JU-C Weekly Note

Dear Families,

It was a busy last week before break!  We finished our book groups with JU-A this week -- be sure to ask your child how they enjoyed the book and the experience.  (We’re likely to do it again later this year.)  We continued doing research on student-selected China topics; after break students will begin doing a more focused project and presentation on these topics.  JU-C has also been working on writing a song as a class with David’s excellent songwriting talents.

The Winter Concert on Wednesday was fabulous!  Shout-out to the students and to Shannon for an amazing performance.

Yesterday we focused on China at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  We were going to walk there (as B and D did two weeks ago), but the frigid temperatures made us rethink this and we took a bus instead.  Ask your child what they enjoyed about the visit.

We also visited the 6th grade dioramas, an annual occurrence that we always enjoy.  (Junior Unit students particularly enjoy seeing students with whom they worked last year, and it excites them to think they’ll soon be doing this project themselves.)

Yesterday Laura shared a brief interview with a speaker she heard last week at the People of Color Conference, Bryan Stevenson (https://youtu.be/gOKyzpQOd6s).  We discussed his quote, “Hopelessness is the enemy of justice,” and a student eventually asked about the current situation in Syria.  There was discussion about what the “right” thing to do there is, with points brought up about the difficulty of choosing a side in the conflict, the weight of sending soldiers to another country, and the ongoing political situation there.  It makes me proud that our students are tackling difficult topics; they want to make a difference in the world.

Finally, today included both Family Circles this morning and the Dartmouth Rockapellas concert this afternoon.  Students also cleaned out their cubbies thoroughly for break.

All students should read over break.  In addition, it’s possible your child has a writing piece due after break (students had one due this week and one after break, but some students opted to do both pieces this week).  Fifth grade students have math, as well.  If you are looking for additional winter work for your child besides those things, our class has done typing (Keyboarding Without Tears) and coding, and 4th graders have done logic puzzles online.  The links for these are below if your child wants to work on them over break.

Keyboarding without Tears (note from Matt Murray): We recommend that your child work on Keyboarding Without Tears for no more than 10-20 minutes per day outside the classroom. Speed, fluency, and accuracy will develop with regular practice over a sustained period of time.  http://program.kwtears.com/?HOME_USE_TOKEN

Coding: Junior Unit: CodeCombat & Code.org Activities (Code Studio, Minecraft, Disney’s Moana, and Flappy Bird)

Logic grids: http://www.braingle.com/Logic-Grid.html

Have a wonderful break. See you in the new year!

Sincerely,

Laura and David