Academics
Early Childhood

Ganon Curriculum

Ganon Curriculum

Our early childhood curriculum emphasizes the importance of the individual development of the whole child, socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically and spiritually.  Our curriculum is guided by the principle that children learn best by being actively involved in their environment.  Our teachers create classrooms that provide many opportunities for the children to interact with materials, allowing them to explore experiment and discover in an environment that supports independent and inquisitive learners.  The activities we plan, the way we organize the environment, select the toys and material, and talk to the children are all strategic, in that they are designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum.
Our teachers integrate an emergent curriculum approach into a thematic approach (built around the Jewish and secular holidays and seasons) to create a synthesis of two types of programs. 
Cognitive
Teachers encourage children to develop self-motivation, active investigational skills through questioning, exploring, observing, and using thinking and problem solving skills.  In the classroom the children are surrounded by books, literacy experiences and direct exposure to the alphabet and letter sounds in preparation for pre-reading and reading that follows.
 
Social
Teachers encourage and model cooperative and collaborative work and play with others.  They help children to develop appropriate language and communication skills, to respect the rights and privacy of their peers, as well as to develop feelings of kindness, courtesy and acceptance of others.
 
Emotional
Teachers create a warm, nurturing and comfortable classroom environment that models kindness, and a respect for others.  Children learn and practice appropriate ways to respond and how to express their feelings constructively.  We want children to feel good about themselves and develop an understanding that all people have feelings that deserve to be listened to and understood.
 
Physical Development
Physical development, including fine and gross motor activities is incorporated into the curriculum daily.  Each age group has access to developmentally appropriate areas of play both indoors and outdoors.  Daily activities allow children to move freely and to react to their environment in age- appropriate ways. 
 
Science and Technology
Teachers facilitate an appreciation of science and technology by encouraging children to explore and observe the world around them.  By emphasizing hands-on exploration and experimentation with open-ended activities, children are motivated to learn based on their natural curiosity and interests.  Teachers help the children to develop the skills of asking questions, gathering information, communicating findings and making informed decisions.  Children are eager to discover all that they can about the world in which they live. Technology, such as the use of computers, iPad, microscopes, magnifying glasses, gears and light boxes are used to extend and support learning through exploration of the classroom and outside environments.  
 
Hebrew and Judaic
Our children participate and learn the customs, traditions and values of Judaism.  These lessons are integrated throughout the day and school year and are naturally woven into all areas of the curriculum so that they become both meaningful and important parts of a child’s life.  Teachers embed “Jewish values” into the classroom as part of being good citizens of the world.  We want our children to understand the importance of helping others, giving Tzedakah (charity), taking care of Hashem’s world, and treating people with respect.
Learning about the Jewish Holidays, together with laws, customs and songs, are an important part of the curriculum.  Our monthly Rosh Chodesh celebrations allow the teachers the opportunity to help children to anticipate the upcoming chag and to create meaningful and joyful participation in each holiday.  Children learn the appropriate brachot (blessings) to say before and after eating, for holidays and for Shabbat.
Hebrew Language is integrated into daily life within the classroom and is driven by: Chaggim, seasons, weather, and general curriculum.  The language is made more meaningful because it is reflected in what is happening in the room at that time.  As the children progress through the program and grow, they are exposed to increasing levels of Hebrew and Judaic curriculum through stories, songs, games art projects, special events and guests.
 
Music/Movement
Our children have many opportunities to participate musically. Teachers use music, songs and musical instruments to enhance their classroom curriculum.  In addition we also provide our Ganon children with two more formal music programs.
  1. Music Together – Children learn about the elements of music: rhythm, beat, tempo, how to make music and how to move with the music.
  2. Music with Sandy Shmuely – Children learn, sing and at the end of the year Zimriah sing Hebrew songs (some new some and more traditional).

Find Us

856 Orienta Avenue
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
914-698-8900

Who We Are

Westchester Day School is a Modern Orthodox, co-educational, dual-curriculum, toddler to 8th grade Jewish school that inspires and educates our students in their own way to value menschlichkeit, mitzvot, and lifelong learning.