Dear JU-D families,

It was a wonderful abbreviated week in JU-D. Students worked to understand family in ancient China, acted out reading as an active comprehension strategy, continued to study the compass, and moved outlines of auspicious papers into first drafts.

The week started out with a peek at the Chinese familial structure known as filial piety. Students began with a working definition of the term and were introduced to the 24 paragons of filial piety, a series of stories meant to exemplify the traits of filial piety or reverence for one’s family. Students tackled these texts in pairs, filled out flow charts to fully grasp the plot of the story and will collaborate on a comic version of these stories. We will use these representations to come up with a clear and comprehensive picture of what filial piety is and how it differs from western cultural practices.

In our reading work, we continued to reinforce the RARE strategy for reading responses. Students are seeing the ways in which this technique can create solid responses to any type of question (many kids are using the RARE structure to answer math questions.) To spice things up, JU-D members acted out scenes from our class reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Not only did this allow students to flex their dramatic muscles, it also acted as a way to visualize the action of a story.

Finally, students learned about the rich history of Chinese exploration and its connection to the compass. Students role played villagers seeing Zheng He’s Treasure Fleet and played the role of court advisers and weighed in on whether China should continue to invest in oceanic exploration. We then returned to the Schuylkill center equipped with this cultural context and continued to work to familiarize kids with the use of the compass in orienteering.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend. Friday folders will be returning this week. Make sure to remove work samples before sending them back to school.

Truly,

Noelle and Nick

-- Nick Dekker Junior Unit Teacher

            215-545-5323
            www.tpschool.org

September 16, 2016

Dear JU-D families,

Hopefully you all have been enjoying this wonderful early fall weather. Students seemed to feel the change of seasons as they brought energy and passion to their work in JU-D. This mindset was crucial as the first full week was full of learning experiences, routine development, and community building.

This week JU-D community members got a taste of the excitement of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, a celebration of the changing seasons and the miracle of the moon. This process began by a conversation around hopes and dreams. Students set goals for themselves for the year. On Thursday, a mixed group of JU-D and JU-B members launched moon lanterns as a way of sending these hopes and dreams skyward towards the moon. Additionally, we utilized these hopes and dreams to begin to formulate a JU-D social contract. Children created and debated a series of rules and regulations for JU-D practice. They paired large lists of rules down until they were left with three simple rules which will be finalized next week.

Another new routine that launched this week is our Word Study unit. Jill Garland joined us to launch our Word Study program, a partnership between JU classrooms and Learning Resources. Word Study is differentiated to meet students’ individual needs for support and challenge to help them become more skilled and confident readers and writers. Students will study root words, spelling patterns, and prefixes and suffixes that make up the English language while building vocabulary. Ask your child to tell you how a tortoise shell is connected to the beginnings of written language.

Friday folders are back and better than ever-- or at least they will be. This is a new system for both 4th grade and 5th grade families. Students will be asked to review the week’s work and apply it to their progress towards their individual hopes and dreams. Furthermore, students will be responsible for sharing this information with their family. Parent input and discussion is an important part of this process. Because this is a new system, there may be some unintended glitches in the practice as students and teachers adjust to new routines. Let us know if you have any questions about the process moving forward.

Lastly, community service agreements are due this coming Monday. You can find lists of jobs as well as a Google form for selecting your desired choice all on the main TPS homepage at www.tpschool.org. This is a new experience for fourth graders and is required for two of the three terms of the school year. You may decide to opt out this term and that will mean you must complete two consecutive service terms.

We are looking forward to seeing you in person at back to school night!

Truly,

Noelle and Nick

-- Nick Dekker Junior Unit Teacher

            215-545-5323
            www.tpschool.org

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

It seems hard to believe that it is June already, and this is the last Friday note of the year. It has been a wonderful year full of learning, laughter, and fun! We are grateful for the opportunity to spend our days with your children, helping them take on new challenges, make new friends, reach their goals, and grow in countless ways. We have been spending the final days of school talking about our memories and reflecting on our year together.

We had a great day at Tinicum on Wednesday. We spent the day hiking, visiting the observation tower and having some free time. Next week we will return to the Schuylkill Center to bid a fond farewell for the year.

As we head into the last few days of school, please make note of these important reminders:

Next Monday (June 6) is “Move-up Day.” For the period before lunch and lunchtime, our first graders will welcome some of the kindergartners to our classroom. We know they will enjoy showing the future first graders around our room and telling them all about life in the Primary Unit. Our current second graders will spend that time with the third grade teachers and all other current second graders. Specific groups for next year’s first graders and third graders have not been determined yet, so everyone will visit all the classes. “Move-Up Day” is a fun way to ease the transition into a new grade for next year and to help familiarize the students with next year’s students, spaces and teachers.

Graduation is Friday, June 10. It is an important day at school, and the Primary Unit has a role in the ceremony. The building closes at 11:30 a.m., and pick-up will be from the schoolyard as usual. There is no lunch or ASEP.

Please check for books that your child may have borrowed this year and return them to school. We need them back for next year’s class.

In the next few days, we’ll be sending home completed work, a summer reading list, and a math practice packet. Please send your child in with an extra bag for taking things home.

After the Schuylkill Center on Wednesday we plan to SURPRISE the kids with a special treat. We’ll send the list of ingredients home for your review on Monday.

As the year comes to a close, we want to thank you for all of your support this year and let you know how much we have enjoyed working with your children. Have a lovely weekend, and if we don’t get a chance to see you next week, have a happy, restful summer. We look forward to hearing all about your adventures when we return to school in the fall.

Warm regards,

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

It has been a busy and very exciting week in Primary D!

On Monday morning students were a little disappointed to learn that none of our eggs had hatched over the weekend. But all morning we listened as the eggs peeped and cheeped, and by the afternoon we had two chicks cheeping away in the brooder box! Hatching was hard work, and our chicks looked tired. By later in the week they were vibrant and fun to watch. The chicks departed today to return to the farm.

Questions you can ask your child:

  • Did you like holding one of the chicks?
  • How can you tell the difference between the male and female chicks?
  • How do the chicks get water?

We began our much anticipated Fantasy Writing Unit by reading Hey Al by Arthur Yorinks, illustrated by Richard Egielski. Students then broke into pairs and explored a fantasy book thinking about what made it different from realistic fiction. As we shared our findings students were best able to understand the makings of a fantasy story and were prepared to write. Their stories are contained by only two rules; one of the characters must be a bird, the story must have a problem and a solution.

Questions you can ask your child:

  • What makes Hey Al a fantasy story?
  • What is your bird character’s name? What kind of bird is he/she?
  • What is the problem in your story? What will be the solution?

We hope that you had as much fun as we did during our final Learning Celebration at the Schuylkill Center on Wednesday. What luck that we had such beautiful weather and were able to really enjoy our time together.

A few notes for next week:

We will be going to Tinicum on Wednesday again to observe water birds in their habitats.

On Thursday and Friday the Primary Unit Mercado is being hosted by the Spanish Department. Further information about attending the Mercado is attached here https://docs.google.com/a/tpschool.org/document/d/1-mhhKulWG_XyThQZEr01tlmx6AL9L3xzNrKlmcE5Tuc/edit?usp=sharing .

Have a wonderful long weekend, we will see your children on Tuesday!

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

On Monday we welcomed (potentially) twelve new members to Primary D: fertilized chicken eggs! The children have been gentle, patient caretakers and have each had a chance to turn an egg. We expect the chicks to hatch on Monday, 5/23, and we have installed a "chick cam" to ensure that we don't miss any action over the weekend. You can visit the live webstream by clicking here: TPS Bird Study 2 - From Primary D http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tps-bird-study-2

The "chick cam" will run until we return the chicks to 4-H on Thursday, 5/26 .

Our final Learning Celebration at The Schuylkill Center is coming up on Wednesday, 5/25, from 11:00 AM to 1:45 PM. Please read the following information carefully for details about the day:

Please plan to meet us at The Schuylkill Center at 11:00 AM. Unfortunately, we do not have room on the buses for parents. Driving directions are available online: http://www.schuylkillcenter.org/aboutus/directions.html. We encourage you to carpool to and from The Schuylkill Center.

