July 19, 2024
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Top Beijing Science Teachers Visit RYNJ to Learn Innovative Teaching Practices

In a historic event, a cohort of 20 of Beijing’s best science teachers in grades 1-12 visited RYNJ this week to attend a science conference and visited classes to learn more about best practices in science education. Having chosen RYNJ as the only yeshiva elementary school to visit during their month-long tour of the United States, the group of Chinese teachers spent one morning this week attending a science conference at RYNJ focusing on three key innovative practices being utilized in elementary and secondary education.

Lead by RYNJ Science Coordinator Penina Richman and 3rd grade teacher Stephanie Summers, session one focused on working collaboratively using RYNJ and Columbia University writing methodology to enhance the way lab reports are utilized in science classrooms. They participated in a demo of a crystals investigation that RYNJ 3rd graders do, observed a writing mini lesson, and created templates for innovative writing assignments around the activity. Learning about scientific writing, descriptive language, and accurate procedural methodology, teachers came up with creative approaches to teach with an interdisciplinary approach.

Rabbi Efraim Clair and Rabbi Dov Hochbaum, RYNJ’s school’s educational technologists, worked together to craft a session focused on having teachers build a satellite and in doing so answer the question, “How do GPS systems work?” Through engaging in this activity, teachers were able to learn more about sound waves and basic physics. Utilizing the approach of learning through doing, the teachers were simultaneously learning about one of the most innovative concepts in science education today, the Maker Movement. They then discussed the real world application of this Maker Movement activity to a classroom. RYNJ teachers do this project in the spring with the 5th grade.

The third session, run by Ron Durso, the District Supervisor of Science for Fair Lawn, consisted of engineering-related inquiry-based science approaches where teachers were able to generate their own hypotheses and create experiments to solve them involving building towers out of pasta and marshmallows.

The team also visited RYNJ classrooms in grades 1-8 watching these innovative practices come to life and learning more about the middle school blended learning science program.

To find out more about RYNJ’s innovative science curriculum and teaching, contact Jenni Levy, the General Studies Principal of the Elementary School at [email protected] or Penina Richman, our science coordinator, at [email protected]

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