Tag Archive: cooperative learning

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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Feb 21

Asking and Answering Big Questions

It might not look like much. Two children and an iPad. Or, a different two children and an iPad. While it may not look like much, Nitzanim accomplished something extraordinary today. After identifying their Big Questions (see this post for more about our Big Questions about Yosef), children were handed an iPad and a brief …

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Dec 09

Did You Know…?

..that there are three alternate endings to the Chanukah story? (Chanukah Story for Nitzanim). Today, Nitzanim worked in pairs to build their own version of the Chanukah endings. Here’s what they have to say: Book of Maccabees I: Chapter 4 This ending explains Chanukah as a celebration of the rededication of the temple. Child 1: …

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Sep 10

Nitzanim Conducts Research

This week Nitzanim conducted research about the שופר (shofar) independently! Their own questions and ideas drove their research.  Here’s how they did it: Brainstorm what it means to conduct research. One child defined research as, “When you’re wondering about something…you go on a quest until you find out what you’re looking for.”  Make observations about the …

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Sep 10

Patterns in Nature, Patterns in Ourselves

This week in Yetzirah, Nitzanim (“Buds,” for 1st-2nd grade children) took a closer look at one of the natural symbols of Rosh Hashanah: תפוחים (tapuchim- apples). We used sliced halves of tapuchim as our painting instruments to create a tapestry for Nitzanim.       תודה (toda– thank you), Nitzanim! During the first week of Jewish Enrichment Center, you made …

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Apr 29

Shorashim Prepares the Land for שמיטה (Sh’mitah)

This week, some Shorashimers got to leave the Jewish Enrichment Center to take a field trip to a real garden in Chicago that is observing שמיטה (Sh’mitah-release). We saw some of the Perennial plants they had in their garden and heard about why they decided to and how they observe שמיטה (Sh’mitah-release). This was such a special time …

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Feb 12

Ivrit Growth in Beit Shteelim

  Amidst Shteelim’s explorations of the שמות (Shemot – Exodus) story in designing costumes, we’ve also had what I think is tremendous growth in עברית (Ivrit – Hebrew) over the past several weeks, working on several new goals in kindergarten! Over the past two weeks, as Jewish Enrichment Center staff has focused on Ivrit teaching …

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