JU-D Weekly Note

Dear JU-D Families,

It seems like we are barely into our year, but you may have noticed holiday ads appearing on t.v. That’s right, the holidays are upon us. As Thanksgiving approaches in the near future, we journeyed far back in time to study the way human beings evolved and began to move around the world. 

We started the week with a look at our earliest ancestors as we examined fossil evidence that showed some of our origins 3.2 million years ago in Australopithecus. We delved into the fossil record and looked at the individual changes that brought us closer to the creatures we are today. Students hypothesized why we originated in Africa and used thought experiments to understand the reasons for early human migration. This study provides JU-Ders with a solid grounding in the origins of humanity and will help to form a clear narrative as early humans begin to find the best possible locations to settle. We will use this information as we begin a study of the first Chinese civilizations. 

Along with our study of prehistoric people, JU-D explored the energy cycle in greater detail. We used our sit spot experience from last week and looked at the differences between biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem. With these terms in place, we introduced a basic model of photosynthesis, a process that relies on both biotic and abiotic factors. This concept is essential for understanding the way the sun’s energy is harnessed in a system and flows through the entire trophic pyramid. 

Next week is a short one! We will be celebrating and looking back on the year so far. Additionally, we will be preparing brownies for the school-wide Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday (no need to pack a lunch that day). We are sending out a call for mixing bowls and spoons so that the JU can make their brownie magic. If possible, please send your kids to school with these items on Monday. Label items with your last name on a piece of tape so that we can ensure that all materials are returned. 

Truly, 

Noelle and Nick