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Group of Elementary students

Elementary

Our Elementary School program spans grades 1-5 and provides students with a balanced curriculum and rich environment designed to spark their curiosity, critical thinking and imagination.

Our Judaic Studies program highlights the joy of Jewish learning and inspires a spiritual and meaningful connection. Our General Studies and Judaic Studies program are designed to instill a critically thoughtful engagement in learning through integrated units of study while providing the essential skills in the academic areas taught. The children are encouraged to ask questions, to investigate, and to come to their own conclusions with the guidance of our teachers. Our nurturing staff offer encouragement, support and challenge that is based on knowing every child.

Elementary Program

General Studies

Judaic Studies

Specialties

Language Arts

Jewish Laws and Customs

Physical Education and Health Education

Mathematics

 

Language Arts and Literature

The Arts:

Visual Arts

Music

Integrated Drama with Language Arts

Science and Technology

Bible Studies

Social Studies

The Study of Israel

French

Technology integrated into all subject areas

Library

 

Special Features:

  • We have half day in General Studies and half day in Judaic Studies with integrated units sharing five to six school-wide themes of global significance and common critical thinking questions
  • Children’s learning is fostered in a climate where all aspects of the child’s development are nurtured. 
  • Our richly integrated, child-centered curriculum connects content, values and commitment to Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world). 
  • Our balanced curriculum includes a scope and sequence of essential skills in the different subject areas as outlined in the Ontario curriculum and in the Judaic Studies program that align with formative and summative assessments and significant learning tasks called mini challenges.
  • We focus on a strong academic foundation of skill development that is integrated into the units and differentiated as needed to meet the interests, strengths and needs of our students.
  • Judaic Studies and Hebrew programs are taught through a combination of classroom instruction and experiences that highlight the joy of Jewish learning. A sense of celebration surrounds Chagim (Jewish holidays),  T’fillah (prayers), Tanakh, Torah (Bible) studies, Hebrew Language Arts and the study of Israel.
  • Technology, physical education and arts programs are designed to provide a bridge among disciplines while staying true to their own disciplines.
  • Administration, faculty and staff help students become respectful and contributing members of the school family as well as the larger Jewish and global communities.  The principles of menschlichkeit  (respectful and courteous behavior) are taught and modeled each day.  Within our warm and nurturing environment, students are encouraged to strive for and attain high levels of achievement, independent thinking and ethical behavior.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Elementary School students have a number of opportunities to hone their leadership skills. Older students are paired with younger students for the RHA Buddy Program; Grade 5 students take turns being leaders on the playground as part of the Peace Maker program; and students can lead the younger children in the morning gym program offered before school begins.

EXPLORE OUR CURRICULUM

Critical Inquiry Units

The children are using an inquiry based approach to explore 5-6 units per year integrating science, social studies and language arts in General Studies.  In Judaic Studies, they are integrating the calendar cycle of Jewish events, Hebrew Language Arts and Bible Studies. Critical thinking questions guide the integration of units within a framework of thematic concepts and global education outcomes. Our curriculum is based on education research about the interconnected nature of knowledge. This means that learning is best acquired when connections can be made to previously acquired knowledge or to different areas of the curriculum; therefore, much of our teaching includes interdisciplinary units.

UNITS OF STUDY OVERALL CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS FOR GENERAL AND JUDAIC STUDIES

Grade One

2014-15   Critical Thinking Questions

How can we act responsibly to help ourselves and others?

 

How does a community best meet the needs of the people who live in it?

What are the most important factors causing growth and change?

Can you discover key patterns and trends that shape our community?

How can we act today to sustain our environment for tomorrow?

 

Grade Two

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How can we find important connections with countries around the world?

What do we value most about being Jewish and our authentic relationship with Israel?

Does making work easier create greater freedom?

Which of the positive and negative consequences of growth and change have the greatest impact on society?

Do similarities and differences affect outcomes?

What is the best way that we can protect our air and water?

 

Grade Three

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How is your identity shaped by the environment of which you are a member?

How does change affect growth and continuity?

How do you create the best conditions for a healthy environment?

From your perspective, what is the most important lesson you can learn from a period in history that you can apply to your life today?

What significant influences from the past continue to contribute to a thriving society?

What are the most important factors to ensure strength and stability?

 

 

 

Grade Four

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How can we best express ourselves through sound?

Do our relationships weaken or strengthen our identity?

Can our actions promote an environment that is beneficial to others?

Do stories from the past provide worthwhile contributions to future generations?

Passover and rocks bring out important changes. How can we help make a difference today?

How do connections create change?

 

Grade Five

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

What are the most important changes that we need to make in order to make a positive difference?

Do miracles play significant roles in our lives?

How can we create a sustainable action plan to help take care of the environment?

What patterns and trends do you see in the written language that convey a message?

What are the most significant changes necessary in order to create a healthy society?

How can we find connections important to stability in our world?

 

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

General Studies

Language Arts/Drama
The comprehensive Language Arts program is based on a balanced literacy approach where students are engaged daily in meaningful and developmentally appropriate reading, writing, oral and listening activities. Students focus on developing their skills through the study of the science or social studies unit making their work relevant and therefore more engaging for them. Included in these thematic units is the focus on creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication skills.

