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Teacher Resources

  1. Biographies of Heroes Help Explore Values and Character Traits

    Biographies of Heroes Help Explore Values and Character Traits

    Inspired by a groundbreaking exhibition at ANU - Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) in Tel Aviv and published by Behrman House, The Hero in Me is a series of short biographies to help students learn about themselves an their global Jewish community through five traits:

      • courage
      • kindness
      • creativity
      • curiosity
      • fairness

    Storytelling is perhaps the most effective way to convey meaning to children,” said David Behrman, publisher. “These biographies offer bite-size insights into what makes a hero, and how our young readers can build those qualities into their own

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  2. Simple Tools to Help Teachers and Students Find Their Calm

    Simple Tools to Help Teachers and Students Find Their Calm

    The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, and even as we remain creative and resilient and dedicated, these uncertain times can make us - and our students - feel mentally and physically worn out. 

    Learning to practice self-care as a habit can help improve coping skills and mental health. 

    Here are a few techniques to try as we settle into another atypical school year.

    Practice being present

    Mindfulness is a catch word these days, and with good reason. It’s a way of being in the world, the ability to pay attention to the present moment, the here and now. There’s a growing body of research pointing to the effectiveness of mindful practices on our ability— both adults and children—to pay better attention, make thoughtful decisions and calm ourselves down. Our ability to be in the moment requires opportunities to pause and slow down together and individually.

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  3. Stories and Activities for Sukkot and Simchat Torah for In-Person, Remote, or Blended Learning Environments

    We've rounded up some stories for our Apples & Honey collection to share, and some free, ready-to-go Sukkot and Simchat Torah lessons and activities for various ages.

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  4. A New Jonah Story to Supplement Yom Kippur Teaching

    A New Jonah Story to Supplement Yom Kippur Teaching

    The Book of Jonah, with its message of religious universalism, comprises almost the entire afternoon reading for Yom Kippur. The Jonah story highlights how all people, Jews and non-Jews, are entitled to God's blessing and forgiveness.

    For young children, supplement your Yom Kippur teaching with an approachable retelling of the Bible story. 

    Jonah's Tale of a Whale, by Barry Schwartz and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez, tells the story of Jonah using simple words and features dramatic illustrations that bring it to life.

    Jonah lived by the sea. As a boy, he heard fishermen tell tales of whales that swallowed up ships. But he never expected to be swallowed up himself.
     
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  5. Tools to Build Resilience and Kindness in an Uncertain World

    As we enter a second school year of pandemic-induced uncertainty, children have shown their resilience time and again.

    We can all learn and practice such skills. Character traits such as resilience, kindness, and courage lie at the core of Jewish values, requiring us to make conscious choices about our actions. Here are some ways to teach and develop character traits and values.

    Grades 3-5

    This is an age when children are thinking critically about right and wrong and the importance of the choices they make. Here is an activity from A Kids Mensch Handbook about the value of sh'lom bayit, peace in the home. 

    Start by asking children to complete the following sentence in their heads or on paper: "My favorite family memories are_____" Allow

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  6. Teacher Support Materials Simplify and Enrich Planning

    Teacher Support Materials Simplify and Enrich Planning

    When it comes to figuring out what and how to teach, there’s no need to start from scratch.

    Start by determining what ideas you want students to explore and how much time you will have.

    Then, choose curricular materials that will help you to get there. And by that we mean teacher guides and lesson plan manuals and resource guides. Our rich collection of educator materials support your work and mission. 

    Think of these support materials as your launch pad, the starting point. They map out the directions for where you want to go. Then you can add in student text as source material for the content you’re trying to provide.  

    First, some terminology. 

    What are teacher support materials?

    Curriculum planners create a map of the big picture goals and key concepts that will drive your learning program.

    We have developed three big ideas that encompass the key values and purpose of

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  7. Save Big on Jewish-Themed Coloring and Activity Books

     

        

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  8. Is the Time Right to Consider a Vision Change for Your Learning Program?

    The 2020-21 school year was marked by resourcefulness, experimentation, and creativity, among other things. It was different by necessity.

    As we emerge from the pandemic and look ahead to next year, when things will be different yet again, consider whether to step back and take stock of the big picture. Not the tachlis of what's working and what's not. But the overall vision of your learning program - what's the point of Jewish education and are you and the stakeholders in your community in alignment?

    "The answer to this question lies at the very heart of the approach we take in our educational spaces," writes Batsheva Frankel in The Jewish Educator's Companion. "We are always striving to be our best, wanting our programs to grow and improve. The process of considering change

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  9. How to Choose the Best Hebrew Primer for Learners of All Ages

    Decoding Hebrew opens the gates to a world of skills and deeper connection to Jewish prayer, culture, and tradition. 

    Now's the time to start thinking about your Hebrew program for the upcoming year. So how to decide which primer is best for your learners?

    Here's an overview of our most popular primers: 

    Alef Bet Quest 

    Best for: Grades 3-4
    Students learn Hebrew through a guided virtual tour of Israel. Teaches new letters and vowels from real Hebrew words, with an emphasis on those found in the prayer book. Alef Bet

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  10. Simple Tips for Easy School Orders

    Simple Tips for Easy School Orders
    It’s probably been a while since you made your yearly school order. Here are some basics to get you started.
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