Critical Minds, Compassionate Hearts

Lower School Curriculum

Rashi's curriculum challenges students in every dimension and encourages a diversity of thinking. The interdisciplinary aspect of the curriculum energizes students as they understand how subjects relate to one another. Learning is enriched by many wonderful opportunities for experiential learning. Powerful speakers come to share their stories with the children, artists demonstrate their skills, naturalists bring animals into the classroom, scientists share their work.

Explore Our Curriculum


  • Math

    The Kindergarten math program is designed to help children recognize how mathematics is relevant to everyday experience. Using a wide variety of activities, assignments, and resources, students learn to recognize numbers and practice number formation, use diverse counting methods, understand place value, and identify and extend patterns. They explore attributes and deepen their conceptual understanding of whole versus part, and begin exploring addition and subtraction.  Additionally, students establish an ability to use standard and nonstandard units of measurement, number lines, and estimation.
  • Language Arts

    The goal of Kindergarten language arts is to nurture a love of reading and writing. Children are immersed in a print-rich environment that teaches early literacy concepts, phonological awareness, letter-sound relationships, and spelling patterns. The curriculum is differentiated by readiness, taking into account what children already know and helping them to acquire new knowledge. Students are exposed to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction texts during classroom and independent reading times, and writing is integrated across the curriculum. Children review proper letter formation, begin studying the use of conventions and develop writing strategies in response to varied prompts. Students learn how to properly sequence ideas and elaborate with detail, and become able to write independently using transitional spelling.
  • Science

    In Science, Kindergartners learn about the world around them using their senses. Through open-ended and inquiry-based investigation, they explore their environments as well as the needs and habitats of other living things.  They cultivate skills related to the scientific method, particularly those pertaining to developing hypotheses and drawing conclusions. Students record their observations with writing and illustrations. In addition, Kindergartners develop skills related to engineering as they tackle design challenges and begin exploring robotics and computer programming.
  • Social Studies

    Social studies in Kindergarten begins with the formation of a caring classroom community, a microcosm of the larger world in which children can practice good citizenship. Students identify the qualities of an effective leader and learn to make informed decisions about how to support good leadership. Kindergartners practice hearing and sharing points of view respectfully. They have many opportunities to vote or to agree by consensus and to abide by decisions that benefit the larger group. Students explore the responsibilities of addressing inequalities and taking care of others in the classroom, in surrounding communities and in our country.  Additionally, they expand their understanding of a number of American holidays and patriotism.
    Kindergartners investigate geography as it relates to maps and globes. They learn to identify their own street, town, and state, as well as the location of Israel on the globe. The fact that Israel is a special place for the Jewish people is reinforced through meetings with visitors from Israel and members of the community who travel to Israel.
  • Hebrew

    The study of Hebrew at Rashi gives our students the ability and confidence to speak, understand, read, and write Hebrew. The focus of our curriculum is Modern Hebrew. In addition to the acquisition of academic knowledge, Hebrew classes are intended to connect students to the land and people of Israel, including how Jewish people around the world celebrate holidays.

    Kindergarteners experience a joyful introduction to the Hebrew language as they learn letters, cross-curricular vocabulary, and words associated with traditions of the Jewish holiday. Lessons integrate singing, movement, games, and literacy projects, and all classes are taught in Hebrew, exposing students to the fluency of the language and emphasizing the primacy of conversational skills.
  • Jewish Studies

    Jewish Studies is integrated into all areas of school life and culture. In addition to a dedicated time for Jewish Studies, Judaism provides a backdrop for the everyday learning of our students across all disciplines. Our curriculum focuses on learning Torah and sets the foundation for a lifetime of Jewish learning and practice, as well as a love for Israel.

    In Kindergarten, students are introduced to Torah and t'filah (prayer). Through their exploration of weekly parshiot (Torah portions), children become familiar with the themes and central characters of the Torah, as well as the origins of Jewish holidays, customs, practices, and ethics. Reflections on various narratives are an integral part of their Social Justice studies, which aim to develop an understanding of the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).  Additionally, in weekly minyan (services) Kindergarteners expand their repertoire of Jewish songs and prayers, including those commonly found in the siddur (prayer book). By the end of the year, they are proficient in reciting the blessings for learning Torah, ushering in Shabbat, and eating various foods.
  • Fitness & Health

    The Kindergarten movement curriculum features a variety of games and activities to help students move their bodies and imaginations. They are natural and joyful movers, so the goal is to provide the structure for them to be safe and build community as they learn about fitness and movement concepts at an age appropriate level. Students will gravitate to different activities based on interest. Some love chasing and fleeing games, others lean towards manipulative ball games, and others particularly enjoy creative movement or fitness activities. It is our goal to provide every type of learner with the opportunity to find joy in movement and form the basis of a lifelong love of healthy activity.
  • Art

    The Kindergarten curriculum focuses on the exploration of materials and tools as a means of self-expression. Through hands-on learning and demonstrations, children learn the foundational ideas and processes of art making. Projects such as collage self-portraits and Expressionist-style animal paintings allow them to build on cognitive and tactile skills. These materials-based explorations are the entry point to a lifetime of learning and practicing different artistic techniques. Their work reflects a variety of subject matters, including imaginative work and individual responses to famous artworks. Through their explorations and their projects, they develop both passion and respect for the art that is all around them in the world.
  • Music

    Kindergartners learn about what music is and how it sounds through the Orff Schulwerk approach. Each student will learn aspects of tempo, steady beat, register, and volume through singing, movement, playing instruments, and listening to music. Songs selected for Kindergarten, such as Obwisana and Fiddle Diddle Dee can be sung within students’ vocal range and are characterized by having a simple rhythm, mostly in 4/4 time. Movement activities include energizers, games, and dances. Kindergarten students will learn to play xylophones, boom whackers, and various handheld percussion instruments. Students will also learn about famous composers and their work, such as Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Mozart’s A Little Night Music. They will compare and contrast aspects of these pieces such as emotion and instrumentation.