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Gan Teva Tests Its Mettle

10/29/2021 11:16:03 AM


About a month in, Gan Teva at Ner Shalom finally had its first real rainy day of outdoor early childhood education. It was an exciting opportunity for Ms. Sarah to test the limits of our outdoor play, and for the kids to learn about the world in a new light. And they LOVED...Read more...

Gan Teva: Milestones and Benchmarks, FAQs, and More

08/04/2021 07:49:25 PM


Check out this presentation!


Mixed-Age Play Groups

07/22/2021 07:49:15 PM


At Congregation Ner Shalom, we believe strongly in Mixed-Age play and learning. Our Tot Shabbat programs, Religious School classrooms, and Youth Group activities all invite a range of ages: 3-5, 5-12, and 13-18, respectively. There is almost nothing that is done by a single grade, and Gan Teva at Ner Shalom will be no exception.


Creating an Outdoor Sacred Space

07/11/2021 02:22:10 PM


Rabbi Lizz has talked about this before: the need for dedicated sacred space, and the importance of connecting spiritually in nature. While we don't want Gan Teva at Ner Shalom to feel alienating to non-Jewish families looking for a natural early childhood learning center, we do feel strongly about our Jewish values leading the education, including the values of protecting the environment and of cultivating healthy spirituality in our young...Read more...

Outdoor Education is the Future

07/05/2021 11:18:01 AM


We've said it before and we'll say it again: Nature-based learning is the future. While we of course will not have children outside in dangerous weather, we intend to keep them outdoors as much as possible and to encourage their growth and learning by engage with the real world around them. Studies show that gross motor skills and sensory concerns are better served through outdoor play than what we have come to expect from classroom learning....Read more...

Kids Who Spend More Time Outside Are Happier Adults — Here's Why

06/26/2021 10:18:16 PM


More and more, safe and free outdoor spaces are harder to find. More and more, technology takes over our lives. It is imperative for mental health to spend more time in nature, and it starts young! 



Outdoor schooling raises resilient children

06/20/2021 04:41:56 PM


“It’s not just teaching outdoors but using the outdoors to teach in real, hands-on ways. It makes education more relevant to students’ lives. When they experience something, it’s more meaningful to them.” - Jeanne McCarty, CEO of Out Teach

Learn More here!



Exploring the world and developing skills through play and nature

06/10/2021 01:25:13 PM


Check out Gan Teva at Ner Shalom's Tiktok for great tips on early childhood learning, more info about our preschool, and the importance of nature and play-based learning!



We Encourage Jumping in Puddles

06/07/2021 10:54:46 AM


The grounds at Ner Shalom invite so many types of gross motor skill development and ways to engage in the world, including a universally beloved pasttime for all children - playing in puddles!

Check out this article on the science behind Gan Teva's encouragement of such activities!


Why Gardening is a Valuable Teaching Tool

06/01/2021 12:50:19 PM


Gan Teva is so excited to utilize gardening in our teaching!


Check out this article for some bullet points on its importance.



Reading Recommendation

05/20/2021 01:28:50 PM


“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”

Gan Teva at Ner Shalom

04/18/2021 02:09:09 PM


Job Description: Preschool Teacher 


Gan Teva at Ner Shalom is Prince William County’s first nature-based Jewish preschool. Opening in September 2021, Gan Teva is searching for an enthusiastic early childhood educator who understands, and is excited about, building an early childhood learning center from foundation to fruition. 


We’re seeking someone...

What will we teach at Gan Teva?

04/12/2021 01:56:15 PM


At Gan Teva at Ner Shalom students will learn that all living beings are unique creations. We celebrate every member of our community and individualize our approaches to learning to foster the growth of each child.

We guide our children to treat all members of our community with honor and respect.

We celebrate the unity of the Jewish people. We appreciate the diversity of approaches to Jewish life and...Read more...

Compulsory Nature Studies?

04/09/2021 02:33:40 PM


Although we are not necessarily advocating for compulsory outdoor learning for every child in the country (or even the county), we strongly believe our sensory- and nature-based Jewish education will better set up our students to engage in meaningful acts of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).


Gan Teva Educational Philosophy

04/09/2021 02:30:07 PM


Curious what an outdoor classroom has to offer?


Thu, April 18 2024 10 Nisan 5784