The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

image of Christmas stockings

With Thanksgiving behind them, the “Can Do” kids were looking forward to the coming Christmas holiday.

it was time for some Christmas activities; so, Miss Pat invited Grandpa Dooley to class to share the Legend of the Christmas Stocking.

The “Can Dos” all knew and liked Grandpa Dooley. They especially liked his storytelling. His booming voice made his storytelling extra special. Willie and Nellie were always so proud to have their grandpa tell stories to the class.

Grandpa Dooley cleared his throat and began. “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Everyone knows this poem. But, do you know who wrote it?” Not even Orrie had the answer, and he has most answers.

Grandpa Dooley continued with his storytelling. “As far back as 1823, when Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” stockings were being hung near the fireplace, awaiting a visit from Santa Claus. At the end of the poem, St. Nick “fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,/And laying his finger aside of his nose/And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.”

But where did this legend, this practice of hanging Christmas stockings, come from?

While there are no written records of the origin of the Christmas stocking, there are popular legends that attempt to tell the history of this Christmas tradition. One such legend has several variations, but the following is a good example:

Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after he wasn’t around to take care of them.  Passing through town, St. Nicholas heard the villagers talking about the girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn’t accept charity. He decided to help in secret. After dark he threw three bags, which contained gold, through an open window. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning they found the bags of gold and were, of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.

This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.

A tradition that began in a European country originally, children simply used one of their everyday socks but eventually special Christmas stockings were created for this purpose. Many families create their own Christmas stockings with each family member’s name applied to the stocking so that Santa will know which stocking belongs to which family member.”

Grandpa Dooley put the paper down that he was reading from and looked at the class. “Now it is your turn to speak. Tell me about your Christmas stocking traditions.”

Hand shot up and each “Can Do” waited politely to be called to share about their Christmas stockings.

 Sources information: Wikipedia – description of the history of the Christmas stocking.

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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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The Right Way to Get Attention in Class

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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Hector Gets the Homework Talk

HectorHector was enjoying and afternoon of skateboarding when his dad called him into the house.

Not good thought Hector. It is only 4 o’clock, too soon for supper.

When Hector  went inside he saw his mom and dad sitting at the dining room table. They asked him to sit down at the table with them.

Uh, oh thought Hector, did I forget to do a chore? Did my sister, Maria, snitch on me for eating her snack last night? He couldn’t think what else he might have done wrong.

His dad said, “You’re not in trouble, Hector. We just want to talk with you about homework  now that the school year has started. We want you to get off to a good start. We want you to have good homework practices.

Last year, you had a hard time doing homework, not because it was hard, but because you kept putting off and then you would rush through it and not do your best work.

This year, Hector, you will have more homework than last year. It will take time to do. I know there will be times when you would rather be doing other things, like skateboarding or watching TV. But, when you put homework off to the last minute, you make it hard on yourself.

So, make up your mind to do your homework first thing , when you get home. Then you will be able to have fun. You won’t have to be worrying about getting your homework done.

So, Hector, do you promise to do your homework as soon as you get home?”

Hector was glad he wasn’t in trouble, but he wasn’t happy to have to promise to do his homework as soon as he got home from school.  He could see by the look on his dad’s face that his dad meant business. He looked at his mom. She was nodding yes to everything dad said.

His dad said, “Well Hector, we are waiting for your answer. Hector answered, “I promise.”

“Good,” said dad. “Now you can go back out and skateboard until dinner.”

As Hector picked up his skateboard and walked outside he couldn’t help but think that making promises and keeping them is tough!

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