We love visiting blogs and finding cool ways to collaborate. The Hawes Primary School in England invited kids to share their playground songs. They have several on their blog to share with all of us. We would like to join in their collaboration and share our songs, too. This is also part of our Edublog Challenge task. At the bottom, we’ve created a poll for visitors to choose their favorite. Be sure to vote, since we’ll be using the data to create bar graphs, pictographs and fraction stories in math.
A Titanic Legacy
The Titanic rocked in the waves off the Irish coast. Its four smokestacks saluted her passengers as young James Kenny begged his Aunt Rose.
“But I can get you back to New Jersey. I know my way from the docks.”
“I’m certain you do, lad,” said Aunt Rose. “But I’ll not be crossing the Atlantic with an eight year old. And that’s final, it is.”
His little brother, four-year old Johnny, clung to his mother’s skirt as the two sisters continued to argue.
“So will you be trading your tickets for the next ship or not?” The ticket agent barked. Bridget Kenny held only three tickets. The Titanic was full, so there would not be a fourth.
“Rose, it’s the greatest ship ever to sail,” his mother said. “You’ll be seeing famous people. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?”
Aunt Rose sighed and looked at young James. Queenstown, Ireland, was Titanic’s last port of call. The behemoth was too big to dock. James watched as passengers boarded the ferries Ireland and America. These smaller boats took passengers, and their luggage, to the ship.
“Please, Aunt Rose?” James said. “I promise I know my way.”
“He can get you from New York City to New Jersey.” His mother insisted they use two of the tickets. “Johnny and I will be on the next ship home. Go!”
✪ ✪ ✪
A continent away, construction sounds hammered in Thomas Kenny’s ears. It was difficult work, but worth it. He was proud of his job in America. It fed his family.
Thomas remembered the Ireland of his childhood. The beauty of lush, green hills. Cliffs dropped into the ocean like a fortress. But County Mayo was scarred, too. The potato famine of 1846 haunted his country still. Famine grave sites. Abandoned villages. And for Thomas, there was no work, no future.
But not in America! Here, he found work. There was hope. There was even money for travel. His wife and boys had returned to Ireland to visit. James and John had met their grandparents. His wife, Bridget, had seen her sister, Rose. Rose still refused to leave Ireland.
Thomas smiled to himself. The rocks and cliffs of County Mayo must be a quiet adventure after the noise of Jersey City. In her letters, Bridget told how the boys enjoyed the countryside. Free of the worry which saddled his own youth, they roamed and explored the land. Now, they returned to America on the greatest ship ever built, the Titanic! They would be home by week’s end.
Yes, America had been good to him. He was blessed.
“Thomas? Is Thomas Kenny here?” Hearing the shout of his name, he turned to face the crew leader.
“Have you heard the news, Thomas? Have you heard about Titanic?”
“What of it? Bridget and the boys are on it. What news?”
His knees buckled as he learned its fate. The Titanic set sail from Queenstown, Ireland, on April 12, 1912 with 2,228 people aboard. It hit an iceberg the evening of April 14th. Less than three hours later, the Titanic sunk in the frigid Atlantic Ocean with few survivors. His wife and sons held tickets for third class steerage. Did they survive?
Thomas Kenny spent the next days and nights on the docks of New York. He never returned home, not even for sleep.
Each morning, he hunted the passenger lists for his family. New names were added daily. His family was not on the list of the living, nor were they on the list of the dead.
Each night, Thomas slept on the ground by the docks. He had no blanket to battle the chill, but would not leave to find one. On April 18th, 1912, he watched the passengers of the Carpathia disembark. It carried the Titanic’s survivors. Through the dark and rain, he searched every face. His family was not among them.
Two days later, heartbroken and exhausted, Thomas Kenny boarded the train to Jersey City. The bumps and jerks of the train ride matched the ache in his heart. His family was gone. He would plan their funerals.
Walking up the sidewalk to his home, his stomach growled at the memory of Bridget’s stew. Its aroma filled the air like sadness filled his heart. Then he heard the clang of pans and James yelling at Johnny. Thomas’ heart raced at the noise of life. He flung open the kitchen door. Bridget chopped carrots and Johnny hid in her skirt. James grabbed for the baseball in Johnny’s hand.
His eyes met Bridget’s. She smiled and he fainted.
“Wake up, Thomas, wake up.” Bridget Kenny’s voice floated in and out.
Johnny tugged at his arm and James lifted his head into a lap pillow. His eyes focused on the family he knew was lost.
“How did you survive the sinking? I was on the docks. I waited. You were not on the Carpathia.”
“No, and we weren’t on the Titanic, either,” Bridget said.
Rose loomed over him with a smile. “I’ve left Ireland! By the time I decided to come to America, there were no more tickets on the Titanic. We arrived at the Queenstown harbor late. Titanic was full.”
