The Kohelet Prize Database

Pedagogy: Language Immersion

Israel Hebrew Curriculum

For millennia Jews did little to return home. After its creation, Israel became central to Jewish Schools; yet, most lack an Israel Curriculum. Striving to create pride in Medinat Yisrael and a sense of Jewish Identity in its accomplishments, our interdisciplinary grade 6-9 curriculum teaches the creation and evolution of the State in Hebrew including the songs of the Aliyot and the wars.

By: Dr. Shimshon Hamerman from JPPS Bialik

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

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit

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

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JLab- the Jewish Learning and Skill Building Center

At Derech HaTorah we have taken the next step to provide extra support for children struggling in Judaic studies by creating a program called JLab- the Jewish Learning and Skill Building Center. JLab is an official Judaic Title I-like support service. The goal of this program is to assist students in building core skills, such as קריאה and כתיבה.

By: Rabbi Dov Chastain and Rabbi Adam Aranov from Derech HaTorah

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, Language Immersion

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Maimonides Integrated Connections

Three interconnected gears with the letters M.I.C. representing Maimonides Integrated Connections. This encourages students and teachers to find cross-curricular connections, bridging various subjects and disciplines, and integrating classroom learning with real life experiences.

By: Rabbi Mendel Rubin 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: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature, Math, Mishnah, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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The Shlenker BackYard: A Gateway to Experiential Learning

The Shlenker School’s nature reserve “The BackYard” is situated on a 1.5 acre wooded area directly behind the school. This outdoor classroom is utilized for core academic and Judaic learning experiences. Students learn about environmental ethics and are taught the Jewish value of Ba’al tashchit—not destroying or wasting resources in nature.

By: Joe Blanton from The Shlenker School

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

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design

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Integrated/Environmentally Conscious Tashlich Unit

This interdisciplinary unit on water and tashlich integrates Judaic studies, physical science, ecology, and Language Arts through text analysis and critical thinking exercises. Fourth grade students connect Judaism and general studies through Torah, mitzvot, scientific method, creative thinking, and problem solving.

By: Joe Blanton, Lorna Boughton, Rachel Hall from The Shlenker School

Grade(s): 4, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design

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Earth Science

Working backwards from the physical and topographical design of Israel, the connection between Israel, Earth Science and Halacha, and the consideration of our (Fuchs Mizrachi Lower School’s) physical location in the world; this unit was designed to ask and answer six essential questions that take the students on a journey across many disciplines.

By: Sima Maryles, Jessica Segen and Verity Shaft from The Fuchs Mizrachi School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Science, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Socratic Method, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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A Meaningful Megillah

In our school, kindergarteners traditionally create Megillot Esther featuring each child retelling the Purim story. However, this approach ignores the individual learning styles and needs of our students. We rethought this method in order to tap into the interests, skills and talents of the students in the class and focus on process over product.

By: Erica Edelman, Hen Lerrer from SAR Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Ivrit, Social and Emotional Learning

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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The Shefa Revolution: Strategizing Judaic Studies

To access Torah’s rich narratives, students require solidified language skills and strategies. At Shefa, reading comprehension and writing strategies explicitly taught in ELA classes provide a springboard to dive into Torah. This Judaic Studies curriculum created for Shefa is a replicable model for cross-curricular integration and differentiation.

By: Shulamit Roth from Shefa 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: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Literature, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Tanach

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, 21st Century Skills

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Book Day

Book Day is an authentic learning experience that starts with a book. Students connect to literature through a full day of extended interdisciplinary activities including literacy, Hebrew, Israel and/or Judaic studies, social studies, math, science, art and music, technology, physical activity, sound, and taste.

By: Haviva Donin Peters from Ramaz 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, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Ivrit, Literature, Math, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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Debating the Issues – in Hebrew!

At Oakland Hebrew Day School, the middle school Hebrew and Humanities teachers co-planned and co-taught a unit that combined constructing evidence-based arguments using current events, and crafting arguments, counterarguments, and rebuttals in Hebrew in preparation for a debate.

By: Joanne Davi, Efrat Simhi-Aloni from Oakland Hebrew Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, UBD - understanding by design

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The Prepared Environment

Our innovative, Montessori inspired environment allows our children to work in a warm, exciting and stress-free atmosphere that promotes high motivation and a love for learning. This model creates the ability for each child to receive a customized curriculum according to what s/he needs which encourages emotional, social, and academic success.

