstrate intermediate and advanced keyboarding techniques
    • Demonstrate advanced text formatting for use in typing, editing and publishing written working including the state report.
    • Understand and use intermediate and advanced technology vocabulary
    • Identify and use hyperlinks
    • Use online search techniques to research specific information
    • Create a bibliography using web tools
    • Demonstrate how to identify a credible source on the internet
    • Create and format a slideshow in MS PowerPoint
    • Demonstrate knowledge and use of spreadsheet terms and skills
    • Demonstrate knowledge and use of desktop publishing skills
    • Demonstrate basic and intermediate coding techniques
    • Understand basic 3D Creations using CAD software
  • Grade 6

    Middle School is a time for transition and growth. Our program strives to both support and challenge students, enabling them to develop a sense of independence while also providing them the structure, guidance, and limits appropriate to the middle grade years. Our Middle School students learn both content and skills, building the knowledge necessary for High School and beyond as they become critical thinkers and independent learners.

    While we seek to create a Middle School culture, we recognize that each year of Middle School has its own needs. We view the Middle School years as a series of transitions. Our sixth grade program recognizes that the sixth graders need a year that falls in structure and routine somewhere between the single classroom of Lower School and the larger variety of the rest of the Upper School.

    6th graders are exposed to one trimester of Music and one trimester of Art during their first year at the Upper School. Additionally, 6th graders have the opportunity of participating in the end-of-the-year middle school musical, on or back stage.

    Middle School students choose electives each trimester; though the offerings vary depending upon the grade level and trimester, they generally including music, drama, art, and computer technology.

    ELECTIVES
    6th graders are exposed to one trimester of Music and one trimester of Art during their first year at the Upper School. Additionally, 6th graders have the opportunity of participating in the end-of-the-year middle school musical, on or back stage.

    Electives are developed to build students’ skills, enable them to explore new interests, and give them an opportunity to express themselves. Elective teachers also work closely with other faculty to take advantage of interdisciplinary opportunities and build connections between their subject areas and other topics of study students are pursuing.
     
    Electives often include project-based learning in which students prepare short- and long-term assignments that involve planning, execution, and revision and culminate in final performances, artistic works, or projects. They provide a challenging and inspiring environment in which students develop their expertise, interests, and ability to work collaboratively with classmates and teachers.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    In our Hebrew curriculum we emphasize the development of the 4 language skills, so that students will learn to read, write, and converse in Hebrew. students read texts, poems and books, write letters, journals and emails, listen to songs, news, reports and lectures while practice their speaking skills. They speak with their friends, leave a message or tell a joke.
     
    Students need content in order to exercise their skills. The materials provide content for the students to talk, read, write, argue, and think about are from classical to modern Hebrew texts. Students encounter stories, nonfiction articles, notes, poems, songs and Jewish texts of different historical layers. Homework, quizzes, projects, tests and portfolio work are used to evaluate and demonstrate student progress.
     
    We use the NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) program to teach our students Hebrew. NETA has partnered with CET, the Center for Educational technology in Tel Aviv. Together, they have been developing new multi-media materials to support the advancement of Hebrew language teaching and learning, updating and enriching the learning materials we use in Hebrew classes.
     
    In Middle school we teach the following books: Bishvil Ha’ivrit 1, 2 and 3.
     
    The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit books include:

    Glossaries of new words:
    Every chapter starts with a glossary of new words translated into English.

    Texts that are taught in class and texts for independent reading at home and follow–up assignments.

    Online practice exercises:
    Interactive vocabulary and grammar exercises allow each student to practice at his/her own pace.

    Everyday conversations:
    The book includes many everyday conversations. Students can practice leaving a message for a relative in a hotel, reporting a missing suitcase, or ordering a family-size pizza.

    Documentary films:
    These films were produced especially for the Bishvil Ha-Ivrit series and provide a look at “real life” in Israel today.

    Students access the digital version of their print book with a unique username and password.

    The digital book allows students to hear texts with just a click of the headphone icon.
     
    Clicking the hand icon leads to interactive activities and practice exercises that provide immediate feedback and the chance to keep trying until they get the correct answer.
     
    The Hebrew verb system is always a challenge. The Paalulan lets students look up and practice verb conjugations. They can hear the verb pronounced correctly, and practice with the interactive exercises.

    LANGUAGE ARTS
    The goal of this interdisciplinary course is to assist sixth grade students in developing necessary skills for future academic success. The language arts curriculum builds on the curriculum in lower school. Components of the reading program include: SRA individualized reading kits, novels, plays, short stories and poems. Novels may include: Walkabout, Wonder, The Secret of Nimh, Maniac Magee, Hatchet, Bridge to Terabithia, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, Wonder, Music of the Dolphins, Al Capone Does My Shirts and A Wrinkle in Time. Writing abilities are fostered through the use of journal entries, essays, projects, reaction papers, and news writing. The process of writing is emphasized throughout all activities, both creative and analytical. Organizational skills are developed formally through specialized binders and lessons. An interdisciplinary approach pervades all aspects of learning, including a beginning research project that focuses on process rather than product: skimming, scanning, note taking, highlighting and using reference skills. Students are also introduced to the library’s print and electronic resources, including encyclopedias, databases, library catalogs and print resources and learn to think critically about the accuracy and usefulness of the information they find.

    MATHEMATICS
    The Middle School curriculum focuses on the development of number sense. This gives students the ability to experiment with numbers and also gives them confidence in their mathematical judgment. In presenting material, we stress the concept of discovery which enables students to learn to reason logically. We encourage our students to “push the envelope” to extend themselves to their utmost capabilities.

    Students are encouraged to question and share ideas in group related activities. Special attention is given to individual needs in our math clinics provided during lunch periods. These needs can be for enrichment or tutorial purposes. Goals:

    • Ability to perform all mathematical operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
    • Ability to solve problems involving critical thinking.
    • Understand math and its relationship to other curricula areas and the “real world.”
    • Develop and appreciate number sense.
    • Develop a positive and realistic approach to mathematics.
    • Develop a mastery in basic computational skills.
    • Introduce basic algebraic concepts.
    • Develop proper study skills and work habits.
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators and computers.

    GENERAL MATHEMATICS
    This course will cover operations with integers, fractions, and decimals, percentages, and ratios. Concept development and applications are emphasized. Algebraic expressions and equations are developed throughout this enriched course.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    PPhysical Education is required of all students. Basic skills are taught in the sixth grade and are further developed in the seventh and eighth grades. Additionally, more advanced skills and strategies are built upon basic fundamentals. The major goals of the physical education program are to develop and improve overall physical fitness, understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, and learn cooperation, sportsmanship and respect through various activities. These activities include, but are not limited to: team & individual sports such as soccer, football, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, aerobics, bowling, badminton, hockey, dance and rhythms, softball, ultimate Frisbee, team handball, and cooperative games.
     
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    HEALTH
    The Middle School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining health and wellness on a personal level. Through the responsible decision making model, students will attain the tools needed to make appropriate, safe and healthy choices throughout their lifetime. Throughout the Middle School years, the three main areas of health: mental and emotional, physical, and social are addressed.
     
    In the sixth grade the main areas of study are: learning the responsible decision model and dealing with peer pressure; nutrition, various body systems including male and reproductive systems and the changes that occur at puberty; drugs and substance misuse & abuse with an emphasis on over the counter medications.
     
    RABBINICS
    Middle School marks our students’ formal entry into the study of rabbinic thought and literature, beginning with the study of the Mishnah in sixth grade. Students will learn how the Oral Torah evolved through interpretation of the Written Torah. They will gain knowledge of basic Mishnaic terms such as yatza, hayyav, avar alav haPesah, over le-asiyatan, birkat mitzvah, etc.
     
    Students will develop a basic understanding that many of the rabbis mentioned in the MIshnah did not live during the same time. They compare and contrast between different mishnayot and different views within a mishnah. The diverse views in the Mishnah show how rabbis differed in their approaches and interpretations. Because minority views were preserved, students will learn to respect and understand different perspectives on halakhah, including in the Mishnah, throughout history.
     
    Mishnayot will range from texts relevant to the holidays to some relating to the Shema, and finally texts concerning civil law. Together with analyzing individual mishnayot, students will be encouraged to grapple with the issues raised and to develop their own perspectives. In addition, as part of preparing for the bar/bat mitzvah year, students will explore the meaning and significance of tallit. Each student will have the opportunity to create a tallit that reflects his/her personality and connection to Jewish texts. Students will have a chance to teach their parents related texts and display their tallitot formally at the end of the year.

    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy Middle School science department is to foster in our students a curiosity about the natural world around them. Our goal is to have our students become involved and motivated learners. Through the use of hands-on activities and technology, our students learn to ask focused questions, develop thinking skills, and master in-depth content while having many opportunities to achieve success in their studies. These courses prepare the students for the rigorous High School curriculum.

    EARTH SCIENCE                  
    This year-long course in Earth Science is divided into 3 areas: the solid, liquid, and gaseous aspects of the planet. In the first trimester, students study the solid earth – the composition of the earth and the theory of plate tectonics. In the second trimester, students study the liquid earth – the distribution of water on the planet, including the water cycle and fresh water resources. In the third trimester, students study the gaseous earth – the composition of gases in the atmosphere, the layers of the atmosphere, and weather. Using laboratory experiments, project-based learning, and student-generated inquiry, students gain a strong foundation in the scientific method, preparing them for future courses in middle school and beyond.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum in the Middle School lays the foundational skills for the study of geography, culture and political institutions. General studies and Jewish history are integrated to illustrate how the Jewish people has developed its unique religion and culture within a non-Jewish context. Students have the opportunity to learn about contemporary and ancient societies and current events in their Social Studies classes. Our courses are designed to promote problem-solving and decision-making through class discussions, research and utilization of technology. In Social Studies, students are expected to incorporate content knowledge as well as realize their role as Jews in the pluralistic society of the United States and the global community.

    The sixth grade curriculum lays the foundation of the social studies program by stressing the fundamentals of geography, the American political structure and applying the course content to contemporary issues. There are units where the American and traditional Jewish legal systems are compared regarding values and proceedings. The curriculum provides a variety of motivating topics and resources to stimulate an interest in the world and the student’s place therein. The primary aim of this course is to provide the entering Middle School student with the skills necessary to be successful throughout his/her educational experience.

    STUDY SKILLS
    In 6th and 7th grades, our language arts and social studies teachers have additional teaching time to enable them to teach study skills while teaching course content. While the syllabus for grades sixth and seventh are similar, students are taught more advanced and complex skills in seventh grade, building upon what they have already learned in sixth grade. Middle School Study Skills topics include strategies for organization (e.g., master notebooks, calendar), listening (e.g., note taking, use of abbreviations), reading (e.g., main idea, details, skimming), note taking from texts (e.g., outlines, graphics, pictures), memorization (e.g., skills for different types of learners), writing (e.g., pre-planning, editing), test taking and research skills (e.g., timeline, note cards, outlines, references).

    TANAKH
    In our study of Tanakh (Bible) in the Middle School, we strive to instill in our students a love of our biblical tradition. We guide our students as they gain an understanding of the emergence and growth of our people and the place of laws and values in our tradition. The Tanakh narrative provides students with the opportunity to encounter the moral dilemmas that faced our ancestors and still face us today. At the same time, they will begin to gain an understanding of the historical, political and social world of ancient Israel.
     
    Middle School students are encouraged to look for personal meaning in their study of the text. Students will also be introduced to the interpretation of the text through the study of Rashi’s commentary, midrashim and other ancient, medieval and modern commentaries. Of central concern is our students’ acquisition of a repertoire of skills enabling them to comprehend the text and to appreciate its rich teachings and values.
     
    SEFER SHEMOT (EXODUS)
    In their study of Shemot, our students pick up the story of the Israelites after their exodus from Egypt and through the beginning of their wanderings in the wilderness. They learn about the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, the provision of manna and the experience at Sinai. Moshe’s development as a leader and the journey of the Israelites from slavery to freedom will be analyzed through the narrative. Through the use of Big Ideas and Essential Questions, students will be able to see how the issues in the Torah text are still relevant to our lives today.
  • Grade 7

    Middle School is a time for transition and growth. Our program strives to both support and challenge students, enabling them to develop a sense of independence while also providing them the structure, guidance, and limits appropriate to the middle grade years. Our Middle School students learn both content and skills, building the knowledge necessary for High School and beyond as they become critical thinkers and independent learners.

    While we seek to create a Middle School culture, we recognize that each year of Middle School has its own needs. We view the Middle School years as a series of transitions. Seventh grade is the year when most of our Middle School students become adults in the Jewish world by becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We recognize the excitement and pressures of this year and work to help our students grow socially, academically and religiously.

    ELECTIVES
    7th grade students rotate through a series of mixed 7th and 8th grade Arts electives each trimester; though the offerings vary depending upon the grade level and trimester, they generally including music, drama, art, and computer technology.
    Electives are developed to build students’ skills, enable them to explore new interests, and give them an opportunity to express themselves. Elective teachers also work closely with other faculty to take advantage of interdisciplinary opportunities and build connections between their subject areas and other topics of study students are pursuing.
     
    Electives often include project-based learning in which students prepare short- and long-term assignments that involve planning, execution, and revision and culminate in final performances, artistic works, or projects. They provide a challenging and inspiring environment in which students develop their expertise, interests, and ability to work collaboratively with classmates and teachers.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    In our Hebrew curriculum we emphasize the development of the 4 language skills, so that students will learn to read, write, and converse in Hebrew. students read texts, poems and books, write letters, journals and emails, listen to songs, news, reports and lectures while practice their speaking skills. They speak with their friends, leave a message or tell a joke.
     
    Students need content in order to exercise their skills. The materials provide content for the students to talk, read, write, argue, and think about are from classical to modern Hebrew texts. Students encounter stories, nonfiction articles, notes, poems, songs and Jewish texts of different historical layers. Homework, quizzes, projects, tests and portfolio work are used to evaluate and demonstrate student progress.
     
    We use the NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) program to teach our students Hebrew. NETA has partnered with CET, the Center for Educational technology in Tel Aviv. Together, they have been developing new multi-media materials to support the advancement of Hebrew language teaching and learning, updating and enriching the learning materials we use in Hebrew classes.
     
    In Middle school we teach the following books: Bishvil Ha’ivrit 1, 2 and 3.
     
    The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit books include:

    Glossaries of new words:
    Every chapter starts with a glossary of new words translated into English.

    Texts that are taught in class and texts for independent reading at home and follow–up assignments.

    Online practice exercises:
    Interactive vocabulary and grammar exercises allow each student to practice at his/her own pace.

    Everyday conversations:
    The book includes many everyday conversations. Students can practice leaving a message for a relative in a hotel, reporting a missing suitcase, or ordering a family-size pizza.

    Documentary films:
    These films were produced especially for the Bishvil Ha-Ivrit series and provide a look at “real life” in Israel today.

    Students access the digital version of their print book with a unique username and password.

    The digital book allows students to hear texts with just a click of the headphone icon.
     
    Clicking the hand icon leads to interactive activities and practice exercises that provide immediate feedback and the chance to keep trying until they get the correct answer.
     
    The Hebrew verb system is always a challenge. The Paalulan lets students look up and practice verb conjugations. They can hear the verb pronounced correctly, and practice with the interactive exercises.

    LANGUAGE ARTS
    The seventh grade English curriculum is designed to develop students’ reading and writing skills through an examination of a various literary genres and a wide selection of writing assignments. Students read, discuss and analyze short stories, plays, novels, and poems. Readings include the following: Inherit the Wind, The Giver, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Diary of Anne Frank (in both a dramatized version and excerpts from the diary itself), The Ties That Bind, The Ties That Break, and The Outsiders. In addition, students are exposed to literature beyond the school’s formal curriculum through outside reading assignments and corresponding assessments. There is a strong focus on writing skills developed through creative, expository, persuasive and analytical assignments. A process oriented approach is used and students work toward the creation of a portfolio that illustrates their progress. All students are required to complete a research project designed to introduce proper source gathering, note-taking, and documentation. Spelling, grammar, and vocabulary instruction are approached through students’ own writing, and the literature studied. Various assignments will focus on public speaking and the ability to present material clearly and creatively. Study skills such as organization, time management, test taking techniques and effective study strategies are both formally taught and incorporated into daily lessons.

    MATHEMATICS
    The Middle School curriculum focuses on the development of number sense. This gives students the ability to experiment with numbers and also gives them confidence in their mathematical judgment. In presenting material, we stress the concept of discovery which enables students to learn to reason logically. We encourage our students to “push the envelope” to extend themselves to their utmost capabilities.

    Students are encouraged to question and share ideas in group related activities. Special attention is given to individual needs in our math clinics provided during lunch periods. These needs can be for enrichment or tutorial purposes. Goals:
    • Ability to perform all mathematical operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
    • Ability to solve problems involving critical thinking.
    • Understand math and its relationship to other curricula areas and the “real world.”
    • Develop and appreciate number sense.
    • Develop a positive and realistic approach to mathematics.
    • Develop a mastery in basic computational skills.
    • Introduce basic algebraic concepts.
    • Develop proper study skills and work habits.
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators and computers.
    • PRE-ALGEBRA/INTRO TO ALGEBRA I
      This course of study includes the order of operations, operations with integers and rational numbers, solving equations, ratio, proportion and percentages, and working with inequalities. Geometric figures, the coordinate plane and volume are introduced. Emphasis is placed on estimating, deciding the reasonableness of a solution, setting up information to problem solve and learning mathematical terminology. Tests and quizzes are prepared by teachers.
    • NOTE: Determination of placement into 8th grade algebra is made by analyzing scores on standardized tests, teacher recommendations, guidance and administrative input, the student’s academic record and end of year test.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Physical Education is required of all students. Basic skills that were taught in the sixth grade are further developed in the seventh and eighth grades. Additionally, more advanced skills and strategies are built upon basic fundamentals. The major goals of the physical education program are to develop and improve overall physical fitness, understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, and learn cooperation, sportsmanship and respect through various activities. These activities include, but are not limited to: team & individual sports such as soccer, football, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, aerobics, badminton, hockey, dance and rhythms, softball, ultimate frisbee and team handball and cooperative games.
     
