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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Friday, December 21, 2012

Students Teaching Students

Much learning happened as our 3rd and 4th graders embarked on studying different authors. Over the month-long unit they learned how to take notes about each author’s personal and professional life while reading biographical information online. They made timelines to show the intersection of their authors’ personal and professional lives. They wrote and edited their author study essays, using outlines they had made to keep their essays organized, and paragraph checklists to self edit before meeting with a teacher.

However, the most learning happened when they prepared for and held an author study fair for visitors and the rest of the school. The greatest learning, after all, happens when you’re teaching someone else! Besides, they had fun dressing up as characters from their authors’ books or emulating the authors themselves.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Chanukah with the Chesed Club

The Torah gives us 613 Mitzvot (good deeds), and Akiba-Schechter’s Chesed Club provides our middle schoolers with the opportunity to consistently focus on acts of kindness and responsibility toward others.

Each week, club members from 5th to 8th grade meet to plan activities and identify opportunities to increase their involvement in Mitzvot that will benefit others. By taking the values from the classroom and putting them into action in the world at large, they are transforming themselves and making an impact in our school and our community.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, they put their other activities on hold and organized a coin drive to benefit the Mazel Day School in Brooklyn that was heavily damaged by the storm. Amazingly, they raised over $500 from collecting loose change. What better way to celebrate Chanukah than bringing a little light to a dank hallway in a flooded school! Happy Chanukah!