At our Innovation Day last Sunday, children and parents had loads of fun during the Cardboard Challenge.
Architects Of Their Learning 

Elliot Eisner, one of the 20th Century's leading minds in education, once said "the ultimate aim of education is to enable individuals to become the architects of their own education and through that process continually reinvent themselves.
Forced to sit behind a desk along with your fellow robots, sorry I meant peers, getting the same information in the same fashion does not speak to Eisner's point. How about being given duct tape, box cutters (safety ones, of course), glue, colorful pipe cleaners, recycled materials, and lots and lots of cardboard with thirty-five minutes to build from scratch a functional arcade game of your mind's delight? Does that qualify? I believe it does and is exactly what we did last Sunday. 
Inspired by Caine's Arcade, a room full of our families, guests and children from preschool through 8th grade were asked to build an arcade game with the materials available. When given the thirty-five minute time limit many of the adults hemmed and hawed. The kids jumped right in as if there were no limitations, because they knew they were only limited by their endless imagination. 
As the energy in the room increased, the kids and adults alike began to create. Every  team created something spectacular, functional (with an emphasis on FUN), and unique. There was a Skeeball variation called "Akib-Ball", an awesome whack-a-mole game, basketball throw, labyrinth game and so many more. If children are given the space to learn, explore and create, anything is possible! When given the space to learn through play, social interaction and creativity with the permission to make mistakes, children become the architects of their learning as they did this past Sunday and as they often do here at Akiba-Schechter.
Shabbat Shalom!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
Innovation Day  
When All Ages Create Together
by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director
This past Sunday we held our second annual Innovation Day. Last year we celebrated the Grand Opening of the Makerspace. Again we offered interactive activities all over the building: ozobots, building challenges, creating robots with recyclables, and a special knitting project in the Makerspace. Kindergarten and Parent-Tot mom Tina Miklas shared the project she started last year: "Keep Warm." Our families created hats and scarves that will be hung on fences around the neighborhood for people to take if they need one. It was a wonderful "Chesed" (loving kindness) project, and we hope to be able to continue creating these items for those in need.  

After these activities we all gathered in Loeb Hall for the Cardboard Challenge. I was delighted to see so many of my Parent-Tot families engaged in this activity along with preschool and grade school families. When planning this special Innovation Day, I wasn't sure how this wide age range of children and parents was going to come together to participate in an activity. 

Parent-Tot dad Chris and his family at Innovation Day - read his assessment of the day in bold to the right! 
In Parent-Tot class today, Chris, a dad who is new to the program, and who had brought his parents along to Innovation Day, told me: 

"The Cardboard Challenge showed my family and me exactly what the school believes in and stands for in education. It was the best example of Akiba's belief in how children learn, what children are capable of doing, and the critical thinking that is involved with an open-ended project like this." 

I was amazed that our mission and philosophy was so apparent after attending one event like Innovation Day. Everything about the event was intentional and exemplary of our belief in multi-age learning, the power of play, Reggio-inspired learning, and Project Based Learning. , Innovation Day showed us all how powerful and important it is to bring the community together to learn and play.  

Over the next few weeks there will be many more opportunities for you can engage with the Akiba community: Thanksgiving Feasts, Chanukah Assemblies and celebrations, and the Test-Drive Kindergarten event on December 17th. I hope you will take advantage of these events to connect to Akiba on a deeper level, and learn more about all of the magic that happens in our classrooms every day.  

Shabbat Shalom!  
At Innovation Day last Sunday, Kindergarten and Parent-Tot mom Tina Miklas, worked with children to knit hats for a Keep Warm project.
Trying out knitting at Innovation Day
The Kindergarten has been exploring patterns through weaving.
Just one of those moments of comfortable camaraderie in the Upstairs Yellow Room!
Last week, a delegation of early childhood educators from China spent three days in our preschool, learning and sharing with our teachers. We appreciated seeing Akiba through their eyes and discussing our beliefs in how children learn. It was a wonderful opportunity for reflection and sharing with colleagues from another part of the world.
Classroom Spotlight
Town Hall Meetings Develop Skills and Build Community by Letting Students Shine
by 3rd/4th grade teachers Joe Esse & Jaime Leonard

A recent town hall meeting in Mr. Esse's 3rd/4th grade

Should teachers give homework?
Should teachers pay students to go to school?
Should hunting be banned?
Should students pick their own seats?
Should Akiba have 3rd and 4th graders in the same class?
If you do the crime, should your parents do the time?
Should school be year-round?
Should student-athletes have to get good grades?
Should junk food be banned in school?
If you see someone cheating in class, should you tell on them?
Should animals be used to test new products?
Should surveillance cameras be used in school?

These are some of the questions 3rd and 4th graders grapple with during their weekly town hall meeting debates.

While town hall meetings are a perennial favorite for students, their value extends way beyond fun.