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    HEALTH
    The Middle School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining health and wellness on a personal level. Through the responsible decision making model, students will attain the tools needed to make appropriate, safe and healthy choices throughout their lifetime. Throughout the Middle School years, the three main areas of health: mental and emotional, physical, and social are addressed. In seventh grade the main areas of study are: mental and emotional health, stress and stress management; physical activity, fitness & health; alcohol use, misuse & abuse.

    RABBINICS
    Middle School students in grades seven and eight will expand their perspectives to experience the many facets of rabbinic thought. Along with exploration of the texts of the Torah She-Be’al Peh (the oral tradition), students will begin to develop an understanding of the nature of rabbinic thought and how this movement, rooted in Second Temple Judaism, interpreted and expanded on the biblical text and set the pattern for millennia of Jewish continuity. Throughout Middle School, students will increase their text study skills in mishnah and gemara while learning how to apply the principles in the text to modern life. Emphasis is placed on havruta (pair and small group) study so that students can be active learners. Through study and class discussion students will come to see themselves as partners in dialogue with the sources.
     
    As part of their progressive introduction to the world of rabbinic thought, students will formally begin their study of gemara. They will study selected Talmudic texts dealing with the Shema, continuing the exploration begun in grade 6. Students will also continue and intensify their text study related to the cycle of Jewish holidays throughout the year.
     
    As part of our program for the bar/bat mitzvah year, students will also learn how Jewish values infuse and inform our Jewish community and beyond, through an innovative program, Gil Mitzvot, developed especially for our school. Incorporating study with action, students are encouraged to donate a portion of their bar/bat mitzvah gifts to a specially created tzedakah fund which they are responsible for creating and budgeting, and from which which they disburse money to charitable organizations of their own choosing. Class caucuses, and a tzedakah fair are among the activities included in the program.

    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy Middle School science department is to foster in our students a curiosity about the natural world around them. Our goal is to have our students become involved and motivated learners. Through the use of hands-on activities and technology, our students learn to ask focused questions, develop thinking skills, and master in-depth content while having many opportunities to achieve success in their studies. These courses prepare the students for the rigorous High School curriculum.
    • LIFE SCIENCE
      Life Science is a year-long anatomy and physiology course studying the human body systems. The students study how each organ system does its job and interacts and supports the other systems. The two major themes of the year, highlighted within each system, are homeostasis and maximizing surface area for optimized functionality. The students gain an understanding about how various organ systems in their own bodies work by participating in discussions and experiments.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum in the Middle School lays the foundational skills for the study of geography, culture and political institutions. General studies and Jewish history are integrated to illustrate how the Jewish people has developed its unique religion and culture within a non-Jewish context. Students have the opportunity to learn about contemporary and ancient societies and current events in their Social Studies classes. Our courses are designed to promote problem-solving and decision-making through class discussions, research and utilization of technology. In Social Studies, students are expected to incorporate content knowledge as well as realize their role as Jews in the pluralistic society of the United States and the global community.
    • AFRO-ASIAN WORLD
      In this course, students study the countries of Africa and Asia. Each continent is divided into regional units with emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, China, Japan and Southeast Asia. A multidisciplinary approach is used to integrate geography, culture, art and history. The beliefs and rituals of a variety of religions, including the development of Judaism in the Middle East, are surveyed. Current events also are included in the curriculum as they occur. The ultimate goal of the course is to encourage an awareness of the world, its people and global issues and to promote an understanding and appreciation of its diversity. Study skills are an integral part of this course.
    • FACING HISTORY, FACING OURSELVES
      The “Facing History, Facing Ourselves” curriculum focuses on the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives. The historical and cultural development of anti-Semitism as well as the dilemmas faced by the Jewish communities throughout Europe are examined in addition to the horrific events of the World War I years. Furthermore, the general nature of prejudice and authority is explored so that students are able to become active “resistors” whenever and wherever bias crimes develop. Literature and art components are used to help illustrate these themes. 
     
    STUDY SKILLS
    In 6th and 7th grades, our language arts and social studies teachers have additional teaching time to enable them to teach study skills while teaching course content. While the syllabus for grades sixth and seventh are similar, students are taught more advanced and complex skills in seventh grade, building upon what they have already learned in sixth grade. Middle School Study Skills topics include strategies for organization (e.g., master notebooks, calendar), listening (e.g., note taking, use of abbreviations), reading (e.g., main idea, details, skimming), note taking from texts (e.g., outlines, graphics, pictures), memorization (e.g., skills for different types of learners), writing (e.g., pre-planning, editing), test taking and research skills (e.g., timeline, note cards, outlines, references).

    TANAKH
    In our study of Tanakh (Bible) in the Middle School, we strive to instill in our students a love of our biblical tradition. We guide our students as they gain an understanding of the emergence and growth of our people and the place of laws and values in our tradition. The Tanakh narrative provides students with the opportunity to encounter the moral dilemmas that faced our ancestors and still face us today. Our students will come to understand that our responses to these dilemmas, like those of our ancestors, provide for a continuously developing relationship between God and Israel. At the same time, they will begin to gain an understanding of the historical, political and social world of ancient Israel.

    Middle School students are encouraged to look for personal meaning in their study of the text. Students will also be introduced to the interpretation of the text through the study of Rashi’s commentary, midrashim and other ancient, medieval and modern commentaries. Of central concern is our students’ acquisition of a repertoire of skills enabling them to comprehend the text and to appreciate its rich teachings and values.
    • SEFER BEMIDBAR (NUMBERS)
      Bemidbar chronicles the trials and tribulations of the Israelites as they wander through the wilderness. Moving between law and narrative, the book vacillates between order and structure, chaos and change. Throughout their wilderness journey, the Israelites challenge the God as well as the leadership of Moshe, God’s messenger. In their struggle as a developing community in adverse circumstances, the people express their concerns about stability, sustainability and safety. The wilderness journey provides the context for the transformation of the Israelites from a band of fugitive slaves to a cohesive community with an emerging identity as they prepare to enter the land of Israel. Students learn to take the perspective of the various characters portrayed in the text. In developing their text skills, students learn to read critically and inferentially, to improve their understanding of biblical Hebrew, and to interact more thoughtfully with Rashi’s commentary.
  • Grade 8

    Middle School is a time for transition and growth. Our program strives to both support and challenge students, enabling them to develop a sense of independence while also providing them the structure, guidance, and limits appropriate to the middle grade years. Our Middle School students learn both content and skills, building the knowledge necessary for High School and beyond as they become critical thinkers and independent learners.

    While we seek to create a Middle School culture, we recognize that each year of Middle School has its own needs. We view the Middle School years as a series of transitions. Our eighth graders are the leaders of our Middle School. We provide them with more options and work to help them claim ownership of their academic lives. While we realize they have an eye towards the High School, we still maintain an education that is developmentally appropriate for the oldest of our Middle School students.

    ELECTIVES
    7th grade students rotate through a series of mixed 7th and 8th grade Arts electives each trimester; though the offerings vary depending upon the grade level and trimester, they generally including music, drama, art, and computer technology.
    Electives are developed to build students’ skills, enable them to explore new interests, and give them an opportunity to express themselves. Elective teachers also work closely with other faculty to take advantage of interdisciplinary opportunities and build connections between their subject areas and other topics of study students are pursuing.
     
    Electives often include project-based learning in which students prepare short- and long-term assignments that involve planning, execution, and revision and culminate in final performances, artistic works, or projects. They provide a challenging and inspiring environment in which students develop their expertise, interests, and ability to work collaboratively with classmates and teachers.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE
    The mission of the Foreign Language Department in the Upper School at GOA is to immerse students in language study that will enable them to communicate confidently in a foreign language. Students are exposed to a variety of accents and perspectives, and develop an appreciation for the variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken. The four central pillars of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are equally emphasized though a dynamic curriculum that incorporates authentic sources from beginning levels to advanced placement. Student writings, class presentations, challenging readings and exposure to foreign language visual media combine to strengthen all dimensions of students’ language acquisition. GOA students learn to communicate purposely both in written and spoken modes. Classes are taught in the target language with some English used to clarify grammatical concepts.
    • SPANISH I
      Students will be able to communicate in Spanish on a basic level in a variety of everyday situations. The first half of the Avancemos 1 textbook includes topics such as basic conversation skills, geography and nationalities, hobbies and activities, school life and family. Students are introduced to cultures and customs in countries and states in which Spanish is spoken. The department uses ancillary materials such as the Avancemos 1 workbook, videos and CDs.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    In our Hebrew curriculum we emphasize the development of the 4 language skills, so that students will learn to read, write, and converse in Hebrew. students read texts, poems and books, write letters, journals and emails, listen to songs, news, reports and lectures while practice their speaking skills. They speak with their friends, leave a message or tell a joke.
     
    Students need content in order to exercise their skills. The materials provide content for the students to talk, read, write, argue, and think about are from classical to modern Hebrew texts. Students encounter stories, nonfiction articles, notes, poems, songs and Jewish texts of different historical layers. Homework, quizzes, projects, tests and portfolio work are used to evaluate and demonstrate student progress.
     
    We use the NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) program to teach our students Hebrew. NETA has partnered with CET, the Center for Educational technology in Tel Aviv. Together, they have been developing new multi-media materials to support the advancement of Hebrew language teaching and learning, updating and enriching the learning materials we use in Hebrew classes.
     
    In Middle school we teach the following books: Bishvil Ha’ivrit 1, 2 and 3.
     
    The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit books include:

    Glossaries of new words:
    Every chapter starts with a glossary of new words translated into English.

    Texts that are taught in class and texts for independent reading at home and follow–up assignments.

    Online practice exercises:
    Interactive vocabulary and grammar exercises allow each student to practice at his/her own pace.

    Everyday conversations:
    The book includes many everyday conversations. Students can practice leaving a message for a relative in a hotel, reporting a missing suitcase, or ordering a family-size pizza.

    Documentary films:
    These films were produced especially for the Bishvil Ha-Ivrit series and provide a look at “real life” in Israel today.

    Students access the digital version of their print book with a unique username and password.

    The digital book allows students to hear texts with just a click of the headphone icon.
     
    Clicking the hand icon leads to interactive activities and practice exercises that provide immediate feedback and the chance to keep trying until they get the correct answer.
     
    The Hebrew verb system is always a challenge. The Paalulan lets students look up and practice verb conjugations. They can hear the verb pronounced correctly, and practice with the interactive exercises.

    LANGUAGE ARTS
    The eighth grade English curriculum focuses on identifying the characteristics of literature: setting, characterization, point of view, theme and tone. Students will explore how writers use these literary devices to create their meaning in the different literary genres: the short story, novel, essay, drama, and poetry. Readings may include the following: summer reading selections, To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Expectations, Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, Island on Bird Street, and selections from Greek mythology. Spelling, grammar and vocabulary are approached through the students’ own writing, the literature and workbooks. Writing includes the introduction of comparative and analytical essays and focused journal entries. In-class writing workshops emphasize the process of writing: drafting, writing, rewriting, revising and editing. Study and research skills will be cultivated in shared research projects on the Holocaust.

    MATHEMATICS
    The Middle School curriculum focuses on the development of number sense. This gives students the ability to experiment with numbers and also gives them confidence in their mathematical judgment. In presenting material, we stress the concept of discovery which enables students to learn to reason logically. We encourage our students to “push the envelope” to extend themselves to their utmost capabilities.

    Students are encouraged to question and share ideas in group related activities. Special attention is given to individual needs in our math clinics provided during lunch periods. These needs can be for enrichment or tutorial purposes. Goals:
    • Ability to perform all mathematical operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
    • Ability to solve problems involving critical thinking.
    • Understand math and its relationship to other curricula areas and the “real world.”
    • Develop and appreciate number sense.
    • Develop a positive and realistic approach to mathematics.
    • Develop a mastery in basic computational skills.
    • Introduce basic algebraic concepts.
    • Develop proper study skills and work habits.
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators and computers.
    • ALGEBRA I
      This first course in algebra is based on the properties of the real number system, the number line and the simpler language of sets. Topics include: fundamental operations with real numbers and variables; solving equations and inequalities; graphs and functions; systems of linear equations and inequalities; polynomials and factoring; time permitting, rational expressions. Solving word problems is emphasized throughout all topics.
    • INTRO TO ALGEBRA II
      This course includes a review of real number equations and inequalities, linear equations and functions, systems of equations, polynomial and rational expressions. The teacher introduces radical expressions, complex numbers, quadratic and polynomial equations.
    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    Physical Education is required of all students. Basic skills that were taught in the sixth grade are further developed in the seventh and eighth grades. Additionally, more advanced skills and strategies are built upon basic fundamentals. The major goals of the physical education program are to develop and improve overall physical fitness, understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, and learn cooperation, sportsmanship and respect through various activities. These activities include, but are not limited to: team & individual sports such as soccer, football, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, aerobics, bowling, badminton, hockey, dance and rhythms, softball, tennis; ultimate Frisbee, team handball and cooperative games.
     
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    HEALTH
    The Middle School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining health and wellness on a personal level. Through the responsible decision making model, students will attain the tools needed to make appropriate, safe and healthy choices throughout their lifetime. Throughout the Middle School years, the three areas of health: mental and emotional, physical, and social are addressed. In eighth grade the main areas of study are: review of the responsible decision making model; substance abuse, with a focus on tobacco use; relationships with others (family, peers, dating), proper methods of communication (I messages); peer pressure & cyber bullying.

    RABBINICS
    Middle School marks our students’ formal entry into the study of rabbinic thought and literature, beginning with the study of the Mishnah in sixth grade. Middle School students in grades seven and eight will expand their perspectives to experience the many facets of rabbinic thought. Along with exploration of the texts of the Torah She-Be’al Peh (the oral tradition), students will begin to develop an understanding of the nature of rabbinic thought and how this movement, rooted in Second Temple Judaism, set the pattern for millennia of Jewish continuity. Throughout Middle School, students will increase their text study skills in mishnah and gemara while learning how to apply the principles in the text to modern life. Emphasis is placed on havruta (pair and small group) study so that students can be active learners. Through study and class discussion students will come to see themselves as partners in dialogue with the sources.

    After a review of the background and terms of the rabbinic period, the 8th graders study a selection of Talmudic texts related to the holiday cycle. These texts each contain a specific issue. They demonstrate how the rabbis dealt with questions of gender, assimilation, innovation and their own authority. Students gain text skills as well as an understanding of the issues and how they relate to today's world. They also learn that halakhah, Jewish law, is not monolithic but has developed over time. Students conclude the year with a study of modern Jewish movements, their European roots and their growth and development in the United States.

    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy Middle School science department is to foster in our students a curiosity about the natural world around them. Our goal is to have our students become involved and motivated learners. Through the use of hands-on activities and technology, our students learn to ask focused questions, develop thinking skills, and master in-depth content while having many opportunities to achieve success in their studies. These courses prepare the students for the rigorous High School curriculum.
    • PHYSICAL SCIENCE
      Physical Science is a basic introduction to chemistry and physics. Experimentation and activities are used to reinforce knowledge. This course offers a relevant introduction to physical laws and chemical processes. Some topics covered are measurement, classification of matter, atoms, phase changes, chemical reactions, gas laws, gravity, and Newton’s laws of motion. The year culminates with a presentation on a topic of each student’s choosing.The course emphasizes skill development in the area of making and interpreting graphs.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum in the Middle School lays the foundational skills for the study of geography, culture and political institutions. General studies and Jewish history are integrated to illustrate how the Jewish people has developed its unique religion and culture within a non-Jewish context. Students have the opportunity to learn about contemporary and ancient societies and current events in their Social Studies classes. Our courses are designed to promote problem-solving and decision-making through class discussions, research and utilization of technology. In Social Studies, students are expected to incorporate content knowledge as well as realize their role as Jews in the pluralistic society of the United States and the global community.

    • U.S. HISTORY
      The goal of the grade 8 curriculum is to teach American civics and government with an historic perspective. Beginning with the agreement signed by Prince John in England in 1215 that gave recognition to the idea that government rules with the consent of the governed, the students discuss the evolution of representative government in England, the rising middle class and its involvement in English exploration and colonization in the New World. After comparing the French, Spanish, and Dutch efforts at colonization in North America to the English, the class will focus on the development of the 13 colonies, their relationship with England and how that relationship devolved into war in 1776. The aftermath of the Revolutionary War leads to the Critical Period and the writing of the United States Constitution. Integral to the grade 8 curriculum is the teaching of skills, including writing thesis essays, debating, listening, note-taking, verbalization of ideas, role playing, and testing techniques.
     
    TANAKH
    After a review of the background and terms of the rabbinic period, the 8th graders study a selection of Talmudic texts related to the holiday cycle. These texts each contain a specific issue. They demonstrate how the rabbis dealt with questions of gender, assimilation, innovation and their own authority. Students gain text skills as well as an understanding of the issues and how they relate to today's world. They also learn that halakhah, Jewish law, is not monolithic but has developed over time. 8th graders also use part of the Rodef Shalom program, developed in the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, which seeks to provide tools for resolving conflicts in productive and positive ways based in classical Jewish texts. Students conclude the year with a study of modern Jewish movements, their European roots and their growth and development in the United States.
     
    Students will be equipped with the knowledge of Jewish holidays and varied religious practices to make informed decisions about how they choose to incorporate these practices into their own lives. Students will also have the tools needed to deal with conflict and disagreement in ways which are productive and respectful - skills which are central to living a meaningful life as adults.
     
