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First Year, Eighteenth Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

Due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it was another short week. The stomach flu was going around in full swing the week before. It thankfully didn't affect my class. I mostly had kids out with a fever. I was seeing all over Facebook that families at church were getting it, so I stayed home and watched church online with my mom. It was a nice day off. On Monday I got to have lunch with a good friend of mine who has been off on vacations and retreats etc. for a while. It's taken us a long time to get together. We talked about my troubling friend situation as of late, and she was very understanding and encouraging. She told me I was her most faithful friend. I told her it was because she's never made me feel like I wasn't important to her. She's one of the few friends I have that I didn't feel our friendship had changed after she got married. That's not something I can say of everyone, and I'm really thankful to have her, though we don't get together too often. Having another short week just continued to set back the behavioral loss from Christmas Break. We've had so many times during the day that we've had to "go back and try it again." From lining up after recess, to sitting down like model students on the carpet, to walking quietly to their tables, these kiddos have had to practice, practice, practice! Luckily we have lots of time during our day to retry things, but I'm SO over it!

We started blending letter sounds to read and write words this week. We've been doing beginning and ending sounds for a while, but this week they had a list of 16 short "a" sound, CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. The other kindergarten teacher gave the list to me for us to do and said she has them practice on white boards writing the words while she sounds out each letter in the word. So, normally I would assume they would have to write down the words like that for the test. That's what I had them do and went to the other teacher while I was grading them to ask if she graded just the correct spelling or their writing too. That was when she told me the test was supposed to be the kids reading the list, not writing it. Wish I would have known that before I did it. It was an adventure trying to give a spelling test to kindergartners, that's for sure! I had one kid burst into tears saying he couldn't do it and then refuse to do anymore. I had to give him the test one-on-one later, poor guy.

We've started doing addition flashcards everyday. They're slowly getting the hang of it. It's been fun to teach them tips and tricks to adding quick. They get excited about the ideas I share when I praise them for how quickly they can do addition. I've been doing all sorts of tactics--songs, ones tables, looking for patterns, games, and practice, practice, practice!

Our Bible story was about Samson this week. We read out of picture Bibles, that have really cool artistry. The kids love their Bibles. If I let them have 30 minutes to just look through it, they'd be perfectly content. It's a really neat kid version. The trouble with kids versions though, is that they don't get into quite as much detail. The kids always have tons of questions about the stories we read. One of my students asked if Samson died when he pushed down the temple pillars on top of the Philistines. I was pretty sure he did but it had been a while since I'd read that story in my Bible. I said I'd have to look it up in my Bible to double check. We talked about how if we still have questions, we can look in a big Bible with an adult to find the answers. So together we read the NIV version of the story. Of course, I have to do some filtering with my age group. I have to stick to basic facts so they can follow easily, and then paraphrase after I've read...skipping around for the parts of the story that we've already talked about, just to get more detail. It was neat to see them so eager to know more about the Bible.

Second quarter grades were due on Friday. I'm officially done with 1st semester. HALFWAY DONE!!!