Our partner schools, Hillel Academy in Rochester, NY and B’nai Shalom in Greensboro, NC, are only ever a Zoom meeting away from us. Every Wednesday in March and April (excluding those pesky snow days), we have been working with the other students. Each week, one of the teachers takes the lead by planning the lesson, teaching it and following it up with any necessary materials. David Prevosti at Hillel led our very first session which focused on a pre-learning assessment using a game called Kahoot. It was a great icebreaker and we all had fun. David even learned something when Ethan discovered one of the answers that needed to be clicked was in the wrong place. Go Ethan!
For the second session, I taught a class on Judaism and social justice. We studied texts that stem from the Torah on the subject of “do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” The texts raised many questions and forced us to read each text extremely carefully. It was nerve-wracking teaching my first distance learning class, but when we got off Zoom, the sixth graders told me they were proud of me!
Carolyn has led sessions on the Lions of Little Rock and Marcy and I led a session on how characters change throughout the novel.
Simultaneously, our students have been collaborating with the other students to create slideshows about different events in the civil rights era and what the historical context was for each event. There were definitely some technological bumps in the road along the way, but we are looking forward to sharing these presentations before we visit the sites where these events actually took place.
Distance Learning is a work in progress for me since it really is a different kind of teaching. However, I love learning new skills and stretching myself, so it’s all good.
Rabbi Amanda Brodie