Good evening everyone,
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I will begin instruction using the FLASH/KNOW curricula on May 17th. These two curricula focus on an age appropriate understanding of puberty and sexual health; I often describe it to kids as getting to know the body you’re living in, as this is the age when that body begins to change. These lessons are written for 4th – 6th grade; our district chooses to start these lessons for 5th grade students.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, families are welcome to review the content being taught. You can use the links above or explore the districts information here. The Riverview link does include an opt out option if that is the best fit for your family. If you choose to opt your 5th grader out of these lessons, please let me know via email. Please also know that — due to time constraints — I will be teaching a compressed version of these topics.
Because we are a 4th and 5th grade classroom and community, the next few weeks are going to involve more than our usual level of creativity and flexibility, especially for those students who are in the AM session. PM students (with one exception) will not be impacted by these lessons. If your child is a PM 4th grader, you’re welcome to stop reading now and go on with your day. The rest of you, please bear with me as I try to lay this out and make the pieces work.
And if you have any concerns about any step in the process, please just reach out to me.
Okay, so here’s how we’re going to do this:
(1) On the first day, Monday May 17th, all AM students (4th and 5th and in person and remote) will be involved in the lesson. In this lesson, we will be setting up our pattern for the next three weeks and laying down ground rules for all of us. We will also talk about ways to ask questions and I will be encouraging ALL STUDENTS (that includes 4th graders) to head to you with questions they may have on this topic, so be prepared! One situation in this lesson contains reference to menstruation. I will encourage students to ask a trusted adult in their household if they have questions. Be prepared.
You will notice that one big theme I will embrace is that these topics (puberty, reproductive health, menstruation, body parts, worries, wonderings…) are important and safe to discuss with trusted adults. I will answer fact-based questions in class; I will strongly encourage students to bring their family-values based questions to you because you are the best trusted adult to answer those. Again, be prepared.
(2) After Monday, May 17th, I will teach FLASH/KNOW from 11:00 to 11:30 from May 18th – June 4th. We will rearrange our classroom like this:
- Remote 4th graders will end their digital day with us at 11:00. They may continue with their at home tasks. 4th graders will have an endangered species research project to work on during this time to further their biology learning.
- In Person 4th graders will work on an endangered species research project in a safe location outside our classroom at Carnation Elementary. They will be supervised and supported by either Mrs. Grant, Principal Bookey or another staff member. We will try to keep this staff member as consistent as possible. Social distancing, surface cleaning and appropriate air flow will be maintained as in the classroom. If you have an in person AM 4th grader and would like to pick your student up early instead, please let me know and we can arrange that.
- Remote and in person 5th graders will learn with me in the concurrent classroom. We will use a loop (still under construction) to guide our learning and I will prioritize discussion and question answering. I will also end every lesson by encouraging students to share their learning with you and ask more questions.
I think that’s it.
If you have questions, ask. If you want to support this learning, start talking to your child (4th or 5th, doesn’t matter) tonight. It’s okay if you feel uncomfortable. It’s okay if they feel uncomfortable. Just dive into the discussion, share what you know, share what you don’t know, share your experiences and your wonderings.
Also, if anyone is counting, we’re under the five week mark. Five weeks of good work and then a beautiful summer pause. We can do this. (Also, emails all emails reminding me that I can keep the big top up over this marvelous circus for five more weeks are welcome! I am wrapping this year up and wings and prayers for sure).
Hang in there!