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You CAN Change the World! You JUST Need to BEGIN!

Posted by on November 13, 2015

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

~Anne Frank

If you aren't familiar with this story, you should DEFINITELY check it out of your local library.

If you aren’t familiar with this story, you should DEFINITELY check it out of your local library.

Yesterday, we read an AMAZING book. It was called Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. It’s ALL about a LITTLE girl named Mary. She is just an ordinary, typical little girl. BUT … SHE manages to CHANGE the world … for the BETTER! HOW does she do this, you ask? Well … by doing just one TEENY tiny GOOD deed! WHAT? One itty bitty, teeny tiny good DEED? Yup! We think we should ALL try it!

Not only was this a FANTASTIC story … it led to some AMAZING and PAINFUL math … painful in a GOOD way! Could you REALLY change the world … in just FIFTEEN days? We all took a guess … and then … we settled in to do some REALLY challenging MATH!

Let’s see. If MARY did something REALLY nice for ONE person … and THAT person decided to do something REALLY nice for FIVE people … that ONE person changed the world for THOSE five people. Now … WHAT if THOSE five people each decided to do something REALLY nice for … five MORE people! Hmm. Well … that would be 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 25. (Some of us actually did 5 X 5 = 25!)

There was NO stopping SOME of us ... we GRABBED this challenge like PITBULLS and just WOULDN'T let go!

There was NO stopping SOME of us … we GRABBED this challenge like PITBULLS and just WOULDN’T let go!

Okay … well … THAT was the EASY part. Now … WHAT if THOSE 25 people each decided to do something really nice for another FIVE people? WHAT? Okay … how are we going to figure that out? We stood in a circle. There were ALMOST 25 of us … so we tossed in a couple stuffies. (Thanks, Ross!) We each held up one hand and then we counted by 5s. In the end … that came out to 125 people!

OH oh … NOW we had to calculate what would happen if EACH of THOSE 125 people decided to do something nice for five MORE people! 125 + 125 + 125 + 125 + 125 … GULP! There DEFINITELY weren’t enough fingers and toes to do THIS calculation! HOW are we going to solve THAT??? I SWEAR you could begin to smell BRAIN cells burning! THAT’S when SOME of us began to pull out the PLACE value blocks! GREAT thinking … because RIPPING numbers apart is what we’ve been TALKING about! Others just did it on PAPER. WOW!

Grabbing the place value blocks was a FANTASTIC strategy ... until the numbers got SO large that we ran OUT of manipulatives!

Grabbing the place value blocks was a FANTASTIC strategy … until the numbers got SO large that we ran OUT of manipulatives!

Okay, so IN the END … if 125 people each did something nice … that would be 625 NEW people who could do something nice for ANOTHER 5 people. Wow. These numbers were REALLY beginning to ADD up … and FAST … 625 is only FOUR days after Mary’s adventure started! COULD she pull it off in only fifteen days? We still weren’t certain she could.

If you found it challenging to add 5 groups of 625, or multiply 625 by 5 … how would YOU do it? MANY of us ripped the numbers apart, into their expanded form, and did 600 + 600+ 600+ 600+ 600 = 3000. 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 = 100. 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 25. So, 3000 + 100 + 25 = 3 125. OUCH! We don’t even have to KNOW how to work with numbers THIS large … but … THAT’S not stopping us! Just WATCH us go!

It CERTAINLY helped to work with a PARTNER with THESE huge numbers!

It CERTAINLY helped to work with a PARTNER with THESE huge numbers!

While we AREN’T going to RUIN the surprise and TELL you what the final number was … we wonder if YOU are up for the challenge at HOME! We bet YOU’LL smell burning brain cells TOO! Here’s a hint: this book was written when there were UNDER 7 billion people living in the world. Fifteen days was ALL it took. With the population OVER 7 billion now, it might take fifteen days and a teeny TINY portion of ONE more day! YOU be the judge … DO the MATH!

What a BEAUTIFUL lesson. Being kind DOESN’T need to cost MONEY! Here are some simple things WE plan to do in our quest for a KIND and THOUGHTFUL world … without even SPENDING a DIME:

  • when people are lonely invite them to hang out with you
  • respect other peoples’ property (snow forts, etc.)
  • when someone is hurt, HELP them
  • if someone is being picked on, stand UP for them
  • if someone’s pencil box falls on the ground, help them
  • take new people under your wing
  • give someone a heartfelt compliment
  • give someone a great big SMILE, or a HUG, and tell them to have a GREAT day
  • make something for someone … just because
  • clean up a mess … even if it’s NOT yours … on the playground, in the lunchroom, in the classroom, at HOME, etc.
  • empty the dishwasher or VACUUM without even being ASKED
  • make someone a special breakfast in BED
  • let the people you love KNOW how MUCH you love them … a BIG hug … a BIG kiss always makes our loved ones feel VERY special … each and EVERY day!

