Posts Tagged ‘life skills’

The Piggy Bank that Almost Wasn’t

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

piggy bank

As Willie reached for his piggy bank from off the shelf in his bedroom, he thought to himself, “It’s December 1st. I need to see how much money I have for Christmas gifts for Grandma Hattie, Grandpa Dooley, my mom and my sister, Nellie.”

The piggy bank wasn’t just a piggy bank for saving loose change made by helping with extra chores at home and for the neighbors. No, it was special because it was a gift!

Last year, for Christmas, Grandpa Dooley made Willie and Nellie each a piggy bank so the could save for Christmas, 2015. He made them in a pottery class at the recreation center. Grandpa Dooley was so proud of his work! He beamed with pride when Nellie and Willie opened the  piggy bank gifts and saw how pleased they were to receive them.

Willie shook the piggy bank; it sounded like there was a lot of money in there!. He turned the bank over and tried to turn the nob that would open the bank; nothing happened. It wouldn’t open. He tried and tried, but he couldn’t get it open. First Willie was mad, then he was scared. How was he going to get it open? He had seen lots of pictures of kids hitting their piggy banks open with a hammer, but how would he explain to his grandpa that he broke his piggy bank and could never use it again?

Just then, Nellie came into Willie’s room and said “You need someone stronger than you to open your piggy bank. I got Coach Campbell to open my bank.” Willie’s face brightened. “Good idea, Nellie, I’ll bring my bank to school tomorrow and ask Coach.”

The next day, after gym class, Willie asked Coach to open his bank for him. Coach tried and tried to open the bank, but no luck. Willie was really upset. He asked Coach Campbell, “What am I going to do? I’ve been saving all year. If I don’t get this bank open, I won’t have any money for Christmas presents.”

Coach could see Willie was fighting back tears. “Willie,” said Coach, “there is only one thing you can do. Go to your grandpa and show him how you can’t open the piggy bank. Be sure to tell him I tried and I couldn’t do it either. Be sure to tell him how much the bank means to you and you didn’t want to break it open to get the money out even though you need the money for Christmas gifts.”

When Willie got home, Grandpa Dooley was reading his paper in his favorite chair. He went up to his grandpa, cleared his throat, and told him about his problem with the piggy bank and how he needed the money. Grandpa listened quietly, then he got up, went into his tool box and got out the hammer.

“No Grandpa, don’t break it You made it!” Then Willie started to cry. “Willie boy, you did chores, and saved all year to be able to buy gifts for the family. I made you the bank so you could save, and you did just that! Now you deserve to get your money.

With that, Grandpa Dooley gave the hammer a swing and the pig broke in several pieces.

Willie couldn’t believe all the coins that fell out. Grandpa gave Willie a pat on the back and said,”I can always make you another piggy bank, and I will. This time, I’ll make sure you can open your piggy bank by yourself. “

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Changing Seats

Friday, October 20th, 2017

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

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

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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The Right Way to Get Attention in Class

Friday, September 29th, 2017

attentionMaria and Eulyn were always yelling out answers to get attention in homeroom and in computer class. So, Miss Pat decided to review the right way to get attention in class.

Miss Pat asked the class what was their favorite breakfast. All of a sudden it wasn’t just Maria and Eulyn that were yelling out answers; Bobby, Jay, Willie and Kathy also were yelling out as well! There was so much noise that Miss Pat couldn’t hear what anyone was saying,

“OK, quiet down children,” said Miss Pat. “That really didn’t work did it?” That is why in class, when we want to ask a question or answer a question or get the teacher’s attention for other reasons, we must first raise our hand. Then when the teacher sees your hand up she will point to you or call your name or both. Then you can speak.”

Them Miss Pat asked the question again, just to see what the class would do. “What is your favorite breakfast food? Eulyn attentionstarted to shout out, but caught herself and raised her hand. The rest of the class all raised their hands.

“Good job,” said Miss Pat.”That’s the right way to get attention in class.” Then she called on Eulyn to hear about Eulyn’s favorite breakfast. Then she gave everyone in class the chance to talk about their favorite breakfasts.

Guess what was the most popular breakfast….toast and jam and chocolate milk!

Remember boys and girls there is a right way and a wrong way to get attention.

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The Bobbin Girls

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Yundi and Nellie ran towards Coach Campbell yelling, “Hey Coach!” Coach answered, “Hey – What’s up? How is everybody?” “Good Coach, said Yundi. “Yeah,good. Visit any more mines Coach?”

“Ha, ha – no, no – I am not going back down in those mines again,” said Coach. Nellie nodded her head and said, “Yeah, that was not a place I would want to go. So dark, and dirty. Scary.”

“Sure is,” shared Coach, “Coal mining is a dangerous job.”

Nellie asked,“Hey Coach, remember you said you would tell us about what the young girls did for work?”

“Sure do,” answered Coach. “They were nicknamed Bobbin Girls, and they worked at the local textile mill. They were called Bobbin Girls because their main job was to work with the bobbins of cotton thread.

image of thread bobbins

 

 

Bobbin Girls working in textile mill

The Bobbin Girls would run back and forth with the bobbins of thread to keep the looms working. The loom machines wove the threads together to make fabric for clothing.”

“Yundi and Nellie both looked amazed, and Yundi said,  “That looks like a lot of running!

I bet those Bobbin Girls were real tired after working. How long a day did they work Coach?”

image of one of the Bobbin Girls in the textile mill.

“The Bobbin Girls put in a long-long day,” answered Coach; “10 hours or so. Plus, the big room with the big looms had the windows closed to keep the wind from messing up the threads of cotton. A little breeze could get them mixed up and stuck. That stops the loom from working.”

“The windows were closed? It must have been so hot,” said Nellie.“Oh yes, very hot and very loud. The giant looms make an awful racket,” added Coach.

Coach pulls out his phone, and says, “I have a youtube movie of a working mill room at the Boott Mills in Lowell. Let’s look at it together. This video shows several machines working at the same time.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmYV3J5JU4

Yundi shook his head and said, “Wow Coach, sure am glad my classroom at school is air conditioned. But, my classroom can kinda get just as loud – SOMETIMES!!”

Coach laughed and shook his head in agreement and Nellie just giggled. Then Nellie added, “I’m glad that, in this country, young girls like me don’t have to work in factories like the Bobbin Girls did.”

Story by:

image of Coach Campbell, author

Ned M Campbell is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches United States history at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY. He is a published writer, and a volunteer contributor to “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street program.

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