JU-C Weekly Note

Dear Families,

What a busy week, full of new routines and discoveries!

On Monday, we began the spelling program. Students take a pre-test on Monday that determines their focus for the week. Homework is due Wednesday, with the test on Friday. Everyone did their homework thoroughly and on time, and the test seemed like a relatively stress-free time. (There will be no spelling next week due to the brevity of the week.) We also shared our summer reading work.

On Tuesday, students thought of goals they have for the year (academic, study habits, and social). These goals were used today in our Grade 4-8 Encuentro, in which students brainstormed what rules we would need to use as a community to make our goals more likely to be achieved. We had our first Community Meeting, which was related to the summer reading of *Mr. Terupt *— ask your child about Dollar Words!

We began our Wednesday with a weekly occurrence we’re calling “Agora Time.” With JU-D, we watched a short cartoon about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. We divided students into their own “caves,” each of which had building materials of some kind. The oldest student in each cave became the “philosopher,” who came into another room to see a built model (the ideal). The philosophers then had to return to their caves to tell (without touching the building materials) the other people in the cave about the ideal object and how to create it. It was frustrating on both sides, with varying levels of success, but was a great analogy, with the philosophers unable to tell the cave-dwellers about the world, and the cave-dwellers frustrated that the philosophers don’t understand them anymore. In future weeks, we’ll examine the two sides of the Elgin Marbles/Parthenon Frieze debate. We hope to help the students understand that there are often two valid points of view in discussions.

And of course, on Thursday we kicked off our fall science rotation. At the Schuylkill Center, half of the JU-C students worked to make observations about a space we had never seen. Many students jumped ahead, developing questions about the space. This is groundwork for a project we call “Mythbusters!” that you’ll hear more about. At Awbury Arboretum, the rest of the JU-C students participated in a scavenger hunt as they explored their new surroundings. We are excited to embark on a collaboration with students from Wissahickon Charter School. Half of Junior Unit will work with WCS students in the fall while the other half will be partnering with them in the spring. We will be exploring the different type of invasive species that have overrun Awbury.

Other activities this week included a variation on the “Blades of Grass” experiment from Mr. Terupt, SSR routines, our read-aloud (Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky, which is a small-town mystery that fits our all-school theme), and “Creative Time,” which is a time on Wednesday afternoons when we can do such activities as song writing, creative writing, knitting, or other crafts we choose. As we said, it was a busy week indeed!

Back-to-School Night is Tuesday, October 6, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. We look forward to seeing you there! TPSA is hosting a Meet and Greet in the Garage beforehand at 5:30pm. Detailed information was posted on the school's blog today.

Next week is quite short. If your child is going to be out on Wednesday for Yom Kippur, and you have not already let us know, please do. We will NOT be writing a Friday Note next week.

Have a beautiful weekend this week and next!

Laura and David
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