Students with a model of a glucose molecule

The Science of Fasting

Submitted by: Alanah Percy, Grade 6 and 7 Science

In preparation for Yom Kippur, 6th graders learned about the science of fasting. With the aid of hands-on demos including colorful pomp-poms that represented glucose, veggie oil in special cups representing fats, an interactive video clip and fill in the blanks notes, the class was able to identify the differences between energy sources used after 8, 24 and 72 hours of fasting. We discussed the health benefits associated with short stints of fasting including the practice of Yom Kippur and the downsides of fasting for 72 hours or more. After the lesson, students correctly noted that glucose was the primary energy source between 1-8 hours of fasting and that fats were broken down after 8 hours of fasting. The demos and fill in the blank notes served as a form of differentiation for students with different learning styles and effectively solidified the cultural and scientific relevance of the subject. Before the end of the block, students completed an exit ticket; a write-up about what they learned during the class period. The effectiveness of this lesson proves that students should engage Jewish culture in science and understand its scientific and cultural pertinence.


Third Grade Takes A Step Into History

As part of their learning about the history of the settling of Massachusetts, the third grade welcomed the Newton Historic Society for a workshop on Native artifacts, Native coordination games, and a colonist hoop catch called Grace. The students determined where historic events belonged on a time line such as who settled in Plymouth first; when the first long distance call was made from Newton to Cambridge; and when the first Newton high school was built. The students, wearing gloves to protect the artifacts, handled original stone and bone tools actually used by Native inhabitants.


Student Reflections on Grandparents’ and Special Visitors’ Day 2018

Hi. I’m Isaac Klar, and through my nine years at Schechter, I’ve learned quite a lot. As my time here at Schechter comes to an end, I think about everything that has stuck with me throughout this whole time. My teachers, my friends, and my Jewish identity have been with me throughout my time here, and they will stay with me through my whole life.

My teachers have given me the best opportunities to learn and succeed, and have set me up so that I am ready for high school. They set me up to be accepted into my first choice for high school, where I will be attending next year, Gann Academy. In first grade, we learned basic math like addition and subtraction. In sixth grade, we started learning geometry and even some algebra. Now, in eighth grade, we have learned quadratic equations and have had a lesson on logarithms.

My friends, who have stuck with me through thick and thin. We’ve celebrated together, laughed together, and done basically everything else together too. We blew up when the Patriots beat the Seahawks with Malcolm Butler’s unforgettable interception, and we’ll celebrate again soon at our graduation.

My Jewish identity will stay with me throughout my time at Gann, and will stick with me as an adult. I will raise a Jewish family, and hopefully send my children to a Jewish school. I’ve gained skills here that I wouldn’t have gained anywhere else, like being able to go to Israel and speak to the Israelis in Hebrew. I’ve learned how to code, manage my time, and I’ve become trilingual with Spanish, Hebrew, and English.

But the thing I will miss most about Schechter is the community. My friends, my teachers who have also become my friends, and even everybody here that I don’t know. When I see everybody getting up and singing and dancing when we pray as a school, I feel happy knowing that all the kids younger than me have the opportunity to have an experience similar to mine. I hope they all enjoy Schechter as much as I have, and I hope you all can see that today.

Thank you.


Breaking News: Schechter selected as one of four schools nationwide

Schechter has been selected as one of four schools nationwide to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) Day School Fellowship. PoP is an innovative research-based pedagogy for the design of relationship centered education, led by Dr. Orit Kent and Allison Cook. PoP is a program of Hadar, based in New York City. The other schools in this inaugural fellowship are:

  • Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital
  • Luria Academy (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Oakland Hebrew Day School (Oakland, CA)

Through this program, our faculty will learn how to guide students toward using concrete tools to improve their communication and interpretive skills and be better able to seek understanding, work collaboratively and engage with their studies. Our faculty will teach and model for our students to learn from one another through hevruta learning, in pairs. The root of the word hevruta is haver which means friend. Facilitating learners in this way can inform teaching practices across almost any subject matter or category, offering a powerful Jewish framework from which to educate and learn.

In an article posted by the Jewish Theological Seminary, Cook and Kent write, “Whether it be in text study, in our interactions in Jewish communal life, or beyond to the town square, Jewish education must focus deliberately on building the discrete skills and dispositions necessary for this interpretive engagement. It is not enough for these skills and dispositions to be in the hands of a few; they must be taught and made available to individuals of all ages. In the Pedagogy of Partnership we seek to do just this because we believe that Jews and Judaism thrive in relationship and that how we learn is ultimately what we learn.”

Head of School Rebecca Lurie shares that, “a key element of Schechter’s strategic plan is to embrace aspects of Jewish thinking and learning such as hevruta style collaboration and apply them as scaffolding to our entire academic program. This fellowship is an important step in implementing that vision for our school and we couldn’t be more excited!”


photo credit: Heidi Aaronson