Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Wikibook for Smartboards in the Judaic Classroom

With the support and encouragement of AVI CHAI, I've been working with Miri Rubin, the educational technology director at Ramaz, and Rabbi Nimchinsky (whom you all know from this blog), to create a Wikibook dedicated to the usage of Smartboard technology in the Judaics classroom. I'm pleased to report that the Wikibook is now live, and available to be viewed at

Please take a look and let us know what you think! This is meant to be a dynamic work, so we're looking forward to lots of input. One page has links to many different Smartboard lessons (primarily Notebook and Powerpoint) that can be downloaded, and there are plenty of interesting ideas for you to explore.

We plan to open the Wikibook to more collaborators shortly. In the meantime, please share your thoughts, ideas and opinions in the Discussion section of the Wikibook. Let us know what you think of it so far, and how we can make it an even better resource for teachers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Using videos to promote better teaching and learning

Our Hebrew teachers were a united team. When the second grade teachers said that some of their kids were struggling, the rest of the department came to the rescue. They took students individually and worked as early intervention into their Hebrew learning. The results are profound. We videotaped some of the process and, when the staff gathered to view the video, the rest of the Hebrew teachers learned a lot about helping a struggling learner!

Another exciting part of our project is in the works. In a middle school classroom, the Hebrew teachers took a picture from a magazine. In groups, students wrote about the person they saw in Hebrew and prepared oral presentations in groups. The presentations are videotaped, the students will watch the videos, and evaluate their own speaking and oral presentations. The students are very excited and the skills of self- evaluation are a very important part of the process.