A Culture of Collaboration

Children pour flour into a bowl with the help of an adult male.

As our classes settle into the school year, relationships between children and educators are growing stronger, and each class is beginning to develop its own unique classroom culture. Fostering cultures of collaboration within our ECCs is core to our social constructivist approach to learning, which emphasizes the importance of relationships and experiences in the construction of knowledge. We believe that each community member’s knowledge, skills, and strengths contribute to the collective learning of the group. From developing systems for setting the snack table together to tackling the challenge of carrying a giant tree branch into the classroom, our E-T ECC Teva class has been actively working towards building a collaborative culture.

As integral members of our learning community, our families play as critical a role as the children and educators in the creation of our school and classroom cultures. Throughout the year, each family will have opportunities to come celebrate Shabbat with their child’s class and share their family’s traditions with us. Children will also bring home their class dinosaur — Perry the Parasaurolophus, Toby the Triceratops, Terry the Pterodactyl, Stretch the Brontosaurus, or Stevie the Spinosaurus — for the weekend, then share photos and stories of their adventures, sparking dialogue and bridge connections as we gain a glimpse into each family’s life.

Each of our schools also offer opportunities for families to come into the classroom and engage in learning experiences with the children. Whether it’s sharing a favorite recipe or teaching a traditional dance, we also welcome and encourage parents to contribute their unique interests and skills to the classroom.

This semester, both of our ECCs launched an exploration into the ritual items surrounding Shabbat, beginning with the challah — which led many classrooms to bake their own! Billy, a Teva class parent, joined the children to make challah, just as he does with his family every week. Billy guided the children through his family’s recipe, and as the children all placed their hands on the mixer, he noted, “just like the dough is coming together, all of you are coming together.” We greatly value these moments of connection and community between children, educators, and families. Having parents and other family members actively participate in the classroom not only strengthens the relationship between home and school, but it also enriches the learning experience for our community as a whole!

Looking for a new way to connect with your young toddlers? The RJW ECC invites you to join our Kesher Class! This one-hour weekly meeting is designed for caregivers and children between 12-24 months, offering an opportunity to build connection and develop communication skills with the support of speech pathologist Allison Parker and our RJW ECC Director, Kfirah HaLevi. Search “Kesher Class” on our website to learn more!