Dear JU-D Families,
The clocks changed and we elected a president this week, all while moving through our regular school routine. Not surprisingly, it was a jam-packed week full of construction, political discussions, and formative wilderness adventures.
The week got off to an exciting start as students investigated the political process and shared their opinions about the election. Things took a trying turn on Wednesday as the class and school worked to process what was for many a shocking and dismaying result to the election. Students were given a space that morning to have an open conversation and to process feelings and concerns that went along with this moment. Parents are encouraged to continue having conversations around these topics moving forward.
In the classroom we continued to get our hands dirty as students finalized their family shrines with coats of paint and cultural details. Students have been proudly showing off their structures to fellow Junior Unit students and teachers alike. The result of this work is a diverse group of handmade structures that colorfully display the rich and varied group of family cultures that make up JU-D.
Finally, at The Schuylkill Center we worked in sit spots to observe the existence of the trophic structure in a real natural space. After cementing the concept of trophic pyramid and the way energy flows through an ecosystem by production and consumption, students had the opportunity to sit by themselves (with other students and teachers nearby) and observe this system and the way it functions in reality. Students looked for and took notes on evidence of primary producers, consumers, and decomposers, and the way they interact in a space.
This educational moment can be summed up by this TPS statement about the purposes of the Country Classroom experience: Beyond its academic connections, our country site offers students the chance to sit, hike, listen, and explore with a sense of freedom and solitude that is often hard to come by in the city. This intimate and personal connection to nature encourages our children to become involved and knowledgeable environmental stewards. Our experience at The Center allowed JU-Ders to focus fully, peacefully, and independently in a natural space and to be able to experience the complexity of nature. Additionally, this activity allowed students to experience their own autonomy and independence.
Be sure to chat with your kids about this experience, as it was likely impactful.
Have a good weekend!
Nick and Noelle