תכנית למודי קודש

A Guide To The Jewish Studies Curriculum At Manhattan Day School

 

The Jewish studies curriculum at Manhattan Day School is traditional both in content and design. It is the practical expression of our Torah goals throughout the

program. Books, lessons, homework, decorations, trips, assemblies- all planned experiences and activities- are designed to further the Judaic goals of our school.

These goals, applicable to all our levels and classes, are outlined below.

 

 

q       Introduction

q       Grades 1,2,3

§         First Grade

§         Second Grade

§         Third Grade

q       Grade 4 and 5

§         Fourth Grade

§         Fifth Grade

q       Grade 6,7,8

§         Sixth Grade

§         Seventh Grade

§         Eighth Grade

 

Introduction

 

AFFECTIVE GOALS (Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs)

q       Belief in the creator of the world, the divine origin of the Torah, the chosen character of the Jewish people, the land of Israel, and the Hebrew language.

q       A feeling of awe and love for G-d, and love for fellow Jews and all of creation.

q       Striving to refine one's behavior and observe Mitzvot.

q       Identifying with great Jewish leaders, and with generations of Jews, past and present.

q       A desire to add to one's knowledge and skill in world of Torah scholarship.

q       Developing a 'Jewish-Torah' perspective on issues and events of the day.

 

COGNITIVE GOALS (Facts, Concepts, Analytical Skills)

q       Knowledge of laws and customs of Jewish living, daily, Shabbat, and Holidays.

q       Fluency in reciting appropriate prayers and blessings, and comprehension of content.

q       Mastery of basic Hebrew vocabulary, grammar, expression, and both reading and oral comprehension.

q       Skill in reading and explaining passages from   the   Chumash, Nevi’im, and selected commentaries.

q       Fluency in events, people, facts, and teachings of designated books of Torah, Talmud, Halakha, etc.

q        Knowledge of basic Jewish beliefs regarding life, society, history, etc.

 

Grades 1, 2, 3 

 

Grades One, Two, and Three impart basic Hebrew and Jewish study skills. As early as the middle of first grade, students will be functioning in virtually an all-Hebrew setting. Students are encouraged to express themselves in Hebrew, orally and in writing. Reading, both for prayer and for literature, is studied, along with writing in print and then script.  Creative writing becomes part of each grade's curriculum. Hebrew grammar and the use of dictionary reference skills are a significant part of this language development. Hebrew reading is mastered in small reading groups, in which students progress at their own pace.  Whole class reading focuses on weekly class newspapers, stories, prayer, and holiday study materials.

 

While reading in the Siddur is a mechanical skill, prayer is not. Each new Tefilah, is introduced and its meaning and background are discussed. An atmosphere of relevance and participation is promoted throughout.

 

Torah study begins with regular discussion of the Parasha of the week, develops into study of the original text of Chumash Bereishit, and by the middle of third grade, includes introductory skills in the reading of Rashi commentary.  While students discover the meaning and relevance of Chumash, they also develop interest and skill in independent torah study.   Creative thinking skills are promoted throughout, as students are encouraged to consider, question, analyze and offer their own solutions.                                     

 

Carefully prepared student workbooks introduce and accompany Chumash study.  By the middle of second grade, students are learning from a traditional Chumash.

 

Dinim (laws and customs) are taught; a) in connection with the Jewish calendar, as holidays and special dates appear, and b) as a guide to daily living. Students learn of responsibilities between themselves and their creator, their fellow men, and towards themselves. Considerate and responsible behavior is modeled at the expectation of Torah and society. Ethical behavior and Middot are derived naturally from the curriculum, and practiced with teacher guidance in the classroom, and through a variety of Chesed activities, in and out of the school building. The Project Derech curriculum presents formal lessons in Middot and Derech Eretz as well.  An atmosphere of encouragement and confidence instudent ability characterizes the entire experience

 

The pairing of older classes with younger ones has become a regular feature of our primary grades. Older students act as mentors to younger ones in carefully chosen learning tasks, to their mutual benefit.

 

Weekly periods of Jewish music, and visits to the library to hear and borrow books of Jewish interest, complement the curriculum, as do school-wide Chesec projects, special assemblies, and class trips.  Creative games, Mishna projects, and Shabbat study all enrich the students' experience.

