Table of Contents

1/8 Chumash

Whole class discussion
  • Eliana: Emma, what does Pharaoh do when he realizes there's a huge population explosion?
  • Emma: I don't know.
  • ES: what we learned yesterday is that Moshe is born and adpted by Pharaoh?
  • Molly calls out: isnt is important to include that moshe goes on the river.
  • leads to other students calling out
  • ES stops the calling out. "Right now we're not calling out." I'm going to give away the ending. Moshe sees an Egyptian beating a slave, and kills him, and runs away thinking that... can anyone summarize that in one sentence? Emmett you want to give it a try.
  • Emmett paraphrases.
  • ES Emmett I thought that was very good. I liked how you...
  • ES "And now we're going to continue. This is the part that Lyndsay was alluding to." Again we're not calling out." She again summarizes the rest of the story, and writes it on the board while saying it.
  • Lyndsay calls out asking, "Wait, who tells that Moses is a Jew?"
  • ES: Lyndsay, that was your question last week, and I'm going to ask that you keep it on hold. When we get to that part, it becomes really interesting. "Can you guys read that? It says..."
  • ES: Any other thoughts on this conversation? We've got to move along because these parshiyot are chock full of information."
  • Another question about Moshe being a Jew.
  • ES: I promise we'll get to that.
  • ES: So far we've been coming up with our own commentaries, which is really important. But it's also important to read what other people thought about the parshiyot. We are going to be reading some commentaries by other people, and read what they have to say, and respond to what they have to say." Describes the commentary graphic organizer,
  • Eitan says, "I don't get that."
  • ES: You will. We are going to read this commentary together." She takes an off-topic question from Emmett. "Emmett keep that question in mind. We are going to be reading Midrash Rabbah, which means it's a commentary written about Shemot. It's about 1000 years old. Does someone want to read for us? Sally, thank you.
  • Sally reads.
  • ES: does anyone know what defy means?
  • Eitan answers.
  • ES: Sally please keep reading." Sally reads.
  • ES: What is this commentary saying?
  • one student answers
  • Lyndsay says: I have another answer. She summarizes: Amram and the community decide not to have any more children.
  • Turn the page over, and if you think you know what to do.
  • Molly asks: "How is that breaking the rules?"
  • ES: I think that's what Miriam was saying. We're going to talk about this in one second. For now, we are going to make sure we understand the story.
  • Calls on Lyndsay: I have a comment.
  • ES We're going to take comments in a minute.
  • LG: I have a question too. (ES nods) Why were they killing all the boys?
  • Eitan: I don't understand! (Frustrated.)
  • ES: I'm glad you're asking. Can someone else read out their summary? (2 students read) Good. Eitan, are you understanding now? (she writes on board). "The reason we're writing this is so we can remember what the midrash says."
  • ES: Does this midrash happen in the tanakh?
  • Students: no way.
  • ES: "It's the way the rabbis filled in the story in the tanakh." Relates it to the story of Abraham smashing idols of his father, which is midrash, but it's so popular people think it's in the Torah. "A midrash is really just a story that tries to teach us something."
  • LG: I have a comment: relates to Sing Down the Moon and not naming babies until a few weeks after they're born.
  • Jeremiah: Is Moshe related to Avraham?
  • ES: asks Daniel (who is really interested in Tanakh) to look up how many generations between Avraham and Moshe.
  • ES: I want to move on now. So now I want to hear what you guys actually think about this. We'll take a couple of answers. (goes back to ancestry question)
  • ES: We're now going to talk about question number two. (repeats the question) OK, Emma.
  • Emma: I don't agree with Miriam, because if it was a boy, they would take him away.
  • ES: maybe that's worse than not having children. (referring to having boys taken away)
  • Jacob: I think slavery is worse.
  • Lyndsay: I think Miriam is right. If they don't have babies, that's what Pharaoh wants. Bnei Yisrael would just get smaller and smaller. But I also agree with Avram, because you get whipped in slavery. You're watching your religion getting painfully hurt. They can do really mean stuff to you. Also, they didn't know if it would be a boy or a girl, and the mom would be devastated if it were a boy. (ES lets LG go on for some time.)
  • ES: That's the question. Let's hear from a couple of other people. Jerry?
  • Jerry: What if you have a baby boy, and then you back to slavery, you've just blown off a chuck of your life. How long could you hide it for? I agree with Amram because it would suck to get hurt and whipped every day.
  • Jasmine: If you don't have any babies, you'll die out. If it was a girl, you could keep it, and if it was a boy, you could try to hide it. If they did grow up, it might not be a great life (in slavery).
  • AJ: If the numbers go down, then Pharaoh might not be afraid anymore.
  • ES: I have to say, I'm surprised so many people agree with Amram. It's really fascinating."
  • Eitan comments, ES says, "hmm, interesting, really interesting."
  • A lot of people have their hands raised.
  • "I know a lot of people have comments, but we're going to channel your answers onto the commentary sheet. We're going to have a little bit of quiet writing time. If you have a question, I'll come around right now."

Animals v. Plants

Whole Class discussion

Discussion is a collaborate pursuit for an inquiry.
  • central question without a predetermined right or wrong answer
  • go into it openly, willing to engage and entertain others' thoughts

Central question: What's the difference between killing plants and killing animals?
  • Before we can design an experiment using chemicals and plants, we need to address this question.
  • How can we morally feel OK killing plants?
  • What's the difference between killing plants and animals?
  • Practicality: Is it OK to kill plants if it means your survival?
  • bring in Ava and Bila
  • Get them to the point where they feel comfortable about their feelings. They should know where they stand, and have thought it through.
  • Be open to all perspectives, and think it through. Form an opinion, but not inflexible.
  • Jewish text -- related: Beresheit: we need to care for all of G-d's creations.
  • Is eating plants the same as killing plants for non-food reasons?
  • Is killing plants OK for decorating your home? For building your home?
  • If we use a few plants to gather good data, and in the end save millions of plants, is that OK?
  • Jewish text: Genesis 1:29-31

1/13 Math
Teacher: The difference between a flip and a turn, using a whiteboard eraser as an example. Called a student up to turn the eraser, called another student to show a flip. Asked all students to stand and turn around, said "if this were another place, I might ask Molly to do a flip. Why would I ask Molly?"
"Because she does gymnastics" (boy answers)
Introduce pentometers. "Has anyone heard of pentometers? What is the root of the word?
Student: "Well, it basically means five."
Teacher: "It basically means five."

Read the question:
Who can remind me the question you were discussing that went on the bike rack?
AJ: What's the difference between killing fish and killing plants?
I walk over to him and hand him a piece of paper. Do you want to read that?
AJ: I didn't write that, Josh wrote it.
Do you want to read it? Did you write that?
AJ: "What's the difference between killing animals versus plants?"
OK, so I wasn't here for the discussion but I would like for...
AJ: But that wasn't the question...
So it arose froma bigger issue. I wanted to hear what issue this arose from, and address that issue.
Jamie: If Aaron doesn't feel like that was the question, what was the question?
AJ: It was fish versus plants.
Eitan: It makes more sense animals versus plants.