Last time: I introduced some of the top tips I learned working as an information architect in Silicon Alley. My top 3 tips had to do with what to teach.   Tip #1 from the Web: Who is your audience? Tip #2 from the Web: Less is More Tip #3 from the Web: Categorize These tips are still not enough to ensure that students will get what we want from a lesson. Teachers need to also worry about how their presentations look. I wasn’t hired to be graphic designer, why worry so much about how to present information? Have you ever spent hours preparing aRead More →

I have had such a great experience with my Megillas Esther reading program this year that it merited an immediate blog post. This year, I have been spending daily class time having the students read aloud using the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) model explained here  where they read to a friend and the friend checks them for errors and times them to improve their hebrew reading fluency. The class average is around 50 words a minute which is quite good.  I have used the read for speed worksheets on the parsha and made my own for tefillos so that  students develop sight words that they will useRead More →

Featured Blog: Chinuch ENERGY! Do you remember when you learned how to use the internet? I don’t. Why not? If we can figure out the answer, we can create lessons that our students won’t remember having to learn as well. We don’t remember how we learned to use the internet because companies designed websites so the process would be painless.   Here is a blog post that has screenshots with comparisons of old and current websites. Take a look at a list of the most popular websites in 1998. The old websites that were harder to use disappeared or were changed to what we know today. In 1998,Read More →

The Problem – we are all ignorant How many times have you read a Jewish periodical that bemoans how little our students know  about the fundamentals of our faith? These articles will extol the virtues of kiruv programs that teach these ideals to our students in a workshop or two. They quote students who were astounded. “How come I never learned this before?,” the students ask. This problem has been on my mind for quite some time. When I started to teach 3rd grade, I decided to try teaching the basics of our faith on a 9 year old level. I began devoting 5-10 minutesRead More →

I am very excited about a recent innovation. Before the latest Chumash test, I sent a  letter to the parents to help them help their kids study. I got great feedback, the students felt successful when they came into the test and best yet – their scores went up – showing real learning had taken place! ************************************************************ ערב שבת,  פרשת שמות Dear Parents, This Wednesday, there will be a test on ________________________. Here are some ideas how to study for the test Test section How to study Checklist Translate phrases Review the פסוקים. Can I translate the Pesukim without the linear translation sheets?Which phrases doRead More →

School is starting in less than two weeks. When I began teaching third grade two years ago, I envisioned backpacks stuffed with crumbled up paper and homework never done. I found a third grade teacher who explained how to use a binder to teach organization and help students gain independence during homework. It has worked for the last two years, and I am excited to use the system again. Here is a write up I did the other year. **************** Goals: 1. Students will gain organizational skills 2. Students will be empowered to complete homework independently 3. Students will complete homework independently Materials needed: 1.Read More →

[purchase_link id=”480″ text=”Add to Cart” style=”button” color=”blue”] Learning to read Rashi script was a highlight for many of my students this year. We took a full body approach to learning the new font. While moving, jumping and acting, my students learned their  letters with a lot of joy. Here is the teacher’s workbook. It has some tips about how to make the more confusing letters become very recognizable. The best idea was the rashi letter simon says. Read on to find out more. Rashi Workbook Teacher Edition 2012 Here is the student workbook Rashi Workbook 2012 Happy LearningRead More →

  I was searching for some hebrew handwriting practice and came across some great hebrew language resources from the place that is most logical – Israel! Summer work – – links to Israeli websites that have kriyah resources – Resources for Israeli teachers for reading, chumash, etc. – stories for each new vowel and letter. printable – Lesson plans – Hebrew language vocabulary – Lesson plans – Look for the handwriting sheets in particular – Enrichment sheets – on science, yomim tovim, food, in hebrew  Read More →

The students learn a lot of new skills and vocabulary each perek. But what happens at the end of the perek? What do they need to remember and what can they forget? This is a process of learning that students must develop as they mature. New knowledge must be stored in the brain in an  easily accessible place. One way to help students understand the process that their  brain is doing  is to have them replicate this process physically in the classroom. After each perek, we empty the chumash section of the binder. The students discard the worksheets and staple the translation sheets together. TheyRead More →

Many chumash test questions are short answer and fill in the blank. I create grading stations in the back of the room for students to self-check their work. The reason I do this is I have found that the students take greater ownership when they are faced with their own mistakes. Some students are prone to skip questions, when they face the disappointment of grading a skipped question, they are less likely to do so in the future. The grading table is set up with answer keys and pens. Students come to the table with their test paper and that is all. I stand nearRead More →

Inner/outer reviews are a great way to review a perek of learning. The desks in my class are set up as a U. Every other student takes his chair puts it on the inside of the U. He sits with his chumash facing his neighbor facing . I set my stopwatch for 2 minutes. The outer student reads the hebrew, the inner student translates. If either of them don’t know a word, they put a light pencil dot next to the word. After two minutes, the timer beeps (or quacks in my case). I poll the class about what was the average pasuk completed. IRead More →

I hate grading papers. If you are a teacher, you probably understand. Grading papers ranks up there with folding laundry and dusting. And papers do need to be graded. So to help with the tedious work, I have been photocopying the assignments on transparencies, , writing the answers above the blank on  the transparency, and punching holes next to the answer blanks. I also punch a star in the top corner. If the paper is perfect they get the star gets colored. If the answer is correct, I color on the hole. Less thinking = less painful=less time = papers get returned.Read More →