JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families, 

It is hard to believe that next week is our last week of school. The students have worked so hard this year and have all made progress. We have enjoyed partnering with all of you and wish the 5th graders much success as they move on to 6th grade! 

Our silkworms have tripled in size since last week. They are eating multiple times a day. When students put their ears close to the bin, they are able to hear them munching away. We have two caterpillars that have started to spin cocoons. We hope to have more cocoons by the end of next week! Please let us know if you would like to take a silkworm home and continue its life cycle. 

Monday is Move-Up Day. The 5th graders will move up to 6th grade. The 4th graders will stay in JU-B and welcome a group of incoming 4th graders. 

All week, students have been working in their city groups for our Silk Routes simulation, which will take place Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at TPS. On Thursday, the Silk Routes simulation will take place at The Schuylkill Center. Students will be moving far distances across The Schuylkill Center. Please make sure they are prepared to be in the woods all day. They should have long sleeves, long pants, a water bottle, and lunch. 

Next Friday is Graduation. Dismissal is at 11:30. The building will close at that time, and there is no ASEP. Look for an email about Summer Assignments. 

Over the summer, Cocoa will need a home. If you would like to take Cocoa for a week, please reach out to Chantal and we will work out a calendar. 

Have a safe and fun summer!

Chantal and Dan 

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

We "survived" ERBs week.  Students did a great job of staying focused during the tests and being respectful of their classmates when they were finished. A highlight of the week was putting Cocoa in the maze that the students have been working so hard on. Check out Smug Mug for a photo! 

This week, students finished the drafts for their Gina Zhang stories and began working on their yarn dolls.  As a way to celebrate the completion of their stories, they will be sharing their stories with students in the preschool in two weeks.

The rain held us back from going out yesterday, but students continued their work here at school.  We took an in-depth look at the materials economy and investigated in stations.  Their job over the weekend is to compile this information and respond to questions in their assessment and how it relates it relates to the bigger picture of "The Story of Stuff." 

This week, we met in mixed groups to prepare for the Silk Routes simulations.  Students learned more about their cities and created characters that would take part in the simulation.  

If you have not yet received information about our Feast on Thursday, June 1, to kick off the simulation, you will be receiving a message soon providing you with details.   

Enjoy your long weekend.

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

Students were excited to finish reading The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang and started working on their next writing project. Like Gina, they are going to take a major event in their lives and fictionalize it.  Ask your children what ideas are popping into their heads. 

We went on a field trip to the Independence Seaport Museum yesterday and learned about the trade that took place between Philadelphia and China during the 18th century.  We capped off our day downtown by having lunch at Spruce Street Harbor. 

On Tuesday, we enjoyed the final Junior Unit recital of the year. There were close to twenty performers who performed. Well done!  

Next week, we will be taking the ERBs in the Junior Unit. Though students won’t be able to eat while working on the individual sections, they may bring in an extra snack or two eat after they are done. They may also have mints during the test.

Congratulations to George, Aakash, and the rest of the TPS Tigers Chess Team who made us proud at Supernationals this past weekend. Check out the blog for more information.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

It’s been a busy week as students became immeshed in the story of Gina Zhang and how the Monkey King helps her adapt to her new home in America.  Additionally, students were able to reminisce about their glory days in 3rd grade as they enjoyed this year’s version. 

There was a change of plans this week as we stayed back from The Schuylkill Center to begin our investigation of air quality. Having placed testing strips at school, Markward Park, and the River Walk, students will check the results after a week.  Additionally, we continued our study of water systems as we walked along the pathway to learn the story of how past industrialization once stripped the Schuylkill River of all life.  At this time, we are planning a trip to the Independence Seaport Museum and Franklin Square for next Thursday.  

The silkworms are getting larger now that they are feeding on real mulberry leaves.  Students have been observing their rapid growth with interest and have been surprised by how much they eat on a daily basis. If you have any empty toilet paper rolls, we need to collect them for the silkworms.

At the end of May, the students will be taking the ERB standardized tests.  Though a more comprehensive note will be sent out as we get closer to the date (May 22-24) , we wanted to give you a heads-up as you plan your daily schedule.  

Good luck to George, Aakash, and the rest of the TPS Tigers Chess Team as they represent the school at Nationals.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

As we enter May, we’re gearing up for the Silk Routes simulation that will take place at the end of the year.  Students have been learning about the various cities that China traded with, the importance of silk to China, and the additional exchange of ideas that took place when people from different cultures met.  

