Gratitude – a shark is generous and thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving morning, and I was up early as I usually am. I am the early riser in our home.

Thanksgiving for our family is quiet, there are only three of us, five, if you include our dogs. Our daughter is home from college and our married son is spending time with his wife’s family.

We used to travel for Thanksgiving, but now we stay home. Last week, I listened to my students talk about Thanksgiving break. Some shared they would be travelling while others mentioned they would spend the break close to home.

I imagine for many of my students, yesterday was spent enjoying the day with family traditions, family recipes and food, and maybe listening and learning their family story. And there were phone calls to family that aren’t here or close. I spoke with my brothers early Thanksgiving morning who are a thousand miles away and called my stepmother later in the afternoon.

However, you spent Thanksgiving Day, I hope you enjoy the break.


Last week I emailed a plea to collect plastic shopping bags to be donated to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry.

Last Thursday and Friday, I observed several students bringing in garbage bags filled with plastic shopping bags to contribute for their Achieve class.

Our students responded and the team collected 16.51 kg of plastic shopping bags. Incredible. Below are the results.

Achieve class A-O Dell Staz Thompson Watkins Total
Mass collected 3,024 4,457 1,462 4,123 3,441 16,507
Students (present) 23 20 18 26 31 118
Mass per student 131 223 81 159 111 140
Class rank 3rd 1st 5th 2nd 4th

Shopping Bags are massed in grams, 16,507 g = 16.51 kg

Collecting shopping bags was not only an exercise in gratitude, but an opportunity to practice science measurement and data collection skills. Scientists use mass in kilograms to determine how much of a substance (or shopping bags) there is. Weight or force is measured in newtons and is the measure of the effect of gravity on mass.

On Friday science classes brainstormed how to best to mass the bags and we figured out a method to accurately determine which class had collected the most plastic shopping bags.

During Achieve class, students consolidated bags into smaller bags which could be accurately massed and recorded. It was a team effort with students massing bags, students recording the masses on paper, and a couple of students recording the finished paper sheets into a spreadsheet. By the end of Achieve class all the shopping bags had been accounted for and recorded.

To complete the process at Scullen, two students volunteered to load the bags into my car at the end of the day and I was ready to deliver them shopping Saturday morning.

I delivered them before clients arrived on Saturday morning and the staff at Loaves and Fishes was overjoyed by the sheer volume of shopping bags our students collected and the instructions on Saturday changed from,

Only providing shopping bags to new clients; to if clients need shopping bags, please provide them.

We are grateful for our student’s generosity.

When we return from break, we will be learning about character traits in Achieve classes. One of those traits is gratitude.

Sharks are generous and thankful. I am thankful for my students, their parents, and my colleagues who work together to make the Scullen community a vibrant and positive learning environment.

Please enjoy the Thanksgiving Break to connect with family, rest and restore, and enjoy the bountiful sunshine and good weather.

Semper sharkus, once a shark, always a shark.


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