HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Summer Homework

Summer Homework

The articles in this issue begin with a recognition of the difference and legitimacy of summer experiences, their necessity for the personal, social and spiritual development of children. At the same time, day schools conceive of themselves as model worlds that students are meant to take with them throughout the year and throughout their lives. Authors explore creative ideas for layering the educational and spiritual goals of school with the activities and environments of summer camp and downtime. Other pieces describe ways for various day school stakeholders to use the quiet summer months to prepare for their work during the school year.

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Assignments that Count: Goals and Assessment of Summer Work

by Rabbi Maury Grebenau May 30, 2017 Yavneh Academy of Dallas
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersPedagogyStudents

Summer work

In the Jewish high school I attended, each year there was one book assigned for our summer homework. Some of us would read it, some relied on Cliffs Notes, and others would try to wing it. Now that I have become a principal of a Jewish high school, I find that while summer homework has expanded significantly, the challenges of engaging the students and keeping them accountable are still present.

Summer Assignments: One Size Does Not Fit All

by Yael Krieger May 30, 2017 Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco
RELATED TOPICS: InclusivityTeachers

Today, words like “differentiation” and “multiple learning styles” are inextricable from the lesson planning processes. Accommodations, modifications and alternative modes of assessment are embraced by teachers who are thinking about their instructional choices and taking into account the neurodiversity in their classrooms. With summer homework, teachers should extend this same level of pedagogical flexibility or creativity to their assignments. If they do not, summer homework can end up being too broad and unscaffolded, or too time-intensive.

Now that School Is Over, Let’s Start Learning!

by Melanie Eisen, Shira Heller and Shira Loewenstein May 30, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersPedagogy

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” John Dewey

Books Build School Ties for Parents and Teachers

by Hadar Dohn May 30, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersParents

How does one thoughtfully build a collaborative school culture between faculty and parents? This is a question that we at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago (SSDS) have been grappling with for a long time. There are many peripheral ways that we currently collaborate at SSDS, but we wanted to look beyond that. We wanted something more meaningful, that would bridge multiple constituencies and have an effect on all aspects of our children. The answer: a schoolwide summer read involving both faculty and parents.

Hands-on, Hearts-on Jewish Learning: The Gift of Camp for Jewish Day Schools

by Kate O'Brien May 30, 2017

“Knowledge is fostered by curiosity; wisdom is fostered by awe.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Who is Man?


Confronting Our Past, Singing for Our Future

by Batya Bosin May 29, 2017 Goldie Margolin School for Girls, Memphis

Seven countries, five weeks, 40 teenagers, one program. JOLT, a summer program of NCSY (National Council of Synagogue Youth, the Orthodox student movement) and words cannot do it justice. Maya Angelou comes close: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I went to three countries, Poland, Austria and Israel. Each place was chosen to mark a particular focus: past, present and future.

Making Connections Across the World

by Jonah Heinrich May 29, 2017 Chicago Jewish Day School

Last year at summer camp I met two amazing people, Samson and Isaac. They were my counselors at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). They came all the way from Uganda, Africa. Throughout my four weeks at camp, I spent a lot of time talking with Samson and Isaac. They told me about their daily struggles and tried to paint a picture for me of the details of their life in Uganda.

My Note at the Kotel

by Nicole Diner May 29, 2017 Adat Ari El Trana and Ronald Labowe Family Day School, Valley Village, California

Last summer I went to Israel for the second time, for my mom’s cousin’s wedding. We stayed in Israel for two weeks in Herzliya at the Marina. My family and I stayed in the same neighborhood when I first went to Israel.

Experiencing Learning

by Zack Fox May 29, 2017 Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto

One of the most important parts of education, in my opinion, is experience. I’ve been blessed to have truly transformative experiences during my summers. Throughout my tenth and eleventh grade, I took part in a program called the Diller Teen Fellows. It is a Jewish leadership program, affiliated in Toronto with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, focused on building leaders as well as Jewish identity.

A Perfect Summer Shabbat

by Lael Sanders May 29, 2017 Temple Beth Am Day Schools, Pinecrest, FL

Some kids find their Jewishness in summer camp, by traveling to Israel or by going to shul. For me, this happened right in my hometown, one summer at Shabbat dinner for my savta’s (grandma’s) birthday.