JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, JU Families!

This week we kicked off our Olympics in earnest! On Wednesday, students did a wonderful job in their official opening ceremonies. In city-state groups, students performed a dance and music piece in honor of a specific god. Students read persuasive speeches to explain the upcoming olympic events, sang songs, shared their flags, and performed their cheers. Then, we headed out to Markward Park for our relay race! Since Wednesday, students competed in a preliminary round of Jeopardy and continued with handball competitions in P.E.

On Thursday, we headed to Friends Select School in order to use their pool for our cardboard boat competition. Amazingly, every single boat stayed afloat for more than 10 minutes! The day was incredible exciting! Ask your child about how we calculated the density of the boats, which they thought would last the longest, and how it did!

On Friday, students participated in the laughter competition, JU’s Got Humor! Ask your child what his or her city-state did for the performance!

Next week, we’ll continue on with our competition as we have a scavenger hunt, final rounds of jeopardy, catapult contests, and SCEE events! It’s be a busy week a great way to keep ourselves motivated all the way to graduation!

This will be our final Friday note for the 2015-2016 school year. Thank you for sharing your children with us for a lovely school year. We’ve been consistently working hard and having fun. Thank you for your part in all of this!

Lots of love,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy…Thursday!

ERBs dominated our schedule this week, which students handled incredibly well! Folks stayed calm and positive and even relished the opportunity for some extra SSR, snack, and recess! When we weren’t taking the ERBs, students worked on their final blog post, the draft of which is due on Tuesday.

We spent nearly the entire day on Thursday in our city-state groups constructing our boat for the Archimedes challenge! Next Thursday, we’ll be heading to Friends Select School in order to use their pool to test out our boats. One person in each group will be paddling the boat attempting to have it either a. stay afloat the longest b. do the most laps or c. both! It will be a very exciting day!

Don’t forget that next Wednesday is the opening ceremony for the JU Olympics. Festivities will begin at 10:30 in the Garage.

Enjoy the long weekend,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday!

Here are some quick highlights of our week in JU-B!

Monday: We finished reading and commenting on the second round blog entries! We enjoyed extra SSR time for our Jerry Spinelli books and small, informal discussion groups on these texts.

Tuesday: Students met with our city-state groups to continue prepping for the Olympics! Students worked hard throughout the week on planning their group’s event, creating flair for the winners of the event, writing their persuasive paragraph, designing a city-state flag and chant, and generally learning about their given city-state!

Wednesday: We had a LOVELY surprise party in our classroom that made a teacher feel incredibly loved. Thank you!

Thursday: Awbury Day! We wrapped up our partnership with Wissahickon, found duck skulls, examined brand-new baby birds, and dug invasives, and much more!

Friday: Continued prepping for our Olympic Opening Ceremony in music, worked on Olympic medals in art, and participated in the P.E. handball Olympic event!

Don’t forget, next week is ERBS! While we hope these things can happen all the time, please help your child to

  • Get plant of sleep by going to bed early.
  • Eat a good breakfast each morning.
  • Pack enough snacks and lunch.
  • Bring a water bottle.
  • Arrive at school on time.
  • Stay calm!

With love,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, Families!

It’s been another busy week in JU-B! If you haven’t already, be sure to check our class blog.

http://ju-b2015-2016edlinag.blogspot.com/?zx=230b4460758c7851

Students worked hard this week writing and revising their second post. Over the weekend and at the start of next week they’ll be reading others’ work and leaving comments. If you have time, we’d love to have parent comments as well! Students will write a third and final post before the project is over.

This week, we started our final read aloud-book of the year, The Wish List by Eion Colfer (author of the Artemis Fowl series). This book connects closely to our all-school mystery theme. Ask your child to introduce the book to you and tell you what we’ve covered so far!

We kicked off our Jerry Spinelli book challenge this week! Students will spend the final month of school reading all Jerry Spinelli books for their independent reading. In class we’ll be taking extra time to have formal and informal book chats. We have 15 titles available at school. Ask your child about what he or she is reading now and what other books he or she is looking forward to! And of course, encourage your child to keep reading lots at home!

