HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal



Jewish day schools want every child to succeed in their learning and social-emotional development. How can schools accomplish those lofty goals while teaching many students in the same classroom? This issue explores that conundrum and showcases various ways that learning can be differentiated to meet the needs, capacities, and interests of different students. Articles address differentiation within the classroom, and supporting teachers to learn, transition to, and apply methods of differentiation. Authors discuss the "how-to" as well as the larger goals and vision.

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From the Editor: Differentiation

by Elliott Rabin, Editor Oct 04, 2017 Prizmah

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Margaret Mead


From the CEO: New Services for the New Year

by Paul Bernstein Oct 04, 2017 Prizmah

With the new school year under way, the team at Prizmah wishes every Jewish day school the greatest success for 2017-18/5778.

From the Board: A Few Things I've Learned About Fundraising

by Kathy Manning Oct 04, 2017

I recently had the privilege of attending a Prizmah convening of development professionals for some of the largest day schools across the country. Hosted by The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland and ably facilitated by our new COO, Elissa Maier, the convening was a wonderful example of the important role Prizmah can play in bringing schools together to learn from outside experts and share best practices. The high level of discussion, dedication and creativity was impressive.

Spotlight on... School Advocates

Oct 04, 2017

Advocacy is the act of speaking on behalf of or in support of another person or idea. Your Prizmah school advocates serve that role and so much more. Our team is focused on making sure that we get you what you need, be it an answer to an administrative or curricular question, information about a Prizmah program or a connection to a colleague. We strive to meet the needs of all our schools, understand the distinct differences among us and see the commonalities that bind us in the field of Jewish education.

Commentary: Teaching to Make a Difference

by Gussie Singer, Rabbi Joe Hirsch, Beth Fine, Tikvah Wiener Oct 04, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersPedagogyStudents

Recent work in neuroscience and psychology reveals two findings that should be central in educational planning. First, virtually all brains are malleable. When we teach as though students are smart, they become smarter.

Guest Column: Differentiation as Unavoidable Reality

by Matt Williams Oct 04, 2017

Differentiated instruction (DI), as a pedagogical technique, has high aspirations. It aims to create a personalized classroom experience for each student, one that allows a degree of ownership and access far more than the types of classes most students experience today. A class that’s ultimately student-responsive, the argument for DI goes, is not just an educational good, insofar as it compels students to individually engage and own particular subjects. It is also, fundamentally, a moral good.

The Advice Booth: The Board's Role in Raising Donors

by Traci Stratford Oct 04, 2017 Prizmah

My board doesn’t want to fundraise, and the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of my head of school, development director and development chair. How can I work with my board so fundraising becomes more of a team effort?

When board members say they don’t want to fundraise, they’re usually referring to the actual “ask.” It’s safe to say that a majority of people do not like to ask for money. They may feel uncomfortable about asking others for money, upset about anticipated rejection, or worried about annoying friends and colleagues.

On Board

by Leanne Kaplan, Lesley Zafran, Steve Laufer Oct 04, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

QUESTION: Boards are made up of individuals with different areas of expertise and experience. What strategies have you used to effectively engage all board members? 

Leanne Kaplan, Chair, Committee on Trustees, Atlanta Jewish Academy

At our school, board engagement is a top priority. The team who wrote the first set of by-laws were already thinking about board member engagement when it was decided to keep the board of trustees limited to between 12 and 18 members. This size gives everyone a chance to have his/her voice heard at meetings.

On My Nightstand: Books Prizmah Staff Are Reading

by Adele Yermack, Shira Heller, Yael Steiner, Matt Williams Oct 04, 2017

The Admission Funnel:
How to Streamline the Private School Admission Process

edited by Weldon Burge

Differentiation: A Moral and Fundamental Imperative for Jewish Educators

by Noa Daniel Oct 03, 2017 Building Outside the Blocks

Differentiation is the opposite of standardization. It relies on the teacher to plan lessons and learning experiences with the diverse needs of the learners in mind. Whether it’s about modes of delivery, flexible use of time or space, student groupings or materials used, the goal of differentiation is to meet the
ever-more varied needs of the students in our care.