We hope that you had a good, long holiday weekend! After mini-courses and our Rock Band performances, it was good to get back into routines this week.
We wanted to late you know that we have a substitute covering for David D'Altorio, who will be out of school for the rest of the month because of a family medical emergency out of state. Although they miss David, your children are in especially good hands. We are very fortunate that Judith Parker, who retired from TPS a few years ago after teaching language arts in our Middle School for 27 years (!!!), will be substituting for David until he returns after winter break. It's wonderful to have Judith's expertise and support during this time.
In language arts this week students practiced active-listening skills by listening to and discussing a variety of short stories and poems, including "The Monkey's Paw," "The Courtship of Miles Standish," and "The Lady or the Tiger." They also began a grammar unit and did a good amount of vocabulary and spelling work.
In cultural studies we continued to investigate the story of the first Thanksgiving using both primary and secondary sources. Before we "launch" Columbus to the New World, we spent some time investigating the regions, people, and events that shaped the centuries before his famous voyage. This weekend students are analyzing a painting of Columbus' departure to get a sense of how history retells this event.
Matt Murray from our Technology Department came Wednesday morning for the first of three winter "Tech Spotlights." His presentation, entitled “Screen Zombies: Attack of the Mindless Gamers,” addressed the ways in which we get caught up and consumed by games and screens. We learned about consumptive vs creative uses of technology, as well as mindless vs mindful games and applications.
Student Council launched its winter Helping Hands Drive, which asks students to bring in boxed and canned food items, which will be donated to local homeless shelters. The collection will go until mid-January. Please keep Helping Hands in mind the next time you go shopping. We've asked the children to donate foods they themselves like to eat. Every item helps!
Speaking of collecting, we are still collecting empty glass jars for the Winterfest event at SCEE on Saturday, December 12. Jars can be given to Virginia (lids are not needed). We'll collect these through next Friday.
Winterfest is also an opportunity for Middle School students who are looking for a winter Community Service job. We are looking for students to help run stations (crafts, s'mores, hikes) at Winterfest at the Schuylkill Center on Saturday, December 12, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Parents are welcome to attend the event with their kids for free. If your child can help, please email Virginia by Monday, December 7, at firstname.lastname@example.org. (This event will take place before the winter term officially begins, so this sign-up is happening now. All students must do two community service jobs over the course of the fall, winter, and spring seasons.)
Members of Mixed Choir and the Sandra Dean String Ensemble will perform at the Winter concert on Wednesday, December 16, at 9 a.m. If your child is performing that day, they will need to come to school with their instrument. Concert dress is red on the top and black on the bottom. Solids are preferred, and red dresses are fine for girls (no black dresses). TPS t-shirts are ideal.
Questions to ask your child:
- What does “screen zombie” mean to you?
- On the scale of 1-5, how did you rank the mindfulness of your computer use? Are you more mindful or mindless? Creative or consumptive?
- Which do you think came out of the door, the lady or the tiger? Why?
- What did you do in Family Circles on Friday?
- What are you reading for SSR?
Steve, Judith, and Virginia