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The Gesher students (grades 4-5) recently finished an informational writing unit called “Bringing History to Life.” The students began by reading about a historical topic that interested them, then learned how to take notes and understand text structures. The students used books, websites, and images to help them add new understandings to their background knowledge of their selected topic. They later learned about the structure of an informational writing piece and turned their notes into detailed paragraphs about their chosen topics in their own words. This writing turned into the first two chapters of books they started writing. The third chapter had the students use their knowledge from the previous narrative unit to write a micro-story. In this narrative, the students placed themselves in the shoes of someone from the time period they researched and told a historically accurate story from their perspective. In the end, the students learned about the structure of a five-paragraph essay and wrote an essay about an opinion they had about their topic.
The students celebrated their writing by having a book tasting celebration at their very own "Gesher Cafe." The students had the chance to "taste" each other's books and leave compliments for the "chefs." The students also practiced public speaking by presenting a short Google Slide presentation to the class teaching about the topic they wrote their books about.
In Spanish 3, students are reading about three famous Latinas both past and present: Eva Peron, former first lady of Argentina who fought for women’s rights and helped secure their right to vote; Frida Kahlo, the artist who promoted indigenous culture of Mexico through her art and fought to be recognized as an artist of her own merit (not just the wife of renowned muralist Diego Rivera); and Shakira, who is famous worldwide as a performing artist and who is also a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and created a foundation focused on helping children displaced by violence in Colombia.
As part of a cultural and multi-age collaboration between Spanish and P.E. classes, the Bogrim students taught the K-1 students of Parparim and Tsiporim a dance to Shakira’s song “Waka Waka,” which became the official 2010 World Cup song. Our younger and oldest Schechter students had a blast! This beautiful multiage Spanish/P.E. partnership demonstrates how students can deepen their understanding when engaging in hands-on teaching and learning using movement and having fun.
When Habonim math students (grades 6-7) learn about the irrational number pi, they go all out! On March 14th (aka 3.14) they celebrated pi day in the classroom, through games, and, of course, with food. Students learned that the value of pi describes the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference. They played a game requiring them to calculate the area, radius, and circumference of circles using an approximation of pi. They challenged the Gesher students (grades 4-5) to a pi digit memorization contest, standing up in front of their peers and reciting as many digits as possible. Kol Hakavod to Gesher and specifically the top memorizer, Micah, who recited 74 digits! And finally, no pi day is complete without…pie!
Rimonim class (grades 2-3) have been learning about their latest hero, the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. They learned about his life before the mission, then turned their focus to the space mission and what life is like in a spaceship. Ramon brought with him 10 items that represent his life, his family, Israel and the Jewish people. The students reflected about which items they would take with them to space and interviewed some of the faculty and staff members to get their perspectives as well. Finally, students designed and built their own spaceships using their favorite materials: recycled and repurposed items from the MakerSpace Room.