JU-C Weekly Note

Dear Families,

Today we finished reading Bernard Evslin’s The Trojan War. In today’s reading, Hector was killed by Achilles, Achilles was killed by Apollo, and Ulysses had a brilliant idea about making a horse out of wood. The war was over. Next week we’ll start reading Geraldine McCaughrean’s retelling of The Odyssey as a read-aloud, and students will begin reading Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons.

During Agora Time with JU-D, students began debating on topics they’ve been researching in groups. The topics were ones chosen by Time magazine with articles about the subjects; this was a way of making sure everyone could read and understand the articles used. Students are debating using a standard debate format. We’re excited to hear the points they’ll make!

Although the weather yesterday was grey and chilly, it did not dampen our enthusiasm for service work at Awbury Arboretum with Wissahickon Charter School. The four activities were pulling invasive plants, protecting native plants, removing trash, and coming up with a plan to educate the community. Ask your child which project she or he is working on there.

In math, the 4th graders placed their pretend bets on Derby horses today using this morning’s odds. This week we learned about the many factors that influence the probability of a horse winning the Derby (parents, trainer, jockey, previous races, track condition, post position). Students had some time to look at the background of each horse. For today’s placing of bets, there were a variety of strategies used — going with the favorite (Nyquist, 3-1 odds), going with a long-shot (Trojan Nation, 50-1), or some combination of both. With 25 students in the class and each student “betting” $10, Laura (the house) makes $250 up front. Once the race is run (approximately 6:30 p.m. tomorrow), she’ll calculate how much students won and subtract that from the $250. The house always wins, an important lesson to know about gambling.

Next week we’ll learn about the city-states who will be represented in our Junior Unit Olympics, and on Tuesday the students will find out which city-state they’ll be part of for the events. The Opening Ceremony for our Olympics is on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:35 a.m. Parents are invited.

ERBs will take place from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May 25. Please do not schedule doctor’s appointments or other extra-curricular activities that will take them out of school during these school days. It’s very tricky to arrange times for make-up sessions.

Happy Mother’s Day to the moms out there, and for everyone else, enjoy the return of the bright orb we call the Sun!

Laura and David