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Monday, January 17, 2022

MDS Teachers in Summer Professional Development Workshops

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Middle School Teacher Allison Sobel went to Yale to participate in an engaging Emotional Intelligence training program.
MDS Hebrew Language Chairperson Chaya Levy, left, and Second Grade teacher Nelly Brody, with the hat, attended the TaL AM Intensive Workshop in Israel.
Associate Principal Judith Melzer, left, and Director of Student Services Flo Fruchter, right, spent a week at The Windward School to learn about the different methodologies in teaching reading.
Science teacher, Mrs. Krishan Khanna, attended a STEM workshop at CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) Tech Middle School Workshop.

Students may complain about summer homework, but teachers have been hitting the books and doing their own homework too.

“Summer is a great time for teachers to brush up on their teaching techniques and the material they are about to present in the upcoming school year,” says Rabbi Mordechai Besser, Principal of Manhattan Day School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Schools rely on professional development to ensure that educators continue to strengthen their practice throughout their career. Professional development programs encourage teachers to focus on the needs of their students and learn to problem solve together in order to ensure the success of all students.

On August 9th, Rabbi Besser and Rabbi Moshe Zimberg, Assistant Principal, attended the Principals’ Think Tank Day at the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools. Rabbi Besser presented one of the sessions, entitled “Facets of Jewish Day School Administration”, for all the participating Principals.

Associate Principal Judith Melzer and Director of Student Services Flo Fruchter spent a week at The Windward School to learn about the different methodologies in teaching reading. As part of the Winward Teacher Training Institute (WTTI), the course incorporated different strategies for decoding skills, comprehension systems, vocabulary enrichment and much more. “We are always looking for ways to improve the academic development of our students,” says Mrs. Melzer. “The conference provided many insightful ways in which to do so.”

Science teacher, Mrs. Krishan Khanna, attended a STEM workshop at CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) Tech Middle School Workshop. The goal of this program was to enhance interest and skills in STEM and to provide an initial exposure to engineering. “We brainstormed and discussed ways to achieve these goals,” says Mrs. Khanna. The program used innovative strategies, small group collaborative work and the use of hands-on activities and experiments to promote inquiry and curiosity. One of the focuses was to design experiments on a given situation. “It was interesting to see how various groups achieved different end products using the same material,” says Khanna. She plans to use much of what she learned in her classes for the upcoming school year.

MDS Hebrew Language Chairperson, Chaya Levy, and Second Grade teacher, Nelly Brody, attended the TaL AM Intensive Workshop in Israel. ‪TaL AM is designed to integrate Hebrew language arts and Jewish studies in Jewish Schools. The program is based on the idea that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students use music, games and visual aids to learn the Hebrew language and to develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values. The skills learned will surely add excitement and a new perspective to the school’s already engaging Hebrew curriculum.

Also this summer, Assistant Principal and Director of the Special Education Program Sharon Miller, Special Education Teacher Allison Hus, and Middle School Teacher Allison Sobel went to Yale to participate in an engaging Emotional Intelligence training program. This idea of Emotional Intelligence will be a new one to MDS. It helps children and teachers become more aware of their emotions which helps decision making and relationship building skills. Says Mrs. Hus, “We look forward to working hand in hand with our students and faculty to help build an even more wonderful place for our students to come learn and build friendships each day.”

MDS staff members Elisha Hus, Allison Sobel and Simona Fisch attended the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Denver, Colorado. The MDS team learned about the latest ways technology is being used as a tool to enhance education in the classroom. Additionally, they met with educators from all over the country and discussed creative and innovative ways that technology can be used in the classroom.

Finally, under the leadership of Ms. Julie Averbuch and Mrs. Fran Fine, MDS is instituting a seamless, developmental writing program based on Judith Hochman’s Basic Writing Skills. The emphasis of the writing program is expository writing which is consistent with the New York State Common Core standards for English Language Arts. The MDS General Studies staff for grades 1-8 has taken time out of their summer vacation to attend professional development programs to learn strategies and skills to enable students to express themselves accurately in written form; to write clear, linguistically complex sentences and well-organized paragraphs and compositions. With the support of the administration, the staff is committed to enhancing its expertise and knowledge, thus giving students the skills needed for academic success.

 

Manhattan Day School is a Modern Orthodox Yeshiva day school located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. MDS offers General and Judaic Studies classes to students in Toddlers through eighth grade.

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