At Barkai Yeshivah, we believe that educators, partnered with parents, are responsible for the development of the whole child, including his or her academic, social, emotional, spiritual and creative development.
Our teachers treat each student with love and respect and we are consistently aware of our responsibility as role models for the students. They challenge children and develop every aspect of their being. Life skills are an integral part of a Barkai education and are integrated each day through conversations, modeling, stories and conflict resolution.
Teachers present a new skill to the class and model it with them. Students then work in groups or independently to apply the new skill. The teacher customizes each small group’s practice and focuses on the specific skills they need to improve upon. The class, as a whole, then shares what they have learned.
Through hands-on exploration and experimentation, children acquire tools to develop and test meaningful theories, interpret their own experiences and achieve true knowledge, skills and understanding.
Students engage in a rigorous and challenging course of study to master essential skills and knowledge in each subject area. Each subject is aligned to follow the Common Core State Standards. Our students are expected to ask questions and delve deeper into the topic that is being studied. Subjects are interconnected wherever possible. Students are taught how to think, not what to think.
Our goal is to help students understand and critically analyze what they read and to communicate clearly, creatively, and effectively when writing. Through reading and writing, students learn about and make meaning of the world around them. Through the Balanced Literacy Approach and the science of reading, children are immersed in a literate environment where they constantly talk about literature, phonics, reading strategies and writing techniques.
A Balanced Literacy Approach helps students practice skills they have learned in the optimal environment and challenge them to acquire new skills and strategies to take their learning to the next level. Each component scaffolds on the next which enables students to become more and more accountable as they practice each type of learning. Reading stamina is built through the grades.This helps students read continuously for a set period of time without being distracted. This process guides students towards becoming independent thinkers and learners.
Social Studies provides the meaningful context through which all other areas of the curriculum can be integrated. Children begin by studying the world closest to them, the “here and now” of their family, school community and local community. They then branch out to conduct a study of other communities around the world and compare their community to others.
1st Grade: Students explore their own neighborhood and then expand to a study of the larger Brooklyn community.
2nd Grade: Students begin to compare communities - i.e. rural vs. urban, various communities of the past. They also learn about the United States and the states that make up the union.
3rd Grade: Students expand their study of communities to include comparisons of worldwide communities.
4th Grade: Students delve deeper into the history and geography of their local community, New York.
5th Grade: Studies include history and culture of the United States and immigration to the United States
6th Grade: Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. Connections are made to their Judaic Studies.
7th Grade: American History including the founding of our country and an in depth study of the history of the United States through modern times.
8th Grade: Time period between World War I and World War II, including the Holocaust.
Studies are brought to life through projects, festivals, performances, traveling exhibits that visit the school (i.e. Art in the Ancient World) and class trips (i.e. Ellis Island, Historic Richmond Town, NY Tenement Museum).
Students learn the history and meaning of each holiday throughout the year and more in depth as they get older. Some are commemorated through community celebrations, assemblies and student performances (i.e. Yom Ha’Asmaut, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Election Day).
Students will be exposed to the various areas of the sciences while employing the Scientific Method. Science is taught in a hands-on, exploratory manner. Students record their observations and scientific concepts.
Students explore a balance of Earth Science, Life Science, Physics and Scientific Reasoning. Topics overlap from year to year as students delve deeper into each one. Some topics include:
Lower School (1st-5th)
Air and Weather
Structure of Life
Weather & Water
Middle School (6th-8th)
Weather & Water (Climatology)
Diversity of life (Biology)
Levers & Pulleys (Physics)
Introduction to Chemistry
Human Body Systems (Biology)
Plate Tectonics (Earth Science)
Cells and Heredity (Biology)
Forces & Motion (Physics)
The Mathematics curriculum follows the Common Core Standards across the grades.
In 1st and 2nd grades, we use a hands-on approach to math using the program Math Expressions. Students are taught to think through problems to get to the answers.
In grades 3-5, students use the State Standard aligned curriculum Eureka Math as they continue with the idea of problem solving to get to an answer while using manipulatives (i.e. geo-boards, Unifix cubes) and playing math games which help students understand the principles more easily.
IXL is a web-based program that we use for individual diagnostics that customizes the work based on the child’s math gaps.
In Middle School, math tracking in each grade groups students according to their abilities enabling the students to reach their fullest potential. All 8th grade students who qualify are offered the opportunity to take the 9th grade Math Regent Exam.
A weekly technology class teaches the skills needed to become masters of the technology available in our world. Students begin with an understanding of accountability, Internet safety and media literacy, which is repeated at the start of each school year. Students then learn basic computer functions such as saving and manipulating files, Google Apps, emailing and typing skills. They then go into Coding and use these skills for the Robotics Team where they compete in the nationwide CIJE Robotics Competition.
Physical activity is essential to a healthy lifestyle. It promotes physical health as well as brain development and optimal learning. The students’ schedules are balanced to include several breaks for recess and snack throughout the day. Students have access to amenities such as basketball courts, two large fields, and a rooftop playground.
Students participate in a weekly physical education class led by the Athletics Director, Aaron Shasha. Students acquire the athletic, mental and emotional skills to excel at sports including football, basketball, soccer and kickball. They are encouraged to find and build upon their individual strengths. As per the Barkai Method, the curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child. The unique program provides students with the resources to manage their emotions during and after game play and stresses good sportsmanship to be successful on and off the field.
Through team sports (i.e. boys and girls basketball teams), students learn about cooperation and teamwork in addition to developing athletic skills.