28 Oct A Day in the Life

Recently, during my daily walk through the school I spent a couple minutes in each classroom observing the different types of learning that were happening. Here is what I saw…

In Gan the students were working in pairs on a Math activity called roll and record. Each student had a die which they rolled and then the team recorded what number had been rolled by writing the number in the appropriate column of their chart. This activity helps the Gan students to practice  one to one number correspondence as well as actually writing the numbers, both being critical skills they need as they move to more advanced math studies.

In Kitah Aleph students were exploring the concept of slope during a Science lesson. In small groups they used wooden blocks to build inclined planes and clipboards, toy cars, and ipads to time the speed of the car’s descent as they increased the slope. Each student in the group had a role to play and each student  kept track of their data on record keeping forms. During this activity, Kitah Alephstudents were practicing key skills such as observation, experimentation, and data collection.

The Kitah Bet students were in the midst of a literacy unit when I arrived. They were adding to a list on the whiteboard of words with the long “a” sound. They categorized the words based on their spelling patterns. The students generated the list and offered support to each other as they categorized the spellings, while the teacher facilitated the students’ exploration of this literacy skill.

Students in Kitot Gimmel and Dalet were in Hebrew classes. A group of advanced Hebrew speakers played a game, in which they each wrote a sentence in a story. The activity was co-facilitated by the teachers  and Ido, one our Israeli shinshinim, community service emissaries, who spoke in bursts of native Hebrew, creating a rich Hebrew language environment. In another group, students worked in pairs to read a Hebrew text together. A pair I observed took turns reading every other sentence aloud, supporting each other by correcting pronunciation and discussing the meaning of what they were reading. They worked diligently in developing  their Hebrew reading fluency and comprehension skills.

Kitah Heh was also working on Hebrew language, using their laptops to access the NETA curriculum website. Each student was logged into the site, giving them access to online activities that were assigned by Ruthi, their Hebrew teacher. Some students were completing  a listening activity, in which they listened to a Hebrew passage and answered questions about what they heard, building their listening and comprehension abilities.

Kitah Vav was in Jewish Studies class, studying Torah.  Students were working  in hevruta, study pairs, reading  a selection from Sefer Shmot, the Book of Exodus, in the original Hebrew. The text, from chapter 12, is about the Israelites’ preparation for the first Pesach, and the students  connected their prior knowledge of the Pesach holiday to the text by highlighting key words that they thought related to Pesach as they read the verses. In this way the students were building  capacity for engaging directly with the ancient Hebrew text, developing skills for working in a supportive hevruta partnership, and connecting their Jewish text study to experiences from their own lives.

Kitah Chet was in Humanities class, in workshop mode as each student was working on research and writing for a presentation they are preparing about the concept of the American Dream. Students were using  their laptops to access online resources and they were creating shared documents and presentations. As I peered over their shoulders, I saw an array of different perspectives and information related to conceptions of the American Dream and the American Reality. One student was reading an article about segregation and the Little Rock Nine, another was editing a paragraph of notes for her presentation titled ‘Russian Immigrant History’, and another was adding graphics to his slides about the LGBT community’s experience in America. The students were synthesizing an array of skills- critical reading, analytical writing, persuasive presentation, and evaluative thinking.

As I completed my walk, I felt proud of the depth, richness, and challenge in the work students were doing throughout the school. The faculty has designed learning activities that ask and expect the students to work hard to figure things out and build their skills and understandings. Day in and day out the students at Schechter Manhattan rise to the challenge.

Benjamin Mann

Author’s Chair

Each week we will feature the written work of our students. We hope that you will stop by every week and see what they are writing and thinking about.


Kitah Aleph

The Kitah Aleph students are participating in creating a “Cookie Election”! We are learning about the upcoming presidential election by creating a campaign and voting for our favorite cookie. The Kitah Aleph students were asked to write an Op-Ed piece on why their favorite cookie is the best!


Click here to see the original Op-Ed written by Adam.

“The chocolate chip cookie is so (good) vote for the chocolate chip.  It is the best because it is so good. Vote for chocolate chip, it is crunchy. It is not too sweet”

– Adam


Click here to see the original Op-Ed written by Nava.

“Nava’s Opinion- The best cookie ever is chocolate chip.  Let me tell you why it is the best cookie, it’s amazing.  It is soft and it could be dipped in milk. Vote for chocolate chip”.

– Nava


Click here to see the original Op-Ed written by Jonah.

“The Oreo is the best!  It is crunchy and soft and creamy and delicious.  It has vanilla and chocolate you can eat it in all different ways.  Vote for Oreo”

– Jonah


Kitah Gimmel

In Kita Gimmel this week, we discussed that as the Jewish year begins, we all have a responsibility to improve our world. We studied a Pitgam that teaches us that we do not need to reach this goal alone but are also not exempt from this important work. The students thought about these two statements, how they connect with each other, and how we can make the world a better place together with all the members of our community.

Click here to read work by JoeyMayaSammyJory, and Zack.


 Kitah Heh

The students of Kitah Heh are preparing to write 5 paragraph essays. As a pre-writing strategy, they wrote lists about topics of interest and began to work them into draft sentences.


One type of dog is a pug (my favorite). Their face is looks like it got squashed so it’s hard for them to breath. Another dog breed is a Siberian Huskys they like the cold. Another breed is a Yorkie, Yorkies are small cute and they live for a long ti



Advantages of having a cellphone

  • Call
  • Games
  • Facebook
  • Apps
  • Camra
  • Videos
  • Online shopping
  • Texting
  • You tube
  • Snapchat
  • Online games
  • Music

Things to do at the beach

  • Read
  • Eat
  • Swim
  • Play
  • Build and play with sand
  • Fly kites
  • Sleep and nap
  • Berry each other
  • Surf
  • Skimboard
  • buggy board
  • Sail



  1. Lion have very sharp teeth. In fact, female lions rip through bones with their teeth.
  2. Lions can go 50 mph. That’s almost as fast as a can on the highway!
  3. When lions kill, they first grab and tackle their prey, before they bite. While they do that, their claws also dig into them a little.
  4. Lions, especially males, are very strong and solid. That’s why they are able to hold down their prey.
  5. Lion’s roar’s are so loud, you can hear them from 2 miles away!



Kitah Chet

After reading a lengthy, dense, and complex informational text about the history of the American Dream, students wrote a summary of the article that illustrated the underlying challenges the American Dream has faced, and continues to face in present day.

Click here to read work by AnnieBella, and Noah.