Reminders:

  • ERBs will take place from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May25. Please do not schedule doctor’s appointments or other extra-curricular activities during this time that will take them out of school. It’s very tricky to arrange times for make-up sessions.
  • Our Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 1. It is scheduled to begin at 1035 am. We hope to see you there.
  • We have one more week of messy work out at Awbury Arboretum. Please make sure to send your child to school on Thursday with rain boots and an extra set of clothes and shoes!

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday!

We wish we could have somehow captured the bus ride from Awbury on Thursday and sent that as a Friday note. Students spent the full day day with their Wissahickon partners digging invasives from the pond, pulling invasive rom the field, identifying and tagging natives, and coming up with ways of education the public about the difference. At lunch and recess, TPS reconvened for a massive game of man hunt, pyramid building, and more. On the bus ride back, exhaustion set in and students were eerily quiet!

The rest of our week included our final affinity group time as part of our identity curriculum. We also had psychologist Emily Weiss back again as she continued our emotional intelligence lessons. We learned about the history of the Olympics - in ancient Greece and more modern times. Students are starting to build real energy towards our upcoming JU Olympics!

The big news of the week, however, came with the blog! It is officially up and running! Students posted their first entries and then spent considerable time reading others’ work and responding. This activity created a wonderful intersection for our digital citizenship study with Matt M. back before spring break. Since posting and responding, students read part two of “Everyday Life in Ancient Greece,” developed new questions, and now are deep in research. We’re asking that, once again, they complete this research over the weekend so they can come in on Monday ready to write blog entry number two!

We (JU-B students and teachers!) would love some extra voices on our blog. Please check it out and leave some comments!

http://ju-b2015-2016edlinag.blogspot.com/?zx=48082d72d66700b7

Next week, we’ll be kicking off our final reading-focused project of the year. Students should come to school on Monday with their SSR book finished. We’ll be providing SSR books through the rest of the year – and we plan to set students up with a full reading list to take them into the summer!

Two reminders:

  • ERBs will take place from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May25. Please do not schedule doctor’s appointments or other extra-curricular activities during this time that will take them out of school. It’s very tricky to arrange times for make-up sessions.
  • Our Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 1. It is scheduled to begin at 1035 am. We hope to see you there.

Have a great weekend,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Notes

Dear Families,

This week’s note comes on the heels of some big excitement! On Thursday, we had the opportunity to host the 4th grade from Wissahickon Charter School at TPS. The day started with a talk by two experts from Awbury Arboretum. Students then met in groups for 4-5 partnerships in order to teach one another about invasive species (which TPS spent the fall studying) and watersheds (which Wissahickon spent the fall studying). Students reviewed the list of problems currently occurring at Awbury. After defining a problem, its cause, and its impact, students worked to determine some possible solutions. Based on these brainstormed solutions, students will now move into actions work groups from the next few weeks.

In theme/writing this week, students wrote their first blog entry! After focused draftings, students reviewed one another’s pieces, received comments from a teacher, and revised their work. Next week we will make our first post. Check out the link to our blog: 

ju-b2015-2016edlinag.blogspot.com

We had a big week in terms of our class book, Walk Two Moons. Sal’s made it to Lewiston, Phoebe’s mom returned home with the "lunatic," and Gram is very, very sick. Ask your child about what predictions he or she has for the final stretch! Who is the one person who survived the bus crash? In class, we’ve still been working on asking different kinds of questions as we read. Prompt your child by asking them to explain the different between “right there,” “think and search,” “in my head,” and “on my own questions. For your reference, we’re using the QAR model, which is easily searchable if you want to check their responses!

Enjoy the weekend!

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear JU-B Families,

This week marked a shift in our spring. At this point, we finished our study of Ancient Greek with Ashely and plunged into our own work on Everyday Life in Ancient Greece. Students began reading a nonfiction text of that very name, focusing this week on the geography of Greece, the idea of city-states, and what it meant to be a slave versus a citizen. After doing this reading, students developed questions that they wanted to explore further. Now, with these questions as their focus, students are doing additional research as they prepare to write their very first blog post for our soon-to-be-created class blog all about Ancient Greece. This weekend, students need to finish their research so that they come in on Monday ready to write! Keep an eye out next week for a link to our blog as we’ll be asking parents to leave a few comments!