 

 

First Grade

 

Three hours each day are devoted to first grade Jewish studies. Students make the transitions from pre-school to a formal classroom setting. While there is desk work, and brief homework assignments, the informal and nurturing component, which is, an M.D.S. hallmark is maintained.  Students gather on the carpet in 'Ma'agal' for discussion and Parasha study, and frequently break into small groups, in the classroom and the hallway. Students are encouraged to progress at their own pace and reading groups allow for individual growth.  An assistant teacher helps to provide individual attention for each child. Games, projects, and hands-on activities all contribute to an enjoyable and motivating learning experience.                 

 

Goals:

1.        Develop comfortable and productive functioning in a formal group setting.

2.        Formally establish a foundation for Hebrew language development through repeated directions, brief conversations, descriptions and teaching aids, songs, and games.              

3.        Learn phonetic reading of א-ב and all vowels, read many sight words from charts and blackboard, proceed to prayers, sentences and paragraphs.

4.        Write alphabet, words and sentences in square print. Write entirely in round script by the end of the year.

5.        Daven from Siddur Shiloh, knowledgeably and fluently, the selections regularly reviewed in class.

6.        Be familiar with the weekly Parasha, Including storyline, basic Hebrew words, and moral lesson.

 

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

Hebrew letter and vowel recognition and pronunciation, mechanical reading

5

חברי

דפי עבודה

קריאה בעברית

Reading selected תפילות, oral recitation of ברכות and תפילות, discussion of content

5

סדור שילה

תפילה

Print writing, script writing, sentences and short paragraphs

4

כתב נכון ב'

דפי עבודה

כתיבה

Read and comprehend beginning sentences. Understand and follow Hebrew directions in class. Respond with oral and written Hebrew answers to questions. Use Hebrew actively to participate in class. Develop vocabulary about body, weather, numbers, colors, animals, clothing, professions, religious articles, classroom features, and foods….

5

דפי עבודה

שיחה בכיתה

ספר שלום א'

שפה

Recognition of objects, foods, customs, terminology of holidays, including Shabbat as well as daily life Mitzvot and social conduct. Middot, Eretz Yisrael

3

דפי עבודה

דינים וחגים

Recognize and discuss storyline of Parasha, personalities, key words, moral lessons.

3

דפים מיוחדים

פרשת השבוע

 

Top of Page

Second Grade

                                                                                                                                                           

Second grade is distinguished by the introduction of textual study of חומש. Thisis the class's first initiation into a lifelong pursuit of Jewish knowledge from classical texts.  The initial Pesukim (verses), selected fromבראשית and נח are on study sheets.  The study of לך לך and וירא is from a Chumash (Bible) and Hebrew workbook: A more intensive use of lvrit in classroom instruction builds vocabulary, both for conversation and text comprehension.

 

Special units on Shabbat, Jerusalem, the-land of Israel and the Mishna of Pirkei Avot, taught in creative and engaging ways, serve to enrich the experience.

 

Along with subject matter and skill, positive attitudes of reverence and love for Torah and its study are transmitted. Students use the up-to-date class computer for independent work with Hebrew programs and maintain, contact with Israel through the Internet.

 

Enrichment activities have included studying the history of Jerusalem from King David until the present, and mastery by heart and with comprehension of the first Perek in Masechet Avot.

 

Goals:

1.  Finding, reading, and explaining selected verses in חומש.

2.  Increased comprehension of lvrit and comfort in script writing and oral expression.

      3.  Grade appropriate knowledge of Parashat Hashavua, and Dinim, including the laws of Shabbat.

4.  Emphasis on midot tovot and Derech Eretz.

 

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

Familiarity with words, structure and style of pesukim, knowledge of שרש system and meaning of 90 שרשים, basic prefixes and suffixes. Learn system of reading and explaining pesukim, comprehension of content: events, personalities, and lessons.

5

דפי לימוד

חומש וספר עזר

חומש

בראשית

נח

לך לך

וירא

Function in a near total Ivrit environment; build reading comprehension, oral and written expression. Master regular grammar forms in הווה and עבר.

