This year, Baruch HaShem, I’ve been super busy teaching and learning with my class – but not updating the blog so I’d like to invite all my blog readers into my class. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful co teacher who makes the classroom so inviting. Much of the homey atmosphere is from her hard work Since it is December, I unfortunately don’t have the welcoming door decor that greeted the students for the first few months View from the front of the room   Side of the room Word Wall – This year yellow is שרשים, orange is Level 1 words andRead More →

I am teaching Pirkei Avos to a 3/4 mix of girls while the 3/4 boys learn Yuma. Thursdays is a double period with lunch in between. First two lesson: Intro: Think of different people in your life. Grandparents, teacher, come up with things they say. Draw a picture and put in speech bubble what they are saying in bubble. Draw someone famous – what is in their speech bubble? Explain connection to Pirkei Avos. Why write Pirkei Avos? Who are the Avos? Where do we learn about our 3 Avos? Why are those stories in Torah? What are Pirkei Avos? What does words mean? WhoRead More →

Well, tomorrow is the first day of school. The class room is all set up with a new tefillah bulletin board. I can’t imagine I’ll have a ton of time to post but in brief  – this year I’ll be teaching Pirkei Avos to a 3/4 Girls mix in addition to regular learning. Tomorrow’s lesson plan is . . . Drum roll please Welcome! Students fill “All About Me” בקר טוב Routine (on desk siddur and pencil ready for tefilla lesson) תפילה – outloud with chazzan per tefilla Putting away Supplies Practice getting into group tables from U חומש – With group come up with events,Read More →

  My Last Class for the Introduction to Independent Learning.  It was an awesome experience. Thank you to all who participated!   Reflections on teaching the class   Online Resources for the Unit   Pronouns   Game for reviewing pronouns Nouns   Verbs   Using cantillation (trop) to break up the pesukim and translation     Analyzing the theme of the pesukimRead More →

Today, I finished my 8th class in Introduction to Independent Torah Learning that was a blended learning course with both a live and online component.  Here are some of my reflections about my first go at this kind of course design. Background:  Separating the gap between the Can’s and the Cannot’s in Torah Learning I began teaching Chumash in 2001. Every year, there were two kinds of students in a class – those who could translate pesukim independently and those who could not. The more I taught, the more these distinctions became clear. I began to wonder how to give students who could not translate independentlyRead More →

Here is Part 2 of Introduction to Independent Torah Learning.  If you would like to view all the resources available with this course – please email me. Part 1: the building blocks of the Chumash text: Nouns! Verbs!  – This video will be posted for a limited time. The free version will be posted soon instead Practicing it with the text! Analyzing the Pesukim  Read More →

Have you wanted to learn how to learn Chumash but never had a chance to learn how.  I am offering a course online doing just that.  Here are the videos. Email me if you want to be registered for the class with all the resources. Class 1 Part 1:   What are the 5 books of the Torah? How do I find my place in the text? What are legitimate ways of interpreting the Chumash? Class 1 Part 2: The First 2000 years: From Adam to Avram  Read More →

Today was a great day – Chumash: how far we have come this year. In the beginning of the year, the students needed me to get them to learn new information. Now they are learning study skills. First, I had the students cover the English in their linear for pesukim כה-ל, read it and underline any words they didn’t know. Then we identified the עבר,הווה,עתיד and the שם גוף (pronoun) for all the verbs in pesukim לא-לה. We started to learn the pesukim but quickly got sidetracked by some very interesting discussions of the pesukim and Lavan and whether yaakov and Rochel had spoken lashonRead More →

Here are some of the things we did today: Tefillah: for the new tefillah, one student was the chazzan. He read each phrase, stopping at the comma or the period, then the class repeated it after him. This method really helps with fluency for each new tefilla. Improve fluency, and have students assume responsibility for tefillah Chumash: פרק לא: כה-ל   First, the  students filled out the Shorashim and Pronoun column for new pesukim in their linear translation. Goal: word attack skills, pre teaching knowledge that will stop comprehension the 1st time. Vayitzei Perek 31b Linear Then we read the pesukim כד & כה whereRead More →

Tefillah – Today, we started saying the first הללוי-ה in Davening. Whenever we learn a new tefilla, we have the same system. For the first few days, I say each phrase in the tefilla, stopping at the commas and periods. Then, the class repeats after me.  For the next two weeks after, each student gets to lead by reading the tefilla in phrases with the class repeating after them. This method really helps with fluency and gives them confidence and pride in their reading. During Chumash it was Test day! We had our test, and then set up the classroom for the second half ofRead More →

Baruch Hashem, school started at 10. As it was, the kids all staggered in with their post 3-day Yom Tov hangovers. Some had stayed up all night on Motzei Shabbos, all had stayed up for the meals that began at 10. Having school start a little late meant that everyone showed up to school and functioned better than they otherwise would have. With only one hour of class time, I focused on reviewing half the perek for the test on Wednesday. I gave students a strip of paper and had them cover up the English in their linear. I told them to underline any wordRead More →

Chumash – finished through pasuk 25. At recess, there was some playground politics about including the younger kids. I asked for input from students who have a rule in their house that they must include their younger siblings how they can do so without fighting. Here were their suggestions: After recess, we started learning parsha. Each student got an information sheet about all the shevatim, Shevatim Info and one flag of a shevet to color. Shevatim Flags They also got slips of paper and had to make one stick figure per 5,000 men in their shevet. After we all finished, we went to the backRead More →

Tefilla – רצון יראיו יעשה – I asked if they would rather be the pawn or the king on the chess board – we have a choice which we will be based on how much we do of Hashem’s will, The more we listen to Hashem’s will, the more important we are in Hashem’s plan. Also check out Rav Hirschs explanation of the two goats on yom kippur Clean up time – guests were coming and so the kids straightened up a bit. Chumash / just the highlights – יח-כא I drew shorashim as pictures ג זז= two letters crossed to make a airRead More →