Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sparkle Box, RACK

The Sparkle Box: A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas 

Have you seen this book? This is the story of Sam, a young boy looking forward to his gifts on Christmas. He begins to realize the true meaning of Christmas, as his family participate in many Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. He sees that it isn't the gifts under the tree with your name that matter. It is only as he helps collect blankets for homeless, give money to dig a well in Africa, and other RACK, that Christmas gains meaning.

Our principal read it at a staff meeting, the first since her return from sick leave. She issued a challenge to our staff, to fill our own Sparkle Box. I decided to use this with my students to introduce our RACK activities during this last week before break. I invited our principal to read the story this morning. It was a good way to start our week in light of Friday's tragedy in Connecticut. My students generated a nice list of things they want to do this week.

Our goal of really getting RACK rolling was cut short when we had a short circuit that ended with a power outage in our building and an evacuation to the high school next door. It was amazing that in spite of all the things that could have gone wrong today, they didn't. Within minutes students were pulled out of the cafeteria, coats were on, and we were on our way. We got students settled and waited for the high school to vacate the cafeteria. All students that missed lunch were fed within the hour. We put a movie on to keep students calm and focused. Our support staff came to collect students as parents arrived. We had a significant number leave. They finally allowed us back in the building so remaining students were able to see things were fine. Dismissal went smoothly.

As a school board meeting highlight tonight, our principal decided holiday songs by our third graders were in order. The rest of her presentation? A tribute to teachers.

As parents say goodbye to their children every morning, they do so with full trust that we will watch over them, guide them through their learning, and return them safe each night. Our job is not an easy one, as proven on Friday. The positive caring impact we have on the children in our classrooms will surely bring more good. It is with this thought, that I bid you good night.


  1. I've never heard of this book, but it sounds beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  2. Just saw this book pinned on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing!

    Newest follower!

    Covered in Glitter and Glue 

  3. Sounds like a great book. I think RACK is such a nice idea too! Thanks for sharing!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  4. We were so busy with our RACK projects the last week that I got a little behind in my google reader and missed your post. Thank you for sharing about the book. I just added it to my Amazon cart for next year. I hope your RACK went well. One of my students wrote an amazing post about our project on his blog this week. It took us three weeks to get ready for RACKing. Coincidently, our first round went out on that Monday and it was just what the school needed to lift our spirits. Also, coincidently, I didn't realize we did exactly 26 acts until later that night when I was counting up who we had done and who we still needed to do that week. If you get a chance, we would love to have you comment on his blog. http://bit.ly/Ud7738 I really enjoy reading your blog!


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