Students are challenged to reach their learning potential through innovative teaching techniques, small group instruction, accelerated classes and student support. In our general studies program, students build skills and knowledge in math, language arts including Hebrew and Spanish, social studies and history.
Specialists in science, art, music, computers, library and physical education create stimulating, activity-based lessons with challenging, age-appropriate material. It is a time for discovery as the children make lasting friendships and learn about teamwork. Throughout the year, students engage in award-winning special projects, expanding the knowledge they gain in the classroom and integrating it into the greater Miami academic community.
Hebrew/ Judaic Studies
Our students learn Hebrew through the Tal Am program. Tal Am is an interactive learning experience which utilizes appealing visuals, music, focuses on holidays and the weekly Torah Portion (Parshat Hashavua). The curriculum is seamlessly integrated and the classroom environment is filled with dynamic, stimulating and engaging materials that are explored through the five senses. Students gain literacy skills in a gradual and spiraled process, promoting an understanding of Jewish concepts and values. By making the study of Hebrew and Judaic relevant to the children, students develop a love of the language and its rich heritage.
The Fine Arts
Our students participate in an outstanding art program. They learn about famous artists and emulate their particular style and technique while creating an original piece of art. Students learn to work with a variety of media as they make an assortment of objects related to Jewish and secular holidays, curricula and entries for competitions including the Fairchild Challenge and the Dade County Youth Fair. Our art specialist works with classroom teachers to integrate art appreciation into the curricula and to coordinate visits to museums.Our campus is proudly decorated with student-generated artwork.
Children of all ages learn the skills needed to present in front of an audience. A highlight of each school year is the musical theatre production directed by Rabbi Julie Jacobs. Students in grades K-5 spend months rehearsing and always give an award-winning Broadway-style performance. What a wonderful way to learn to feel comfortable before a live audience! Past productions have included Disney’s The AristoCats, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof and Annie.
Students also have the option of participating in Beth David’s Youth Choir. Members of the choir perform at synagogue and community concerts throughout the year, during city-wide events such as the community-wide Chanukah candle lighting ceremony with the mayor, During High Holy Days services, at retirement homes and more. The Youth Choir is a wonderful way for students to hone their musical skills while socializing and benefitting the South Florida Jewish Community!
Media, Technology & Library
The Gordon Day School is equipped with smart boards in all classrooms and iPads for each student. The school utilizes the world-renowned TaL AM program for the Hebrew/Judaic Studies curriculum. The entire structure of the TaL AM program is based on the notion that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students use music, games and visual aids to learn the Hebrew language and to develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values.
Children in grades K-5 work for weeks to write, illustrate and bind their own pieces of creative writing. They then present their publications at an annual Publishing Party for parents, special friends and senior administrators. This process brings writing to life for them, and our teachers incorporate various facets of the curriculum into the creative writing and publishing experience. For example, in first grade, students incorporate the study of animals into their publications. They investigate the animal they have selected on the internet, learning valuable tools about how to perform research. They also incorporate their study of poetry to prepare poems in a variety of formats that concern their animals. They explore the expression of emotion as well as the lives of these animals through the poetry they create. In Second Grade, students explore a variety of more sophisticated forms of poetry with the use of analogies, metaphors, alliteration and other poetic devices they learn during the year. They present their favorite poems as part of a performance about the richness of poetry in our lives. In the upper grades, the publishing parties become increasingly sophisticated as children explore a variety of literary forms and techniques.
The experience of preparing for and presenting original works at an early age enriches our children’s experience in a myriad of ways. They enter the world of literature as authors – not just readers. They become excited and engaged in language arts as a creator, not just a bystander. Our teachers spend hours working one-on-one with each student to bring out his/her unique potential. Children learn the hard work, effort and discipline required to prepare a product that they are proud and excited to present.
The Gordon Day School’s “Inventor’s Museum” presented by first grade students represents the culmination of an engaging introduction into the world of inventors, scientific and technological advances, and the potential for individual achievement through studying and bringing to life the literary form of the biography. Each student learns about the life of one inventor such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein or Marie Curie for several weeks by reading a biography and researching their accomplishments. In the classroom, students share what they’ve learned, then bring each of their inventors to life by writing their own biographies, creating their own props and dressing in costume as the inventor at a “Living Museum.” Parents and administrators travel from table to table, each of which is hosted by a student who has transformed himself/herself into the inventor. Each child presents visitors with information about the life of the inventor, describes the props that relate to the invention or the life of the inventor, and enjoys a reception after the museum has closed!
Physical education is an important part of our Day School curriculum. Students have physical education every day as well as recess. Basic calisthenics, conditioning exercises, sportsmanship lessons, team sports and individual skills development are all part of the program. The Gordon Day School has a policy of health and wellness, and physical education is one of the main components. Students participate in activities on our field, basketball court, and in our state-of-the art playground.
Another part of our arts curriculum is our music program. Students participate in music class once a week with a music specialist. They enjoy learning songs in both Hebrew and English, writing original songs and preparing musical videos about the holidays. Music is also part of TaL AM Hebrew/Judaic Studies program, so students in The Gordon Day School are singing daily, both inside and outside of the classroom!