An incredible Shoresh year ahead

We're gearing up for a truly incredible year at Shoresh. It involves a lot of brainstorming, planning, and learning ourselves. What's ahead? Here's a sneak peek:

Time travel?!

Shoresh learners are time traveling this year. The 4th/5th grade class is going to the Middle Ages, and beyond—in a time machine they're going to build. The 6th/7th grade class will go to the beginning of the universe. The 2nd/3rd grade class will go to the beginning of the Torah. The Kindergarten/1st grade class will go to Noah's ark. The mix of topics and activities this year are SO wide! Come along for our journey!

Community building

Creating our sacred community is one of our seven school-wide priorities. Classes across the country do name games and get-to-know-you activities the first week of school; Shoresh teachers plan team-building activities throughout the year to create bonds among our students. Rooms have Jewish (ok, sometimes they're more Jew-ish than Jewish) activities to play with and books to read when students first come in or during extra time. Shoresh focuses on collaborative projects and group activities, and teachers will include movement and ways for students to interact with and count on each other. In these ways—and more—Shoresh is creating community.

Refreshed Hebrew program

Shoresh learners are bright and super knowledgeable about Shabbat, since we welcome Shabbat together every week. To help students become skillful at Hebrew for their lives as Jews and for their b'nei mitzvah, we are using materials that emphasize the Shabbat liturgy. 4th-7th grade students learn Shabbat prayers and songs in the order in which they appear at services, and they use technology to hear those prayers and songs in addition to reading them. 2nd/3rd grade students still have interactive and hands-on components to learning Hebrew, such as collaborative art projects and tactile materials.

Revised Kadima (8th/9th grade) format

We've changed the grade mix so this class is 8th and 9th grade students, making it a more post-b'nei mitzvah group that is developmentally ready for the topics and experiences we are creating. 6th and 7th grade students, in their own class, also have engaging activities at a level that's appropriate for their abilities and development. There is crossover during the year at certain points. To be responsive to students' schedules and interests, we've changed the schedule. This year, Kadima students have time at the beginning of Shoresh to either be madrichim in younger grades' classrooms or participate in a structured but informal chug activity. Their main learning activities take place 5:00-6:20 pm. This year's curriculum includes incredible units: What Judaism says about current events and hot topics; Jewish diversity overall and in Chicago; learning about Israel and how to respond to anti-Israel talk at school; exploring God and spirituality after b'nei mitzvah. Kadima interacts with these topics through engaging activities at KAM Isaiah Israel and off campus, and students have input on activities as part of the curriculum.