This was our first week back to The Schuylkill Center after visiting several sites in the Philadelphia area to procure water and soil samples to test.  It was a beautiful day as we started the next step of the program by having students test air quality.  We will be going to The Schuylkill Center next Thursday.

At the end of May, the students will be taking the ERB standardized tests.  Though a more comprehensive note will be sent out as we get closer to the date (May 22-24), we wanted to give you a heads-up as you plan your daily schedule.  

Enjoy your weekend,

Chantal and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families, 

What an exciting week! We were able to take full advantage of the beautiful weather this week and enjoy many surprises! 

Our silkworms have hatched! When we came back on Monday, we were excited to see dozens of tiny larvae in our petri dish. The students found out they are very soft as we were able to touch some this week. We are hoping to take them through the entire lifecycle. 

In Community Meeting, we have been working on creating sections for our Junior Unit Magazine. We will have our last meeting next week to finalize our sections. We will let you know when it is available in print and online. 

On Thursday, we went to Valley Green in the Wissahickon. Students were able to complete their last rotation of lessons. Ask your student which rotation they were in this week. The students enjoyed sit spots and having quiet time in the woods. After our sit spots, we had lunch and recess at Devil's Pool. Some students enjoyed splashing in the stream. Next week, we will return to The Schuylkill Center to continue studying the impact of industrialization and the impact it has on the environment. On Thursdays, please make sure your child wears long pants, socks, and sleeves. We know it is warm out, but this helps protect students from the sun and also lowers the chance of tick bites. 

On Friday, many students from the class were able to go to Play 60 at the NFL Draft. Students who did not go enjoyed cooking food for the silkworms and spending quality time with their friends in the other JU classes. 

Next Week, 5th grade parents are invited to a Move-Up meeting about 6th grade on Thursday, May 4, from 5:00-6:00 p.m.  

Have a great weekend,

Chantal and Dan  

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families, 

This has been a short and productive week! Both 4th and 5th graders have begun new units in math, science, and theme. 

This week in community meeting we had our first meetings to create a magazine for students in Junior Unit and Middle School. The magazine will focus on topics that have been covered in community meeting this winter and spring. Ask your child which group they are in and what they worked on. 

In theme, students have started learning about the cities along the Silk Route. They will need this information for our simulation in May. They have learned about silk worms and how people in China used silk as a currency. In class, we have our very own silkworms eggs that we plan to hatch and (hopefully!) make our own silk. The eggs arrived a dark black and are now turning grey as they get ready to hatch. We will keep you updated on the status of our silkworms. 

In 5th grade math, students have begun working on geometry. In 4th grade math, students have started moving into the teacher role. This is putting their teaching and active listening skills to the test. Julián, Conor, Aya, and Quentin are the first students to teach a lesson. Check out the pictures and ask your child what they learned from them. 

Have a great long weekend, 

Chantal and Dan 

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families, 

This week, we have enjoyed the beautiful weather in a variety of ways. Students were able to get outside every day for recess to stretch their legs and enjoy our consistently warm weather. It is lovely to be out in the spring!

We have shuffled some of our Word Study groups based on where students are currently in their learning.  Ask your child what group they’re in now and one interesting thing they learned this week.

In community meeting we talked about what made a good friendship versus a negative one (and how the same person might behave differently with different people).  We then had students brainstorm ideas for a JU magazine about tweens to encourage ally-ship and support for kids of this age.  Students are going to select the magazine feature they’re most interested in doing, and for two weeks we’ll work on creating a magazine.

On Wednesday we took our final trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum. Students were able to take notes on the Silk Road. They were able to see how cultures exchanged and shared ideas during this time. 

In science we have been studying the materials economy. Before leaving for the Towpath, students learned about the history of industrialization in China and how it impacted the people. At the Towpath, students found evidence of a mill as they explored the canal. For the remaining Thursdays, we will spend time around the city studying the materials economy and water quality. We will not go to The Schuykill Center every week but will explore other resources in Philadelphia. We will let students know earlier in the week where we are going. As the weather gets warmer, please make sure to send students in long shirts, socks, and pants. 

Have a great weekend,

Chantal and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents, 

We hope you all enjoyed your spring breaks. Our class (and their teachers) came back a little begrudgingly on Monday but have since been able to refocus on their work.

Though our first time back to The Schuylkill Center was canceled due to weather, we were able to start on our new topic by watching a video entitled “The Story of Stuff.”  It’s an eye-opening presentation on how consumerism has affected our environment.  As an added bonus, we were able to enjoy a performance by the Jasper String Quartet since we were here at school. 

