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Ninth - Kohelet Prize

The Kohelet Prize Database

Grade: Ninth

Maimonides Better Together

Maimonides Better Together students & seniors share & grow together; students actualize their study & seniors share their life experiences.

We integrate timely and relevant Jewish Respect for elderly, Torah values in classroom lessons, before meeting & hands-on activities with seniors.

By: Rabbi Yossi Rubin from Maimonides Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Music, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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Using Spanish (or any language) to Navigate the World

Given that it is an election year and we recently lost Shimon Peres, I demonstrate how teachers can use world events to increase student awareness while building their skills in the target language. Spanish is particularly relevant right now given the Spanish speaking population in the US and a key issue in the elections; immigration.

By: Mrs. Susan Schwartz from Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Spanish, Foreign Language

Pedagogy: Language Immersion

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The Cyber Path to Critical and Creative Thinking

This is a revolutionary approach which incorporates innovative technology to engage students in using higher order thinking in Jewish texts. Using the platform of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, students are guided to create their own content as a means of presenting their understanding of the texts. This approach is also being used by secular studies teachers in our school.

By: Rabbi Yehuda Schwartzberg from Stars of Israel Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Rabbi

I have developed special materials and a methodology to teach students how to accurately translate a Chumash regardless of their abilities. The system allows for the ability to teach and track multiple grade levels simultaneously without hampering the student’s natural progression. Each student can maximize his/her growth. Students are much more engaged since the material is neither overly challenging or excessively simple. The work load fits like a glove. On one hand, I have students in sixth grade translating independently, probably on a High School level. On the other extreme , I have students who would probably fall through the cracks in a conventional system moving forward at a slow but acceptable pace. It does wonders for behavior issues since academic frustration is one of the leading causes of behavioral issues. It took years to develop.

By: Rabbi Chaim Gourdji from Torah Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy: Independent Learning

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Torah N Technology- Mishna PowerPoint

The TNT Program (Torah ‘n Technology) at Maimonides integrates curriculum studies and enrichment programs with technology, following our school motto: “A Beautiful Blend, Torah and Worldly Experience.” This program helps students find relevant and creative expression to their learning, as well as instruction in important technology skills.

The Mishna/Talmud PowerPoint program empowers students to creatively visualize the content and Mishnaic language, transforming basic words, letters, and text into an exciting multi-media format.

By: Rabbi Shmuly Rubin from Maimonides Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Graphic Design

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Personalized Talmud Learning

The model of Talmud instruction in Jewish Day schools has remained mostly intact for decades. The trends suggest that a higher percentage of middle school students are graduating with weak Talmud skills, and a lack of understanding of the purpose of Talmud and appreciation for its role in Jewish life. This has led many schools to even consider abandoning Talmud in middle school curriculum. Our innovative approach to Talmud uses a data-driven model to create personalized learning pathways that students progress through based on proficiency and mastery in eight specific domains that provide a comprehensive understanding of Talmud - including content, vocabulary, functional structures, and real-life application.

By: Rabbi Yoni Fein from The Moriah School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills, Personalized Learning

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Navi News-Bringing Navi to Life

A three-part program to teach Navi that includes differentiated instruction, collaborative learning, higher level thinking, multi-media presentations and a battle reenactment complete with "swords."

By: Rabbi Eliezer Kessler from Yeshiva Torat Emet

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy: Collaborative Learning

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MULTI-LEVELED DIFFERENTIATION

This is a revolutionary system that uses technology to differentiate learning based on multiple cognitive learning factors that affect the learning process. Each student is catered to according his or her unique circumstances and abilities.

By: Rabbi Yehuda Schwartzberg from Stars of Israel Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Judaic Differentiation

I have created a system of differentiation where students can learn, practice and demonstrate Chumash (Bible) skills at their levels. Upon mastery, students create videos, where they apply acquired skills to unfamiliar text, to be virtual teachers for other students. The compilation of these videos gets posted to a website to populate a student-created Khan Academy for Judaic skills.

By: Rabbi Shmuel Chait, Mrs. Miriam Chait from TDS Seattle

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, Montessorri, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Heivanti

Using a Blended Learning model, Heivanti is designed to strengthen the irreplaceable power of live teacher-to-student engagement while introducing unparalleled levels of differentiation and unmatched one-on-one attention to traditional upper school Judaic Studies.

