Last week was a great experience as we headed into week two of our homeschooling journey. We even managed to fit some unexpected fraction practice in when Emily made Amish Sugar Cookies as her contribution for Cook Book Club last Tuesday. As she placed the balls of dough deliciously rolled in cinnamon and sugar onto the baking tray, I told her there would always be three rows of four on the tray. After she quickly calculated that there would be twelve balls on the tray and had actually placed six, I asked her what fraction she could make. She came up with 6/12 and we discussed how that was equal to 1/2 when reduced. She added three more yummy balls of dough and I asked her what fraction that would be.
I was completely taken by surprise when she answered 3/4. Of course that was correct, but I was expecting the answer of 9/12. When I asked her how she came to that conclusion she told me, "I saw a pie in my head Mommy. And three of the four pieces were in the pan so it had to be 3/4." I was wowed. She had looked at the dough, had seen that three of the four rows we talked about were filled in, and had come up with a fraction. Next, we needed 3/4 a teaspoon of cream of tartar. Unfortunately, there is no 3/4 of a teaspoon; so she figured out that she could use the 1/4 teaspoon three times to equal three fourths. I was excited because we were able to make math fun. Not the strange mean, mode, median math that no one ever uses, but practical math one uses use every day in real life.
While I truly love being able to spend so much time with Emily and being able to instruct her in her daily lessons, I still respect those great teachers in the school system that love children and work hard to make learning fun. Teachers that go beyond just showing up for the job. Many of the teachers that I am proud to call my friends are also children's authors. Wearing two hats, that of author and teacher, is definitely going beyond the call of duty in my opinion. So please give a sincere round of applause to these fine folks below and take some time to check out the books they have lovingly created.
Lisa Tortorello is a teacher in Chicago and has written two books for children. The first is The Moose at the Manger a unique telling of the nativity tale, and the second is Mark the Missing Moose a story of sharing grief and not keeping it bottled up inside.
Laura Eckroat is a teacher in Fort Worth and has written four books for children. Her first book Life of Bud is the story of life and death and all that is in-between as perceived by a tree bud. Her second book, and my favorite is A Simpler time. It is the story of slowing down and appreciating the simple things. Her third book, Went Out For a Donut and Came Back With A Muffin, is the story of her rescue dog Muffin. And finally, What's In The Corner - A Muffin Tale.