How do you improve upon the CAHAL kindergarten program which has been successful beyond expectations and has been taught by a highly experienced, outstanding, dedicated, NYS certified special education teacher for over 15 years? Add a new, state-of-the-art Epson/SMART Interactive Board.
Last week, I had the privilege of observing a science lesson in Morah Melody Harris’ CAHAL special education classroom at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County. The children were totally engrossed as they were taught about the properties of liquids and solids in a hands-on, interactive lesson.
They observed that water was clear, but in order to learn more about liquids, Mrs. Harris colored the water blue. They watched as Mrs. Harris asked individual students to pour the blue water into various containers and molds.
The students were able to explain why the liquid took on the shape of its containers while the solid objects could not. The class discussed the difference between ice and snow and how they are formed. They learned that while they could freeze water to make ice, only Hashem could make snow. Star-shaped molds filled with water were placed on the window ledge outside of the classroom to experiment if the water would turn to ice by the next morning.
Just when I thought the lesson was over, the students were invited to view their new Epson/SMART Interactive Board, and they watched in amazement as the entire lesson came to life in a video. Incredibly, the children were able to answer all of Mrs. Harris’ questions about their lesson.
I wondered which came first, the lesson plan or the video. I later asked Mrs. Harris, and she explained that she spends endless hours researching available material for the SMARTBoard in order to create the most effective learning experiences. She has created many interactive games and other activities to enhance the children’s learning, and this is just the beginning.