JU-A Weekly Note

Dear JU-A families,

It was great to have the kids back after spring break. Additionally, thank you for conferences -- we were impressed with the students’ preparation and goal-setting!

Continuing our study of Archimedes this week, we began investigating pulley systems, particularly why the use of multiple pulleys can reduce the effort needed to lift a weight. Students worked in groups to build their own pulley systems. Because of weather we didn’t make it to SCEE this week, so we moved our scientific study of density and buoyancy to the classroom. Students experimented with dropping various objects into buckets of oil, saltwater, and freshwater.

We had our first etymology lesson with Ashley Opalka this week. We learned about different words and their Greek origins. Ashley will continue teaching the students about Greek etymology over the next two weeks.

To launch our next novel, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, we began with an intriguing simulation about a fictional library break-in. You can ask your child what it was like to be one of these townspeople. The simulation illustrated the ways people tend to divide and group themselves, and served as a jumping-off point for discussing other ways people group themselves. As we continue reading Maniac, we are excited for students to connect moments in the novel back to this simulation.

The week culminated with an all-school trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In grades 1-8 in family circles, students explored the “mystery” behind different works of art. It was a chance for JU-A students to apply some of the inferring skills we had practiced earlier in the week. Many students shared at the end of the day that they enjoyed spending time with their family circles and serving as leaders to the younger kids.

Here is a reminder from JU-A teacher Noelle about enrolling your students in summer camps:

TPS City Country Camp registration is open. Regular registration ends on May 1st. Junior Unit teachers Nick Dekker, Hilary Hamilton, Jenson Cheng, and David Stills are offering camp programming this summer. TPS camps are enrichment programs, allowing children to delve deeply into topics of interest under caring supervision and with the guidance of passionate, talented leadership. Take a look at the TPS City Country Camps Website for a complete list of camp offerings: http://www.tpschool.org/camps.

Lastly, we have sent your students home with two copies of a “post-conference to-do list.” As teachers we generated these lists during your child’s student-led conference. They have taped one copy of it to their homework binders to refer to throughout the rest of the spring. We would like you to review the other copy, post it somewhere at home where you and your child will be able to see it, and sign the bottom portion for your child to return to school on Monday. Thank you!

Enjoy your weekend, Julia, Jenson, and Emily