“Thomas, I tried to send her on the ship with James.” Bridget’s eyes filled with tears.
“But I was not to be crossing the Atlantic Ocean with an eight year old. We sailed the SS Celtic the next day.”
For James, the sting of his aunt’s refusal was still fresh. “But I knew my way home. I could have gotten us from the docks to the house!”
“Son, it’s good and well your Aunt Rose didn’t know it.” Thomas Kenny cuffed his older son’s head. “You are alive. Thank the Good Lord. My family is alive.”
Note from Mrs. Kistler
This story was told to me by James Kenny, my great uncle. My family is from County Mayo in Ireland. There were fourteen passengers from County Mayo on the Titanic. They are known as the Adergoole Fourteen. As Irish emigrants with little money, they booked passage in third class, or steerage. Only three of the Adergoole Fourteen survived the sinking.
Why did so many perish? The Titanic carried 20 lifeboats, enough to save 1,060 lives. There were 2,228 passengers aboard. This was in compliance with maritime law of the day. During the crisis, priority for space on lifeboats was given to women and children of first class. Of Titanic’s 703 steerage passengers, only 178 survived. Their deaths exposed an ugly truth of class society, and never again would position and status rule the safety of passengers on ocean liners. Today, ships are required to carry enough lifeboats for everyone aboard. This is Titanic’s true legacy.
My Great Uncle Jimmy was eight year old James. My grandfather, his younger brother, John. I loved hearing him tell this story, but it was only after James Cameron’s Titanic exploded onto screens that I understood it.
My Great Uncle Jimmy gifted me with an appreciation for family and heritage. I love my family, but especially all my Kenny cousins. (And there are a lot of us, thank you, Aunt Rose!)
Indeed, our family tree had the luck of the Irish with us that day. But my Uncle Jimmy? He remained offended into his eighties by his aunt’s refusal to board the Titanic with him. He continued to argue his case to his grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews.
But our family story does make me wonder. How often are we one choice away from losing it all? Or, as my cousin Michelle pondered, “If just one person zigged, instead of zagged…?”
What is your important family story?
What is precious in your life?
Social Studies, Writing | Comments (3)
Have you ever drifted away into the details of a story?
Well, it’s time to drift away into the main idea! Follow along and we will tell you about the fascinating world of the main idea.
A main idea must have details. The tiny details are part of the main idea.
Think of a purse as the main idea.
What would you find inside?
These are the details.
Take a look at the first picture. These items were all in Mrs. Kistler’s purse!
If purse is our main idea, which details do not belong?
Which details do belong?
Take a look at the second picture. These are the items Mrs. Kistler’s students decided to remove from her purse. Some items belonged in a different location, but some were really just trash! Seriously, did you spot the cheese?
As a reader, it’s important to identify the main idea in your reading. What is the story about? This is the main idea. Which details support your thinking? These are the details.
As a writer, it’s important to write to a central idea. This central idea becomes your reader’s main idea. All sentences you write need to earn their spot in your writing. Does every sentence support your central idea? Are they earning their spot? These become details for your reader.
How do you use main idea and details when you read?
Should Mrs. Kistler clean her purse more often?!
How is your bedroom organized like a main idea and details?
This post was written by Sydney, a 49′er. Great job, Sydney!Reading, Writing | Comments (8)
We’re learning how to write poems. We learned about different rhyming patterns. Today, we’re writing poems with an AABBA pattern. This means that the A’s rhyme with each other and the B’s rhyme with each other.
Looking For Our Sweetie
We’re having a Valentine’s party
We’re gonna get treats like a SMARTIE
We’re looking for our sweetie:
Be sure not to be too greedy
And definitely do not be tardy!
This is our shared poem, written by the class, BUT…scroll down the right sidebar for “Student Blogs.” You will be able to find our individual poems.
Writing | Comments (2)
We are learning all about how people communicate, and especially how Web 2.0 tools are a 21st century form of communication. Answer Garden is one of those tools. It is used to gather information and ideas.
We are using Answer Garden to collect interesting words. The 49′ers advertised the March Madness Poetry Tournament, so now we get to choose a word for the poets. Our word will be used in an author’s poem during the March tournament.
Anyone can help us gather interesting words. We’ve learned word choice is an important author trait, so we are looking for the most spectacular words possible!
Plant your suggestion in our Answer Garden below!
Reading, Social Studies, Writing | Comment (0)
I am excited to be in Houston for the HEB Excellence in Education Teaching Awards.
I won as a regional finalist in March and am now enjoying the celebration weekend.
I want to share this moment with all of you, so I promise lots of pictures.
Athough Snowflake Jackson remained in San Antonio, his little buddy, Travelin’ Jack, is with me.
Here are his adventures so far:
The 49′ers are writing poetry. Read the captions and pictures above.