    The program addresses student needs through text study in both Hebrew and English, age-appropriate and differentiated instruction for different kinds of learners, group work which focuses on sharing the work equally and disagreeing with respect and patience, journal entries and class discussions grounded in issues of concern to 8th grade students, and hands-on, active learning involving creating plays, song-writing, drawing, and creating story boards. Havruta work continues to be an important way in which students learn to work with rabbinic texts and with each other.
    • SEFER VA-YIKRA (LEVITICUS), JONAH, ESTHER, RUTH
      The 8th grade begins the year with the book of Jonah, with its theme of repentance. This book is an anomaly among the prophetic books. Why do we read it on Yom Kippur? Students investigate Yonah's feelings and motivations. They also note literary markers in the text that help to convey its message.

      The year continues with VaYikra Ch. 19, also known as the Holiness Code. What is this collection of laws, with its emphasis on values such as justice, the obligation to help those in need and the overarching Jewish ideal of achieving kedushah in every aspect of our lives? Why is it inserted into the laws of the sacrifices? How can we apply those laws to our lives today?
      Students do a brief study of Megillat Esther and conclude with the book of Ruth. These megillot are also part of the holiday cycle. They deal with the issues of identity so important to adolescents, internal relationships in the Jewish community as well as their relationships with those outside the community, whether they are the majority (as in Esther) or the minority (as in Ruth).

      Both traditional and modern approaches will be used in our study of the text. These approaches will enhance students’ appreciation of the layers of meaning within the Tanakh while encouraging them to employ and hone their own analytical and interpretive skills.
  • Grade 9

    Who is wise? One who learns from all persons (Pirke Avot 4:1). We believe that all learning is ause (sacred) and strive to instill in our students a true love of learning. We want our students to be actively engaged in the world around them and we seek to graduate students fully confident in their ability to be life-long learners.

    High School is a time for consolidation and mastery of knowledge. This is a time for students both to gain competence in individual disciplines and to synthesize content and skills across those disciplines. The very same logical thinking that serves a student in discussion in Talmud class can be applied to solving proofs in geometry. Similarly, electives help our students to see the world around them from a different perspective and to encourage them to apply creative ideas and concepts to all aspects of the curriculum. These years move our students toward independence. The academic goal is to fine-tune the students’ analytical skills and thinking processes so that they can approach a biblical text, a social studies primary document or a physics problem independently.

    Our students know when they graduate that they are members of the Jewish community, people of the book and lifelong learners.

    ELECTIVES
    High school students choose from an array of electives, including fine arts, digital photography, music, drama, public speaking, yearbook, computers and creative writing. Electives generally meet twice during each academic block and offer students the opportunity to develop skills, explore new areas of interest and work individual and group projects. Courses encourage creativity and the application of skills and knowledge to problem-solving. Class sizes tend to be small and allow for individualized attention.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE
    The mission of the Foreign Language Department in the Upper School at GOA is to immerse students in language study that will enable them to communicate confidently in a foreign language. Students are exposed to a variety of accents and perspectives, and develop an appreciation for the variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken. The four central pillars of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are equally emphasized though a dynamic curriculum that incorporates authentic sources from beginning levels to advanced placement. Student writings, class presentations, challenging readings and exposure to foreign language visual media combine to strengthen all dimensions of students’ language acquisition. GOA students learn to communicate purposely both in written and spoken modes. Classes are taught in the target language with some English used to clarify grammatical concepts.
    • SPANISH I
      Students will be able to communicate in Spanish on a basic level in a variety of everyday situations. The first half of the Avancemos 1 textbook includes topics such as basic conversation skills, geography and nationalities, hobbies and activities, school life and family. Students are introduced to cultures and customs in countries and states in which Spanish is spoken. The department uses ancillary materials such as the Avancemos 1 workbook, videos and CDs.
    • SPANISH II
      The curriculum for this level builds on the foundation established in Spanish I, and students complete the Avancemos 1 textbook. Students expand their vocabulary and begin to incorporate more complex grammatical structures. The past tense is introduced, and students develop the ability to communicate about additional topics such as health, entertainment, sports and technology. The department uses ancillary materials such as the Avancemos 1 workbook, videos and CDs.

    HEALTH
    Comparable to Middle School, the High School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining one’s personal level of health and wellness. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s responsibility to make appropriate choices to meet these goals. Responsible decision making, problem solving, appropriate forms of communication, coping and enhancing relationships are skills taught in the High School. These skills are essential to creating a healthy, responsible adult.
     
    The ninth grade course is designed to help students examine their lifestyles, select goals, and make plans to achieve and maintain optimum health. The health education classroom serves as a laboratory where students focus on personal health, health issues of others and environmental issues. Major topics discussed in ninth grade include nutrition, and illness related to nutrition and diet; appropriate dating behaviors & Jewish perspective on sexuality; AIDS awareness and substance abuse (with an emphasis on marijuana use & abuse).

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    Students in High School study Hebrew from the Books Bishvil Ha’ivrit 3-5, and from advanced NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) books 21-25 according to their class level. In addition to the NETA books students read original literature in modified Hebrew.
     
    Through the development of our Hebrew curriculum in High school we present our students with the reading of various genres of literature and undergo interactive learning activities. Our main goal is to expand the student’s vocabulary knowledge, further develop students’ abilities to understand, read, write and speak Hebrew on a wide variety of topics, such as: sports, ecology, pop culture as well as leadership, freedom and responsibility.
     
    Upon completion of the units students are able to Listen to short lectures and read non-fiction texts, present a personal point of view in the related topics and discuss moral issues, read and listen to conversations and monologues, act out similar conversations ,talk about the emotional implications stem from these topics, read modern stories and poems , listen to songs, read Jewish texts from the Bible from Rabbinic midrashim ,Write semi-formal letters ,Conjugate verbs in regular and irregular verbs form in all three tenses - past, present, and future – incorporated in speech and in writing, act out everyday conversations about different topics as ordering a cab in the city, buying shoes, and setting the Table for a meal with many participants.
     
    The curriculum is graduated and the students’ achievements are being measured via the length of texts, richness of vocabulary, grammatical and text complexity. The inclusion of creative thinking, contented with linguistic skills enriched class sessions with the use of multi-media, dialogues, songs and drama fosters an innovative learning environment for learning Hebrew.

    LANGUAGE ARTS
    As the transition year from middle school to high school, ninth grade offers review and skills support while introducing students to the more rigorous requirements of analytical reading, critical thinking, and precise writing. The course emphasizes genre: the short story, the novel, drama, the essay and the poem. Selections are drawn from varied time periods and settings. Some works are studied in close detail; others are treated more broadly, but all are focused to help students understand, through characters and situations in literature, more about themselves, their lives, and the world in which they live. The following works may be included: summer reading selections, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, Animal Farm, The House on Mango Street, Night, Antigone, Julius Caesar, The Day of the Triffids, Fahrenheit 451, and a variety of short stories and poetry. Students write frequently: informal prewriting, focused journal entries, expository, comparative, narrative, and analytical essays. Students study the formal research paper and prepare a paper following MLA format. They also study grammar and vocabulary regularly. This course is offered at two levels: accelerated and college-prep.

    MATHEMATICS
    Our High School courses are aimed at preparing students for advanced math study and for its use in other fields. The curriculum prepares students to meet college admission requirements as well. Another important goal is to develop analytical and independent thinking. As a department we keep abreast of current changes in instruction and technology. In the math department we look at the student as a total person. With this in mind our teachers encourage our students to grow intellectually and into well-rounded adults who have the ability to learn. Overall Goals:
    • Develop a mastery of the basic skills needed for High School math topics:
      • properties of real numbers
      • language of sets
      • operations with real numbers and variables
    • Develop an understanding of functions and relations
    • Develop higher order thinking skills
    • Develop proper study skills
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators (including graphing), SmartBoards, computers, and math software and Apps
    • Motivate students to extend themselves to their fullest ability
    • GEOMETRY
      This course introduces points, lines and planes and proceeds to the study of parallel lines and planes, congruence, congruent triangles, similar polygons, right triangles, circles and area, surface area and volume. Students develop their deductive reasoning skills throughout this course, by providing informal justifications and arguments as well as by writing formal two-column proofs. Principles of logical reasoning are introduced early, before the study of proof. Algebra concepts and metric geometry skills are interwoven with the geometry and the interplay among the various branches of mathematics helps strengthen students’ understanding of geometry and increase their abilities to solve problems. Students use GeoGebra, a dynamic and interactive geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus application, intended for learning mathematics at all levels of education.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Physical Education is required of all students. Ninth grade students are scheduled for health and physical education twice a week. One entire marking period will be spent studying health and three marking periods will be spent in physical education classes. One of the three marking periods of physical education will be spent in the study and participation in rhythms, aerobics, dance, full body workout routines, and/or circuit training. The other two marking periods of physical education will be spent learning new and improving previously learned sport skills. During all three marking periods of physical education, the students will continue to work on improving and maintaining individual fitness levels.
     
    Emphasis is placed on development of lifetime fitness skills and positive attitudes towards the importance of physical activity. Positive group attitudes are encouraged so that the sportsmanship, group, cohesiveness and effort occur simultaneously. Activities could include soccer, field hockey, football, tennis, volleyball, basketball, badminton football, tennis, volleyball, team handball and ultimate Frisbee. Students will also spend several weeks in the weight room learning proper lifting techniques.
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    TANAKH AND RABBINICS
    Students in 9th grade will complete a core curriculum in Tanakh and Rabbinics, as well as prepare for a competency exam in both areas. The core curriculum in Tanakh is an overview of the Humash, to familiarize students with various genres of biblical literature, including law, poetry, genealogy, and narrative. The theme of the course centers on Brit (covenant), the ancestral family, and the Promised land. Students will study selected passages from each section of the Humash, along with summaries of some traditional and modern commentaries. Students gain text skills, working on translation of the biblical text and greater familiarity with biblical grammar.
     
    The Rabbinics class is an overview of the period from the destruction of the Second Temple through the editing of the Mishnah in 212 C.E. The class will focus on Judaism’s transformation to a rabbinic model in a post-Temple world, and will look at the pressures and difficulties associated with the destruction of the Temple and the rabbis’ assumption of authority. Some of the issues students explore include how the rabbis made legal decisions, how Judaism survived the destruction of the 2nd Temple, the Judean and Bar Kochba revolts, how the Mishnah served as a stabilizing factor, and how the rabbis grappled with early Christianity.

    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy High School Science Department is to provide our students with a strong foundation in science. Our goal is to prepare the students to be decision making adults in a time of increasing technological and social complexity. Our students will develop universal critical and creative thinking skills that have application in all intellectual endeavors. Students will have the opportunity to reach the highest academic standards in the scientific disciplines, consistent with their abilities. Through the use of hands-on learning and the integration of technology into the curriculum, we teach our students observational techniques, quantitative skills, and analytical thinking. In High School, our students take the sequence of biology, chemistry and physics, as preparation for college.
    • BIOLOGY (College Prep and Accelerated Levels)
      Biology is the science of life, the study of the world of living things. In this course, students study the major concepts of modern biology, including the cell, DNA and genetics, and the interdependent energetics of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Students are also exposed to laboratory techniques, including microscope usage, chromatography, and DNA extraction. Formal written lab reports are used to teach critical thinking skills and data analysis.

    • STEM I: Introduction to Scientific Engineering
      In this introduction to scientific engineering, students cover material on engineering systems, the physics of electricity, simple circuits, and coding methodology. Concepts are reinforced with hands-on, group activities where students learn to measure voltage, current and resistance, build circuits that incorporate a microcontroller, and use programming logic to control actuator output with sensor input. Students learn critical thinking and presentation skills by critiquing articles that highlight the applications of science, technology, engineering and math in everyday life. A long term, group, capstone project is used to teach students the research and design process, as well as teamwork and problem solving skills.

    • ROBOTICS Elective
      All high school students in the 9th - 11th grades are eligible for taking this elective course. Students will learn BASIC computer programming language and will build a robot and program it to perform a variety of activities with/without the use of contact and infrared sensors. No prior experience in computer programming is required.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum is based on the concept that the past provides a vital key to understanding and appreciating the complexity of the contemporary world. The department introduces students to the paradigms, lexicons and methodologies of the various disciplines within social studies: history, economics, sociology, geography and culture. Students are encouraged to integrate content knowledge and to analyze a variety of issues. They are exposed to ancient, medieval and modern periods, to Eastern and Western cultures and to Muslim, Jewish and Christian societies. Discussions and readings examine political, social and ethical issues. The study of Jewish History, in particular, is an important component of all social studies courses. The goal of social studies is not only to prepare the students for success in higher education but also to help them to become independent thinkers, capable of making informed decision as citizens and leaders of the Jewish community in a pluralistic society.

    • ORIGINS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD
      European History traces the development of Western Civilization from the late Roman period to the early nineteenth century utilizing a chronological and thematic approach. This course discusses the development of Western religious traditions including the Jewish experience in the Mediterranean world and Europe. Concentration is placed on the ideas and institutions that influenced the growth of nation-states, capitalism and democracy. The role of individual leaders, the growth of democratic institutions and contributions in the arts and sciences are also examined. A variety of supplementary sources and special projects are used to deepen an understanding of past and present events, develop independent research skills and promote analytical thinking. A mid-term and a final exam are required.

      An advanced course is offered to eligible students who want a greater challenge. This advanced course emphasizes more utilization of primary sources and independent study than the regular history course. A mid-term and final exam are required.

    STUDY SKILLS
    At Golda Och Academy, we teach students how to learn. Various courses have different sets of skills that need to be mastered in order for students to become successful learners. For example, there are specific strategies for reading textbooks in science or history and others for reading literature. When students gain competencies in study and organizational skills they become more effective and independent as learners. While some students master these skills through trial and error, others require more systematic instruction.

    Selected students have a structured study/support group in lieu of taking a romance language (i.e., Spanish or French). The structured study/support group has two goals: first to provide academic support and second to develop more effective learning/study strategies for students with different learning needs. Daily topics and activities of study skills are reflective of the needs of individual or groups of students, as communicated to the teacher by the students and their other teachers. For example, if a social studies teacher will be assigning a “compare and contrast” essay assignment, the students will practice using pre-planning strategies for a “compare and contrast” essay. Visual learners might use a graphic organizer with color-coding. Auditory learners might devise different rhythms or tunes to recite similarities and differences. The kinesthetic learner might design flashcards or charts.

    In addition to learning and practicing study and organizational skills that complement individual learning needs, students learn and practice self-advocacy skills (e.g. I need; Would it be possible for me to…). We expect students to be able to describe their unique learning styles and needs and advocate for themselves when they leave Golda Och Academy and enter college.
  • Grade 10

    Who is wise? One who learns from all persons (Pirke Avot 4:1). We believe that all learning is ause (sacred) and strive to instill in our students a true love of learning. We want our students to be actively engaged in the world around them and we seek to graduate students fully confident in their ability to be life-long learners.

    High School is a time for consolidation and mastery of knowledge. This is a time for students both to gain competence in individual disciplines and to synthesize content and skills across those disciplines. The very same logical thinking that serves a student in discussion in Talmud class can be applied to solving proofs in geometry. Similarly, electives help our students to see the world around them from a different perspective and to encourage them to apply creative ideas and concepts to all aspects of the curriculum. These years move our students toward independence. The academic goal is to fine-tune the students’ analytical skills and thinking processes so that they can approach a biblical text, a social studies primary document or a physics problem independently.

    Our students know when they graduate that they are members of the Jewish community, people of the book and lifelong learners.

    ELECTIVES
    High school students choose from an array of electives, including fine arts, digital photography, music, drama, public speaking, yearbook, computers and creative writing. Electives generally meet twice during each academic block and offer students the opportunity to develop skills, explore new areas of interest and work individual and group projects. Courses encourage creativity and the application of skills and knowledge to problem-solving. Class sizes tend to be small and allow for individualized attention.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE
    The mission of the Foreign Language Department in the Upper School at GOA is to immerse students in language study that will enable them to communicate confidently in a foreign language. Students are exposed to a variety of accents and perspectives, and develop an appreciation for the variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken. The four central pillars of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are equally emphasized though a dynamic curriculum that incorporates authentic sources from beginning levels to advanced placement. Student writings, class presentations, challenging readings and exposure to foreign language visual media combine to strengthen all dimensions of students’ language acquisition. GOA students learn to communicate purposely both in written and spoken modes. Classes are taught in the target language with some English used to clarify grammatical concepts.
    • SPANISH II
      The curriculum for this level builds on the foundation established in Spanish I, and students complete the Avancemos 1 textbook. Students expand their vocabulary and begin to incorporate more complex grammatical structures. The past tense is introduced, and students develop the ability to communicate about additional topics such as health, entertainment, sports and technology. The department uses ancillary materials such as the Avancemos 1 workbook, videos and CDs.

    • SPANISH III
      This level further enhances students’ language skills through the use of more complex grammatical structures. Students will demonstrate the ability to narrate in the past and future, and will be able to express their feelings, desires and opinions through the subjunctive mood. Their vocabulary builds to include topics such as shopping, storytelling, food, community service and the environment. The Avancemos 2 textbook as well ancillary materials are the main sources for this level. Students will also read novellas and other online sources.

      * Honors components are offered depending on enrollment.

    HEALTH

    Comparable to Middle School, the High School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining one’s personal level of health and wellness. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s responsibility to make appropriate choices to meet these goals. Responsible decision making, problem solving, appropriate forms of communication, coping and enhancing relationships are skills taught in the High School. These skills are essential to creating a healthy, responsible adult.
    • DRIVER EDUCATION THEORY
      Tenth grade health is “Driver’s Education.” This is mandatory of all tenth graders regardless of where they live (NY or NJ) or if they already have their permit or not. This classroom course is designed to encourage students to become responsible drivers and to become aware of potential risk involved in operating a motor vehicle. Focus is also spent on drinking and driving, distracted driving and sleepy driver. At the end of the semester students will take the NJ MVC test necessary to obtain their permit.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    Students in High School study Hebrew from the Books Bishvil Ha’ivrit 3-5, and from advanced NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) books 21-25 according to their class level. In addition to the NETA books students read original literature in modified Hebrew.
     
