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Second Graders Celebrate Their MidotMark Projects

Ramaz News

Mazal tov to all our second graders for the milestone of completing their MidotMark projects! In front of their loved ones, they presented the projects and explained all their hard work. For months, the students have learned about New York City, studying iconic architectural features like the subway system and the Empire State Building. From reading to taking real walking tours of the Upper East Side neighborhood, the students gained a deep appreciation for the complexities of architecture and the importance of preserving landmarks. This unit even connected to a unit on persuasive writing, as they practiced how they would petition lawmakers to turn buildings into landmarks! They learned crucial strategies to write persuasively, including the importance of being respectful so that their reader is willing to change his or her mind. In cooperative small groups, students came up with a valuable characteristic (midah in Hebrew, midot plural), such as kindness, creativity, or teamwork, and practiced "design thinking" as they planned an architectural structure reflecting that value. They utilized digital software on their iPads to create their designs. When they were satisfied with their blueprints, they built prototypes in real life!

At the showcase, students demonstrated not only their classwork but also their public speaking abilities. They kicked off the program by performing a rendition of Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York," and then each explained their projects in depth, describing the design-thinking process and building process. When audience members came by to view the projects up close, viewers could also read each student's persuasive letters, which each child wrote as a hypothetical petition to the city for their building to become a landmark. Parents could also view the Ramaz iPads that showed each project's digital design. On the wall, artwork also hung proudly: each student had created a drawing of the Statue of Liberty, reflecting the unique way that each child views the iconic site, accompanied by fun facts about many NYC landmarks.

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