Picture this: You walk into a classroom and see a room scattered with desks. Two kids are facing each other across each desk, snacking on pretzels or Israeli chocolate as they chat with each other in Hebrew. At the sound of a buzzer, they switch to a different desk with a different partner, a new conversation, and more snacks! Like “speed dating”—without the dating!
Another quick picture: You walk into Pita Grille, the Kosher Israeli restaurant here in Sandy Springs. You see a whole GHA safa class that is out of the school building in the middle of the day! What’s this all about? Well, as an assessment concluding their unit on food and restaurants, these students were required to introduce themselves at the counter and order their lunch in Hebrew. They were then allowed to speak only Hebrew as they chatted to each other over an Israeli lunch at the restaurant.
Many of us are proficient at memorizing vocabulary, grammar, math facts, algorithms, and the like. But how are we able to apply those skills in real-life situations? At GHA, that is the goal and challenge of teaching; making learning meaningful and relevant. We want learning to be useful in our lives, and not just empty knowledge that is pushed away to the far recesses of our minds.
This is authentic learning at its best!