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Monday, May 3, 2010

Title of the Lesson: Where Do I Find Enduring Jewish Knowledge? Part Three

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 “Can Students Generate Essential Questions that Relate to Jewish Knowledge that is Enduring? “ Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan , we will divide this lesson plan into three parts. Here are the first and second parts of this lesson on finding enduring Jewish knowledge. The third part of this lesson follows:

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

1. When satisfied that your students understand the rules for Nominal Brainstorming, permit them to generate their ideas on how to find enduring Jewish knowledge.

2. Then share the information on finding enduring Jewish information in the Toolbox pages 17-18. You can also refer to the information below:

1. Ask yourself: What is the core, essential, or vital Jewish knowledge that I want my students to understand when they leave my classroom each day, at the end of the week, at the end of a unit, a semester or the year? In addition, what information is important, but not essential for my students to know? With what knowledge should educated Jewish students have some familiarity?
2. Ask your colleagues inside and outside of your school building, including the rabbi, principal, other teachers, professors, teacher specialists at the board or center for Jewish education, mentor teacher, expert teacher, etc., what Jewish knowledge is enduring.
3. Go to specific websites that contain information on the core knowledge that an educated Jewish person should understand. Here are a few examples:
For information on enduring understandings, core themes, sample lesson plans, and resources from the perspective of the Union of Reform Judaism, see the Chai Curriculum: Learning for Jewish Life .
For information on the standards and benchmarks from the perspective of the Jewish Theological Seminary click here .
For information on the aims, standards and benchmarks from the perspective of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism click here.
4. Read Jewish books and periodicals. Refer to the bibliography in the Toolbox for additional information.
5. Visit your local board, agency, or center of Jewish Education, and find its curriculum or resource library. Then investigate its print, visual materials, sound and musical recordings, computer files, and internet resources. For a select listing of agencies, and boards of Jewish education in the United States see the chart in chapter ten in the Toolbox. This chart also includes a brief description of curriculum resources.
6. Visit your local Jewish colleges or universities that have Jewish Studies Departments, and explore their Judaics, and curriculum libraries.

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

1. Students can ask their parents, grandparents, or another teacher these four questions: (1) Where does one find enduring Jewish knowledge? (2) Is enduring Jewish knowledge in the Torah? (3) Is enduring Jewish knowledge only in the Torah? (4) Is every word written in the Torah an example of enduring Jewish knowledge?

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

3. Students should be prepared to share what they had learned during the interview with their classmates.

Closure: (Activity that summarizes and ends the lesson)

Summarize the suggestions of the classroom community regarding how to find enduring Jewish knowledge.

On the next post we will begin our exploration of how to teach mentees to write lesson plans.

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