Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Clay Snakes

One of the features of the Tal Am program (which we now use to teach many of our  Judaic subjects in our 1st through 4th grade) that makes it so unique is it's focus on incorporating multiple intelligences into the learning process.  Most obvious to anyone who walks into a Tal Am classroom are the myriad of visual stimuli which cover the walls, as well as the songs which will likely be playing.  Perhaps less obvious, though, is the kinesthetic learning which takes place in the Tal Am classroom.  That is, learning through movement and actions.  A wonderful example of precisely this type of learning took place in our second grade classroom today. Under the guidance of Morah Rachel Goldberg, our second graders, who are learning the early stories of Bereishit in Chumash, created clay representations of the curses which Hashem bestowed upon Adam, Chava, and the Snake due to their failure to follow Hashem's command.  Doing so allowed those students who may not have fully understood the nuances of each passuk through visual and auditory means, to sink their hands into it and learn it that way.

Look closely at the picture to see their handiwork and the way in which it corresponds to the pesukim from the Torah.

Chesed Morning at CYHSB

As a means of getting post Yom Kippur year off to the right start, the high school boys spent a few hours this morning doing good for others. Under the direction of Rabbi Stein, they split up into three groups.  Two visited hospitals and the third visited a variety of public areas in town in an effort to raise awareness and funds to fight malaria.  In addition to heightening their sensitivity toward others, the boys learned that even with limited time and limited resources, we all really can make a difference in this world.

Tubing at Pickwick

The Girls High School spent today away on their start of the year, camaraderie building school trip.  Whereas past years have featured canoe trips and amusement parks, this year's was a little different.  Organized by Rabbi Stein, the high school's new Director of Student Life, the girls went to Pickwick Lake and spent the day boating and tubing.  While they have yet to return, these shots courtesy of Mrs. Kampf's iPhone, seem to suggest that they're having a pretty good time...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Apple Mummies and Clown Covered Eggs

I was sitting at my desk working on my computer when Rabbi Kugielski came in to tell me that there was something happening in the 7th grade that I should know about. The 7th graders were mummifying apples. Under the direction of our Upper School History teacher, Dr. Whitney Kennon, and with the help of our enrichment teacher, Mrs. Cindy Massey, the 7th graders were replicating ancient Egyptian preservation techniques - only with apples rather than humans. Each student drew a face on their apple to give it a more humanesque form, measured its pre-burial weight, and then mummified it in a mixture of baking soda and salt. Next week, they'll play archeologist and dig up the (hopefully intact) remains of their royal fruits.

As I left the students who were making mummies out of apples, I noticed that in the room next door our 6th graders were busy making clowns (and
a variety of other things) out of eggs. This wasn't history, but Hebrew, and our kids were bringing a story they had learned with Moreh Shimshon to life.

Want to hear the story? Just click on the video below...

Something in the Air...

There is something pulsating through our Boys High School these days that is hard to put into words. From yesterday's unveiling of a brand new, wide-ranging slate of electives under the direction of Rabbi Stein (including - but not limited to - cooking, band, chidon ha-tanach, debate, beis medrash, art, peer tutoring, mechanics, community service, study skills, and more) to this morning's pre-Yom Kippur Tisch under the direction of R' Gersten, and from the launching of the inaugural edition of The Cooper Chronicle to tomorrow's shabbat Shuva learning program and next week's Sukkah building, there is an infectious enthusiasm and energy permeating from every corner of the school.

Ken yirbu!

We're live!

Our school's new website is now live! Please check it out at www.mhafyos.org.

For those who have been listening to our class on the Neziv, please note that the files will be uploaded directly to the "Downloads" section of our new site: http://mhafyos.org/index.php/downloads. We hope to have each shiur and the source sheet up shortly after it is given (11am on Thursday mornings) so that you can listen before shabbat. This coming week we will look at the Neziv's introduction to Bereishit and then we will do a selection from his commentary on the weekly parasha beginning after Sukkot.

Please give us feedback and suggestions for the new site. Thanks!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rosh Hashanah in the Lower School

Moreh Shimshon and our new Bnot Sherut led our Lower School in a fun-filled pre-Rosh Hashanah program today. From creating cards to dipping apples and from baking challahs to solving puzzles, a good time was had by all!

Shiurim and Source Sheets Online

Today's parsha shiur as well as last week's are now available online, as are their accompanying source sheets. This week we moved ahead with the Neziv's introduction to Ha'amek Davar and also added in an insight from Harhev Davar which focuses on Rosh Hashanah. Our plan is to finish the introduction to the commentary next week, look at his introduction to Sefer Bereishit the week after, and then, following Sukkot, begin exploring passages from parashat hashavua begining with Bereshit.

We are excited to announce that we will shortly be launching a brand new website at www.mhafyos.org which will directly host all of these shiurim. So, instead of waiting for the blog post, you'll be able to go directly to the downloads section of the site and get the latest shiur as well as thos you might have missed.

For the time being, though, here are the links:


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Pirate in Pre-K

A Pirate (who looked eerily similar to our new Early Childhood music teacher, Mrs. Kathlyn Prentice) visited our Early Childhood classes today. Within a few minutes of her arrival, the rug in each classroom was transformed into a ship at sea and our children were off on a magical, musical journey through dance, rythm and song. Little did they know it, but sprinkled along the way were lessons about parts of the body, counting, vocabulary, and much more, making our new music program not only one of the most enjoyable parts of our children's day but one of the most enriching as well.

Here's a short clip from PreK-4's adventure:

MHA Triathlete Does It Again

Isaac Graber, an 8th grader in the Academy, put on another impressive athletic display by placing amongst the top finishers in the 32nd annual St. Louis JCC Labor Day Triathalon. The competition consisted of a 200 meter swim, a six mile bike ride, and a one mile run. Out of 200 young Jewish athletes in the race, Isaac finished 2nd in his age bracket and 6th overall. Way to go!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rosh Hashanah Baskets

If you haven't yet ordered your Dinstuhl's Rosh Hashanah gift baskets through the PTA, there is still time. They are a wonderful way to share the simcha of Yom Tov with family and friends, and to support the MHA at the same time.

To learn more about the PTA's Rosh Hashanah Baskets click here. For the order form click here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Parsha Shiur Online

This past week's parsha shiur, part two in our Introduction to Ha'amek Davar is now available by clicking here. If you download it please leave a comment here and let me know what the quality was like and how easy or difficult it was to understand. Thanks!

Flag Football

The Boys Intramural Flag Football league got off to a flying start today. Under the direction of Coach Carr most of our boys in grades 7-12 took to the field for a series of competitive, yet fun (and safe!) games of football. Along with the Lower School baseball team and the Girls High School Soccer team, this is yet another example of the fantastic work Coach is doing in improving and expanding our Athletics program.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shiur Online

Thanks to Gershon Yarmush, the first of my weekly parasha classes for women focusing on the Torah commentary of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (the Neziv) is now available online. Please note, though, that during these first several weeks we will be working through the Neziv's introduction to Ha'amek Davar, rather than learning passages from the weekly parasha itself. Our goal is finish the introduction, and hopefully even his introduction to Sefer Breishit, by Succot so that we can then begin looking at each parasha starting with Bereishit and do so with a deeper understanding of why the Neziv writes what he does and how he arrived at the insights he offers.

To listen to the first of the introductory shiurim click here.