Counting by Hand

Cheetah Change cup

Photo: Tammie Valdes

Two weeks ago, one of the Wildlife Safari’s ambassador cheetahs visited Anna’s school and I wrote about his visit for Five Minute Friday. Over the last two week, Anna and her classmates have been collecting change to donate to the Safari’s Cheetah Breeding program, and today we counted totals for each classroom.

Hand counting that much change is a chore, but we’ve got it down to a system. My wife Julia, who’s far better at both math and money than I am taught me how to count money fast and efficiently, and using this system three adults and one eight-year-old were able to count eighteen classrooms worth of “Cheetah Change” in about an hour and a half.

Here are the steps.

  1. Take out the bills.
  2. Separate coins (quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies).
  3. Count coins from largest to smallest.
  4. For every four quarters put one in a “dollar pile” and the other three in the counted change pile.
  5. For every ten dimes, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  6. For every nickel, put one in the “dollar pile” and nineteen in the counted change pile (it helps to count nickels by twos).
  7. Once you get to pennies, you’ll need to make a third pile (“tens pile”)  to count every tenth penny. It’s too easy to lose your place when counting to 100.
  8. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in rightmost column (i.e. $__._7).
  9. Count the “tens pile.” For every ten pennies, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  10. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in the next column over (i.e. $__.37).
  11. Count the “dollar pile.” Add the number of coins to your bill count to get the dollar total and place that to the left of the decimal point. (i.e. $26.37),
  12. Collect the bill and change. Your done with that jar!

The result? Anna’s school ended up raising over $360 for the cheetahs. The two top classes got an extra recess.

And most amazing of all, our hand-counted total was within forty cents of the machine count at the bank.

The system works!

Five Minute Friday

And on the first Friday of each month …

Fatherhood for Fridays

Up Close

Khayam outside

Arriving at the school.

It’s one thing to see a wild animal in a photograph, or behind a fence at a zoo or a wild animal park. It’s quite another to see that animal up close. The children at Anna’s elementary school got that chance yesterday when one of the Wildlife Safari’s ambassador cheetahs, Khayam, paid a visit.

Khayam onstage

Onstage with his keepers and a nice big bucket of steak.

The kids were mesmerized by this beautiful cat and sat in silence as one of the keepers talked at length about him and his sister Mchumba—how they were abandoned by their mother and hand-raised by staff, how they were trained to become cheetah ambassadors—and about the beautiful, endangered animals that the Safari works so hard to preserve.


He loves being in front of an audience.

At the end of the presentation, my wife Julia took the stage to encourage the kids to raise money for the Safari’s cheetah breeding program. She asked if the kids wanted to help and they all responded with an enthusiastic “yes.” The plight of the cheetah had been made real to them in part by seeing one of these animals up close.

Laying with his head off the stage.

He liked seeing the kids up close too. Good thing he was full.

And now they will do their small part to make sure that someday their kids will get the same opportunity. That there will still be cheetahs for them to see up close.

Photos © 2014 by Julia M. Ozab.

Five Minute Friday

Bloggerhood Etc. 5/12/14

Mom and baby

Photo: Pax Christi, USA

A belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms out there. Hope it was a good one. Here’s the best of the week.

Most Timely.The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe (1870), posted at Pax Christi USA.

Best Essay.Three Little Words: Too Many Men” by Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated.

Best Use of Bad Language.Urban Slang Dictionary for Noxious Weeds” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Parenting Post.The Struggles of Christian Parenting” by Stephen Mattson at Sojourners.

Best Special Needs Post.On Early Intervention” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best Blog Interview. “‘I Just Have To Write What’s on My Heart’: A Conversation with Teryn O’Brien” by Boze Herrington at Sketches by Boze.

Best Guest Post.(De)tale: Plates” by Rachel Marie Stone at Cara Strickland’s blog Little Did She Know.

Best Reflection.A Good For Nothing God” by Zach Hunt at The American Jesus.

Best Comic (and Best Question).WTF is Wrong with Americans?” by Silhouette Man at tickld.

Best Reading List.Pioneers in Pigtails: Remembering the First Heroines Who Made Us Mighty” by Megan Jean Sovern at Huff Post Books.

Funniest.7 Tips for Dating My Three Year Old Daughter” by John Kinnear at Ask Your Dad.

Best Video.Please Stop With the Buzzfeed Quizzes” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“It says I am loyal, kind, and wise.”

Thursday’s Child

Martha Artega, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist, works with children on a conservation education project in Roma, TX. [Slide 97CS3024]

Photo by Ken Hammond, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

There is an old English nursery rhyme that I learned from my mother. It’s commonly known as “Monday’s Child.” It has many different versions. Here is a well-known one:

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Mom always reminded me that I was a Thursday’s child—born on Thanksgiving, no less—and that I had “far to go.” She knew it was just a silly little children’s rhyme, but she encouraged me to make it come true.

Anna is a Thursday’s child too, born at 12:10 am on a Thursday morning in mid-January. I think about this rhyme more since she was born, and more still as I see how much she loves to learn. And when she boasts that she knows “everything” in her eight-year-old way, I reminder her that no one but God knows everything, and that the real fun is in learning something new.

That’s how I think we can all be a “Thursday’s child.” We can always be learning, always be growing, and no matter how far we’ve come we always have “far to go.”

So I’m starting a new—hopefully weekly—series on Fatherhood Etc. called “Thursday’s Child.” Every Thursday (go figure?) I’ll write about something I’ve learned or something that Anna has learned, or anything that encourages learning in general.

Here’s our first lesson—something Anna taught me during our visit to the Oregon Zoo.

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Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part Three

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

Check out Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading, and Part Two: Math and Science.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part Three: Geography and Foreign Language

50 States with Flat Stanley

Learn the States With Flat Stanley

  • $0.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2013
  • Version: 1.9
  • Size: 48.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Flatter World, Inc.
  • © Flatter World Inc

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Send Stanley to Oregon.

Description:  Help Flat Stanley re-deliver lost mail while learning the names and locations of all fifty states. Grab a slingshot, take aim, and send him flying.

Anna’s Favorite Part: Flinging Stanley with the slingshot.

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