In2Books 2009-2010

We have been assigned our pen pals and have received our first books….so we are well on our way to reading and corresponding with our new pen pals.  Most of us really like In2Books.  Getting a free new book is always special.  We are continuing our tolerance unit that we started last year.  Our first unit is always about bullies because bullies are every where, and we need to really do a good job of  being an upstander and saying “No!” to bullies.  So we each picked a title from the In2Books unit on bullying.

It has been intersting to see how each of the characters in our books deals with their bully.  Jake Drake tends to ignore his bully, Link.  While Agnes confronts her bully.  Sometimes different bullying behavior warrents different  solutions.  What do you think is the best way to deal with a bully?

Change Writers-One at a Time

We always hear about the power of one, how one person can make a difference in their community, lives of others, or the world.  President Nixon escaped impeachment by one vote, Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States by one vote, and Rosa Parks bus ride had long term positive implications.

So if history is any example, one is important.  We began to realize the importance of one as our classroom explored the concept of tolerance. However, we really did not understand the long term impact of one.  We could not grasp how one of anything could be so important.

Then Mrs. Tsukamoto came to visit, and changed everything.  After her visit we were motivated and inspired.  She showed us that one could impact many.  Our friends in Chico had the same experience with the Holocaust survivors they visited.

Our confidence increased.  Then, during the video conference with our friends in Chico, many students took a risk and told how they were bullied.  Justin’s story touched  a nerve with many of us.  He told about accidentally stepping on another student’s toe, and how that student pretended to apologize to him but instead lured him into the restroom where the bullying continued.  Justin’s story inspired Mrs. Desler to write her own bullying account.  One impacting another one.

So, as this year comes to an end Change Writers, how have you been impacted, touched, inspired or motivated? How will you, in your own way, keep the momentum going?

Change Writers

 Today we watched “Playing for Change, Stand By Me.” It was very powerful for us to see how music connected so many people around the world.  We began to talk out how else the people of the world were connected, and realized that we probably have more in common than differences.  Mrs. McKillop then asked us to think about how we have changed in the ways we are tolerant since we have begun exploring tolerance.  As a class we came up with some ideas.  The most important area we have changed in is that we are far more aware of different cultures, and how bullying can impact people. We talked about the videos we have watched and the vocabulary we have learned.  We then tought how important it was to continue the changes we have begun. In conclusion, we think that the world is definitely becoming a smaller place, that we have more similarities than differences, and that small gestures of kindness can have a big impact. What do you think?

Mrs. Tsukamoto

Making our dolls on the first day-paper macheMrs. Tsukamoto came to our class a few weeks ago and spoke to us about her time in the Internment Camps.  Although we had studied the Interment Camps, it was amazing to see her and hear her story.  We were touched by how her culture helped her through such a difficult time. It was hard for many of us to grasp the fact that she was not angry.

She shared many artifacts from her culture with us, but the one we were most impressed with was the Daruma.  This small doll refuses to be knocked over when it is pushed down.  We thought it would be fun to try and make our own to remind us to never be pushed down, and to always stay positive. Our Finished Dolls

Are you a Bystander or an Upstander?

Do you know the difference between a bystander and an upstander? A bystander is someone that does not speak up or act when they see acts of intolerance taking place. They just go about their business.  An upstander is someone who takes action when they see an act of intolerance take place. Remember, to be an upstander you do not have to even say a word your actions can be as simple as not laughing at someone or holding someone’s hand to show support.  So are you a bystander or an upstander?


Today we started a unit on tolerance.   We looked at the The Southern Poverty Law Center and found a definition of tolerance that we really liked.  Here it is:

Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity in our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and the ways of being human.  Tolerance is harmony in difference.

As an introduction Mrs. McKillop gave some of the students in the class candies in gold wrappers, and the other students candies wrapped in silver wrappers.  We then got to eat our candies.  That was the really good part.  But then Mrs. McKillop said that the gold wrapper students could give their wrappers to the kids who go candy wrapped in silver.  The silver wrapper kids had to throw the garbage away even though they didn’t create all of the garbage.

Many of the kids who had silver wrappers used words like betrayed, disrespected, awful and unequal to describe how they felt.  The kids in the gold wrapper group used words like relieved, in control, unpleasant and like royality to desctribe how they felt.

We thought it was a good introduction in to the theme of tolerence versus intolerence. Mrs. McKillop then challenged us to find examples of tolerance and intolerance for out bulliten board. 

Tomorrow we are going to learn about the Japanse Interment Camps.

Have you ever expereince intolerance or tolerance?