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Ganon Gil Preschool C/o Jcc

6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 348-3839


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At Ganon Gil, we view curriculum as everything that happens during our time together with the children. We believe that each moment offers an opportunity to explore relationships and to create a community that nurtures children, teachers, and families. There are always questions to pursue, hypotheses to
investigate, and discoveries to celebrate. At the heart of our approach lies the belief that children are competent, ready to learn, and full of emerging ideas and creativity. Our curriculum is based on and inspired by a combination of the foremost approaches to early childhood education including, Reggio
Emilia, the Project Approach, and the Creative Curriculum, whose objectives and assessment tools align with the Maryland State Pre-K standards.

At Ganon Gil, children are engaged in a play-based, child-centered, emergent curriculum that integrates literacy, math, social studies, science, the arts, motor development, social skills, and Jewish traditions and values into all parts of the child’s day. We emphasize the development of higher-level thinking and
problem-solving skills, which are the foundation of every good learner's academic ability. Our teaching strategies are based on goals in four major areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive,
and language.

A unique strength of our curriculum is the use of children's interests and the world around them to inspire their learning. Teachers observe children’s play and listen carefully to children’s questions so they may support emergent projects, ideas, and creations that come directly from the children. Children are given many opportunities for making choices, working cooperatively, and expressing themselves in different media.

Jewish holidays, customs, traditions and values come alive through the hands-on experiences that are at the heart of our program. Our children are always immersed in Jewish rituals, traditions, and values. Our approach to the Judaic curriculum is to look for ways to make Judaism meaningful and relevant to the everyday lives of our
children. We enrich the classroom environment with books and objects related to the holidays, Jewish rituals, and Israel. These are wonderful conversation starters and frequently lead to rich topic studies.
We also have many Jewish celebrations throughout the year. Each week we come together as a community for Shabbat Sing, as well as having a Shabbat celebration in individual classrooms. In addition, our four year olds begin each week with a special Havdallah service. We all enjoy our festive
Chanukah parties, Purim parades, Passover seders, and a Yom Haaztmaut festival. For our Ganon Gil children, these Jewish experiences are an opportunity to not only celebrate, but also to create a positive Jewish identity.

We are so fortunate to have access to the
wonderful JCC complex, which includes art studios, dance studios, walking paths, the recreation station, and large grassy areas. The multigenerational and multicultural community at the JCC enhances our children’s learning experiences.

A Typical Day

If you were to peek into our classrooms, you may see children involved in a community meeting, dressing up, baking challah, immersed in constructing with Legos or blocks, up to their elbows in sand or playdough, looking at books, having a Passover seder, creating a village for trains, going on a nature walk, sorting objects, playing instruments, writing signs to explain their block structures, or drawing self-portraits. You will see teachers
watching and listening to children, documenting their play with photos and notes, offering resources to support and extend their play, and playing alongside them.

On a typical day at Ganon Gil, children might hear a story about Noah's Ark, build replicas of Noah's ark in the block area, research ships on the internet, sail a boat in the JCC swimming pool, pretend to be pairs of animals while walking to the playground, and create a cruise ship out of boxes and chairs for use
in dramatic play.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school