5

מקראה שלי ב'

דפי עבודה

שפה

Increased development of script writing and written expression.

5

 

כתיבה

סדר השכמת הבקר, ברכות השחר, ברוך שאמר, אשרי, ישתבח, קריאת שמע, שמונה עשרה (אבות, עושה שלום), ממעמקים, עלינו

5

סדור שילה

תפילה

הלכות חגים, הלכות שבת ול"ט מלאכות, סעודה, כשרות, מזוזה, ברכות, ספרי קודש, סדר ק"ש על המיטה, מדות טובות ודרך ארץ, לשון הרע.

5

חוברות עבודה

דנים ומנהגים

Grade appropriate knowledge of content and moral lessons. Summary to share at home.

5

דף עבודה

פרשת שבוע

 

 

Third Grade

 

 

Third grade Jewish studies are characterized by almost complete use of עבריתin the classroom.  Creative writing of Hebrew compositions is a regular feature. Grammar isreviewed and the future tense (עתיד) is formally introduced. Hebrew reading for pleasure is promoted through the classroom library.

 

Chumash study is enhanced by the introduction of Rashi. After, mastering the distinctive typeface, students go onto practice reading the commentary in the text and learn how he explains difficulties.  Considerable attention is given to expanding critical thinking skills, as students consider possible problems in the pesukim and learn solutions to them.

 

Time is devoted to understanding the שמונה עשרה as this central prayer is added to morning תפילה. Much enrichment of added topics is included throughout the year.  Special attention is given to the Land of Israel and our eternal connection with it, through the promises made to our forefathers inthe Parashiyot studied in third grade.

 

Goals:

1.        Becoming less dependent on the workbook as knowledge and skill increases.                  

2.        Apply existing skill to 'tackling' new pesukim..

3.        Become more independent, fluent, and knowledgeable in using the סדור.

4.        Become more fluent in Hebrew expression.

5.        Become fluent in reading Rashi print, and familiar with selections of Rashi’s explanations. 


            

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

פרשיות: חיי שרה, תולדות, ויצא, וישלח, וישב

Learn to analyze pesukim, apply knowledge to new pesukim and develop Rashi skills

5

ספר בראשית (הרדוף) תרגילון "יונאי"

חומש

Increase vocabulary and reading comprehension, grammar skills, creative writing and active language

5

יסודות הלשון ג'

מקראה שלי ג'

תל סלע: ספרי קריאה

שפה

Emphasis on עשרהשמונה and its meaning

5

סדור שילה

תפילה

Holidays, Brachot and Kashrut

 

דפי למוד ועבודה

דינים ומנהגים

Written Divrei Torah for home delivery

1

דפי לימוד

פרשת השבוע

General topics of Jewish knowledge, e.g. dates, events, biblical books, personalities, timeline, etc.

 

דפי לימוד ועבודה

ידיעות כלליות

Top of Page

Grades 4 and 5

 

 

Grades Four and Five consolidate and refine the skills of the early grades. Study skills are emphasized, as students increasingly take classroom notes, complete homework assignments, and prepare for tests.  As social activity increases, students are helped to develop interpersonal skills.

 

Chumash study completes the book of Bereishith and begins Sefer Shmot. Much emphasis is placed on the use of Rashi in understanding the pasuk, and on the development of independent Chumash study skills. Students are encouraged to analyze the text, identify difficulties, anticipate Rashi's questions and suggest their own answers before turning to the commentary. Our 'skills curriculum' presents the skills logically and incrementally, and monitors student achievement as the process unfolds.

 

The study of Navi (prophets) is introduced. The books of Yehoshu'a and Shoftim are studied in the Hebrew text.  Emphasis is placed on famous passages, storyline, moral lessons, and Tanach study skills, all within an historical and geographical context.

 

Classes continue to be taught in lvrit.  In addition, Hebrew language study advances under the guidance of a Lashon (Hebrew language) specialist. Comprehension and dialogue are expanded through a variety of up-to-date books and materials, including selected units from the Tal Sela program.

