Dear Primary D Parents,
Teaching acceptance, respect, and appreciation of differences has been a foundational tenet of TPS. As part of this ongoing anti-bias work, we take an active approach to challenging prejudice, stereotyping, bias, and exclusion. A routine part of those conversations are sharing about who we are, how we are alike and different, and the unique attributes and interests that build our individual identities. First and second graders are busy building a more nuanced and complex sense of self as they begin to see and understand more about the world around them. In support of that exploration, we read books that talk about people with strong identities, interesting cultural backgrounds, and different religious celebrations.
We read a picture book called I Am Jazz to the class this week. The book is the story of a boy who feels like he is a girl. The main character, Jazz, explains, “I have a girl brain but a boy body.” The story describes some of the frustrations Jazz feels when people make assumptions about her. The book also talks about how Jazz is proud to be different and proud to be who she is. We discussed the definitions of the words "gender" and "transgender," and your children shared some beautiful insights. We asked students how they might treat Jazz if she were in our class. Students suggested they could say, “Do you want to play with me?” or “I like your outfit,” or that they could treat Jazz like a girl. We ended our conversation by asking students how they felt different. One student shared, “I feel like a girl on the inside.” Six other students shared the following:
- I feel like I’m a scientist.
- I do ballet.
- I speak Bulgarian.
- I like babies.
- I like to play soccer.
- I speak Italian.
We’re proud of the understanding your children demonstrated during this conversation. Please continue the conversation at home.
Another real highlight of this week was when Sidharth’s dad, Vijay, visited to teach us about hurricanes. We learned all sorts of amazing things about these extreme weather events from Vijay. Here are a few pieces of information that your children shared after his visit:
- Hurricanes go up to Level 5.
- When a hurricane is coming, you hide from the wind and run away from the water.
- Hurricane Sandy was bigger across than Texas.
- Wind in hurricanes can go up over 100 mph.
- The eye is the calmest part of a hurricane.
Questions to ask your children about the week:
- Which classmate of yours was in a hurricane a few years ago?
- What sort of music and stories did you hear at Encuentro?
- Which piece of writing are you going to share at next week’s writing celebration?
Announcement from Shannon:
The Primary Unit Winter Concert will be on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Primary Unit Chorus will be singing three songs for their Winter Concert. Please feel free to ask them about the songs, and maybe they’ll give you a preview! Concert Dress will be black pants or skirt and tights on the bottom, solid red shirt on the top. TPS t-shirts are perfect. Please avoid any other graphics on shirts, if at all possible. A red dress if fine for those who wish to dress up.
We hope you have a restful weekend.
Ben and Niké