experiments, instruments & measurement book

What’s Space Got to do with Powerful Learning?

Posted by Ben Alpert in Living and Learning

By Rina Moscovitz, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York 

11/7/13

Extended Space in the Museum of the City of New York – October 6, 2013

For me there is a connecting thread between the space we visited, the artwork shown, the Bible texts, the LOMED powerful learning experience and what we bring into our classrooms as Jewish Educators.

The first art work by Janet Ruttenberg titled “Lemonade is so Last Summer” elicited words such as: gold sun rays, sparkles glistening behind the canvas, airy and light weight sensation, brought upon by the white, yellow and green colors, and bright light in the physical sense as well as illuminations, enlightenment and insights. What also caught my eye on the top part of the painting was the extended painted images of leaves that associated for me as physical extensions, enlarging the borders of the canvas to the space above, as if to note that there is more beyond the physical rectangular surface of the artwork.

The second painting titled “Shakespeare” which is a dark moon night painting had glimpses of light projected on the figures from the front and the back of the canvas. It gave me the feeling of depth and mysterious lively movement, up close and far views of couples dancing in circular movements. This art-work elicited notions of extended space by adding the video, the sound and length of time of the dance, which had a beginning and an end to it. The notion of time was extended when the video continued in a cyclical manner over and over again.

That brought me to think about space as extended spaces related to dimensionality, layers of meaning, multisensory mediums and how time is a continuum and more over an expansion of space in many directions and dimensions.

When we sat down to read the three pieces of Bible text, noting words, color and time, it all came together and the connecting thread made sense to me. As Jewish Educators in Jewish Congregational schools we are continuing and extending the Jewish time, the Jewish thread and our Jewish space of time to the next generation.

We are noticing the now, noticing our surroundings in relationship to the space of time from then to now and making intricate connections.

In a way we are making space in our hearts and minds for powerful learning, for light and connecting the far and the close, making sense of our Jewish heritage for us as educators as well as for our students.

Powerful Learning in Alternative Spaces: Nassau County Museum of Art

Powerful Learning in Alternative Spaces: Nassau County Museum of Art
Posted by Ben Alpert in Living and Learning

11/06/13

On Sunday 19 educators experienced Jewish learning in alternative spaces. Most Jewish learning and living tends to take place in traditional places such as congregations (or more recently homes or volunteer events). This weekend Long Island congregations forged ahead and turned the Nassau County Museum of Art into an alternative space for meaningful Jewish learning and experiences. The art museum is located on a grand Long Island gold coast estate that set the stage for a beautiful and wonderful communal gathering.

The experience began simply in the parking lot as participants were asked to “pay attention” to the beautiful trees and outdoor sculpture gardens as a prelude to their experience in the museum.

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The participants enjoyed a day of meaningful conversation and paying attention in a deep way to the art and to each other. A phenomenal exhibit by pop artist Peter Max framed the day. The exhibit was his first museum exhibition in New York and juxtaposed portfolios of his mostly black-and-white drawings on paper against many of his larger and more color-saturated works in a variety of media. Participant Rabbi Jodie Siff of Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore commented,

 

It is always wonderful to be in a learning environment with our educational leadership team.  We were collectively modeling what it means to live and learn in our secular and religious civilizations as we explored the art museum with a Jewish lens.

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Beyond the opportunity to network and collaborate, educators were inspired to consider how planning learning in appropriate alternative locations can greatly enhance the exploration of content.  The peer consultancy groups of directors were able to delve into dilemmas of innovation and for our teacher groups to consider both the design principles for powerful learning – both how they enhanced the experience in the museum and how they could strengthen learning experiences they design for their learners.  Appreciating and envisioning how to use space and environment to deepen learning around a big idea was also explored.

Thanks to all the staff and to each participant who made the learning both powerful and enjoyable.

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Manhattan Living & Learning – Continuing the Conversation

Manhattan Living & Learning - Continuing the Conversation
Posted by Jessica Rothbart in Living and Learning

Dear Participants of the Manhattan Fall 2013 Living & Learning,

I’m still thinking about our experience in the museum: Powerful learning in alternative spaces. What was so great about our day at the Museum at the City of New York?  For me it was:

1. Uplifting. The marble foyer, the brown cushioned seating and the crystal mobile dancing with the light set a tone of beauty.

The Janet Ruttenberg  exhibit tapped memory and stirred imagination.

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2. Time for listening to the quiet voice inside. The first stroll through the gallery I did it alone.  I had quiet time to think and feel…which is different than time to do.

3. Gently opened relationships. I then walked the museum with Rachel and then Leigh.
Each had something to say that helped me in a comfortable way get to know them.

4. Jewish. The exhibit stirred experience with color.  It was enriching to hear ancient use of color in conversation with contemporary use of color. Thousands of years and they say the same thing. I stand today…connected to yesterday.

And I have to ask…was it so great because we are all figuring out how we can end the divide that being Jewish is on special days in certain spaces?

Now I’d like for you to help continue the conversation online (Click on this article’s title in order to respond) :

Share something you are still thinking about?

What’s space got to do with powerful learning?

