21st Century Learning @
HALB Middle School
Morah Perel Rausch
Morah Rauch is a star Judaic Studies teacher in her second year in the HALB Junior High. She teaches a variation of Navi and Chumash classes to girls in grades 6-8.
Estee Lightstone interviewed Morah Rauch about all of her great technological advances in her classes.
1. Which edtech tool are utilized most in your Navi and Chumash classes?
I have 4! Nearpod, Chatterpix, Educreations and Explain Everything.
I use Nearpod in my 7th grade navi class. Nearpod is a way to share slides and activities with the students’ iPads. It takes me about 5 minutes to put together a few drawings and open ended question activities that pertain to what we are learning. With just 3-4 short Nearpod activities, the entire class is different. Aside from the fact that it is a great tool for assessment, the girls are so engaged. As soon as they start getting talkative, I share a “draw it” activity and they become quiet and involved.
I also love using Chatterpix. It is an app where the girls can show what they have learned with a fun talking image. The girls love it, and it can be a great review for any topic. The girls love the creativity aspect, and I love the content that they put into it. The girls will then display their work through the Apple TV, and then everyone gets a great review!
A very easy and quick app to use is Educreations or Brushes. These are both apps where the students have a free whiteboard to draw/type information. I will often tell the girls in Navi class they can use these apps to depict the scenes in Navi. I then choose a few girls at the end of class to show what they made. This is also a great tool that keeps the girls engaged and excited about the lesson.
I also find that Explain Everything is the best tool for when I am absent, or even if I just want to do something different in class. With this app, I can make a short video to explain a concept or deeper understanding, and have the girls fill out a question sheet while watching it.
2. Do you see a difference in the way the students approach your class when the technology is used?
Definitely, but it has to be done in the right way. The 7th graders have already had iPads for over a year, so they don’t just think it’s cool to always use them. I have tried apps that did not work well and then it took away from class. Also, I try to not use the same apps over and over again so that it doesn’t lose its excitement.
3. Does it take you a lot of time to teach the students whatever technology you are going to use that day?
No! They always learn faster than me:)! When I gave them Chatterpix for the first time, they figured it out right away! They all used it during recess for their own enjoyment too! When it’s something fun, and they all get into it, they learn so quickly!