Selection of classes

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Russian Language & Literature Program

Teachers at the Berkeley Russian School have extensive experience teaching the Russian language. The school accepts students with varying levels of Russian proficiency, which requires the instructors to have a flexible approach to teaching. They employ various methods and approaches to meet the needs of all their pupils.

In addition, teachers strive to have age-appropriate activities and expectations for all of their students. The youngest children at the school are three to four years old and are working on pre-literacy skills. The focus for this age is on developing logical thinking through playing games and solving basic problems; developing fine motor skills, which are essential when learning to write; and memorizing Russian poems and rhymes to improve memory and familiarity with the Russian language. Perhaps the most important activity, however, is speaking Russian in class with the teacher and with fellow students. The program is designed to develop and improve Russian vocabulary and communication skills as well as introduce literacy concepts and the Cyrillic alphabet.

The language program for the older children is tailored to meet the needs of the current group of students. The selection of books for reading depends on the students’ language proficiency, interests and academic needs, and does not necessarily coincide with the list of obligatory reading in Russia. The teachers have extensive experience in language instruction and childhood development and are able to create a program that fits the needs of students learning Russian outside of Russia. The end result is that students are able to write essays and take dictations in a grammatically and stylistically correct fashion.


Mathematics Program

The intention of this program is to introduce students to math as an organic language that can be enjoyed. The problems presented in classes are intended to incite mathematical creativity and encourage logical thinking; they are taken from everyday life with additional components of adventure with a variety of games added to appeal to each particular age group. After finding solutions, students are encouraged to explain and defend their solutions to the group.

The classes are kept intentionally small and are tailored to meet the needs of each individual student.

 



Music/Music Appreciation – The World of Musicals

Welcome to the world of musicals! This semester we will study the structure, history, and development of musicals from all over the world. We will also look specifically at what influence did world of musicals have on the Russian stage and cinema.  We will cover the stage and the musical films, not forgetting the great Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Jolly Fellows, and An Ordinary Miracle.

Добро пожаловать в мир мюзиклов! В этом году мы будем изучать структуру и историю развития мировых мюзиклов.  Мы также будем рассматривать влияние мюзиклов на русский театр, и впоследствии, кино.  Мы пройдемся и по сцене и по музыкальным фильмам, не пропуская Волшебника Изумрудного Города, Мэри Поппинс, Веселые Ребята и Обыкновенное Чудо.


Art History/Art
A Hand-on Approach to Art History

This course will introduce several themes in Art History in a semi-chronological fashion.  Each new theme will begin with an overview (with the help of visual materials such as photos, videos, slide shows), followed by the history of the techniques and art forms.  Culminating in hands-on project.

Decorated Ceramics
Mosaic and Stained Glass
Suits of Cloth and Metal

Leonardo Da Vinci – Artist and Engineer
Pointillism – The Art of the Dot

For more detailed description please see the Director.


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Chess

In our chess classes children learn solving chess problems as well as chess strategy. Numerous exercises help students learn, practice, and master the game. Steady progress builds their enthusiasm, as students master valuable skills and learn to transfer these skills to new situations.  Most importantly children learn how to enjoy the game by playing with a partner.

 

 

 


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Young Childhood Program (Ages 3-5)

Kindergarten Program (Ages 4-5)

Kindergarten/First Grade Program (Ages 5-6)

 

 

 



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Come Play With Us!  Learn Through Play

The Orff Method, created by Carl Orff, is a way of teaching children music that engages their whole self, physically and mentally.  it is a mixture of dancing, singing, using percussion instruments and, at times, acting.  This method values the role of play and movement while learning different concepts.  Because improvisation and participation is encouraged in the Orff method, students have a greater sense of ownership, since it is their classmates and them that create the music.  The classroom then becomes a place of excitement and fun.  (from “Incorporating the Arts”, wikispaces)

For more detailed description please see the Director.


Mathematics (Ages 4-7)

Mathematics is taught at the Berkeley Russian School to children four years and older. Classes are small to ensure that each child gets individual attention from the teacher. All instruction is done in Russian.