By: Rabbi Zecharia Weitz from Columbus Torah Academy

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Fostering Metacognition as Differentiation: Keeping Student Portfolios

For the past five years, I have taught at a cloud-based school in which I have built a digital portfolio-driven course for 9th and 10th grade English. This course is premised on periodic self-assessments and benchmarks of portfolio "publishing" at the quarter and semester points. The attached document details the moments of self-assessment, the uses of self-assessment in the school calendar, the uses of self-assessment as a means for formative and summative assessment, and the development of metacognition in each student through the personalized differentiation of goals, challenges, and successes as readers, writers, and students. While used in high school English, this model for cloud-based portfolio keeping works on any level of student production and teacher assessment--from Elementary through High School, and for
any discipline, too.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder from SAR High School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Literature/ English, any discipline

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Flipped Instruction

Differentiated instruction is crucial in education, because every student should be given the opportunity to maximize his/her potential. Integrating flipped instruction in my Chumash classes has helped me reach this goal. I prepare videos for my students to watch at home, and we then use class time to process and analyze the material.

By: Mrs. Zehava Greenwald from Bruriah Junior High

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Montessorri, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Flipped & Blended Math Program

Effective application of an technologically integrated and differentiated math program that applies concepts of flipped and blended pedagogy. The math program in grade 8 is delivered in such a way that all students can engage and develop math skills at their level.

By: Mr. Blake Enzel from Bialik Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Math

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning

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Enrichment@Maayanot

To meet the educational needs of our strongest students, who are not fully sufficiently challenged by the Honors classroom we instituted an enrichment program. Each student chooses two projects (bekiut and b'iyun) to work on over the course of the year. The handful of students participating across the grades, through specially geared programming form a peer community of motivated achievers who push each other to discover and reach their full potential.

By: Rabbi Donny Besser, Mrs. Rivka Kahan from Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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Differentiation and Newsela.com: A Match Made in Heaven

My entry discusses the need for every teacher and Learning Specialist to use this website in their classrooms or Learning Centers. It can be used for differentiation among students from third grade, all the way through high school.

By: Mrs. Meryl Recinos from Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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Chumash Skills

Worksheets for students to work on different Chumash skills at their own pace. Each sheet has 6 skills to work on and a self-rating at the end. Some of the skills are worked on individually, some with one other student.

By: Ms. Esther Honig from Kohelet Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design

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Chopped (pronounced “חפט“)

Inspired by the hit cooking show “Chopped” teams of Hilchot Brachot students used mystery ingredients to create their own recipes. While the members of a team had to work with the same mystery ingredients, each team member was responsible for developing a unique recipe for their specific bracha. Final recipes were put together into a class cookbook. Who has lots left to learn and who. has. chopped?

By: Mrs. Shira Greenspan from Ramaz Upper School

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Math, Science, Cooking, Health, Writing

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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A Therapeutic Partnership

The Therapeutic Partnership supports students who require therapeutic education services in their effort to reintegrate into a mainstream Jewish school. Each student's individualized Therapeutic Education Plan (T.E.P.)--the fruit of the therapeutic team and the central expression of the Partnership--establishes goals that create opportunities for his or her social-emotional, academic, and Jewish success, supporting academic and social reintegration.

By: Rabbi David Rosenberg from JCFS Therapeutic Yeshiva

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Therapeutic Team

Pedagogy: Theraputic Team

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בכל דור ודור – B’chol Dor Va’dor

“B’chol Dor Va’dor” is an independent anchor activity for accelerated Tanakh students that encourages meaningful inter-textual exploration of Tanakh requiring creativity and reflection. Students identified underlying themes of Pessach by analyzing eighteen events in Tanakh that took place on the dates of Pessach. Their work culminated in the creation of their own Seder Symbols which were then used at their family sedarim to help enhance the experience of these themes on Pessach.

By: Mrs. Shira Greenspan from Ramaz Upper School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Montessorri, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Yeshivat Noam: Connecting the Past to the Present and Making it Relevant to Middle School Students Using the Arts and Technology

Our unit of study explores the Immigrant Experience of 1880-1924 and the Holocaust to guide students to connect to the past which will broaden the students' understanding of his/her role in the present and his/her place in the future. Through the lens of individuals (Holocaust Survivors and New-Immigrants), students will be able to connect, appreciate, and apply key moments in history.

By: Rabbi Jeremy Hellman, Mrs. Rebecca Lopkin from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, History, Literature/ English, Theater, Drama

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Tanach Circles

After introducing my English students to literature circles with great success, I decided that I wanted to use that model to create "Tanach circles." In Tanach circles, students choose a sefer of Nach that they would like to learn, and then they learn the sefer independently, and meet four or five times per semester to have a sort of "book club," in which they each must prepare a submission about the material and engage in a discussion around the material that they learned. At the end of the year, student groups have a collective siyum celebrating their learning, and sharing with the other groups an introduction to their chosen sefer as well as some of their favorite points that emerged in their discussions.

