Archive for November, 2016

You Know What You Want for Christmas; What Are You Giving ?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

ChristmasDuring recess, Miss Pat overheard the “Can Dos” talking about what they want for Christmas.

When recess was over, Miss Pat said, “I overheard some of your conversation about what you all want for Christmas, but I didn’t hear any thing about what you are giving anyone at Christmas. Let’s talk about the spirit of Christmas for a few minutes. Can anyone tell me what the spirit of Christmas is?”

Yundi raised his hand and said, “It’s about giving, not getting.” The class all looked at him funny. Hector said,”That can’t be right!  It’s about kids getting stuff they want.” Kathy shook her head slowly and said, “I think it is about giving. My grandma starts talking to us in August about doing chores to earn money to buy presents for my mom and dad.” Miss Pat smiled and said,” Yundi and Kathy are right. It is about giving, that is why you get presents because the people who love you want to give to you.”

Miss Pat asked, “Who wants to share with the class what they are giving to their parents for Christmas”?

Nellie raised her hand and said, “Grandpa Dooley took a picture of us and we made a frame for it in crafts class at the community center. We sent it to our mom. She can’t come home for Christmas, cause she’s in the Army, far away.” Everyone was silent for a minute or so. Then Miss Pat said, “That is very thoughtful of you and Willie. I know your mom will be so happy when she gets your gift.”

Bobby raised his hand and said, “I earned enough money from doing chores to buy my mom a fancy key chain and my dad soap on a rope”!

“Those are wonderful gifts children, but some of the best Christmas gifts don’t cost any money at all.

Can anyone think of gifts that don’t cost money, but your parents will love to receive,” asked Miss Pat. Jay raised his hand and said,”I am going to give my parents the gift of a month of sweeping the floor after dinner, emptying the trash and reading a bedtime story to my little brother.” Arthur J smiled and said,”I know what I’m going to give them …a report card with all A’s. They’ve been asking for one of those for a long time!”

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Would you have Wanted to be a Pilgrim Child?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Pilgrim children were busy.

They did not have as much time as we do today to read or play games. Even young Pilgrim children were needed  to work their parents farms, hunt, fish and participate in the every day life of their community.

Religious activities, school and helping around the house with daily living activities also took a part of their time each week.

During what little free time they had, Pilgrim children were allowed to play games.

They probably played games with each other and their new friends, the Native America children on Thanksgiving Day.  They may have played a game called naughts and crosses, that we know as  tic, tac, toe, and  a game they called draughts that we know as checkers.

Pilgrim children may also played other games such as ball games, shooting marbles and a game similar to hide and seek, called blind man’s bluff.

One thing is for sure…Pilgrim children had to make up games since there were few toys to play with back then and it would be hundred of years before, radio, TV and computers games were invented!

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Do the Work…Be a Winner!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

workCoach is getting ready for the afternoon session at the Recreation Center.

A very sullen Hector drags himself in, head down. “Hey Hector, what’s up, asked Coach Campbell. Are you ready for this afternoon? It’s going to be fun.”

“No Coach, I can’t come today.or any other day for a while,” answered Hector. What? How come, what happened, asked Coach?

“I got my report card yesterday, and my Mom is mad at me, said Hector. She says I have to come home every day right after school until my grades get better.”

Coach looked a Hector, saying “Wow, how bad was the report card?”  Hector answered, “Not that bad; I only failed two classes.”

“Hold on a minute,”said Coach. “You failed two classes. Are you are trying to tell me that failing only two classes isn’t that bad? Really? Hector, you are supposed to pass ALL of your classes. If you don’t, you end up falling behind, and that is no fun at all. I mean, right now you have to skip our afternoon sessions for a while, and you can’t be happy about that, are you?”

Hector looked miserable, as he shook his head no.

Coach asked, “Would your mom be mad at you, if you had passed all your classes? Probably not. Now, why did you fail these classes? What is the problem?”

“Well,” answered Hector, “I failed math because I just don’t get it.”

Coach answered,  “Oh, so I guess that it’s not really your fault then; I mean it is math, and you just can’t do math.  Do you get homework?”

Hector nodded yes.