 

Torah SheBa'al Peh is introduced with the study of Mishnah Berachot. Students master basic concepts in Berachot and Tefilah, while beginning to grapple with the language, logic and rigorous thinking that characterize Talmud study. Formal Gemara study begins toward .the end of fifth grade with the fourth Perek of Gemara Berachot.

 

Dinim studies at this level, beyond those pertaining to holidays, include laws of Berachot, parental respect, the Land of Israel, honest and-ethical conduct, and

careful speech. Project Derech materials further the study of midot tovot (proper behavior).

Fourth Grade

 

 

In Fourth Grade, critical thinking is developed through careful analysis of the pesukim. Students develop the ability to identify points of difficulty in the text, and are encouraged to formulate their own answers to the questions.  Frequently, they come up with the answers of our classical commentators! Underlying the whole process is the ability to read and explain both חומש andרש"י with increasing accuracy.

The formal study of Navi begins with Sefer Yehoshu'a. A careful introduction extends class knowledge from the Exodus, life in the desert, the handing over of leadership, and the geography of the region.

 

פסוקי דזמרא  is added to the Davening, and the תפילות of שבתare explained and practiced.

 

Moving up to the fourth floor and extending class hours until four thirty indicate to our children that they are no longer beginners, but rather serious and developing students of Torah.                            .

 

Goals:

1.  Increased proficiency in reading and Davening.

2.  Critical and analytical reading of Pesukim.

3.  Identifying quotes, questions, and implications of the text. 

4.  Fluency in reading and explaining Rashi, and appreciation of his role in giving us an understanding of Peshat (the basic meaning) in the Torah.

5.  Awareness of Am Yisrael in a larger historical and geographical context.

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Booklets

Subject

פרשיות: מקץ, ויגש, ויחי, שמות, וארא

Developing a critical approach to pesukim. Strengthening Rashi routines and skills.

4

ספר בראשית

שמות (הרדוף)

תרגילון "יונאי"

חומש ורש"י

Most of Sefer Yehoshu’a, storyline maps, timeline, moral lessons

3

ספר יהושע

תרגילון "יונאי"

נביא

Enhanced oral and written expression, expanding vocabulary, review all שלמים in all tenses

3

מקראה של ד'

תל סלע- יחידות נבחרות

שפה

Add פסוקי דזמרא and תפילות שבת

5

סדור שילה

תפילה

הלכות תפילה, ברכות הנהנין, כבוד הורים, הלכות ארץ ישראל, חגים...

1

רשימות

דינים ומנהיגים

Divrei Torah to explain at home

1

רשימות

פרשת השבוע

 

 

Fifth Grade

 

Fifth grade feels different from the first day, since the boys and girls are now grouped separately. The curriculum, however, remains the same for each group. Sefer Shmot is studied, emphasizing עשרת הדברות, the very rich material of פ' משפטים (which is the basis for later Talmud study), the Mishkan and חטא העגל .

 

The study of Mishna enhances the Yeshiva flavor of the classroom, as the students grapple with Talmudic language, concepts, and reasoning. This is all in addition to פרשה, דינים and לשון study, along with the Project Derech curriculum on מדות. Gemara is introduced after Pesach. The entire Shacharit is said at Tefilah.

 

Goals:

1.  Grasp of the detailed laws of פ' משפטים, such as ד' שומרים, אבות, נזיקין and עבדים.

2.  Fluent reading of the Mishna, and explanation of the Halachot (laws) and legal arguments.

3.        Increased precision in working with classic texts.

 

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

פרשיות: יתרו, משפטים, תרומה, תצוה, כי תשא, (ויקהל, פקודי)

Explain pesukim, know halachic facts, use pesukim independently, anticipate Rashi’s question, outline learned Rashis

4-5

ספר שמות

(מאירת עיניים)

חומש ורש"י

Cover the whole Masechta, read and explain vocalized text, explain various points of view, read and explain selected commentary, explain logic underlying the opinions

3-4

מסכת ברכות

'משנה מפורשת'

משנה

Learn one or two Dapim (pages). Read and explain the Gemara text, know general background of Torah SheBe’al Peh, explain some common phrases and terms, identify features of a gemara page.

3-4

ברכות, תפילת השחר

חוברת עבודה

גמרא

The whole sefer. Read the text, know storyline, famous quotes, moral lessons, historical context, research skills.

