These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Only one more week is not enough with these students!

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Laura Marder

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laurmarI am having so much fun with my 7th graders at Hannah Senesh Community Day School. We are learning Bmidbar 13 and 14. These chapters really speak to where the students are in their lives. They, like Bnai Yisrael are close to embarking on a journey to a new land…. The HIGH SCHOOL! The 8th graders have been visiting High schools and coming back with all sorts of good and bad rumors. The 8th graders, we can call them the scouts, have actually seen this next step. But to the 7th graders it seems a bit scary! Bnai Yisrael is also scared, they are unsure what the land will be like. This point in Bnai Yisrael’s life is so transitional. They are seeing how scary it can be to take on responsibility and to not just be handed things or follow orders. By studying this in 7th grade students are able to express their own angst about their next step through their exploration of the text. We have also gotten to discuss crowd mentality, self image and belief. All hot topics for middle school. I am so proud of my students for their ability to engage in discussion and find layers of meaning in the text.

We are now beginning to compose our own “Bnai Yisrael Blues” Students have topic prompts for each verse. They express their predictions or feelings about what we have read in the text threw blues style lyrics. Next week we will have a “Blues Club Night” Student will get refreshments and will perform their music for each other. I am so excited about this because they are able to use music as a form of expression through mood and lyrics.

I have been learning so much from my students, mentor and myself. I am so grateful for this student teaching time.

Miss you all!