YESHIVAS: Alef & Beis Or Same Level?

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    Should yeshivos that have two classes in a grade have an alef and beis class? Or two classes with equal everything?

    Be Happy

    There are advantages of having graded classes. I think however having classes of equal abilities far out weigh the advantages of having separately graded classes.

    Let those who are higher ability help those with less ability. Is that not what life is all about?? Let higher ability students realise there are different levels in the world – Let them work on their middos respecting and helping others in their class and in turn they will appreciae their special brochos etc.


    thanks, but i think that in a high school (especially boys) that there should be alef and beis. Reason being, that once you get to highschool we aren’t dealing with who is smarter and not as smart. we are dealing with who is interested in learning. and i think that if you will put them together it will bring down the level of learning


    esther h- no. Life is about working to better yourself and knowing that “not everything is fair”. Schools dont want to make anyone feel bad, but in fact by not pushing them they are hurting them. The best thing would be to have some classes split and others together.

    Reasons to split: (i like lists;) )

    1. Each level will be taught at their level. Always there will be some who are higher than others and teachers want to teach to the average kid. So if it is split, the smartest are pulled out and the average is now a lot lower…

    2. More attention per child at the level they need.

    3. Those who are not outstanding or failing are lost if everyone is mushed. At least if kids are split, they still can stand out easier.

    4. kids can make friends who are at their level. I was in a class ages ago when I was smarter than the rest of the class (not to boast- I was in the low class). My friends were all in the higher class and I felt so out of place because I understood the material already and was sitting there bored while other kids still didnt understand it. This is how it would be if the classes were not split- kids sitting there bored while other kids couldnt get the hang of it.

    5. You are less likely to have too many kids who cant read and write by the time they leave high school.

    Reasons to keep them together:

    1. the teachers might like it- they have to teach to a lower level. (I am not being fair- but some teachers like it…they dont have to change the material year to year based on the level. The average stays the same each year.)

    2. You dont get the shidduch question “well, was he/she in the honors chumash track or the low track?”

    3. Esteem for the lower level kids.

    4. The teachers are forced to keep the pace of the class moving and the lower half the class will be forced to learn the material.

    5. You wont get the excuse “but we’re the low class… its too hard for us”

    1st timer

    I agree with Estherh. A high school boy is not yet mature enough to be in an Aleph/smarter class and not let it get to his head. The Rebbe should be able to creatively teach to a blended class where everyone learns to his potential. Also, tests/Bechinas can be done at different levels without anyone knowing about it. Each boy can feel accomplished according to his ability. The confidence level of a boy that is put into a Baiz or Gimmel class can be destoyed from the minute he enters high school until he finishes. Most boys never advance to the next level, if anything they will go downward. Why start off in this situation? The boys have enough pressures to begin with, why add more?


    what about girls? what about the smarter kids?

    It is quite easy for students to tell which kids get which tests. I had a teacher who was quite quiet about it and they will have two stacks of tests but kids waiting for the tests to be handed out are antsy and notice things. Also, teachers may announce “those with test B/modified should note that….” and certain kids start scrambling to take it all down.

    1st timer

    Any teacher that announces that there is a modified test does not belong in the teaching field!


    Esther your intentions are good, but there is no reason why really excellent students should be held back because slower-learning students cannot keep up with them. And Hashem seems to teach this idea to us in the halachos of kilayim. An ox and a donkey cannot work the same plow tethered together under one yoke (because the ox is much stronger and will tire the donkey out too quickly).

    The classes SHOULD be divided according to the strengths of the students, but IMO NEVER referred to as an Aleph or Beis (or Gimmel,etc.) class. And to ensure that all kids play together, the class recess shoudl always be together ina spirit of achdus, class plays, siddur parties, etc. should always be done as a group where possible. No one should be singled out. BUT neither should a bright child who “chaaps” things quickly, have to stagnate while waiting for others in the class to catch up. Giving extra work is not the answer. The child feels not-so-blessed for being given this “gift” of enrichment. Put him in a class with kids who are on the same level, unless there is no breira. It’s also nice that you want the brighter students to help the ones who need a little extra, but that is also an unfair onus to put on a student. ALL kids should always be encouraged to help each other, not just the brighter ones.


    good point there

    Be Happy

    How would you feel if your child was in the b class?

