- Monday, May 4: MAP Completion Picnic (Cunningham Park)
- Monday, May 11: Book Exchange
- Thursday, May 14: Middle School Band Concert (9:15)
- Friday, May 15: Field Day
- Tuesday, May 19: Positive Behavior Celebration (Water Day)
- Wednesday, May 20: Final Day of Fourth Grade (half day)
We're stepping out of the classroom for a few upcoming events:
These posters, from VisitMO.com use only two colors, along with black and white, to describe reasons to like Missouri. I wonder if we could produce similar posters - or t-shirts - about Joplin or about Cecil Floyd.
What simple messages could we include?
Discrimination. Stereotypes. Mistreatment. Atrocities. Many words come to mind when faced with the historical reality of the Holocaust. Here is a part of the world's history that we can still learn about from the people who lived through it. But not for long. When this video was made, the man in it was 90 years old. Most Holocaust survivors are no longer with us, so we tend to listen more carefully to the ones who are.
Take two and a half minutes to watch this video:
Now for some questions:
"Kites rise against the wind, not with it."
Sunday, April 19, is the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It's also the 20th time I have presented the information, and my personal account of the event, to fourth grade students in Joplin, Missouri. My second graders, four miles away from the blast, heard the explosion and felt the shockwave that followed. As the lead teacher in our school (with the principal away at a district meeting), I was responsible for locking the doors and keeping students inside. One of my students attended at least four memorials during the next month.
The experience made me a stronger, more confident teacher. I hope my Professional Biography is still true when it says the following:
Together, teachers, parents, and students worked through memorials, constant television coverage, fatality reports, and challenges of unprecedented proportion – all stemming from the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City, and all under the watchful eyes of the media and the world.
For the last hour of our day, students worked on a packet of papers that I have gathered or created. These include descriptions and pictures of other buildings that were also damaged in the 1995 blast, math involving the square footage of the Murrah building, positive messages presented by secret code, a map of the memorial with each of 168 empty chairs, a timeline of the terror plot, and a couple of pages about the investigation.
Next Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City. I have a personal account to tell, regarding the events leading up to the event and the events that followed. This Friday, I will relate that story to our fourth grade class. This will be the 20th time I have presented this information. I was four miles away, with a classroom full of second grade students, and even though we are separated by miles and time, we share an experience that forever links us. I think of students from that class with great fondness.
With that being said, there are some emotions involved in such a presentation. I will share some of the images of the event, and we will hear eyewitness testimony from some of the victims and their families. While this is a serious story about a real occurrence, please be aware that I have screened all the material. There are some similarities between the 1995 bombing and Joplin's experience with the 2011 tornado that may trigger memories in some of our students, as well. In it all, my theme has always been, One person did a bad thing that day, but thousands of good people did good things in response. I will make every effort to make that point clear.
A special thanks to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum for loaning us the Hope Trunk to enhance the presentation.
One of the docents led us through the first floor of the Governor's Mansion to see portraits of the first ladies, gifts to the mansions (donated by previous governors), and other old-timey, fancy stuff. These included a table that demonstrates the footprint (shape) of the mansion, a wooden "server" that is one of only three that exist, and a huge, sterling punch bowl that is a part of a set that came from the U.S.S. Missouri battleship.
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