You may park in the main Schuylkill Center parking lot. From there, a teacher will direct you to Pine Plantation to meet your child. Please bring a trashless picnic lunch, and we’ll eat together. After lunch, you and your child are welcome to explore The Schuylkill Center. We will provide you with a trail map and a list of suggested activities. There will also be teachers along the trails to help you find your way to our favorite places.

At 1:05 PM we will gather in the Amphitheater for a special bird presentation given by an educator from The Schuylkill Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. The presentation will end around 1:45 PM, at which time the children and teachers will get ready to board the buses for our return to school. Please let your child’s teacher know if you plan to take your child directly home with you from The Schuylkill Center.

It’s important that we know in advance if you are unable to attend next week’s event so we can plan accordingly and partner your child with a teacher. If you are running late getting to the Center that day, please email your child’s teacher so we can let your child know. Finally, if we need to cancel due to inclement weather next Wednesday, we will send an email to all Primary Unit families by 8:00 AM that morning. We’re looking forward to a great celebration!

See you soon,

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

There is so much to enjoy during these lovely weeks of spring! The weather is warm (most of the time), and the days are filled with exciting performances, events, and plenty of learning. Yesterday afternoon we watched the third grade play. "George’s Time Travel Adventure: Fighting for Fairness" was a spectacular show and a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history of our country. We capped off our week with the JU/MS recital at Encuentro; it was great to see and hear the variety of musical talents that exist in our school community!

On Wednesday we had a beautiful day at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. We had a full day of hiking and exploring the center. The children were excited to see so many new species of birds.

Questions you may want to ask your child:

  • What makes Tinicum an ideal habitat for birds?
  • What are the different species of birds that make their home at Tinicum?
  • How were the birds similar to/different from the birds at Bartram’s Garden and The Schuylkill Center?
  • What did you enjoy most about Tinicum?

In math, first graders continued thinking about shapes and investigating fractions this week. We read and listened to riddles to identify three dimensional shapes and created BINGO boards to play Fraction BINGO with halves, thirds and fourths of different shapes as the squares. Second graders have been working on measurement in centimeters, fractions, and multi-digit computation. Ask your child about her/his favorite game or activity this week.

Schuylkill Center Learning Celebration is Wednesday, May 25 from 11:30-1:45. Stay tuned for more information in next week’s Friday note.

John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum will lead bird walks this weekend to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. See calendar below. http://www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz/visit/upcomingevents.html

Have a wonderful weekend!

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

It’s been a busy week in Primary D. This morning we visited our Family Circles for one of the last times this school year. Ask your child what he/she did in family groups today.

We have been thinking about bird calls and bird feathers this week. We read Birdsong by Audrey Wood. We listened to and identified several different bird calls that might be heard in the Philadelphia area. On Wednesday our visit to the Schuylkill Center was enriched by a lesson from one of their educators, Leigh, who taught us about the different purposes for a bird’s feathers. We also played a wide-flung game bird call game.

Questions you can ask your child:

  • Do all feathers look the same on a bird?
  • Why do bird sing or call to each other?
  • What are some of the different bird calls you might hear in Philadelphia?
  • What birdcall did you make in the game? Do you remember which bird makes this call?

We had our first of four visits from the kindergarteners this week as they explore what it’s like in Primary Unit. Our students were wonderful hosts, giving tours, answering questions and engaging in some purposeful play with the younger students.

Questions you can ask your child:

  • First Grade: How did it feel to be one of the bigger kids in the room?
  • Second Grade: How are your feeling about third grade?
  • What did you do with your kindergarten buddy?

Baby Update: We are excited to welcome Ellis Ivan Warrington to the TPS community! Congratulations to Ben and his wife!

Next week we will be visiting the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to observe water birds. Also coming up is the Primary Unit Learning Celebration on May 25; don’t forget to mark your calendars.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

We’ve had a full week of learning and playing. Primary C hosted a fantastic Encuentro this morning. They shared a play based on the book Outside Nana’s Window and a song/energizer. We also had a presentation from the Green and Healthy Team, who shared that TPS is doing a stellar job helping to take care of the environment. There was a very special guest as part of this presentation. Ask your child about that!

