Lower School Teacher Mentor and School Counselor Elana Weissman and Technology Integration Specialist Elissa Hozore were recognized for their leadership in developing, facilitating and documenting the school’s Israel Fair. The fair was a collaborative project that incorporated a wide range of curricular areas, including history, geography, technology, science, art, and Judaic studies. View the complete “Israel Fair: A Student-Led Interdisciplinary Experience” award submission.
The Kohelet Prize is awarded annually to six educators or teams of educators who demonstrate exceptional accomplishment in one of the six core elements of progressive Jewish education. The elements are: interdisciplinary integration, real-world learning, learning environment, differentiated instruction, development of critical and/or creative thinking, and risk taking and failure. The winners receive a $36,000 unrestricted cash prize.
The multi-week project’s goals included developing students’ deep and broad understanding of their chosen Israeli landmark and its relevance to the Jewish people; giving students autonomy to direct their learning experience; and creating an interactive exhibit for the school community to share in the students’ learning.
“Each lower school class took on the study of a different landmark in Israel. Teachers used a variety of modalities to introduce their landmark to their students, and to spark students’ questions about its significance. After a week of research and inquiry, students chose what aspect they wanted to learn more about, developed questions to explore, and consulted with experts and specialists to delve into their inquiries,” commented Mrs. Weissman.
BT Director of Education Dr. Zipora Schorr commented that the projects were exceptional and not only reflected each classes’ effort, but “the relevance, the depth, and the meaning in the displays and in the involvement of students as they created the displays.”
“We were fortunate to work with all Lower School teachers and students to oversee the implementation of this student-centered, project-based process,” said Mrs. Weissman of the initiative, developed in collaboration with Lower School Principal Nina Wand, Assistant Principal Susan Yurow, and the entire Lower School faculty