The SAM School | Educational Approach - The SAM School

Educational Approach

Integrated Jewish and General Studies
Students examine questions and topics in a holistic manner that spans the range of relevant disciplines. Jewish and general studies are interspersed throughout the day, giving each priority placement in the weekly schedule.

Play-based and Project-based Learning
Children are encouraged to experiment, explore, discover and solve problems through natural playful interactions that are designed to stretch their thinking. Older students engage in learning projects that aim to investigate and respond to authentic and complex questions or challenges.

Research-Based Skill Instruction
Skills such as math, reading, writing and Hebrew language acquisition are taught using well researched curricula and methodology. Each topic is introduced with a focus on developing understanding and practiced intensively to develop fluency.

Curated Educational Experience
Students learn at different speeds and deserve an education that is designed to match their abilities. Each student is assessed on an ongoing basis and is taught at an appropriate level of challenge. This is achieved through a combination of differentiated whole group instruction and leveled small group instruction.

Applied Jewish Studies
Students learn to love and appreciate their Jewish heritage by gaining knowledge of Torah, classical Jewish scholarship and history. Holidays are celebrated with enthusiasm and are studied using original source texts and traditional ritual observance. Students engage in authentic Torah learning with the understanding that it impacts the individual and the community.

Experiential Learning
Teachers serve as facilitators of experiences that are geared towards inspiring inquiry and stimulating higher level thinking. Experiences include observations of real life and natural phenomena in the classroom and on field trips throughout New York City. Experiential learning is also achieved through intentionally crafted assignments that involve creative thought and production followed by guided reflection.

Development of Diverse Skills
We purposefully expose children to a multitude of science and art related experiences, enabling them to develop further neurologic pathways, talents and appreciations. These co-curricular classes include but are not limited to physical education, music, art, chess, and technology.

Contemporary Century Skill Building
Skills that transcend time and place such as interpersonal skills, critical thinking and creativity are emphasized throughout the day. Children regularly collaborate on projects and through play, communicate understanding through group conversation and individual assignments, and think critically about real world problems and potential solutions.

Promoting Independence
Students are empowered to make choices related to their learning whenever possible. The classroom environment includes established routines and clear expectations that enable students to develop independence and investment in their own achievement.

Sephardic Heritage
Sephardic history, heritage and traditions are part of our yearlong curriculum. Through this lens, children gain insight into the elements of culture and the ways they have evolved over time. They develop pride in their own family traditions, with the important understanding that Jewish people from all around the world share history and values.

Character and Community
Our shared values of respect, kindness, generosity, and humility are implicit in our classrooms as well as explicitly taught. Children learn how they can impact the world around them and participate in acts of hesed (loving kindness) inside and outside of the classroom.