A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6.

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Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centered creative process used to solve problems and overcome challenges, and leans heavily on collaboration, navigating through ambiguity, and biasing towards action. Design thinking asks you to take an empathetic approach to problem solving, which means you look to understand how problems manifest in people’s lives, and combine that with a bias towards building solutions that can help improve those problems. In that way, design thinking integrates nicely with Jewish ethics, especially the attitude put forward by Tikkun Olam.

At ADAT, teachers have been exploring this intersection with Jewish education by invigorating stories we’ve been telling for eons with a creative mindset, like having students imagine how Noah’s Ark would be redesigned. 2018 has been especially energized: teachers have paired up and developed incredible lessons and projects that blend content knowledge with design thinking and maker activities in the ZDL.

Each grade explores a different design challenge. For example, in TK, they are building a house with blocks. Each room in the house will solve specific needs. Kindergarten is redesigning the Biblical Garden behind the DFC with their 6th Grade buddies. First Grade is exploring the question, “how can something small change the world?” Second Grade is getting ready for the transportation unit. This unit focuses on redesigning the transportation experiences of their parents. Second grade will also explore the modes of transportation in the bible like chariots and camels. Third grade is deeply immersed in their project to beautify our campus, and fourth grade is designing a California mission later in the year. Fifth grade will begin a project about community and what it means to have a “home,” while sixth grade will design a new “ancient” civilization that would support their specific personalities.

In every aspect of our Design Thinking curriculum, we work closely with our partners at the d.school k12 Lab Network  to create experiences that will engage our students’ curiosity, enlist their unique problem solving skills, and empower them to improve their world.

If you’re curious about design thinking, there are a number of great resources available online, including the Stanford d.school website where you can also read about the work we do in the K12 Lab Network.

 

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