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Learning Environment Archives - Kohelet Prize

The Kohelet Prize Database

Learning Environment

Awarded for the creation of an innovative physical learning environment that promotes academic, social, emotional or spiritual growth. To qualify, the learning environment must be in use, by students, for a minimum of six months. For 2016-2017 only – learning environment must be in use, by students, for a minimum of two months.

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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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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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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Co-teaching program

Looking at a classroom, even when empty, tells a lot about the learning environment. Are students facing the same direction to be receivers of information or are there centers and desk-clusters, meeting areas and reading books created to support students in moving through routines, working together, and supporting more independent learning. This later description is the innovative and engaging classroom that is Tovi Admon’s.

By: Mrs. Tova Admon from Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Montessorri, 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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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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Flexible Seating in The Classroom

I found that by giving students a choice they tend to take more ownership. In the classroom, I wanted them to take ownership in learning. I chose to try flexible seating in the classroom which gave students a chance to have a choice in where/ how they sit while learning. I found by giving students a choice in seating very successful and I found the focus in my classroom to rise.

By: Ms. Danielle Levin from Perelman Jewish Day School (Stern Center)

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

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

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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First Grade Flexible Seating Environment

As education shifts to chromebooks, cooperative learning, small group instruction, and personalized learning, so must the classroom furnishing and arrangement. With flexible seating, and no assigned seats, my students are free to sit, stand or lay on the floor as they learn. I have observed increased motivation and engagement as well as a higher rate of student interaction since implementing flexible seating. My first graders are doing their best work ever!

By: Ms. Cheryl Cooper from Scheck Hillel Community School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, 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

View complete entry »

Hitbodedut as a Learning Environment

This learning environment was first introduced during T'fillah, prayer, time to expose students to an additional, non-traditional way to grow spiritually and emotionally. Students spent time learning about Hitbodedut, and then practicing it on their own for 4 months.

By: Ms. Hannah Perlis from Carmel Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Tefila

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, 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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Integrated Girls High School Program

Ashira is an integrated girls' high school program providing small classes with individualized learning to girls whose primary deficiency is in the academic domain. Ashira is housed in a mainstream high school, enabling maximum socialization which is so crucial during the high school years.

By: Mrs. Bracha Cohen, Ms. Sarah Levy from Ateres Bais Yaakov

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

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

Pedagogy:

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Kindergarten Learning Environment

A classroom environment utilizing nine distinct stations. Stations provide for student exploration, and help them develop deeper connections to their learning.

By: Mrs. Devorah Locker from Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas

Grade(s): K

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

Pedagogy: Constructivist

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Knowing When to Shut Up: Suggestions for Creating Collaborative Learning Environments

This method employs a play, poem, and novel to teach a variety of skills such as close textual reading, literary analysis, persuasion, and listening and evaluation. It incorporates three different formats of writing, research, and expression of knowledge with the ultimate goal being to create a classroom experience where students help each other learn and feel responsible for the establishment of a positive learning environment. The method also allows English literature students to learn from a variety of Judaic and secular sources in and outside of the classroom.

By: Mrs. Marsha Arons from Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning

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Learning Environment – Jennifer Dolny

My presentation displays the learning environment in my classroom. This learning environment encourages student centered learning and promotes academic, social, and emotional growth.

By: Mrs. Jennifer Dolny from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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A Learning Environment that promotes academic, social, and emotional growth

The best way for students to learn optimally is for them to learn in a physical environment, which meets their diverse needs. It is vital for all children to develop the tools of Executive Functioning in order to discover their own sense of self, intrinsic motivation, self confidence, curiosity and exploration. Students who have the opportunities to develop Executive Functioning Skills are able to succeed in their learning and development, while participating in a learning environment which optimizes success.

By: Mrs. Lorna Joffe from Perelman Jewish Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

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

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

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

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Machshava Beit Midrash

Students today are busy, often overwhelmed, and increasingly stressed at school. The Machshava Beit Midrash is a learning environment where students are able to choose from a number of different philosophical and thought provoking books to learn alone or together with a chavruta. In addition, inspirational video and mindfulness training stations allow students to settle and better take control of their thoughts, creating a spiritual and meaningful atmosphere that hopefully permeates beyond the walls of the classroom.

