Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Families,

This week in our Philadelphia shelter theme studies, we continued to discuss homelessness and its causes. To help us deepen our thoughts about this very complicated topic, we hosted a special guest, Stephanie Sena, who founded SREHUP. Stephanie started her presentation to us with a book titled Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee. This book was a great opening to a thought provoking discussion about how we can all be a part of helping those who are invisible to others. Stephanie shared some experiences that compelled her to open a shelter for men in Philadelphia. She encouraged the students to refer to people who are homeless as “people experiencing homelessness.” She explained that homelessness is an experience and is not who people are: “They are scholars with hidden talents, family members, and, most importantly, they have names.” She helped to give us all more clarity about the causes of homelessness and how shelters help to meet needs. Please take time to ask your child what she/he learned from our special guest and what questions they still have about homelessness.

We celebrated the 100th Day of School on Thursday. The Primary Unit continued to focus on service to others. Each class hosted an activity for all the Primary students to be a part of. Primary A created blankets by making 100 knots around fleece material that we will donate to children who are experiencing homelessness. Other Primary classes will donate pennies collected for exercises completed by the students. Another class made 100 cards for children in the hospital. We also had a few students bring and share some collections of 100 items. Some fun examples of these items were 100 Q-tips, 100 baseball cards, 100 rubber bands, 100 numbers typed, 100 words written, 100 beans, 100 grains of rice, and 100 paper links. Clearly, creative thinkers!

Things to Know:

  • Our Primary Chorus and Learning Celebration is on March 18 from 1:15-3:00. 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 afterward in our classroom for the Learning Celebration.

  • At our Learning Celebration, we will assemble care kits for people who are experiencing homelessness. If you can donate any/all of the following items, please send them in before March 18: men’s socks, lip balm, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes, beef jerky, band aids.

  • Doodle Poll links to sign up for spring conferences on March 24th and 25th were sent out via email. Spring conferences are as much an opportunity for us to hear from you as for you to hear from us. To encourage our conversations, we ask that you reflect on the year thus far, and come with thoughts, questions, or stories to share with us.

  • We also would like to bring specialists’ voices into the conference days. We urge you to schedule at least one meeting with a specialist teacher to discuss your child’s progress.

This week, ask me…

...to notice consonant blends in words I read at home. I might see them at the beginning or the end of words. Some examples are st, sh, shr, fl, sk, nk. Also, ask me to notice the “bossy r” (r-controlled vowels) such as ar (as in “car”), or, er, ir, and ur. (JW’s Fundations group)

…about word ladders. What’s a prefix? Can I tell you some words with prefixes we learned: mis, un, non, dis, and pre? (BM’s Fundations group)

...about my book club work. What am I reading independently? What strategies am I using when I read? Also, ask me about our read alouds: The Lady in the Box, Can Man, and I Am A Bear.

...my persuasive book or author review. What strategies did I learn to help me make my reviews more persuasive?

...when we call shapes “congruent.” What did I learn from the open number line? How do I make jumps on a number line for adding or subtracting? (gr.1)

…about measuring in inches, feet, and yards. Maybe I could measure some things in our home. (gr.2)

Have an enjoyable weekend!

Jane and Bernadette