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TT - Bet Class (Grades 4-5)

BET CLASS ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS
Hebrew
Since it has been some time since there has been structured learning of Hebrew at JCM, we will start from the beginning with the letters and advance at a quicker pace than the Aleph class. We will go through the Zman Likro curriculum at the beginning.  I am of the belief that the Hebrew learning in this class will be very conducive for a Hevruta (partner/diad) clock learning style where partners at the same level can work together and at specific guided times, the stronger students can help those who are just starting in this class.  
Our goal for the end of this year is for students to be able to read with vowel and letter combinations.  They are able to count up to 25 and understand the system of Gematria where a Hebrew letter is equivalent to a number.  Modern Hebrew greetings and expressions are reviewed and fully understood by this year.  They are able to read and write in block.  By now they can read simple Hebrew texts and have a basic understanding of what they are reading.  Reciting and reading of basic Jewish prayers and blessings needs to be proficient enough to be part of leading services.  They will gain support from the fourth graders who have already experienced what it is like to be on the Bimah.  Students should start their own personal dictionary where they write a Hebrew word with its definition.

Students will widen their overall understanding of why Hebrew is such an important part of the Jewish people.  This can be done by looking at the history and life of Eliezer ben Yehudah.  

The Zman Likro curriculum introduces formal Hebrew language instruction (i.e. vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, conjugation, verbs, nouns, masculine, feminine, etc.). 

Prayer
This is the first class where students will be leading Friday night services.  This is and should be seen as a great accomplishment.  
Here utilization of the SiddurAudio.com in coordination with the BJL: Journeys Through the Siddur: Friday Evening by Joel L. Grishaver will help ensure success.  The first student led Friday night service will have the third graders leading the Shma and other prayers they are already familiar with.  The fourth graders will fill in the unfamiliar prayers that they study this year.  Fourth graders in particular should be focusing on the student workbooks of the Journeys Through the Siddur program.


Judaic Studies
This year students will learn how to study Jewish texts in Hevruta (dyads).  As they become used to this learning style, the teacher will be fully attentive to the different groups and their needs.  Thankfully, there are numerous tools for teaching Torah to this age group such as, A Child’s BibleThe Teacher’s Guide makes it useful and accessible to the different students.  This book has sections called, what does it mean, and what does it teach?  This is a great introduction to drawing out meaning from the text.  


Ethics and Morals
Being the first year of the new curriculum, the BJL can be used to introduce the important terms having to do with Jewish ethics and morality.  To make it age appropriate, each BJL should be combined with a text from Handelman’s Vision for Conservative Early Childhood Programs section on Ethical Behavior.  The Hevruta method should be used with questions relating to the text that are age appropriate. 

This class will focus on the topics of: visiting the sick, acts of lovingkindness,  hospitality, returning lost property, respect, honoring parents, feeding the hungry, being a pursuer of peace, contentment with your lot and having a cheerful  attitude.  Should there be additional time, the rest of the ethical values can be looked at through the corresponding stories.  The enduring goals should be the students’ ability to discuss the importance of respecting other people in our society as a Jewish value and what it means to be aware of the need to maintain relationships through the model of בין אדם למקום (between human and the Eternal) and בין אדם לחברו (between people).


Holidays
Our goal by the end of this class is for the vocabulary of the holidays to be recognizable. Central themes of the holidays should be reinforced with quotes from the Torah. For example, identifying what the Shofar is and its place in Judaism is attainable for this age. Goodman’s book, Teaching Jewish Holidays, can be used to increase the content of the class.  

Israel
Now that students have been introduced to Israel they are now ready to understand why the Jewish  people attribute a holiness to the land.  This will allow them to then understand the importance that we attribute to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Knowing that the State of Israel has preserved the rights of all religions to worship in Jerusalem is important. They will learn that there was once a Temple and the only remaining piece is the outer wall of the Second Temple. Students should hear the Hatikvah and be able to recite it.  Students will also learn some of the differences between Israel and Canada in terms of    geography, history and culture. Students will understand that Israel is home to many different cultures and denominations within Judaism.
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Fri, September 30 2022 5 Tishrei 5783