You are here
Andrea Hernandez 

Documenting Learning-Illustrative Examples

Part of the work of our blogging cohort is monthly one-on-one coaching calls where each teacher gets to check in, share, reflect, ask questions, etc. I love what I’m learning from these truly amazing teachers who are so wide-open and willing to share their learning, both in our discussions and via this blog. I notice that, as I’m listening to them reflect verbally, my frequent response is, “Blog post! That is a blog post!” I’m thinking….This is so great it must be shared! Other people need to read/hear this, too. One prevalent…

Read More
Hadas Heyman 

Teaching about the Holidays of Tishrey

This year the Jewish holidays started at the end of September, which gave us all (Judaic Teachers) an opportunity to be calmer and more relaxed during the first week of school. We all knew that we had enough time to teach about the symbols, traditions, costumes and mitzvot of the high holidays. What a great way to start the new school year! At Charles E. Smith JDS, we like to use every opportunity we have to take our students on a special learning journey. In 3rd grade we did our best to experience…

Read More
Kim Sherk Uncategorized 

Why We Teach!

After a really long day, or week, of teaching sometimes we wonder if what we are doing matters at all. Here are some reminders that I found as I was walking through our halls last week: On the wall in a 1st grade classroom I went into… the more you read the more you know the more you know the better you feel the more you read the more you get the smarts so read read read Kira told me that this is how she thinks about reading and how she…

Read More
Hadas Heyman 

Hebrew at the Center

Last year we started our partnership with Hebrew at the Center. Our goal as a school was to reassess what we did in the past and based on that data, reevaluate our teaching strategies and make sure that we teach Hebrew effectively.  We want our students to be able to speak Hebrew and be proficient in the language. According to the “Proficiency” approach, being proficient in a language means that one is able to converse and be understood  with a native speaker that claims to have a high-school degree. Teaching…

Read More
Alexis Soffler 

Elementary STEM Labs, Stage 3

This is the part where you have hit your stride. This stage is defined by formalizing STEM material, perspectives, programs, and resources in the school in the lab and beyond. The biggest part about this stage is that the STEM lab… Is no longer the focus. It has merged with the school culture, events, leadership and curricula in a way that the STEM lab *does* become “an expensive closet” but that is only because there is so much happening all over the school in integrated ways that there is not…

Read More
Alexis Soffler 

Elementary STEM Labs, Part 2

There is some discussion among professionals that STEM Programs take approximately 5 years to reach maturity. Stage 1 for STEM labs lasts about a year. Stage 2 lasts about 2 years. Once a STEM lab is created in the school and it has its firm foundations in both materials and thought, its time to put it into action. This needs to be both sustainable as well as flexible, which is a tricky task. Let’s talk first about the dimensions of a STEM Lab that are essential for building a sustainable growth…

Read More