Tag Archive: building

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 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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Nov 02

Fifth Graders’ Joyous Play

Children’s capacity and desire to play – it blew me away this week. We redesigned our room on Monday, and I put a new centerpiece on the table. Immediately children began to stack, rearrange, sort, play. Then children wanted to use these materials to build the Torah text. Such joy! It was like the Torah was …

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Oct 10

Shorashim Builds a Sukkah!

Over the past two weeks, Shorashim has been learning about the holiday of Sukkot.  Sukkot is a fall harvest holiday that is traditionally celebrated in a hut outside called a סוכה (sukkah – a hut/tent).  In order to better understand how a sukkah is made (and how much fun it can be inside one), we …

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Oct 10

Recipe for an Anafim sukkah

One quick review of what the Early Rabbis thought a סוכה (sukkah) needed to include, drawing on several years of research and experience, Lots of long, straight sticks for the structure (expertly scavenged and stripped), and leafy branches to go on top,      A ball of twine, good lashing skills, and a few extra pairs of hands …

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Oct 09

Determined

I believe that our children can do anything. They are creative and capable, and they amaze me everyday. But sometimes I ask them to do something that’s a little tricky, and it feels hard or frustrating. Last week, after children figured out the ancient early rabbis’ “rules” for building a סכה (sukkah—booth), they got to …

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Sep 28

In the beginning…

Well, we’re not going all the way back to the very beginning. But in ענפים (Anafim- branches, for 3rd-4th grade), our first text of the year takes us back to Genesis 18, to the story of אברהם (Avraham) and שרה (Sarah), being visited by three mysterious strangers. Later in the chapter, God tells Avraham, “The cry of …

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Apr 27

Back in the Midbar (Wilderness)

ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade) are just beginning their last theme for this school year: שבועות (Shavuot, “weeks”). One of the sources that ענפים (Anafim) are exploring is a short text from ספר דברים (Sefer Devarim, the book of Deuteronomy) 16, which gives instructions about celebrating the summer harvest festival. But as Anafim know, ספר דברים (Sefer …

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