By: Mrs. Norma Mintz from Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Literature/ English, Tanach

Pedagogy:

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STEAM Initiative

The Ma’ayanot STEAM initiative orchestrates a learning environment which fosters creativity and reasoning, compelling students to evaluate, ideate, prototype, test, and iterate . Our philosophy is one of Constructionism which shares constructivism’s connotation of learning as ‘building knowledge structures’ and adds the idea that this happens most pronounced in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing an entity. Students are forced to engage dynamically with their creations in order to prevail in the fruition of their design.

By: Mrs. Orly Nadler, Mrs. Gila Stein, Mrs. Reyce Krause from Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Math, Science

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Pirkei Avot to Pop Song

Mishnah was made to be sung. Well, if not sung then certainly repeated (coming from the root shanah). How better to get our students to repeat -- and through repetition, remember -- the mishnayot of Pirkei Avot than by singing them? How better to get our students to sing sections of Pirkei Avot than by having them write and record their own songs?!

By: Mr. Aviv Matzkin from Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit, Mishnah, Music

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Olivia’s Creative Compilations – Jewish Texts Come to Life!

Whether it is marrying off two characters from "Once Upon a Time" in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony, designing ad campaigns around Nezirut or creating Ten Plagues theme parks using Minecraft, my students have done it all. My mandate as a teacher is to enable students to access content in a rich, creative way that showcases their unique, creative thinking and knowledge on the topics.

By: Mrs. Olivia Friedman from Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Literature/ English, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Moot Beit Din

As a summative capstone to my student’s learning of the Jewish applied science of Torah, I decided to create a Moot Beit Din project in the eighth grade, in which student would learn about current controversial issues and make a judgement based on sources. They would research halachah, science and other relevant information, then debate their topic and the other students would form the court, passing judgement and justifying their decision based on the information presented.

By: Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz from Gross Schechter Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Science, social studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Immigration Fair

I teach the same students 4th grade Texas History and then 5th grade US History the following year. We put on an Immigration Fair for 2-5th grades using what we learned about Immigration into both Galveston and Ellis Island.

By: Mrs. Cathryn Mellon from Beth Yeshurun Day School

Grade(s): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Literature/ English, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Developing Critical Thinking in a High School Statistics Class

Our submission, “Developing Critical Thinking in a High School Statistics Class,” aims to teach students the necessary tools and help them develop the perspective to critically analyze and evaluate numerical and statistical information. Teaching critical reading and critical thinking and creating opportunities for students to practice and develop these skills are key components of the unit. There are many possibilities for interdisciplinary integration and multi-level adaptations.

By: Ms. Alicia Sussman, Dr. Lea Keil Garson from Kohelet Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Critical Thinking in a Bible Studies Class

This entry highlights five different techniques that are used to design a class while focusing on critical and higher order thinking skills.

By: Mrs. Elana Katz from Columbus Torah Academy

Grade(s): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy:

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American Values in American Texts

Students learned the concept of a value and discussed different American values that exist in society. In groups they extracted various values from certain American texts (such as "The Gettysburg Address") and then connected the values they discerned from the text to values they could infer in a short piece of American fiction. The students had to then devise a lesson plan to teach the short piece of fiction and the value to a high school class. My students presented their work to the class and also wrote individual reflective papers about the entire learning experience.

By: Ms. Lauren Burstein from Torah Academy of Bergen County

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Literature/ English

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Alternative Energy Exploration Unit

This integrated writing and science unit focuses on energy, and asks the driving question “How and why should we use energy wisely?” Students investigate what energy is, where it comes from, and how we use it. They conduct research on sustainable fuels, write persuasive essays advocating for the use of a particular source of energy, design billboard advertisements for their chosen energy source, and participate in a debate judged by industry experts on different forms of sustainable energy. Finally, students design and create their own tikkun olam service-learning projects to make a positive difference in our community’s use of energy.

By: Ms. Rebecca Sheinbaum from Denver Jewish Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Literature/ English, Mishnah, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Tanakh Skills Lab

Differentiated instruction suffers from a lack of concrete expression in the high school Judaic Studies classroom. This entry describes an experiment I started in September to create an opportunity for differentiated learning for my Tanakh students at the Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School. I dedicated one class a week to a skills lab and gave students an opportunity to work independently on a Tanakh skills project of their choice. Accompanying documents and links are numbered in order of suggested viewing.

