Archive for October, 2011

Spreading Halloween Cheer

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Halloween When the “Can Do” kids arrived in class the day after Halloween, they were not in the mood to see a huge pile of candy on Miss Pat’s desk.

Most of the  “Can Dos” had their fill of Halloween candy over the weekend. Some of them had eaten more candy at one time than they should have and  now they had the tummy troubles.

When Miss Pat looked at the pile of Halloween candy, she saw a note that said, “This is from the “Can Do” Street Chamber of Commerce.” She turned to the class and said, “What should we do with all this candy?”

Hector was the first to answer saying, “I think we should split it up among the class. That way we will have extra candy for when we eat all of the Halloween candy we have at home.”

Miss Pat didn’t say anything. She just looked at Hector in a way that meant she didn’t think it was such a great idea.

Nellie raised her hand and said, “Why don’t we give it to people who may not have gotten any candy for Halloween?” Miss Pat smiled and said,”Nice idea, Nellie. That is a generous and thoughtful suggestion. Let’s take a vote. All in favor of sharing the candy with others raise their hands.”

Well, everyone but Hector raised his or her hand. When Hector saw that the whole class was for the idea, he slowly raised his hand and said, “Okay, but who should get the candy?”  Everyone through for awhile, then Eulyn raised her hand and said,”There is a home for seniors nearby. I bet they didn’t go trick or treating. I bet they would love some candy.”

Miss Pat said,” Great idea, Eulyn! I think more than the candy, they would love a Halloween visit from us. If there are some seniors who can’t eat candy, well they can give it to someone else as a treat.”

With that, Miss Pat directed the children to each make a card to give each senior at the residence.  Arthur J, Willie and Bobby brought out the plastic pumpkins they use for trick or treating  and Kathy, Nellie, Maria and Annie put candies in each pumpkin to bring to the Halloween pumpkinsenior residence.

Miss Pat called the principal and asked for permission to take the children on a field trip the next day to distribute the candy. The principal agreed and said Miss Pat could have the use of a school bus from right after lunch until dismissal time. Then Miss pat called each parent and got their permission for the field trip.  Two parents volunteered to come along and help Miss Pat. When Miss Pat had all the permissions, she called the senior residence and made sure that they could stop by and visit, not just drop off candy.

Miss Pat turned to the class as they were completing their cards and said, “I am very proud of all of you for wanting to share your Halloween  candy.”

The “Can Do” kids all smiled and looked very pleased with themselves, the way kids do when they know they’ve done something special.  Nellie said, “I can’t wait until tomorrow. I bet the seniors will be so happy to see us and the Halloween candy!”

Halloween Facts!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Here are some Halloween facts to share with your family and friends.

halloween moon batsHalloween is a very old holiday begun about 2,000 years ago in Ireland.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who celebrated the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.

According to folklore, the Halloween jack-o-lantern got his name from a man named Jack.

Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.

Jack o lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the holiday.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!                                                         Halloween pumpkin

Pumpkins originated in Central America. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found pumpkins plentiful and used in cooking by Native Americans. They took seeds back to Europe where they quickly became popular.

Growing big pumpkins is a big time hobby. Top prize money for the biggest giant pumpkin is as much as $25,000 dollars at fall festivals.

A pumpkin is a berry in the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds. All these plants are native to the Americas.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters.

It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

Good Habits, Not So Nice Habits

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Miss pat and good habitsMiss Pat was so pleased about the success of the pop quiz that she came up with another quiz about good habits.

As she handed out the quiz she said, “I am handing out a quiz about good habits. In the left column there is a list of not so nice habits and in the right column  there is a list of good habits. Draw a line between the not so nice habit to the nice habit it the right column. Anyone who gets 10 or more answers correct will win a Halloween coloring book. I just got a shipment of brand new coloring books in yesterday “

The thought of winning a new coloring book, especially one for Halloween caught everyone’s attention.

Eulyn raised her hand and when Miss Pat called on her she asked,”Miss Pat what are habits?”

Miss Pat smiled and said, “Good question. Can anyone tell Eulyn what a habit is?” Arthur J raised his hand and said, “I think it is something you do so often that sometimes you don’t even know your doing it, like drumming on the table with your fingers, or picking your nose.”

Miss Pat answered, “Good explanation, Arthur J. I will just add that some habits are good habits that we need to keep, like brushing our teeth after meals and before bedtime and other habits are not so good like picking our noses and we need to change those habits.”

Why don’t you see how you do in taking the habits quiz along with the “Can Dos”.  Ask a parent or other adult to check your answers.

Good luck on making good choices!

