Engage Parents Early in Enriching Hebrew Learning with Shalom Hebrew App
Third grade is a big year in many schools. That’s when students transition from learning the names and sounds of the alef bet to focus on actual reading and retention. At The Temple in Atlanta, a large Reform congregation, educators work with parents on how to give lots of encouragement and support both in the classroom and at home.
The year starts with a parent information night, where teachers explain that the third-grade program now includes one hour of Hebrew each week. That includes working with Shalom Uvrachah Primer Express and teacher-led games, and the Shalom Hebrew app. The school provides the app to its more than 50 third graders, with the expectation that they will use it at home to supplement their in-class learning.
Shalom Hebrew Digital is a digital primer that reinforces visual and auditory Hebrew recognition. Compatible with all mobile devices and laptops, it includes interactive reading exercises that can be recorded and reviewed by educators, and more than a dozen games.
“We believe in the value of the digital because we see the difference in the kids who use it regularly. It’s an excellent tool,” says Elizabeth Foster, Family and Teen Educator at The Temple.
“We also know that parents hold the key, so we make it a priority to work with families,” she adds.
At the parent orientation, teachers demonstrate the app to ensure they are comfortable logging in and know how it works. Each week, teachers send out an email to families highlighting what students have been working on in class, with a reminder to log in to the app and supplement that learning.
“Teachers are definitely pushing the app and encouraging parents to use it at home. It’s a real commitment for parents, and for teachers,” according to Foster. She reports that more than half the third graders are using the app regularly at home. “The outcomes are self-reinforcing. Kids and parents see progress and it motivates them more.”
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