Week 4: Sept 21 – 25


Reconciling is becoming friendly again and making things right when they feel off.

Empathy is feeling in your heart the things that other feel.


In the picture book “The Story of Ruby Bridges” written by Robert Coles, we see an example of reconciling and empathy.

Ruby said the prayer she repeated twice a day — before and after school: “Please God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don’t know what they are doing. So You could forgive them, just like You did those folks a long time ago when they said terrible things about You.” 

This allusion in Ruby’s prayer is meant to call to mind Jesus’ prayer on the cross in Luke 23:33-34a.

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”


With the examples of reconciliation and empathy from Ruby Bridges’ story, which alludes to the ultimate example Jesus demonstrated on the cross, the heroes created art based on what lessons they learned.



Listening to (and Miss Cheryl’s reading of chapter 3 from) the Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis provides more examples about reconciliation and empathy from chapters 1-4.

Lessons of reconciling:

  • Kenny’s mom helped Kenny become friends again with the new kid named Rufus.
  • Kenny decided to help his brother Byron even when Byron was consistently mean to Kenny.
  • Kenny gave up one of his good gloves when Rufus did not have any gloves to keep his hands warm.


Lessons of reconciliation and empathy were also seen this week in photographs from the Civil Rights Movement. The heroes made observations and commented on what people in photos might be feeling or experiencing.


Reconciling can look like two girls “join[ing] hands while riding the bus together during the initial phases of the integration of the school system in Boston, Massachusetts. September 15, 1975.” Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

A reconciling act. Selma march.



Other nuggets of gold from this week:

  • Some ES heroes volunteered to build two desks for the ELS studio. Using their first strategy,  limited progress was being made. Then, Mr. Matt had them consider a different strategy for building the desks. With renewed determination, the heroes worked by themselves and built a desk!! What a difference a different building strategy made! Thank you, Mr. Matt, for giving the heroes the tools (pun intended) to succeed in their challenge.
  • I called upon our laminating-fixer hero, Sloane, to fix the laminator again. We performed a scientific experiment to figure out the problem. In the end, she fixed it! 
  • The iReady diagnostics took place this week. Emmry commented on the reading and math placement tests for the rest of the ES studio after she had been the first to “test out the new waters” of the new learning program.
  • “Challenge donut.” We make the most progress not when we are in our comfort zone, not in our panic zone, but in our challenge zone. We bit right into the center of round donuts after sharing examples from our life about times when we were stretched in a good way by being in our challenge zone.


See you next week!

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