JU-D Weekly Note

Dear JU-D families,

We are hitting our stride as we enter December. This week we continued to explore prehistoric human development, we experienced the treasures of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and we heard from a published author about his craft and life. 

In our theme study, students learned about the shift from hunting and gathering to permanent settlement. Moving forward, JU-Ders will use what they have learned about the birth of civilization to choose the perfect place to start a new society in China. They will select this location by exploring topographical maps and researching the Chinese landscape. In the coming weeks students will craft an essay that explains why their proposed location in the Chinese landscape would be beneficial for human civilization. This work is leading towards a study of the Yellow River civilization, one of the earliest examples in history. 

To see the product of all of this human development, we journeyed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We looked at the vast variety of art produced by Chinese civilization. We enjoyed a guided tour and worked as visual detectives to discover the purpose of the art on display. Students were thrilled by this opportunity and began to bubble with connections from what we have covered so far in class. 

The week ended with an exciting presentation by published local writer Alexander London. This exciting opportunity provided JU members with a glimpse of the writer’s process and the way creativity can be cultivated along with writer’s craft. Check in with your kids about this moment as it may have inspired them both as readers and writers.                                                                  

Along with many other educational opportunities, students are using Keyboarding Without Tears to learn keyboarding skills, computer literacy, and digital citizenship.  The program is built so that students can use the student license they have from school for practice outside the school. 

To access the program, you will need a laptop or desktop with internet access. You can start the program by clicking on this link: http://program.kwtears.com/?HOME_USE_TOKEN. It will launch in your default browser. Bookmark this page for easy access. Once the program has launched, your child should choose his/her grade and then key in his/her Secret Code (likely written down in their assigned notebook or memorized by now).

Students will be able to practice right away by picking up where they last left off on the challenge board. If your student has forgotten his/her Secret Code and did not write the code down anywhere, you may contact Matt M., our technology integrator, for the code. His email address is mmurray@tpschool.org. We recommend that your child work on Keyboarding Without Tears for no more than 10-20 minutes per day outside the classroom. Speed, fluency, and accuracy will develop with regular practice over a sustained period of time. To learn more about the Keyboarding Without Tears curriculum please go to www.kwtears.com.

We will finally be taking our trip to Chinatown this coming Thursday. Although we will be taking a bus from TPS, students should remember to bring jackets and a water bottle. 

About TPS Service: In the interest of providing each of our students with the most meaningful service experience possible, we are making some mid-year changes to the TPS Service requirements. If your child completed a Fall service job, they do not need to complete another term of service. Students who did not complete a Fall job must sign up for only one of the remaining terms. Students who completed a Fall job and want to sign up for another term may do so, but students who have not yet completed their service requirement will be given priority. We also encourage families who already participate in service outside of school -- for neighborhood parks, with faith organizations, etc. -- to use that service toward completion of the TPS service requirement.  

Truly,

Noelle and Nick