JU-A Weekly Note

Dear JU-A Families,

Spirits were high this week with the beautiful weather surrounding us, and we especially enjoyed being outside yesterday at The Schuylkill Center!

With April being National Poetry Month, we enjoyed exploring poems this week. Some students have brought in poems from home to read aloud to the class, and today we had students write a poem at morning meeting. Our conversations about our read-aloud book, Brown Girl Dreaming, have focused on its themes of discrimination, as well as the ways that Jacqueline Woodson paints pictures in our minds with her poetic words.

Our environmental science focus this spring is on the ways humans affect the environment.  Students did an online survey to determine their ecological footprint (http://www.earthday.org/take-action/footprint-calculator/). They found that they generally underestimated how many earths it would take if everyone on the planet had their lifestyle, and many were surprised that their ecological footprint was larger than that of the average U.S. citizen. We also discussed actions that they themselves could take to reduce their footprint. At The Schuylkill Center we visited Penn’s Native Acres, a 10-acre area of land set aside for restoration. After having taken the ecological footprint quiz, the students were quick to point out that while restoration is important, we must also strive for sustainability in other areas of life.

We want to remind you that spring is the beginning of tick season, so it is important that students come to school on Thursdays wearing clothes that can protect them against ticks. Students need to wear long pants and long-sleeved, light colored shirts on Schuylkill Center days.

Here are some other questions you can ask your child about their week:

  • In what stage of the life cycle is your fast plant? Why is it no longer producing flowers?
  • What revisions did you make to your research paper this week?
  • What result did you get on the ecological footprint quiz? What was your reaction, and what do you want to do about it?

Have a great weekend,

Julia and Tim