Tag Archive: discussion

Oct 17

So Many Possibilities

There are so many mysteries and puzzles inside new Torah texts. Even a close reading of just a few words opens up so many possibilities for what the Torah might mean and what the story might be about. On the first day of hearing a new text, Nitzanim children paid particular attention to Genesis 18:3, which says, “He …

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May 23

Broken Telephone

Judaism grows and changes over time. Nitzanim children have been exploring Shavuot and the way that ideas about Shavuot have changed over time. We started with ideas about Shavuot in the Torah and then moved onto exploring what the ancient early rabbis (1st-6th centuries) had to say. Now, we’re starting to talk about later developments, ideas about Shavuot …

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Apr 24

New Ways to Talk Together

Just because it’s April doesn’t mean that Nitzanim can’t try anything new! As we round out our year together, Nitzanim is paying particular attention to the ways that we talk together. In the last week, we’ve tried out two completely new structures for conversation. We’re still working out the kinks, but we’re pretty excited to …

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Feb 21

Small Moments, Big Accomplishments

“It’s kind of my first time sharing,” announced a first grader at the end of our כיבוד (kibud–snack) conversation. This first grader only joined our community in October. “Yeah usually she just sits there like this looking,” said a second grader. He was noticing that his friend often listens closely to our conversations, but hasn’t been …

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Feb 15

So Special

We did something so special today. First and second grade Nitzanimers had כיבוד (kibud–snack) with fifth and sixth grade Alonimers. We’re in the sixth week of thinking about קדושה (kedushah– holiness) and our super special pairing was an opportunity for children of different ages to connect and share ideas. Like in this pair, where a second grader shared with …

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Jan 11

New Perspectives on Kedushah

Earlier in the week, I asked children, “What have you heard about holy, holiness, קדושה (kedushah)?” And we got a little bit stuck. Children thought maybe it had something to do with “special,” but we weren’t all sure. Another child said, “different.” Or maybe it had to do with God, but we don’t all believe in God. …

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Nov 17

Our own way

Look carefully. Do you see the cool thing about this picture? What are the children doing? Each time we in ענפים (Anafim, branches, our 3rd-4th grade group) discover a new text as part of our במדבר (Bamidbar, In the Wilderness) theme, we start off doing pretty much the same things all together. We read the text together. Then we …

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Oct 31

I heard you say…

This week I have been completely amazed to watch children learn and practice skills for chavrutah (partner text study). We’re working on listening this week—listening to ourselves, listening to the voice of the text, and listening to the voice of our partner. In groups of two, children perform a “close reading” of the text. One …

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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 02

Wondering Together

Wondering Booth (noun): A small, enclosed space in Beit Nitzanim dedicated to conversation about children’s Big Questions. Over the last seven weeks, children have developed Big Questions. These are questions about ברכה (berakha—blessing) that matter to each child personally, questions that indicate a deep wrestling with ברכה (berakha—blessing) as a concept. Sometimes children turn to …

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