3-4

ספר שופטים

נביא

דיני השכמת הבוקר, תפילה, תלמוד תורה, ברכות הנהנין, כבוד הורים, צדקה, גמילות חסדים, חגים, הלכות בין אדם לחבירו

2-3

ס' הליכות ישראל

דפי עבודה

דינים

Expand vocabulary and written and oral expression

3

ספורים נבחרים

דפי עבודה

שפה

Content and Dvar Torah

1

דפתעות על הפרשיות

פרשת השבוע

Top of Page

Grades 6, 7, 8

 

 

The middle school program pursues three goals:

q       Building an increasing level of sophistication Torah study skills.

q       Engaging maturing students in discussion of contemporary issues of Jewish interest.

q       Preparing students for successful high school achievement.

 

Prayers are said in complete, student-led services, which underscore the importance of daily communal prayer (Tefilah Betzibur) while giving students valuable opportunities to develop leadership skills in the roles of Chazan, Ba'al Koreh, and Gabbai.

 

Chumash study takes up the books of Bamidbar, Devarim, and Vayikra, developing independent skills for basic study of the pesukim with Rashi, while introducing other Medieval and modern commentators for depth, contrast, and enrichment. Students are encouraged to identify and describe difficulties in the text, and suggest their own solutions, before referring to traditional commentary.

 

Talmud study increases in 6th grade, and becomes the cornerstone of the Torah curriculum. Girls and boys study selections from the following tractates: Brachot, Bava Metziah, Succah, Pesachim, and Shabbat.  Initially, the emphasis is on developing a working Talmudic vocabulary, while clarifying content. Then comes more emphasis on Talmudic thinking and analysis.   Rashi and Tosafot commentaries are gradually added. Students grapple with Talmudic logic and explore the progression of law from Talmud, through medieval codification, to modem application.

 

 

The study of prophets continues through the books of Nevi’im Rishonim, supplemented by special seminars on specific books, prophets, and Megilot. Emphasis is placed on test study, storyline, moral lessons, research skills, and the historical context of the respective prophets.

 

Two goals guide the continued study of Dinim: a) an increasingly detailed knowledge of relevant laws and their correct observance, and b) developing skill in using the original texts of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and Chayei Adam to locate the Halacha.

 

lvrit study continues several times each week with the  Lashon specialist.   All language activities, listening reading, speaking, and writing, are engaged in, the emphasis varying by grade.  

 

Project Derech continues with study of sources and discussion of issues related to midot tovot.  

 

Sixth Grade

 

The aura of middle school begins in sixth grade. Classes are departmentalized; there are more books, assignments, and teaching styles with which to contend. Talmud becomes a major core subject, and Aramaic is another language to comprehend.  Less obvious is the critical thinking that develops, as students strive to question, analyze, and prove statements of fact and interpretation. As adolescent personalities emerge, the issues of the day are related to our classical sources and teachers. These are the years to become expert in note-taking, homework, written expression, and studying – as we often point out to eighth-graders when they become anxious about their B.J.E. exams.

 

Goals:

1.        Use acquired skills at a faster pace, in learning new Pesukim.

2.        Read, translate, and explain learned Gemara passages.

3.        Follow, and later present, the flow of oral discussion in a 'sugya’.

4.        Develop effective note-taking and study skills.

 

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

פרשיות: במדבר, נשא בהעלותך, שלח, קורח

Work with pesukim independently, learn new Rashi independently, know other peirushim presented in class

4

ספר במדבר

חומש ומפרשים

Read and explain משנה, גמרא ומפרשיםtaught in class, follow ,שקלא וטריא explain מחלוקות, know terms and abbreviations

4-5

מס' בבא מציעא

פרק המפקיד

מס' פסחים

פ' ערבי פסחים

גמרא

Know storyline and lessons learned from it, find facts through study of text, practice some research skills

2-4

ספר שמואל א'

נביא

חגים לפי עונה

2+

דרכינו

דפי עבודה

דינים

Expand vocabulary, review grammar, practice all skills

3

ספורים נבחרים

שפה

Survey the Parsha and answer questions on the text and Rashi.