    Through the development of our Hebrew curriculum in High school we present our students with the reading of various genres of literature and undergo interactive learning activities. Our main goal is to expand the student’s vocabulary knowledge, further develop students’ abilities to understand, read, write and speak Hebrew on a wide variety of topics, such as: sports, ecology, pop culture as well as leadership, freedom and responsibility.
     
    Upon completion of the units students are able to Listen to short lectures and read non-fiction texts, present a personal point of view in the related topics and discuss moral issues, read and listen to conversations and monologues, act out similar conversations ,talk about the emotional implications stem from these topics, read modern stories and poems , listen to songs, read Jewish texts from the Bible from Rabbinic midrashim ,Write semi-formal letters ,Conjugate verbs in regular and irregular verbs form in all three tenses - past, present, and future – incorporated in speech and in writing, act out everyday conversations about different topics as ordering a cab in the city, buying shoes, and setting the Table for a meal with many participants.
     
    The curriculum is graduated and the students’ achievements are being measured via the length of texts, richness of vocabulary, grammatical and text complexity. The inclusion of creative thinking, contented with linguistic skills enriched class sessions with the use of multi-media, dialogues, songs and drama fosters an innovative learning environment for learning Hebrew.

    LANGUAGE ARTS - AMERICAN LITERATURE

    The tenth grade curriculum is a study of American literature from its Puritan beginnings to the modern era. Literature serves as a springboard for written expression both formal and informal: expository, argumentative, comparative, and creative writing. Works may include the following: summer reading selections, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Piano Lesson, Grapes of Wrath, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Great Gatsby, Song of Solomon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, The Glass Menagerie, A Separate Peace, and The Shawl. A writing portfolio is maintained by each student to ensure individual growth. The course includes a literary research paper on a student-selected novel(s). Students write an in-depth analysis incorporating literary criticism using proper MLA format. Grammar and punctuation are reviewed as necessary. Vocabulary is taught through students’ own writing, the literature studied and supplementary materials as needed. This course is offered at two levels: honors and college-prep.

    LANGUAGE ARTS - PROCESS WRITING
    Meeting for one semester during the year, students explore various rhetorical modes for essay writing. Types of essays written include expository, descriptive, comparative, argumentative, and definition.

    MATHEMATICS
    Our High School courses are aimed at preparing students for advanced math study and for its use in other fields. The curriculum prepares students to meet college admission requirements as well. Another important goal is to develop analytical and independent thinking. As a department we keep abreast of current changes in instruction and technology. In the math department we look at the student as a total person. With this in mind our teachers encourage our students to grow intellectually and into well-rounded adults who have the ability to learn. Overall Goals:
    • Develop a mastery of the basic skills needed for High School math topics:
      • properties of real numbers
      • language of sets
      • operations with real numbers and variables
    • Develop an understanding of functions and relations
    • Develop higher order thinking skills
    • Develop proper study skills
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators (including graphing), SmartBoards, computers, and math software and Apps
    • Motivate students to extend themselves to their fullest ability

    • GEOMETRY
      This course introduces points, lines and planes and proceeds to the study of parallel lines and planes, congruence, congruent triangles, similar polygons, right triangles, circles and area, surface area and volume. Students develop their deductive reasoning skills throughout this course, by providing informal justifications and arguments as well as by writing formal two-column proofs. Principles of logical reasoning are introduced early, before the study of proof. Algebra concepts and metric geometry skills are interwoven with the geometry and the interplay among the various branches of mathematics helps strengthen students’ understanding of geometry and increase their abilities to solve problems. Students use GeoGebra, a dynamic and interactive geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus application, intended for learning mathematics at all levels of education.

    • ALGEBRA II
      This course includes a review of real number equations and inequalities, linear equations and functions, systems of equations, polynomial and rational expressions, exponential and logarithmic functions. The teacher introduces radical expressions, complex numbers, quadratic and polynomial equations. Students will demonstrate the creative, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving skills needed to function successfully in their future. When student population permits, there is an Honors class at this level.

    • PRECALCULUS HONORS
      This course will prepare students for the study of Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. Topics include: quadratic equations and functions, polynomial equations and functions, analytic geometry and conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, triangle trigonometry, circular functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    fitness activities, the tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders elect most of the activities in the physical education classes. Students are given the opportunity to select an activity for approximately 4-6 weeks. Activities could include but are not limited to: team sports, individual sports, cooperative fitness walking/cross country running; aerobics/ dance/pilates; or weight room.
     
    Students will have the opportunity to master and perfect previously learned skills. However, the main focus of the curriculum is to continue to develop positive attitudes towards lifetime fitness and to develop a love for lifetime fitness sports.
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    RABBINICS, TANAKH, AND JEWISH HUMANITIES
    Once having passed the competency exam, students choose a concentration in Tanakh, Rabbinics, or Jewish Humanities. Students must take 5 classes in their area of concentration and 4 other Judaic courses between grades 10 - 12. These classes are multi-grade, with students at various Hebrew levels. They are relatively small and rely on careful planning and differentiation to maintain rigor while allowing for a range of learners.

    We offer some advanced courses so that students may develop knowledge and skills in a particular area of study. There are also honors components in all courses, where students who do more advanced work earn an honors designation for the course on their transcripts.
     
    Following is the list of electives that are running in 2016-17 with their descriptions:
    • Talmud Text (Honors)
      In this class we will jump into the 'Sea of Talmud' and get our feet wet by learning large sections of a tractate of Talmud. This will give you a feel for the language, methods and 'quirks' of this central Jewish text. Talmudic literature brings Jewish law, stories and of course, wonderful argumentation all into play, and students will be able to explore all of these genres within the confines of our chosen tractate. The class will use Steinsaltz as well as the classic Vilna editions of the Talmud, as well as parallel rabbinic texts on matters of Jewish law and observance.

    • Advanced Talmud (Honors)
      In this class we will be taking a more advanced approach to Talmud study, by bringing in the next layer of commentary which helped make the Talmud the central Jewish text. You will get to know the classic commentators Rashi, Tosafot and even the Ri"f, and explore how they became the voices that help us understand the ideas on a page of Talmud. Come ready for questions that go deeper than you could have imagined! This is an advanced class especially suited for those students who have chosen to be in the Beit Midrash concentration.

    • Jewish Scribal Arts
      A סופר/ת, or scribe, is one who preserves and perpetuates our ancient Jewish texts. This class is an introduction to scribal arts. Part of each class will be spent learning and practicing how to cut a quill and form the letters in “k’tav Ashuri”, the traditional font of a sefer Torah. In addition to the hands-on experience of learning to write, we will also learn about the role of the sofer in history and the rules and tools of the scribe. We will read relevant sections of ,מסכת סופרים ,משנה ברורה and קסת הסופרand, by the end of the course, you will demonstrate your new expertise to write a section of text. YOU DON’T NEED ANY PREVIOUS ARTISTIC TRAINING TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS. This class is capped at 12 students.

    • Jewish Bio-Ethics
      Students will explore the following controversies in Bio-Ethics, using both contemporary American and halachic sources. The course will focus on contemporary issues in this field. Sources will be supplied in both Hebrew and English. Issues to be covered include birth control, therapeutic abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, and medical experimentation on human subjects.

    • Jewish Bioethics 2
      (Prerequisite for this course - Jewish Bio-Ethics). How does the primacy of science fit into living a spiritual life? We will do in-depth study on autopsies, organ donation, cryogenics, 3-D replacement organs, IVF, genetic engineering, gene therapy, therapeutic abortion for fetuses with birth defects, the health insurance industry, drug testing in developing countries, living wills, and science and Torah.

    • בריתB’rit as relationship
      Judaism is a wisdom tradition that emphasizes brit, or covenant. From this perspective, covenant reflects an approach to the world that is rooted in relationship. Consequently, our tradition has developed a very deep and rich understanding of relationship. We will explore Brit and its implications through texts from Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, and the Siddur. This exploration will allow us to examine different characteristics of relationship and the values they represent. Some examples of these characteristics are commitment, choice, and taking another’s perspective. Honors students will read contemporary theologians and their views on covenant as well.

    • Halakhic Codes
      Beyond Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash is the decision as to what is the Halakhah. The fixing of the Halakhah is an ongoing process that continues in our own day. We will study the great codes and their codifiers to learn their methods and see how their decisions were determined in part by their time and place.

    • Business Ethics
      In this class we will look at the biblical roots of how we should behave in business, trace them through the rabbinic understandings of those issues and see how they are still relevant in today's world. Issues as varied as unfair competition, fraudulent online reviews, fair trade, modern slavery and state-sponsored gambling are only the beginning of what there is to discuss in our complicated society. Come prepared to debate the ethical issues and modern implications of a Jewish approach to business.

    • A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice
      This course will cover the Jewish calendar of Shabbat, holidays, feasts and fasts. It will focus on what is expected, and the meanings and origins of the practices. Students will have opportunities to ask personal questions, challenge accepted practices, and develop new and creative rituals.

    • Women in Halakhah
      This class will explore the different views of women’s ritual and legal obligations and the varied ways in which women were viewed in rabbinic times. We will consider the areas of prayer, study, marriage and divorce and explore how views evolved over time. Student interest will also be taken into account in choosing areas to explore, including those relevant to contemporary Judaism. Texts will be taken from the Talmud and Responsa literature, as well as from contemporary halakhists. Honors students will read the majority of the texts in their original language, and other students will study in parallel with English.

    • The Rambam: Why he matters to 21st Century Jews
      We live in an age fraught with dangerous conflicts about religious belief and modernity, faith and science, and the role of rational thought in mediating these conflicts. Using the English language version of the Rambam's Moreh Nevukhim (Guide to the Perplexed) as well as selections from his letters and the Mishneh Torah, we will examine his views on science and faith, magic, sacrifices, and the role of metaphor in understanding difficult passages in the Tanakh, including anthropomorphic language. We will also look at the life and times of the Rambam.

    • Kashrut
      How did the biblical dietary laws evolve to our modern practice of our rituals and customs? How did they lead us to kosher restaurants, various rabbinic supervisory committees, and separate dishes? Why do we wait between eating meat and milk? Why is there a need for a separate kosher butcher? Join us as we study the evolution of the laws of kashrut through a text based study of the source texts in the Torah, selections of Gemara, and a focus on the Shulchan Arukh.

    • Kashrut Part 2
      In this course we will focus our study of the laws of kashrut on the topics of melicha (salting) and ta’arovot (mixtures). Why do we salt meat and poultry? How do go about doing it correctly? What are ta’arovot and how do they figure into the laws of kashrut? While some texts will draw upon concepts and ideas studied in previous Kashrut courses on Basar V'Chalav, but there is no prerequisite for this course.

    • Reflections of Bible through the Arts
      Bible stories have been a source of inspiration for artists throughout the generations. These artists expressed their ideas through sculpture, painting, drawing, music, dance and film. As we all know, each artist describes his concept in his own unique way and each creation is actually an interpretation of the story which he is referencing. In our course, we will explore chosen Bible stories and their traditional interpretations. We will examine existing pieces of art which relate to these stories. We will investigate the artistic elements that the artist used to express his ideas, and determine how these elements enhance the artist’s vision. We will compare the traditional Judaic interpretation with the artist’s interpretation, and develop our own artistic interpretations of the text. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • Linguistic Curiosities in Tanakh (Honors only)
      If you like language, you will appreciate this class. Did you know that Biblical poetry is unique? That there may be five versions of the Ten Commandments? That there may be obscenities in the Bible? Abbreviations in the Bible? That other ancient languages and Greek may help unravel some of the secrets of the Biblical text? If your Hebrew is strong and you would like to expand your horizons, then learn a little about the languages and linguistic features that make the Bible unique and universal. This is an honors level class.

    • Moral Dilemmas in Tanakh
      What happens when God’s command conflicts with a person’s desires? What happens when one is in a position of authority and has to make a decision about how to behave in a particular situation? What decision is made in each case? How much time and information was available to make the decision? What are the consequences of the decision? We will identify the dilemma in each case and what we can learn from it. Students will articulate their own positions regarding the dilemma and justify their choices. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • The Book of Jeremiah
      Through narrative and poetry, Jeremiah shows us the inner workings of the prophetic mind, with all the dilemmas and confrontations his work entailed. We will deal with questions such as the following:
      • Does he have the freedom to choose whether or not to be a prophet?
      • What was his religious message?
      • What were his conflicts?
      • His relationship with royalty?
      • Why was Jeremiah nearly lynched; who defended him?

    • Women’s Hidden Stories in Tanakh
      We know of many women who are heroines or victims, who have founding or leading roles in the history of Israel. In this course we will learn about individual women who play a small but pivotal part in the stories in which they appear. Some are depicted as villains because they draw Israelite men away from the religion of Israel and into the ways of their neighbors, while others are portrayed as sources of wisdom. However, these women are all strong characters. Israelite and Canaanite, prophet, queen, and seductress, each has her own voice. What roles did these women play? What responsibilities did they bear for the sequence of events described in the text?

    • Unrolling the Scrolls: Megillot
      We will analyze the text of the מגילות in Hebrew and English, exploring how each gives a radical voice to human experience - from the heady blush of romance in Shir HaShirim to the political satire of Esther, the withering cynicism of Kohelet and the crushing tragedy of Eichah. We will look at the relationship between each מגילה and the holiday on which it is read and the historical background of the מגילה. There will be opportunities to explore each מגילה through the lenses of literary analysis, translation and commentary as well as artistic interpretation. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Kingship to Exile
      Who were the kings and what were they like? What kind of society did they rule over? How did the United Kingdom become divided into Israel and Judah? Where did the kingdoms stand in the geo-political circumstances of their time? We will answer these questions and others as we read about the kings, the prophets, and other characters that inhabited the Promised Land at this time. Honors students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • From Exile to Return
      What is it like to lose your freedom, and the ability to determine your own destiny? Cut off and alienated from the world you know, how do you then proceed? Do you dare make a new life for yourself; can you ever return to the old one? What things will change and what can stay the same? We will read be reading some of the stories both inside and outside the Bible to find out the answer to these and other questions. We will also explore the possibility of applying these answers to current situations. Honor students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • The Book of Daniel
      One of the strangest books of the Bible, it is written half in Hebrew and half in Aramaic. Is the book about the time in which it was written, about the past, or does it predict the future and the coming of the Messiah? A fiery furnace and a lions’ den await the reader in this adventure tale of a Hebrew boy who makes good in the land of the Babylonians.

    • The Prophetic Call for Justice
      What did it mean to be a prophet in the Bible? How did their missions require them to pursue Justice? Using selected passages from prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hoshea, and Mikhah, we will develop an understanding of how, as American Jews, we should respond to problems such as poverty, hunger, income inequality, racism, and political corruption. The final project for the course will engage students in creating their own vision of a just social policy based upon the prophetic values they have learned during this course. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
      What do different Jewish philosophers think about God? How do we come to know what we know? What does it means to be good and why? These questions and others will be explored by looking at how important Jewish philosophers across the ages have answered these questions. Appropriate comparisons with western philosophers will also be explored. Students will develop their own personal philosophies at the culmination of this class. We will focus on the medieval philosophers Sa’adya Ga’on, Judah HaLevi, and Maimonides, and learn how they reconcile religion and rationality. We may include some modern philosophers. Because of the sophisticated nature of the material, all texts will be in English.

    • Twentieth Century Jewish Philosophy
      This course will explore the thought of the most important 20th century Jewish philosophers, and consider their ideas in contrast with Jewish Medieval thought. Specifically, we will consider the ideas of Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Rosenzweig and the questions they considered most important. The basic Issues to be addressed are the relationship of humans to their society and the role of God in the relationship.

    • Exploring Your Family Roots in Jewish History
      If history is a tapestry of events and stories, every family represents a thread. In this class you will explore your own family roots in the context of modern historical events, particularly connected to Jewish populations around the world and their migrations. You will collect stories and develop a genealogical record against the background of world history. You will produce a video using iMovie about one of these stories, combining photographs, maps and narrative to preserve a unique facet of your own family experience.

    • Tel Aviv: A Cultural History
      Today, when we think about Tel Aviv, we dream about vacationing on its sunny beaches. However, did you know that the Zionists dreamed about a city like Tel Aviv even before it existed? In this class we will “wander” through the streets of Tel Aviv, and learn about the unique history and symbolism of this first modern Hebrew city. Using a variety of sources and media, including documents, art, photography, film, literature, and music, students will encounter the history of Tel Aviv in its first decades, before turning to the very different urban landscape of the city in the 21st century. What can be learned from a directory of street names? What is Bauhaus architecture? Is there such thing as “Jewish space”? Why is a cemetery stuck right in the city’s center? How has the city changed over the last century? What’s so important about Tel Aviv’s cafes (besides great coffee)?

    • Topics in Modern Jewish Literature: Short Stories
      What is Jewish Literature? What is Modernism? Students will be introduced to Modern Jewish Literature through a selection of short stories by classic Jewish writers. We will read stories in translation from Yiddish, Hebrew and English and learn about the major changes that took place within Jewish society (in Europe, Pre-State Israel, and America) from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Themes will address identity, tradition and change, migration and acculturation. Authors include: Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shai Agnon, Dvorah Baron, Anzia Yezierska and Abe Cahan.

    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy High School Science Department is to provide our students with a strong foundation in science. Our goal is to prepare the students to be decision making adults in a time of increasing technological and social complexity. Our students will develop universal critical and creative thinking skills that have application in all intellectual endeavors. Students will have the opportunity to reach the highest academic standards in the scientific disciplines, consistent with their abilities. Through the use of hands-on learning and the integration of technology into the curriculum, we teach our students observational techniques, quantitative skills, and analytical thinking. In High School, our students take the sequence of biology, chemistry and physics, as preparation for college.
    • CHEMISTRY
      This course introduces the fundamental, theoretical and experimental principles of chemistry, including chemical reactions, stoichiometry, kinetic molecular theory, periodicity, bonding, acid-base theories and oxidation-reduction if time allows. Special attention is placed on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Bi-weekly experimentation and/or hands-on activities are used to reinforce the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the chemical principles learned in class.

