LAMED is ATID's blog roundup of articles, resources, and occasional commentary for Jewish education. Lamed is updated a few times a week by ATID's Jerusalem staff. Visit us at www.atid.org.
Wednesday, November 30
Cursive Writing on the Wall
Cursive writing, once a cornerstone of primary school education, is becoming a cultural artifact as computers squeeze it out of its once lofty position. Taught for more than 300 years in the United States, cursive has a storied past. But in a number of schools, it has been reduced to an independent study, an "as-we-have-time" course in second or third grade.
Tuesday, November 29
Matters of Principal
8th Annual Principals' Program at Lookstein Center, Bar-Ilan-University
Summer Seminar, July 10-20, 2006, Ramat-Gan & Jerusalem, Israel
Jewish day school leaders: Become part of a growing and dynamic professional network of over 170 educational leaders from 8 countries who have already participated in our leadership programs. The Principals' Program provides Jewish educational leaders the opportunity to explore the dynamics of school culture and school change, empowering them through the development of new perspectives and strategies to deal creatively with the unique challenges day school administrators face.
Click here for details...
Monday, November 28
Stupider Than Rats
A problem that all human beings have is we fall in love with our hunches, and we really, really hate to be wrong. A Yale classroom experiment proved this. A rat was put in a T-shaped maze. Food was placed in either the right or the left transept of the T in a random sequence such that, over the long run, the food was on the left sixty per cent of the time and on the right forty per cent. Neither the students nor (needless to say) the rat was told these frequencies. The students were asked to predict on which side of the T the food would appear each time. The rat eventually figured out that the food was on the left side more often than the right, and it therefore nearly always went to the left, scoring roughly sixty per cent--D, but a passing grade. The students looked for patterns of left-right placement, and ended up scoring only fifty-two per cent, an F. The rat, having no reputation to begin with, was not embarrassed about being wrong two out of every five tries. But Yale students, who do have reputations, searched for a hidden order in the sequence. They couldn’t deal with forty-per-cent error, so they ended up with almost fifty-per-cent error.
On the problems of getting it right...
Wednesday, November 23
College Essays on the Lighter Side
From an online college-application editing service...
Your entrance essay must not only demonstrate your grasp of grammar and ability to write lucid, structured prose, but also paint a vivid picture of your personality and character, one that compels a busy admissions officer to accept you.
Click here for a laugh...
Tuesday, November 22
Tonight: Authority and Autonomy
Yeshiva University in Israel joins ATID in sponsoring our 8th Annual Winter Conference, with keynote speaker Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, and a panel of educators, who will address Authority and Autonomy: Educational Challenges in a World of Personal Choice. Tuesday evening, November 22 at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, in Jerusalem.
Click here for details or to register...
Rabbi Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future, Yeshiva University, New York.
Long Live Yiddish
The mame-loshn of Ashkenazic Jews at first possessed few names for flowers but three words for "question": frage (derived from German), kashe (from Aramaic) and shayle (from Hebrew)."
Can the death of Yiddish be circumvented? Az me ken nit ariber, gait men arunter...
Monday, November 21
Once neglected, America's smartest children have become the beneficiaries of a well-organized effort to recognize their gifts and develop their talent. But do we know how to identify the child whose brilliance might change the world? And do we really want to?
Sunday, November 20
Adult Children's Literature
Adult delight in children's literature is not an innocent delight. As adult readers of children's stories, we're aware, as children are not, that their robust confidence in the world, at least while they are enraptured by a story, is ephemeral and fragile, endangered by every step they take toward adulthood. For adults, the child becomes almost another character in the story, responding with a wonderfully heedless delight or dismay to things as unreal as the adult world she imagines. But we know what's coming, how evanescent the child's world is-and we feel for her what she cannot possibly feel for herself. Click...
Thursday, November 17
The Lure of Learning
Teaching entails the creation of connections among teacher, student, and content so that educational experiences can be had. Powerful teaching engages and recalls a lure of learning. To explore this lure, or love of learning, and its place in teaching, we need to know what this attraction feels and looks like.
