Hasten Hebrew Academy Happenings

Teachers and students from the Hasten Hebrew Academy were busy presenting workshops at state and national conferences last fall. Recently, Matt Tucker, middle school math teacher and team leader, joined Sherry Hamstra, Assistant Principal, along with seven Honors geometry students in fifth through eighth grade to share the Hebrew Academy’s accelerated math program with teachers from across Indiana.

Students prepared a presentation that included samples of their work, along with a hands-on activity in which teachers participated. Mrs. Hamstra also shared how the Hebrew Academy uses pre-assessment to determine placement in each math class. Following their presentation, students were quite excited to meet Michael Clay Thompson who authors the high-ability vocabulary, grammar, and writing programs used by students at the Academy. Autographs were secured and pictures taken.

Various other Hebrew Academy teachers presented at the Indiana Association for Gifted State Conference, including Lonica Solomon, middle school science and math; Mary Ellen Fellegy, art; Maya Shmoel, Hebrew language; Sherry Hamstra, middle school humanities; and Miki Hamstra, Director of the Center for Gifted Studies at Ball State University. Their workshop allowed teachers to study an Integration Day for middle school students.
Students participate each year in a special day that focuses on a topic and view it from multiple perspectives.

The Indiana Guild of Organists selected the Hasten Hebrew Academy this year to take part in a special program that encompasses the music, social studies, and science classes for third and fourth grade. The program is a two-week unit that includes many science experiments related to sound and how pipes in an organ produce that sound. Social Studies units focus on the periods in history and geography of the lives of Johann Sebastian Bach and Cesar Franck. In music class, students will learn about the structure of a fugue and write one themselves to perform on classroom instruments. All materials for every class have been provided by the Indiana Guild of Organists.

On Monday, January 19, students participated in special programming in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Students watched the film Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front. This film is a coming-of-age story that follows five high school students who are drafted into the Israeli army. These students are tasked with defending their homes and values of peace, equality, opportunity, democracy, religious tolerance, and women’s rights.


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