Friday, February 5, 2010

Rule 4.

I feel like I have become the classroom's official argument settler. Arguments usually occur during snack time or choice time. No matter what the topic of the day is, those little people always seem to turn to me for the final call. One time I settled the argument about whether the term 'google' was a number or a website. Another time it was whether or not breakfast and lunch could actually be termed 'brunch'. Today's argument occurred only minutes into class.

You see, every morning I open the class with Journal writing time. The Kindergartners have the opportunity to illustrate and write about any topic they want. They are generally very focused on their work, because if they finish early I allow them to have reading time. However, before they can escape to their reading time, their work must first be approved by me. The debate occurred when I had a line of three kids at my desk. I happened to be working with one student individually, while the other two filled their waiting time with quiet bickering. After I had finished working with the first student, the next two stepped up. Immediately, I could tell this was something serious.

"How may I help you," I asked.

"Teacher? Are '/thu/' and '/thee/' the same?"

"Yes. We can say them either way when reading T-H-E, but remember rule number 4? 'In 'the' the E says /ee/ because it comes at the end of a syllable'."

Now you can always tell the humility of a friend when he or she will openly admit they were wrong. This was one of those cases, since he turned to his friend, said "You're right," and then modestly walked away.

I was happy to have helped solve such an important issue, but I was couldn't help but wonder how the topic came about. Still standing there, I asked the third student and deemed champion of the argument,

"What was that about?"

With a gratifying grin, he looked at me and said proudly, "He said I was right!"

I was satisfied knowing that in that moment we had a humble loser, a proud winner, and a helpful mediator.

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