Our week was only four days, but we crammed a lot into that time!
On Wednesday, Mitchell Orenstein came to talk with us about Syrian refugees, a topic we’ve discussed a bit before. His presentation was fascinating and sobering — the numbers of refugees in different areas are staggering. Students had many comments and questions. Thank you for talking with us, Mitchell!
We’ve been doing some grammar review the last few weeks. This week we tackled commas. Some students barely use them, and some overuse them. After the comma lesson, we looked at a funny blog post (from “Hyperbole and a Half”) about the “Alot,” a cute creature who is referred to whenever someone writes “alot of _.” (It does seem to help students remember that “alot” is not a word!)
During our Community Meeting time on Tuesday, students met in affinity groups. We’ll meet again in these groups next week. Ask your child what that meeting was like.
Our Wednesday Agora Time with JU-D turned to the details of debate — opening arguments, clarifying questions, rebuttal. Laura and Nick provided an example of a debate about whether cars should be banned or not, and then students began to plan their opening arguments for the topic they chose several weeks ago.
This was our final week of etymology with Ashley. Next week she’ll be starting a Greek Club at lunch on Fridays, where students who are particularly interested throughout JU can gather and delve into more of the Greek language and culture.
We ended our week with a trip to the Schuylkill Center. What a beautiful day outside! Putting together everything students have learned so far about buoyancy, students created small boats using only a few objects (cardboard, aluminum foil, duct tape) to see which one could hold the most weight. They made excellent observations about what worked and didn’t. They were told that the final challenge (which will be part of our Olympics) will be to create a boat that a person can actually sit in, using only cardboard and tape, and they brainstormed ideas for that.
A practical reminder: Students seem to be running out of pencils. Although the end of the school year is fast approaching, there’s still plenty to do. Please ask your child if she or he has enough pencils and provide more if needed. Thanks!
Fifth grade parents, please see the calendar posting on the right about the Move-up Meeting for parents of children moving into our 6th grade next year.
Hope you have a great weekend!
—Laura and David