By: Ms. Adina Blaustein from Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School11

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Tanach

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Risk-Taking and Failure: A Greenhouse for Learning

A cautionary tale of the lure of innovative educational opportunities that not only engage and inspire, but also exemplify our Jewish values and how to best integrate into existing school culture to ensure acceptance and longevity. Our effort led to the near loss of a signature program. The risk was well worth it, the failure a challenge, and the ensuing lessons, invaluable for the program and our school.

By: Allison Oakes from Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Science, Environmental Curriculum (integrated into general and Jewish Studies and Hebrew), Environmental Curriculum

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Magazine of Mishaps: Swimming with Sharks

As a creative extension of their invention/innovation research papers, I challenged my students to create their own inventions and present them in a forum like the TV Show, Shark Tank. I didn't think through all the details, and the project didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. As a result, I learned some important lessons.

By: Mrs. Sari Kopitnikoff from Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Literature/ English

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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iPad English Classroom Trial: Challenges, Successes, Discoveries, and Failures

Over the academic year of 2014-5, I embraced the introduction of iPads across the entire SAR High School freshman class by taking certain risks and often failing at integrating the iPad into my already digital curriculum. A record of my efforts were recorded on a public blog that I used as both a record of my “trial run” and a platform for networking with other iPad educators via social media. In my year-long blog, I shared questions, answers, successes, challenges, and yes, even failures regarding the first-year introduction of iPads into my already paperless English classroom. My blog record shows that while I failed at fully integrating the iPad as a media device, and while I failed at fully aligning iPad apps with my already digital curriculum, I succeeded at researching, recognizing, and even demonstrating the iPad’s strengths and challenges in my English classroom.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder from SAR High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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In Defense of Learning Lishmah

Jewish educators often approach their subjects with the same modalities and grading system that are common in General Studies classes. Rather than continue with this approach, Shalhevet attempted to design two Judaic courses that would devalue letter grades and promote more authentic and deeper student learning. We were willing to take a calculated risk and we failed. While our initial pilot missed the mark, the effort has promoted some benefits and has jumpstarted further innovation in our approach to Judaic instruction.

By: Mr. Jason Feld, Mr. Noam Weissman from Shalhevet High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Music, Tanach, Jewish Philosophy, Israel Education

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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What is PV? A PBL Odyssey

What is PV? Learn all about it in this six-minute video made by the 6th graders at Lander~Grinspoon Academy. This video is the culmination of a year long Project Based Learning experience on solar power. It was produced utilizing community media at Northampton Community Television.

By: Ms. Rebecca Lederman from Lander~Grinspoon Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Math, Science, STEAM, Technology, Engineering

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Torah iTextbook Project

The Torah textbook project is a Torah SheBaal Peh curriculum with an emphasis on relating Torah texts (Pesukim, Mishna, Gemara and Halacha) to real world scenarios and situations. Each unit or "sugya" begins with a trigger film or series of articles that promote thinking about topics that are relevant to the lives of students. In addition to the relevance the curriculum includes skill building components which promote self-efficacy in both reading and understanding the logical flow of gemara.

Please note that this curriculum is written for either an iBook (iPad, iMac or iPhone) or online format. The sample below is a .pdf version which is limited to graphics and text.

By: Rabbi Mordechai Smolarcik from Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Mishnah

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Campaign for a Cause

Working in collaborative teams, the 8th graders run a grade-wide campaign to encourage their peers to vote for their "candidate" (AKA a charitable organization) as the class cause. Through interviews, web-based research and site visits, students develop understandings about their organization in order to create a complete marketing strategy and compose persuasive speeches. Starting with class primaries, continuing with town halls, and eventually by conducting a grade-wide convention, students develop their verbal, written, and graphic communication skills, all while raising awareness about important issues such as homelessness or the refugee crisis.

By: Mrs. Lauren Sterling from Hillel Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, History, Literature/ English

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Bamidbar Values Letter

In what may have been the most rewarding experience of my career, students chose three values learned from Sefer Bamidbar and wrote letters of gratitude to their parents for already helping them learn these values throughout their lives. Simultaneously, parents wrote value letters to their daughters. Parents and daughters exchanged letters on the same day in what ended up being a meaningful and emotional expression of what we hold dearest.

