JU-B Weekly Notes

Happy Friday, JU-B families!

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Back-to-School Night this week. We are so enjoying our class this year, and it was great to be able to talk to all of you in person about our plans for the upcoming months.

This week we emphasized stories in a variety of capacities. We finished reading Knots in My Yo-Yo String, the kick-off to our Jerry Spinelli author study. Using Spinelli’s storytelling as a model, students have begun work on their first major writing project for the school year: personal narratives. We’re working on telling the story of a single snapshot moment. In class, students looked at a few photos belonging to one of their teachers and brainstormed what questions would need to be answered in order to write an interesting and detailed piece. After deciding on their own snapshot moments, students spent time at the end of the week brainstorming for their own story.

In Morning Meetings, we looked at different forms of storytelling. We practiced building a story one word at time, creating miniature six-word stories, and seeing how stories change as they’re told between people through our game “whisper down the lane.” All of this work leads into our introduction of mythology as we began to explore the question, “What is a myth?” Ask students to talk to you about the some of the three creation myths they read this week or the triple Venn Diagram they created to show the intersections between the stories.

This week, JU-B students took part in mythology experiment. On Wednesday, Hilary pulled aside one student and orally told the story of the “long-armed hairy witch.” Over the course of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the story passed between all of the JU-B students with students telling what they remembered and potentially adding their twist or flair. On Friday, the final student to receive the story passed it along to Dan, who retold the story at closing circle. This experiment highlighted the way stories told orally change and adapt over time due to human influence and the fact that they aren’t written down. We’ll continue to revisit this experiment as we dissect different versions of various Greek myths.

In math, 4th graders charged ahead as they looked at models for multiplication and division; 5th graders explored order of operations and exponents. On Thursday we were lucky to have beautiful weather for our visit to The Schuylkill Center and Awbury Arboretum. We unveiled the 4th-8th grade social contract and learned a new game called “Honey I Love You.” Students met their first week of our Writer’s Notebook routine with great success. JU-B is doing a great job of getting into the swing of things.  

If you haven’t already, please sign-up for fall conferences with your child’s advisor. An email with links to sign up was sent home on Wednesday. As always, please be in touch at any point!

In partnership,

Hilary and Dan