      Levels offered:
      • College Prep
        The college prep class learns the fundamental theoretical and experimental principles of sciences. The theoretical principles emphasize larger concepts in sciences without heavy reliance on mathematical equations. Multi-step problems are usually not introduced at this level. Frequent laboratory experiments help the student understand the phenomena that they are taught in the class.

      • Advanced
        The advanced class learns the material presented at the college prep level but in greater depth. Mathematical concepts are more challenging, and multi-step problems are introduced to the students. The difficulty of the work is more challenging, and students are pushed to problem-solve on assessments.

      • Honors
        The Honors level class learns more sophisticated concepts than other levels and math is incorporated into the material they are learning. The theoretical principles emphasize larger concepts in sciences with heavy reliance on mathematical equations. Students are expected to learn concepts in class and then apply them independently to new situations and types of problems.

      STEM II
      In the second year course, students focus on biomedical engineering and cover material on biomechanics of the human body, including engineering aspects of the skeletal, muscular and circulatory systems, as well as advanced circuitry and computer programming. Concepts are reinforced with hands-on, group activities that also teach students methods of calibration and plotting data. Students learn critical thinking and presentation skills by critiquing articles that highlight the applications of science, technology, engineering and math in everyday life. A long term, group, capstone project is used to teach students the research and design process, as well as teamwork and problem solving skills.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum is based on the concept that the past provides a vital key to understanding and appreciating the complexity of the contemporary world. The department introduces students to the paradigms, lexicons and methodologies of the various disciplines within social studies: history, economics, sociology, geography and culture. Students are encouraged to integrate content knowledge and to analyze a variety of issues. They are exposed to ancient, medieval and modern periods, to Eastern and Western cultures and to Muslim, Jewish and Christian societies. Discussions and readings examine political, social and ethical issues. The study of Jewish History, in particular, is an important component of all social studies courses. The goal of social studies is not only to prepare the students for success in higher education but also to help them to become independent thinkers, capable of making informed decision as citizens and leaders of the Jewish community in a pluralistic society.
    • ORIGINS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD II
      The focus of this course is European history from 1815-1948, laying the foundation of the modern world. Beginning with the Napoleonic Era, it proceeds with an analysis of the nineteenth century revolutions and their aftermath, including their impact on the European Jewish communities and their implications for Zionism. Topics include new ideologies, social and economic developments and new trends in the arts and sciences of this period. Finally the course examines the upheavals of twentieth century Europe including World War I, the Russian Revolution, Fascism, World War II and the Holocaust. A mid-term and a final exam are required.

      An honors course is offered to eligible students who want a greater challenge. This honors course emphasizes more utilization of primary sources and independent study than the regular history course. A mid-term and a final exam are required. A mid-term and final exam are required.

    STUDY SKILLS
    At Golda Och Academy, we teach students how to learn. Various courses have different sets of skills that need to be mastered in order for students to become successful learners. For example, there are specific strategies for reading textbooks in science or history and others for reading literature. When students gain competencies in study and organizational skills they become more effective and independent as learners. While some students master these skills through trial and error, others require more systematic instruction.

    Selected students have a structured study/support group in lieu of taking a romance language (i.e., Spanish or French). The structured study/support group has two goals: first to provide academic support and second to develop more effective learning/study strategies for students with different learning needs. Daily topics and activities of study skills are reflective of the needs of individual or groups of students, as communicated to the teacher by the students and their other teachers. For example, if a social studies teacher will be assigning a “compare and contrast” essay assignment, the students will practice using pre-planning strategies for a “compare and contrast” essay. Visual learners might use a graphic organizer with color-coding. Auditory learners might devise different rhythms or tunes to recite similarities and differences. The kinesthetic learner might design flashcards or charts.

    In addition to learning and practicing study and organizational skills that complement individual learning needs, students learn and practice self-advocacy skills (e.g. I need; Would it be possible for me to…). We expect students to be able to describe their unique learning styles and needs and advocate for themselves when they leave Golda Och Academy and enter college.
  • Grade 11

    Who is wise? One who learns from all persons (Pirke Avot 4:1). We believe that all learning is ause (sacred) and strive to instill in our students a true love of learning. We want our students to be actively engaged in the world around them and we seek to graduate students fully confident in their ability to be life-long learners.

    High School is a time for consolidation and mastery of knowledge. This is a time for students both to gain competence in individual disciplines and to synthesize content and skills across those disciplines. The very same logical thinking that serves a student in discussion in Talmud class can be applied to solving proofs in geometry. Similarly, electives help our students to see the world around them from a different perspective and to encourage them to apply creative ideas and concepts to all aspects of the curriculum. These years move our students toward independence. The academic goal is to fine-tune the students’ analytical skills and thinking processes so that they can approach a biblical text, a social studies primary document or a physics problem independently.

    Our students know when they graduate that they are members of the Jewish community, people of the book and lifelong learners.

    ELECTIVES
    High school students choose from an array of electives, including fine arts, digital photography, music, drama, public speaking, yearbook, computers and creative writing. Electives generally meet twice during each academic block and offer students the opportunity to develop skills, explore new areas of interest and work individual and group projects. Courses encourage creativity and the application of skills and knowledge to problem-solving. Class sizes tend to be small and allow for individualized attention.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE
    The mission of the Foreign Language Department in the Upper School at GOA is to immerse students in language study that will enable them to communicate confidently in a foreign language. Students are exposed to a variety of accents and perspectives, and develop an appreciation for the variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken. The four central pillars of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are equally emphasized though a dynamic curriculum that incorporates authentic sources from beginning levels to advanced placement. Student writings, class presentations, challenging readings and exposure to foreign language visual media combine to strengthen all dimensions of students’ language acquisition. GOA students learn to communicate purposely both in written and spoken modes. Classes are taught in the target language with some English used to clarify grammatical concepts.
    • SPANISH III (honors & college-prep level)
      This level will further enhance students’ language skills through the use of more complex grammatical structures. Students will demonstrate the ability to narrate in the past and future, and will be able to express their feelings, desires and opinions through the subjunctive mood. Their vocabulary builds to include topics such as shopping, storytelling, food, community service and the environment. The Avancemos 2 textbook as well ancillary materials are the main sources for this level. Students will also read novellas and other online sources.

    • SPANISH IV (honors & college-prep level)
      This level allows the student to develop greater proficiency in language skills. Increased emphasis is placed on cultural aspects and learners explore topics more in depth. Students are able to communicate on a more sophisticated level concerning themes such as: nature and environment, community service, friendship and social groups. The Avancemos 3 textbook is used as well as the ancillary materials. Students refine their grammar skills through different methods of communication. Students will read novellas, news items and other online sources.

    • FRENCH IV (honors & college-prep level)
      This level develops greater proficiency in language skills. Increased emphasis is placed on cultural aspects and learners explore topics more in depth. Students are able to communicate on a more sophisticated level concerning themes such as: health, entertainment, storytelling, nature and environment. The Bien Dit 2 & 3 textbooks are used as well as the ancillary materials. Students refine their grammar skills through different methods of communication. Students will read novellas, news items and other online sources.
    • SPANISH AP
      The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is founded on three modes of communication: Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational. The course is taught exclusively in Spanish and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes, and gives them the tools to succeed on the AP Exam in May. The course is structured around six themes: global challenges, beauty and aesthetics, families and communities, personal and public identities, contemporary life and science and technology. There are two textbooks used for this course: Abriendo Paso (Temas y Lecturas) and Triángulo Aprobado. Also, a variety of authentic sources such as videos, podcasts, and articles are used.

    HEALTH
    Comparable to Middle School, the High School health curriculum is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and to assist students in maintaining one’s personal level of health and wellness. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s responsibility to make appropriate choices to meet these goals. Responsible decision making, problem solving, appropriate forms of communication, coping and enhancing relationships are skills taught in the High School. These skills are essential to creating a healthy, responsible adult.
     
    Eleventh grade health meets once a week or a semester and is required of all students. Main topics of discussion are: mental health with a focus on stress and stress management; pregnancy and contraceptive methods; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, dating and domestic violence, and substance use, misuse and abuse.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    Students in High School study Hebrew from the Books Bishvil Ha’ivrit 3-5, and from advanced NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) books 21-25 according to their class level. In addition to the NETA books students read original literature in modified Hebrew.
     
    Through the development of our Hebrew curriculum in High school we present our students with the reading of various genres of literature and undergo interactive learning activities. Our main goal is to expand the student’s vocabulary knowledge, further develop students’ abilities to understand, read, write and speak Hebrew on a wide variety of topics, such as: sports, ecology, pop culture as well as leadership, freedom and responsibility.
     
    Upon completion of the units students are able to Listen to short lectures and read non-fiction texts, present a personal point of view in the related topics and discuss moral issues, read and listen to conversations and monologues, act out similar conversations ,talk about the emotional implications stem from these topics, read modern stories and poems , listen to songs, read Jewish texts from the Bible from Rabbinic midrashim ,Write semi-formal letters ,Conjugate verbs in regular and irregular verbs form in all three tenses - past, present, and future – incorporated in speech and in writing, act out everyday conversations about different topics as ordering a cab in the city, buying shoes, and setting the Table for a meal with many participants.
     
    The curriculum is graduated and the students’ achievements are being measured via the length of texts, richness of vocabulary, grammatical and text complexity. The inclusion of creative thinking, contented with linguistic skills enriched class sessions with the use of multi-media, dialogues, songs and drama fosters an innovative learning environment for learning Hebrew.


    LANGUAGE ARTS
    The eleventh grade curriculum explores works of British literature from medieval times until the present. The course includes the reading and analysis of novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and drama. The formal reading list may include: summer reading selections, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness, The Turn of the Screw, Brave New World, Macbeth, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gulliver’s Travels, The Importance of Being Earnest, Waiting for Godot, 1984, Pride and Prejudice, and selections of prose and poetry from an anthology. Works are often studied in relation to the life and times of the writers. Writing skills are developed in a number of ways: expository, descriptive, persuasive, argumentative, and comparative. Creative writing is also encouraged. All students work towards the creation of a writing portfolio, which encourages individual growth. Students are also required to complete a literary research paper, using MLA format, on a subject encompassed by British literature.

    Various formal and informal assignments focus on public speaking and developing students’ ability to present material clearly and effectively. Students are offered the opportunity to expand their vocabularies and practice for the S.A.T. exam. Grammar and vocabulary instruction are approached through students’ own writing and the literature. The preparation for the college application essay is also an important element of this course. This course is offered at two levels: honors, and college-prep.
    • 11th AP Literature and Composition
      Students will develop analytical reading and writing skills that will prepare them for the advanced placement exam in literature offered each May by the Educational Testing Service. Beyond this specific goal, this course, in a manner similar to our honors program, will enable students to consider how great writers throughout the centuries have played with or performed with language to create rich imaginative, intellectual, and emotional experiences for their readers, and how, in this pursuit, writers play to language’s ambiguity, creating meanings on a variety of levels. They will have an opportunity, as well, to recognize that while writers create their works in the context of particular times and places, their works are a response to or reaction against the texts that preceded their own. The central distinctions between this course and the honors English program are ones of scope and intensity rather than intention. This course considers the relationships between English and American texts. The formal reading list may include: The Sun Also Rises, Washington Square, Wuthering Heights, Emma, Macbeth, Heart of Darkness, All The Pretty Horses, Leaving The Atocha Station, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

      Writing skills are developed in a number of ways: expository, descriptive, persuasive, argumentative, and comparative. All students work towards the creation of a writing portfolio, which encourages individual growth. Students are offered the opportunity to expand their vocabularies and practice for the S.A.T. exam. Grammar and vocabulary instruction are approached through students’ own writing and the literature. The preparation for the college application essay is also an important element of this course.

    MATHEMATICS
    Our High School courses are aimed at preparing students for advanced math study and for its use in other fields. The curriculum prepares students to meet college admission requirements as well. Another important goal is to develop analytical and independent thinking. As a department we keep abreast of current changes in instruction and technology. In the math department we look at the student as a total person. With this in mind our teachers encourage our students to grow intellectually and into well-rounded adults who have the ability to learn. Overall Goals:
    • Develop a mastery of the basic skills needed for High School math topics:
      • properties of real numbers
      • language of sets
      • operations with real numbers and variables
    • Develop an understanding of functions and relations
    • Develop higher order thinking skills
    • Develop proper study skills
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators (including graphing), SmartBoards, computers, and math software and Apps
    • Motivate students to extend themselves to their fullest ability

    • ALGEBRA II
      This course includes a review of real number equations and inequalities, linear equations and functions, systems of equations, polynomial and rational expressions, exponential and logarithmic functions. The teacher introduces radical expressions, complex numbers, quadratic and polynomial equations. Students will demonstrate the creative, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving skills needed to function successfully in their future. When student population permits, there is an Honors class at this level.

    • PRE-CALCULUS
      This course includes the following topics: trigonometric functions, triangle trigonometry, circular functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities, inverse trigonometric functions, solving trigonometric equations, analytic geometry and conic sections, sequences and series, and function analysis.

    • INTRODUCTION TO CALCULUS
      The object of this calculus course is to leave the student with a thorough working knowledge of functions and the notions of infinitesimal changes and instantaneous rates of change for functions. After functions, limits, sketching, derivatives and their applications are reviewed, curve sketching using derivatives is studied. Integrals and their applications are introduced, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and transcendental functions are studied. This is a one-semester course and the amount of material covered has time constraints.
    • ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS
      The objective of this course is to prepare students for the Advance Placement Calculus AB Test. Scoring a high enough grade on Calculus AB exam may earn students Calculus 1 course credit at certain colleges . Topics covered include: Limits, continuity, derivatives and method of differentiation, differentiability, applications of derivatives, Min/max function analysis and related problems, related rates. The definition of the integral, Reiman sums, integration, the fundamental theorem of calculus, application of integrals, area, rectilinear motion and volumes of revolution and growth problems using differential equations. Students will be expected to sit the AP Calculus exam (AB) at the end of their Junior year. In advanced situations, students may be prepared to take the BC Calculus Test. Passing this test will give students college credit for Calculus I and II.
    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    After years of diversified curriculum where students are exposed to many different sports and fitness activities, the tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders elect most of the activities in the physical education classes. Students are given the opportunity to select an activity for approximately 4-6 weeks. Activities could include but are not limited to: team sports, individual sports, fitness walking/cross country running; aerobics/ dance/pilates; or weght room.
     
    Students will have the opportunity to master and perfect previously learned skills. However, the main focus of the curriculum is to continue to develop positive attitudes towards lifetime fitness and to develop a love for lifetime fitness sports.
    Throughout the year, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.
    RABBINICS, TANAKH, AND JEWISH HUMANITIES
    Once having passed the competency exam, students choose a concentration in Tanakh, Rabbinics, or Jewish Humanities. Students must take 5 classes in their area of concentration and 4 other Judaic courses between grades 10 - 12. These classes are multi-grade, with students at various Hebrew levels. They are relatively small and rely on careful planning and differentiation to maintain rigor while allowing for a range of learners.

    We offer some advanced courses so that students may develop knowledge and skills in a particular area of study. There are also honors components in all courses, where students who do more advanced work earn an honors designation for the course on their transcripts.
     
    Following is the list of electives that are running in 2016-17 with their descriptions:
    • Talmud Text (Honors)
      In this class we will jump into the 'Sea of Talmud' and get our feet wet by learning large sections of a tractate of Talmud. This will give you a feel for the language, methods and 'quirks' of this central Jewish text. Talmudic literature brings Jewish law, stories and of course, wonderful argumentation all into play, and students will be able to explore all of these genres within the confines of our chosen tractate. The class will use Steinsaltz as well as the classic Vilna editions of the Talmud, as well as parallel rabbinic texts on matters of Jewish law and observance.

    • Advanced Talmud (Honors)
      In this class we will be taking a more advanced approach to Talmud study, by bringing in the next layer of commentary which helped make the Talmud the central Jewish text. You will get to know the classic commentators Rashi, Tosafot and even the Ri"f, and explore how they became the voices that help us understand the ideas on a page of Talmud. Come ready for questions that go deeper than you could have imagined! This is an advanced class especially suited for those students who have chosen to be in the Beit Midrash concentration.

    • Jewish Scribal Arts
      A סופר/ת, or scribe, is one who preserves and perpetuates our ancient Jewish texts. This class is an introduction to scribal arts. Part of each class will be spent learning and practicing how to cut a quill and form the letters in “k’tav Ashuri”, the traditional font of a sefer Torah. In addition to the hands-on experience of learning to write, we will also learn about the role of the sofer in history and the rules and tools of the scribe. We will read relevant sections of ,מסכת סופרים ,משנה ברורה and קסת הסופרand, by the end of the course, you will demonstrate your new expertise to write a section of text. YOU DON’T NEED ANY PREVIOUS ARTISTIC TRAINING TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS. This class is capped at 12 students.

    • Jewish Bio-Ethics
      Students will explore the following controversies in Bio-Ethics, using both contemporary American and halachic sources. The course will focus on contemporary issues in this field. Sources will be supplied in both Hebrew and English. Issues to be covered include birth control, therapeutic abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, and medical experimentation on human subjects.

    • Jewish Bioethics 2
      (Prerequisite for this course - Jewish Bio-Ethics). How does the primacy of science fit into living a spiritual life? We will do in-depth study on autopsies, organ donation, cryogenics, 3-D replacement organs, IVF, genetic engineering, gene therapy, therapeutic abortion for fetuses with birth defects, the health insurance industry, drug testing in developing countries, living wills, and science and Torah.

