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Thursday, May 23, 2013

How the web-based thinking tool, Showing Evidence, can be used to promote Judaic instruction and to mentor and train Jewish educators

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 (i.e. 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 online tool, Showing Evidence, can be used to promote Judaic instruction and to mentor and train pre-service and in-service Jewish educators.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an 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 or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although the Showing Evidence cognitive tool can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning 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. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: The Showing Evidence cognitive tool can be used in a face to face and virtual classroom.

In previous blog posts we have defined thinking skills and processes, creative thinking, critical thinking and Benjamin Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives. We have also shared creative and critical thinking tools developed by Dr. Donald J. Treffinger

What is the Showing Evidence online thinking tool?

According to the  Intel website, the Showing Evidence thinking skills tool provides  students with “a visual framework to make claims, identify evidence, evaluate the quality of that evidence, explain how the evidence supports or weakens claims, and reach conclusions based on the evidence. This thinking tool supports activities where students debate differences, make and defend decisions, and analyze conflicting information. The tool and related resources are available for free, from any computer that is connected to the Internet. Students may work on their claims and evidence at home or at school, and can be paired with another team to review their ideas”.

For additional details explaining the Showing Evidence click here.

For additional resources on Showing Evidence refer to the sources listed below:

Below please find an example of the web-based Showing Evidence tool[1] on the following question: Was Jack a hero in the story, Jack and the Bean Stalk?


How the web-based thinking tool, Showing Evidence, can be used to promote Judaic instruction and to mentor and train Jewish educators

The teacher invites students to provide evidence showing how they implement any of the middot (i.e. Jewish virtues or values)  in their lives.

Below you will find a select list of middot.

Select List of Middot*
Hebrew Transliteration
Ahavat Yisrael
Love of all the Jewish people
Being loved or beloved
Mutual responsibility
Arichat Sefatayim*
Orderly speech
Fear as in honor or panic
B’tzelem Elohim
In the image of HaShem
Bal Taschit
Preservation of environment
Binat HaLev*
An understanding of the heart
Dan L’Chaf Zechut
Give the benefit of the doubt
Derech Eretz
Respect for others, civility
Dibuk Chaverim*
Cleaving to friends
Din V’Rachamim
Justice and mercy       
Eino Machazik Tova L’Atzmo*
Refraining from taking personal credit for what is good
Hebrew Transliteration
Eino Samayach BeHora’ah*
Not delighting in rendering decisions
Emunat Chachamim*
Trust in the sages
Erech Apayim*
Slowness to anger
Hachnasat Orchim
Hakarat Hatov
Recognizing the good in others
Kabbalat HaYisurin*
Acceptance of suffering
Kibbud Av Va’em
Respect for parents
Klal Yisrael
Community of Israel
Lev Tov*
Good heart
Lo Levayesh
Not embarrassing
Lo Maygis Libo B’Talmudo*
Not being arrogant with one’s learning
Lomed al Manat Lelamed*
Studying in order to teach
Lomed al Manat La’asot *
Studying in order to perform mitzvot
Lo Tachmod
Not coveting
Ma’asim Tovim
Doing good deeds
Ma’amido al HaEmet*
Setting others on the path of truth
Ma’amido al HaShalom*
Setting others on the path of peace
Machkim et Rabo*
Sharpening the wisdom of one’s teacher

Hebrew Transliteration
Machrio L’Chaf Zechut
Influencing one’s fellow to virtue
Makir et Mekomo*
Knowing one’s place
Work or industriousness
Mechavayn et Sh’muato*
Determine exactly what one hears
Machrio L’Chaf Zechuf*
Judging others favorably
Michshol Lifnei Iver
Not placing a stumbling block in front of the blind
Learn by repetition; Study the Oral Law
Middah Shoayl U’Mayshiv*
Asking and answering
Mitrachayk Min HaKavod*
Distance yourself from honor
Mityashev Libo Be’Talmudo*
Concentrating on one’s studies
Miyut Derech Eretz*
Limiting one’s involvement in worldly concerns
Miyut Sechok*
A minimum of frivolity
Miyut Sechorah*
Moderation in business
Miyut Shaynah*
A minimum of sleep
Miyut Sichah*
A minimum of small talk
Miyut Ta’anug*
A minimum of worldly pleasure
Nosay B’ol Im Chavayro*
Share the burden with one’s friend
Ohev et HaMakom*
Loving HaShem
Ohev et HaBriyot*
Loving all creatures
Ohev et HaTz’dakot
Loving charitable deeds
Ohev et HaMaysharim*
Love of being straightforward
Ohev et HaTochachot*
Loving reproof
Ohev et HaTzadakot*
Loving righteous ways
Ohev Zeh et Zeh/
Mechabayd Zeh et Zeh
Loving and honoring others
Omer Davar BeShem Omro*
Quoting one’s sources
Omez Lev
Pilpul HaTalmidim*
Sharp discussion with students
Samayach B’Chelko*
Contentment with one’s lot
Sayver Panim Yafot
A pleasant demeanor
Seyag LiD’varav*
Guarding one’s speech
Shalom Bayit
Peace in the home/Peace in the family
Shimush Chachamim*
Attend to the sages
Sh’miat Ha-Ozen*
Attentiveness/Being a good listener/Paying attention
Shmirat HaGuf
Taking care of your body
Shoal U’Mayshiv
Asking and answering questions
Shomer Achi
Being one’s brother’s keeper
Sichlut HaLev*
A perceptive heart
Happiness or joy
Shomaya U’Mosif*
Absorbing knowledge and adding to it

Hebrew Transliteration
Somaych Noflim V’Rofay Cholim
Supporting and healing
Study of Torah
Tikkun Olam
Repairing the world
Tzarchei Tzibbur
Shomer Achi
Awe and reverence
Yishuv BeMikra*
Calmness in study
Fear, dread, or reverence

On the next post we will discuss another online thinking skills tool,  Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.

* The middot followed by an asterisk (*) are taken with permission from the website of the Union of Reform Judaism: . Retrieved January 30, 2009. This list of middot is taken from Solomon, R.D., Solomon, E.C. (2009). Toolbox for Teachers and Mentors: MovingMadrichim to MentorTeachers and Beyond. Tucson, AZ: Wheatmark.

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