On Wednesday we took a trip to Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia. We had a great lesson on eggs and nests and did an activity where the kids created their own. We were led on hike around the grounds and had the opportunity to spot different birds and the nests of at least two different kinds of birds. We ended the day with lunch and lots of play time in an open field.

Questions you can ask your child:

  • What kinds of birds did you see?
  • Where do birds build their nests at Bartram’s?
  • Why is Bartram’s Garden a good habitat for birds?
  • What do birds need in their habitat?
  • Challenge: Describe a nest and tell which bird builds it.

In writing we launched a unit on realistic fiction. The children have been excited about this new genre and writing away!

Questions you can ask your child:

  • What is your story about?
  • What’s your character’s name?
  • What trouble is your character getting into?
  • How are you planning to get him/her out of trouble?

We hope you enjoyed Move-Up Night and came away with a good sense of what your child’s experience will be next year. If you have any questions please feel free to email us or the 3rd grade team. We will make sure your questions get answered.

No baby news from Ben yet.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Niké and Marisa

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We welcomed Marisa into Primary D this week. Marisa already knows all of the first graders from their kindergarten days, and she is quickly getting to know the second graders as well. After just a few days with Marisa, it already feels like she’s been part of our classroom community all year.

This week at the Schuylkill Center we learned about several different kinds of birds: red-bellied woodpeckers, wood thrushes and robins. Students observed stuffed wood thrushes up close and drew the birds in their science notebooks focusing on physical details and relative size. As a warmup activity, a Schuylkill Center educator named Leigh demonstrated how fast starlings and hummingbirds move their wings by having us flap our arms at great speeds. Ask your child to show/tell you how fast a hummingbird flaps its wings!

An announcement for parents of second grade students: We encourage you to attend the 3rd Grade "Move-Up Meeting" next Thursday, April 28 at 5 p.m. in the 3rd grade classrooms (on the 2nd floor). This is a great opportunity for you to meet each of the teachers and learn more about the 3rd grade program.  

Have a great weekend.

Niké, Marisa and Ben

P.S. A note from Marisa

Hi, Primary D Families,

It’s been a whirlwind week and it has felt so good to get in and settled with the students and Nikè. As Ben steps out, I hope you will consider me a partner in helping your children and your families as we finish out the year together. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Best,

Marisa

P.P.S. A note from Ben

Dear Primary D Families,

Thank you for your partnership. What a pleasure it has been working with your children this school year! I cannot wait to become a parent and spend time with my new son. It feels good to leave this school year early knowing your children are in such fantastic hands with Niké and Marisa. I’ll be back in September, so I’ll look forward to either seeing you in Primary D for another year or around the school if your child is moving up to 3rd grade. Best wishes for a learning and experience-filled spring and summer!

In appreciation,

Ben

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We continued our study of birds this week by observing and discussing what birds need from their habitat. Students organized different bird needs into four categories: food, water, cover and space. At the Schuylkill Center students completed a scavenger hunt looking for habitat features such as holes in trees and places to find water. Afterwards students drew detailed sketches of Pine Plantation and took notes on how the habitat at Pine Plantation might support birds.

We also began the E.B. White classic The Trumpet of the Swan as a class read-aloud book this week. We are learning lots about nesting swans from the first few chapters. Some of the other Primary Unit classrooms noticed nesting Canada geese at the Schuylkill Center this week, so we will hope to observe nesting geese up close and personal (and safely, of course!) next Wednesday.

Here are some questions you could ask your child about our week together:

  • What did you sketch in your science notebook this week? 
  • What has been happening so far in The Trumpet of the Swan? What predictions do you have for what will happen next? -
  • What facts about birds did you learn this week? -
  • If there are 25 students in your class, is each student able to have a partner, or is there one extra student? How many partnerships would there be? What if your class had 21 students? 31? 51? etc. (For 1st graders) 
  • How many unifix cubes did you count as a class this week? How many more would it have taken to make 1,000 cubes? (For 2nd graders)

Be on the lookout for birds this weekend. We’ll look forward to hearing about any bird sightings on Monday.

