The Early Learning Center of Temple Shalom’s mission is to create a vibrant, engaging, Jewish, child centered community characterized by developmentally appropriate learning and inquiry based exploration while building a nurturing and safe community for the entire family.
The child is at the center of all we do in our ELC. Our goal is to nurture each child’s natural sense of curiosity and creativity to help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to become independent and enthusiastic lifelong learners.
We believe that young children learn through play and need the opportunity to investigate their interests in a meaningful way. Children’s growth and development are both enhanced by the respectful individualized relationships built with their teachers as well as the relationships built between their teachers and parents.
Our philosophy and curriculum are based on our understanding that each child develops at an individual pace. We are deeply immersed in the developmental stages and needs of young children, and seek to create a secure and exciting place for children to expand their imagination and grow confident in their abilities.
A successful emergent curriculum approach means that the teachers thoughtfully plan the environment, offering many visible choices, based on the children’s skills and needs. Our curriculum is planned in a way that the children are naturally exposed to the foundational concepts of literacy, math, writing, science and social studies in a manner that is meaningful for them. The teacher builds curricula around the interests of the children in the class.
All classrooms and other activity areas at the ELC are set up with these premises in mind. In each classroom, there are clearly defined interest areas (more areas as children get older) where children can engage in activities of their own choosing. These areas may include spaces for: art, alone-quiet time, reading and relaxing, block building, dramatic play, sensory/water activities, science, music, manipulatives, gross motor activities, writing and drawing. These spaces are created based on a child’s eye view, are adapted to meet the current interests and play needs, and are rearranged occasionally to renew interest in a particular area. Open-ended use and transformation of materials is encouraged with the focus being on process rather than product.