Effective Practices Engaging & Supporting Diverse Learners in a COVID-19 Virtual Environment

By: Ilisa Cappell
KC Topics: 
Coronavirus, Pedagogical Approaches, Inclusion & Special Needs

Video recording, slide deck, notes, and highlights from the chat from the webinar Effective Practices Engaging & Supporting Diverse Learners in a COVID-19 Virtual Environment With Tamar Benjamin, Miriam Fein, Amy Freedman, Mia Hyman, and Jane Taubenfeld Cohen  on 5/6/2020

In the face of virtual learning platforms developed under the crisis of COVID-19 students in Jewish day schools who may not have struggled in school before may now find learning in a virtual environment challenging. During these trying times, it is more important than ever to ensure our children feel connected, seen and understood. Jane Taubenfeld Cohen moderated a conversation together with the team from Gateways: Access to Jewish Education which included a learning specialist, behavior specialist, speech/language therapist and master elementary teacher from the Maimonides school in Brookline, Mass to learn practical tools for classroom engagement to support student learning and outcomes. This webinar was designed around questions from the field related to meeting the needs of students struggling in a virtual environment.

Additional resource  Checking for Understanding: A few strategies and apps/tools to break content into small chunks and check for understanding along the way.

About our panelists:

Tamar Benjamin has been teaching third grade for 8 years and is currently the third-grade general studies teacher at the Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts. She enjoys teaching in a hands-on and personalized manner, which allows her to help each child learn to love learning. When not teaching, Tamar is an avid marathon runner and photographer.
Miriam Fein is a speech-language pathologist and licensed reading specialist. She works collaboratively with teachers and other Gateways therapists to address students’ needs with language and English literacy and to help them access the general curriculum. Through her extensive training in explicit, systematic, structured language approaches to teaching reading and her understanding of the interaction of oral and written language, she helps students grow as readers, writers, and communicators.
Amy Freedman is a speech/language pathologist who is interested in the social as well as academic success of her students. She runs social skills groups as well as consults with teachers and parents. Amy has been trained in the Social Thinking curriculum developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, which helps teach preschoolers to adults how to navigate the social world.
Mia Hyman is an educational and behavioral specialist who is involved in many aspects of Gateways’ programming, providing services to Jewish day schools, synagogues, Jewish preschools and Gateways’ own Jewish Education Programs. Mia has many years of experience working with students with behavioral disorders, autism and other developmental disabilities in many different settings.
Jane Taubenfeld Cohen is a leadership coach who works primarily with leaders in Jewish day schools to leverage their unique talents and skills. Previously, Jane was the executive director at YU School Partnership, and before that, she served as head of school at the South Area Solomon Schechter outside Boston. Jane is also the senior mentor for the Day School Leadership Training Institute and a mentor in the Prizmah leadership programs.