    • בריתB’rit as relationship
      Judaism is a wisdom tradition that emphasizes brit, or covenant. From this perspective, covenant reflects an approach to the world that is rooted in relationship. Consequently, our tradition has developed a very deep and rich understanding of relationship. We will explore Brit and its implications through texts from Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, and the Siddur. This exploration will allow us to examine different characteristics of relationship and the values they represent. Some examples of these characteristics are commitment, choice, and taking another’s perspective. Honors students will read contemporary theologians and their views on covenant as well.

    • Halakhic Codes
      Beyond Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash is the decision as to what is the Halakhah. The fixing of the Halakhah is an ongoing process that continues in our own day. We will study the great codes and their codifiers to learn their methods and see how their decisions were determined in part by their time and place.

    • Business Ethics
      In this class we will look at the biblical roots of how we should behave in business, trace them through the rabbinic understandings of those issues and see how they are still relevant in today's world. Issues as varied as unfair competition, fraudulent online reviews, fair trade, modern slavery and state-sponsored gambling are only the beginning of what there is to discuss in our complicated society. Come prepared to debate the ethical issues and modern implications of a Jewish approach to business.

    • A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice
      This course will cover the Jewish calendar of Shabbat, holidays, feasts and fasts. It will focus on what is expected, and the meanings and origins of the practices. Students will have opportunities to ask personal questions, challenge accepted practices, and develop new and creative rituals.

    • Women in Halakhah
      This class will explore the different views of women’s ritual and legal obligations and the varied ways in which women were viewed in rabbinic times. We will consider the areas of prayer, study, marriage and divorce and explore how views evolved over time. Student interest will also be taken into account in choosing areas to explore, including those relevant to contemporary Judaism. Texts will be taken from the Talmud and Responsa literature, as well as from contemporary halakhists. Honors students will read the majority of the texts in their original language, and other students will study in parallel with English.

    • The Rambam: Why he matters to 21st Century Jews
      We live in an age fraught with dangerous conflicts about religious belief and modernity, faith and science, and the role of rational thought in mediating these conflicts. Using the English language version of the Rambam's Moreh Nevukhim (Guide to the Perplexed) as well as selections from his letters and the Mishneh Torah, we will examine his views on science and faith, magic, sacrifices, and the role of metaphor in understanding difficult passages in the Tanakh, including anthropomorphic language. We will also look at the life and times of the Rambam.

    • Kashrut
      How did the biblical dietary laws evolve to our modern practice of our rituals and customs? How did they lead us to kosher restaurants, various rabbinic supervisory committees, and separate dishes? Why do we wait between eating meat and milk? Why is there a need for a separate kosher butcher? Join us as we study the evolution of the laws of kashrut through a text based study of the source texts in the Torah, selections of Gemara, and a focus on the Shulchan Arukh.

    • Kashrut Part 2
      In this course we will focus our study of the laws of kashrut on the topics of melicha (salting) and ta’arovot (mixtures). Why do we salt meat and poultry? How do go about doing it correctly? What are ta’arovot and how do they figure into the laws of kashrut? While some texts will draw upon concepts and ideas studied in previous Kashrut courses on Basar V'Chalav, but there is no prerequisite for this course.

    • Reflections of Bible through the Arts
      Bible stories have been a source of inspiration for artists throughout the generations. These artists expressed their ideas through sculpture, painting, drawing, music, dance and film. As we all know, each artist describes his concept in his own unique way and each creation is actually an interpretation of the story which he is referencing. In our course, we will explore chosen Bible stories and their traditional interpretations. We will examine existing pieces of art which relate to these stories. We will investigate the artistic elements that the artist used to express his ideas, and determine how these elements enhance the artist’s vision. We will compare the traditional Judaic interpretation with the artist’s interpretation, and develop our own artistic interpretations of the text. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • Linguistic Curiosities in Tanakh (Honors only)
      If you like language, you will appreciate this class. Did you know that Biblical poetry is unique? That there may be five versions of the Ten Commandments? That there may be obscenities in the Bible? Abbreviations in the Bible? That other ancient languages and Greek may help unravel some of the secrets of the Biblical text? If your Hebrew is strong and you would like to expand your horizons, then learn a little about the languages and linguistic features that make the Bible unique and universal. This is an honors level class.

    • Moral Dilemmas in Tanakh
      What happens when God’s command conflicts with a person’s desires? What happens when one is in a position of authority and has to make a decision about how to behave in a particular situation? What decision is made in each case? How much time and information was available to make the decision? What are the consequences of the decision? We will identify the dilemma in each case and what we can learn from it. Students will articulate their own positions regarding the dilemma and justify their choices. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • The Book of Jeremiah
      Through narrative and poetry, Jeremiah shows us the inner workings of the prophetic mind, with all the dilemmas and confrontations his work entailed. We will deal with questions such as the following:
      • Does he have the freedom to choose whether or not to be a prophet?
      • What was his religious message?
      • What were his conflicts?
      • His relationship with royalty?
      • Why was Jeremiah nearly lynched; who defended him?

    • Women’s Hidden Stories in Tanakh
      We know of many women who are heroines or victims, who have founding or leading roles in the history of Israel. In this course we will learn about individual women who play a small but pivotal part in the stories in which they appear. Some are depicted as villains because they draw Israelite men away from the religion of Israel and into the ways of their neighbors, while others are portrayed as sources of wisdom. However, these women are all strong characters. Israelite and Canaanite, prophet, queen, and seductress, each has her own voice. What roles did these women play? What responsibilities did they bear for the sequence of events described in the text?

    • Unrolling the Scrolls: Megillot
      We will analyze the text of the מגילות in Hebrew and English, exploring how each gives a radical voice to human experience - from the heady blush of romance in Shir HaShirim to the political satire of Esther, the withering cynicism of Kohelet and the crushing tragedy of Eichah. We will look at the relationship between each מגילה and the holiday on which it is read and the historical background of the מגילה. There will be opportunities to explore each מגילה through the lenses of literary analysis, translation and commentary as well as artistic interpretation. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Kingship to Exile
      Who were the kings and what were they like? What kind of society did they rule over? How did the United Kingdom become divided into Israel and Judah? Where did the kingdoms stand in the geo-political circumstances of their time? We will answer these questions and others as we read about the kings, the prophets, and other characters that inhabited the Promised Land at this time. Honors students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • From Exile to Return
      What is it like to lose your freedom, and the ability to determine your own destiny? Cut off and alienated from the world you know, how do you then proceed? Do you dare make a new life for yourself; can you ever return to the old one? What things will change and what can stay the same? We will read be reading some of the stories both inside and outside the Bible to find out the answer to these and other questions. We will also explore the possibility of applying these answers to current situations. Honor students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • The Book of Daniel
      One of the strangest books of the Bible, it is written half in Hebrew and half in Aramaic. Is the book about the time in which it was written, about the past, or does it predict the future and the coming of the Messiah? A fiery furnace and a lions’ den await the reader in this adventure tale of a Hebrew boy who makes good in the land of the Babylonians.

    • The Prophetic Call for Justice
      What did it mean to be a prophet in the Bible? How did their missions require them to pursue Justice? Using selected passages from prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hoshea, and Mikhah, we will develop an understanding of how, as American Jews, we should respond to problems such as poverty, hunger, income inequality, racism, and political corruption. The final project for the course will engage students in creating their own vision of a just social policy based upon the prophetic values they have learned during this course. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
      What do different Jewish philosophers think about God? How do we come to know what we know? What does it means to be good and why? These questions and others will be explored by looking at how important Jewish philosophers across the ages have answered these questions. Appropriate comparisons with western philosophers will also be explored. Students will develop their own personal philosophies at the culmination of this class. We will focus on the medieval philosophers Sa’adya Ga’on, Judah HaLevi, and Maimonides, and learn how they reconcile religion and rationality. We may include some modern philosophers. Because of the sophisticated nature of the material, all texts will be in English.

    • Twentieth Century Jewish Philosophy
      This course will explore the thought of the most important 20th century Jewish philosophers, and consider their ideas in contrast with Jewish Medieval thought. Specifically, we will consider the ideas of Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Rosenzweig and the questions they considered most important. The basic Issues to be addressed are the relationship of humans to their society and the role of God in the relationship.

    • Exploring Your Family Roots in Jewish History
      If history is a tapestry of events and stories, every family represents a thread. In this class you will explore your own family roots in the context of modern historical events, particularly connected to Jewish populations around the world and their migrations. You will collect stories and develop a genealogical record against the background of world history. You will produce a video using iMovie about one of these stories, combining photographs, maps and narrative to preserve a unique facet of your own family experience.

    • Tel Aviv: A Cultural History
      Today, when we think about Tel Aviv, we dream about vacationing on its sunny beaches. However, did you know that the Zionists dreamed about a city like Tel Aviv even before it existed? In this class we will “wander” through the streets of Tel Aviv, and learn about the unique history and symbolism of this first modern Hebrew city. Using a variety of sources and media, including documents, art, photography, film, literature, and music, students will encounter the history of Tel Aviv in its first decades, before turning to the very different urban landscape of the city in the 21st century. What can be learned from a directory of street names? What is Bauhaus architecture? Is there such thing as “Jewish space”? Why is a cemetery stuck right in the city’s center? How has the city changed over the last century? What’s so important about Tel Aviv’s cafes (besides great coffee)?

    • Topics in Modern Jewish Literature: Short Stories
      What is Jewish Literature? What is Modernism? Students will be introduced to Modern Jewish Literature through a selection of short stories by classic Jewish writers. We will read stories in translation from Yiddish, Hebrew and English and learn about the major changes that took place within Jewish society (in Europe, Pre-State Israel, and America) from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Themes will address identity, tradition and change, migration and acculturation. Authors include: Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shai Agnon, Dvorah Baron, Anzia Yezierska and Abe Cahan.
    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy High School Science Department is to provide our students with a strong foundation in science. Our goal is to prepare the students to be decision making adults in a time of increasing technological and social complexity. Our students will develop universal critical and creative thinking skills that have application in all intellectual endeavors. Students will have the opportunity to reach the highest academic standards in the scientific disciplines, consistent with their abilities. Through the use of hands-on learning and the integration of technology into the curriculum, we teach our students observational techniques, quantitative skills, and analytical thinking. In High School, our students take the sequence of biology, chemistry and physics, as preparation for college.
    • PHYSICS
      This course introduces the basic concepts, principles and methods of classical physics. Topics included in this course are Newton’s laws, momentum and energy. The students will analyze a broad range of applications of the physical laws in numerous natural phenomena, technological processes and engineering devices. Students will be exposed to a variety of methods used in physics by doing both analytical problem solving and laboratory experimentation. Students will apply their mathematical knowledge in analyzing scientific problems.

      Levels offered:
      • College Prep
        The college prep class learns the fundamental theoretical and experimental principles of sciences. The theoretical principles emphasize larger concepts in sciences without heavy reliance on mathematical equations. Multi-step problems are usually not introduced at this level. Frequent laboratory experiments help the student understand the phenomena that they are taught in the class.

      • Advanced
        The advanced class learns the material presented at the college prep level but in greater depth. Mathematical concepts are more challenging, and multi-step problems are introduced to the students. The difficulty of the work is more challenging, and students are pushed to problem-solve on assessments.

      • Honors
        The Honors level class learns more sophisticated concepts than other levels and math is incorporated into the material they are learning. The theoretical principles emphasize larger concepts in sciences with heavy reliance on mathematical equations. Students are expected to learn concepts in class and then apply them independently to new situations and types of problems.

    • STEM III
      In the third year course, students focus on green engineering and cover material on alternative forms of energy including wind and solar power. Students also learn how to use computer-aided design software to create and 3D print custom parts. Students design and 3D print custom parts to test during hands-on, group activities that reinforce concepts and also teach students how to analyze data. Students learn critical thinking and presentation skills by critiquing articles that highlight the applications of science, technology, engineering and math in everyday life. A long term, group, capstone project is used to teach students the research and design process, branding and marketing, as well as teamwork and problem solving skills.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum is based on the concept that the past provides a vital key to understanding and appreciating the complexity of the contemporary world. The department introduces students to the paradigms, lexicons and methodologies of the various disciplines within social studies: history, economics, sociology, geography and culture. Students are encouraged to integrate content knowledge and to analyze a variety of issues. They are exposed to ancient, medieval and modern periods, to Eastern and Western cultures and to Muslim, Jewish and Christian societies. Discussions and readings examine political, social and ethical issues. The study of Jewish History, in particular, is an important component of all social studies courses. The goal of social studies is not only to prepare the students for success in higher education but also to help them to become independent thinkers, capable of making informed decision as citizens and leaders of the Jewish community in a pluralistic society.
    • AMERICAN HISTORY
      Using a chronological and conceptual approach, this course begins by focusing on the rising sectionalism of the antebellum period and how political and social conflicts led to the Civil War. The course continues with Reconstruction and its aftermath, the emergence of modern, industrial America and the concomitant economic, political and social issues that arose: rapid industrialization, the plight of the farmer, the rise of labor and the accompanying reform movements. In addition, the students study the emergence of the United States from isolation to its rise as a world power during the 20th century: World War I, World War II and the Holocaust, the American Century. Integrated into the course content is the role the American Jewish community played in the emergence of modern America of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

      Current events are included to update present American policy based on the historical events of the 20th century. This multidisciplinary approach utilizes primary and secondary sources to foster class discussion, research and problem solving. Field trips and guest speakers supplement the curriculum when applicable. A mid-term and a final exam are required.

      An honors course is offered to eligible students who want a greater challenge. This honors course emphasizes more utilization of primary sources and independent study than the regular history course. A mid-term and a final exam are required.

      Advanced Placement in American History is offered to eligible students who want to take the AP American History Exam. The course content is more concentrated with heavy emphasis on primary sources, independent research and preparation for the AP American History exam. Students are required to take the AP American History exam in May.

    STUDY SKILLS
    Selected students have a structured study/support group in lieu of taking a romance language (i.e., Spanish or French). The structured study/support group has two goals: first to provide academic support and second to develop more effective learning/study strategies for students with different learning needs. Daily topics and activities of study skills are reflective of the needs of individual or groups of students, as communicated to the teacher by the students and their other teachers. For example, if a social studies teacher will be assigning a “compare and contrast” essay assignment, the students will practice using pre-planning strategies for a “compare and contrast” essay. Visual learners might use a graphic organizer with color-coding. Auditory learners might devise different rhythms or tunes to recite similarities and differences. The kinesthetic learner might design flashcards or charts.

    In addition to learning and practicing study and organizational skills that complement individual learning needs, students learn and practice self-advocacy skills (e.g. I need; Would it be possible for me to…). We expect students to be able to describe their unique learning styles and needs and advocate for themselves when they leave Golda Och Academy and enter college.
  • Grade 12

    Who is wise? One who learns from all persons (Pirke Avot 4:1). We believe that all learning is ause (sacred) and strive to instill in our students a true love of learning. We want our students to be actively engaged in the world around them and we seek to graduate students fully confident in their ability to be life-long learners.

    High School is a time for consolidation and mastery of knowledge. This is a time for students both to gain competence in individual disciplines and to synthesize content and skills across those disciplines. The very same logical thinking that serves a student in discussion in Talmud class can be applied to solving proofs in geometry. Similarly, electives help our students to see the world around them from a different perspective and to encourage them to apply creative ideas and concepts to all aspects of the curriculum. These years move our students toward independence. The academic goal is to fine-tune the students’ analytical skills and thinking processes so that they can approach a biblical text, a social studies primary document or a physics problem independently.

    Our students know when they graduate that they are members of the Jewish community, people of the book and lifelong learners.

    ELECTIVES
    • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
      This course focuses on defining, assessing, and developing the skills of a leader and how those individuals take an innovative vision to accomplish important businesses and organizations within society. During the first half of the course, students study accomplishments and downfalls of leaders, discover their own leadership strengths and potential, and learn how to apply their skillsets as leaders in an entrepreneurial setting. Throughout the second half of the course, students learn how to turn an idea into a for-profit business or not-for-profit organization. A series of readings will provide content to class lectures and guest speakers will add first-hand experience and knowledge to what learning happens in the classroom.

    • LAW AND SOCIETY
      This course offered to seniors during the fall semester focuses on the American court system and legal decisions that impact on the lives of American citizens. Beginning with the early history of the Supreme Court and the decisions that form the foundation for the American system of jurisprudence, the students will research various issues and debate those issues from the perspective of various constituent groups. Potential topics for research, discussion and debate may include the death penalty and gun control. All assignments are designed to improve students’ ability to critically analyze written material, research key topics and present well developed arguments. A final exam is required.

    • PSYCHOLOGY
      This course offered to seniors during the fall semester is an introduction to psychology. Team-taught by a group of professional psychologists, students cover a wide range of topics that are of interest to high school students. A final exam is required.

    • STUDIO ART
      Studio Art is a pre-college art fundamentals class. Students research a style or medium of their choice and plan out how to achieve their vision. It could be one large project or a series of work. Each student is mentored one-on-one with our Art teacher. Students display and speak about their work at a gallery school at the end of the semester.

    • MUSIC THEORY
      Students will enjoy the musical practice that comes with it. Beginning with the basics, students will hone skills at sight-reading and transcribing, focusing on melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic examples. Later in the course, students will learn about chord inversions and progressions and culminate with four-part voice-writing projects that culminate in a class performance at the end of the semester.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE

    The mission of the Foreign Language Department in the Upper School at GOA is to immerse students in language study that will enable them to communicate confidently in a foreign language. Students are exposed to a variety of accents and perspectives, and develop an appreciation for the variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken. The four central pillars of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are equally emphasized though a dynamic curriculum that incorporates authentic sources from beginning levels to advanced placement. Student writings, class presentations, challenging readings and exposure to foreign language visual media combine to strengthen all dimensions of students’ language acquisition. GOA students learn to communicate purposely both in written and spoken modes. Classes are taught in the target language with some English used to clarify grammatical concepts.
    • SPANISH IV (honors & college-prep level)
      This level develops greater proficiency in language skills. Increased emphasis is placed on cultural aspects and learners explore topics more in depth. Students are able to communicate on a more sophisticated level concerning themes such as: nature and environment, community service, friendship and social groups. The Avancemos 3 textbook is used as well as the ancillary materials. Students refine their grammar skills through different methods of communication. Students will read novellas, plays and other online resources.