    Some years ago when my daughter was in school I went to see the teacher because she was having problems reading. “oh,” said the teacher “You should not expect much of her she is one of the slowest in my class.”

    I was so upset. I spoke it over with the headmistress and my daughter was put in a parallel class. Four weeks later she was top of her class and maintained high grades throughout school!

    Miracles do happen but no. It was because the teacher in her new class expected alot and achieved best grades. The girls loved that teacher because she was kind and respected them. The teacher did not even consider that a student might be slow and so unable to achieve.(The teacher had not been told why my daughter had moved)


    estherh-yes teachers shouldnt judge a student but how would you feel if your kid was stuck in a class without anything to do? Twiddling their thumbs because they understood fractions a week ago while the teacher is still trying to explain the fact that 1/4 is smaller than 1/3. why should she bother coming to school if she wont learn anything? bumping students up a grade isnt always the best thing, and neither is letting them stay back a year. Why should she be given extra work or busy work to keep her busy in class? why should she try if she will only get extra homework?


    I know some seminaries level girls I think its beneficial, since girls who are at different levels can learn at their own pace. The girls who want to learn at a high school level can and those who want more advanced honors classes like learning from certain Rabbis & Teachers or only in Hebrew can gain tremendously! It works both ways…

    also sometimes girls can get into the honors class for the next semester if they’re up to it.

    Be Happy

    You are 100% right but an experienced teacher should be able to work successfully with different levels in the class.

    That is the greatness of a good teacher


    I think tracked classes are great in many subjects. In elementary school, math and reading is somewhat essential to track.

    In high school we had tracking too. I thought it worked well. I was placed in all classes at some point (I asked to be moved around a lot and the school complied). Each class was dealt with as they needed, and people thrived.

    There is no need to slow down or speed up the wrong kids, just to make things “fair.”


    so then, why do most schools not track?


    this is an interesting point- one of the most discussed in education.

    With the question of homogeneous (all of the same level) or heterogeneous (mixed) grouping, there really is no one “correct” answer.

    But here’s one good idea that one school uses successfully (it’s used there for elementary children):

    The classes are all mixed up level- wise, and with in the classroom, they use “chavrusos” and grouping VERY much. Meaning, the teacher will teach for 20 min about grammar, and then they will break into groups and do worksheets. Or for math review, they will do it together with a partner.

    A few point about this system:

    1. there are a few diff groups- sometimes they split up into the “yellow groups” and those groups are kids of all the same level, and sometimes when they break up into groups or partners, they are on different levels.

    2. This system is excellent- because they pair/ group up different times with different people, no student is aware that “they” are the weaker students, and we are the smart ones.

    3. This system also allows the teacher to work individually with one group at a time and give them individual attention they need for their studies.

    4. It also enables them to review more. If the teacher wants them to review fractions, she can either spend 20 minutes, calling on different students for their answer. Or they can break into groups and either do a review sheet and when they review it in their groups they each say their answer- now in 20 minutes each kid has had 4-5 chances or they can play some math game in partners, and in 20 minutes, each kid has had 10- 15 chances!

    Now that’s a lot more review!


    good he’arah


    mky: does your yeshivah have alef and bais classes? does it work?


    who said i’m in yeshiva???


    very funny. usually s/o who goes to camp and is in ninth grade (a boy) is in yeshiva


    don’t give me sevaros, i was talking about my child


    quote by MKY

    they took younger kids to niagara and 9th graders (ME) on a dull trip


    my son also uses my account

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