July 23, 2024
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BPY Highlights Experiential Learning

To help BPY students relate to and connect to limudei kodesh, the outstanding staff find creative ways for students to experience and internalize what they are learning.

Last week was an exciting milestone for BPY’s kitah gimmel as they celebrated their mastery of ktav Rashi and their introduction to Torah Shebaal Peh (Toshba). The students performed a special play for their parents, siblings and grandparents. The program was a way to share how Toshba comes alive in the classroom. For each song, there were special hand motions that helped the students internalize the meaning of the words. These same hand motions are used in class as they study Rashi. They also reenacted the story of when Yaakov ran away from Esav, the argument that the stones had about where Yaakov should rest his head, and Yaakov’s dream of the ladder with angels going up and coming down. While acting out these scenes, students used the Rashi commentaries to help them visualize what it could have looked like. Students also performed the first two Mishnayot that they learned in class. In addition to the reenactments, they used song and dance to express their love of learning. After the performance, the students joined their families for an interactive Blooket game that reviewed key concepts presented in their celebratory performance. The students were beaming with pride as they were called up one by one to receive a special memento and delicious snack. Mabrook to the kitah gimmel students and their families. A special thank you to the teachers and administration for the love and care that went into this special evening.

BPY teachers also use the school’s natural surroundings to help students connect with the biblical stories that they learn. In class, kitah daled students are studying sefer Yehoshua, when the Kohanim carried the aron habrit to the edge of the Jordan River and it parted to one side, allowing Bnei Yisrael to cross safely. Twelve stones, one for each tribe, were placed in the river as a monument to the miracle. After studying the text in depth, the students put on their rain boots and period piece costumes and headed to the outdoor classroom which includes a section of the Van Saun Mill Brook. Students carried a model aron and walked to the edge of the water. Then, one by one they crossed the brook. Although the river did not part for the students, they were able to cross safely. They felt the cold water on their toes as they made their way across. They could now imagine what it would have felt like to attempt to cross the Jordan River and what a miracle it was for the river to part and for the stone monument to withstand the strength of the river’s flow. The students now understood the significance of this miracle and how it legitimized Yehoshua as the true successor to Moshe Rabbeinu.

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