Virtual Red Folder
February 15, 2018
Letter from Sarah
This morning, we hold the community of Parkside, Florida, in the light, as we learn more about the tragic shooting in the high school there yesterday afternoon. I imagine that, like me, many of you are experiencing very strong feelings today: of deep sadness, of frustration, and of fear, as we have heard too many times about these unspeakable events.
I wanted to remind you about the ways that we as a school prepare for emergencies. In order to ensure our students’ safety in case of dangerous situations, PMFS holds regular safety drills including for fire, lockdown, and shelter-in-place. Teachers discuss and practice drills both on their own and with students, through both announced and unannounced drills. In many ways, the regular practice that our students have in working effectively as a community prepare all of us well for emergency situations.
Plymouth faculty and staff are incredibly dedicated””to our work, to our values, and especially, to our care for your children. Please contact me or Joyce Colzani and Kelley Lishon, co-clerks of the Health Safety & Security Committee, with questions or to discuss further. May we and our children be the change we hope to see in this world.
Notes from Phyllis’ Parent Talk: Talking to Your Children about Hard News and Tragedy
Plymouth parents joined our school social worker Phyllis Ivey on January 31 in discussion and reflection on challenges in navigating how to address conflict with children. Phyllis made myriad age-appropriate recommendations and provided strategies for how to have open-hearted conversations around tough topics. The group explored the importance of mindfulness practice and Phyllis highlighted ways in which our teachers are applying this in the classroom. We invite you to review the resources that Phyllis provided to parents in attendance.
Believe! The Fourth Grade Circus
Featuring Slings and Tight Ropes and (of course) Unicycles
Taking place under the “big top” of the Steinbright, the circus awaits you on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at 7:00 pm. Tickets for both performances are available for $7 each. Send cash or checks to the Main Office.
Curriculum Redux on the Plymouth Website
Have yet to peruse our new website, with our curriculum articulated by grade? This week, we feature Social Studies!
Who am I? Who are we? How are we connected to each other? How do our interactions and values shape our social systems? How do our actions affect our natural and our human-made environment? How does our past shape the present and influence the future?
At every age, children are curious to expand their sense of self and their sense of belonging. Plymouth Meeting Friends School nurtures a natural drive to find community, helping children broaden their understanding of place and influence in expanding circles: our class, our school, our country, our continent, our world. Becoming passionate and compassionate global citizens occurs when students experience how small actions lead to big impact. In this Quaker school, children gain the perspective that “that of God in everyone” does not imply that people should be the same, but that understanding and celebrating our similarities and differences is invaluable.
Click here to read more on the website about our Social Studies program at each grade level Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.
“Global education at its heart is teaching students how to be compassionate members of our world community.” -Sixth Grade Teacher Varley Paul
A Recent Look at Social Studies in Sixth Grade
Recently, Sixth Grade learned about the Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, contracts between the Ottoman Empire and European powers. As a result of these contracts, factors were imposed on the Ottomans during the late 1700s that made it easier for the British to trade in the Ottoman Empire. Students learned the history, then played a game consisting of three rounds, created by Sixth Grade Assistant Teacher Matt to highlight inequalities in trade and the effects it has on nations.
Students were split into three teams: Ottoman Elites, Ottoman Merchants, and British Merchants. The Ottoman Elites needed to buy supplies for a dinner party. Overhead for both groups of Merchants was the cost of the material, the cost of the labor, and taxes. These funds had to be paid out from whatever profit the Merchants held before they could count a net yield, with the British Merchants having significantly lower overhead rates than the Ottoman Merchants.
In the first round, played as if taking place before the British Merchants started selling their goods in the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Elites bought solely from the Ottoman Merchants, who were selling paper plates and plastic forks. The second round took place when the British Merchants started selling in the Ottoman Empire; the British Merchants offered much nicer plates and silverware; they were able to bring better quality products with a lower overhead. The third round featured the Ottoman Merchants’ response to the British Merchants and the Capitulations, wherein they marked down prices and cut labor costs. The Ottoman Merchants also had to buy the British Merchants’ better-quality goods to compete with the British Merchants.
In the end, the Ottoman Merchants were left with two shekels profit, while the British Merchants had 35 shekels. The Ottoman Elites were the richest group, as they earned even more than the British Merchants after collecting taxes (3% of sales from the British Merchants and 15% from the Ottoman Merchants).
This complex exercise integrates math, history, economics, and more. It highlighted for students the complexities of trade and systems, in this case showing how foreign nations can dismantle a middle class while benefiting elite benefactors of that foreign nation.
The Ottoman Elites buying lower-quality goods from the Ottoman Merchants
The competition begins: British Merchants (background) creeping in on Ottoman Merchant’s (foreground) territory
The Ottoman Elites setting their dinner tables with British Merchants’ goods
Monday, February 19 and Tuesday, February 20
Wednesday, February 21
(expected) 100 Day
Open Library, 3:15 – 4:15 pm
Thursday, February 22
Meeting for Worship
March 1 – March 15
Mexican Exchange Program: Part 2
Fifth Grade in Mexico
Want more info on happenings at school?
Go to pmfs1780.org/calendar, where you can subscribe to the new PMFS Public Calendar.
NEW! PMFS 2018-19 At-a-Glance Calendar
2017-18 At-a-Glance Calendar
2017-18 Calendar of Events
2017-18 Virtual Red Folders (from the school year, in one place)
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