In a science lab filled with experiments and animals, the Lower School Science curriculum exposes students to the wonders and joys of science as it is found all around them. Materials are presented in a “hands-on” interactive format. Students are encouraged to become involved in activities and to ask questions. The scientific process is stressed as a way to solve practical problems, explore observations and curiosities. In addition to many other STEM experiences, our science teacher is involved in a research project and teaches an engineering unit to third graders for 45 minutes each period.
The goal of the Computer Technology program is to provide students with computer skills to design, create, communicate and solve problems by integrating the use of computers within the General and Judaic Studies curriculum. A state of the art computer lab and library work stations are available to all grade levels, which features desktop computers for each student. Students and teachers can avail themselves of networked color printing in the lab and digital cameras. Hi-speed Internet access is available throughout the Beth Tfiloh wide area network (WAN.)
The lab is staffed by a technology specialist who works with students and teachers to ensure that technology is used to augment and strengthen the General and Judaic Studies curricula. Students can use a variety of software to reinforce concepts learned in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Judaics and Science. They are instructed in grade appropriate graphics and software games, and in the proper care and use of computer hardware and software. Keyboarding and word processing are taught so that students develop skills that will enable them to improve their creative and expository writing at all levels. There is ample opportunity to use multimedia tools such as Kidpix and Kidspiration, and students learn how to search the Internet and evaluate their findings through teacher-guided research in such subjects as Social Studies, Science and Current Events. Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School utilizes content filtering tools to ensure that there is no access to inappropriate material.
Through the use of iPads, Lower School students learn software programming languages such as Scratch Jr. and Blockly, developing coding skills needed to command Poe and Dash, Beth Tfiloh’s Lower School robots, to complete a variety of fun and educational tasks. Through these activities, students hone their computational thinking skills, including sequencing, logical reasoning and modelling, which are not only integral to computer science, to to many other disciplines as well. In third and fourth grades, students explore civil, environmental and electrical engineering through hands-on laboratory experiments as well as immersive field trips.
The core of our math program is mathematical problem solving, not as a separate activity but as central to every skill and concept discussion. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real world problems. Students are encouraged to consider how they think, how they communicate, and how they solve problems, so they can apply their skills to subsequent problems. The learning process gives students a solid math foundation upon which to build increasingly complex skills. In addition, student attitudes and appreciation for mathematics are viewed as vital for success.
Beginning in Middle School, students learn core technology skills by using computers in both General
The Middle school science curriculum stimulates students’ scientific curiosity, encouraging them to solve scientific problems through critical and analytical thinking. Students develop the confidence to apply science skills to everyday life through a creative, hands-on, laboratory-based teaching approach based upon each student’s own unique learning style.
Computer proficiency is an important component of the Middle School curriculum. Beginning in fifth grade, students learn core technology skills by using computers in both General and Judaic Studies classes. The school has a full wireless network and Internet access. The goal of the computer program is for students to develop not only the proficiency in the skills they need for middle school work, but to ensure their ability to work with technology in high school.
Middle School students explore concepts of engineering in science classes, where they culminate their study by building and testing roller coasters of various designs. A Robotics Club provides opportunities for interested students to program robots. Special programs include a STEM Day, where all Middle School students explore physics and engineering with hands-on projects, and an Innovations Day, where students display projects on a variety of topics, including science, technology, Judaic Studies, history and literature.
Students will continue to refine basic computational skills, including number facts and algorithms. They will also develop new problem-solving strategies to handle important mathematical situations in daily life and prepare for successive mathematics courses.
The High School Science program at Beth Tfiloh is designed with three goals in mind. First, we want our students to develop scientific and technical literacy so that they will be able to read and understand mainstream scientific literature so as to make informed decisions about their health and the health of the planet around them. Second, we want our students to develop strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and the ability to use and adapt technology to solve problems and generate solutions, in preparation for success in college, post-graduate studies, and future careers. Finally, we want students to leave Beth Tfiloh with an understanding of the relationships among the sciences, and an appreciation for the wonder and beauty of the natural world.
All students at Beth Tfiloh Dahan High School take four years of science. In 9th grade, students are assigned to one of two courses, College Preparatory Biology or Honors Biology, depending on their independent reading level, preferred pace of learning, and ability to understand abstract concepts. In 10th grade, students take either Honors or College Preparatory Chemistry, based on the recommendations of their 9th grade math and science teachers. Students must be successful in honors-level math classes in order to be eligible for placement in Honors Chemistry. In grade 11, students are assigned to either AP, Honors or College Preparatory Physics with some years offering AP Environmental Science and (or) AP Biology as an alternative. In grade 12, students choose among a variety of classes including AP level courses, each of which draws upon the content and skills the students learned in grades 9-11.
Throughout the High School, technology is integrated with learning across the curriculum. High School students can choose AP Computer Science classes as well as advanced science and engineering electives.
The goal of the Mathematics Department is to foster in our students an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics, while attending to both the acquisition of skills and exploration of mathematics’ innumerable applications. We offer a wide variety of courses in every grade in order to nurture the students’ mathematical growth, meeting each student at his or her level of understanding and ability.
Students at Beth Tfiloh are required to take four years of mathematics. Honors and Advanced Placement courses are taught at a more rapid pace with a greater emphasis placed on higher order thinking skills. Less time is spent in review of earlier material and each topic is explored more deeply. Technology is incorporated wherever it can be used to enhance the learning process.