Students are finishing up their fast plants work by writing a lab report indicating how successful they were in raising plants with their variable.  The best part of the week for many was when we dissected the pistils to find out how many seeds their plants were able to produce. The number of seeds ranged from 0 to 120.  Ask your child how their variable compared to the control.  

In theme, we began looking at the Silk Route as we begin preparing for our unit-wide simulation later this spring. To provide additional context, we will be going to the PMA next Wednesday to look at some artifacts from that time era. 

Finally, in conjunction with JU-D, we began book groups. Students had a choice between four books, all dealing with an aspect of China. Over the course of the next three weeks, we will be working in mixed groups.

Have a good weekend,

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

As we prepare for spring break, please be advised that students who started their Fast Plants on February 27 will need to bring their plants home with them to continue their observation and watering/variable cycle. 

We held our final pretzel sale for the year this past Monday.  If our calculations are correct, we will have enough for additional food and bedding for the remainder of the year.  

Congratulations to JU-C. After months of hearing them rehearse next door to us, our class enjoyed seeing The Same Sky , the show they’ve been working on with their partner school, HMS. 

We look forward to seeing many of you during conferences and hope that you all have a wonderful, relaxing break from school. 

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents, 

Winter had one more surprise for us this week. Despite the snow day, we made good use of our time here.

Excitement continued as dried bees were introduced.  Students glued the bees to sticks and used them to pollinate their plants. Students were excited to see the results of the bee introduction as their plants' pistils grew as a result. 

In theme students continued to work on their Landmark projects.  Their research essays went through a second editing process, and many students worked hard to bring what they imagined to life in posters, waterproof lakes, dioramas, and websites. JU-B is buzzing!

At Encuentro, students were entertained as middle schoolers shared performances from some of their exciting mini-course classes, as well as solo performances. 

We will be holding our bi-weekly pretzel sale to raise money for supplies this coming Monday.  The pretzels will be $1 each, and mustard will be 25¢.

Remember that next week is a three-day week.  We look forward to seeing many of you at conferences next Thursday and Friday,.  

Have a great weekend,

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

It was another busy week in the classroom with students rushing in daily to see what changes have happened overnight to their individual Fast Plants. The big news is that the Control plant has blossomed, and many of the Variable plants are budding.  With continued practice, the students have sharpened their abilities to take note of the subtle changes from day-to-day and have become more adept at jotting down their observations in a meaningful way.  

In theme, students have embarked on their next research project. Unlike the fall group project, students will be working with just one partner during the research phase.  They will be writing their own essays and creating their own visuals.  You can hear the creative juices flowing with every utterance of the words Model Magic, poster board, Minecraft, and paint. 

It’s been a week of special performances, as well.  Peter Tang and his troupe came on Tuesday to perform for us and to introduce us to the Chinese instruments that they played.  The music continued on Friday with a music recital featuring many members of Junior Unit, in addition to the string ensembles under the direction of Aaron Picht.  Congratulations to all the performers for a job well done. 

If you haven’t signed up for spring parent conferences, the links are up.  Remember that these conferences will be student-led, so your child will need to be present.   

Enjoy the weekend,

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents, 

Welcome to March. With the beautiful weather that we’ve gotten this past week, it’s been a perfect time to get to work on our Fast Plants.  Students have been excited to see green break through the soil and have become dedicated scientists as they’ve carefully measured the daily growth.  Connecting to our study of the energy cycle this fall, they have also learned about the different parts of the plant and how photosynthesis works. 

In theme, we’ve been reading about ancient China, learning about significant cultural events and customs, and prepping the students for the project that they will begin working on next week.  Students will be researching important land forms and significant landmarks in the coming weeks.  

During Community Meeting this week we looked at how the media can affect how we see ourselves.  Students saw how advertisers have created images of the typical boy and girl to whom they sell their goods.  Ask your child about how segmented marketing can influence what toys you buy for your child.  

Cocoa the hamster continues to do well and is slowly acclimating to our schedule. She is starting to emerge earlier in the day, much to the excitement of the class. Cocoa will need a temporary home for spring break. If you are interested in taking Cocoa for the week, email Chantal. We would need to arrange a short meeting to discuss her needs and pass off supplies.  

We will be holding our bi-weekly pretzel sale to raise money for supplies this coming Monday.  The pretzels will be $1 each, and mustard will be 25¢.

If you haven’t signed up for spring parent conferences, the links were sent in an email earlier in the week.  Remember that these conferences will be student-led, so your child will need to be present.   