Mathematics
Students work collaboratively to develop their conceptual understanding and procedural skills in math using problem based learning. They explore the grade level specific expectations of the Ontario Curriculum and receive extra support or enrichment as needed. They are engaged in everyday problem solving as they investigate guiding questions that ask them to reason and prove their answers, reflect on their thinking and represent their learning in a variety of ways.

Science and Technology
An integrated, inquiry based approach to science engages students in meaningful investigations. Students explore the scientific concepts through critical thinking questions while at the same time develop their language arts skills. They expand on their knowledge of the world by exploring scientific problems that are similar and different in Israel.

Social Studies
Students have the opportunity to explore, wonder and inquire into a variety of topics as they build a deeper understanding of the world around them. The social studies program is based on the new Ontario social studies curriculum and is integrated with the language arts program.  Students extend their understanding as they explore problematic situations through critical thinking questions using a variety of resources including novels, short stories and real world documents.

French
Meaningful communication is at the center of all language learning activities. Beginning in grade one, students participate in two plays each year giving them the opportunity to develop their oral and written proficiency and comprehension in engaging scenarios. Teachers use a multimodal approach called the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) where students use gestures, key words, dramatic arts and literacy activities. The focus is on building high frequency and functional vocabulary to accelerate meaning and spontaneous language usage.

Physical Education
Students are actively involved in a range of physical activities that promote healthy, active living. Students begin the day with a morning meeting.  At this time, students participate in a variety of activities that promote physical activity and collaboration skills. Students learn skills based upon a developmental continuum.  For example, students learn how to handle a ball through various activities and games with clear expectations for each grade. Students are given the opportunity to participate in intramurals at lunch time giving all students the opportunity to participate in team sports in addition to outside sports teams.

Art
Students are exploring and creating personal connections to the art world as seen on display in the halls, the art room, classrooms, and online. All of the Arts (Visual Arts, Music and Drama) play a significant role in providing a rich context for learning Hebrew and actively immerse the students in the Jewish culture. The art program is developed in conjunction with RHA’s overall themes making connections to the “world community”. Each open ended project focuses on a question such as “What is art?” which helps develop students’ creativity and critical thinking skills.

Student are introduced to various artists such as, Kandinsky and Goldsworthy, as well as specific time periods such as Renaissance and Abstract Expression.  

Music
Students experience and explore music through singing, playing instruments and moving.  They develop an appreciation of contemporary and traditional music while they learn about different cultures. They are always eager to participate in services and develop a sense of history and traditions as they learn Jewish holiday songs and Israeli melodies.

Judaic Studies

Hebrew Language Arts/Study of Israel
Students learn Hebrew as a modern, living language and as a gateway to text study. It is a common language that connects our students to their past, present and future. By learning the Hebrew Language, students strengthen their ties to the state of Israel and their Jewish identity. Students are encouraged to converse in Hebrew during class. They develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values as well as integrate the study of Israel.

RHA believes that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. Students use music, games, visual aids and various texts including the Tal Am program (Technological Approach to Language and Heritage) in order for Hebrew Language to become meaningful and relevant to our students’ lives.

Bible Studies
The Bible program in the elementary school focuses on the Tanakh.  In grade one the students learn stories from the Bible that relate to the weekly Torah reading.  In grades 2 to 5 the students learn to develop strategies for reading the text in Hebrew. Acquiring these strategies and success skills help students become independent and sensitive readers of the Biblical text.  The ultimate goal of comprehending the text is to allow for creation of meaning and develop a love for learning Torah.  The students are encouraged to develop a curiosity towards learning the Torah as they look at the deeper meaning within the text.  They examine the different interpretations that have been written regarding the text and they relate the interpretations to their lives today. The Bible studies team participated in the Jewish Day School Theological Seminary developing clear standards to base the scope and sequence of skills and content for this course. 

Jewish Laws and Customs
At Robbins Hebrew Academy, the students gain a deep understanding of what it means to be a Jew, and to live a Jewish life with a strong love and connection to the state of Israel. The focus of the program is for students to develop the intrinsic values of Jewish life. Students develop critical thinking skills as they discuss the big ideas of the holidays and the Jewish way of life through engaging critical thinking questions. In elementary, students learn that prayer is both a personal and communal experience.  The students pray in the classroom and on Fridays, in preparation for Shabbat, the students in grades one to five pray together as a community in the synagogue. They lead daily Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh services by grade five and they learn to chant the Rosh Chodesh reading from the Torah.

Technology
RHA has been focusing on the strategic use of technology in enhancing both teaching and learning. Teachers are maximizing the potential of technology to develop students’ understanding, stimulate their interest, and increase their proficiency in a variety of skills. They customize course materials and create personalized learning experiences tailored to students’ needs.

Library
Our library program integrates our curricular, technology and literacy goals so as to help students develop the lifelong habit of leisure reading as well as skilled users of ideas and information.

Contact Us
Robbins Hebrew Academy

Administration Office
1700 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON M5P 3K3
P: 416.224.8737
F: 1.855.271.2236
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