JU-D Weekly Note

Dear JU-D families,

The days are getting longer, and despite a bit of snow this morning, it’s clear that spring is just around the corner. As the seasons shift, our classroom has moved towards preparing for student-led conferences at the end of the month. Members of JU-D have begun setting goals for the end of the year and laying out concrete action steps for accomplishing this goal. To bolster this work, students have further fleshed out their plans by contemplating supports they need from teachers, families, and themselves to accomplish their goals.

This week, students also worked to peer edit hero papers and began to glimpse the heroes of prehistoric Greece. We have started to follow Homer’s epic journey to the Trojan war and back. We will read both The Iliad and The Odyssey as a way of pulling apart Greek traditions, society, and history. We are working to peel back the layers of this complex story in order to separate fact from legend, and belief from reality. Students will learn to view history as an evolving and pliable medium for viewing our world as they struggle to make decisions about the reality and authenticity of Homer’s epics.

Finally, we continued our work with the complex world of gender expression and identity. Students have spent multiple class periods analyzing different societal pressures placed on individuals in the way that they behave and what they feel. Students discussed different feelings and societal expectations that are placed associated with gender in our world. Our work is to allow students the freedom to feel comfortable with authentic expression of who they are. Members of the Junior Unit are beginning to see the boundaries and limitations caused by rigid ideas about gender, and will discuss ways we can move beyond these limitations in the coming week.

A few useful pieces of JU-D information:

Next week, the Junior Unit will attend a play at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. -

Students will get started on their next hero paragraph next week, so be ready to discuss heroes with your students.

Truly, Noelle and Nick

-- Nick Dekker Junior Unit Teacher