By: Mrs. Shira Greenspan from Ramaz Upper School

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Authentic Service Learning through the Mitzvah Program at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

The mitzvah program at the Martin J.Gottlieb Day School was first introduced as an integral part of the middle school curriculum 22 years ago. The concept was based on the idea that after students studied Tanach, Jewish laws and customs, they were more likely to understand and accept the mitzvot if given the opportunity to put them into practice. It was also believed that students who became part of their community at large with service projects would grow to understand both their responsibility to the community and their ability to make a difference even at the young age of 11.

By: Mrs. Edith Horovitz from Martin J Gottlieb Day School

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Jewish Customs and traditions, Dinim U'Minhagim

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Where the heart feels at home – מקום שלבו חפץ

The Netivot Upper Elementary learning environment is warm, inviting, stimulating, and vibrant like no other. Our classroom setting incorporates collective responsibility, independence, freedom of movement, freedom of choice and peer learning, and utilizes multiple modalities of instruction. This ground-breaking classroom promotes growth in all areas, academic, social, emotional, and spiritual, embodying the adage: אין אדם לומד אלא במקום שלבו חפץ.

By: Mr. Dovi Yarmush, Rav Darren Levin, Mrs. Daniella Barishansky, Mrs. Shannon Tuorto from Yeshivat Netivot Montessori

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

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The de Toledo High School Media Lab

The Amnon and Ronit Band Media Lab at de Toledo High School is an innovative learning environment which promotes academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Over the last 12 years, the lab has evolved from a basic computer lab to a flexible and creative space designed to serve the varied educational needs of students and teachers in the media arts including: video production, animation, photography, graphic design, and computer science as well as serving the broader school community for instructional support, school and professional development.

By: Mr. Roger Blonder from de Toledo High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach, All academic subjects can be served by the media lab through interdisciplinary programs and projects.

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Conscious Learning Environment

This video project is an in-house collaboration of the ideas and talents of six Lamplighters teachers. Each vignette features a different key element of what we call "the conscious learning environment." When teachers are conscious of the unique needs of each of the learners within a space and are willing to allow adaptability of infrastructure, furniture, objects and interactions--the environment becomes as living as the people who live and learn within its walls. NOTE: Please view the FULL project using the LINK below. (YouTube videos and .pdf are only a backup)

By: Mr. Moshe Schack, Rabbi Gershon Riesenberg, Miss Hinda Dalfin, Miss Gavi Goldberg, Mrs. Chana Gorin, Mrs. Ilana Spencer from Lamplighters Yeshivah

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Learning Environment

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Montessorri, Universal Design for Learning

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Technology… Innovation and Integration featuring the Startup Incubator

The Adelson Educational Campus has constructed a 5000 square feet, state-of-the-art, invention and entrepreneurial workshop: the Startup Incubator. In this space, teachers and mentors work collaboratively with students to employ the design cycle in identifying and tackling real-world challenges, prototyping a wide range of products via coding, digital media, and 3D fabrication. This innovative, interdisciplinary learning environment, paired with school wide one-to-world device deployment and extensive technology professional development, is providing our community a relevant and progressive “Education for Life.”

By: Dr. Camille McCue, Mr. Leon Wilde, Mrs. Robin Pence, Dr. Yvonne Houy, Miss Rachel Ziter, Mr. Tobin Herringshaw, Mr. David Philippus from The Adelson Educational Campus

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Math, Science, Tanach, STEAM, Technology, Engineering

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Innovative Learning in a Flexible Space

Our new innovation studio houses iPad Pros, Chromebooks, a green screen and a 3D printer. We offer flexible seating to accommodate a variety of educational needs, as well as a movable wall so our space can expand as needed.

By: Ms. Deborah Harris, Mrs. Marci Rubinstein from Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach, Design Thinking

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Class Norms and Procedures

This is the foundation of our classroom culture. It outlines the norms and procedures that serve as the framework for the learning that takes place in our class. It is a system that is easily customized to serve the needs of any classroom.

By: Rabbi Elazar Bloom from Brauser Maimonides Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Classroom Management

Pedagogy: Based on the work of Harry K. Wong

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Building a Listening Room, Maturing Student Prayer: Creating Intentional Religious Environments and Practices in the Traditional Jewish Day School

In my work on Tefila, I have thought about, proposed, and worked on various ideas and projects related to increasing student engagement in Tefila. In the particular capacity of a facilitator of an alternatively structured tefila, I have built a tefila space that both quiets and focuses students around conventional tefila practice through deliberate practices of mindfulness meditation built into the tefila--before, and during the prayers themselves--while still maintaining the full ritualized practice of Orthodox prayer. My theory, which has played out for the past four years and for over 100 students, is that a stilled body allows for a focused mind, and a quieted, focused mind allows for optimal tefila experiences. Setting students up for success, in other words, has everything to do with setting up tefila properly so that it might be a strengthening, cathartic, and transformative experience.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder from SAR High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Tefila

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, Soulful Education, Contemplative Education

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Area 251

Our program provides a constructivist based pedagogy that facilitates real world, solution-based, student outcomes. The makerspace provides for a hands-on learning environment that uniquely inspires creativity, invites curiosity and celebrates individual solutions.