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families, 

We hope you are enjoying this spring-like weather. Some students came to school in shorts and short sleeves! They were able to get outside today and run around in the sun. We are all ready for spring! 

This week we attended two Shakespeare plays performed by the 8th graders. On Thursday we saw Julius Caesar, and on Friday we watched A Midsummer Night's Dream. The students were a great audience, and we all enjoyed the plays. Next Tuesday there is a 3rd grade and Junior Unit recital at 2:00 p.m. in Garage. Parents are welcome to attend. 

On Tuesday we planted our fast plants. On Wednesday we dissected lima bean seeds so we could see the inside of what we are planting. As of today, the majority of the class has small seedlings. Until spring break, we will continue to observe, measure, and study our plants. After spring break, we will dry out our plants and harvest the seeds for the next generation of fast plants. If students are adding a variable, they should make sure it is replenished for Monday. 

You should soon be receiving a link to conference schedules. Conferences will be the week of March 20th. Please see the Chantal's or Dan's schedule for available time slots. The spring conferences are student led. Please be aware that students should be present at the conference, as they will be leading it. 

Have a great weekend,

Chantal and Dan 

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families,

The Talent Show was a major focus this week. Our students were able to showcase their unique talents and see their classmate perform. A huge shoutout to Dan who helped organize and run the entire show. 

This week students wrote out their research questions for our fast plants experiment. Each student will choose a variable that they believe will enable them to grow the most seeds from a single plant. The fast plants will grow until spring break, and we will harvest the seeds when we come back. On Tuesday, we will plant our fast plants. Students should make sure they wear clothes that can get dirty. 

Each student is adding a variable to their plant. They should make sure they bring in their variable and are able to replenish it until spring break. 

In theme, students continued to learn about Ancient China. We will begin a new project next week. More details to come!

Next Thursday and Friday we look forward to seeing the 8th grade's Shakespeare plays. 

Enjoy the long weekend. We look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday. 

Chantal and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families,

We hope you enjoyed the snow day on Thursday. Dan joked that the best part was that he didn't even have to shovel snow. The students shared the various ways they spent their day off during morning meeting. 

Today during Encuentro the students were led by the 6th grade in a chant to raise hope for The Democratic Republic of Congo. They 6th graders have been researching conflict minerals and the negative impact of production on countries in Africa. Be on the lookout for a brochure produced by the 6th grade about conflict minerals. Afterward, we had yo-yo master Tyler dazzle us with tricks and the science of yoyo-ing. 

Up until now, we've been learning about modern China. This week, we started reading Life in Ancient China. So far, we've read about the Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han Dynasties. The ancient people of China called their emperors "Sons of Heaven." Ask your child what they remember about these dynasties. 

On Wednesday, we began our science unit on Fast Plants. Students revisited what they've learned about the energy cycle. We are now taking a deeper look into producers. Students have been challenged with growing the most seeds they can. Next week, we will discuss variables and the scientific method. We will plant on February 21. More information will come next week. 

Good luck to all of the students performing in the talent show next Tuesday. Per student council tradition, this is only for a faculty and student audience.

Next Friday, students do not have school due to teacher in-service, and we are all off on Monday for President's Day. 

Have a great weekend,

Chantal and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Families,

This week was full of many exciting events. We started the week off with the naming of our hamster. The students decided on the name Cocoa. She is warming up to teachers and students. This week, she finally felt comfortable enough to roam the room in her ball. We made it to week 2 without any signs of "wet tail"! On Monday, we will have another pretzel sale to continue raising funds for Cocoa. Students are becoming experts on marketing and selling. 

We spent a large portion of the week setting up for the Lunar New Year Open House. Students put the final touches on their altars and made beautiful paper cuttings to hang from the ceiling. It was so nice to see many of you at the celebration. Students have worked hard on all of their projects. They couldn't wait to show you what they have learned. After the learning celebration, we had a small celebration in the classroom as we watched The Magical Monkey King in Mandarin with English subtitles. 

Today the students came in dressed in their crazy hats, hair, and pajamas. What a fun way to end this exciting week! The link for winter reports was emailed to families yesterday. If you did not receive it, please let us know. 

Valentine's Day is coming up soon. Students may still bring cards without candy. If students choose to bring cards, they should write one to everyone in the class. 

Have a great weekend,

Chantal and Dan

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents, 

Well, it’s Friday, and hamster # 2 is still alive and kicking. Yay! She is a teddy bear hamster, and the class has been great with providing her space to acclimate.  Next week we will discuss what to name her. Our second pretzel sale was another success, raising over $150 for the care of our pet. Stay tuned. 

