Our approach to early childhood education is based on student engagement in well-integrated activities which encourage children to feel a sense of belonging to their community.
We believe that schooling should not be an isolated activity, but rather a hollistic one that helps chidlren thrive in their local communities, and the community is engaged with and invested in their success. We believe in the importance of creative play along with close collaboration between teachers and parents so that we can provide each child a setting that allows them to evolve and make sense of the world at their own pace in their own way.
When forming our curriculum for the year we have been inspired by a variety of educational approaches. Together with our experienced teaching team, we have put together an exciting program for the 2017-2018 academic year. Our program is built around the theme of a journey through Turkey which celebrates the cultural diversity and richness of each geographical region. Each month, we will focus on a specific region through creative play, music, storytelling, reading, math, art, science, games, and creative movemement. During snack time, we experience our culture by enjoying Turkish food catered and sometimes brought by our families. This also allows a setting where our community connects and great friendships are born. By the time academic year is complete our students will have experienced all of Turkey's regions and their diverse cultures through fun and interactive activities while developing Turkish language skills.
During the course of the year, we also celebrate two Turkish National holidays through two festivals; The Republic Day as well as National Children's Day.
We are currently accepting students from ages from 3 to 12. At the beginning of the year we will be forming classroom groups to accommodate their needs and levels of Turkish fluency appropriately. We offer classes on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM for students with multiple levels of fluency in Turkish.
Group 1- Ages 3-4: The students develop their basic language skills through stories, songs, games and crafts and simple subjects from our curriculum. Classroom teachers for this class is Ms. Gülten Stimac. For her classrooms, Ms. Gülten creates a developmentally appropriate curriculum by following the student's interest and implementing activities related with the weekly theme whose teaching style is inspired by the Reggio Emilla Approach to Childhood Education. In the second session music teacher Ms. Fatoş Arabacıoğlu will use her expertise in music education for early childhood for this play-based classroom. The students will be engaged with visuals, audio, rhythm, everyday objects and bodily senses. All the vocabulary is introduced through games, songs and play with the last session focusing on outdoor games and play lead by Ms. Gülten Stimac.
Group 2- Ages 5-6: The classroom teacher for this class is Ms. Gülten Demirbek. In this classroom, the lessons are focused on giving each student the basic skills they need to begin to read and write in Turkish. Handcrafts and other hands-on activities that strengthen the student's hand muscles are introduced. The students will be engaged with activities, class work and homework that help them understand themes related to Turkey, and will develop their linguistic abilities. They will learn about the Turkish culture through songs, games and other activities. The third session is music and folklore class under the leadership of Mehmet Unal.
Group 3- Ages 7-8: In this classroom, the student-oriented approach is adopted by addressing and emphasizing multiple intelligences. Throughout the semester, the children will spend time outdoors as well as getting their hands dirty in glue, and paint; they will read, write and listen alot of music. Literacy is a four step walk stretching over Fall and Spring semesters in this classroom. The goal of the first stage is to help students gain a sense of the Turkish language through short stories, tongue-twisters, poems, songs, and plays. In the second stage, the students will learn the Turkish alphabet. They will practice reading and writing without pen and paper, on different surfaces. Thirdly, they will start constructing syllables, words and finally sentences together. Each sound will be practiced in conjunction with the previous ones, in order to build a long term memory. The last step before literacy is to (de)construct texts in Turkish. They will read, re-write and try to understand short texts each of which emphasize a specific 'sound'. The students develop their reading and writing skills using textbooks and workbooks especially chosen according to ability. They will also receive instruction in other subjects such as Turkish geography, culture, history, traditions and math. The classroom teacher for this class is Ms. Hande Tokgöz Utku. The third session is a joint music and drama class with Groups 3 and 4 under the leadership of Ms. Fatoş Arabacıoğlu.
Group 4- Ages 9-12: In this classroom, the goal is to encourage students speak Turkish through an interactive approach. The students will also have a chance to get to know Turkey's geography with its Turkish/Anatolian history and culture. In the first half of each class, the theme will be worked on through creative drama games. By listening to theme related songs and studying idioms and proverbs, the students will cover topics outlined in the curriculum. The second half of the class will be set aside for studying the geographic regions of Turkey where the goal is to have students become cognizant of the different civilizations originating from these regions to more deeply understand the Anatolia's rich and diverse multicultural landscape. The classroom teacher for this class is Ms. Hande Tokgöz Utku. The first session focuses on conversational topics, and the second session focusing on linguistics. The third session is a joint music and drama class with Groups 3 and 4 under the leadership of Ms. Fatoş Arabacıoğlu.
We hold our classes at the classrooms of Jefferson Elementary in Berkeley. Each age group has its own classroom.
Fall 2017 Semester Schedule (14 classes):
The classes are held every Sunday between 10.00am - 12:00pm.
- September: 10 (First Day) , 17, 24
- October: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (Republic Day Festival)
- November: 5, 12, 19
- December: 3, 10, 17
Spring 2018 Semester (18 classes):
The classes are held every Sunday between 10.00am - 12:00pm
- January: 14, 21, 28
- February: 4, 11, 25
- March: 4, 11, 18, 25
- April: 8, 15, 22 (Children's Day Festival), 29
- May: 6, 13 (Mother's Day), 20 (Graduation Ceremony)
*Parent Seminars are held on first Sunday of each month,shown in bold. Please check our events page for details on these events. Please note that the above information will be evolving as our community's needs change.
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
*Please note that theBTS 2017-2018 Class Schedule may change. In the event it does, we will be notifying our community ahead of time.