Why It’s Important to Listen to Others

Hello Dear Kinder Parents and Community,

We’ve been talking about why everyone’s voice matters.  We’ve also been talking about digital citizenship, with a focus on online safety and the importance of protecting our privacy. Both of these topics come together in the VoiceThread below:

If you would like to add to our VoiceThread conversation, you will need to register for an account (it’s a really short process, I promise). You can add a comment by cell phone, or computer microphone, or just type in a message. All comments are approved by me before they go live.

You can also click on the comment link for this post and add a comment.  Just like the VoiceThread, I approve all comments before they go live (another digital citizenship lesson).

Come join the conversation!

Thinking about Anne Frank

We are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank . One item   we were initially confused about was the fact that our reading series had placed this selection in the unit entitled “Survival.”  We knew that Anne and her mother and sister had all perished in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, so why place the portion of her diary in the “Survival” Unit? After much discussion we came to the conclusion that Anne had indeed survived, maybe not Anne herself, but her story.  Her diary has been translated into something like thirty two different languages….her story is told across numerous countries and in many languages and it stands as a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Our discussion so far has blossomed into many different areas.  We created a list noting how the Jews were segregated….they couldn’t ride the bus, go to the same school as German children, participate in public sports including swimming, they could only shop at markets which would accept Jewish customers……so many ways.  We then searched our minds and were able to see that many of these same discrimination patterns happened to African Americans and Japanese Americans.

Without Anne’s diary we probably would not understand fully the deep personal impact the segregation and hiding had on one little girl and ultimately a nation.  Anne is a fine example of how one person really can make a difference even if they do not think they ever will.  So remember everyone has the potential to positively impact the world, even through activities that may seem ordinary or mundane.

What are some examples of ways one person – or even a classroom – can make a difference? In our schools? Our neighborhoods? Our communities? And possibly the world? We invite you to please share your thoughts by posting a comment.

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?