We attended a Poetry Day event presented by the 6th grade today. Students were able to hear their sixth grade friends recite poems they had written; some pieces were incredibly powerful and reflective.

Meanwhile, the students are working hard on a variety of projects this week that they’re excited to share with family next week at the Chinese New Year celebration.  Alters are taking shape, art and stories are being created, and displays are going up. Some students are working on Adobe Spark to create an audio supplement for their projects.  If you would like to use this feature, you will need a set of earbuds to use with your Smartphone. 

Here is some information from Matt Murray as to how to use Adobe Spark.

For iOS (parents with iPhones or iPads), the best two free QR code reader apps I would recommend parents download are the QR Code Reader by Scan (clickable link) and MixerBox's QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner (clickable link). Both can be downloaded through the links provided or by searching the App Store.

For Android (parents with Galaxy or Nexus phones or tablets), the best two free QR code reader apps are QR Droid Code Scanner (clickable link) and Scan, Inc's QR Code Reader (clickable link). Both can be downloaded through the links provided or by searching the Google Play Store.

We hope to see many of you on Thursday, February 2.  The celebration begins with a chorus performance at 9:00 a.m. in the Garage.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents, 

It was a week of highs and lows in JU-B.  On Tuesday we welcomed the arrival of Skip, our new class hamster.  The students have been invested in this project, working on a guidebook for the care of the hamster, calculating the cost of keeping a pet, participating in pretzel sales to raise money to purchase the goods needed, and creating a schedule for dispensing food. Because of all their research, this morning the students realized that Skip was suffering from wet-tail, a bacterial infection.  After additional research about treatment and a class discussion about the pros and cons of taking him to the vet, the class decided that we should take him back to the pet store, where he could humanely be put to sleep.  Skip passed away before the end of the day.  Though there were a few tears, the class handled it with stoicism and worked collaboratively on a eulogy.  We will soldier on and will be getting another hamster. We will have a pretzel sale ($1.00 each) on Monday as we prepare for our new pet.

Our past two Bodies Curriculum lessons have focused on male and female reproductive anatomy, including the journey of egg and sperm through one's own body and the way a baby develops from both cells. Understandably, this has raised questions for many students around how sperm and egg meet. Because we are not covering sexual intercourse in this curriculum, we have told students that these are great questions that they can discuss more with their families. Your child may be coming home this week eager to discuss these questions with you.

Students this week were busy finishing up their Taoism essays, as well as working hard on their alter projects.  Nothing brings a gleam to the eye like the opening of a package of Model Magic.  We have altars for gods and goddesses ranging from football to cheese to dance and art.  Additionally, as a final project for our Monkey King unit, students began working on a graphic novel retelling of the story this week.  You’ll see many of these items on display during our Chinese New Year Celebration on Thursday, February 2.  The celebration begins with a chorus performance at 9:00 a.m. in the Garage. We hope to see you there.

On Friday, January 27, our class will participate in a Poetry Day event presented by the 6th grade. The sixth graders will recite poems they have written. As a part of this special event they will serve hot chocolate, which will be offered to our class. The hot chocolate is peanut/tree nut free and is the approved brand by the school nurse, Sara.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dan and Chantal

JU-B Weekly Note

Dear Parents,

It’s been a busy but short week. In theme class, we began working on our Taoism essays and laid the groundwork for our alters. After learning about some of the mythic gods of Chinese religions, students were charged with the creation of a god/protector that would help guide them in one of their hobbies or pastimes.  These will be on display at our Chinese New Year open house on Thursday, February 2.  Prior to the open house, there will be a choral performance at 9:00 a.m. in the Garage. We hope to see you there.

Our soft pretzel sale was a success, and we were able to make $136.33. The students were great salespersons and have been enthusiastic about getting things ready for our new class pet.  Our cage is set up, and we should have our hamster by next week. 

On Friday, January 27, our class will participate in a Poetry Day event presented by the 6th grade. The sixth graders will recite poems they have written. As a part of this special event they will serve hot chocolate, which will be offered to our class. The hot chocolate is peanut/tree nut free and is the approved brand by the school nurse Sara. 

Below is information from TPSA about the JU Potluck that will take place next Wednesday:

Please join us for the Junior Unit 4th & 5th Grade Potluck (adults only) on Wednesday, January 18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Garage.

RSVP HERE: https://tpschoolblog.squarespace.com/potluck-rsvp (or go to the Events page of the Parent Portal).

Have a good weekend. See you on Tuesday.

Dan and Chantal