Ben and Niké

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

We began our spring study of birds this week. Students are eagerly sharing bird facts with each other and reading about birds, and a small group of students has even started an Activity Time bird drawing club.

At the Schuylkill Center this week students sketched the habitat of the apple orchard and noticed the calls and movements of various songbirds and raptors. We made big lists of what students already know and what they wonder about. Here are some of the things students already know: ducks have waterproof wings, birds are closely related to dinosaurs, birds have different beaks and feathers, different kinds of birds have different skills.

Here are some things students are wondering about birds:

  • How big can ostrich eggs get?
  • Do feathers grow back after birds lose them?
  • Which bird has the longest wingspan?
  • How far can birds see?
  • How did birds evolve?

One bird fact we learned this week is what differentiates birds from other animals. It’s not that birds fly. It’s not that birds lay eggs. As your child what it is.

In first grade math class this week students are working on story problems about penguins. Students are noticing the connections between addition and subtraction number sentences and also working on how to show their work in a complete, clear way. Second graders are working on subtraction facts, multi-digit addition and subtraction, calculating sums of money, and much more.

We’ll see you soon.

Ben and Niké

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

Thank you for joining us today at our Music Concert and Learning Celebration. We’re proud of your children for the hard work they have put in this winter. We’ll look forward to filling you in further on how your child is doing next week during our conferences.

We hope you all have a restful weekend. We will not send a Weekly Note next week, so have a wonderful spring break as well!

Ben and Niké

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

Next Wednesday, March 16, our class is going to take a field trip in connection with our City Theme study. For our field trip we will be participating in a service project led by Brian Jordan at the Hope Bridge Community Garden, located in the Mantua section of Philadelphia. After our service project we will have a picnic lunch at the Cira Green Rooftop Park. Please remember to dress your child for a day outside and pack a trashless lunch (as much as possible). Please be in touch if you’d be interested in being a chaperone. We will depart school at 10am and return to school by 1:30pm.

Next Friday, March 18, is our learning celebration. The chorus concert will begin in the garage at 1:15 and will feature two songs from the Primary Unit chorus, along with performances from each of the music classes. Please join us immediately afterwards in our classroom for the learning celebration. We will be serving some Rita’s water ice as a treat.

We are looking forward to seeing you the following week as well at conferences. A note about conference child care: If you need child care (for a TPS-enrolled student) during your conference time on March 24 or 25, it will be available in the Lombard Street building from 7:30am to 5:30pm. A receptionist will direct you to the room where supervision will be available. Children may not wait in the office. Thanks.

We are sending home speech and language screening consent forms for all first graders. Screenings are optional and will happen during the month of April, after we've returned from spring break. Please sign the form and send it back to school by Friday, March 25.

Have a restful weekend.

Ben and Niké

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

In math class this week first graders worked on counting by 10s along a number line and explored the place value connection between addition and subtraction problems such as 5+3 and 50+30 and 7-2 and 70-30. Second graders worked on measuring objects around the room with standard and non-standard measuring implements. Try some measuring at home, and ask your child if they think a ruler or a yard stick or another tool might be best for the job.

We are finishing up our persuasive letter writing this week. Here are some examples:

Dear Mom,

Can we get a caterpillar? It will be fun to watch it turn into a butterfly. And I like caterpillars, and I like butterflies because they are cute and pretty. Also when they are older we can put them in a cage outside. That’s why I want a caterpillar.


Dear Daddy,

Can we get Minecraft on the Wii or on the computer? Then I would get all of my work done. Then you could stay in bed. Another reason if you got it on the computer, you could play Wii U. I would buy it myself. So please get Minecraft on the computer or on the Wii U!!!!


Dear Primary D,

I think Egypt is the best country because… The Egyptians created a great after-life. Also they have pretty good Gods and Goddesses. And the Egyptians built huge pyramids. They invented amazing hieroglyphics. Another reason is that they grew foods that if they hadn’t been around we wouldn’t have right now. And that is why I think Egypt is the best country.


