Our mathematics program is aligned with the Next Generation Learning Standards. Students are taught both foundational arithmetic skills as well as important problem solving skills. As our students enhance their number sense, they are given varied opportunities to apply these skills. Through the use of manipulatives, exploration and investigations, students develop a concrete understanding of the math topics. Once students understand a new mathematical concept, they are able to discover various ways to find solutions to problems and are encouraged to explain their mathematical process, both orallyand in writing. The use of mathematical language is an integral part of our math curriculum. Students in grades K-5 utilize technology to support and enrich classroom instruction. Classroom teachers, in all grades, introduce games and hands on activities to give students additional opportunities for mathematical thinking and learning. Our goal is that our students develop strong computational skills which they will be able to apply in real world situations.
In HAFTR's lower and upper grade Science Labs, students use technology and hands on experiences to further their scientific thinking. Using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the classes focus on 3D Learning which included the following scientific dimensions: Scientific and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts. Students learn to conduct investigations, problem solve and engage in discussions in which they explain their claims based on evidence. From the earliest grades, students use the scientific method and practice recording their ideas, investigations, observations and conclusions. When appropriate, the topics of study are correlated with the seasonal and Jewish calendars. By the end of fifth grade, our students have been introduced to biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, engineering and technology. By giving students the opportunity to cooperatively solve open ended problems, they learn from each other while also developing a deeper understanding and connection to the topics being taught.
The school's technology curriculum aims to prepare students for our digital world and for the future. As students learn new skills, use new tools and think about the future, there is an emphasis on being responsible digital citizens. STEM tools support classroom learning and enrich our robust curriculum. Kindergarten and first grade students learn to read and create algorithms which will enable them to code. Programming their Bee Bots, students reinforce their Hebrew language, literacy and math skills. Students learn the importance of collaboration, problem solving and persistence. There is an emphasis on vocabulary as students are encouraged to name parts of the computer/iPad as well as when engaged in programming activities. Some of the programs students are introduced to are Code.org, Osmo and digital storytelling apps. They have their own logins on Raz-Kids, which enables them to read books at their current reading level and Dreambox which provides practice and enrichment to the math curriculum. Second and third grade students learn keyboarding skills and the basics of Microsoft Word and Power Point. They continue to develop their technology and engineering skills. Students take apart a desktop computer as they become familiar with hardware components which enables them to better understand how computers work. Students code with Dash and Dot robots to create mazes, number lines and participate in coding challenges. In addition to Dreambox and Raz-Kids, students practice Hebrew language skills using iTal Am and Digital Readworks and PebbleGo for reading. Fourth and fifth graders complete advanced tasks in Microsoft Office. Classroom teachers and the technology staff, partner to integrate the skills they learned into classroom assignments and projects. Students continue the Code.org learning modules, completing a full course at each grade level and then transition into Scratch, the MIT designed online programming tool for students. Advanced units include game design, music and audio creation and integration, and user interface (UI) programming. Students learn and advance their skills in 3D design and printing, using Tinkercad. Students’ classes focus on Robotics and Engineering. Students are challenged to construct their own robot and program its motor and various sensors.