BACNS has two classrooms for our oldest students.
Our Anafim (which means branches in Hebrew) class is a mixed-age group, serving children ages 3-5. Our Alim (which means leaves) class serves children ages 4-5.
There are a number of factors that influence child placement, including, but not limited to chronological and developmental age. The school will consider each child on an individual basis when making placement decisions.
The Anafim and Alim classes’ school day runs from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 pm., Monday-Friday. Children can attend any where from 2-5 days per week. Most children at this age attend between 3 and 5 days.
A typical schedule for Anafim/Alim students is:
|9:00-9:45 am||outside on playground (if weather permits)|
|9:45-11:00 am||indoor free choice activities|
|11:00-11:30 am||cleanup and circle time|
|11:30-12:30 pm||outside on playground (if weather permits)|
|12:45-1:00 pm||playground or indoors until pick up time|
Snacks and Lunch
The school provides a mid-morning snack. In the Anafim and Alim classes, the snack is self-serve and is available until cleanup time (11:00 am). The children sign up on a sheet when they take their snack. Snacks are provided by the school, and usually consist of a variety of different foods. Sample foods are pretzels, crackers, fruit, a vegetable and dip, and water to drink (juice on Fridays for Shabbat).
Lunches are brought from home. Since BACNS is a kosher facility, we request that no meat (beef, pork, or chicken) or shellfish be brought into school. Dairy, eggs, and regular fish (tuna, etc.) are fine.
We also ask that families refrain from sending peanuts or peanut butter to school (though tree nuts, seeds, and other butters are fine). Here are some Lunch Ideas for Beth Ami for you!
The Anafim class is taught by Priscilla, Debby, and Brooke.
The Alim class is taught by Ashley and Barbara.
The teacher/child ratio in both of these classes is 1:7. There are two teachers and a maximum of 14 children per class per day.
The classrooms have interest areas for dramatic play (post office, store), creative art, reading and language, and building and constructing. Each day, the teachers set up free choice activities in the areas of creative arts, language arts, and math & science exploration and construction. Literacy and math skills are woven throughout all activities in meaningful ways.
The classrooms are a print-rich environment, with signs, books, posters, and documentation of the children’s activities and words throughout. Writing tools (paper and pencils) are placed at several locations. Teachers engage the students in activities designed to increase their oral vocabulary and to make the connection between spoken words and printed words. For example, the children will tell stories or talk about ideas, and the teachers will write down their words for the children to see. The children can “write” cards and letters to other children and send them through the “post office.” These techniques are proven to enhance literacy skills. Students from BACNS are very well prepared to enter kindergarten the following year.
Circle time activities include discussions, stories, movement, finger play, and thinking games. Sharing takes place at Circle time one day per week.
The children bake and eat challah (traditional egg bread) on Fridays, in honor of the upcoming Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath).
Our curriculum is child-centered, with themes and activities emerging from the interests and questions of the children and occurrences in their lives. This emergent curriculum is inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. We emphasize the importance of children as active participants in their learning, where exploration, discovery and invention are of primary importance. We believe young children learn through play and need to construct and express their own understandings of the world. We provide an atmosphere where children are free to risk failure, to ask questions and to experiment with materials and activities. The environment is designed to empower children to develop problem solving, thinking, negotiating, and cooperation skills.
Areas of particular interest in our class have included animal homes, gardening, robots, insects, or any other topic that is of interest. Discussions and activities around areas of interest might extend over days and weeks, or even be a thread throughout the school year. This approach is emergent and dynamic and supports the children’s natural curiosity about the world. It encourages them to explore, share their ideas, ask questions, and make connections.
Beth Ami Community Nursery School is supported by the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, as well as Jewish Learning Works and First Five Sonoma County.