JU-A Friday note

Dear JU-A families,

Now that it’s the third week and we’re all more settled, we’ve launched a number of new units and topics.

We lucked out this Thursday with yet another sunny, balmy day at the Schuylkill Center. We combined our class with JU-C and split into two groups: a group focused on photosynthesis and the energy cycle, and a group focused on orienteering and navigation.

In fifth grade math, we played the role of mathematical historians through studying the fascinating development of numeral systems across cultures. This served as an investigation of place value, digits, and what it means for a system to be “base 10.” We even designed and shared our own number systems! In fourth grade math, students completed construction of our “Great Wall of Base 10” and continued practicing addition with multi-digit numbers. Through games and independent work, students searched for the best ways to solve problems.

Following an introduction to the eight parts of speech, the kids had a fun time practicing by co-writing preposterous “Mad libs” stories. We began our first all-class novel: Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore. Finally, after reviewing the various stages of the writing process, they returned to the book talks they drafted last week and made various revisions.

Lastly, we want to remind you that Back to School Night is next week Wednesday from 6:30-8:30. On these evening, you will hear the big picture about the TPS curriculum and philosophy and get a chance to understand what the day is like for your child in our classroom as well as their specialist classes. You are important partners in the success of Back-to-School Night, and here are some of our suggestions for making the most out of the experience:


Engage with an open mind. If we ask you to try something hands-on, even if you’re nervous, make the most out of it and take a chance!


Back-to-School Night is designed to offer a broad overview. Questions should be about the general experience in the classroom. (Child-specific questions should be held for a different time either via email or for a separately scheduled meeting) -

If you already have questions, please email them to us ahead of time so we can address the questions in the presentation.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Julia + Tim