LTNS is a Play-based Nursery school that draws inspiration from Reggio Emilia and Bank Street College approaches. Teachers plan emergent curriculum based on interests of the children and curriculum is carried out through project-based learning. The curriculum is then integrated into every aspect of classroom life such as morning meeting, story time, free play, and outdoor time. There are times during each day when teachers work with the class in a group to increase the children’s understanding of the environment and the world around them. There are also times when children are encouraged to work/play independently, helping to build self-help skills and gain independence. Each classroom is set up with the following interest areas: blocks, dramatic play, sensory table, art area, painting easels, and science/discovery. The teachers change the materials in each area based on the emergent curriculum/topic of study.
Since children learn through play, during our indoor and outdoor time children are provided with extensive opportunities to understand, explore, and create. Through play, children reenact experiences, try out different roles, express ideas, develop vocabulary, process information, relate to each other, and widen their view of the world surrounding them.
Interwoven into our program is a basic introduction to Judaism. As part of the Jewish experience children celebrate Jewish holidays. The Jewish holidays are celebrated through developmentally appropriate and engaging activities. Children cook traditional holiday foods in the classrooms and sing songs and read stories related to the holidays. They also make Judaica such as, working menorahs and Kiddush cups, that can be brought home to be used to celebrate the holidays with their families. The children observe Shabbat by visiting the sanctuary, meeting with the clergy, and learning prayers and songs to share with their families.
LTNS believes children are curious and filled with ideas and theories. They are capable of playing a role in their own learning and their interests drive the classroom curriculum. It is important that our teachers carefully plan activities and explorations that will stimulate the children’s curiosity and love for learning.
Larchmont Temple Nursery School is licensed by New York State Office of Children and Family Services.