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Monday, September 13, 2010

What is Hits and Hot Spots and How Can it Be Used in a Judaic Studies Blended Learning Classroom? Part One

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training, The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will discuss how the critical thinking tool, Hits and Hot Spots, can be used in a Judaic Studies blended learning classroom. This is the first part of a two-part post.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers as well.

Note: Although this lesson plan idea is designed for the Judaic Studies classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators.

Note: Any of these collaborative writing web 2.0 tools can be used with this lesson plan idea.

What is Hits and Hot Spots?

Hits and Hot Spots in a critical thinking tool which involves the analysis of selecting promising or intriguing possibilities (the “hits”) and clustering, categorizing, organizing, or compressing them in meaningful and practical ways for implementation (the hot spots).

See the example in this slideshare presentation.

How can Hits and Hot Spots be used in a Judaic Studies blended learning classroom?

As a reminder, a blended learning classroom is one that combines the face-to face physical and the online or virtual classroom.

Here are some suggested steps a teacher or mentor can implement to show Jewish students/mentees how to use Hits and Hot Spots for critical thinking in problem solving.

Step One: The teacher/mentor explains Hits and Hot Spots.

Step Two: The teacher/mentor places students into learning pairs, triads or quads.

In the next post we will share the second part of this lesson plan idea on how to empower students/mentees to use Hits and Hot Spots in a Judaic Studies blended learning classroom.

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