Thursday, December 11, 2008

Text and Context: Frisch Integration Program

I've created and begun to present the first Chumash integration unit for the year, which is about military encampments in the ancient world and is entitled Camping Out: Israel in the Midbar. I'm having trouble posting the presentation on slideshare.net but will figure out the problem and will get it up there as soon as possible. The second Chumash presentation will follow closely on the heels of the first, as the second one is on Isha Sotah, and we'll be presenting the lesson in conjunction with Nazir in an attempt to tie together issues of holiness in the two topics. The year in Chumash will focus a lot on maintaining holiness, and my presentations as well will try to reinforce for the students how holiness is preserved in the camp.

I was in Israel over Thanksgiving vacation, and while it's always fantastic to be there, I went this time with a camera ready to take pictures at any spots I thought might pop up at a future integration lesson. I got shots of the mountain where the Azazel goat was thought to have been thrown down from as well as aerial shots of Jericho. Usually I have to scope out many Internet sites before finding the pictures I want and need, so hopefully the ones I took will save me some time in the future.

Frisch is still busy with the ninth-grade wiki as well. We've found some terrific ways of integrating our classes under the theme of identity and thereby deepening and enriching the learning experience. We have had art, history, Gemara, Hebrew Language, English, and Chumash create discussion threads that became very sophisticated, we've had teachers post quizzes and presentations on wiki pages using cool widgets, and we've had teachers create assignments for their classes out of other classes' work. The experience is becoming really rich. The students seem to be enjoying the wiki, and we'll see at the end of the year if the experiment really was a more educational and spiritual endeavor.

This coming week Frisch will be hosting our sister school from Nahariya, and we're going to be looking for ways to have the students from Nahariya work on the wiki as well.

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