In science this week students put their knowledge of mass, volume, density, buoyancy, and water displacement to the test! Students constructed small boats out of tin foil, sticks, and duct tape with the goal of holding the highest number of pennies as possible. Students tested their boats in a large tub filled with pond water. Based on the results, they captured some notes to help them in a later project - building a boat large enough to hold a JU student! More details on this project will be announced later on!

In other news, we spent time this week following Sal along her journey to Lewiston, Idaho. We looked at some key elections in history and discussed the current climate leading into the PA primary. We held our first meeting of affinity groups as part of our identity curriculum. It’s been a jam-packed week!

Enjoy the long weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, Families!

We apologize for the missing note last week! With the field trip all day, it slipped through the cracks for us! But, trust that we’ve had a busy, productive, and fun two weeks since we’ve been back from break.

In Language Arts, we’ve plowed ahead with Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Students are currently trying to figure what Mrs. Cadaver is up to. Who is leaving Phoebe such mysterious notes, who is this ‘lunatic’ and where is Mrs. Winterbottom? As your child will likely attest, the plot in in this story is complicated and overlapping. Ask your child to try to talk you through it and to explain what predictions he or she might have. As we read, we’ve been thinking about different question types. So far, we’ve looked at “right there” questions and “think and search.”

With our return to The Schuylkill Center, we’ve been in full science mode. In our class, we’ve been exploring density first by examining objects and testing whether they float or sink in water, salt water, and oil. After discussing what makes up density (mass/volume) students set to work weighing the different blocks. After finding the mean of the different masses students recorded for a given block, they set to work measuring the length, width, and height. From this, students determined the density for the group of blocks. After testing these in water, students came up with predictions for the density of water, which we then tested as a whole group. Through this students learned not only about density, but really got to put the scientific method into practice and think like Archimedes!

Since spring break, we’ve been lucky to have eighth grade teacher Ashley working with us on some Greek lessons. Students are thinking about Greek roots and how our daily language grew out of Ancient Greece. Also out of the norm, we’ve held two discussion in our class about the ERBs. Our goal is to introduce our students to the format of the test, expose them to some practice problems so they are comfortable with the language, and help students develop some test taking strategies.

Thank you to those of you who have discussed with your child about our upcoming affinity groups. If you haven’t done that yet, please do this weekend and email either Hilary or Dan about whether your child will be part of the “white” group or “people of color” group. Thanking for your partnership as we engage in this important, complicated topic!

On another note: 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.

Enjoy the weekend,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families,

Happy Friday! Students are heading off for the weekend prepped and ready for their student-led conference. This week, they worked to develop a self-evaluation based on this term and then used workshop times to complete it. Students also carefully reviewed their work in order to choose examples to share with you. This led to a fascinating conversation about the differences between “best” work, “average” work, and “needs lots of improvement” work and how these different examples change the tone of a conference.

Outside the realm of student-led conferences, this week we’ve been working to craft retellings of The Odyssey. After practicing with a 20-, 30-, or 40-second solo retelling of a chapter, students have now been assigned a partner and one chapter which they will turn into a 4- to 5-minute oral retelling - without notes! Next Wednesday, students will perform these retelling in succession as we create an approximately hour-long share and celebration of The Odyssey - in the style it would have been shared in ancient Greece! Ask your child about how he/she settled on the main ideas of his/her chapter and what she/he has done to expand it to fit the time requirements. No doubt, you’ll hear rehearsing this weekend!

We visited two exhibits at the Penn Museum on Thursday: The Golden Age of King Midas, and The Ancient Greek World. Students enjoyed making connections between the Midas exhibit and what they heard in Dr. C. Brian Rose's presentation last week about his archaeological digs. The exhibit features more than 150 artifacts from the Phrygian Kingdom. In the exhibit on The Ancient Greek World, students enjoyed identifying differences between the daily experiences of men and women. They were also happy to identify gods, goddess, and their symbols in Greek pottery.

