The Grandpas RememberTheir Long-ago Halloween Celebrations

images of Halloween Pumpkins

Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley were carving pumpkins for the Halloween party at the “Can Do” Street Community Center.

They didn’t notice a few of the “Can Dos” coming into the room. They were busy talking about what Halloween was like when they were kids.

Once the “Can Dos” realized what the grandpas were talking about, they ducked behind a pile of decorations so they wouldn’t be seen, but could hear what the grandpas were saying.

“Do you remember the Halloween songs we used to sing and the poems we used to recite in the Halloween plays and skits we had in school on Halloween day,” asked Grandpa Dooley. “Hmm,” said Grandpa John, “I don’t remember any poems but I do remember a song we used to sing.”

That’s funny,” said Grandpa Dooley,”I don’t remember any songs, but I do remember a poem.”

Just as they were starting to share what they remembered, one of the “Can Dos” coughed. “Whose there,” called out Grandpa John. Hector, Willie Nellie and Annie came out from behind the pile of decorations. Grandpa Dooley asked, “Were you eavesdropping on us?” “HUH,” said Hector,”What’s that?”

Grandpa Dooley answered, “Eavesdropping is doing what you just did. It’s when you hide out so you can hear what someone is saying and they don’t know you are there.” The “Can Dos” got red in the face and looked embarrassed. Hector spoke for all of them when he said, “We’re sorry. We just wanted to hear what Halloween was like in the olden days.”

Both grandpas smiled at each other and Grandpa Dooley said, “Grandpa John, should we share the song and the poem we remember from when we were their age?”

Grandpa John said, “I’ll go first. Every Halloween we would have an all day event at school. There would be square dancing, storytelling by the teachers and the principal would give each child a small box of Halloween candies. Then certain children were called on to recite a poem or sing a song.

I sang Pumpky Pumpkin. It went like this…

The candlelight inside him makes his eyes light up and gleam; he shines right through the window at you for a happy, happy Halloween.

Oh, Pumpky Pumpkin is a happy pumpkin and do you know why, cause he’s a Jack’o Lantern instead of being a pumpkin pie.”

The “Can Dos” all clapped and asked him to sing more of the song. “Sorry,” said Grandpa John, “But that is all I remember.”

Then Grandpa Dooley recited his poem.

It must be Halloween.

“It must be Halloween, for when I passed him by

A Jack’ o Lantern smiled at me and winked his yellow eye.

He grinned with all his teeth, from high upon the shelf

I didn’t feel afraid because I’d cut him out myself.”

“Wow,” said Willie. “I guess you did have Halloween fun in the olden days!”

A message from Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley, “Why not ask your grandparents and parents what they did on Halloween?”

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Changing Seats

Image if Miss Pat changing where each child sitsThe “Can Do” kids were just getting used to their table mates in class when Miss Pat said 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 and soon there will be no changing of seats!”

 

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Miss Pat Didn’t Let the “Can Dos” Finish Reading

PatTeacher Pat gathered the “Can Do” Kids around her for story time and asked “Class, what story shall we read today?”

Willie raised his hand. “Yes Willie,” said Teacher Pat. I’d like to read a Halloween story from the book my grandma gave me,” said Willie.

“Willie, you will need to pass the book around so the rest of the class can each read a little from your book,” said Miss Pat. “That’s fine  with me Miss Pat,” said Willie.Pat

“The name of my book is the Pumpkin Patch,” shared Willie. He began to read, “Long ago a farmer had a pumpkin patch, with rows and rows of bright orange pumpkins. There must have been a hundred of them.”

“Willie, time to pass the book to your right and let Wendy read a few lines,” said Teacher Pat. Wendy began to read, “The farmer promised the children of the town they could each pick out a pumpkin for Halloween to carve with their families and put in their living room windows.”

“It’s Arthur J’s  turn Wendy,” said Teacher Pat.

Arthur J began to read,”The f-f-f-farmer told the ch-ch-ch-children that the p-p-p-p-pumpkins were almost ready to p-p-p-pick.'”

Arthur J stopped reading because some of his classmates were laughing at him.

Miss Pat said, “Thank you Arthur J. Please return the book to Willie. Story time is over for today.”

Questions:

Do you know why Miss Pat ended story time when she did?

Why were some of the kids laughing at Arthur J?

What do you think about them laughing?

What would you have done?

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Orrie is the Quiz Kid!

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.

image of Orrie. the quiz kid in his wheel chair“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 and that’s why I am a quiz kid.”

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