What do YOU think? COULD you change the world in just fifteen days if EVERYONE did something nice for five other people? See if YOU can work through the calculations! Let us know what you discover! And, we’d LOVE to hear about something nice you’ve done for someone else … or something really nice that someone did for YOU … JUST because! The CHALLENGE is ON!

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

~Edward Everett Hale

Happy WORLD KINDNESS DAY, everyone!

Enjoy a slideshow of SOME of our adventure:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


17 Responses to You CAN Change the World! You JUST Need to BEGIN!

  1. Eloise

    What a beautiful story and a great blog. When I came home today I was welcomed with a great big hug from Jamie and it totally made my day! I guess it’s true that little things we do for each other can really make a difference in other people’s lives. We all have an ability to make positive change.
    Thanks Grade 3 Bloggers!

  2. Elise

    Hi guys
    Love the new post! When I came home I gave my mom a great BIG hug that made her feel happy. You can actually change the world!


  3. Gwen

    What a great way to make the world a happier place! I love the math lesson that is incorporated here as well. Use your hearts and minds to make a difference. Great job Grade 3!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hello, Gwen!

      Thanks for the AWESOME comment! We think the book Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed was a GREAT way to make the world a better place too! We ALSO loved the math lesson. It was VERY challenging! We WILL keep listening to our hearts because we DO want to make a difference in the world!

      Have a NICE day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  4. jdcampbell2014

    Hi Grade 3! I read your last blog entry and saw the pictures… it gave me goose bumps! I’m very impressed that you are learning that you can change the world (and do some cool math, too). 🙂

    I see that Mrs. Renton used a quote from Anne Frank in this blog. I have a surprise for you… I was at Anne Frank’s house this summer. The house was really small, but what most amazing was to see how a little girl has made such a difference in our world… just like Mary did.

    Good for you for thinking about some great ways to make our world a little better place to be.

    Mr. Campbell

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Mr. Campbell!

      We LOVE your comment! It’s nice to see that even our PRINCIPAL is leaving comments on our blog!

      We think it’s really cool that you went to Anne Frank’s house! We know that her diary is a book about her life during the war. We think it’s sad that she had to hide in an attic so that she wouldn’t be discovered by the Germans.

      We saw a lot of pictures, on the internet, of Anne Frank’s house. We discovered that it is a museum now. We discovered that there was a secret room behind a bookshelf that led to the attic, where Anne and her family hid. We can’t even begin to imagine what that was like. How scary.

      Have a GOOD day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  5. DonnaMarie

    What a fantastic post! Aimee came home so excited (and determined!) to find the answer.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Greetings, DonnaMarie!

      Thank you for the AWESOME comment! The math problem was HARD but it was VERY fun! LOTS of us came home really excited to find the answer! We really enjoyed writing the blog post. We think it would be AMAZING if that could ACTUALLY happen! A bunch of us have been going out of our way to do nice things for the people around us. Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if THOSE people turned around and did something nice for ANOTHER person?

      Keep checking back! Have a GOOD day!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  6. Karen

    Ms Renton, it is teachers like you who inspire these children and instill the believe in them that they can change the world, that WILL change our world.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Karen!

      Thank you SO much for this kind comment! I’m blushing! I am actually the lucky one … these guys inspire me daily! I hope that each and every one of them finds a way to use their special gifts to change the world!

      Laurie 🙂

  7. Mary

    hi guys!!!

    I love all of the writing in this blog post. My Dad LOVES the blog.

    see you in class

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Mary!
      Thanks for the awesome comment! We’re glad that your Dad loves the blog! We really like how you leave comments on our classroom blog! We are glad that you liked all of our writing on our post!

      Keep checking back! Hope you have a GREAT day!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  8. Debbie

    I loved the whole project, from collaborating with each other to solve a math problem to creating a list of practical ways to help others. Your class created a lot of great memories today:)

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Debbie!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! We love that you loved our whole project! We think we’ll have a lot of great memories too!

      Have a nice day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  9. Cathy

    Hi guys! it was really fun watching the slide show..

    I liked everything on our blog;) I can`t decid what part I like the best!

    ( in case of saying”keep checking back” I will keeping back:)

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Cathy!

      I am SO glad that you are checking the blog even while you are on holidays! There will be two more posts in the next few days … you’ll love THOSE slideshows TOO!

      I hope you’re having a WONDERFUL trip with your family! I can’t wait to hear ALL about it!

      Keep checking back! 😉


      Mrs. Renton 🙂

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Cathy!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! We think we’re really glad that you liked the slideshow. We did too. We are really proud of everything on our blog. We work hard!

      Keep checking back!!! 😉 Have a nice day! 🙂

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

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