A quick ask: We have an exciting Archimedes event about buoyancy coming up in the spring -- if you have access to a pool during the school day, we’d love to hear from you about possibilities of scheduling some time.

We’re looking forward to seeing you for conferences next week!

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, Families!

As one student exclaimed this week, “Our schedule! There’s so much going on!” What this student observed is that we are in the thick of many interesting projects that are filling - and perhaps overflowing! - our days!

This week we continued our identity study three-fold. Matt Murray worked with us on how we present ourselves digitally as students had to make tough hiring decisions based on digital recon work on job applicants. With Emily Weiss we worked on reading others’ emotions and acknowledging how our emotions shape how we act. In the all-JU study of identity, students continued to think about gender and how society shapes the way we understand one another’s gender identity.

In the world of Ancient Greece, we traveled quite far with Odysseus this week as we’ve been examining ways that he’s heroic - and not so heroic! Ask your child about some of these observations! We practiced thinking like Archimedes as we worked with levers this week. Students practiced using a balance scale and ultimately worked on manipulating the equation F1D1 = F2D2 in order to figure out the length of a hypothetical lever Hades would need if he wanted to rip Mt. Olympus from the ground (with Mt Olympus weighing a specified amount and Hades pushing on the lever with a specified force).

This week we continued to prep for student-led conferences by setting goals and working on specific action steps in order to reach these goals. Check in with your child about what he/she is doing to meet goals.

We had the pleasure of attending the play put on by JU-C and students from HMS School. This was a real treat for returning 5th graders in particular who got to see their partners from last year!

Next week we have a field trip to the Penn Museum planned for Thursday afternoon, more Archimedes work, and we’ll be finishing The Odyssey. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely spring weather over the weekend!

Truly,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, JU-B families!

What a week it’s been! JU-B continues to be lucky with a series of special events happening in and around our classroom. Matt M. came in again on Monday as we continued on our study of our digital identity. Students looked at the pros and cons of a variety of social media sites and created a google slide show to teach others about this. On Tuesday we met in gender groups made up of JU A,B,C, and D in order to look at the posters we created last week. Students had incredibly powerful reactions and handled these with sensitivity towards others. we were very proud of our students, especially in the following conversations we had. On Thursday we attended a special one-man performance of three Greek myths, and on Friday, Emily Weiss came to continue our work with emotions and how these affect our actions.

In our more regular classroom routine, students spent time on Monday setting goals for themselves for the next few weeks before student-led conferences. Students created an action step for themselves and then checked-in on Friday to see how they’d done with their work towards their goal. Students are working hard to think reflectively about their growing edges and work to improve in a variety of ways.

This week we traveled with Odysseus as we met the Lotus Eaters, Cyclopes, and Circe. As we’re reading, students are learning about traditions of oral storytelling and practicing retelling. Students are also working on building their vocabulary as we practice a variety of strategies for figuring out an unknown word’s meaning. Ask your child about some of the strategies he/she has been using.

In science this week, we attempted (fairly unsuccessfully!) to build an Archimedean screw! Though it didn’t work exactly as we hoped, students were patient and flexible and hopefully still got the idea of what this machine is, a little bit about how it works, and why it’s important! Next week we’ll be moving into levers and there will be no need to send in anything special with your child.

If you haven’t already, please sign-up for student-led conferences!

Truly,

Hilary and Dan

Weekly Note

Happy Friday, Families!

This week has been filled with kick-off new projects and inviting visitors into our room!

In terms of our core subjects, we began studying Archimedes this week. Students read the first two chapters in “Archimedes and the Door to Science” as they practiced pulling out important facts and identifying what makes these facts important. Next week, we’ll look at the Archimedean screw and work on creating our own miniature version. In order to do this, please send your child to school with t*hree unsharpened pencils and a 16 oz water bottle with a cap but without a label for Monday. *

We introduced The Odyssey this week as we looked at the origins of the Trojan War and examined maps in order to understand where Troy, Ithaca, Mycenae, and Sparta are located. Next week, we’ll begin reading!