By: Mrs. Robyn Brewer from The Jewish Educational Center RTMA

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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A Little Google with a Jewish Twist

Our school has been transformed to replace traditional classrooms with opportunities for project-based learning that emphasizes 21st-century skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The physical design facilitates these educational goals, and impacts student-centered learning in increased motivation and achievement. It has put Hillel at the forefront of the paradigm shift in education, wherein student-driven inquiry develops tomorrow's problem-solvers, and gives children the skills they need to inherit their world, and not the factory-model, outmoded 20th-century model of education that no longer aligns with the skills students need in an ever-changing global world, and does so, most importantly, through the context of a Jewish education, which gives them the moral and ethical, values-based foundation they need to navigate a complex world.

By: Mrs. Joan Freedman from Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Torah Times, Creative Torah Journalism

"The Torah Times" presents Torah events as "Breaking news" Happening right now! All the text and presentation are developed by Maimonides students, blending Torah knowledge with creativity, humor, writing, and graphic design.

Highly creative, The Torah Times engages students to find the soul /essential messages of the Torah that connects to life & current events today. Protagonists such as Abraham/Lot, Moses/Pharoh, or Aaron/Korach shed their ancient robes and venues to address current issues; Midrash/commentaries become our news outlets with the inside scoop. This personifies Rashi's Translation of the Shma: "Hayom Al Levaech" -not as an old chronicle, but as actual, new, and current.

By: Rabbi Israel Rubin, Rabbi Michael Caras from Maimonides Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Gemara, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach, Creative Writing

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Gift of Mincha: Drawing From the Text, Building a Siddur

This course addresses the driving question: “How might we improve our school's daily mincha experience through creating an originally drawn, translated, and annotated school siddur?” In this project-driven, team-taught, and inter-disciplinary senior Art/Judaics course, students respond to a very familiar text--the mincha siddur--through contemplative, artistic, and written avenues. Through studying the text in both a critical and soulful manner, and by creating and crafting their own translations, illuminations, commentaries, and illustrations, students are in the process of jointly building a siddur that will be used as the school community's daily mincha text.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder, Mr. David Friedman, Mr. David Wander from SAR High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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עץ חיים היא – The Shtender Project

Cultivating positive associations with Tefillah in our time is a formidable challenge that every day school faces. A response to this universal issue, our Shtender Project fostered an excitement for Tefillah and an opportunity to personalize one's Tefillah experience while building confidence and pride through hard work. While so much of our shcolastic lives are spent fulfilling cognitive goals, this project honed the psychomotor skills of the students, in addition to stimulating the mind, heart and soul. It was a memorable project, and it left each student with something that they can hold onto for years to come.

By: Rabbi Darren Levin, Mr. Dovi Yarmush from Yeshivat Netivot

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Math, Tanach, Tefillah, Crafts, "Construction"

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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Dreaming with Yaakov to Search for Meaning

Dreaming with Yaakov takes learners on a journey through bibliodrama, geography, social studies, journal writing, archaeology, and art history, visual art, Tanach and Rabbinics, in order to explore what the story of Yaakov has meant to readers over the ages. The ultimate goal of which is to prepare students to see themselves as participants in the Jewish tradition of meaning making.

By: Mr. Eran Rosenberg, Ms. Susan Couden from Columbus Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Tanach, Midrash, Social Studies

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Transcendentalism

Integrated Creative Judaics (ICJ) was a new initiative for interdisciplinary education at de Toledo High School in West Hills, CA. During the 2014-2015 school year, a Media Arts 2 class was paired with a dedicated Judaic Studies class for the entire year. During the second semester, the Media Arts/Judaic Studies joint class entered into a multi-week collaboration with an Honors English 11 class to explore themes of transcendentalism through the lens of the Hebrew prophets and bring learning to life through the Media Arts.

By: Mr. Roger Blonder, Mr. Devin Villarreal, Mr. Tony Soltis from de Toledo High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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