Children are naturally inquisitive, ask lots of questions, and
use feedback as they learn to negotiate the world. Hillel
Academy’s curriculum builds on children’s natural curiosity in order
to help them become self-disciplined and independent learners. We
use research-based strategies to help children develop skills that
enhance their ability to ask relevant questions, frame processes for
developing understanding of content knowledge, and master
age-appropriate fundamental skills. Teachers ask three
questions of themselves as they design instructional units:
• What should students be able to know and/or do?
• How will students demonstrate their understanding of new knowledge?
• What experiences will students engage in to achieve the desired results?
Our curriculum addresses content knowledge and skill development (state standards) as well as the habits of mind needed to succeed in school, work, and life. These habits include such skills as persisting, managing impulsivity, listening with understanding and empathy, striving for accuracy, and applying past knowledge to novel situations. With the rapid increase of knowledge, new technologies, and globalization, our children will inherit a world that demands creative, collaborative, and flexible thinking. Developing children’s habits of mind that support life long learning is central to our work.
Hillel Academy uses integrative instructional practices to enhance children’s learning of both content and procedural skills. Primarily, teachers unite core academic subjects, interdisciplinary themes, and essential skills to deepen children’s understanding of content and increase their ability to apply that understanding to real world challenges. We look outside our school walls to seek ideas, resources, and expertise. This engagement with the broader community helps children become confident in their ability to understand complex issues and respond to them in concert with others.