Yundi and Wendy’s grandma is coming from China for Sun Nin, the Chinese New Year! They told Miss Pat, and she suggested that they do a “show and tell” about Chinese New Year for the class. They agreed! They always listened respectfully when their classmates spoke about their holidays; it was nice to be able to talk about their annual holiday!
The morning of their “show and tell” Yundi and Wendy brought in some pictures of decorations popular for Chinese New Year. They put the photos up around the classroom, and then took their places in the front of the classroom. Miss Pat nodded for them to begin.
Yundi began, “Chinese New Year is a moveable holiday because it is celebrated according to the ancient Chinese lunar calendar. It takes place somewhere between January 21st and February 20th. The celebration may last for a week.
Each year is named after one of the 12 animals on the Chinese Zodiac. Some people think that a person born in a year dedicated to a certain animal will have that animal’s characteristics.
Then Wendy took over, saying, “Chinese families make many preparations for the Chinese New Year. Everything must be very clean. Special foods are prepared. New outfits are bought. Any debts are paid. Everyone gets ready to start out fresh and new. Red and orange are the special colors used for decorations. There are special scrolls everywhere with good wishes written in Chinese characters: Good Health, Long Life, Luck, Prosperity, and Happiness.
This day is everyone’s birthday party because Chinese people add a year to their age on this day no matter when they were born. Gifts are given. Children are allowed to stay up late on Chinese New Year’s Eve. They are given gifts of money wrapped in red paper. At midnight firecrackers are lit to scare away the bad spirits.
Yundi finished their talk by saying, “On New Year’s Day everyone is very careful to be good and polite because they believe that the way they act on New Year’s will count in the year to come. Everyone visits friends and relatives and attends celebrations in the community. They may see the lion dance and the dragon parade, which bring good luck and prosperity.
They greet each other by saying,” Gung hay fat choy! which means, “Happy New Year!”
Just as Yundi and Wendy were finishing their talk, the classroom door opened and in walked their mom and their grandma, all the way from China! Everyone clapped, Wendy and Yundi ran up to their grandma and gave her a big hug. Then grandma opened the big basket she was carrying and offered each of the “Can Dos” a traditional Chinese New Year treat…an orange and a fortune cookie!
Miss Pat couldn’t help but notice that the “Can Do” Kids were not into vocabulary building today. They needed a fun break. How could she make vocabulary fun?
Hmmm…she thought. How about a word jumble and a word search? That ought to be more that a few minutes of fun. So she gave the “Can Dos” the following teacher printouts to do.
Why don’t you print out these handouts and have a fun break? The fist jumble is about animals. The second images is about things we see in the spring.
Miss Pat was concerned that some of the “Can Do” kids didn’t seen as sharp as they were before the long holiday recess. She wondered if they were eating enough brain food. So, she invited Nurse Diane to speak with the class about foods that keep our brains sharp.
“Good Morning, class,” began Nurse Diane,” today we are going to talk about food that are important to keep your brain sharp; foods that help us to learn, to do well in school, and to solve problems. You know, all the things that each of us needs our brain to do for us.
Oh, I know you try to eat all the foods that keep you healthy, and give you enough energy for activities and sports, but did you ever think of foods that your brain needs?”
Just as Nurse Diane finished speaking, Hector’s hand shot up. Nurse Diane called on him. “Nurse Diane, instead of you telling us about brain food, why don’t we just ask Orrie what he eats. He’s the smartest kid in the class, so we can just eat what he eats! Then Hector sat down with a smug look on his face, as if to say” How smart am I!”
Orrie blushed when Hector said what he said, but when Nurse Diane asked him to share, he did. “For breakfast, some days I have eggs, while other days I have Greek yogurt with fruit, or oatmeal with apples.”
Nurse Diane beamed. “No wonder you are always alert and ready to learn in the morning. You eat brain food for breakfast. “
Hector didn’t look so smug anymore. He didn’t like oatmeal or eggs very much and was hoping Orrie ate toaster popped French toast and pancakes and fruit pastries.
Nurse Diane said,” I know most of you eat the school lunch, so let’s talk about dinner. Who eats fish such as tuna and salmon and even sardines? “Some hands shot up.
Then Nurse Diane asked, “What about spinach and kale, and purple cauliflower? Not so many hands went up on the vegetables.
“Okay,” she added, “Let’s talk snacks. Grab an apple or a plum when you need a sweet pick-me-up. Carry nuts as a snack. They are loaded with protein and other vitamins and minerals your brain needs.”
“Thank you Nurse Diane,” said Miss Pat. “You have given us a lot to think about.” After Nurse Diane left the room, Miss Pat asked the “Can Dos” if they were willing to eat more brain food. Some were not too sure, so Miss Pat suggested they talk to their parents about ways they could eat things like eggs and nuts and oatmeal and kale and it would taste good to them .
For a homework assignment, each “Can Do” was assigned a brain food to talk to their parents about and come up with a way to eat that particular brain food.
How about you boys and girls at home…any ideas on how to eat some of these brain foods?
Source: Nutrition information: WebMD Parenting & Children
The first day back to school after New Year’s Day held the promise of snow for sledding.
It started snowing early, before school started, and now it was snowing heavily. The “Can Do” kids were hoping that there would be an early dismissal from school.
Most of “Can Dos” had taken their sleds down from their attics or out of their garages just to be ready for a chance to go sledding.
Just then the door opened and in came Coach Campbell. “Hi boys and girls,” said Coach. “As you can see it is snowing very hard and there will be early dismissal.” Coach waited for the cheering to quiet down before he continued. “I want to remind everyone about the safety rules when it comes to sledding.
Before you start sledding, be sure you have the right kind of sled and helmets, dress warmly, and ask you parents or grandparents to pick out a perfect hill for you to sled down.
- No sledding without a responsible adult present to supervise. If a child does get injured, there should always be an adult on hand to administer first aid and, if necessary, take the injured sledder to the emergency room.
- Young kids (5 and under) should only sled with an adult, and kids under 12 should be actively watched at all times.
- You should always sit face-forward on your sleds. Never sled down a hill backwards or while standing
- Don’t go down the hill face-first, as this greatly increases your risk of hurting your head.
- You need to go down the hill one at a time and with only one person per sled (except for adults with young kids).
- Don’t build an artificial jump or an obstacle on a sledding hill.
- Keep your arms and legs within the sled at all times.
- If you fall off the sled, move out of the way.
- If you are on a sled that won’t stop, roll off it and get away from it.
- Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders.
- Never ride a sled that is being pulled by a moving vehicle.”
The “Can Dos” nodded and promised Coach they would follow the sledding rules.
Coach smiled and said, “OK then, get out there and have fun sledding!”