Dear Niké and Ben,

I think we should be allowed to choose our lunch and snack spots. Because there would not be boy and girl wars. Also it would be easier for you. And it was very fun and successful last year.


Dear Mom,

I think I need a robot because it could help my older sister with her homework and it would help me with reading and it could walk us to school. It would be nice to have a robot.


For your calendar: Our learning celebration and chorus concert are on March 18. We are looking forward to having you join us, once again, to celebrate your child’s accomplishments. The concert will begin in the garage at 1:15 and will feature two songs from the Primary Unit chorus, along with performances from each of the music classes. We expect it to last 20-30 minutes. Please join us immediately afterwards in our classroom for the learning celebration.

See you next week.

Niké and Ben

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

We ended our wonderful week with a musical performance at Encuentro and the eighth grade production of “The Taming of the Shrew.” The eighth graders put on an amazing performance, which the children thoroughly enjoyed!

We had another interesting week with our theme study. Brian Jordan visited with our class and Primary B to share the gardening work he does in his community, and David Hudson gave a presentation on initiatives his church organizes to help families get their needs met. The kids were also fascinated to learn from Virginia how important toys are and how her organization, Instant Re-Play, provides kids and families in Philadelphia with new and gently used toys. The kids asked our guests great questions and shared their thoughts on what they might be able to do to make a difference.

On Thursday we had our 100th day of school celebration. Each Primary Unit class hosted an activity that connected to our theme study. In Primary A kids made knotted blankets (containing 100 knots, of course) to donate to a shelter; Primary B hosted card-making for kids and families at the Ronald McDonald House; in Primary C kids used pretend money to total how much we’ve raised for Reach Out and Read so far; and in Primary D the kids earned pennies for doing one hundred exercise moves, which we will add to our Reach Out and Read contribution.

Our read-a-thon is officially over! So far we’ve raised $2,786.00, enough money to provide over 900 kids with books. Please send in any remaining contributions as we are planning to turn them over to Kirsten Rodgers of Reach Out and Read next week. Again, thanks for your support in making this effort successful.

Our learning celebration and chorus concert are on March 18th. We are looking forward to having you join us, once again, to celebrate your child’s accomplishments. The concert will begin in the garage at 1:15 and will feature two songs from the Primary Unit chorus, along with performances from each of the music classes. We expect it to last 20-30 minutes. Please join us immediately afterwards in our classroom for the learning celebration.

If you have not yet signed up for conferences you can use the following link to access the online scheduling tool: http://doodle.com/poll/bqzd6k7hfszsufwh. We would also like to encourage you to meet with at least one of your child’s specialist teachers. Rick and Catherine would love to share what your child is working on in art, and have asked us to include the following links:

Rick (blue group) http://doodle.com/poll/kqwpvbwingb5wzcz

Catherine (green group) http://doodle.com/poll/7r42s3ppzyv7a77i

If you would like to meet with other specialist teachers here’s the link:

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4633688f8e4a0735c7c9bf016&id=4e9e2d508e

Have a great weekend!

Warmly,

Niké and Ben

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We continued our theme study this week by thinking more about the wants and needs of Philadelphians. Two TPS community members visited our classroom this week to tell us about the work they do in Philadelphia that helps people get what they need. Hilary Hamilton from Junior Unit told us about her volunteer work for Caucus for Working Educators, an organization that supports Philadelphia teachers. Hilary played us a video clip about the resource shortages in the Philadelphia School District, and she explained that she feels passionately that all students in Philadelphia should get what they need.

Kelly Davis, a TPS mom of a sixth grader and a Junior Unit student, told us about her work as the Executive Director of the Lutheran Settlement House. Kelly explained that the Lutheran Settlement House supports Philadelphians with education, language, nutrition, health, housing and other services.

