Archive for October, 2011

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!

Orrie is the Quiz Kid!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

It was a rainy, cold Monday and the “Can Do” Kids  were just sitting in their seats looking bored when Miss Pat announced, “Time for a quiz!”

Hector groaned, Bobby rolled his eyes, Eulyn looked nervous and Kathy said out loud, “I hate when we have a quiz!”

Miss Pat said, “Hate is a strong word, Kathy, and not a nice one. How about saying I really don’t like having to take a quiz.”

Miss Pat began to hand out clickers and said, “It is going to be an oral quiz, a game with teams. Tables one and three will complete against tables two and four. Tables one and three are the blue team and tables two and four are the green team. When you think you know the answer click your clicker. Whoever clicks first gets to answer first. If it is the right answer the team gets a point. Whoever gets 20 points first wins the game.

Orrie is the quiz kid“No fair,” said Hector. “Orrie is the smartest kid in the class and he is on the green team. The blue team can’t win against the green team as long as Orrie is on the green team.” The rest of the class just looked at Miss Pat, wondering how she would solve this problem. How could she make it a fair quiz? Would she keep Orrie out of the quiz? That wouldn’t be fair to Orrie.

Miss Pat thought a minute and said,”Let’s ask Orrie what he thinks is fair.” Orrie cleared his throat and said, “How about I play for the blue team for half the quiz and then play for the green team for the second half of the quiz.?”

The class all clapped and Orrie smiled. It wasn’t so often that he got to be an important part of a team with his classmates. At the rec center he was a member of the chess team and the junior scrabble team, but here, in class, with his friends, well, it was really neat to be wanted on both teams!

The quiz was about nutrition.

There were questions about fruits and vegetables and what you could make with them. Some of the questions were hard, all the “Can Do’s” participated and with Orrie’s help, the teams were tied. Then they went into overtime and the blue team won!

Later, Bobby was sitting with Orrie at recess and he said, “You were great in the quiz! How did you get to be so smart?” Orrie smiled and said, “Bobby, it is not that I am so smart, I just like to learn and I spend lots of time researching things on the computer that interest me. I read a lot too.”

Changing Seats

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Miss pat and the gamesThe “Can Do” kids were just getting used to their table mates in class when Miss Pat announced that she would be changing the seating arrangements.

Groans went up from a few of the kids and a few even said out loud, “Do we have to?”

“Yes, answered Miss Pat, “We have to!” Bobby raised his hand and asked, “Why, Miss Pat, why are you changing our seats? I like where I sit and who I am sitting with.”

Miss Pat smiled and said, “That’s just why I am changing seats.

Some of you like where you are sitting and who you are sitting with too much. There is a lot of unnecessary talking and sometimes I see some of you checking out the answers of the boy or girl sitting next to you.  All that has got to stop. It interferes with my teaching and it keeps all of you from doing your best in class.”

Miss Pat began calling out names and changing who would be sitting at each table. She said,”Please don’t think that just because I am changing your seat , that you were the one doing something wrong. I just need to form other table groups.”

When all the seat changing was done, Bobby raised his hand and asked, “How come all the tables got changed but one.

How come everyone at Arthur J’s table got to stay together?” Miss Pat was quiet for a moment and than answered, “Because there was no unnecessary talking at that table since school started and everyone at that table paid attention to their own work and didn’t try to see what the person next to them was doing.”

Bobby thought a minute and said, “Does that mean if we don’t talk and pay attention to our own work we can sit with the people we were sitting with before our seats were changed?”

Miss Pat looked at the class and said, “Yes, if you all show me that for the next six weeks you are able to choose to be quiet and pay attention to your own work and not look at the answers that your table mates have, then we can go back to the way it was. However, everyone must choose to be quiet and mind their own work or we will not be able to change back.”

“But what if some kids don’t do the right thing?” asked Eulyn. “It is all about the class agreeing to do the right thing,” said Miss Pat.  It is all about respecting each other and choosing to do what is best for everyone in class.”

The class grew quiet and then Hector stood up and said, “I choose not to talk  to the kids sitting at my table when I am supposed to be listening or doing an assignment. I promise to keep my eyes on my own work and not look at other kids work.”

One by one, each Can Do” kid got up and said pretty much the same thing. Soon the whole class was standing.

Miss Pat clapped and said, “You are all learning how to behave in class. I am proud of all of you. You are making good choices!”