This week Junior Unit launched our identity curriculum with a thought-provoking discussion and reflection about the complexity of identity. After discussing what identity is, students filled out notecards reflecting on their race, gender, family structure, and socioeconomic status/wealth. All JU students inserted these notecards into identity boxes - closed boxes that stand as metaphors for the way society boxes in our identities. On Thursday we began to "unpack" the gender box. Splitting into same-gender groups, we studied male and female reproductive anatomy, shared our reactions to the gender identity notecards (read anonymously), and reflected upon the way that societal expectations shape the way we experience gender.

Matt M. came in this week to begin a five part discussion, focusing this week on what is digital identity and digital privacy. Emily W. came in as well to begin a mini-study of emotions. Brian Rose, an archeologist from Penn spoke to our students about his work digging in Turkey, and specifically some of the artifacts he found connected to King Midas. We also got to attend both Shakespeare plays this week! Be sure to ask your child about these special activities!

Here is a doodle poll from Kait, some of the JUA students' art teacher. Please click on this link if you are interested in meeting with her during conferences: http://doodle.com/poll/7vua2c5ub3ihmzrf

If Rick is your student's art teacher, you are welcome to sign up for a conference with him here: http://doodle.com/poll/kqwpvbwingb5wzcz

See below for a message from the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Have a great weekend!

-Hilary and Dan

JUA weekly note

The crazy weather did not stop JUA students from having a fun week full of learning. The focus of our Greek theme study has moved from Mythology to Everyday Life in ancient Greece this week; we've begun exploring our new shared text, a nonfiction book written by Robert Hull. Starting with the topics of education and childhood, the students had the opportunity to compare the learning at ancient Greek schools with our learning at TPS. We also applied the math skills of graphing by taking a survey of JUA students' favorite subjects and children games. (The favorite subject of JUA students is...Physical Education!)

On Tuesday, Junior Unit launched our new identity curriculum with a thought-provoking discussion and reflection about the complexity of identity. After discussing what identity is, students filled out notecards reflecting on their race, gender, family structure, and socioeconomic status/wealth. All JU students inserted these notecards into identity boxes - closed boxes that stand as metaphors for the way society boxes in our identities. On Thursday we began to "unpack" the gender box. Splitting into same-gender groups, we studied male and female reproductive anatomy, shared our reactions to the gender identity notecards (read anonymously), and reflected upon the way that societal expectations shape the way we experience gender.

Lastly, we had a lot of fun watching Shakespeare’s *Twelfth Night *and *Taming of the Shrew*, presented by the 8th graders on Wednesday and Thursday.

Here is a doodle poll from Kait, some of the JUA students' art teacher. Please click on this link if you are interested in meeting with her during conferences: http://doodle.com/poll/7vua2c5ub3ihmzrf

If Rick is your student's art teacher, you are welcome to sign up for a conference with him here: http://doodle.com/poll/kqwpvbwingb5wzcz

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Jenson and Julia

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families,

Thank you so much for coming to our Open House! Our students worked incredibly hard on their independent and group projects and were really happy to present them to their family members. They also worked hard organizing the room and prepping their presentations. As far as their teachers are concerned, their hard work really paid off!

Open House prep took over our week, so there’s not much news to report! Next week we’ll be launching three topics that we’ll be working on with just our class in the time leading up to spring break. These will be our study of “The Odyssey,” our study of Archimedes, and prepping for student-led conferences.

Starting next week, we will also begin three projects that will take place in special configurations. Emily Weiss will be pushing in to do a series of three lessons around regulating emotions and understanding other’s emotions. Matt Murray will be coming to start an arc of lessons around technology use and managing ourselves online.

We are also excited to launch a series of lessons on identity development with the JU students this winter and spring. Through a series of activities and conversations, we’ll examine various important facets of our individual identities and discuss and challenge the ways that we, others, and society at large create static, pre-determined “boxes.”

We’ll begin next week with gender identity. Because the “boxes” that define gender are associated with human anatomy, one of our first classes will include a discussion of male and female reproductive anatomy. The terms we will discuss are vagina, vulva, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, breasts, penis, scrotum, and testes. We will not discuss sexuality or sexual health. Students will divide themselves into groups by self-identified gender, and will be taught this class by a teacher of their same gender. We hope that this class will provide important background knowledge and equip all students with common language to use as we examine gender identity as something more than “the sum of our parts.”

