7th Grade Weekly Note

Good afternoon, parents!

It was an exciting first week back from Spring Break in the seventh grade. We hope you enjoyed the time away with families and are feeling rested, ready for the final couple months of the school year.

The week we resumed our Tuesday trips by going to Heritage Farm http://heritagefarmphiladelphia.org/ on Monument Avenue near City Avenue. The manager there, Adrian Galbraith-Paul, visited our class for the Seeds of Change Symposium earlier in the year and worked with the seventh grade team to develop a partnership that would allow our students to experience real day-to-day urban farming and explore some innovative and sustainable methods that today’s urban farmers use. We will return to Heritage for the next four weeks -- be on the lookout for student experiences on the TPSchool Blog http://www.tpschool.org/blog/!

In Cultural Studies we are beginning our exploration of cells and genetics, which kicks off in style next week, when partners from Penn visit to help conduct our zebrafish project. Zebrafish are a special species in that they are able to reproduce quickly, allowing us to study genetic mixtures and outcomes within the course of a one-week lab. Be sure to check in with your child during the week to see how it’s going.

In Language Arts, we have been preparing for William Golding’s Lord of the Flies by examining and discussing symbolism and allegory. Over Spring Break, students read two short allegories (“Menagerie” by Charles Johnson was a particular favorite) to familiarize themselves with the form and purpose of allegory. They were then challenged to create their own one-page allegories and a symbol for themselves, which will be due on Monday.

This afternoon, students received checkout forms. Be sure that you see their checkout forms each week and that they return them, signed by you, to school on Monday. They also received their final Seeds of Change research papers with grading rubrics. Please look over this with your child. Many 8th graders opt to use this paper for their high school applications. We will keep a copy in the kids’ writing folders, and we suggest that kids hold onto the digital version of their paper for possible later use. In addition, it’s best for kids to consider and apply any final feedback sooner rather than later while the ideas are still relatively fresh.

Thanks for reading, and have an excellent weekend!

David, Virginia, and Steve