Emily Branton

Author's details

Name: Emily Branton
Date registered: August 19, 2016

Latest posts

  1. Peer interviews — March 2, 2018
  2. Yes They Can — February 23, 2018
  3. Thinking without words — February 16, 2018
  4. Building on Shabbat Foundations — February 9, 2018
  5. Big ideas — February 2, 2018

Author's posts listings

Mar 02

Peer interviews

As our שבת (Shabbat) projects take shape in ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children), the children are starting to interview each other to develop their artist’s statements. Sometimes the questions are spontaneous: “Whoa! How did you do that?” Sometimes, great follow-up questions grow out of answers to our set interview protocol: “Wait, that’s really different …

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Feb 23

Yes They Can

One of my favorite parts of project time is the focus and competence radiating from ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children). Of course, it’s no surprise that ענפים (Anafim) approach their project work with such patience and commitment, since after all, each project grows out of a child’s authentic ideas and discoveries. They’re excited to share their thinking with …

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Feb 16

Thinking without words

As the children left the classroom yesterday, I took a deep breath. Wow. ענפים (Anafim– “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) made a huge leap forward on their שבת (Shabbat) projects this week! Their own personal interpretations of שבת (Shabbat) started to take shape, as they made connections between different concepts and conversations we’ve explored over the past few weeks. Each …

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Feb 09

Building on Shabbat Foundations

This week, I offered the children a new prompt: “Okay, ענפים (Anafim– “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children). You’ve explored a lot of different ideas about what שבת (Shabbat) could be about, and now you are growing your own personal opinions about what שבת (Shabbat) should be about. Imagine that you could build a שבת (Shabbat) house, showing …

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Feb 02

Big ideas

This week, ענפים (Anafim– “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) have been diving deeply into different ideas about  שבת (Shabbat). In order challenge and expand their thinking, they’ve been taking turns interviewing each other about the buildings, drawings, and sculptures they’re creating. The questions ענפים (Anafim) are asking are laying the foundation for some amazing project based learning this quarter. …

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Jan 25

Creating, exploring

In ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children), we’re not afraid to let things get a little messy. See, when you’re not afraid to experiment… and collaborate…. and really get your hands dirty… …you might just discover something beautiful you had inside of you, all along.

Jan 19

Works of creation

Last week, as ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) began exploring the text of קידוש (kiddush, a blessing for the beginning of Shabbat on Friday night), several children stopped short. We were exploring the words that describe שבת (Shabbat) as a זכרון למעשה בראשית (zikaron lema’aseh vereishit- reminder of the works of creation). This reminded the children of the …

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Jan 11

Opening up Shabbat

Oh, the beginning of a new theme is so exciting! In ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children), we opened up our שבת (Shabbat) theme with a big brainstorm: the children compiled a list of all the facts they knew or thought about שבת (Shabbat), and then, all of the things they wondered about שבת (Shabbat). Then, …

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Dec 15

Play, explore, celebrate

We’re still reeling from the excitement and energy of a fascinating first theme. The ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade) projects are up in the social hall, if you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet. And what better way to unwind and celebrate than with חנוכה (Hanukkah)! Here are a few things Anafim love about חנוכה (Hanukkah): -Special משחקים (mischakim– …

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Nov 30

Children at work

Now that it’s project season, the children in ענפים (Anafim- “branches” for 3rd-4th grade) approach me at the beginning of each session with urgent requests. “How much time do we have today?” “Can we get started before כיבוד (kibud-snack?”  “If I do my עברית (ivrit– Hebrew) first, can I have project time all the way until שירה/תפילה (Shirah/Tefillah– “singing/prayer,” …

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