Welcome !

Early Childhood Center-School Year 2016-2017

"Play is the highest expression of human development."
Welcome to The One School At Temple Beth Am, Celebrating the Whole Child. We understand and respect that every child is essentially, ‘the one.’ Every child is unique. The specifics of how we nurture and grow each child are dependent entirely upon the needs of the child. This is how we celebrate each child - by engaging him or her at his or her point of need. The One School partners with every parent to ensure every child is championed and educated as an individual.

The One School is a NAEYC Accredited, Reggio Emilia Nature-inspired school, serving ages 18 months to five years. The One School offers certified teachers, a low student/teacher ratio, an emergent creative curriculum and specialty areas of study including science, art, music, foreign language and nature study. The One School’s curricula are supplemented by young family programs and parenting workshops, an infant and toddler program, Family Center, Summer Camp, after school enrichment classes and an active and instrumental Parent Teacher Organization. A commitment to contribute to the community and the world at large is also a part of the school’s social justice philosophy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Music Helps Us Learn

"Music helps kids read" and "Pick up an instrument to strengthen reading and listening skills" were two headlines in Scientific American Mind (May 2014; Mind.ScientificAmerican.com).  Here are the stories:

"Today a symphony of research trumpets the many links among language, reading, and music.  Nina Kraus of Northwestern University has discovered a possible explanation:  the brains of good beat keepers respond to speech more consistently than the brains of people whose toes do not tap in time.... 

"Because reading ability, in general, relies on making a connection between the sounds of letters and symbols on a page, music provides another avenue into learning.  'Through music, you learn to pay attention to important sounds,' Kraus says.  The inconsistent sound processing shown by the poor beat keepers makes that difficult."

At the One School we value music and Mr Brett.  Mr Brett teaches secular and Jewish music, music appreciation, and makes Shabbat a musical experience.
Thank you Mr. Brett for strengthening our reading and listening skills for the future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Honor of International Mud Day

It’s mud season again and good things are being made. How about a chocolate mud pie, decorated with yellow dandelions? Or a luscious cupcake sprinkled with sand and cherry petals? Finish it off with some soup full of new leaves, tiny twigs, or leftover acorns. Cooking season has begun with creativity, happiness, and generosity from both nature (with abundant loose parts) and children (eager to share a “taste” of their fresh creation

Our children enjoyed celebrating mud day by cooking with
mud,  and putting it all over our bodies!

Benefits of Playing with Mud

  • Creative expression and invention (mud can become anything!) 
  • Problem solving opportunities (e.g. how to make soup thin or thick, how to make mud meatballs stick together)
  • Cooperative play possibilities (e.g. let’s cook dinner, let’s have a restaurant, let’s feed the baby—you be the baby) 
  • Stress reduction (being outdoors in nature helps children relax) 
  • Building stronger immune systems (research indicates that some exposure to dirt helps build resistance to bad bacteria) 
  • Growing affection for the stuff on our earth—soil, stones, sand, and growing plants (leading to care for our planet)
  • Date: June 24, 2014
    Author: Mary Rivkin

Cognitive Ability for Early Childhood

"In spite of their many advances, preschoolers can be illogical, egocentric, and one-dimensional in their thinking," observe Heather Tomlinson and Marilou Hyson in Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age Eight.   Piaget referred to these years as a 'preoperational' stage of development, emphasizing that children ages 2 to 7 are less capable in their thinking compared with older children.  More recent research indicates that preschoolers have greater cognitive abilities than has been sometimes assumed, at least when children are in familiar situations and tasks are clearly explained to them."

"Preschool children can appear to know or understand more — or less — than they actually do.  At times they seem mature and relatively advanced in their thinking, and then later seem limited and inflexible.  As preschoolers move from and between simpler to more complex thinking skills, it is helpful to remember that they are not merely functioning less effectively than older children or adults; their narrow focus on a limited amount of information at any given time is actually useful while they are learning so many things so rapidly.  That is, because they are just on the cusp of grasping a variety of concepts, words, and skills at a new level, they learn best when they can attend to just one thing at a time... rather than attending to multiple things."


Monday, June 16, 2014

Can Babies Read and Write?

In her article, "Can Babies Read and Write?" in the Beginnings Workshop curriculum unit, Young Children and Writing, Deb Curtis draws this conclusion:

"Adults have all the power in children’s lives.  We are their window and access to safety, comfort, and engaging experiences.  Children are smart enough to know this from the time they are babies.  They have laser-like attention to what we care about and they want to imitate, please, and be a part of what we say and do.  If you look at cultures around the world, children learn to do what adults value and believe children can accomplish because this is what they focus on and take time to teach children to do.

"But with this power comes responsibility.  Young children can learn about literacy if that is what we care about and focus on with eager attention in a playful, loving relationship.  But we should ask ourselves:  What are we and they missing when we spend so much of our time focused on literacy skills?  What about the scientific discoveries and magic in a puddle of water; the complex, creative work of pretend play; the deep, spiritual connections from time together in the natural world; or the adventure and sense of accomplishment in toddling up a hill?  Babies can read and write, but should they?"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


End-of-Year Staff Party at Bubba Gump's


The staff enjoyed the beautiful breeze by the Lighthouse Tuesday afternoon at Bubba Gump's. Thanks for a great school year!