Wednesday, November 16
What Teens See on TV
What the nation's teenagers see on TV has been getting a lot of attention recently. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that sexual content in television shows has doubled since 1998, and 70 percent of the top 20 shows watched by teens have such content.
Public Agenda examined attitudes about television in their report "What Parents Are Saying About TV Today." They found parents say television is an inescapable presence, even as they worry about what their children learn from it. Seven in 10 say they've been personally shocked or offended by something on TV in the past year. Yet eight in 10 also say they've seen a program with a good message over the same period.
Parents largely reject the "no TV" approach, but also believe they must exercise some control. Consequently, TV viewing tends to be an area of continual negotiation and compromise and many factors might be taken into account, such as the age of the child, whether the parent can watch, whether the homework is done and whether the day has already been full of parental questions and pestering.
Click here for the report.
Tuesday, November 15
NYT Book Review runs its special children's book issue this week. Includes features on two books about the Holocaust which try to bridge the distance between young readers and the terrible trauma that even adults cannot comprehend. Click here...
Monday, November 14
This just in from the indefatigable Jacob Richman...
The, free, online Bible Quiz contains more than 3,000 multiple choice questions about the 5 books of Moses. Choose a chapter and timer setting, then the fun begins. The quiz, randomly, selects questions from its database, thus no two quizes are alike. There is, also, a database browser for reviewing and printing the Questions with the correct Answers. Adults, as well as children will find the quiz entertaining and very educational.
Talking About Poor Children
Prof. Ray McDermott of Stanford University delivers a keynote:
"Talking About Children From Poor and Minority Communities
In Ways That Do Not Make Their Lives Worse"
Tuesday, November 15 at 5:30-7:00 PM
Van Leer Institute, 43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem
Part of conference on Diversity, Identity and Empathy.
Sunday, November 13
Israel High School Fair
The 4th Annual Boys and Girls
Junior/High School Fair 2006-2007
Tuesday, November 15th
(Separate presentations, same evening, for boys and girls schools)
Yeshivot presenting: Shaalei Torah, Nachshon, Mekor Chaim, Netiv Meir, Noam, Bnei Chayil, Kinyan Chochma, Ner Tamid, Orot yehuda, Kol Mevasser, Shaalabim,Knesset Yisroel, Nehora, Meorot, Tichoni Madaei Maaleh Adumim, and Hemmelpharb.
Ulpanot presenting: Shaalei Torah Gila, Noga, Rappaport Jerusalem, Neve Ruchama, Bet Shulamit, Shaalabim Girls, Tzviya Yitziratit.
Place: Ramat Bet Shemesh Matnas, Nachal Dolev
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Time: 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Cost: NIS 60 per family
Included Comprehensive High School Guide Book
For more information please contact: Michelle Berkowitz
02-991-9283 / 054-548-5476
But Can He Teach?
The job candidate groaned like Prometheus having his liver pecked out by the eagle. Then the committee asked the prospective teacher questions like...
Q. What do you like most about teaching?
A. Student turnover. They leave at the end of the semester.
Q. How do you handle unprepared students?
A. I read the material to them.Q. What was your hardest moment in teaching, and how did you handle it?
A. I had a student who talked too much and was rude and confrontational, so I let him teach the next class.
Q. How do you grade poor grammar in English papers?
A. Oh, I don't count that kind of stuff.Are universities concerned with good teaching? Click here.
Friday, November 11
ATID alumna Ilana Goldstein Saks writes a weekly column for Efrat's Woman's Beit Midrash on the weekly Rashi, with interesting questions for further study.
Thursday, November 10
In the Palace of the King?
Has King David's palace been discovered? Click here...
Our apologies for this week's absence.
Friday, November 4
Our friend (and ATID alum) R. Moshe Abelesz has opened a new blog on parashat ha-shavua.