For our theme study students also participated in an activity that highlighted the importance of sharing and working together in a community. Students were divided into four groups and tasked with making four items that represented basic needs in a community: food, clothing, education and interdependence. Each group was given an envelope containing materials for the project, but students quickly discovered they did not have all the materials they needed to complete the project. The class gradually came to the realization that only through cooperative sharing would they be able to make what they all needed. As we reflected as a class on this activity, students shared:

  • “I felt like I didn’t have what I needed.”
  • “I felt we couldn’t do it.”
  • “I didn’t think we could make everything, but we did.”
  • “It felt depressing when we weren’t sharing.”
  • “We needed positive reinforcement, like each other saying, ‘we can do this’ .”

As we continue our study and think about a service project we want to take on as a class, we will continue to connect this activity to how Philadelphians access what they need.

A few items for your calendar:

Our read-a-thon came to an end this week. Thank you for your participation. We hope you and your child enjoyed some voracious reading for a good cause. We will be collecting contributions over the next few weeks until Kirsten, our Reach Our and Read representative, visits us again in a few weeks to collect the funds we’ve raised.

Next Thursday, February 25, we will be celebrating our 100th day of school. We will be doing several service related projects. One of them will be a penny fundraiser involving exercise routines. Please send in a collection of pennies with your child if you happen to have a penny collection you’d be willing to donate.

See you soon.

Ben and Niké

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

We started our day with a Valentine’s Day exchange. The children distributed cards to their classmates and took time to read the notes they wrote to each other. We hope you have a chance to look through your child’s “heart pouch” with him/her over the weekend.

Another highlight of the day was the Talent Show! It was the perfect way to end the week and celebrate Valentine’s Day. The show featured acts from roller skating to gymnastics. We want to thank our courageous and talented Primary D’ers who participated: Elijah, Hayden, Charlie, Chloe, McLean, Soren, Kieran, Miriam, Degitu, Stella, Gemma, Maya, Phoebe, Arielle, Sophia, and Allie. Bravo!

We continue to delve deeply into our theme study. As we begin to closely examine Philadelphia we are sharing the things we love about it as well as what could make it better. We are focusing on the different needs of people in our city and how those needs are met. We have started discussing access and availability of resources, and we want to engage in a service learning project that will allow the kids to experience how people in a community help each other. We invite you to share your work, whether it’s volunteer-based or professional. We think hearing about the meaningful work you are involved in will inspire project ideas for us. We would love for you to come in and talk to the class. If you do work that sounds applicable to our City study please let us know, and we will schedule a time for you to visit.

Our read-a-thon comes to an end on Sunday. We hope your child has enjoyed reading up a storm and making it possible for other children to have access to great books. Please begin collecting pledges from your family and friends and sending them into school with your child. Checks should be made payable to Reach Out and Read. We expect to continue collecting contributions over the next few weeks. Thank you for helping your child support this meaningful initiative.

Parent conferences are scheduled for Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25. TPS will send out the online scheduling tool next week.

We wish you a pleasant and restful long weekend.

Best,

Niké and Ben

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We’ve continued work on persuasive writing in Writing Workshop this week. We read I Wanna Iguana as an example of a child who uses multiple arguments in his persuasive writing.  We came up with some different strategies writers use in persuasive writing: describing positive outcomes, describing bad outcomes, using facts, and describing how there will be little or no impact. Students are coming up with at least three persuasive arguments in their own persuasive writing pieces this week. Ask your children what they are writing about.

In math students in first and second grade have been working on solving story problems. Students in first grade have been practicing drawing pictures and models of tens and ones to show their work, and students in second grade have been using an open number line when solving problems. Second graders have also been exploring fractions this week. 

In our Theme Study we discussed major geographical feature definitions this week: continents, countries, states, cities. We made concentric circle models of these features, and we looked at maps as well. We also began a discussion of wants versus needs as we begin to focus our study of the City. We read a story together called, “Those Shoes,” as a beginning to a discussion about how we all have different wants and needs. 

A few reminders about next week:

The annual TPS Talent Show is scheduled for Thursday, February 11. Please help your participating child practice over the weekend and remember any necessary props, music, etc. for Thursday. Please remember, the Talent Show is a student- and faculty-only event.

