Parsha Cake, Parsha Cake, open the parsha and see what you bake!
a place to post pics of my parsha cakes for my nephews & nieces & how I keep my kids busy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Learning Hebrew the fun way

I teach high school and middle school kids some of whom never learned the basics of hebrew language. Last year I read this theory about second language learning that kids needed visual and verbal cues. I figured that only translating the hebrew words into english as I had always done was not ideal. It was all linguistic and auditory and neglected visual learners. I made up flashcards for the most common nouns & verbs in Tanach and put them on a big ring. I only used the most common words because with the common words  a person should be able to translate 85% of all pesukim.

When we encountered the word in the Tanach, the student drew a picture of it on the front of the card and wrote the english translation on the back. 

It worked well for a few weeks, and then I stopped tutoring one student. I brought the ring of cards home and left it lying around. S. was in kindergarten and learning his א-ב and nekudos. He would sit around and ask me to read him the cards.

I started having him fill in the nekudos on the cards to practice his nekudos and so that I wouldn't have to do all the work.

Then, I had him draw the pictures and fill in the nekudos.

His big incentive was that he had this cool big stack of cards he could draw on. My incentive was that I could make dinner and have him practice his kriya somewhat painlessly.

The cards have since been floating around the house. Occasionally I spot my kids looking at them. Tonight, S. wanted me to sit next to him and listen to him read. He got 80% of the words translated correctly. We thought he was just looking at the pictures so my husband covered up the picture and he still got the translations correct.  Who knew these would actually work?

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