grade-level Curriculum Summaries
The first year of formal Jewish learning is filled with making Jewish friends, celebrating their religious heritage, and taking pride in learning new skills that they can point to with pride. Students are exposed to the Hebrew language using play, spoken Hebrew, and art. Students will learn about our holidays and receive an introduction to the home prayers used on Shabbat. Our Gan students sing with our Hazzan each week and enjoy special sessions with our Shaliach. Gan students and their parents participate in school wide programs and “do Jewish in the world” taking area field trips designed to engage, excite, and build Jewish identity. Gan is the first year children are eligible to be part of the Shabbat morning NOAM program. Children and their families are welcome to come to Shabbat morning services in the Chapel. The morning programming includes worship, games, learning, and community.
Aleph (1st Grade)
First graders build on the lessons of Kindergarten adding new concepts and information about the holidays of the Jewish calendar. Aleph students continue their exposure to Hebrew, adding new words and prayers to their Jewish tool box. In First grade students embark on a two year journey through the Torah learning about the each weekly parasha. Students will learn the prayers used at the end of the Shabbat morning service and will have the chance to demonstrate their new skills for the community on select shabbat mornings. First graders learn about the importance of doing mitzvot and their studies focus on honoring parents, giving tzedakah, and taking care of our planet. Kitah Aleph students enjoy regular singing and learning with our Hazzan and special programs with our Shalicha. They take their learning “on the road” enjoying field trips in the DC area
First Graders and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the Saturday morning NOAM program. In this service they will enjoy the fun of being part of a youth community, being learning prayers learned in Religious School, and enjoy creative drama, stories and fun.
Kitah Bet 2nd Grade
In Second grade students complete their two year journey through the Torah learning about the parshiot (chapters) which are read in the second half of the year. Students will add to the Shabbat prayers they know adding upbeat Shabbat congregational prayers such as Shalom Aleichem, Lecha Dodi, Ein Keloheinu and Adon Olam. Students will have the chance to demonstrate their skills for the community at specially scheduled Kabbalat Shabbat services and Shabbat morning services. Kitah Bet continue learning about ways to “Do Jewish” focusing on a variety of virtues including Chesed (Kindness), Todah (Gratitude), and Selicha (Forgiveness). The second grade students review their aleph-bet and listen to lots of modern Hebrew and contemporary music. Kitah Bet students enjoy regular singing and learning with our Hazzan and special programs with our Shalicha. They take their learning “on the road” enjoying field trips in the DC area
Second Graders and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the Saturday morning NOAM program. In this service participants will enjoy the fun of being part of a youth community, use prayers learned in Religious School, and enjoy creative drama, stories and socializing.
Kitah Gimel (3rd Grade)
Third grade at Agudas Achim is a very special year as students begin their 2 day a week program and become regular attendees at NOAM Shabbat Services. The Hebrew curriculum for Kitah Gimel emphasizes strong decoding skills, accumulation of prayer vocabulary, discussion about why we pray, a fluency chanting key prayers. Beginning in 3rd grade all Religious School students begin their work with one of our Hebrew Chevruta tutors. The tutors work individually or in very small groups to help students learn to read Hebrew with accuracy and confidence. This gives our classroom Hebrew teachers more time to focus on the meaning and purpose of prayer and the chanting of prayers used on Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning.
The Judaic studies curriculum uses the bible as a trigger for studying ancient Jewish history. Students are introduced to the historic stories and customs associated with major Jewish holidays. In addition to using Torah as a guide for historical investigation, Kitah Gimel studies the period of Jewish kings and the time of the prophets. Third graders are introduced to the concept of derech eretz, appropriate ethical behavior based on core Jewish values.
Gimel students enjoy music with our Hazzan, art with visiting art specialists, and modern Israel Studies with our congregational shlicha (Israeli ambassador).
Kitah Dalet (4th Grade)
In Kitah Dalet students continue to come to Religious School two days a week as well as increasing their leadership role in NOAM on Shabbat mornings. Their Hebrew and Prayer studies advance and the students add the their repertoire of prayers used on Friday evenings and Shabbat mornings. Kitah Dalet students also begin reading simple stories in Hebrew to foster their understanding of language in context. Dalet students continue to work with our Hebrew Chevruta tutors .
Dalet students enjoy music with our Hazzan, art with visiting art specialists, and modern Israel Studies with our congregational shlicha (Israeli ambassador).
Kitah Hey (5th Grade)
Hey students come to Religious School two days a week and have a leadership role in the weekly NOAM Shabbat service. In Hebrew and Prayer classes, Hey students begin to build a strong skill set in the prayers for the Torah Service and the Musaf Amida. Fifth grade Judaic studies focuses on Jewish history from the time of the second diaspora, the Haskalah, the rise of Jewish nationalism, Zionism, and Chassidism. This historical periods introduces some of the most important historical figures of our people including the Baal Shem Tov, Glueckel of Hameln, Moses Mendelson, and Theodor Herzl. American Jewish history features prominenetly in this unit. This class works on and leads the annual Yom HaShoah Service for the school community. This prepares them for their unit on modern Jewish History in 6th grade. Fifth grade students continue to work with our Hebrew Chevruta tutors and are expected to attend NOAM on Shabbat morning 15 times over the school year.
Hey students enjoy music with our Hazzan, art with visiting art specialists, and modern Israel Studies with our congregational shlicha (Israeli ambassador).
Kitah Vav (6th Grade)
Sixth grade is the last year students are required to attend Religious School two days a week and to attend NOAM on Shabbat mornings 15 times minimum over the school year. This being their final year in NOAM, 6th graders are given a leadership role in Shabbat morning peer-led services. In Judaic Studies students focus on modern Jewish history including a unit on the Holocaust. The Judaic Studies program is further designed to include a review of the different denominations of American Judaism and to review how core Jewish concepts such as prayer and tikkun olam have evolved over history and their meaning today.
In Hebrew Classes, students are pushed to gain confidence and accuracy in their ability to decode liturgical Hebrew and to strengthen their use of modern Hebrew phrases and vocabulary. Kitah Vav students have the opportunity to do small group study with with our Hazzan focusing on the Shabbat Torah Service. They also enjoy art with visiting art specialists Israel Studies with our congregational shlicha (Israeli ambassador).