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out directly to Matt Eskin (meskin@tpschool.org).

Please sign-up for conferences through the doodle poll sent out today by the school as soon as possible. Remember to choose a time that your child is also available as they are running the conference this time around!

Also, please read the following message from Catherine Bogart-Rome regarding signing up to see her during conferences: Parents, I would like to invite you to sign up for a conference so we can talk about what's been happening in art. If none of these times work for you, please contact me to set up an alternative time.

In partnership,

Dan and Hilary

JU-B Weekly Notes

Dear JU-B Families,

What a week! Students came back on Wednesday buzzing about their snow adventures, but also ready to work.

We made some great progress with our two-part writing project. On the grammar side, students have been learning about sentence construction. This week we focused on what makes a complete sentence and specifically what makes simple sentences and compound sentences. Students participated in a few different writing games where they wrote stories only using a specific kind of sentence. These were challenging, a little boring stylistically, but also hilarious! Students also took time to share and peer edit their pieces at the half-way point and now are working on drafting their climax section. Next week, we’ll draft the rest of the story while also working on deliberately varying our sentence types.

Perhaps the biggest news of the week came with students learning their focus for the individual research project. Be sure to ask your child who or what he/she is studying! After learning their topic, students spent time researching. After setting up a note-gathering document, we brainstormed nonfiction text elements that help us determine helpful sources. The students then used the title, table of contents, index, back cover, and inside flaps to help them find resources and began gathering more information. Next week we’ll move into internet research and then write our project proposals!

On the teacher side of things, we have been busy writing reports and are excited to share these with you. As you know, we’re using a new format that year as we work with checklists and shortened summaries. As with any changes, there are growing edges. We’re eager for your feedback and are open to any conversations after you’ve had a chance to look through the reports. They should be available online early next week; you will receive an email as soon as they are posted.

We hope to see you at our open house on Thursday, February 18, 11am to 12 pm.

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Friday, JU-B Families!

Here at school we’re welcoming the blizzard with lots of excitement. Students arrived this morning decked out with their craziest hairstyles and colors in addition to their hats and pajamas. This has been quite the conversation all week so we are all very happy when the big day arrived!

In non-spirit day news, this week students began drafting their mythmakers writing project. In this project, students are using the same question from their myth busters report which they answered scientifically, except now they are answering it through myth. Last week, we learning about the arc of a story and practiced mapping this onto the picture book, “Fox” in addition to one of the myths in D’Aulaires. Now, students have used the story arc as a structure for outlining their own creative myth. After sharing their outlines, students are working on drafting the exposition, inciting incident, and rising action (due Monday) before we move on to the climax!

We were lucky to have Jill Garland, former JU teacher and current Learning Resources teacher, visit us this week as we prep for our independent mythology project. Jill met with our students in order to discuss some current research on how people learn. JU-B students will use this information to help guide them as they develop a project that will teach others about a certain character in Greek mythology. You’ll hear more about this project as we move forward.

Besides our project work this week, students continued in their book groups and we went on with our study of the eight parts of speech. Next week, we’ll pick up with our language study as we discuss what makes a complete sentence as we work on varying our sentence structure in our writing.

A few reminders of events coming up:

The 3rd grade and junior unit potluck is on Wednesday, Feburary 3 from 6:30-8:30. You do not need to bring a potluck item.

Our Open House is scheduled for February 18. We look forward to seeing you then!

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Hello, JU-B Families!

Welcome back from winter break! We hope you all had a lovely, relaxing two weeks away from school. JU-B teachers enjoyed spending time with family and friends, but we were both very excited to be back with in the classroom when the time came! It was clear Monday morning that the students were excited as well! The energy in the room was palpable all week long and we wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Highlights from this week included launching the second rotation of our Jerry Spinelli book groups. Now, students who read Loser with Dan before break are reading Maniac Magee with Hilary. Those who worked with Hilary before are now with Dan. This time around we’re eager to see students draw connections between the two books! In theme, students reviewed their work on Heracles from the week before break and used this to dive into a specific labor. Students wrote a summary of a given labor and represented it using model magic. Students also needed to create a hypothetical 13th labor and depicted it with an illustration. We’re excited to see all 12 labors (and possibly a 13th!) displayed together. Students also learn the story of Theseus this week. After reading in D’Aulaires and participating in small discussion groups, students took turns reading to one another as they looked as comic book, picture book, and short story–style versions of the myth.

