We Use the Trusted Sheva Framework
Sheva is not a curriculum, but rather an approach to learning. The approach recognizes that learning is a team effort between staff, children, and their families.
Children As Constructivist Learners
Take time to talk. Doing is learning. Through the concept of constructivism, a child is encouraged to learn through determining his own path of knowledge and individual process. Constructivism supports the idea that we construct our own understanding of the world we live in through generating rules and ideas based on individual experiences and trial and error.
Constructivist Environment - What does it look like?
- A constructivist classroom environment is based on activities planned with the children’s interests in mind.
- The teachers use their authority selectively and refrain from using power unnecessarily. In this way, they give children the opportunity to develop personalities characterized by self-confidence, respect for self and others, and active, inquiring, creative minds.
- In constructivist classrooms the children are viewed as powerful and capable of seeking information that builds knowledge. Learning, even when it involves mistakes, is considered an important process of growing and living. Children learn as they explore the world around them and the exploration provides an avenue for problem solving. As children explore, they develop new questions, and theorize answers.
- Back and forth interactions between the teacher’s and the children’s ideas.
- Engaging in meaningful experiences that are relevant to each child as an individual learner.
- Listening deeply and observing children intentionally while creating pathways for social-emotional and academic success.
Conclusion on the Constructivist Environment:
When young children are involved in exploration and discovery, they are enthusiastic and motivated. A constructivist classroom allows children to gather information through their senses and make hypotheses, test predictions, and discuss results. This is how children gain knowledge.
New knowledge leads to further action, and action produces greater energy. It is the collaborative unearthing of knowledge that keeps children, teachers, and classroom settings creatively alive and exciting.
Using a Jewish lens to teach and learn, Sheva, which in Hebrew means "seven" incorporates seven core elements.
1. Children as Constructivist Learners
Our children are natural learners. A Jewish expression of value emphasizes that our teachers inspire our children to question their world and appreciate multiple perspectives. When our children are agents of their own learning, they will build lifelong critical thinking skills and are more deeply invested in the process.
2. Early Childhood Directors as Visionaries
Exhibiting fluency in the standards of excellence, Sheva Early Childhood Directors must also demonstrate passion to go beyond these definitions.
3. Early Childhood Educators as Professionals
At the J, our educators view themselves as lifelong learners, constantly engaging in the pursuit of learning opportunities, prized by our Jewish tradition. Our educators seek to create and embrace learning opportunities for personal and professional develpment, provoke wonder, nurture curiosity, and engage the intellect of their students and families.
4. Families as Engaged Partners
Our families are essential in building a healthy school community. JCC early childhood centers go beyond this to actively listen to and incorporate parents’ perspectives into how we think about teaching and learning.
5. Environment as Inspiration for Inquiry
Our preschool is an intentional place for children that provokes wonder, curiosity, intellectual engagement and creativity with endless possibilities.
6. Discover: Catch (taking care of our bodies)
By employing a holistic approach to children’s health, we nurture a love of physical activity and encourage children to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.
7. Israel as the Story of the Jewish People
We create meaning around Israel for teachers and children including customs and celebration of holidays.