Sunday School started on a hot, humid morning last week. I’m amazed every year at how fast the kids seem to grow over the summer. Students I remember as little kids are as tall as I am, if not taller (not a terribly high bar, have to admit).
School no sooner started than it stopped again! What with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah, we don’t meet again until the middle of the month. The Hebrew School meeting schedule was even worse. There was hardly a week when we could meet both days. So I decided to delay beginning until the High Holidays are behind us. I now have the luxury of tme to work with the teachers on new approaches to teaching Hebrew. We are going to experiment with more active methods of building vocabulary, including having the students respond to complex commands in Hebrew, an approach called Hebrew Through Movement. Once the Hebrew teachers are trained, I’ll ask them to train the Sunday School teachers. So you may see kids on Sundays or Mondays putting one yad (hand) on their rosh (head) while standing on one regel (leg). It should be a fun and active approach to learning Hebrew vocabulary that will pay oﬀ when they begin to work on reading.
I went to NewCAJE, a conference of Jewish educators, this summer to learn more about this approach. I am very excited to be bringing it to Iowa City!