Quarterly Newsletter for the Rural English Education Dept.
Newsletter #1: Dec. 2014
What's it all about?
Many of you showed an interest in an online course for Google Tools in EFL - you can still sign up, but hurry! We're set to embark after Hannuka! (Stay tuned to emails for information on the Online Vocabulary Course.)
In the Ghetto, 1941.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, fell on December 15. Having spent the previous Hanukkah in Pawiak prison away from the children, Korczak wanted this one to be festive for them. The house hummed as the orphans made menorahs for the tables and presents for each other, and rehearsed one of the Hanukkah plays that Korczak had written years before. The holiday had a special meaning for Korczak: "An Old Man with a Gray Beard," he called his story. He admired Judas Maccabaeus for his toughness in sending his sons on the daring mission to recapture the Temple from the Syrians, as well as for his shrewd ability to foresee victory.
A few days before the holiday, the children were surprised to see a garbage truck from the Aryan side pull up to the orphanage with presents for them concealed beneath the trash. The three garbagemen, contacted by the Polish underground, were delivering food and toys from Korczak's friends.
Lifton B.J. (1988), "The King of Children. The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak", St Martin's Griffin, New York p 293
The App Corner (Sandra Keren)
Should we recommend language learning apps for our students? Most apps today are user friendly, they engage learners, they are easy to use and an added bonus – they are just FUN!
In each edition of this newsletter we will recommend a new app that has proved best by test! So here is the app for today:
Zondle – www.zondle.com
Zondle is an app you can use to create, play and share games based on your teaching.
It is designed for individual work as well as for a whole class. And best of all it is FREE!
Every pupil gets a username and a password; all their activities are recorded in your online class so you can easily monitor your students. Everything is easy and simple
Give it a try, you'll love it!
(PS For more cool digital tools, check out Digitally Yours....)
"Show Off!" Corner (Jacquie Mohar)
A Peek into Maayan - Shahar's English Centre
- It was set up about 15 years ago with the help of Avi Tsur
- When setting up a centre it is important to make it look different – it's not a classroom - get a carpet!
- Team work essential!
We have 7 corners – in each corner the work is graded to accommodate all levels. (Weaker learners might not be able to do all corners)
- One or two teachers are responsible for a corner – and all that is involved with it.
- Most of the work is done in the summer vacation – no time during the school year.
- Used mostly for Junior High school
- Can fit up to 32 quite comfortably.
- Always looking to change the corners
- Students LOVE coming to the centre
- Ideally – one centre lesson a month.
LD Corner (Arona Gvaryahu)
As English teachers we are often bombarded by the challenges that students with special educational needs create for us in our classrooms. The learners with learning disabilities and ADHD sometimes seem larger than life and take up a great amount of our energies and our time. In addition, of late, there has been so much discussion about the necessity for filling out forms, proving that there really is a learning disability and the like. Teachers very often dream of going back to a time when there was no such thing. " How is it, that when I was in elementary school all kids learned how to read?" OR "This is a disease of the late 20th century. Spoiled societies produce lazy learners"
Well, we know that like so many other things that have come to the fore within recent years, there were always children who suffered in school as a result having academic difficulties. We know that there is a clear difference between children who have some kind of developmental delay and a learning disability. Sometimes, as teachers we don’t always see what that difference is.
This corner of the " newsletter" will be dedicated to learning disabilities, tips, ideas and extra challenges. Please feel free to write in with questions. You might get answers.
For now, let’s just begin by setting the record straight.
The combination of difficulties that make up what is today called dyslexia was first identified by German physician and reformer of special education schools, Oswald Berkhan in 1881. The name dyslexia was given six years later by Rudolf Berlin. The word dyslexia comes from the Greek words “dys”, which means difficulty, and “lexis”.
Then in 1896 ( imagine!) an article published in the British Medical Journal, identifying for the first time something called Congenital Word Blindness. Dr. Pringle Morgan of East Sussex documented a clever boy, with typical 14 year old behaviors and skills, who had not managed to learn how to read.
The medical and clinical definition of dyslexia is still evolving, as are our skills in learning how to help learners who have difficulty learning a foreign language as a result of their disabilities and our difficulties.
REED JHS Video Contest "The Other is Me" and "Giving to My Community" (Judie Segal)
For the second year now, we are organizing a video contest for Junior High School English classes based on the National Theme of "The Other is Me". This year we have added a category for community service called "Giving to My Community".
Last year, an 8th grade class led by Ingride Lewis from the Ami Asaf school won the contest. Fourteen schools participated in the program and the final event was held in the Youth Village Tom in June. Students from the three finalist classes came to present their films, reflect and meet and converse with Dr. Benny Fisher, Menahel Mahoz Hityashvuti. The event was a great success for students, teachers and members of the Inspectorate.
We have sent out letters to all of the principals and coordinators and are encouraging all schools to register at least one of their Junior High School English classes for this contest.
You can register here until the end of December 2014
Here is some feedback from teachers who participated last year:
Question: What was your greatest satisfaction?
“Seeing the movie the first time finished. Accomplishment. The editor's satisfaction- a learning disabled boy, who was so proud of the movie. (Sorry about the spelling...)”
“They don't realise but the project has been very instrumental into bringing them together. My students come from all the classes in Grade 8. A lot of work went into this project. And their achievement has been a great learning experience for them.”
“We raised money for an organization and there was something the students could do that they could feel good about. That they could make a difference. I also after realized that we really can do something like a video and it could come out nice.
“Thanks for the opportunity, looking forward to something similar next year! “
Below are the video contest promo ((Tsafit Teacher: Jane Simon) and the winning film for 2013-2014
Can't wait to see YOUR films!
Video Contest Event Promo
Winning Film for 2013-2014
And starting this year: The REED Book Trailer Contest!
Have you been looking for a way to breath new life into that old, dusty book report? We have just the thing for for you! REED is offering your budding readers and videographers a chance to put their talents to work, and create a BOOK TRAILER for their next book report. They can enter it in our book trailer contest. If a student from your school wins, he or she will come home with prizes for your English room, and a great feeling of satisfaction!
What is a book trailer? Just like a movie trailer, it presents a tantalizing taste of a book's plot, themes, setting and characters, in a short video presentation. The goal is to make people want to read the book. For samples and a full description of this project, click here.
Register here until December 29th, 2014
HOTS Corner: Differentiating Different Perspectives
From the REED Counseling Staff
Amy Segali - Western Galili
Aviva Shapiro - Golan and Kinerret
Judie Segal - Coastal Region and Arava
Melissa Weglein - Gush Etzion and Jerusalem
Jacquie Mohar - Emek Yizrael / Emek Hefer / Menashe
Sandra Keren - Shomron and Computerized Bagrut
Diane VonSpier - Central Region and Meitzav
Adele Raemer - The Negev
Arona Gvaryahu - Honorary (and always loved) REED Consultant for LD issues
Newsletter #1: Dec. 2014