    • SPANISH ELECTIVES
      • El Cine Español –Introduction to Spanish Film
        In this course, students will improve their Spanish conversational skills by viewing and discussing films in Spanish from around the globe. Through film, students will be introduced to a variety of cultures in Spanish speaking countries as well as history, vernacular speech and regional accents. In addition, the students will enrich their vocabulary and will improve their listening comprehension through exposure to native speech. The class work will consist of written reflections, class discussions, student presentations and a final project which will improve students’ oral presentation skills.

      • Introduction to Spanish Lit (Don Librote)
        The introduction to Spanish Literature course includes texts from both Latin America and Spain from a variety of authors, time periods, genres, and writing styles. Through literature, the students will consider cultural differences, examine societal issues, challenge their beliefs, think critically, and ultimately, expand their knowledge of the Spanish language. The classwork will consist of written reflections, class discussions, small presentations and a final project.

    HEALTH
    As students prepare to leave Golda Och Academy, the twelfth grade health curriculum attempts to prepare the young adult for life after High School. Students are encouraged to develop and implement various life management skills. Life management skills include behaviors that develop a sense of personal responsibility for the students’ health, the health of others and for the community at large.
     
    The three major topics emphasized during the senior year are the theories and principles in developing and maintaining total fitness and wellness; substance abuse with emphasis on living in a college environment, including alcohol and drug use on campus; preparing for adulthood, including independent living & choosing a partner for life.
     
    During the minimester students participate in a one day course in child/adult CPR/AED training.

    HEBREW
    Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people and the heart of the Jewish soul. The Hebrew language unites us as Jews to the land of Israel, its past, present and future. Through the study of Modern Hebrew, students identify with their Jewish heritage and gain access to the study of classical Jewish texts, as well as being able to converse with their family and friends in Modern Hebrew.
     
    Students in High School study Hebrew from the Books Bishvil Ha’ivrit 3-5, and from advanced NETA ( נוער לטובת העברית‎‎, No'ar leTovat ha'Ivrit) books 21-25 according to their class level. In addition to the NETA books students read original literature in modified Hebrew.
     
    Through the development of our Hebrew curriculum in High school we present our students with the reading of various genres of literature and undergo interactive learning activities. Our main goal is to expand the student’s vocabulary knowledge, further develop students’ abilities to understand, read, write and speak Hebrew on a wide variety of topics, such as: sports, ecology, pop culture as well as leadership, freedom and responsibility.
     
    Upon completion of the units students are able to Listen to short lectures and read non-fiction texts, present a personal point of view in the related topics and discuss moral issues, read and listen to conversations and monologues, act out similar conversations ,talk about the emotional implications stem from these topics, read modern stories and poems , listen to songs, read Jewish texts from the Bible from Rabbinic midrashim ,Write semi-formal letters ,Conjugate verbs in regular and irregular verbs form in all three tenses - past, present, and future – incorporated in speech and in writing, act out everyday conversations about different topics as ordering a cab in the city, buying shoes, and setting the Table for a meal with many participants.
     
    The curriculum is graduated and the students’ achievements are being measured via the length of texts, richness of vocabulary, grammatical and text complexity. The inclusion of creative thinking, contented with linguistic skills enriched class sessions with the use of multi-media, dialogues, songs and drama fosters an innovative learning environment for learning Hebrew.


    LANGUAGE ARTS
    The twelfth grade curriculum allows for individual exploration of more focused literary subtopics, specifically literary villains, dystopian futures, and Shakespeare’s works. Major assessments are drawn from the following: essays, tests, quizzes, and projects. Class participation, public speaking, and homework assignments comprise the remainder of each marking period. The individual course descriptions are as follows:
    • PORTRAITS OF VILLAINY
      This course explores and examines different types of villainy, what it means to be a villain, and how villains resemble or differ from heroes. Psychological profiles of villains serve as the foundation for understanding. Readings are selected from among the following: Othello by William Shakespeare, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Psycho by Robert Bloch, and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.

    • DYSTOPIAN LITERATURE
      This course explores the various characteristics and elements of dystopian literature from the 19th and 20th centuries. Students analyze how each work serves as a critique of both social and governmental systems. Readings are selected from among the following: 1984 by George Orwell, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.

    • SHAKESPEARE
      This course explores and examines both tragic and comedic plays while appreciating the complexities of human behavior that Shakespeare so expertly touched. This course is for students who appreciate theater and enjoy “acting” out the roles. Readings may be selected from Othello, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Hamlet, Henry V, and selected sonnets.

    MATHEMATICS
    Our High School courses are aimed at preparing students for advanced math study and for its use in other fields. The curriculum prepares students to meet college admission requirements as well. Another important goal is to develop analytical and independent thinking. As a department we keep abreast of current changes in instruction and technology. In the math department we look at the student as a total person. With this in mind our teachers encourage our students to grow intellectually and into well-rounded adults who have the ability to learn. Overall Goals:
    • Develop a mastery of the basic skills needed for High School math topics:
      • properties of real numbers
      • language of sets
      • operations with real numbers and variables
    • Develop an understanding of functions and relations
    • Develop higher order thinking skills
    • Develop proper study skills
    • Expose students to technology through the use of calculators (including graphing), SmartBoards, computers, and math software and Apps
    • Motivate students to extend themselves to their fullest ability

    • ADVANCED TOPICS IN MATHEMATICS
      Course will include exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and conic sections.

    • INTRODUCTION TO CALCULUS
      The object of this calculus course is to leave the student with a thorough working knowledge of functions and the notions of infinitesimal changes and instantaneous rates of change for functions. After functions, limits, sketching, derivatives and their applications are reviewed, curve sketching using derivates is studied. Integrals and their applications are introduced, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and transcendental functions are studied. This is a one-semester course and the amount of material covered has time constraints.

    • HONORS CALCULUS
      This is a continuation of work begun in eleventh grade AP class.

    • ADVANCED TOPICS IN CALCULUS-HONORS
      This course is offered to the students that completed the Calculus AB in eleventh grade. The topics taught are calculus advanced concept not included in the AP calculus AB usually included in the colleges’ first calculus course. curriculum. Topic covered include Parametric equations, their derivatives and applications, Integration using partial fractions, integration by parts, hyperbolic function, length of curves of functions. Surface areas of solid of revolution.
    NOTE: Calculators are encouraged, especially at the higher levels of study. Scientific calculators for all geometry and algebra II students are recommended. Graphing calculators are used in all higher level classes.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION
    After years of diversified curriculum where students are exposed to many different sports and fitness activities, the tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders elect most of the activities in the physical education classes. Students are given the opportunity to select an activity for approximately 4-6 weeks. Activities could include but are not limited to: team sports, individual sports, fitness walking/cross country running; aerobics/ dance/pilates; or weght room.
    Students will have the opportunity to master and perfect previously learned skills. However, the main focus of the curriculum is to continue to develop positive attitudes towards lifetime fitness and to develop a love for lifetime fitness sports.
    Throughout the semester, students will also participate in GOA’s physical fitness test and will be monitored regularly for improvement.

    RABBINICS, TANAKH, AND JEWISH HUMANITIES
    Once having passed the competency exam, students choose a concentration in Tanakh, Rabbinics, or Jewish Humanities. Students must take 5 classes in their area of concentration and 4 other Judaic courses between grades 10 - 12. These classes are multi-grade, with students at various Hebrew levels. They are relatively small and rely on careful planning and differentiation to maintain rigor while allowing for a range of learners.

    We offer some advanced courses so that students may develop knowledge and skills in a particular area of study. There are also honors components in all courses, where students who do more advanced work earn an honors designation for the course on their transcripts.
     
    Following is the list of electives that are running in 2016-17 with their descriptions:
    • Talmud Text (Honors)
      In this class we will jump into the 'Sea of Talmud' and get our feet wet by learning large sections of a tractate of Talmud. This will give you a feel for the language, methods and 'quirks' of this central Jewish text. Talmudic literature brings Jewish law, stories and of course, wonderful argumentation all into play, and students will be able to explore all of these genres within the confines of our chosen tractate. The class will use Steinsaltz as well as the classic Vilna editions of the Talmud, as well as parallel rabbinic texts on matters of Jewish law and observance.

    • Advanced Talmud (Honors)
      In this class we will be taking a more advanced approach to Talmud study, by bringing in the next layer of commentary which helped make the Talmud the central Jewish text. You will get to know the classic commentators Rashi, Tosafot and even the Ri"f, and explore how they became the voices that help us understand the ideas on a page of Talmud. Come ready for questions that go deeper than you could have imagined! This is an advanced class especially suited for those students who have chosen to be in the Beit Midrash concentration.

    • Jewish Scribal Arts
      A סופר/ת, or scribe, is one who preserves and perpetuates our ancient Jewish texts. This class is an introduction to scribal arts. Part of each class will be spent learning and practicing how to cut a quill and form the letters in “k’tav Ashuri”, the traditional font of a sefer Torah. In addition to the hands-on experience of learning to write, we will also learn about the role of the sofer in history and the rules and tools of the scribe. We will read relevant sections of ,מסכת סופרים ,משנה ברורה and קסת הסופרand, by the end of the course, you will demonstrate your new expertise to write a section of text. YOU DON’T NEED ANY PREVIOUS ARTISTIC TRAINING TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS. This class is capped at 12 students.

    • Jewish Bio-Ethics
      Students will explore the following controversies in Bio-Ethics, using both contemporary American and halachic sources. The course will focus on contemporary issues in this field. Sources will be supplied in both Hebrew and English. Issues to be covered include birth control, therapeutic abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, and medical experimentation on human subjects.

    • Jewish Bioethics 2
      (Prerequisite for this course - Jewish Bio-Ethics). How does the primacy of science fit into living a spiritual life? We will do in-depth study on autopsies, organ donation, cryogenics, 3-D replacement organs, IVF, genetic engineering, gene therapy, therapeutic abortion for fetuses with birth defects, the health insurance industry, drug testing in developing countries, living wills, and science and Torah.

    • בריתB’rit as relationship
      Judaism is a wisdom tradition that emphasizes brit, or covenant. From this perspective, covenant reflects an approach to the world that is rooted in relationship. Consequently, our tradition has developed a very deep and rich understanding of relationship. We will explore Brit and its implications through texts from Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, and the Siddur. This exploration will allow us to examine different characteristics of relationship and the values they represent. Some examples of these characteristics are commitment, choice, and taking another’s perspective. Honors students will read contemporary theologians and their views on covenant as well.

    • Halakhic Codes
      Beyond Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash is the decision as to what is the Halakhah. The fixing of the Halakhah is an ongoing process that continues in our own day. We will study the great codes and their codifiers to learn their methods and see how their decisions were determined in part by their time and place.

    • Business Ethics
      In this class we will look at the biblical roots of how we should behave in business, trace them through the rabbinic understandings of those issues and see how they are still relevant in today's world. Issues as varied as unfair competition, fraudulent online reviews, fair trade, modern slavery and state-sponsored gambling are only the beginning of what there is to discuss in our complicated society. Come prepared to debate the ethical issues and modern implications of a Jewish approach to business.

    • A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice
      This course will cover the Jewish calendar of Shabbat, holidays, feasts and fasts. It will focus on what is expected, and the meanings and origins of the practices. Students will have opportunities to ask personal questions, challenge accepted practices, and develop new and creative rituals.

    • Women in Halakhah
      This class will explore the different views of women’s ritual and legal obligations and the varied ways in which women were viewed in rabbinic times. We will consider the areas of prayer, study, marriage and divorce and explore how views evolved over time. Student interest will also be taken into account in choosing areas to explore, including those relevant to contemporary Judaism. Texts will be taken from the Talmud and Responsa literature, as well as from contemporary halakhists. Honors students will read the majority of the texts in their original language, and other students will study in parallel with English.

    • The Rambam: Why he matters to 21st Century Jews
      We live in an age fraught with dangerous conflicts about religious belief and modernity, faith and science, and the role of rational thought in mediating these conflicts. Using the English language version of the Rambam's Moreh Nevukhim (Guide to the Perplexed) as well as selections from his letters and the Mishneh Torah, we will examine his views on science and faith, magic, sacrifices, and the role of metaphor in understanding difficult passages in the Tanakh, including anthropomorphic language. We will also look at the life and times of the Rambam.

    • Kashrut
      How did the biblical dietary laws evolve to our modern practice of our rituals and customs? How did they lead us to kosher restaurants, various rabbinic supervisory committees, and separate dishes? Why do we wait between eating meat and milk? Why is there a need for a separate kosher butcher? Join us as we study the evolution of the laws of kashrut through a text based study of the source texts in the Torah, selections of Gemara, and a focus on the Shulchan Arukh.

    • Kashrut Part 2
      In this course we will focus our study of the laws of kashrut on the topics of melicha (salting) and ta’arovot (mixtures). Why do we salt meat and poultry? How do go about doing it correctly? What are ta’arovot and how do they figure into the laws of kashrut? While some texts will draw upon concepts and ideas studied in previous Kashrut courses on Basar V'Chalav, but there is no prerequisite for this course.

    • Reflections of Bible through the Arts
      Bible stories have been a source of inspiration for artists throughout the generations. These artists expressed their ideas through sculpture, painting, drawing, music, dance and film. As we all know, each artist describes his concept in his own unique way and each creation is actually an interpretation of the story which he is referencing. In our course, we will explore chosen Bible stories and their traditional interpretations. We will examine existing pieces of art which relate to these stories. We will investigate the artistic elements that the artist used to express his ideas, and determine how these elements enhance the artist’s vision. We will compare the traditional Judaic interpretation with the artist’s interpretation, and develop our own artistic interpretations of the text. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • Linguistic Curiosities in Tanakh (Honors only)
      If you like language, you will appreciate this class. Did you know that Biblical poetry is unique? That there may be five versions of the Ten Commandments? That there may be obscenities in the Bible? Abbreviations in the Bible? That other ancient languages and Greek may help unravel some of the secrets of the Biblical text? If your Hebrew is strong and you would like to expand your horizons, then learn a little about the languages and linguistic features that make the Bible unique and universal. This is an honors level class.

    • Moral Dilemmas in Tanakh
      What happens when God’s command conflicts with a person’s desires? What happens when one is in a position of authority and has to make a decision about how to behave in a particular situation? What decision is made in each case? How much time and information was available to make the decision? What are the consequences of the decision? We will identify the dilemma in each case and what we can learn from it. Students will articulate their own positions regarding the dilemma and justify their choices. Texts will be provided in Hebrew for honors students and in parallel with English for other students.

    • The Book of Jeremiah
      Through narrative and poetry, Jeremiah shows us the inner workings of the prophetic mind, with all the dilemmas and confrontations his work entailed. We will deal with questions such as the following:
      • Does he have the freedom to choose whether or not to be a prophet?
      • What was his religious message?
      • What were his conflicts?
      • His relationship with royalty?
      • Why was Jeremiah nearly lynched; who defended him?

    • Women’s Hidden Stories in Tanakh
      We know of many women who are heroines or victims, who have founding or leading roles in the history of Israel. In this course we will learn about individual women who play a small but pivotal part in the stories in which they appear. Some are depicted as villains because they draw Israelite men away from the religion of Israel and into the ways of their neighbors, while others are portrayed as sources of wisdom. However, these women are all strong characters. Israelite and Canaanite, prophet, queen, and seductress, each has her own voice. What roles did these women play? What responsibilities did they bear for the sequence of events described in the text?

    • Unrolling the Scrolls: Megillot
      We will analyze the text of the מגילות in Hebrew and English, exploring how each gives a radical voice to human experience - from the heady blush of romance in Shir HaShirim to the political satire of Esther, the withering cynicism of Kohelet and the crushing tragedy of Eichah. We will look at the relationship between each מגילה and the holiday on which it is read and the historical background of the מגילה. There will be opportunities to explore each מגילה through the lenses of literary analysis, translation and commentary as well as artistic interpretation. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Kingship to Exile
      Who were the kings and what were they like? What kind of society did they rule over? How did the United Kingdom become divided into Israel and Judah? Where did the kingdoms stand in the geo-political circumstances of their time? We will answer these questions and others as we read about the kings, the prophets, and other characters that inhabited the Promised Land at this time. Honors students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • From Exile to Return
      What is it like to lose your freedom, and the ability to determine your own destiny? Cut off and alienated from the world you know, how do you then proceed? Do you dare make a new life for yourself; can you ever return to the old one? What things will change and what can stay the same? We will read be reading some of the stories both inside and outside the Bible to find out the answer to these and other questions. We will also explore the possibility of applying these answers to current situations. Honor students will have additional readings from contemporary authors.

    • The Book of Daniel
      One of the strangest books of the Bible, it is written half in Hebrew and half in Aramaic. Is the book about the time in which it was written, about the past, or does it predict the future and the coming of the Messiah? A fiery furnace and a lions’ den await the reader in this adventure tale of a Hebrew boy who makes good in the land of the Babylonians.

    • The Prophetic Call for Justice
      What did it mean to be a prophet in the Bible? How did their missions require them to pursue Justice? Using selected passages from prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hoshea, and Mikhah, we will develop an understanding of how, as American Jews, we should respond to problems such as poverty, hunger, income inequality, racism, and political corruption. The final project for the course will engage students in creating their own vision of a just social policy based upon the prophetic values they have learned during this course. All students will study texts in Hebrew and English, and Honors students will be required to demonstrate a greater degree of fluency with the Hebrew texts.

    • Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
      What do different Jewish philosophers think about God? How do we come to know what we know? What does it means to be good and why? These questions and others will be explored by looking at how important Jewish philosophers across the ages have answered these questions. Appropriate comparisons with western philosophers will also be explored. Students will develop their own personal philosophies at the culmination of this class. We will focus on the medieval philosophers Sa’adya Ga’on, Judah HaLevi, and Maimonides, and learn how they reconcile religion and rationality. We may include some modern philosophers. Because of the sophisticated nature of the material, all texts will be in English.

    • Twentieth Century Jewish Philosophy
      This course will explore the thought of the most important 20th century Jewish philosophers, and consider their ideas in contrast with Jewish Medieval thought. Specifically, we will consider the ideas of Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Rosenzweig and the questions they considered most important. The basic Issues to be addressed are the relationship of humans to their society and the role of God in the relationship.

    • Exploring Your Family Roots in Jewish History
      If history is a tapestry of events and stories, every family represents a thread. In this class you will explore your own family roots in the context of modern historical events, particularly connected to Jewish populations around the world and their migrations. You will collect stories and develop a genealogical record against the background of world history. You will produce a video using iMovie about one of these stories, combining photographs, maps and narrative to preserve a unique facet of your own family experience.

    • Tel Aviv: A Cultural History
      Today, when we think about Tel Aviv, we dream about vacationing on its sunny beaches. However, did you know that the Zionists dreamed about a city like Tel Aviv even before it existed? In this class we will “wander” through the streets of Tel Aviv, and learn about the unique history and symbolism of this first modern Hebrew city. Using a variety of sources and media, including documents, art, photography, film, literature, and music, students will encounter the history of Tel Aviv in its first decades, before turning to the very different urban landscape of the city in the 21st century. What can be learned from a directory of street names? What is Bauhaus architecture? Is there such thing as “Jewish space”? Why is a cemetery stuck right in the city’s center? How has the city changed over the last century? What’s so important about Tel Aviv’s cafes (besides great coffee)?

    • Topics in Modern Jewish Literature: Short Stories
      What is Jewish Literature? What is Modernism? Students will be introduced to Modern Jewish Literature through a selection of short stories by classic Jewish writers. We will read stories in translation from Yiddish, Hebrew and English and learn about the major changes that took place within Jewish society (in Europe, Pre-State Israel, and America) from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Themes will address identity, tradition and change, migration and acculturation. Authors include: Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shai Agnon, Dvorah Baron, Anzia Yezierska and Abe Cahan.

    Senior Year - Avodat Lev (Work of the Heart)
    In the 12th grade, students undertake an independent study for one semester in which they integrate research on a topic in Jewish studies with another discipline which the student chooses. This senior seminar is co-taught by a Judaics faculty member jointly with a faculty member from another department. Students meet once a week for research, writing, and teamwork skills development. Though all projects involve research, creative projects in the arts and sciences are also encouraged. Students can choose to work with mentors from outside the department and school. Students prepare a formal presentation for their class or, in some cases, for all the High School students, at the end of the semester.
    SCIENCE
    The primary mission of the Golda Och Academy High School Science Department is to provide our students with a strong foundation in science. Our goal is to prepare the students to be decision making adults in a time of increasing technological and social complexity. Our students will develop universal critical and creative thinking skills that have application in all intellectual endeavors. Students will have the opportunity to reach the highest academic standards in the scientific disciplines, consistent with their abilities. Through the use of hands-on learning and the integration of technology into the curriculum, we teach our students observational techniques, quantitative skills, and analytical thinking. In High School, our students take the sequence of biology, chemistry and physics, as preparation for college.
    • BIOLOGY II
      Biology II is a one semester course for those seniors who would like to immerse themselves in advanced topics in biology while carrying out a series of AP level labs. Students work in teams to conduct experiments, analyze results, and produce formal written lab reports. Topics include DNA fingerprinting, bacterial transformation, and enzyme reaction rates. In addition, students research and teach each other about cutting-edge topics in molecular biology through presentations.

    • CHEMISTRY II
      Chemistry II is a one semester elective course designed to encourage the student’s interest in chemistry. Emphasis is placed on independent laboratory work using qualitative analysis methods to solve a series of unknowns. Topics covered are matter and properties, separations, stoichiometry, acid-base reactions and titrations, bonding, energy and ideal gas laws.

    • PHYSICS II
      Physics II is a one semester elective course for students who have successfully completed Advanced or Honors Physics I. This course covers topics such as optics, waves, sound and electricity. Emphasis is placed on practical experience in research methods.

    SOCIAL STUDIES
    The Social Studies curriculum is based on the concept that the past provides a vital key to understanding and appreciating the complexity of the contemporary world. The department introduces students to the paradigms, lexicons and methodologies of the various disciplines within social studies: history, economics, sociology, geography and culture. Students are encouraged to integrate content knowledge and to analyze a variety of issues. They are exposed to ancient, medieval and modern periods, to Eastern and Western cultures and to Muslim, Jewish and Christian societies. Discussions and readings examine political, social and ethical issues. The study of Jewish History, in particular, is an important component of all social studies courses. The goal of social studies is not only to prepare the students for success in higher education but also to help them to become independent thinkers, capable of making informed decision as citizens and leaders of the Jewish community in a pluralistic society.
    • CONTEMPORARY WORLD
      This multifaceted course encompasses a broad range of global issues that emerged in the post WWI world. The curriculum pursues a thematic approach and enables students to examine such concepts as global connections, societal change, the forging of national identities and technological innovation. Possible topics for discussion may include global peace and security, global economics, global energy and environmental issues, global health issues, women’s rights and migration. Using group research, student led presentations and round table discussions, seniors analyze choices made in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. As preparation for college, they learn how to use electronic research tools responsibly. Included in the curriculum is a unit on Zionism and the emergence of the modern state of Israel. A final exam is required.

    • MODERN ISRAEL
      This course presents an overview of modern Israel through the perspectives of history and politics. The students trace the beginnings of Zionism through the issues confronting Israel today. Students examine a number of different areas including the pre-statehood halutzim (pioneers) and their desire to establish a modern Israel, the political structure and its leaders, major conflicts of the past 56 years and the domestic issues facing Israelis today. The Arab-Israeli Conflict will be discussed as well, with a focus on the complexity of the issues. In examining domestic issues, students will analyze the various perspectives: Arab/Israeli, Israeli-Arab/Israeli and Israeli/Israeli. The goal of this course is not to teach the students everything they must know, but rather to provide the tools and information so that they can be educated and well-informed Jews.


    STUDY SKILLS
    Selected students have a structured study/support group in lieu of taking a romance language (i.e., Spanish or French). The structured study/support group has two goals: first to provide academic support and second to develop more effective learning/study strategies for students with different learning needs. Daily topics and activities of study skills are reflective of the needs of individual or groups of students, as communicated to the teacher by the students and their other teachers. For example, if a social studies teacher will be assigning a “compare and contrast” essay assignment, the students will practice using pre-planning strategies for a “compare and contrast” essay. Visual learners might use a graphic organizer with color-coding. Auditory learners might devise different rhythms or tunes to recite similarities and differences. The kinesthetic learner might design flashcards or charts.

    In addition to learning and practicing study and organizational skills that complement individual learning needs, students learn and practice self-advocacy skills (e.g. I need; Would it be possible for me to…). We expect students to be able to describe their unique learning styles and needs and advocate for themselves when they leave Golda Och Academy and enter college.

Lower School Overviews

List of 7 items.

  • English Language Skills

    Our Pre-K through Fifth Grade follows a balanced literacy approach to reading and writing. This incorporates multiple reading approaches realizing that students need to use multiple strategies to become proficient readers and writers. Teachers College Reading Assessments are implemented beginning in Kindergarten to help teachers assess the level of each student and then uses that data to inform instruction. Systematic phonics lessons, in particular decoding skills, are taught to students before they try to use them in their reading. This also includes teaching phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting, reading and comprehension strategies, and writing skills taught through the Teachers College Writer’s Workshop while meeting the needs of the individual student. Effective instruction takes place individually, in small groups or through whole class instruction.

    The goal of the English Language Arts program is to work diligently to produce literate students whose lives are enriched by their ability to read, write and speak eloquently, both in school and in the world at large. Our curriculum allows for explicit differentiated instruction, centered on the needs of individual students. We want our students to be exposed to various genres in both reading and writing and to develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of reading, writing, and speaking. It is our hope that students increase fluency, expand vocabulary and develop comprehension strategies. When writing, we encourage students to engage in an authentic writing process and write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

    The mission for the English Language Arts curriculum in the Lower School at Golda Och Academy is to provide a strong foundation in literacy skills which meets the differentiated needs of all of our students. We nurture their intellectual curiosity in order to unlock students’ potential by cultivating their critical thinking skills.
  • Hebrew Language and Judaic Studies

    Our 1st through 5th grade students encounter Hebrew and Judaic studies through the unique and all encompassing curriculum of Hebrew Language Arts and Jewish Studies presented by Tal Am. Based on years of research on the principles of language development and learning patterns, this program seeks to help produce Jewish children who are literate in Hebrew language and equipped with the knowledge, skills and commitment they need to live meaningful Jewish lives. The structure of the program is based on the concept that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a range of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students use music, games and visual aids to learn the Hebrew language and to develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values. Students develop their Hebrew language and heritage literacy in a gradual and spiraled process, building new ideas and concepts on top of an expanding foundation of knowledge. The program helps to foster Jewish identity by allowing children to explore their Jewish roots and traditions in a fun and exciting manner. By making the study of Hebrew and Judaism relevant to the children’s everyday lives, the program enables them to develop a true appreciation of their heritage and understand the need for continued, lifelong Jewish study. The Tal Am program prides itself on activating learning in all frames of mind by utilizing a wider range of activities for all modes of communication, integrating Hebrew language acquisition, the development of Jewish concepts and values, and reading and writing skills. In accordance with these principles, the programs create a visual and auditory Hebrew environment in the classroom which is mirrored in the students’ materials, thus extending their use into the home, enhancing retention and reinforcing the learning process. The curriculum offers a variety of stories, Jewish sources, prayers and blessings, as well as songs, recitations and plays which are age-appropriate and which aim to develop the child and his/her identity.

    *This information, as well as additional specifics about the Tal Am program by grade level can be found at www.talam.org.
  • Mathematics

    Our Pre-K through Fifth Grade Mathematics curriculum offers experiences where key mathematical concepts are taught using the McGraw-Hill My Math curriculum which is aligned with the Core Curriculum Content Standards. This program challenges students while providing them with meaningful, real-world application. In helping grow their math ability and confidence, the math curriculum teaches three components of rigor: conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application. This allows students to to develop a foundation of skills for higher levels of math. A typical math lesson progresses from introduction and practice of the skill to deeper application and reasoning. Key concepts that are taught are number and numeration, operations and computation, geometry, data and chance, measurement, fractions, word problems, and patterns.

    All units allow for opportunities for integration of technology, using iPads to reinforce and reteach concepts and play games which further develop mathematical skills.There is support curriculum on-line that complements the skills taught each day, as well opportunities to further differentiate instruction. All grade levels have access to an online math program called “First In Math”, which offers students fun and engaging games that practice grade-level skills and topics. There is also supplemental homework available for each lesson, called “Reteach” and “Enrich”.

    The goal of the math curriculum is to inspire a lifelong love of math while helping students express mathematical concepts and thinking and become problem solvers. In addition, we want to move students from learning abstract concepts to learning concepts they can apply. This is a direct result of our mission of unlocking the potential of our students by cultivating their critical thinking skills and nurturing their intellectual curiosity through this rigorous Pre-K through Fifth Grade math curriculum.
  • Science

    The goal of the Pre-K through Third Grade science program at Golda Och Academy is to introduce students to the natural world around them through lab investigations and explorations of the outdoor garden. Students learn to hypothesize and make predictions while developing critical thinking skills to analyze their results. They also learn how to use rulers, magnifiers, and microscopes, and how to weigh and measure solids and liquids. In addition, students complete lab sheets and record information into their individual science journals. Our young scientists work both independently and in small groups. First graders through third graders synthesize independent research into projects. Many of the topics covered in science class are integrated with General and Judaic Studies’ classes. The curriculum is scaffolded from the previous year, so our budding scientists expand their base of knowledge each year.

    In the Golda Och Academy Fourth and Fifth Grade science classroom, students are challenged to utilize scientific methodology in order to answer questions about the world around them. Students perform increasingly complex hands-on investigations about topics that include the systems of the human body, earth’s materials, engineering, electricity, nutrition, and mixtures and solutions. To support and enhance their learning, our curious scientists use an array of scientific equipment and technology including microscopes and iPads. Scientific vocabulary is developed through discussions, science-based children’s literature, and educational videos. Social and communication skills are reinforced through group investigations, and writing and recording skills are honed through data collection and sharing scientific conclusions in their science journals. Ongoing integration with the General and Judaic Studies’ programs deepens the meaning of what is taught.

    In teaching the science curriculum, we help unlock the potential of our students by cultivating their critical thinking skills and nurturing their intellectual curiosity. As this curriculum was revamped over the past few years, students have developed an even greater love of learning through this hands-on program.
  • Social Studies

    The Pre-K through Fifth Grade Social Studies curriculum offers students the opportunity to increase their awareness of their place in the community and the world. Our youngest students develop an understanding of themselves within their particular families. They learn about neighborhoods and community helpers and jobs. In first grade, students develop map and geography skills. Second grade focuses on map and globe skills as well as American history, people in the past, and Ellis Island. In third grade, students learn about the formation of Jewish communities at the turn of the century and also focus on immigration. In fourth grade students study the state of New Jersey and its role in the history of the country. Students learn how government works, enabling them to learn how a democratic society functions. Social Studies in fifth grade provides a basic grounding in American history. This begins with the early days of exploration to jenthe development of The Thirteen Colonies and continuing on through the Revolutionary War and the Constitutional Era. Westward Expansion and the Civil War/Reconstruction Era are covered as well. On each grade level there are in-depth lessons of the Jewish community and its role in the fabric of the larger community.

    There is a research component to each grade beginning at the second grade level. These skills are built upon each year to lay a strong foundation for our students. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities to integrate important Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam into our study of American history. By studying the founding fathers (and mothers) of this country, students can learn about qualities of leadership and conversations in class often involve discussions of important Jewish leaders as well.

    The overarching goal of the social studies curriculum is to help our students understand their place in the world and to help them become independent thinkers. The school seeks to foster an awareness of major historical events throughout the world and uses various curricular elements as a springboard for more far-reaching learning opportunities. Children need to acquire the foundations of knowledge, attitudes and a beginning sense of worth as participating citizens of their world. This is a direct result of our Golda Och’s mission of unlocking the potential of our students by cultivating their critical thinking skills and nurturing their intellectual curiosity through the study of the humanities. Our rigorous Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum is designed to provide a strong foundation for our students in preparing them to be a part of future generations of Jewish leaders.
  • Tefillah: Prayer

    In pursuit of establishing a strong foundation in Jewish literacy, all students learn how to participate in and lead several Jewish prayer services during their elementary years. Beginning in 1st grade, students become familiar with the basic liturgy of the shacharit (morning prayer) service as well as continue with their celebration of the weekly kabbalat shabbat service. Prior to receiving their first siddur (prayer book) at the Siddur Celebration in late spring, students learn to recite, sing, and understand the foundational blessings of this service. Practicing the choreography and pronunciation of the tefillot (prayers), Students participate in communal tefillah (prayer) and rotate as shlichei tzibbur (prayer leaders). In grades 2-5, students continue to increase and expand the range of tefillot included in the morning service, become comfortable participating in and leading the monthly Rosh Chodesh service, and learn how to chant from the Torah with proper trope (musical notation). Throughout these elementary school years, students also delve into the meaning of many key prayers and explore how the traditional liturgy connects to their lives. Iyun tefillah, the study of tefillot (prayers), helps students forge a meaningful relationship with God through prayer.
  • Torah/Chumash: Biblical Text

    In 4th grade, our students transition from the all inclusive approach to Chumash offered through Tal Am in grades 1-3, into a more analytical and complex study of Biblical text using the MaTok Bible Curriculum as the primary tool for learning. MaTok is the Torah Curriculum of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Department of Education and the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Melton Research Center. The curriculum seeks to develop students who:
    • View Torah as Kadosh (a sacred text) and read it in an inquiring, deep and reverent way.
    • Are participants in the continuing revelation and uncovering of truth emanating from God.
    • Learn Torah in the original Hebrew.
    • Develop literacy skills to study Torah independently.
    • Engage in critical thinking.
    • Become sensitive to shades of meaning.
    • Search for personal meaning in Torah.
    • Connect Torah with their lives as Jews.
    • See themselves as links in the chain of Torah understanding and interpretation.
    • Prepare to explore traditional commentaries.
    • Engage with questions about God.
    • Grapple with moral issues that arise from the Torah.
    Students are encouraged to ask and respond to open-ended questions and to struggle with the dilemmas inherent in the Torah’s narrative.
    • The MaTok approach to the study of Bible reflects how we read the text as Conservative Jews and is based on the following principles:
    • There is a p’shat (a contextual meaning) of the text that is to be uncovered.
    • We study Midrash and traditional commentaries- which is also part of Torah, broadly understood- to learn how Jewish in the past have interpreted TaNaKH. They, too, are a source of meaning.
    • We distinguish between p’shat and d’rash. We wish to create meaning through engagement with the p’shat and recognize that we are part of the generation of readers, some of whom engaged with the Torah through d’rash.
    • The tradition of interpretation continues in our time and students and teachers are part of it.
    • Questioning is desired and legitimate. Part of growing Jewishly is to question and search out answers.
    *This information, as well as additional specifics about the MaTok Bible Curriculum, can be found at http://schechternetwork.org/resources/matok.