Good Afternoon, Parents.
First and foremost, an important note about communication and expectations in regard to the weekly Checkout Form. The Checkout Form has detailed information about where your child is with his/her assignments. BEFORE YOU SIGN IT, please talk with your child about his/her missing or late work and about strategies used to get work done (what is working, what isn’t); please ask to see any missing/incomplete work. We have noticed that students are sometimes turning in Checkout Forms without turning in the late/incomplete work listed on them. If your child has work listed on their Checkout Form, be sure that you go through their assignment book and binders with them on Sunday to check that they’ve completed all that work and that they are organized so they start the week prepared. And as always, you are welcome to write back to us on the Checkout Form itself with any concerns, questions, comments, or strategies you discussed with your child.
Our geology unit continues to build! We had an eventful trip to Ringing Rocks County Park this Tuesday, complete with an awesome boulder field, dramatic waterfall, yellow jackets swarms, and rain. Students should be spending time each night on their Google docs to make revisions on existing work and to add new information. Please ask to see the growing number of labels and talk with your child about how they are managing the ongoing work and responding to feedback.
Rock boxes are also due on Monday; specifications are in the Geology Collection guidelines, if needed. Next week we will travel on Wednesday (no trip Tuesday) to Crystal Cave, a limestone cavern, with the Primary Unit. The younger kids are also studying geology, and this will be an excellent chance to learn together!
We have completed Part One of To Kill A Mockingbird, which sets the stage for the dramatic heart of the novel in Part Two – the trial of Tom Robinson. So far we have discussed the themes of racism and prejudice, justice, bravery, inequality (racial, gender, and social), appearances and realities, and coming of age. If you have memories or thoughts about reading this powerful novel, we encourage you to use them to start a discussion with your child.
Two final things. We wanted to make sure you know that our TPSA Class Rep is Lavonia Waddington, if you’re looking for that contact person. Thank you for taking on that important responsibility on behalf of our grade, Lavonia! Also, next Monday night, October 19, at 7:15 PM will be our annual TPS Alumni High School Panel. It will take place in the 8th grade space, and any interested 7th graders and their families are quite welcome to attend. We will be hearing from five or six alums about the high school selection process, about their adjustment to high school, and about their experiences in their particular school.
Some questions to ask your child this weekend:
- How are you using your assignment book to keep track of your assignments? How do you know what you’ve done and what you need to do?
- What are the four tenets of the Social Contract?
- How are the crystals growing in your science lab?
- How many rock labels have you drafted? (Students should have 5 or 6 specimens and labels from our trips at this point in the unit.)
- Who is Boo Radley? What do you think is going to happen in Tom Robinson’s trial?
Until next week,
David, Steve, and Virginia