June 21, 2024
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June 21, 2024
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Get a Glimpse of the MDS Classrooms

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, MDS is grateful for being able to provide over three months of in-person learning to hundreds of students who are eager to broaden their educational knowledge in meaningful and engaging ways. The halls are buzzing with activity from the youngest learners all the way to soon-to-be graduates.

Early childhood students have been ensconced in the learning of the alphabet—incorporating the study of each letter into their reading, science, math and parsha lessons on a regular basis. The children are even creating art projects that showcase each letter in an innovative and creative form. Through cross-curricular learning, they are growing excited to become avid and motivated readers.

Lower school students are focusing on the terms “algorithm” and “sequence” in their robotics program. In their quest to become skilled programmers, they are learning the proper tools needed to give instructions in the correct order to allow a computer or robot to complete a task. To put these skills to use, first graders read the book, “The Three Little Pigs,” and talked about how each pig built their house from different materials. Then they were given popsicle sticks, straws, and Lego and were tasked with coming up with their own algorithms for how to build each house. Students then shared their algorithms, and their peers tested them out by following their building instructions.

Further down the hall, the tunes of Native American tribal music filled the air. Students learned about noteworthy musicians as part of their Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers program. Through their introduction to the work of Martha Redbone, who performs the music of her native Cherokee, Choctaw and Shawnee tribes, students learned songs accompanied by shakers and maracas that mimic the man-made shakers Native Americans use during their musical ceremonies. Learning about the language, dress and music of Native American culture could not be more timely as students connect it with their lessons about American History and the story of Thanksgiving.

In their study of literacy, fifth graders spearheaded a campaign this month to promote Children’s Book Week. Students wrote reflections as part of an initiative called “100 Reasons to Love Reading.” Faculty, staff, parents and members of other classes contributed paragraphs, essays or artwork. “My friends and I drew different book characters on a roller coaster,” says Elana Nash, “because reading is a wild ride!” The students are also running a book donation drive for a local organization which bundles books for underserved communities. They look forward to sharing their thoughts on the power and magic of reading, and potentially sharing books with others.

On Fridays, eighth grade girls have been privileged to take part in the MDS Chabura, a program in which Stern and YU students and recent graduates join their class via Zoom to present a weekly parsha lesson. For Parshat Toldot, the girls heard from Frisch and Stern Graduate Atara Rolnick who spoke about how to individualize tefillot to help connect to Hashem on a deeper and more meaningful level. MDS is grateful for the partnership with YU and for the important messages these Torah learners share with the students.

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