Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holidays and Hands on Learning


This is a busy Jewish holiday season. We are now celebrating the holiday of Sukkot ( Tabernacle). We eat in temporary huts and we take Four Species that we shake.  There are many reasons behind each of these customs and laws but  that is not the purpose of this blog post.  As you go through the Jewish calendar and it's customs  and laws you see a common idea that it is not enough to remember the ideas but we must experience it. Nothing illustrates this more than the passover Seder. The RAMBAM ( Maimonides) goes as far as saying that that one must view themselves as if they left  Egypt. Sukkot is no different it is not enough just to remember how the Jews traveled through  the desert but we must feel it and experience it by sitting outside in temporary dwellings. its in not enough to see or even lift the the Four Species but we need to actually shake it.

I am not a philosopher and others wiser than me have dealt with and addressed this point but perhaps Judaism's survival over the centuries is that we just don't remember the events of the past but we actual try to experience them.

As an educator the message is  clear. How can we make learning real and long lasting? How can we move from just memorizing facts but to internalizing it and making what we teach real?

The answer is simple it needs to be hands on and experienced. Students need to see the meaning of the learning and the outcomes and reasons need to be transparent. This idea of making learning real and long lasting is the theme of this month Education Leadership Magazine.

If we make learning transparent, focus on  the why and allow students to experience the learning the learning won't only be real but will be long lasting as well.

Here are some of my tweets from this months EL magazine :

"Teaching4understanding goes beyond basic facts&asks why do we do this"  Burns #AscdEL #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu    
"we should be mindful of what our Ss understand not merely what they can do" via EL mag #ascd #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu  
"Exploring the Why" via EL mag #ascd #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu    
We need to shift our lessons from telling to asking via EL mag #ascd #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu  
"Ss should never feel as though they're simply repeating the same thing today that they did yesterday" Brookhart&Moss #ascdEL #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu  
"Ss should have clear goal. If the T is the only1 who understands where learning is headed Ss r flying blind" Moss&Brookhart #ascdEL #edchat

 Akevy Greenblatt @AkevyStarEdu  
"Learning goals must b transparent" Ss need to know the why and the what they r learning via EL mag @ascd #edchat 


  1. Akevy...

    Thank you for your openness, as you share about your beliefs & spirituality. I learn so much from you each & every time you post.

    I love this question...

    How can we make learning real and long lasting?

    While I don't have an answer readily available, I know that the investigations I undertake will take me down a rich & fruitful path.

    Learning is meant to be transparent... the celebrations, the missteps, the real understandings that evolve.

    That is a powerful question we can use to refocus & harness the way in which we teach.

    Much to think about...

  2. Jana
    Thank you for your comments. I owe some comments on your blog
    Perhaps this question can be the focus of our twitter chat
    Thanks again for always pushing me