Day School      
From Maor Yehoshua's Hebrew class: One way to teach a second language is to have fun and play. Here students are learning how to compete respectfully and play together with rules in Hebrew.
Learning is ALIVE! 1st/2nd graders learn about matter
Learning is ALIVE! 1st/2nd graders learn about the three states of matter
Learning About the Three States of Matter
It's Alive! Learning is ALIVE! In Science class, 1st/2nd graders have been learning about the three states of matter: liquids, gases, and solids. This week they did an experiment showing how states of matter can change. They mixed two solids (sugar and yeast) with a liquid (warm water) and created a gas (carbon dioxide), which then filled the balloon. The rest was magic!
In Humanities, students are continually working on their communication skills. As part of this, students were challenged to work in groups to build a structure that could hold as many books as possible using four sheets of paper and a foot of tape. They had seven minutes to plan without touching their materials, followed by ten minutes to build, without talking to each other. All of the students did a great job, but Yaakov, Meira, and Jacob were particularly successful. Their structure held 25 books! Lilac and Robbie also did an amazing job (14 books), and theirs was two inches taller!
In Mr. Esse's 5th/6th grade History class, students learned about the Stone Age. To celebrate the end of the unit, they studied cave art and made their own. Take a look at some of these examples and see if you can identify some of the animals, forms of nature, weapons and actions. Some possibilities are: animals - sheep, horses, deer; nature - mountains, plains, lakes, ocean; weapons - bowler, slingshot, knife; action: hunting, gathering, making tools....

Winning Season Openers for the Wolves!
Both Wolves teams opened the season with wins Tuesday evening! The girls won 17-15 in overtime, with Ronit Radutny hitting the game-winning shot. The boys won by one point with a game-winning shot from Yonathan Ezra with 3 seconds left in the game.
8 Questions for an 8th Grader
Lilah with her first grade buddy Yoka.
We continue our series of featuring one of our 8th graders in each issue of the Kibitzer. This time, it is 
Lilah Elia :
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? I started in the Purple Room when I was two. 
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Hyde Park.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? I want to have a good trip to Israel. 8th grade is different because I am "on top!"
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? 
    My favorite subject is Humanities because I love to write and learn about history. 
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? 
    It's really nice to be in a small community. I like having a little buddy and taking care of the little kids with Arun. It's special that everybody knows everyone.
  6. If you have had your bat mitzvah or are preparing for it, what did you learn from it? I had my bat mitzvah last year and my parsha was "Lech Lecha." I enjoyed sharing my traditions with other people because a lot of the people who came were not Jewish.
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? In my free time I play piano and swim.
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? When I grow up I want to be a rocket scientist.
Middle School Parent-Student Workshop workshop

Chill Out: Helping Kinds Cope with Stress and Anxiety (and the Role the Internet and Social Media Play)

Tuesday, November 19
5:45 p.m. Spaghetti Dinner
6:30 - 8:30 Programs for Parents & Students

Students will have the opportunity to continue their conversation with one of our facilitators begun during the school day, while parents have the opportunity to discuss the same topic with our other facilitator. Students and parents will then come together to share their thoughts and concerns about this topic. 

Unfortunately, we will not have babysitters available for younger siblings. If you would like your child to stay after school, please make arrangements and notify the office.  

Mazal Tov
Bar Mitzvah Robbie Berks (7th) and his family on his Bar Mitzvah this weekend.

Wolves Schedule & Gear
The Akiba Spirit Store is open until November 17. Place your orders here.
Wear your gear to all Wolves Games, schedule here!

Seeking Shoe Donations!
The Chesed Club, under the guidance of Mrs. Crook, is thrilled to launch their 5780 Shoe Drive. Once again they are asking you to drop off shoes you are no longer using. They will be donated to the Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed, which welcomes all kinds of shoes in any size. A big thank  you to Art teacher Dara Henning, who decorated our  shoe collection bin, which you can find in the atrium. We hope to use it for many years!
B-Mitzvah Orientation

Sunday, November 17, 2019
11:45 a.m.
@ Congregation Rodfei Zedek
Getting ready to start your B-Mitzvah journey?  Join Rabbi Minkus, Cantor Rosenberg and  Executive Director Julie Ratowitz
for an orientation on the process and what you can expect from lessons,  the service, the kiddush lunch, and more.  Open to parents and children in grades 5-7.  Pizza and conversation following the session. RSVP here.

Dates to Remember
Thursday, November 14
Parent/Teacher Conferences
No School for Grades 1-8 
Preschool and Kindergarten in session until 12:00 p.m.
Conference booking closes Monday, November 11, book at:

Grade School Event Code: 5yegj 

Preschool and Kindergarten Event Code: rra7t 

Friday, November 15
Professional Development Day
No School
Monday, November 18
6:45 - 8:45 p.m.
Koval Distillery
5121 N. Ravenswood, Chicago
Tuesday, November 19
Chill out: Helping kids cope with stress and anxiety (and the role the internet and social media play)
5:45 p.m. Spaghett Dinner
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Programming
@ Akiba
Wednesday, November 27
Thanksgiving Feasts (Preschool & KDG)
8:30 - noon Thanksgiving Feasts 
12:00 p.m. Dismissal Preschool & KDG
3:30 p.m. Dismissal Grades 1-8, no after-school programming, no late bus
Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29
Thanksgiving Break
No School
Tuesday, December 17
8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Kindergarten classroom
Thursday, December 19
Chanukah Assemblies
9:00 a.m. Preschool & Kindergarten
10:00 a.m. Grade School

Monday, December 23 - Friday, January 3
Winter Break
No School

November 8, 2019  
Volume 16, Issue 6
Candle Lighting: 4:17 p.m.
Parasha: Lech Lecha
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund