This past Sunday our class finished our group presentations on the topic of the Holocaust. The presentations enabled the students to learn more details about the Holocaust and to ask thoughtful questions.. After this we dove into an activity about perpetrators, bystanders and heroes in the Holocaust. Students were paired up and given people historical characters that played different roles in the Holocaust. It was up to each pair to determine, based on the biography provided, where the person might fit on a scale of perpetrator to hero (with bystanders in between). This activity was exciting and thought provoking, every student was invested and contributed greatly. Some of the ideas we talked about: who may be more guilty- those who carry out the crimes themselves, or those in charge of propaganda. We also discussed the idea and 'scale' of heroism, in risking your life to save the lives of a family or a community. We then took time to journal about these discussions, and as a result missed Hebrew but gained so much knowledge that we figured we would be forgiven:)!! Thank you for an incredible thoughtful class time. Can't wait to see everyone this Sunday.
This Sunday we spent the morning talking about the three Torah portions telling the story of Joseph and his multi-colored coat. We watched the movie a couple weeks ago and took time to find themes and differences between the text and the movie. It was a great class and every student was focused, contributed ideas and built on one another's observations. We then took some time to draw scenes from the Torah portions. I would like to send a reminder to all students and parents, please bring in your notebooks for next class, we need to finish the presentations and need the notes you took for homework! We will also be using the notebooks to take notes in and continue learning about the Holocaust. Looking forward to our next class, I hope you all are too!
This past week my 6th grade class took time to discover and dive deeper the Torah portion Vayeishev. In this Torah portion we learned the story of Joseph and his multicolored coat. This is a very interesting story that many students have already heard. This class we spent time talking about the story, watching a DreamWorks movie based on the story and then drawing pictures of our favorite scenes. It was a great class and all the pieces of art were wonderful! I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing spring break. I won't be here when all the students come back but I expect them to bring in their notebooks with notes from the Holocaust projects ready to present to the class. I would like every student to also bring back their Holocaust 'textbook' if they have it at home so we can continue to work from them in class. Enjoy your break- I canot wait to dive into the material that all the students gathered and put together!
This past Sunday we did a lot of interesting work in 6th grade Holocaust studies. We took time in the beginning of the class to finish making our own timelines and discussion the events in more depth. Most of the students brought their journals back home to take notes in, but this also provides the parents an opportunity to see what kind of topics we have discussed in class. We then moved on to divide up groups to work on preparing for group presentations. Each student group discussed and chose their own topic for their presentation from a list provided on the board. Then we got to work doing research in our Holocaust books and discussing the who, what, when, where and why of their chosen topic. Each student also wrote down a website that has great resources for learning more about the topic we will present down. Doing more individual research on the group project is homework. (Parents are welcome to support their students to find and put together more interesting and important information) It was a great class, everyone worked very diligently and seem invested in their topics and I know we are all looking forward to the presentations. I'm Looking forward to next class and learning more from every student!
This Sunday we spent the class talking about the Torah portion of Vayishlach. This Torah portion is about the return of Jacob to his brother Esau to ask for his forgiveness (Jacob has stolen Esau's inheritance). This story brings us through the struggle between Jacob and an angel and then finally gaining the forgiveness of his brother Esau. We worked to relate this as a story of struggle to that of a modern day story of struggle. We got into our Forms Of Expression (FOE) groups to further discuss the modern day struggles that are happening right now. As a recent and relevant topic we talked about the recent ban of refugees and immigrants from entering the USA from seven predominantly Muslim countries as ordered by Donald Trump. This was a difficult discussion, as we hoped to create and maintain a safe place where students could express their opinions with respect to others.
I think it is great that we were able to engage in this dialogue and I hope that students left wanting to learn more. I am looking forward to seeing you all next Sunday to continue these conversations.
his past Sunday Alissa and I switched classes so my class spent the first half of class doing introductions and getting familiar with the topic of the Holocaust that we would be covering. We spent time asking questions and sharing knowledge we have about the Holocaust and World War II. We then moved on to do a timeline of events of the Holocaust. The students paired up and got to arrange events in chronological order according to their own knowledge and ideas. We then started going over each event, which year it happened and even were able to start making our own timelines. In our Hebrew groups, my group was able to do some review and we are now making sentences. It was a fun class overall, and I am looking forward to getting to know each individual of my new class!
his past week we celebrated Hanukkah. We spent the first half of the morning talking about Hanukkah while making candles out of wax (which some students forgot to bring home- I will bring them to class next week). When we discussed the story of Hanukkah we spoke about how the Maccabees were a small group that lead a revolution against a great empire and won. We were able to relate this theme to some modern day struggles and victorious revolutions which was very interesting to think about- and full of inspiration. For the second half of class we gathered in an all grade assembly to light candles, sing some Hanukkah songs and talk about the miracle of Hanukkah and the miracles we notice today. We ended the celebration with donuts and playing dreidel- it was a lovely day!
This last class we worked on an activity where we arranged people that had participated in the Holocaust (in a negative way or a positive way) on a spectrum from guilty to hero. The students were given the task of arranging the characters in the order they thought fit best according to the character descriptions. We then took time to reflect as a group about the order they had chosen and why. We had a really great discussion and debate where students were able to present their view points and challenge others. Everyone participated and we learned a lot from each student. We ended the class by talking briefly about Anne Frank and her optimistic perspective and bravery throughout hiding with her family in an attic during the Holocaust. It was a great last class to learn about the Holocaust and I hope the students feel the gravity and importance of the awesome work and participation they contributed! See you this weekend for our Hanukah celebration!
This week we had a discussions about the Torah portion 'Chayei Sarah'. This Torah portion was about Abraham's wife Sarah passing away. It was also about Sarah and Abraham's son Isaac looking for and finding a wife named Rebecca. Many of the students have brought back their notebooks with notes in them already from the homework i had assigned last week. If your student has not brought their notebook, that's absolutely fine just make sure to bring it this coming Sunday. Looking forward to this Sunday. We will be processing a lot and I hope to be a support for any who need. We will find strength together in our community after such heated elections. See you soon!
This Sunday we took a deeper look at the history of Holocaust. We began group projects focusing on concentration camps, ghettos and the Jewish resistance. The students started working together in their designated groups on their specific questions within these topics.
The homework assignment is to do a bit of independent research on their topic for next class. Students started taking notes on their topics. They have taken home these notebooks. I also provided them with a website to find further information. The assignment is to take about 6-8 bullet points/sentences of notes to give an overview of their section within the topic (I think parent support would be very helpful in this) to present in class in two weeks. We also watched half of the movie 'Paperclips Project’; a movie about counting 6 million paperclips as a way to try to understand the magnitude of the six million Jews who died in the holocaust. It was a lot of information but I think we are learning a lot! I love al thel questions and curiosity the students have brought to class! See you all soon!