1

דפי עבודה

פרשת השבוע

 

 

Seventh Grade

 

Seventh grade Jewish studies can be characterized as "more". More pages, more  perakim, more peirushim, more homework, notes, and tests. Along with these come more fluency, more sophistication, and greater seriousness of purpose.  Strong text skills are built in Chumash and Gemara, while more maturity is brought to bear in the analysis of arguments and concepts. Additional commentaries are introduced, compared and contrasted.

 

The moral lessons of Navi, Parashat Hashavua and Project Derech are integrated and their practical implications in student life are explored.

 

Goals:

1.        Greater independence in preparing texts for class analysis.

2.        Appreciating multiple interpretations and viewpoints in texts and Halacha.

3.        Greater fluency in reading and explaining Gemara and Rashi.

4.        Improved oral Hebrew skills.    

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

פרשיות: דברים, ואתחנן, עקב, ראה, שופטים

Learn new Rashi independently, work with pesukim independently, compare and contrast other peirushim presented in class

4

ספר דברים (מ"ג)

חומש ומפרשים

פרק לולב הגזול, פרק אלו מציאות

More fluent use of רש"יand גמרא.

Introduction to תוספות.

3-5

סוכה

בבא מציעא

גמרא

Read text. Know storyline. Many מפרשים. Know the “musar haskel” (moral lesson) of the perakim.

2-4

ספר שמואל ב'

נביא

חגים לפי עונה

2

 

דינים

Expand vocabulary, practice skills. Emphasis on oral expression.

3-4

ספורים נבחרים

שפה

Survey the parasha and answer questions on the text and Rashi.

1

דפי עבודה

פרשת השבוע

 


Eighth Grade

 

 

Eighth grade is a busy and exciting year at M.D.S. High School looms large in students' minds, starting with preparation for the B.J.E. exams. Soon after comes the serious business of selecting and applying to appropriate high schools. Add in yearbook, trips and Shabbatonim, and the result is a very full and stimulating experience.

 

The academic program is at its most challenging in eighth grade. There is a high level of integration of various subjects, such as: Gemara, Chumash and Dinim, yielding a more sophisticated and coherent understanding and appreciation of Torah scholarship. Intensive study of the Yom Kippur service, the building of the Beit Hamikdash, and the 39 Mefachot of Shabbat is accompanied by creative student projects. Students learn to do computer searches in classical texts and rabbinic literature.  There is emphasis on writing Hebrew compositions and increasing spoken lvrit.  Moral development continues through examination of issues in Tanach, and their relevance. A special class in the geography, history and current events of the land and State of Israel completes the curriculum.

 

Goals:

1.        Find relevant information in supplemental sources, organize it meaningfully, and apply it to texts being studied.

2.        Recognize classical halachic references and look up footnotes and halachot in them.

3.        Increase knowledge of and identification with the Jewish relationship to EretzYisrael.

 

 

Goals and Activities

Lessons per Week

Books

Subject

פרשיות: אחרי מות, קדושים, אמור

Understanding the concepts in הלכה, Temple Service, skills in מפרשים and references

3

ספר ויקרא

חומש ומפרשים

עניני חנוכה, ל"ט מלאכות, השבת אבידה

Fluent in un-vocalized text. Use Halachic concepts, use Rashi analytically to clarify Halachic positions. Integrate הלכה with later texts.

3-4

מסכת שבת

שבת- אלו מציאות

גמרא

Read and explain pesukim. Know facts. Identify musar haskel of perek. Know and contrast different מפרשים.

2-4

ספר מלאכים א'

נביא

Become familiar with הלכהtexts- רמב"ם, ש"ע, חיי אדם, ומשנה ברורה.

Find references in classic texts. Look up sources on computer.

שעטנז, פאות, תפילין, ציצית, שבת.

2-3

 

דינים

More writing skills, composition. More conversation. Newspaper articles. BJE preparation.

3-4

 

שפה

Biblical promise, borders, geography, foreign conquerors, political Zionism, Israel in the Siddur. 20th Century events, research artifact paper.

1

 

ידיעת הארץ

Survey the parasha and answer questions on the text and Rashi

1

דפי עבודה

פרשה

Top of Page