By: Chayale Cohen from Arevim Schoolhouse

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Environment + Energy = Engaged, Motivated and Successful Students

A Montessori inspired environment for an elementary school child that is conducive to problem solving, independent learning, respect, positive time on task, with modeled expectations will create a caring and safe place for children to be successful, excited and engaged in learning.

By: Andria Drucker from Arevim Schoolhouse

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Math, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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A Musician for Life: Improvisation, buckets, and multimedia reviving instrumental music for the centennial generation.

I’m reinventing the idea of middle school band – by orienting my lessons around creative improvisation and multimedia. improvisation in music curriculum is the key to countering the distractions facing increasingly wired youth. By using lessons like bucket band and film scoring, I’ve been stimulating their creative potential.

By: Russell Kirk from Beth Tfiloh

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

Subject(s) of entry: Music

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Israeli Master Chef Carmel Style: Making Hebrew Learning Real and Personal

Students brought their Hebrew learning to life by fusing it with their interests in context of daily lives. They recorded a video guiding the audience in making their favorite dish by applying their Hebrew skills, higher critical thinking and tech skills, research, and writing skills. Students’ videos were assessed and voted on by their peers.

By: Anat Ankava from Carmel Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Finding Meaning: Prayer Through Reflection and Integration

We launched an initiative in our Lower School where the General Studies teachers collaborated with their Judaic Studies counterparts to help students make meaningful connections between themes that were being studied across both disciplines in the second and fourth grades and themes that emerge throughout their daily Tefilla.

By: Tali Seinfeld, Tami Teller from Ramaz School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Ivrit, Music, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning

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How and Why Social Emotional Teaching Can Boost a Foreign Language Acquisition

In this entry you will read about a teaching method that came out of real needs seen in my classroom. The first need was to bring to life the Hebrew language as a medium for expression and communication inside and outside of the classroom. The second need was to create a safe and comfortable environment for students to express feelings and thoughts

By: Eti Zehavi from Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit, Social and Emotional Learning

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning

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Inspiring All Learners through Multi-Age Classrooms

Through our new multi-age format, the Schechter faculty differentiates and optimizes student learning. This progressive model reaches diverse learners within a single classroom environment and is transforming student engagement, individualized instruction, social outlets, improved self-esteem, and richly integrated curriculum.

By: Merissa Spector, Limor Shefer, Kate Poltorak, Ziva Kovner, Susan Kurtis, Gavi Lehrer, Anita Cohen from Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Ivrit, Math, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Talking Trees in Kitah Alef-Impact of Trees in our Environment -An interdisciplinary Unit

1st graders learned about trees through literacy, science, math, Ivrit, art, movement and by working in cooperative groups. The unit included studying the parts of trees in Hebrew and English, the impact of trees on the environment and its natural resources. We emphasized the mitzvah of tzedakah and of planting trees in Israel for Tu B'Shvat.

By: Shira Stein, Linda Sipzner, Rebecca Feldman from Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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My Wonder Woman

Using a combination of collaborative work, research, interview skills, & analysis, students determine what makes a woman a worthy role model. Critical & creative thinking skills are evident throughout the process and culminates in a persuasive essay through which each student nominates her Wonder Woman. All discussions & writings were done in Ivrit

By: Tammy Masar from Magen David Yeshivah

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

Subject(s) of entry: Foreign Language, History, Ivrit, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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Morah Tovi Admon 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 nooks created to support students in moving through routines, working together, and supporting more independent learning.

By: Tovi Admon from Hillel Academy Of Pittsburgh PA

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

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Three Biological Systems – The Fuchs Mizrachi 2016-2017 STE(A)M Learning

Every year, the FMS Lower School embarks on an 8 week intensive learning journey in preparation for our annual STE(A)M fair. This journey encompasses so much, but at its core, this experience lays the foundation for life-long learners and information seekers; involvement in this process remains the most valuable lesson for our students in the LS.

By: Sima Maryles and Jessica Segen from The Fuchs Mizrachi School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Socratic Method, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Shnayim Mikra Initiative

This initiative will be a game changer in the Jewish chinuch teaching world.
Many benefits include Hebrew reading proficiency (which is a major problem)
And fluency in chumash, which is the foundation of Judaism.

By: Rabbi Joel Yormark from South Bend Hebrew Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Tanach

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Language Immersion, Wholebrain Teaching

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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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