Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Transform a Hebrew “Class” into an “Experience” (Strategic Principle #1)

On the anniversary of our launch one year ago, we are pleased to share a few of the successful innovations that make our classes 'strategic.' This is the first of 3 valuable tips for making Hebrew classes relevant, engaging and memorable.

1) MOTIVATION: Students know what they are signing up to learn... and they want to be there!


Whether the topic is basketball, cooking, sports, shopping, or art, students arrive with an expectation that they will get to do something they enjoy.  This intrinsic motivation will encourage them to pay attention to new vocabulary so they can use it to participate.  

During the Cooking Module at JJP, students were introduced to the terms water, sugar, lemon and mint at the beginning of our Limonana (mint lemonade) meeting.  Next, these ingredients were provided, along with cups and spoons, so students could mix the drink to their taste.  The catch?  Students had to request every item IN HEBREW!  

Student Response (journal entries):
"We made Limonana. It felt like heaven because it was a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, water... and mint. Being a person at a counter felt like a real experience in a real shop!"  
--5th Grade, Strategic Hebrew Conversation Center II at JJP

"You get to run around and then cook and eat. We learn Hebrew letters, words, verbs, nouns, adjectives, how to order and cook and have fun!"  
--4th Grade, Strategic Hebrew Conversation Center I at JJP

"Today I learned more Hebrew numbers.  We all played basketball in rotations.  If felt good to be active!"
--7th Grade, Mercaz Sicha at CRS

"Today I learned many new [Hebrew] words. I also played basketball.... I expanded my basketball vocabulary because I learned more root words.... I learned to say 'I like___,' 'I want___,' and 'I can___." In this program I was able to begin my Hebrew understanding through basketball and learn a lot of Hebrew words that will help me."  
--7th Grade, Mercaz Sicha at CRS

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