- The Principles Governing the Curriculum
- Vision of Students – who study Torah with MaToK
- “Why We Adopted Matok” by Rabbi Jim Rogozen
- The Contents of MaToK
- A Critical Review of MaToK – Scheindlin, L. (2007). “May the Study of Torah be as Sweet as Honey: A Critical Review of MaToK”, Conservative Judaism, 59(2), 26-49.
- Matok 10-year report (2.7MB .doc)
- Slide show about MaToK
MaToK Wiki Info & Resources: http://matok.wikischolars.
June 2014 Iyyar/Sivan 5774
We are delighted to send you the fifteen year report of MaToK – the Bible curriculum for Jewish day schools. MaToK is a joint project of the Schechter Day School Network, housed at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the William Davidson Graduate School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Since its launching more than fifteen years ago, MaToK has made a significant contribution to the way that students engage with Torah learning, developing their reading and comprehension skills and learning to make personal meaning through open-ended questioning with an attitude of reverence for the sacred text.
The Executive summary provides a guide to the full report, explaining the inception of this innovative curriculum project and some exciting new directions that enhance student learning and amplify teacher resources in keeping with technological developments that are integral to twenty-first century education.
We look forward to your feedback and encourage you to send comments to MaToK’s director, Galya Greenberg at email@example.com. The pdf of the report is available online at www.schechternetwork.org/matok. Please share it with others in your organization or school. We are always interested in generating interest from the field, and extending the reach of MaToK in Jewish day schools across North America.
Galya Greenberg Dr. Elaine Shizgal Cohen
MaTok Director Senior Education Consultant, USCJ
Download the booklet here!
Order forms for MaToK Bible Curriculum
Online vocabulary learning for your students!
New & Improved Dah Bear Now Available: www.dahbear.org
A message from Marci Karoll, Program Officer, Legacy Heritage Fund:
Legacy Heritage Fund is proud to announce the launch of the next phase of development for Dah Bear, a free online tool which assists students in mastering Hebrew vocabulary. Dah Bear contains over 1,200 word lists and is being used in the classrooms of more than 225 teachers in nearly 150 schools. Positive feedback from this dynamic new tool has been overwhelming; students and teachers alike have told us how much fun classroom and homework learning has become!
What does teaching Torah have to do with 21st Century Education?
Find out by watching this video.
These are some of the skills that our students need to succeed in the 21st century:
- Problem Solving
- Cultural Awareness
Share with your colleagues: What are you doing in your Torah classes to promote these skills?
Your replies will be posted in next month’s MaToK newsletter.
Imagine: The year is 2017 and your students walk into class with their tablets/iPads, but with no hard copy textbooks.
What does their digital MaToK text look like?
What features would like to see in the digital MaToK text?
Send your ideas to Galya.
If you do not currently subscribe to the MaToK monthly newsletter, and would like your name added to the listserv, please send an email to Galya. (It is easy to unsubscribe, should you change your mind, simply by clicking on a link at the bottom of each newsletter.)
Using the arts with MaToK
Here are websites that may be helpful in your teaching. One unit, about Ya’akov and the Ish, gives specific directions for implementing a project using depictions of Ya’akov’s encounter as interpreted by artists throughout history. However, artwork can be incorporated into almost any unit, particulary if you have visual learners and/or students with “artistic intelligence”. Please share your ideas and experiences about using art to supplement teaching Torah.
Want more? Check out the Updates Archive »
MaToK Calendar of Events
Workshops, Webinars, and Discussions
Orientation workshop for the MaTok Bible Curriculum
Hochberg Preparatory Academy
North Miami Beach, FL
Tuesday, June 10 – Thursday, June 12,2014
This workshop is aimed for teachers and administrators new to MaTok, faculty from schools that are considering using MaTok, and any teacher who would like some additional training with our innovative curriculum. The workshop will cover a range of topics, from MaTok principles and access skills, to the balance between personal theology and Torah teaching, to the specifics of lesson planning. Click here for the registration form..