Coach asked, “Do you do it?”

Hector shook his head no.

Then Coach shook his head, saying, “Do you think that not doing your homework hurt you?”

Yeah, I guess,” answered Hector.

“Hmm, said Coach, “do you remember when we first met?”

Hector nodded yes.

“Do you remember how you couldn’t do any of the exercises? You couldn’t keep up with the other kids. I remember your telling me you just couldn’t do it,” said Coach.

“Oh yeah, and I remember how you got mad at me for saying that, said Hector.

“Of course,” answered Coach, “because you were giving up on yourself. Without even trying to get better, you were looking to give up.  Now, a few years later, can you do all the exercises?”

“You bet I can,” answered Hector. “I didn’t give up, I did the work, everyday, and after a while I started to get better.”

“That’s right, you did the work,” answered Coach. “Now you are one of the best in the room. See how hard work pays off? It takes time, but it does make a difference.

Now, if you did the math work, every night, do you think you would have failed?”

“No way,” said Hector.

“The second class you failed,” asked Coach, “was it history?”

Hector turned red in the face and answered, “I didn’t do my  history homework every night. I tried to catch up, but it was just too much reading and vocabulary.”

Hector, if I asked you to do 10 push-ups a day, could you do it?”

“Easy,” said Hector

Coach asked,”If you skipped a few weeks, would the pushups be harder to do? If you got behind in practicing would you be setting yourself up to fail?”

“Yeah,” said Hector.

Coach asked, “What do I always say about what it takes to be a winner?”

Hector broke into a big grin, saying, “You gotta’ do the hard work now, in order to be ready to win later.”

Coach smiled and said, “That’s right. If you do your homework, then come test time, you are ready to win. Do the work, everyday, and be a winner!”

 

Story By: Ned Campbell (Coach Campbell), wrestling coach and teacher in Brooklyn, NY

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Willie and Nellie Explain Veterans Day

Monday, November 7th, 2016

veterans

“Class, this week  we have a holiday. Does anyone know what it is” asked Miss Pat. Orrie raised his hand and Miss Pat called on him. “It’s called Veterans’ Day.”

“Do you know why it is called that, ” asked Miss Pat. Orrie answered no.

Miss Pat asked if anyone else might know why the holiday is called Veterans Day.

Willie raised his hand and when Miss Pat called on him he said, “May Nellie and I share about Veterans Day?”  “Of course,” answered Miss Pat. “You and Nellie come to the front of the room where we can all see and hear you better.”

Willie and Nellie went to the front of the class and Miss Pat sat down in her chair. Willie began talking. “My mom is in the Army, so I know about Veterans Day.” Nellie said,”We live with are grandma and grandpa while mom is overseas serving our country.”  Willie added, “Yeah, my mom is a veteran cause she serves in our military and keeps are country safe!”

Hector  raised his hand and asked, “So, what’s that got to do with Veterans Day?” Willie sighed and said, “A long time ago, after a big war that our soldiers fought in, our Congress voted to have a special day to honor the men and women who fight for our country. So, each year, on November 11, we honor the service of all the men and women of our Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. We have parades and ceremonies and other activities to thank them for their courage and for keeping us safe.”

“Thank you Willie and Nellie. That was a great way to describe Veterans Day. Class, who can think of a way we can honor our men and women in the military, on Veterans Day,” asked Miss Pat.

Hector started bouncing around in his seat, too excited to wait for Miss Pat to call on him and shouted out, “I  know, I know, let’s all write them a thank you card.”

“Hector, that’s a great idea, but I need to remind you that you know you are supposed to raise your hand when you want to speak in class,” said Miss Pat.  Hector looked embarrassed, forgot to raise his hand again and called out,”Sorry Miss Pat.”

“Okay,” said Miss Pat, “everyone who wants to write a thank you card to our service men and women, raise your hand.” All the “Can Do” kids raised their hands. Miss Pat smiled and said,”Tomorrow we will work on the cards for our veterans. I will get the address of where we can send our cards.”

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Sharing Halloween Goodies

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

When the “Can Do” kids arrived in class the Monday after Halloween, they were not in the mood to see a huge mound 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 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 senior 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 at 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!”

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