Problem Solving with Rose

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By Laura

Rose joined us at circle again today to tell us about something that happened at her preschool and to elicit some help and advice from our preschoolers. The following is a transcript of the circle time discussion. Even after only meeting her a couple times, it is clear that the children feel connected to Rose and can empathize with her feelings, recognize when something is unfair for and brainstorm a variety of ways to change the situation. Hopefully this low-stakes rehearsal with a the persona doll will help them stick up for their “real” friends and themselves in the face of unfairness in their own lives…


Alisha: Rose has a story about something that happened at school that she wants to share with you guys. To see if you have any advice for her, or her friends.

One day Rose was at school and it was morning free play time, just kind of like how we have here, before circle. They were inside. Just like we have before circle. There were two girls sitting at one of the tables and they were drawing with markers and pens. And Rose was like, ‘Oh, I would love to draw right now with markers and pens.’ And so she walked up and she was about to sit down and one of the girl’s, whose name was Beth, said, “You can’t sit here, this is a girl’s table. You’re a boy, so you can’t sit here.” And then she looked to her other friend, who was named Kate and she said, “He can’t sit here, right? ‘Cuz he’s a boy and this is a girl’s table.”

OR: But she’s actually a girl.

Alisha: Is there anything you notice about that story?

OR: It hurts her feelings!

WG: Yeah, because you know what? She’s not a boy, she’s a girl.

DH: Markers is for everybody.

KM: A boy, or a girl . . .

DH: Those girls aren’t very nice.

Alisha: They are still learning how to be friendly to everyone I think.

KM: So E, my sister, has a book, The Magic Bunny, the person, she has a friend named Beth.

Alisha: Oh, Beth. So you recognize that name? It’s not the same Beth, it’s a different Beth that goes to Rose’s preschool. SS, anything you noticed about the story?

SS: Yeah, they thought she was a boy, but she was actually a girl.

Alisha: Yeah, and so how do you think Rose felt when they said that to her?

KM: Sad

CW: Sad

SD: Frustrated

SD: She should talk to a teacher.

DH: And mad

AW: Mad.

KM: Mad

WG: Disappointed.

CW: She might not want to be friends with them.

Alisha: She thinks she might not want to be friends with them?

Alisha: Do you think that that’s fair to Rose?

SD: It’s unfair!

Alisha: It’s unfair?

KP: Yeah, it’s not fair.

Alisha: It’s not fair that she can’t sit at that table.

SD: The other girls think she’s a boy.

Alisha: And she’s not.

SD: She’s a girl.

WG: It’s not nice to say it’s a girl’s table. Do you know what, there’s no such thing as a girl’s table.

Alisha: So it sounds like you are saying two different things. One of them is that she’s feeling sad because they called her a boy and she’s not a boy, she’s a girl. And the other thing is that any person can sit at that table, it doesn’t matter what gender they are. Right?

Kids: Yes!

Alisha: So, Beth is the one that said that. And she turned to Kate and said, “He can’t sit here, right?” How do you think Kate should stick up for Rose? What should Kate say?

WG: She should say, “No, there’s nothing like a girl’s table.”

AYS: I want to talk, too. I want to talk to you, too.

Alisha: Raise your silent candle. . . . What do you think Kate should say?

AYS: A big cannon ball can go boom.

KC: Uh, Rose isn’t supposed to wear shoes.

Alisha: Why not?

KC: Because the classroom will get all dirty.

Alisha: Oh. . . That’s a really good point. Let’s see. Take off her shoes. Alright, now she has her little socks on. There. . . . Anyone else have anything you think, how Kate should stick up for Rose?

KM: Maybe Beth could say, “It’s for for everyone.” And the other person said, “No it’s not.” Or maybe the other person says, “It’s for everybody. Everybody can have it.”

SD: Yeah, boys AND girls.

WG: Boys and girls.

KC: And grown-ups!

Alisha: What about somebody who doesn’t really feel they are a boy or a girl? Or somebody who maybe feels like both? Could they sit at the table?

SD: Yeah!

KM: Maybe . . .

Alisha: OR?

OR: The girls should have said, the girls should have said that, “There’s no such thing as a girl’s table.”

Alisha: SD, what were you going to say?

SD: Somebody should just shoot the table and then boom.

Alisha: I don’t know how many problems that would solve because then there wouldn’t be a table.

SD: Yeah, because it would disappear. ‘Cuz someone must have took it to there angry castle.

Alisha: Oh.

CW: She should say sorry.

Alisha: You think she should apologize?

KC: Yeah, they all need to apologize.

Alisha: To who?

KC: Rose.

Alisha: What do you think they should say? Should they check in on her?

KC: Yep.

Alisha: So, they should go up to Rose and check in on her?

MH: Say, “I’m sorry.”

KC: What we say at our school.

Alisha: What do we say?

KC: Do you need anything?

WG: I’m sorry.

Alisha: Hm-mm. That would be a good question, so, apologizing and asking if Rose needs anything. Because she probably felt really sad by that point.

SD: Her friends could say, “Can you go to a different spot where we’re not drawing?” And she goed to that place?

Alisha: It sounded like she really wanted to draw, though.

WG: Maybe another drawing table?

Alisha: But then, who would sit at the other drawing table?

WG: Her.

Alisha: She wanted to sit at that table with them. It wasn’t a two-person table, it was a table that had four spots. SS?

SS: Maybe she could talk to Nick and Nick could say, “She’s my friend.”

Alisha: That a good suggestion. Yeah, go talk to one of your friends. That might help her feel better, too, if she went and talked to Nick.

VG: Sad or mad.

DH: Well if Nick sat down at that table and the girls sat down at that table then they would say it to Nick and then Nick would feel sad.

Alisha: You think? Then what could they do?

DH: Ask another friend?

Alisha: Another friend, yeah. Who else could you ask?

DH: A teacher.

Alisha: A teacher.

SD: Or you could ask a friend named Nick. Or a new friend.

Alisha: Yes. Those are all really good suggestions. So, next time if something like that happens to Rose, now she’s know a little more about what to do. She’s be sure to tell Kate and Beth what she learned and different things they could say instead of, “You can’t sit here, this is a girl’s table.”

SD: But she is a girl.

Alisha: She can remind them that she’s a girl and that anyone can sit at the drawing table. Right?

SD: Yeah, all of them can sit at the drawing table.

Alisha: So, next time, if that happens to her she’ll have more ideas about what to do. Okay, so I’m going to pass Rose around and you can give her a hug or a high five.


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