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Friday, September 18, 2020
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Ben Porat Yosef first grade students reenacted a “one-room-schoolhouse” experience, on June 11. The students lined up outside the classroom and entered to find that the desks were arranged in rows—girls on one side and boys on the other—and were then introduced to the rules of the schoolhouse. They enjoyed lessons in reading and arithmetic, writing on slates, and used period-specific examples for the lessons (e.g., How many cows does my papa have if he has seven Jersey cows and nine Holstein cows?). Included in their day of learning, were presentations from BPY parent, Dr. Shalom Holtz and Morah Shani Farkas. Dr. Holtz taught the students about ancient Sumerian schools of 4,000 years ago, called “Tablet-Houses,” and how to write their names in Cuneiform on clay tablets. Morah Shani taught them about the Jewish one-room school-house, called the “cheder,” where often the students had to share the one sefer (text-book) that was available. The students continued with a one-room schoolhouse-style period recess game of “Pom-Pom Pull-Away,” and a project making log cabins out of pretzels. The students’ lunch for the day was a period-typical lunch outdoors. After lunch, they had some free time outside, during which some children played stickball and others tried square dancing. Throughout the day the students enjoyed comparing and contrasting different school experiences, and had an authentic experiential learning experience.

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