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MIFGASHIM  October 2010

MIFGASHIM October 2010

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 143

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 02:05:12 +0200

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text/plain

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text/plain (110 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 143

Contents:

1.  	Webinars

2.  	“Magic Letters”

3.	Marshall Memo: How Much Hebrew Should be Used in Hebrew Language Classes?


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Webinars

Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership offers free continuing education and professional development online webinars- watch, participate and learn from your own computer.   The next one is coming soon.

Popular Pitfalls of Powerpoint Presentations
Tuesday, October 19, 4:00-4:45 PM EST
Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, Director of Educational Technology, Frisch High School

PowerPoint"? You don't have to. PowerPoint has many educational advantages when used correctly. This presentation will cover the dos and don'ts of using PowerPoint and other types of presentation software in the Judaic Studies classroom based on both the research and real-world experience.

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/376035-popular-pitfalls-of-powerpoint-presentations

If you have questions, contact Shari at [log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


2.	“Magic Letters” (Key Letters) in Hebrew language and Jewish thought. 

Have you ever wondered why the phrase shabat shalom “alliterates” with the initial letter shin? And why not only shabat and shalom (“sabbath” and “peace”) but also shev, shar, shokhev, shvi’i, ashré, and simhha “sit, sing, lie down, seventh, happy, joy” (all with meanings associated with the sabbath) also all begin with the letter shin (sin)? These and other wonders of the Hebrew language are laid out, letter by letter, in “key letter” theory. 

The “key letter” system lays out such connections for various letters in Hebrew, highlighting connections in Hebrew language and Jewish thought. It is both more pervasive and simpler than traditional “root theory.” It highlights vocabulary and vocabulary connections relevant to study of Tanakh and Sidur, as well as helping to sort out and remember Hebrew vocabulary for its own sake. 

The above examples are a sample from a newly written booklet on “magic letters” (key letters). An abbreviated version of the booklet, consisting of 10 “key-letter” pages (plus an explanatory introduction) is available in a pdf file for use in synagogues or study-groups. There is no charge for the pdf file or the right to reproduce it as needed; as “payment,” you are asked only to provide feedback: 

•	What kind of group did you use the handouts with? (Or: Why did you not find them suitable for such use?)
•	What benefits did they gain from them?
•	What problems did you find, in using them?

If interested, e-mail me with “REQUEST FOR MAGIC LETTERS BOOKLET” in capital letters in the subject line, and provide your title and location. 

Zev bar-Lev
Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University
[log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~



3.	Marshall Memo: How Much Hebrew Should be Used in Hebrew Language Classes?
	
In this article in The Language Educator, Bowling Green State University professor Brigid Burke says that in most foreign-language classrooms, English is still the dominant language. “How much English is enough?” she asks. “How much English is too much? … [S]econd language acquisition research shows convincing evidence that the more often students hear the language and are asked to communicate in it, through writing or speaking, the more likely they are to learn the language.” 

Here are Burke’s suggestions for maximizing target language use in the classroom:

• Post common expressions, for example how to ask to leave the room, get a pencil, and say you forgot your book.

• Have students use the target language for routine verbal interchanges (no English allowed) and then stretch this to total-immersion days.

• Engage in strategy talks and debriefs with students to process language learning, in English at first, then in the target language.

• Evaluate participation by giving weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly participation grades and having students evaluate their own participation.

• Assign authentic assessments outside the classroom – for example, engaging in an online conversation with a classmate in the target language or watching a YouTube video in the target language and writing a short paragraph about it.

• Get ideas from students about activities and assessments.

• Teach explicit grammar lessons in the target language when students get more comfortable using it. 

• Integrate language and culture lessons and have students make presentations on cultural information in the target language.	

• Use materials and resources from the Internet and other sources.

• Honor students’ learning goals. Most students are far more interested in being proficient in the target language than in learning grammar rules and doing worksheets.


“Promoting Communication in the Target Language With and Among Students” by Brigid Burke in The Language Educator, October 2010 (Vol. 5, #5, p. 50-53), no e-link available

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual
subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

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