Going Fishing

The Bubbles and Rainbows in Preschool A were delighted when 8th grader Brian N. reprised his role as our fishing expert this week. It’s very important to know how to fish if we’re going to own and operate the TPS Seafood Restaurant!

We started off our project time with a demonstration from Brian on how to build your very own bottle trap—a tool used for simple fishing. We’ve been collecting plastic bottles and we had a chance to upcycle them for our fishing pleasure. It’s very important to know how to fish if we’re going to own and operate the TPS Seafood Restaurant!

We took our experiential learning to a new level when Brian (accompanied by his mom, Michelle, and our very own Lisa Hoke) donned a fishing vest and carried his fishing equipment down to the Schuylkill River Bank observation deck to try and catch a live one for our restaurant! Brian carefully set his fishing line and cast off into the river with Philadelphia skyscrapers in the background.


The clouds unexpectedly opened up, and as the rain poured down Brian walked us through the fishing process unflapped by the change in weather conditions. He reminded us that fish love rain. Your children squealed with delight watching the “real thing” happen from the dry and comfort of our classroom. We think they are ready for their own expeditions soon—bottle traps, poles, and nets. And remember the wise words from several of the fishing folks who have visited our classroom: “It’s called fishing and not catching.”

Middle School Spirit Week

From the TPS Student Council:

We have had numerous requests for a Middle School Spirit Week, and this coming week – May 29-31 – is the only time that is available. Student Council reps for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are getting the word out through texts and email. Please help us get the word out.

Here are the themes for the week:

Tuesday - Philly Day
Wednesday - Twin Day
Thursday - Decade Day
Friday - Disney Day

Lluvia o sol (Rain or Shine)

By Brian Jordan, Kindergarten associate teacher

Last Thursday we had our big annual Preschool and Kindergarten Spanish learning celebration, El Mercado.  In preparation for the event students made colorful paper flowers with Catherine, practiced their merengue skills with Claudette, made maracas and pinatas, harvested herbs and radishes with Bri for the celebration, and transformed the space with their vibrant decorations.

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As the rain began to fall (despite 0% chance on weather.com!!) parent and family volunteers quickly transformed the warm, dry garage with tables covered by fruits.  Spanish teacher Giovana Robinson and her husband, Josh, filled the space with their enchanting Latin percussion, piano and vocals. Students used their español to ask for frutas and piraguas (Puerto Rican style snow cones prepared from Madeline’s homemade syrups!) from family volunteers, danced to the amazing music when they finished eating, and ended the event by  sharing their own special performance of Merengue dancing (Kindergarten) and the Mexican Hat Dance (Preschool).

Many thanks to all of the Spanish expert families and special guests who came in to help!  You can see the wonderful photos that parent volunteer Lauren Harel kindly took for us.

At the Chess Nationals

By Ross Colby, TPS Chess Coach


The National Elementary Chess Championship took place in Nashville, Tennessee, May 10-12. TPS brought nine players, and we had two teams in two sections. Each player played seven games over three days.

TPS placed second out of 30 teams in the K6 U1000 section! In fact, we were leading the pack for four of the seven rounds and only ended up missing first by one point when all the dust settled! Nathaniel K, who was in contention for winning the section going into the final round, ended up placing an impressive 8th (tie for 6th). Ben R also won a trophy for placing 24th individually. Jones G and and Jack A rounded out our team with very respectable results!

TPS also participated in the K5 U900 section. This section was even larger, with 58 teams and 347 players. TPS brought home the 22nd place trophy with Finn M bringing home an individual trophy for tying for 40th, and the rest of the team – Alina Y, Max G, and Mikaela O – all playing very well! Hugo G was our lone wolf playing in the K1 U500 section winning 4/7 games!

Two weeks earlier at the Jr High Nationals in Grapevine, Texas, TPS brought five players that did quite well. These players included George D who played in the most challenging K8 Open section, Scotty J playing in the K9 U1250 section, and Ben R, Reed M, and Jones G in the K8 U1000 section.

Congratulations to all of our players, and thank you to all of our chess parents who devote so much time and patience in supporting chess at TPS!

Robotics Champs


TPS graduates Dominique Regli (16), Corinne Motl '16, and Tony Regli '18) were part of a 2019 World Championship winning alliance at the Detroit FIRST Robotics Competition. Team 1218, SCH Vulcan Robotics, from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy partnered with the Brighton TechnoDogs and the ThunderChickens—both from Michigan—and Team Rembrandts from the Netherlands.

For perspective on the scale of this accomplishment, there are 8 teams out of about 7,000 total worldwide teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition who win this honor each year (one alliance in a Detroit event and one in Houston).

Dominique (left) is a Co-Captain of 1218 ; she leads the robot vision tracking programming and develops the team’s game strategy.. Corinne is heavily involved in building and designing the robot, is a member of the Pit Crew, and is the team's Safety Captain. Tony is a freshman on Team 1218; he contributes to the mechanical team and scouting during competitions.