What I am Reading: Reply

Vicky Kelman

Talk to Me First: Everything you Need to Know to Become Your Child’s “Go-To” Person About Sex
by Deborah Roffman

vicky kelman

Watched a sporting event live on TV recently together with a child? What did you do when the ad for Cialis came on? Change the channel? leave the room to get a snack? go to the bathroom? raise your voice very loud and try to start a diversionary conversation.? And just as you think you’ve dodged the bullet, the same commercial returns! (Those commercials do not come on just once.)

If you’d read “Talk to Me First,” this scene might hold less fear and perhaps (I know this sounds far-fetched) more opportunity.



The Future’s so Bright… Reply

Joel Lurie GrishavJoel Lurie Grishaver

This is a look at the future of the Synagogue School based on its contemporary present, rather than based on a twenty-year-old reality. A presumptive truth: The major issues of the viability of the Synagogue School lie not with the word “school.” Education will not vanish.


Entering the World of Kavannah Reply

Laurie Bellet

Laurie BelletSometimes my world brings surprises, and so it was today. I had another article ready to go and then my 2nd grade came in, scheduled today to experience the art of Mark Rothko. Named Markus Rothkowitz at birth in Russia in 1903, he became Mark Rothko later in life. Trained traditionally, Rothko became famous later in life, for his vast fields of color that seem to pulsate, float, recede and come towards the viewer. Similar in some ways to the efforts of Yakov Agam, Rothko sought to engage the viewer in the art itself. The art is about Kavannah and a spiritual journey. Can students as young as 2nd grade enter this world? Absolutely!

Unlike in recent years I opted for paints as opposed to bleeding tissue paper (the lesson plan for which can be found at www.lbellet.wordpress.com). As with any art experience you undertake with students of all ages, please do the activity before you teach it. More…

Tech-i-ya 5.1 Reply

Adrian A. Durlester

Adrian DurlesterWe’re back with another year of Tech-i-ya, looking to share with you tips for making the best use of technology and online resources in service to Jewish Education.

Our first tip this year isn’t about a website, it’s about a terrific tool for making use of all the great stuff you find on the internet. It’s called SnagIt, from TechSmith. It’s in the category of “screen grab” tools. These are tools that let you capture what’s on your computer screen and use it in another presentation, document, etc. Now yes, it’s true, today’s operating systems have built-in screen capture capabilities, and there’s no shortage of free screen grab tools out there. SnagIt isn’t free (though you can try it free for 7 days.) Bucking the trend of using annual subscriptions, SnagIt is software you can just buy and use. It retails single user for $49.95, but their educational pricing allows individual purchases for only $29.95, and volume licensing at lower prices starts with only 5 copies. On the other hand, with this traditional software sales model, you’ll still have to pay for major upgrades to the software.


What I am Reading: Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to teach it to Everyone) Reply

vicky kelmanVicky Kelman

 Green, Elizabeth. Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to teach it to Everyone). W.W. Norton and Company. 2014

It sounds like good news when Elizabeth Green first tells us that being a good teacher is not just a random gift but rather is a set of skills that can be learned. That sounds good and reassuring. We want to say, “that’s great. If anyone can learn it, we are in good shape.”. But what becomes clear, is that the acquisition of those skills is hard intellectual work that requires time, dedication, time, patience, time, tolerance for trial and error and an infra-structure that provides all that. The story Green has brought to tell us, a story about learning to teach: “it’s complicated.”