by Natalie Lieberman, Jewish Children’s Folkshul

Even though our December meeting was cut short, we still got to the main point and reached the idea that when kids are rowdy or unhappy, there are different educational means to keep them engaged and learning. In this session, we tested out different possibilities to keep kids interested while still learning Hebrew/an aspect of Judaism. By understanding that students are more likely to remember a lesson when they enjoyed learning it, we focused on creating educational activities that leave a positive mark behind.

In order to keep students engrossed in the lesson, we need to push for a fun environment. To help them further keep this positive attitude, fidgets, games, and manipulatives can be put into use for the classroom. Despite any preconceptions or stigmas against these tools, they all have the power to help kids stay on task while disguising the learning as an activity. From flashcards to chutes and ladders to Popsicle sticks, almost anything can be shifted to educate in a new, exciting way.

By the end of the meeting, we had tried out and experienced how much these tools can help teach Jewish concepts, and had fun all the while. To conclude the workshop, Suzanne Gold, our guest speaker and host for the day, answered some questions relating to our classroom experiences.