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First Year, Thirty Second Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

We learned FRACTIONS this week! You should have seen how smart my kindergartners are! They now know that a numerator is the number on top of a fraction that shows how many parts are colored in the whole, and that a denominator is the number on the bottom of a fraction that shows how many parts are in the whole altogether. We learned how to write fractions up to eighths. I saw a video on Pinterest of a kindergarten teacher teaching those two definitions. And I figured if I was teaching them that terminology, then I might as well do a flashcard matching game with pictures and written fractions. I felt so proud watching them. They're doing high school stuff! It took a few attempts and reteaching, but they got it!

All week was crazy busy. I was trying to get as much done as I could so I wouldn't have to work over the weekend so I could enjoy my birthday weekend. My kids were wired because we were in full swing of preparations for Open House the next week and because it was my birthday soon. Tuesday was probably the worst. I sent them to music class, and apparently they were so bad that Mrs. Goodman had to end their class early and bring them down to sit in the hallway. I was shocked. They were in BIG trouble! I had told them we were going to do science experiments all week in preparation for Open House and our room being about Curious George. We were going to explore our curiosity and do some cool science stuff. But due to their horrible behavior, they lost that privilege on Tuesday. They moaned and groaned and protested; they were so upset, and it was amusing listening to them try to convince me to change my mind. I don't know where their new attitude has come from, but lately I've gotten a lot of "No, I don't want to do that." I've had to remind them that I am the teacher, and I am not asking them or giving them an option. I am telling them, and they have consequences for their actions. So instead of science that day, they sat quietly and read books at their tables. They said at the end of the day, "Well maybe we can just do those experiments tomorrow, right Miss Neal?" Uh no. Since when did they think that they can always earn back privileges they lost? Life doesn't always work like that. I don't have extra time to plan that back into their school schedule. I have other things to be teaching. So I told them no. They were disappointed, but we talked about consequences--why we have them and how they help us learn from our mistakes and know better for next time. Their faces were very sad, but I remained strong.

I brought in cupcakes for them on Friday that were absolutely divine. I made spice cake and topped them with homemade whipped cream frosting drizzled with caramel syrup. I wasn't sure if they would like the frosting, but they raved and raved about it. I only ended up having to take home their writing journals to grade because I needed to return them on Monday so they could do next week's writing homework. My birthday weekend was fun--went to El Torito with my family and to Disneyland with my boy. It was nice to get away and not have to think about work. I'm excited to be 24 and to see what God has planned for this next year of life!