Monday, May 16, 2011

5.16.11 a special day because of a special guest!

Today was a special day because we had a VERY special guest: Elise's brother, Logan Weiler, came to talk with us about Jarett's Joy Cart.  Logan found out at this time last year that he has cancer, but has had much positive experiences with the joy cart. We are currently in the midst of putting together and running our businesses of creating and selling products in preparations for 3rd Grade Business Night (which takes place on Wednesday, May 25th).  All of the money we raise from our businesses will go to Jarett's Joy Cart which is a unit that donates toys and good to children stricken with life impacting illnesses and are at UK Hospital. 
Here is Jarrett's story:
Jarrett Mynear was a very special 13-year-old boy who lived in the central Kentucky community of Nicholasville with his mom, Jennifer, his dad, Doug, and younger sister, Claire. He was interested in those things enjoyed by kids his age – playing with friends, video games, swimming and going on vacation.
The thing that made Jarrett a little different from most kids was that he was diagnosed with cancer six times from two years old until he succumbed to the disease at age 13. As a result of his treatment and rehabilitation, Jarrett spent a lot of time in hospitals receiving chemotherapy, two bone marrow transplants and the amputation of his lower right leg. His treatments were administered at various medical institutions including the Mayo Clinic, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the National Institutes of Health.
When first diagnosed, a family friend told Doug and Jennifer to “look for the good in this bad situation.” Though that statement may seem a little odd, Doug and Jennifer discovered a number of special friends that the family met from across the country. It was because of these friends and Jarrett’s compassion for others that Jarrett decided to start Jarrett’s Joy Cart.
As a patient himself, Jarrett knew that being in the hospital is scary and lonely. He also realized the importance of knowing that someone else was thinking about you as well. Jarrett’s goal in starting the Joy Cart was to bring excitement and joy into every child’s hospital stay.
**For more about Jarrett and the joy cart, please take time to visit:

Here is the video of Logan and his mother, Mrs. Weiler, from their visit.  We are so fortunate they were able to come and talk with us about the joy cart as it put a real life perspective on to what we are raising money for and the students could understand the significance of this wonderful contribution to UK hospital. 
**The video was being really funky and I had a lot of trouble even uploading it so if it doesn't work, I apologize and I'll keep working until I can get it!**

Also, here are some pictures from their visit!  This family is such a blessing and we are so lucky to be able to contribute to a wonderful cause!

The Weiler clan :)

showing us his pillows he got from the Joy Cart

the Joy Cart offers ANY kind of gifts that can suit ANY person's wants

he answered all of our questions so well

we learned so much!

sweet big brother and little sister :)
Thank you so much for coming Logan and Mrs. Weiler!!!  We really appreciate your visit and cherished every bit of it!  Your family is such a blessing to our GSE community :)

...and on to the rest of our day...
Prior to hearing Logan and Mrs. Weiler talk about their experiences with the joy cart, we were working on being descriptive with our writing.  Being descriptive is imperative as a writer so our readers can visualize the imagery we are working to evoke with our words.  It is important for us to use our 5 senses to paint a picture with words so our readers can see what we intend for them to see at the time of our action and feel as if they were there with us.  We first practiced by describing what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell in a haunted house. 
Next, I showed the students a picture without words from the book, Just a Dream, by Chris Van Allsburg (the author of Jumanji, the Widow's Broom, the Polar Express, etc.).  From seeing the picture, they then had to describe what they saw so other readers could understand their interpretation of the picture at hand.
this is the picture from the book that we viewed and then wrote about

below is Alyssa's response to the picture:
"Have you ever lost a dream?  One you're not sure you had to begin with?  It's not easy to find it. Your dream is either a thing of the imagination's imagination or a note written on gold fragments in your memory, forever there.  Specs of forever.  Is the purple and pink sunrise I'm seeing part of this dream or a part of a forgotten island in which we stand?  The reason I know is because I am here. Are dreams real? Do dreams live here?  They come here after you make them? Maybe people once lived here and deserted this island, for there are houses.  Or maybe it is just junk sitting there, scattered about and we stand upon it.  Whatever it is, there's piles and piles of it, as far as the eye can see; it changes the stories we envision, the stories we tell.  If it were pennies, it would add up higher than how much money there is in the world.  I do begin wonder where I actually am.  Am I on another planet?  Or an island like I said before?  People have many old dreams. It is so odd looking at them..."

PM activities:
we had stations to squeeze in as many activities as possible: 
STATION 1) was writing our first paragraph to our personal narratives and conferencing with Mrs. Thomas.
STATION 2) was putting together a simple machine (no help from Mrs. Thomas...completely independent with an instruction card and the materials needed to carry out the procedure)
STATION 3) was working on your page for our CLASS yearbook
STATION 4) was reading comprehension and following directions to making a pop-out card
STATION 5) visited FORCE & MOTION/ SIMPLE MACHINE websites to view powerpoints and awesome information and to play enriching games
STATION 6) played FORCE & MOTION vocabulary games.

Peanut and Elise building a first-class lever at the Simple Machines station

discovering minds at work!
Have a wonderful Monday night and REMEMBER, there is NO school tomorrow...GO VOTE!
See you Wednesday!
Mrs. Thomas

**Permission forms and $12.25 for the Field Trip is due (Field Trip is Tuesday, May 31st)
**PLEASE turn in money to fund our BUSINESS NIGHT supplies (we only got what I could afford, which is too much when I ordered for the whole class...ahh!!!  Thank you to everyone who has sent in helps A LOT!!!).  REMEMBER, ALL money raised goes to Jarrett's Joy Cart; please visit for Jarrett's amazing story and information about this wonderful cause!
**PLEASE donate any gently used toys that are not played with to our class drive so we can donate them all
    to Jarrett's Joy Cart along with the money we raise (WHAT A SENSATIONAL CAUSE, right?!!!!?)
**BUSINESS NIGHT is Wednesday NIGHT, May 25th (Please make plans to attend!)
**FUN DAY/ KITE DAY is THIS Friday, May 20th.  PLEASE make sure to wear comfortable clothes (tennis/ running shoes like you would for P.E., comfy shorts/ shirts etc.), pack sunscreen and a water bottle and a hat if necessary.
**PLEASE send me any pictures that your student enjoys or may want to see in our class yearbook (a more personal yearbook about the events of this year) that everyone will get and is FREE!  You will get ALL pictures back unharmed.  Electronically sent pictures may be easiest :)

1 comment:

  1. Today was very good for Logan. Thanks for letting him share with you.