Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It's always the little things.

In contemplating a small delight in the day that I am thankful for, I came up quite a few.  It's always the little things.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Connected to Who? Connected to What?

I am a connected educator. 

 As such...

I will

have an infinite number of resources available to me.

always have someone to reflect with and get input from.

access to the most current educational findings and methods

provide valuable resources to other educators
I will never

stop learning from my colleagues and students.

feel like my classroom stops beyond its 4 walls.

take for granted the worldwide PLN that I am a part of.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Don't wait until Thanksgiving to be grateful.

              Rosh Hashanah has always been a time to reflect on the year past and prepare for the year to come. There are several things that have happened recently that give me hope that the year to come will be an amazing one. Starting with the mundane, my dog Mink had her first  litter of puppies all by herself with no complications. Seeing the puppies for the first time brought me back once again to the beginning of life and the promise that it holds. Will the 5 little males be famous show dogs? Will they be someone’s beloved pet for life? I don’t even know their coloring or personalities as yet and it is so exciting to anticipate the future with them!
              This year has brought changes to what classes I teach at Davis. This is the first year that I am teaching 4th grade Judaics and it is a challenge I look forward to every week. The questions that the older children ask make me a believer in this upcoming generation. I do not remember having such an awareness of the world in general, let  alone the Jewish world when I was in 4th grade. I have had less stimulating interactions with adults; these students keep me and my toes and make me excited to teach them.
              The latest change to my life came about as a surprise to me, and a wonderful blessing. While I was in Israel this summer I was encouraged to apply to graduate school at Hebrew College.  Despite returning home and literally rushing to apply with all the requisite documentation and personal info requirements, I submitted my application and was accepted into a dual Masters program : Master of Jewish Education/Master of Arts in Jewish Studies.   I know that taking this educational opportunity on in addition to my teaching responsibilities will be a challenge, but it is certainly one that I welcome.  For all these things, and for returning to this fantastic forum that is my blog I am


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Everyone has a Summer Bucket List

Good morning.  As I prepare to officially embark on summer vacation, I find myself thinking of all the things I want to do this summer.  Lay by the pool, begin writing that book stored in my head, going to that workout class I always say I don't have time for,  reading for school, reading for pleasure, and so on. 

I am sure that I will accomplish much of what I set out to do, however some items I insist must end up on my "must do this summer list."  For me, the last two items in the list above are already there. You see, I love reading and identify myself as the following: A

Image:  www.voguewriter.com

So, I will lay by the pool and rock my mirrored lensed sunglasses and through those glasses I will be reading/watching things that will make me a better teacher and person. 

Nerd-side Reading /Watching List
  1. https://youtu.be/iE9HMudybyc  Got a meeting? Take a walk.
  2. Read Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America by Allan Collins

Diva-side Reading /Watching List
  1. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  2. Black, White, and Jewish by Rebecca Walker

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Measuring Success

How do I internally measure success?  The success of my students? The success of my teaching?

 Mmm, these questions seem best answered using a list.  

Hearing stories from parents about how their child uses Hebrew at home.  (UNPROMPTED)
Students talk to one another about a concept that we’ve learned about while working.
Having to ask my students to stop working when it’s time to go.
Students using Hebrew in other classrooms.  From labeling their snack to singing Hebrew songs.
Having my students greet me outside of my classroom in Hebrew.


Confidence and success when  working independently.

                                                     To name a few.

This is a great question and is bound to be answered differently by each individual educator based on subject. My answers are based on being a Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher to young students.  In reflecting on my answers it occurred to me that much of the way I measure success is based on how my students internalize the knowledge I give them.  I know it sounds rather odd, but when the language becomes a part of who a student is the walls of fear and hesitation seem to melt awayYou are then left with a classroom of students that are all moving forward and having fun at the same time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Changing a constant".

  As educators we live in a dual world.  This world teeters on half routine and half "my students change constants everyday",and I adapt to those.  It's truly a matter of experience and quick thinking that allow both things to occur in unity on an everyday basis.  The constant I chose to change was that of how I seat my 2nd grade Judaic Studies students,  As we all know...

We spend what ends up being a combined several hours a year trying to create and modify an ideal seating chart.  One that limits distractions to you and to other students, and most importantly one that ensures the greatest chance of maximum success for each student.

This change was very hard for me, as I know the personalities in my class.  Some work very well together and some turn an in class assignment with a study partner into a personal play date at school.  The result of my change was that many students sat next to a friend and were not as present in the class activities / discussion.  Another trend that I noticed, and was bothered by, was the self segregation of boys and girls when given free seating.  Yes, I know this is age appropriate. (Watch out for "cooties".) However, it is our job as educators to create balance not just among personalities, levels of intelligence, but also in terms of gender. There are lots of benefits that  present themselves when the male and female brain work together.  It's scientific.

On the good news side, it was not a disaster.  Yet, it was not really a success.  Thus, I see this constant as being one that I would not want to change in the future.  Perhaps with different personalities and different age groups my outcome would have been different.  Come on, let's face it.  We know if we sit next to our "teacher-friends" at a faculty meeting that we are bound to end up talking.  I understand the kids and the pull of friendship. At the end of the day though, I want to make choices that create absolute success for each one of my students.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I need your help...

I hope everyone is doing well and that you are back into your school groove following winter break. I know sometimes it takes a minute to get back into the swing of things.  😊  One of the reasons I believe that we all decided to take on the #Blogamonth challenge was to expand our Professional Learning Network.  By reading this, you are clearly a part of mine. Thanks!  So, as such I need your help.  I have a dilemma that seems small but I think could make a difference in my classroom.  Please comment. Pretty please with cherries on top. I welcome the advice.

 provided by Google Search free image

My Dilemma:

                  I believe that I have one of the most perfect classrooms at my school for several reasons, but mainly because of all the beautiful natural light that my room takes in everyday. Oh, did I mention that these windows that provide beautiful sunlight also provide a great view of the playground? At my school, as with most, different grades have lunch and recess at various times.  I may be teaching a Kindergarten class while 5th grade is at recess. 

                   Thus far I have adjusted the time that I leave my blinds open or up around when there are classes outside.  Doing this makes me a bit sad though. I love the students being exposed to the natural light and I think it is important to be able to look out at the trees / nature as we are working.  I believe that seeing nature provides a great atmosphere for learning.  If I open the blinds or pull them up then I have lots of little brains intrigued by what is happening outside and not as involved in the class activity.  I don't blame them at all.  Wouldn't you want to check out what was going on outside?


1.Keep closing the blinds and accept the lack of natural light and nature?

2.) Open the blinds and understand it will be a small distraction until they are used to it?

3.)  Re-arrange my room so that the tables are further away from the windows?
(they will still be able to see out of the window)

Alright amazing teachers and administrators, what do I do?