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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lesson Plan on What Does a Judaic Studies Teacher Do: Part Two

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. This is one of many lessons we will be sharing on teaching Judaic content, lesson planning, models of teaching, differentiated and individualized instruction and learning activities designed to transform the classroom into a Jewish community of cooperative learners. The title of this lesson is “What Does a Judaic Studies Teacher Do?” Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan. We will divide this lesson plan into two parts. Click here to locate the first part of this lesson. Here is part two of this lesson covering what a Judaic Studies teacher does.

Developmental Activity: (Set of procedures or steps to reach the objective/learning outcome)

1. Form students into dyads, and model this cooperative procedure called Rally Round (Kagan, 2009).

2. Select a student to serve as your learning partner and say, “ I’ll tell you one item from my list of things that a teacher does. If you have that item on your list, just put a check next to it. If you don’t have that idea on your list, write it down. So here’s my first item. A teacher plans lessons. Now you tell me one thing from your list.” Next the student, your learning partner, shares an item from her list. They continue this process of sharing new information with their learning partner until they each have no additional information to contribute or the teacher ends the exercise.

Guided Practice: (Students apply new skill/s or strengthen previously learned skills during classroom instruction.)

Invite students to share activities or the responsibilities of a teacher or Judaics teacher. Monitor how well they take turns sharing information and applying Rally Round.

Developmental Activity Continued:

1. Invite each student in the class to share one new item from his or her list. They share information in clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. If a student has nothing new to state, he or she simply says, ‘I pass’. This round robin classroom sharing activity is called ‘Community Round Robin’

2. Give a brief lecture on the roles and responsibilities of a Judaic Studies teacher:

What Does a Judaics Teacher, a Moreh or Morah, Do?

When we see a competent teacher conducting a lesson, it seems so easy and effortless. In fact, good teaching is a very complex enterprise involving many decisions before, during, and after the lesson is implemented. Indeed, many of the activities a moreh or morah does are never seen by their students. In this course/workshop/seminar we will be sharing both the hidden and transparent activities that professional teachers, or morim do. These activities include but are not limited to:

Planning lessons
• Determining content and curriculum (i.e. what should be taught)

• Creating a positive classroom environment
• Developing multiple ways of delivering instruction
• Using multiple ways of measuring what students have learned

• Managing student behavior
• Collaborating with other members of the instructional staff including teaching assistants (madrichim), co-teachers, teachers, and administrators

• Communicating with and engaging parents, guardians, and members of the Jewish community to participate in classroom and school activities

Independent Activities: (Students practice new skill/s or strengthen previously learned skills outside of the class.)

1. Students can interview a teacher or former teacher and inquire about the activities they do before, during, and after teaching that lesson.

2. Students then record the responses of the person they interviewed in their notebooks.

3. Students should come to class prepared to share what they had learned during the interview.

Closure: (Activity that summarizes and ends the lesson)

1. Students complete this sentence stem. One idea I learned or relearned about the responsibilities of a teacher or Judaic Studies teacher is ....

2. The teacher concludes the lesson saying, “Good teaching is a very complex enterprise involving many decisions before, during, and after the lesson is implemented”.

On the next post we will describe part one of a lesson with this title,” What Does a Madrich or Madricha Do?”

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