Newsletter : 7fax0908.txt
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>JN Sept. 8, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 164
IDF Fighter Jet Crashes in South
An IDF F-16 fighter jet crashed Sunday in the Negev, in
southern Israel. The crew managed to eject prior to impact but the
pilot and co-pilot sustained moderate-to-serious injuries. It is
believed a bird got caught into the plane's engine causing the
Prime Minister Visits Victims
By IINS News Service
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Greg Salzman of East
Brunswick, NJ, while visiting the victims of the Ben Yehuda blast
at Jerusalem's Shaare Tzedek Medical Center,
Salzman was in stable condition having sustained second degree
burns. He was thrown out of his seat at a Ben Yehuda cafe when the
three bombs shattered a serene summer afternoon scene.
The prime minister gave Salzman his phone to call his parents in
the U.S. He had not managed to get to a phone to call them prior to
"Stanley, hi," Netanyahu said into the phone. "How are you? Your
son is all right. He's next to me. He's in good hands and we'll
take care of him."
DNA Tests to be Used to Find Missing Immigrant Children
By IINS News Service
The Knesset Science and Technology Committee is attempting to
find a scientific solution to a humanitarian problem that has
plagued the country for several decades: the disappearance of the
children of Yemenite and other immigrants. At issue are parents of
missing children, and children who know that they were adopted, who
cannot find each other.
The committee members heard from genetics experts that it is now
possible to conduct extremely accurate low-cost DNA tests, which
can determine whether two persons are of the same family. The
Secretary-General of the Ministry of Science announced his office
would pay for all of the necessary testing in this connection.
Committee Chairwoman Dalia Itzik said the main problem is obtaining
blood samples from the already-elderly parents.
"If in a few years, a man comes along and says that he was adopted
and would like to find out who his parents were, it may be too late
- unless we make sure to obtain blood samples as soon as possible."
Motivating for Math a Powerful Idea
By IINS News Service
Question: What do you get when you take 25 children, subtract
their textbooks, and add dice, matchsticks and chocolate? Answer:
an innovative model of math education that has kids discovering
mathematical principles all on their own. And best of all, they
think it's fun.
The program, developed by Dr. Alex Friedlander of the Weizmann
Institute's Science Teaching Department in cooperation with
Tel-Aviv's Center for Educational Technology, is featured on the
cover of the September issue of the US National Council of Teachers
of Mathematics journal Teaching Children Mathematics.
Friedlander's approach, designed for grades two through six, offers
an alternative to the traditional teaching methods that turn so
many children off math. Instead of technical classroom instruction,
pupils are presented with structured investigative experiences that
motivate them to re-invent mathematical principles. It also
provides a way for more talented students to learn at their own
pace, without breaking the class into groups according to ability.
The method addresses another problem common to elementary
education: children learn at different rates, and more advanced
students often get bored waiting for their classmates to catch up.
Friedlander's curriculum units consist of a series of eight to 10
math-based investigations. Children work through some of these
investigations in heterogeneous groups, allowing each child to
contribute according to his or her mathematical ability. Advanced
students benefit from the open-ended structure of the activities,
which encourages creative problem-solving, not just getting the
An example of the method is a learning unit on dice. Working in
groups, children discover the "magic rule of seven" -- the fact
that opposite sides of a die always add up to seven. Once the
concept is grasped, it continues to work magic, becoming a useful
tool that the children can use to solve more and more complex
problems, such as predicting the sum displayed on one side of a
"tower" of multiple dice.
"The key to success," says Friedlander, "is letting kids figure
things out on their own terms. One child might solve a problem by
counting dots on the dice. Another immediately understands and
uses abstract concepts. In any case, the kids employ a whole
variety of mathematical thinking skills. More importantly, they
discover a need for the knowledge of mathematical concepts."
A big challenge in Friedlander's approach may be the one faced by
those elementary school teachers who are accustomed mainly to
frontal classroom presentation of mathematical rules. "We suggest
that teachers go through the experience of mathematical
investigations themselves before presenting them to their students.
This way, teachers will get a feeling for the process of learning
mathematics rather than simply presenting structured pieces of
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