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Hadas Heyman 

Teaching Hebrew through “Rotations” in First Grade


Morah Nitza working with a group of 1st graders


The best part of my job this year is to step into some of the classrooms and observe learning in a non-judgmental way. As teachers, we focus on our work inside our classrooms and hardly ever find the time to step out and look around us.

We can learn so much from each other and share what we see with the rest of our colleagues. One of the things that I had a chance to observe this year was our first graders working in a station rotation model.







Morah Marina working with a group of 1st graders
Lead teacher Patricia with her Speaking group


The students worked in four different stations and rotated every 10 minutes counter clockwise.

Every station focused on one skill in Hebrew while the leading teacher worked on speaking, the assistant teacher worked on reading phonetics and the other two stations, where students worked independently, focused on writing and spelling games while listening to each other.





Lead teacher Patricia is working with another group of 1st graders


What made these activities successful were the following:

  • Well prepared lesson plan
  • Visuals that explained where to go and where each station was located
  • Students engagement – every student in the class was involved in every activity and seemed to enjoy the work
  • The teacher used a timer that helped keep everyone focused on their tasks
  • Variety and choice of learning activities – students had fun playing games, cutting words and pictures, using Wixie application to draw pictures of words they had learned and more
  • The enthusiasm of the teaching team





1st graders working independently

As a teacher and a lifelong learner there is so much that I took from watching the first graders and teachers work in the rotation model. I will continue to try new things in my classroom and explore new opportunities for my students to acquire new skills. I will do my best to share what I do and learn from other educators. I will continue to enjoy observing classes in a non-judgmental way and grow from this experience as much as possible. My hope is that everyone feels enthusiastic about learning and sharing the great things that take place in their classrooms.

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5 thoughts on “Teaching Hebrew through “Rotations” in First Grade

  1. ksherk

    @hadas Thank you for sharing this glimpse into a first grade Judaics classroom! It’s wonderful to know that the learning models and activities are similar for both GS and JS classrooms, this should help the students to be actively engaged in their learning, rather than worrying about routines.

  2. Andrea Hernandez

    @Hadas- I really appreciate your perspective of interested teacher/lifelong learner/instructional coach. I feel that if every teacher spent time visiting, documenting learning and then reflecting on what they see in other classrooms, it would surely benefit all students. There is nothing new under the sun and nothing that can’t be adapted for use in another setting. It’s just having the growth mindset to realize that we can learn from everyone! Thank you for taking the time to share!

  3. JNathans

    Hadas-great post! What a great way to show us what rotations are and how to lead by complimenting and mentoring. I am sure these teachers appreciated your post as well!. I noticed from the photos that teachers are interacting with students while on their computers.
    Your enthusiasm is genuine and uplifting!

  4. Liat Walker

    @Hadas, great post about observing and learning from other teachers. My school’s Professional development this year includes observing other teachers. My first thought was negative, when am I going to find the time and what would be the benefit. Reading your blog reminded me that we can always learn from our colleagues. Your list of what made the lesson successful was very helpful. I plan to share this with our Kitah Alef teacher. Toda!

    1. hheyman

      It is not easy to let another teacher in your “personal space” and I admire our first grade teacher for doing it over and over with open arms.
      We, as teacher feel defensive and sometimes threatened, when another educator steps into our classroom. I think it is important to do it more often, and visit other teachers’ classrooms, so they feel comfortable and get used to it. We should all aim to reflect on our teaching as often as possible and share the great things that take place in our daily lessons.
      I am so happy to hear that you can use something from me with your first grade teachers.
      Todah Rabah

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