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Jessie Nathans 

Visual Planning in Art

Visual Planning Leads Art Students Over the Rainbow Creativity What is creativity? A third grade art student shot up her hand: “It’s when you hold something in your head and then try to make it with your hands.” Exactly! How do students develop enduring creative confidence with a prolonged belief that creativity is apart of who they are? How can students engage and enjoy the artistic process and feel proud of the work they do?  Thinking with a pencil A great way to engage students in the creative process is to…

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Hadas Heyman 

Taking First Steps in Blogging

This week I started to teach my students about blogging. I told my students about my journey as a first time blogger with my JDS cohort. I participated in a workshop with Andrea Hernandez, the co-director of edJEWcon. During my last coaching session with Andrea, we discussed the idea of sharing my posts on the Charles E. Smith blog at edJEWcon as a way of introducing blogging to my students. I was contemplating the idea for a couple of weeks and decided to give it a try after our recent workshop with Andrea….

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Kim Sherk 

STREAM: Cross Curricular Integration

Every time Alexis Soffler brings a STEM project my way, I immediately ask, “So where’s the reading and the writing?” The integration of literacy skills into STEM is a critical piece of making a robust STEM curriculum sustainable. Building background knowledge or framing a challenge though a piece of literature or nonfiction article allows students to make a connection with a project that is deep and meaningful. Being able to reflect on the process, and write or speak about the learning, struggles, mistakes, and final accomplishment gives students a vehicle for…

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Andrea Hernandez 

Tips & Tools For Ethical Media Use

What do ethics have to do with images or audio? In our technological world of remixing and mashups, memes and viral videos, isn’t everything up for grabs? Because I share my work (visuals, videos, etc) in a digital format, does that mean that anyone can use, adapt, reshare or even claim ownership? Because something CAN be done without “consequences” does not necessarily mean that something SHOULD be done. It is my belief that, as educators and learners, we continually grow and take steps to embody the values we wish to teach. In other words,…

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Alexis Soffler Uncategorized 

Taking the Sage on the Stage to the Guide on the Side

We know that didactic instruction through teachers talking and students taking notes is the least effective mode of student learning. But, how can we change this? There are things students need to know! I’m going to describe the model that I and my co-teacher Jenny have been using in our math class. Its not flawless, and it took a while to come to it. So, think of it as an example, not a how-to. We began with “flipping” the classroom- creating or using videos to model how to do a…

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Kim Sherk 

The Day After the Election

Many of us woke up this morning wondering and worrying about how to address the outcome of the election with our students. We began thinking about how to make this a teachable moment and not dwell on the politics. Today was an opportunity for us to teach the ideas of civil discourse, grace, dealing with disappointment, and sharing excitement in a way that does not hurt the feelings of others. Our head of school, Rabbi Mitch Malkus,  shared this article with our staff this morning: The Day After. In this article, Lauryn Mascareñaz discussed…

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Jessie Nathans 

Exciting New Art Standards

Exciting New Art Standards  by Jessie Nathans Learning to Refine As we finish up the fall art projects in grades 3-5, I wanted to reflect for a moment on the innovative new National Core Art Standards. The old standards were focused on “elements of art and principles of design”; a vast rubric of terms that limited student’s comfort and access to the art experience. The new standards have four broad areas of emphasis: creating, presenting, responding and connecting. This asks art educators to create curriculum that focuses less on perfection…

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