What else is continuing to resonate with you?

DOL 1DOL 2

Powerful Learning in Alternative Spaces: A Walk in the Park for Living and Learning

Powerful Learning in Alternative Spaces: A Walk in the Park for Living and Learning
Posted by Ben Alpert in Living and Learning, Uncategorized

By Cyd Weissman

On Sunday Manhattan Jewish educators and directors will be walking up the marble steps of the Museum of the City of New York to have a powerful learning experience…yes Jewish learning…with the Janet Ruttenberg exhibit of Central Park.

We'll be exploring an essential life skill for a Jewish journey that is--To pay attention...l'seem lev.

We’ll be exploring an essential life skill for a Jewish journey that is–To pay attention…l’seem lev.

Busy-ness, as we all know,  has a choke hold on people of all ages. This techno-high-achieving bully insists children and adults do and then do some more even faster. So without the art of paying attention young people might get lost, take a wrong turn or not recognize how far they’ve come. They might just have a filled in calendar without realizing what has passed and what is next.

As Jewish educators, our work has to be to support young people’s pause, questions and ability to see anew. This is the “new curriculum” of Jewish learning, not just the facts but the skills to navigate a life journey grounded in the richness of Judaism.

I love that Hebrew for pay attention is “seem lev,” put heart on.  Why do you think that is?

In my own life to pay attention I:

1. Sing niggunim: slow me down, catch my breath, remind  this moment is passing

2. Pray: something is bigger here than me…don’t forget it’s not all about you-which is contrary to what the guy at the Craps table told me in Atlantic City when I rolled the dice “its all about you”

3. Ask: so much a mystery. Do I bug people with my Barbara Walters questions?

4. Friend: I saw the Ruttenberg exhibit with Jessica. “Look see the word SEX written in the building?”  Nope missed that one, thanks Jessica.

The art gallery is ideal space to learn how we ourselves pay attention and then how we can help our students  do the same..”hey, put that thing down and look over here.”

How different will this experience be because we are in a space that insists you quiet down, look and look again? How would the same learning be in a classroom…in my mind…flat………..

Ruttenberg, a woman in her 80's, never exhibited her artwork until now. The 17 pieces at the Museum of The City of New York represent her return and return again to the same place, Central Park, each time seeing something different.

Ruttenberg, a woman in her 80’s, never exhibited her artwork until now. The 17 pieces at the Museum of The City of New York represent her return and return again to the same place, Central Park, each time seeing something different.

If we’re successful the educators will have a powerful experience that can inform their teaching.

They’ll have a chance to critique the day and answer: To what extent did we design a powerful day of learning? How could it have been better? They’ll critique the experience by asking if we created learning that 1) had relationships at the center; 2) enabled inquiry reflection and meaning making; 3) spoke to real life questions; and 4) was content rich and accessible (if you want the Bible texts for the colors red, purple, blue, white and green I can give them to you).

I’ll let you know how the day goes..we’re doing it again in a museum in Westchester and then Long Island. Powerful Learning in Alternative Spaces: A walk in the park..not so easy but hopefully worth paying attention to.

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Living and Learning: Bolder Models

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized

Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning

Back to Living and Learning Main Page

PictureHow can we make our models bolder? What would it look like to take our innovative models and push them to the next level with our communities?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

Living and Learning: Emphasizing Relationships and Content

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized
Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning
Picture

Photo credit: Flickr user homesbythomas http://www.flickr.com/photos/homesbythomas/

What are ways to emphasize both relationships and content?

How can we both tend to the learners’ journeys and deliver rich, meaningful, and relevant resources from Jewish text and tradition?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

Living and Learning: Models Making a Difference

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized
Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning
Back to Living and Learning Main Page
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Photo credit: Flickr user red twolip http://www.flickr.com/photos/25182350@N03/

How do we know if our innovative models are making a difference?

How can we notice, appreciate, and measure the change we are seeing?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

Living and Learning: Engaging the Whole Family

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized
Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning
Back to Living and Learning Main Page
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Photo credit: Flickr user edanley http://www.flickr.com/photos/edanley/

How can our innovative models engage the whole family?

How can we speak to the needs of different generations within families and across the congregation?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

Living and Learning: Individual Choice and Building Community

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized
Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning
Back to Living and Learning Main Page
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Photo credit: Flickr user Vermin Inc http://www.flickr.com/photos/vermininc/

How do we tend to the needs of the individual without losing a sense of community?

How can our innovative models speak to individual interests, concerns, talents, and questions without losing sight of the whole?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

Living and Learning: Building Community Through Ritual and Shared Experience

Posted by icadmin in Living and Learning, Uncategorized
Part of the Living and Learning series – pre- and post-learning
Back to Living and Learning Main Page
Picture

Photo credit: Flickr user goldberg http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldberg/

How can we create community through ritual?

What are the best ways to build a sense of community through shared experiences?

These are some of the pressing questions we’ll be addressing in an upcoming Living and Learning. Begin the conversation now!

Share in the comments – what is coming up for you in your work as an innovator that makes this an important question?

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