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Posts tagged ‘English language’

21st Century Playdate

Two braided Shabbat challahs placed under an e...

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During Storytime, we started reading Way Too Much Challah Dough. We discussed some of the people who help make a book: the author, illustrator and publisher, and what jobs they do. One student has this book and researched the author’s name, then we said who the illustrator and publisher are. This book and the one we read last time are published by the same company. The books are connected because they both discuss preparing for Shabbos.

 In this book, Mindy is helped by her Bubby, which is the Yiddish word meaning grandmother. Students learned what a synonym is, and came up with Hebrew and English synonyms for Bubby.

We discussed becoming distracted when we are doing something, and whether Mindy made a good decision by adding more yeast. We will see next time what happens because of the decision she made when she was distracted.

Moshe and Yael shared a computer during a playdate. They used their playdate time to attend Siddur Class together at Room 613! Morah Elana liked that idea.

We discussed the bracha al netilas yadayim.

Baruch means that Hashem gives us blessings (good things).

Ata means that when we say a bracha we are talking to Hashem! So we want to understand exactly what we are saying.

Devorah said that she knows prayers only in English. We talked about being allowed to pray in any language we know because Hashem understands all languages. Hashem is so smart – Hashem invented our brains!

We wash our hands in the morning to take away tumah because when we were asleep our neshama went a little bit back to Hashem.

We wash each hand 3 times – pouring water first on the right hand, then on the left, and so on. We use a negel vasser caup – a washing cup – a natla (the Israeli word). Neggel vaser means nail water in Yiddish.

We observed a beautiful negel vasser cup that Morah Elana uploaded.

Asher kidishanu means that Hashem made us special by our doing mitzvos. This bracha says that Hashem told us to wash our hands in a special way.

Happy Classdays

modehani.jpg

Image by w.wabbit via Flickr

In Siddur Class we learned all about Modeh Ani. We can just discuss and discuss…

Had a brand new group of kids, 8 to 12, in my Book Club. The Happy Birthday? story featured once again, this time on a higher maturity level.  We discussed sensitivity to others according to the Torah, rich vs. poor, reading between the lines, the narrator and courage.

We paused at a suspenseful point and discussed it.

We talked about what choice we would make if we were in the narrator’s situation.

We guessed how to spell announcement, decison and courage and practiced the correct spellings.

In Aleph Beis Class, I didn’t notice much participation from Ariella and Evyatar. The others were very enthusiastic.

We are moving ahead at a brisk pace! We identified all the letters from aleph through yud. We practiced drawing letters aleph through ches. Shuvi pointed out that the ches looks like a sukkah! Names that begin with ches are Chana, Chaim and Chafetz Chaim. Chanukah also begins with a ches. Before long we will be reading Hebrew!

613: What’s this Room?

Hebrew Calligraphy

Image by Nir Tober via Flickr

When a child takes your hand, you never know where he may lead you.

I’m online, in Room 613, and it’s like an alternative universe. An all Jewish computer game where players act the roles of classroom students with names like Esti, Dena, Yair and Evyatar. 

The Dena character is drawing a ritual washing cup on the classroom whiteboard. Esti and Evyatar are collaborating on practicing their aleph-beis writing skills. Yair uploads an English chart of the Hebrew letters. “Morah,” he types into the chat, “thank you for the class. I loved it!”

“You’re welcome!” I type-chat back. Because Yair is real, and I loved it too. These are my students and Room 613 is far from a game. It’s a real classroom – mine.

You know you’ve really arrived in the 21st century when your students appear as half-inch wide images on a computer screen and teaching them involves an internet connection, an external microphone and headset, a plugin mini webcam and technological support.  

All because of Bentzi. Searching for enrichment for my bright four year old, search engines led me to the innovative, dynamic Room 613 classes. Rabbi Yosef Resnick courteously invited my son and me to sample a few. I asked if he was hiring teachers; I knew I would love to do this!

And here I am, two weeks into this breathless world of  exploring Torah topics with my amazing, motivated Jewish homeschoolers.  Stay tuned for a recap of all that’s been happening in Morah Elana’s room. It’s as vibrant as Creation here at www.room613.net!

To read all the stuff that happened next, see my RECENT POSTS at the upper right of this page 🙂