Keeping Connected with our Ed Director
April 2020 Keeping Connected
It is ironic that we are all supposed to “stay-at-home,” yet the Congregation Shalom students and teachers have been “zooming” in and out of Religious School and Hebrew School for the past few weeks! As you know, our school has rolled out our own version of Distance Learning and I am pleased to say that it has been a very successful beginning. The teachers have worked so hard to get this program up and running. They have put in countless hours to implement this new way of teaching and learning. The families have been incredibly supportive. We have seen joy and enthusiasm from the students during the virtual classes. It is lovely to hear the students saying hello to each other as their classmates’ faces pop up on the screen. One of our favorite quotes of the week was when a young student was just about to end his virtual learning and said, “This was the best Hebrew class EVER!” I have already communicated a lot with you over the past few weeks about our plans but please bear with us as we continue to make changes here and there to create a smooth program for everyone. Many many thanks to everyone! More
Keeping Connected March 2020
Someone from outside of Congregation Shalom recently asked me if there is fun and joy in our school. The week prior to that I had a meeting with some of the teachers. We were discussing a new idea around the Hebrew program and my exact words were, “As you plan for the activity, please remember to make it fun.” During a few of my own parent/teacher conferences, I shared with some families that one of my first priorities in teaching is to make sure that the class is fun and that the students enjoy being in the temple.” After being asked the question about fun and joy in our school, I decided to take the question directly to the students. I asked them, “Do you think school at temple is fun and/or enjoyable and if so, would you tell me what is fun?” These are some of the many responses that I received:
- I like when we do cool projects.
- Playing games is fun.
- I think it is fun when I get to work by myself.
- I like doing plays.
- The projects and crafts are fun.
- I like being together.
- I like hanging out with my friends.
- I like when we split into small groups and make words in Hebrew.
- It is fun when we sing songs.
- I like being with my friends that I have been with for many years.
- It is fun to eat pizza together.
- I like when we watch videos in class.
- It was fun when Rescue came.
- The Hebrew games we play are fun.
- It is fun to paint with the paint markers.
- It is fun to do Hebrew letter yoga.
- My teacher makes my class really fun.
Keeping Connected February 2020
The Chai School program experienced a bit of a trial reorganization this year. We eliminated most of the core courses that use to be required and are offering a variety of different electives this year, to meet the interests of our Chai School students. In addition, we restructured the schedule to be able to offer more variety throughout the year, in smaller bursts of time. This restructuring allows for a different mix of students throughout the program, allowing the students to pick classes of interest to them and not always sticking with their grade-mates. In addition, we are also offering the Chai School courses to students who are not enrolled in the Chai School program but would like to take a class or two over the course of the year. We are currently in the middle of Session 2 and the Chai Schoolers seem to have easily transitioned with these changes and each Wednesday evening, the temple is filled with Chai School energy and enthusiasm. More
January 2020 Keeping Connected
During the past week before writing this article, I kept track of some of the many questions that I was asked in the course of my work here at Congregation Shalom. Some of them included, “Do we have class next week?” “Is Rescue coming to visit again?” “Do you have any chocolate in the office that I can eat?” “Do you know the person ringing the bell at the door?” and “How do you like being the (interim) education director?”
In response to whether we have class or not depends on the calendar for the week. The schedule is complicated so it is important to keep an eye out for various communications that detail upcoming schedules for class. (See January schedule below.) I can tell you that when class is in session, it is important to really try to get your student to class on time. The teachers work hard to plan their lessons and truly want all the students to be able to be part of the whole lesson. When students regularly come late to class, it disrupts the flow of the class and creates distraction. Please make an effort to help to get your student to class on time. More
Keeping Connected December 2019
December brings with it great joy and celebration. As all the students work hard with their religious and Hebrew studies, we are also able to offer some fun and exciting events at this time of the year.
As is tradition, the School Committee will be putting on the annual Hanukkah Party on Sunday, December 15, 2019 from noon – 2:00pm. It is sure to be a fun time with food, music, games, crafts and even a chance make a scarf to donate to other people. The party is open to everyone, and we encourage families and students to come and celebrate together. Please feel free to donate nut free cookies or snacks to share. More
Keeping Connected November 2019
As school is well underway, many exciting things are happening in the classroom and around the school. There is great excitement in the air regarding this year’s tzedakah project. This year, the Religious/Hebrew School is working towards donating money to the NEADS Program, which is a local organization that helps to train service dogs that then in turn help people who would benefit More