Picking your nose                                   clip them

Belching out loud                                   flush

Picking food up with hands             throw in trash

Biting nails                                             blow into tissue

Drinking milk from frig.                        put in garbage

Wiping nose on  sleeve                        use utensils

Coughing at someone                          cover mouth

Spitting in street                                     wash hands

Throwing food wrappers                   use a tissue

Not flushing the toilet                         use a glass

Throwing  paperon floor                   use a tissue

Not washing hands                           cough in sleeve

Tidy Up

Friday, October 14th, 2011

tidy upMiss Pat looked up and saw Hector throwing a piece of paper on the floor. Wow, she thought, Hector doesn’t tidy up after himself; he expects others to clean up after him.

Miss Pat said, “Hector, what are you doing?” Hector turned red and said, “Nothing Miss Pat.” Miss Pat walked over to where he was sitting and picked up the paper he had crumpled up and thrown on the floor. She handed him the paper and said, “Hector where does this paper belong?”  Hector mumbled, “In the trash Miss Pat.”

Miss Pat looked at Hector and said, “Well, if you know where it belongs why throw it on the floor?” Hector answered, “It was easier to throw it on the floor than get up and go put it in the trash basket.” Then he got up and put the paper in the trash.

Miss Pat told the class to tidy up their table areas before going to lunch. When she came back in the room after lunch she was not happy to see that a couple of the “Can Dos” had left their areas messy. So…when the class came back in after lunch it was time to have a talk about how to tidy up after yourself.

“Class,” said Miss Pat, “I was disappointed to see that some of you don’t know how to tidy up after yourselves. Annie raised her hand and asked, “What does tidy up mean?” Miss Pat smiled and answered, “Well, its a term that my grandma used to use all the time when I was a little girl. It means, clean up.”

Miss Pat thought a minute and then said, “I am going to go around the room and ask each one of you what you do at home to tidy up after yourselves.” As she went around the room there were answers such as…I put my toys away, I throw my dirty clothes in the laundry basket, I make my bed, I clean my dishes off the table after eating, I hang up my coat and hat when I get home.

A few of the “Can D0s” could not think of anything they do at home to tidy up after themselves. Not good thought Miss Pat, especially since these were the “Can Dos” who left their table areas messy. Maybe they don’t know how to tidy up, she thought.

Miss Pat announced, “Children, I have a way we can practice tidying up. It’s a game and we can play it on the computer. Everyone go to your computers. The “Can Dos” were all excited. They loved using the computers.

Do you want to play along with the “Can Dos”? Just go to the “Can Do” Club House, choose more games on the purple balloon and then choose the new game…Tidy Up. You will have fun and your parents will like the game too!

Was Columbus the First Explorer to Land in North America?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Miss Pat wished her students good morning and asked how they enjoyed their three day weekend. After the “Can Do” Kids shared what they did over the weekend, Miss Pat asked,”Who know why we had yesterday off?” Bobby raised his hand and answered, ” It was in honor of Christopher Columbus, an explorer who discovered the New World…where we live…North America.”

“Very good, Bobby. Do you know where his ship made land?” Bobby thought for a moment and said, “I think it was the Bahamas.” Miss Pat pointed to the large map that hung on the wall and said, “Bobby is right, Columbus landed in the Bahamas.

Now I have an even bigger question. Was Columbus the first explorer to land in North America?”

The class grew silent, but not for long. Orrie raised his hand and said, “About five hundred years before Columbus landed in the Bahamas, a Viking, named Lief Ericson led an expedition from Greenland to North America.”

explorer“Excellent Orrie,” said Miss Pat, “Let me tell you what is known about Lief Ericson.”The class all settled in for a story; they loved Miss Pat’s stories.

Miss Pat began,”Lief Ericson was an explorer who led what is believed to be the first expedition to the mainland of North America. He was a Norseman, also called a Viking. The Vikings came from Norway, Denmark and Sweden. He was the son of a man called Eric the Red, who created the first settlement in Greenland. When Eric died, Lief took over as leader of the settlement.

It is believed that Lief sailed west from Greenland in 1002 to find land that had been sighted by a Norse sea captain. While he first landed at a level stone area, he then sailed further south to a heavily wooded area and then went ashore farther south, where grapes were growing. He called this new land Vinland. Lief and his men spent the winter there. On there way back to Greenland, they rescued sailors that were shipwrecked.

No one knows exactly where Ericson landed on his voyages because he didn’t make any maps. However, some historians believe that he may have landed on the island of Newfoundland, on the continent of North America .

“Wow,” said Willie, “That’s some story. If only Ericson made some maps  of where he landed, maybe he would be a famous explorer just like Columbus!”