Curriculum by Subject
TIOH uses a developmental, balanced approach to teaching reading. From kindergarten onwards, students peruse a vast array of stories, literature and tales from American, world and Jewish sources. Our librarians as well as our clergy are master storytellers, and our faculty facilitate deep discussions. A community of book lovers, TIOH students, faculty, librarians and parents engage with the written word in a vibrant literary environment. Students form book clubs, the librarians and teachers share their love of literature and the entire community shares book recommendations.
Writing is a treasured activity at TIOH. Walking through the halls, one can read the students’ stories, revel in their poetry and experience the richness of their lives and imaginations as expressed in words. In our Writer’s Workshop program children generate their own topics for stories and compositions and write authentically in their own voices, developing their unique styles that draw upon the qualities of good writing in a variety of different genres.
Our math programs provide the deep foundational experiences necessary for problem solving, processing of mathematical language and conceptual knowledge. Through challenging project-based mathematical lessons, they engage in data collection and analysis, as well as tasks designed to promote future engagement in middle school and beyond. They learn diverse ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide. As they master understanding of math facts, learn patterns of numbers using grids, lines and charts they also discover the relationship between mathematical processes.
Scientists are curious, ask questions, and design experiments. They are seekers. Our school is dedicated to promoting and ensuring a love of natural and built environments through our science curriculum. Students learn by doing, observing, collecting and experiencing the world. They investigate, contemplate and revel in their experiences. In–depth lessons are designed to promote an understanding of life science, physics, earth science and technology.
In today’s global society, learning a second language is an important part of a child’s development and is a significant advantage later on in life. Our ability to acquire additional languages, understand other cultures and navigate systems of thought that are different from our own is essential. As a Jewish school, our students develop the skills to read, write and converse in Hebrew. They host students from our sister school in Israel and travel to Israel in the sixth grade. A transformative shift in perspective from ethnocentric to wide-eyed and wondrous occurs when our children engage with their peers from Israel.
Every TIOH student learns Hebrew as a natural and living language, taught entirely in Hebrew. Our units are designed to expose our children to situations that are relevant to their own lives as well as the life experiences of children in Israel. Our graduates are able to communicate on a variety of topics, read with fluency, and answer questions with competence. They are equipped to independently increase their vocabulary and expand their fluency skills.
Knowing where you come from, who you are, and where you are going are core elements of the human experience. Understanding ourselves in the present moment is the first step of the study of our society. As students progress through the grades, this expands into community, country and world. Students learn about historical figures, their own families, the United States and Jewish history through project-based learning activities designed to engage and teach research, writing, public speaking, performance and visual representation skills.
Our curriculum challenges learners to develop analytical skills that encourage critical thinking through questioning. Throughout the grades, our children learn a variety of themes, building toward the cornerstone of becoming a contributing member of the Jewish community. Torah text study, a crucial component in the upper grades, helps to develop a deep understanding of our history, the rabbinic interpretations, the making of connections, the ability to contest or support individual and collective beliefs, and the strength of conviction.
What does it mean to be Jewish? American? Interfaith? What does it mean to treasure and be treasured for your unique nature, family structure or culture? Our students learn that a core part of their identity is to question, think and develop new and unique questions as they move from childhood into young adulthood. Diversity is celebrated in their day-to-day and year-to-year acceptance and love for each other and our community.
At TIOH Day School, The Arts are always cultivated and emphasized. In addition to the many intrinsic ways that art enriches the lives of children, numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to a stimulating arts program tend to do better in all areas of the curriculum, academically and socially. Our deep commitment to all the arts—visual, musical, dance, and performing—exemplifies this dedication to developing well-rounded students who relish a wide variety of experiences.
Everyone participates in fitness challenges, P.E. classes and athletic activities, such as our yearly Jogathon, which highlights our school’s community spirit. Kindergarten through second grade students learn and practice basic skills to increase balance, ability to jump, tumble, catch and throw, kick and trap. Skills development continues in the upper grades and includes hockey, soccer, volleyball and aerobic development.
Every TIOH Day School student plays a musical instrument. Our music education program is led by a team of highly qualified music educators and directors. Kindergarten through second graders study percussion and rhythm, while our third graders study the recorder. Our fourth through sixth graders play in our school orchestra. Small groups of students perform as part of our house band at our annual performances and at graduation.
Like their community and curriculum, our students develop lives that are inextricably woven with social awareness, action, Tikkum Olam (healing the world) and Tzedekah (charitable works). Performing Mitzvot (good deeds) and serving community and global charities are an essential component of our curriculum at every grade. Our graduates understand that, “It is not your duty to complete the work; neither are you free to desist from it” (Ethics of the Fathers). Throughout their experience at TIOH, our students participate in service learning, continually developing their understanding of the power and responsibility of not standing idly by, finding causes they believe in, identifying strategies to improve situations, and accessing the confidence and conviction to take the necessary steps.
Presentations, performance and public speaking are cornerstones of our weekly, monthly and yearly programs. All students are encouraged to develop their own voice and express their opinion. From kindergarten onwards, students are taught to converse with each other and with adults, teachers and staff; to make short presentations multiple times throughout the year; and to lead assemblies, prayer and Torah services.
With our own campus garden and as a member of Wattles Community Garden, our school actively maintains plots of land, enjoying rich and rewarding learning through planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. Bringing our garden to life is a source of great joy for our students, as well as an on-going source of educational opportunities about health, nutrition, biology, social action and eco-friendly practices and solutions that can be utilized throughout the Temple and at home.