Also on Thursday, we will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the morning. If your child would like to make/buy valentines for the class, we ask her/him to please bring 24 valentines so there’s one for each child. While your child can sign each one, please do not label them with individual names. It gets very complicated to pass them out if they have names on them. Please note that we are a “candy-free” school.

Keep up the reading for our read-a-thon. We’ll finish up on Valentine’s Day. 

The TPS 8th grade is hosting a skating time at the Penn Ice Rink on February 11 from 3:30-5:30. Details can be found on the Operation Red Panda website. Some Primary D students seemed very excited about this, so we wanted to mention it.

Thanks.

Niké and Ben

--

        Ben Warrington
        Primary Unit Teacher


            215-545-5323
            www.tpschool.org

Weekly Note 2/5

Dear Primary D Parents,

We’ve continued work on persuasive writing in Writing Workshop this week. We read “I Wanna Iguana” as an example of a child who uses multiple arguments in his persuasive writing. We came up with some different strategies writers use in persuasive writing: describing positive outcomes, describing bad outcomes, using facts, and describing how there will be little or no impact. Students are coming up with at least three persuasive arguments in their own persuasive writing pieces this week. Ask your children what they are writing about.

In Math students in first and second grade have been working on solving story problems. Students in first grade have been practicing drawing pictures and models of tens and ones to show their work, and students in second grade have been using an open number line when solving problems. Second graders have also been exploring fractions this week.

In our Theme Study we discussed major geographical feature definitions this week: continents, countries, states, cities. We made concentric circle models of these features, and we looked at maps as well. We also began a discussion of wants versus needs as we begin to focus our study of the City. We read a story together called, “Those Shoes,” as a beginning to a discussion about how we all have different wants and needs.

A few reminders about next week:

The annual TPS Talent Show is scheduled for Thursday, February 11th. Please help your child practice over the weekend and remember any necessary props, music, etc. for Thursday. Please remember, the Talent Show is a student- and faculty-only event.

Also on Thursday, we will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the morning. If your child would like to make/buy valentines for the class, we ask her/him to please bring 24 valentines so there’s one for each child. While your child can sign each one, please do not label them with individual names. It gets very complicated to pass them out if they have names on them. Please note that we are a “candy-free” school.

Keep up the reading for our read-a-thon. We’ll finish up on Valentine’s Day.

The TPS 8th grade is hosting a skating time at the Penn Ice Rink on February 11 from 3:30-5:30. Details can be found on the TPS website. Some Primary D students seemed very excited about this, so we wanted to mention it.

Thanks.

Niké and Ben

Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Families,

It was wonderful coming back to school on Wednesday. Here are a few things on the horizon.

The annual TPS Talent Show is scheduled for Thursday, February 11. Children who want to participate in the talent show will preview their act for Student Council officers on Tuesday, February 2nd during lunch and recess. Please help your child practice over the weekend and remember any necessary props, music, etc. for their “audition” (everyone makes it) next week. Acts are limited to one minute. Please remember, the Talent Show is a student- and faculty-only event.

Also on Thursday, February 11,  we will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the morning. If your child would like to make/buy valentines for the class, we ask her/him to please bring 24 valentines so there’s one for each child. While your child can sign each one, please do not label them with individual names. It gets very complicated to pass them out if they have names on them. Please note that we are a “candy-free” school.

We hope that your child is excited about the read-a-thon. For those children who are participating, we encourage them to continue getting sponsors and adding books to their reading log. Our read-a-thon continues through Valentine’s Day, so there is still plenty of time to join us in what we hope will be a rewarding and successful pursuit. Please let us know if you have any questions about the process.

Mark your calendars for our next Learning Celebration and Chorus Concert! We look forward to welcoming you back to Primary D on the afternoon of Friday, March 18. We will share more specific information about the time of these events as the date approaches.

Some questions you may want to ask your child:

  • What reading strategies did you practice this week?
  • Can you name your city, state and country?
  • What is the topic of the persuasive writing piece you’re working on? Do you have ideas about what you might write next?
  • Can you describe your favorite math activity this week?

Have a wonderful weekend,

Niké and Ben