August 16, 2016                             12 Av 5776
All About Hebrew!

One of the most significant areas of discussion in our program is the updating of our Hebrew program. How we teach our students Hebrew is at the forefront of Jewish education throughout the country.  

It turns out learning Hebrew in Religious Schools is hard!  Even harder with an ever increasing demand on family schedules.  Over the summer we have worked hard to review the research and make improvements to our program.  To read more about our approach to Hebrew click here.
Summer Hebrew Enrichment
If your child has time this summer and wants to strengthen their Hebrew skills, we want to help!
  1. Download "Alef Bet Bullseye" from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for letter review or use the Alef Bet Quest CD.
  2. If you are interested in prayer decoding practice, email aapter@jquest.org and we can set your child up with our new online prayer program that has prayers, review games, and other fun activities.
Year-long Hebrew Enrichment Opportunities
In the fall we will offer these opportunities for your child to expand their Hebrew knowledge beyond the regular Ivrit classes for K-6 and the Hebrew 1:1 classes for 4th,5th and 6th grades.:

K and 1st grade Tuesday Hebrew:  Sign up for our Tuesday afternoon Hebrew enrichment class from 4:30-6:00pm.  Meant to support a strong Aural basis for Hebrew learning, students engage in fun after-school activities in a Hebrew-rich environment. There is a $180 cost for the class. To register for Hebrew Enrichment, click here!

3rd grade PAJE:  This year, JQuest B'Yachad will be offering an optional additional Early Decoders class for 3rd graders from 4:00-4:30pm on Tuesday afternoons.  This class is for students who are strong English readers and are motivated to learn Hebrew.  We ask that families make an attendance commitment of no more than 2 absences per semester. There is a $30 material cost for the class. Students who are not in the Early Decoders class will learn to decode in 4th grade. To register for Early Decoders, click here!

4th - 6th grade Before JQuest Hebrew: For students that want extra Hebrew Reinforcement in addition to their Sunday Hebrew work, we offer the ability to drop in any Tuesday from 4:00-4:30pm, or to schedule an in-person or Skype session for 15 minutes.  If you are interested in scheduling the additional learning time, contact  aapter@jquest.org . There is no additional fee for any of these options.

4th and 5th grade PAJE Hebrew Chug:  For students that want a more Hebrew-intense way to learn prayers, our Chugim (elective) choices this year will not only include cooking, drama, scrapbooking, sports, and nature, but also PAJE Hebrew.  Students will either work on decoding of the Hebrew words in their prayer, or, for students who have mastered decoding, the Hebrew chug will feature an opportunity to learn Hebrew roots, translations, and grammar found in the prayer of the week.  This choice will be offered to all 4th and 5th graders during the 4:30-5:30 Chugim time on Tuesdays.  To register for PAJE Hebrew,  click here !

We thank all the parents and students for their feedback and look forward to implementing these enhancements of our Hebrew curriculum.
Hebresearch
Hebrew Research and JQuest B'Yachad Hebrew

The research shows that in order to have a successful Hebrew decoding program students need:

1.  A strong aural basis for the language.  They need to have heard Hebrew often, regularly, and in multiple contexts.

2. An ability to recognize details and discriminate between letters.  Most Hebrew letters look similar, when rotated they are almost identical (think about English b,d,p,q), and they make similar sounds or the same sounds.  Teaching Hebrew too early makes it a real struggle.

3. A strong motivation for learning.  Research shows that children are most motivated to learn within two years of their B'nai Mitzvah. Though there may be initial motivation in the younger grades, that tapers off, creating disengagement and dissatisfaction.

For these reasons, the JQuest B'Yachad Hebrew program has the following components:

 

1. Aural language learning:  Every grade, every time they are at JQuest B'Yachad participates in T'fillot (prayer services), have modern Hebrew instruction (Ivrit), and sing songs with Hebrew in Shira (Music).  This year our classroom teachers will be using more Hebrew words throughout the day so that when students begin to decode (put sounds to Hebrew letters) they will be able to hear Hebrew in their head. The "pre-mapping" for decoding Hebrew has been laid out, making it a more successful, enduring endeavor.


 
2. We begin decoding in 4th grade, the same time that B'nai Mitzvah dates are assigned.  We then provide on-line tools for at home study, clear parent communication, and regular expectations.  We will be asking our older students to help lead T'fillot so that they are not only excited to learn to recite Hebrew prayers, they are also motivated to learn both in and out of JQuest B'Yachad.


 
3. When we teach decoding we do so in small groups (Hebrew 1:1) so that students' own abilities to progress are not judged against their peers.  Students are able to progress at their own pace and no student gets lost in the shuffle of a larger classroom size.


 

Recommend  JQuest B'Yachad to a Friend 

We hope you are as excited about Year 2 and the changes in store as we are!  From now through the end of September if you refer someone to join JQuest B'Yachad and they enroll, your family will receive a $50 credit towards your JQuest B'Yachad tuition/fees. Email Sarah Morrison with the family's information. 
JQuest B'Yachad | Elkins Park, PA | 215-887-8704 |   www.jquest.org