Primary B Weekly Note

Dear Primary B Families,

We were glad to be back in business on Wednesday. In Writing we are learning how to support our persuasive arguments with relevant reasons, which led into a lesson about facts versus opinions. This differentiation can be tricky for first and second graders, and we encourage finding moments at home to discuss this concept. We are beginning to connect our Nonfiction Reading Unit to our persuasive writing work by learning how to research for specific facts. This skill will be useful when we teach the children to support their arguments with factual information.

During Theme, we moved away from thinking about our city's abundance of resources and instead asked the children to think about the not-so-great aspects of Philadelphia. "People litter!", "There's too much pollution!" and "A lot of people smoke!" were common refrains. The children grouped themselves based on which problem they felt the most concerned about. Then, they collaborated in these small groups to write responses to questions such as, "What causes this problem?" and "What other problems does it create?" Ask your child what "Philadelphia problem" he or she discussed.

These introductory Theme lessons are leading up to a study of Philadelphia service work. In the coming weeks, we are hoping to have families come into our classroom to do brief presentations or lead activities about service work they do in or around Philadelphia. If you, or someone you know, are interested, please email us!

As many of you may have heard, our beloved class parakeet, Lemon, appears to be "slowing down." Although her exact age is unknown, Lemon has been a part of TPS for many years, and she has outlived the average parakeet lifespan. We have spoken with a vet and, because of Lemon's age, have been advised to simply make sure she is comfortable and cared for during what may be her last days. We met as a whole class to discuss the situation honestly and realistically and to give the children a chance to share their thoughts and ask questions. This is proving to be a valuable experience for Primary B, both in terms of learning about life cycles and handling loss. Please continue discussing the situation at home as we know several children are feeling particularly sad.

Reminder! Primary B students who are participating in the TPS Talent Show will be "auditioning" on Thursday, February 4th. The purpose of the auditions is to give the kids a chance to practice performing, to check the length of the act, to determine what props/tech support are needed, and to make sure acts are safe and rehearsed. If your child is performing, please make sure he or she is prepared.

Have a restful weekend,

Becca and Jordan