By: Rabbi David Teller from Fuchs Mizrachi School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Tanach, Jeish Philosophy, Jewish Ethics

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

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Morah Nechama Konigsberg

In this presentation, I describe three elements that combined make my Judaic studies learning environment unique: whole group and small group learning, using the classroom environment as a tool and resource, and multi-sensory learning.

By: Mrs. Nechama Konigsberg from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): 2, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit, Tanach, Chagim - Jewish Holidays

Pedagogy: Blended Learning

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No soil in a soil-less environment – Hydroponics for the real world

A full curriculum and real-life experience growing bug free lettuce in our greenhouse. "Farm to Table" concepts presented with participation across the grades. Interdisciplinary connections will be made.

By: Mrs. Besie Katz, Mr. Stephen Bray from Politz Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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OROT Teacher

OROT provides a Jewish day school education to the diverse learner in many of Philadelphia's area Jewish day schools.

By: Mrs. Susie Wohlgelernter from OROT/Politz

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Literature/ English, Math, Science, Tanach, Chumash, Language Arts, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning

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Project-Based Learning at CHDS

As we continue to improve our middle school program, we recently elected to change our learning environment to include more Real-World Learning, based on projects that better motivate students and increase their engagement. This entry describes our accomplishments so far.

By: Dr. Bernard Franks from Cincinnati Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, Middle school

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

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

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Rookies Approach

Ivrit, differentiated instruction, centers, multisensory learning, responsive classroom

By: Mrs. Rookie Badouch from Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

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

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Schechter Westchester’s MakerSpace

Our Idea Incubator (The INC) is the first MakerSpace built in a Jewish institution in North America. It houses Schechter Westchester’s Engineering and Entrepreneurship (E2) program, in which students take advantage of an innovative, modular learning environment to develop crucial skills such as creativity, collaboration, mechanical and electrical engineering, computer programming, public speaking, confidence, and—most importantly—fearlessness.

By: Dr. Danny Aviv from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

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

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

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Talmud La-Talmid

The "Talmud La-Talmid" initiative attempts to create educational resources that are far more organized, visually appealing, independently accessible and user-friendly to students, than the traditional Talmud-book. Utilizing multiple forms of media, students are presented with a Talmud textbook to accompany their traditional Talmud in their studies and are offered resources that include a custom-made dictionary, instructional videos and note-taking guides that are all clearly organized.

In these ways, the learning environment is structured from the perspective of the student and leads him/her to a clear approach to the Talmud.

By: Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz from Ramaz Upper School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended 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

View complete entry »

Turn Tube

This is a tool I invented to maximize student work time and teacher conferencing. The teacher can work one on one with a child easily while other kids are engaged in their work. Every year, the children ask what this is and love using it!

By: Ms. Amy Kohen from Schechter Westchester

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

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

Pedagogy:

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Whole Brain Teaching

Whole Brain teaching is an approach that is designed to teach the way the brain is really created to learn while maximizing student involvement. It is a flexible method that can be adapted by any teacher to their own teaching methods.

By: Mrs. Chaya Berelowitz from Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

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

Pedagogy: Whole Brain Teaching

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Whole Brain Teaching for Judaic Studies

Whole brain teaching is a method of instruction that combines fun gestures and rhymes with short chunks of information that are immediately re-teachable. I have worked to integrate WBT into Hebrew studies in Chumash, Dikduk and Mishna with tangible results that can be replicated in any class. This method has infused the classroom environment with energy, zest and memorable moments!

By: Rabbi Uri Kestenbaum from Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

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

Pedagogy: Wholebrain Teaching

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Yochi Paltin’s Ivrit B’Ivrit Hebrew Immersion Program

I have created a positive, thriving, dynamic, ever-changing learning environment for the students in my Upper Elementary Hebrew Language Program (Ivrit B’Ivrit) at Perelman Jewish Day School. Children are encouraged to take risks to converse exclusively in Hebrew. As this is a total immersion program, Hebrew eventually becomes an everyday spoken language—as natural to the students as the English language.

By: Mrs. Yochi Paltin from Perelman Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit, Hebrew Immersion

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

View complete entry »