Tag Archive: cooperative learning

Feb 26

Lights, camera, action!

Backgrounds painted. Check. Costumes selected. Check. Props made. Check. Script edited. Check. That can only mean one thing… It’s time for Nitzanim to take center stage! We can’t wait to show off all of our hard work and incredible ideas at Family Exploration and Celebration. See you on Sunday, March 11!

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 07

All in a Day’s Work

Did you know that Shteelim (“Saplings” for kindergarten) and Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st grade) are researchers? They make observations:  “Look, round challah.” They ask research questions:  “What does a תפוח (tapuach–apple) smell like?” “Like cantaloupe.” “What צבעים  (tseva’im–colors) are on a תפוח (tapuach–apple)?” They test hypotheses:  “Look what happens when I add מים (mayim–water) to my …

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Oct 20

Many minds, helping hands

During the first few days of סוכות (the festival of Sukkot), we in ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade) began our Sukkah City project by figuring out the Early Rabbis’ rules of what a סוכה (sukkah) needs in order to count as a סוכה (sukkah). We looked at pictures of סוכות (sukkot) and discussed what …

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Oct 16

Sukkot Bamidbar

Today, in Beit Nitzanim, I asked children to journey into imagination with me. We imagined that we were slaves to Par’oh in מצרים (Mitzrayim—Egypt). After a series of plagues and the hardening of Par’oh’s heart, we were finally free! We had to hurry to get out of Egypt before Par’oh changed his mind. But what …

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May 18

And the story goes…

This week we have been reviewing stories from the Torah that we have heard before… months ago! But our nursery and kindergarten children seem to remember like it was yesterday. We started with Bereshit (the beginning), floated with Noah, remembered Yosef (Joseph), and parted the sea with Moshe (Moses). There are so many stories and so …

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Apr 21

Prove It

Sometimes, the best learning comes up unexpectedly. It’s up to us to seize the moment. There we were, pulling apart the structure of Rabban Gamliel’s argument (really! with great enthusiasm!), and one fourth grader said, “Hallel is in the Tanakh.” [Tanakh is an acronym for Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).] And I said, “Prove …

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Apr 18

Child Directed Projects in Nitzanim

Over the last four weeks in Beit Nitzanim, we’ve been experimenting. We wondered what it might look like for 1st/2nd grade children to design their own projects? Here are three aspects of the way we structured this four-week process: Chavrutah and small group work. Small group and chavrutah (partner) work allowed children not only to …

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Apr 12

Strengthening our Interpretations with New Perspectives

In Beit Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st/2nd) we are continuing to explore Rabban Gamliel’s (1st century CE) words in the Haggadah: Whoever does not talk about these three things on Passover does not fulfill his/her responsibility, and these are they: פֶּסַח (pesach—Passover offering), מַצָּה (matzah—unleavened bread), and מָרוֹר (maror—bitter herb). Last week, children connected פֶּסַח (pesach—Passover …

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Apr 04

Reimagining Seder Symbols

בכל דור ודור B’chol dor va’dor—in every generation,  Jews reimagine a Judaism that speaks to them personally. At the Jewish Enrichment Center, children mold a Judaism that piques their interest, inspires them to ask questions, and allows their creativity to guide them. Today in Beit Nitzanim, we began a project to reinvent a part of …

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