This week also included student working hard to publish their Mythbusters science reports, participating in a writing challenge, getting back into the routines of morning meeting, workshops, and closing circle, and much more!

Happy weekend, and we’ll see you back at school on Monday!

Remember that next week is a short week as we have faculty in-service (and no school for students) on Friday. We hope you will take part in the TPSA initiative for MLK, Jr. Day of Service; an email was sent home from TPSA earlier this week.

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Happy Winter Break, JU-B Families!

We’ve had a wonderful week - and fall term - with our bright, curious, and compassionate class. This week included students finishing up their book projects. In the Maniac Magee group we collaborated on a giant map of Two Mills. In the Loser group, students created skits, comics, and more. We held our writing celebration for our God and Goddess biographies. We read about Heracles and combined many of the reading strategies we’ve been studying as we practiced making predictions based on our schema, writing a summary based on the main ideas, and asking relevant questions that help to keep us wondering. When we return, students will work on a short visually based project for the story. We also tackled our Mythbusters reports with most students having completed their rough draft. We’ll finish polishing these in January.

Thank your for sharing your child with us this fall. And thank you for the generous TPSA Holiday Gift Cards. We hope that you have a lovely break full of fun and relaxation. We’ll be very eager to see you all back on January 4th!

Love,

Hilary and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear JU-B Families,

This week, JU-B students pushed themselves hard. From our current event focused morning meetings, found poetry work in theme, science report writing, and biography revising, students have been stretching their thinking across the disciplines!

The week started off with a discussion of Pearl Harbor, honoring the anniversary on Monday. Through our morning meeting discussions, students learned about some of the after affects of the attack, specifically the decision of the U.S. government to set up Japanese interment camps. From here, our discussions turned to current-day mirroring of these sentiments towards immigrants and non-white U.S. citizens as we discussed the treatment of Muslim refugees. Students were curious to learn more and insightful and respectful in their comments.

In theme this week, we continued our study of D’Aulaires as we read the next four stories in our anthology, including the story of King Midas and Sisyphus. For these stories, students were assigned a specific number of words, ranging from 10 to 100. Working with a partner, they reviewed the story and then worked to pull out specific words, phrases, or sentences in order to determine the most important parts. Students combined these in order to write a poem that summarized the story. It was wonderful to hear how students stripped the story to it’s skeleton based on the number of words available to them, For the second story, they changed how many words they had. Those who had a low number worked with a higher number and vice versa. After the process, students did some great reflecting on how to figure out what the most important pieces of a text are.

We’ve been working with JU-D this week in order to write our Mythbusters report for science. So far, students have drafted their cover page and quantitative data page and are in the process of drafting their qualitative data page (due Monday.) Though the project is frustrating in some respects, many students are having an authentic research experience as they are discovering that there is a lot more data they wish they could go back and collect now and some data they they did collect that is not particularly relevant to their research question. Students are working through these challenges in a thoughtful way.

Finally, students spent significant time this week wrapping up their god or goddess biographies. After a two-stage peer revision process and some work on their conclusion paragraphs, which answer the question, Why is this God/Goddess important and what does he/she show us that people in Ancient Greece valued?, students are participating in check-out conferences to complete their work. We’re looking forward to celebrating this accomplishment next week!

Last week, we added a note that the “Loser” book group will have a food treat in class. The Maniac Magee group will have one as well. We have been granted an exemption for the standard food policy because the food is brand specific and plays a major role in the book. We will be eating Butterscotch Krimpets made by Tastykake. Please help us to keep this a surprise for the students!

Enjoy the weekend and we’ll see you back at school soon!

Sincerely,

Hilary and Dan