The Kohelet Prize Database

Grade: Twelfth

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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:

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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:

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »

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

View complete entry »