JU-C Weekly Note

Dear Families,

We loved seeing so many of you at Back-to-School Night. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to provide the best education for your children.

Our Agora Time this week involved students meeting in groups and creating a speech about one of the points of view about the Parthenon Frieze. Half of the groups were in favor of keeping the sculptures in London, while the other half argued in favor of returning them to Greece. With a few guidelines about how to create an opening and closing (with arguments and counter-arguments), students did an amazing job presenting a specific point of view backed with data. We will hear the rest of the groups next week and then ask students again to consider the concept of “truth” and whether or not we got closer to it.

Students have been thinking about poetry and collecting different types of ideas that can be used in future writing. There were a few writing activities this week — in one instance, students wrote about where they’d like to go if someone offered them a trip anywhere (and why they’d like to go there), and in another, David read several poems and students responded to it in writing. We will continue to have several writing topics each week as part of a student’s writer’s notebook.

Students also began responding to their SSR reading in a weekly response. At some point during the week, students must answer questions (in writing) about what they’re reading, in addition to keeping track of their SSR reading on a reading log. We look forward to meeting with students regularly to talk with them about what they are reading.

Our Thursday at the Schuylkill Center involved coming up with questions that students will try to solve using data they collect at the site. The Awbury Arboretum group heard from a horticulturalist about different ways invasive plants are invasive. Next week’s Awbury group will once again meet with the students from Wissahickon Charter School.

We have been reading a book by Sheila Turnage called Three Times Lucky for our read-aloud. It’s a mystery set in a very small town in North Carolina. The narrator is an 11-year-old named Mo, short for Moses. Feel free to ask your child about why Mo has that name (and what the mystery is so far).

You should have received an email on Wednesday with information about signing up for parent conferences. Please let us know if you are unsure which teacher you are meeting with for conferences. (We informed the students of their advisors, and also told them that the idea of having an advisor is mostly for purposes of being in touch with parents, because pretty much all of the rest of the time we do things together.)

We had a busy, full week!

Laura and David
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