Two related articles were posted recently to the #OnwardHebrew Facebook group, both supporting the sound-to-print approach, but using examples from the non-Jewish world.
Julia Unger Zorn noted that the Suzuki method of learning violin is also sound-to-print. Students hear music and play music before learning to read musical notes. The article she shared is here: https://suzukiassociation.org/about/suzuki-method/
Rabbi Stacy Rigler offered an article that encourages educators to wait for student readiness, rather than rushing the teaching of reading (and other subjects) at too early of an age. That article is here: https://www.edutopia.org/article/teach-kids-when-theyre-ready and a segment of Stacy's workshop presentation ("why delay decoding") is here: https://youtu.be/UmIFO2CAFwY
Both articles offer language for us to offer parents when entering into conversations about a developmentally appropriate time to teach decoding. General comments/feedback is welcome, as well as experiences (successful or not) you've had when discussing delaying decoding with your families.
This website (and postings on Facebook) offers multiple invitations to "join the conversation." We don't want you to "jump on the bandwagon," play "follow the leader," or "go where no one has gone before." Rather, #OnwardHebrew invites you to enter into dialog about the current approach to Hebrew learning that has dominated part-time/congregational learning for decades.
In some ways, each of the education directors who adopted new approaches to Hebrew education, began as anthropologists. They carefully observed their current programs - noting behaviors of students and teachers, interpreting conversations ("what did I hear and what do I think it means?"), and considering the larger social sphere in which their congregation was situated. To their credit, they did not do all this in a vacuum. Rather, they connected with each other to share observations, debate conclusions and consider potential next steps. As a result, each program is different, but because of their thoughtful interactions, new assumptions about Hebrew education began to emerge, resulting in a spark to Hebrew learning not seen in the recent past.
This is the power of conversation! It's not about me alone and it's not about you alone. But my sharing and your sharing will help us all develop learners that are exited about Hebrew, and grow in their competence and confidence.
#OnwardHebrew. Join the conversation ... with your staff, with local and national colleagues, on this blog, and on Facebook.
Really. Let's talk!
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All of us! If you have something to contribute, send your posting via the Contact webpage!