Topics to be addressed include:
- MaToK Principles and Access Skills
- Differentiated Instruction
- Bible Standards and Benchmarks—How they “fit” with MaToK
- Technology in the Torah Classroom
- Backward Design in Curriculum and Lesson Planning
- Authentic Assessment
- Theology-What do I believe and how does that impact me as a Torah teacher?
- How to use the Teachers’ Guide
- Beginning to work on our first lesson(s) of the school year.
Who is eligible?
- Teachers and administrators new to MaToK
- Faculty from a school that may be considering the use of MaToK in their bible curriculum
- Teachers who have been teaching MaToK but have never been to an orientation workshop
- Teachers who were trained and have been teaching MaToK but are ready for a “refresher”
Costs: (includes kosher lunches and snacks on all three days)
- Early Bird-paid in full before April 14, 2014
- Schechter Network Schools: $250
- Non-SN Schools: $275
$25 deducted per person for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th person from the same school. Good for Early Bird option only.
- Registration fee after April 14, 2014
- Schechter Network Schools: $300
- Non-SN Schools: $325
- Graduate students in Jewish education at an accredited institution:
- Before 4/14/14: $200
- After 4/14/14: $225
- Payment may be made using Paypal on the MaToK Wiki, or by check, payable to United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and sent by mail to: MaToK Bible Curriculum
c/o Galya Greenberg
21 Arundel Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107-1706
- The workshop hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Please arrange your transportation so that you will be present for the entire workshop.
- Each participant should bring a Tanakh and a copy of the teachers’ guide and student booklet for the first unit that you will be teaching in the fall of 2014.
Link to the wiki page that tells about the workshop:
- June 2013: MaToK Workshop in L.A., California
MaToK in the classroom: Digital Flashcards
How do you teach and reinforce new vocabulary?
Have you or your students used flashcards from quizlet, classtools, or another web site? How has it worked? What are other ways that you deal with vocabulaty acquisition and retention in your classes. Let us know and we will feature your answers in next month’s MaToK newsletter.
New Posters to Help Your Students
Todah Rabbah to Marcia Kaunfer for a jazzy and attractive new set of access skill charts for MaToK classrooms! Marcia was one of the original curriculum writers for MaToK, as well as an experienced teacher of Torah. She is now a trainer and consultant for the Bible Standards and Benchmarks Project. Please print out the posters in color, laminate, and put in your classroom for daily reference!
Download the charts here: access skills posters
Characteristics of a MaToK Classroom
What should teachers be doing ?
What should supervisors be looking for?
- Every class session begins with the brakha: . . .La’asok b’divray torah.
- The class period begins and ends with a reading of the passage under study in a “text yafeh” (a chumash or tanakh).
- The terminology for the literary access skills is posted.
- Words that are repeatedly used in directions and exercises are posted, if necessary.
- Student work reflecting critical thinking on previously studied passages is posted.
- Important vocabulary and shorashim are posted.
- An observer should be able to figure out by a glance around the room, what part of the Torah is being studied.
- There is a “question box” or updated digital equivalent such as a question blog, wallwisher question wall, space on the class website or wiki, etc.
TEACHERS- Please share how you accomplish these components of MaToK in your classroom!
Supplementary Materials for Teachers
All teachers’ guides can be downloaded directly from the USCJ Book Service website
MaToK simaniyot (bookmarks) with the access skills listed and illustrated.
Worksheet with list of access skills and space to take notes.
Example of pages from the new English version of the LekhLekha student workbook: Lekh Lekha English sample
When students begin their study of Torah, using MaToK, a certain amount of receptive vocabulary is assumed. These are words that can be used commonly in early childhood settings (pre-kindergarten through second grade) in informal (play, dance, conversation) and formal (story-telling, early reading and writing) activities. Obviously, we do not drill or practice word lists, but students can learn to comprehend and respond appropriately to these words.
We hope that you find them useful in preparing your students for Torah study.
If there are materials mentioned in your teacher’s guide that you do not have, please contact Galya.
About our Design Partners
The full-color, professionally-designed MaToK student booklets are designed and printed in Israel by MaTaH (CET). MaTaH is the largest educational publisher in Israel. Their team is led by Zohar Harkov. The team includes specialists in layout, graphics and Hebrew.
To learn more about CET, please click here.