Can you share a two-line poem inspired by the pictures?
Carefully examine the goody bag photo.
Can you infer the name of our guest speaker? What is his occupation?
Thank you HEB, the amazing staff of Bulverde Creek Elementary and all my students, both past and present, for such an amazing experience!
Who can you thank for the good things in your life?
Social Studies, Writing | Comments (3)
Dear Future Third Graders,
Bulverde Creek third grade is the place to be! We asked some current third graders to give recaps of the year. Here are some things to expect:
In third grade, in some classes, you will get to create your own blog. You also get to make your own Edmodo account for communication.
You get outstanding and innovative teachers, like Mrs. Neuman. She helped with multiplication. She makes it easy understand 65 x 2.
If you like animals and how they survive in deep Arctic weather, then you will like the deep Arctic challenge. You need to get supplies. You make a bag that will help you withstand the Arctic water, which is freezing. It was educational for people who like to study animals and how they survive in different climates.
In third grade, you can make powerpoints on anything you want and add eye-popping pictures, for instance scorpions.
Sometimes you will be able to use an I-Pad to learn with exciting math games, like Math Zoom.
You will learn division. Division is sharing equally among a certain group of friends. In third grade, division will always have a model, probably an array.
You will always need to study your word wall words. Be prepared to take a test every other Friday.
Welcome, future third graders!Reading, Social Studies, Writing | Comment (1)
Phyllis is on a world tour! Who is Phyllis? She’s a groundhog related to Punxatawney Phil. Phil predicts the weather and so does Phyllis!
Mrs. Kistler welcomed Phyllis to San Antonio as part of her world tour. First stop, the S. boys, Sepas and Sepand. They read the book with Mrs. Kistler and here is their review:
Sepas: In April Fool, Phyllis!, I liked the April Fools jokes. I liked the one where Phil Junior put his hands in the ice to show everyone it was cold, but it wasn’t really cold. He was tricking the family, especially Phyllis. I have a question for Susanna Hill, the author. How did you come up with all these jokes?
Sepand: I liked that Susanna Hill is actually using real life things and making it into fantasy. I liked that Phyllis was the heroine. In the Author’s Note, titled April Fool’s Day, you mentioned our country, Iran. My parents lived in Iran before they came to San Antonio, Texas. I never knew that Iran celebrated April 3rd by going outside to avoid bad luck. I learned something about my family’s heritage.
Next, Phyllis read with Johnny.
Johnny: Phyllis the groundhog helped me learn about weather. Sometimes it is hot, but it can get cold and then make all the hot go away. My favorite joke was when Pete dumped snow over the door. I read April Fool Phyllis! to the St. Patrick’s Day Ziggies. This year, Phyllis celebrated Groundhog’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and April Fool’s Day!
How do you celebrate April Fool’s Day in your state or country?
Do you have an idea for a harmless April Fool’s Day trick?
Reading, Social Studies, Writing | Comments (11)
Congratulations to Austin M.! He was a winner in our school’s annual bike rodeo.
Each year, Officer Keough visits our school to talk to the kids about bike safety, then all the kids bring their bikes and compete in a rodeo. The course includes riding in the center of two parallel lines, riding in a figure 8 loop, riding as slooooooooowly as you can down a painted strip and finally crisscrossing through cones.
For the 49′ers, Austin M. was the big winner.
He won a trophy and placed in the top three for all third graders.
We are proud of all the 49′ers who competed:
Do you have a favorite bike memory?
What do you think is the most important bike safety rule?
Social Studies, Writing | Comments (21)
Thank you to all the families who participated in our Family Read Aloud!
What is Family Read Aloud? It’s a time of snuggling up and enjoying a great story. Our fall read aloud was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Kids took the book home in August and families enjoyed reading it together. As families finished the book, they returned it to Room 49. We’ll select a new title and have Family Read Aloud again in the Spring.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” “Good morning starshine the earth says hello….” “Of course they’re real people. They’re Oompa-Loompas…Imported direct from Loompaland…And oh what a terrible country it is! Nothing but thick jungles infested by the most dangerous beasts in the world – hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles. A whangdoodle would eat ten Oompa-Loompas for breakfast and come galloping back for a second helping.” Roald Dahl often uses nonsense words to create interesting descriptions. In the quote above, hornswogglers and snozzwangers and whangdoodlesare all dangerous beasts. Even though it’s nonsense, the reader can still understand their meaning because Roald Dahl leaves clues behind.
Have you ever played with making up a nonsense word?
Could you write it into a sentence so we can all guess the meaning? Don’t forget to leave clues!
Here’s an example:
The buzzloomins and beelipias blossomed in the fairy garden. What are buzzloomins and beelipias? How do you know? What are the clues?
Now you try it! Don’t forget to check back for our guesses.Reading, Writing | Comments (29)