Thanksgiving Break and the Pie Games

We had a nice, long, quiet Thanksgiving break.  Our schools had the whole week off, but we apparently decided that wasn’t long enough for us and began our holiday early, on Wednesday the 14th.

It began with me waking up the three older children to get ready for school and noticing that Katie felt a little hot and was complaining (more than normal).  So I took her temperature – just under 101.  Not a high fever, but a fever, and combined with the way she was acting a definite reason to keep her home from school today.  I let her go back to sleep and helped get the other two ready and out the door.  Before they left, I checked them both just to make sure and both passed the temperature test with flying colors.

At 10am I got a phone call from Emma’s school.  Emma was looking pale and now had a temperature of 102.  I got the little ones into the car and picked her up.  I was blown away – she was fine literally 3 hours before.  I’m sure I didn’t have to explain, but I felt a need to tell the nurse that she’d been fine literally hours before.  I didn’t purposefully send a sick child to school!  We got home and after a bit of medicine, both she and Katie laid down and rested.  And I wondered if I would get a call about Jonathan.

By 1:30-2pmish I relaxed a little.  School was almost over and no call.  Jonathan must be fine.  Which was good since his class was having their “Pie day” the next day and he’d been looking forward to it for weeks.  Then about 2:05 I got a call from Jonathan’s school.  He’d been acting a little off so he was sent to the nurse’s office.  And he had a 101 degree fever.  The timing was amazingly ironic.  His school gets out at 2:10.  He would have been on the bus within a few minutes.  (Not that I wish he had been – I know why he wasn’t and I am glad that it’s their policy to not send sick kids home on the bus.  Just the timing was ironic.)  So I got the three girls into the car and we picked up Jonathan.

And thus started our break.  The school district has a guideline that a child with a “mild fever” (99.5-100.9) needs to be home if there are any other signs of illness (complaining of pain, coughing, fatigue, etc).  And a child with a fever over 101 needs to go home and stay home until the fever has been gone for 24 hours.  That pretty much sealed it right there – they were all home for the rest of the week.   Poor Jonathan was heartbroken that he had to miss the Pie Day.  And Bryan, who was dealing with a lot of stress at work and needing to stay healthy, ended up needing to stay an extra day away to try to decrease his chance of getting sick.

But other than that, it was honestly pretty nice.  Abby had been sick the week previously, and her temperature went the highest of all (104 and I had to alternate tylenol and ibprofen because one wasn’t enough to keep her fever down) but a visit to the pediatrician let us know she had just a virus so there was nothing we could do beyond the fever reducers.  So I pretty much knew the other kids had the same thing.  And unlike Abby the week before, the other kids weren’t really cranky, just sleepy.  And their fevers reacted very well to ibprofen so I didn’t have to worry about the alternating.  So they were either medicated and acting normal (and therefore perfectly able to help out around the house) or they were tired and sleeping.  And because of them being sick, I didn’t feel any pressure to run errands – it was just time to hibernate for a few days.  It was kind of relaxing actually.  :)  Then they were all better on Saturday, so we had Sunday as normal and then got to relax again the next week.

We had a fairly low key Thanksgiving.  Bryan got home Wednesday night and it was so nice to have him home and able to be with the family!  And then he spoiled me on Thanksgiving by taking care of most of the food prep.  Cooking may be necessary, but it’s not something I generally enjoy.  It was so nice to have help!

Here are the kids with our delicious Thanksgiving dinner:

As we ate we went around the table multiple times, each person listing something they are thankful for.  It was a great experience.  :)


Now on the Pie Games – when Jonathan realized he’d be missing his class games, I promised him that we’d make up for it.  We’d have our own pie games at home.  I tried to find out exactly what they did at school but that didn’t work out.  So I decided to make it up myself.  We found small pies at Walmart and bought 6 different flavors for our game.  We planned to do it Thanksgiving, after dinner.  But then we all ate too much so that didn’t work.  :)  And it kept getting put off, as we’d forget until evening and then it would be too late.  But last night we finally did it!


I gave each child a piece of paper with the names of each pie down the side.  Then we created a table and the columns numbered to represent turns.  I cut out slips of paper and labeled them with “1/2”, “1/4”, “1/6”, “1/8”, “1/2 of 1/3”, “1/2 of 1/4” and “1/1 (not really – pick another).”  I then had each child pick the pie they wanted to start with, then they’d pull out a folded slip of paper to see how much of that pie they received.  We would continue until they got about the equivalent of a full pie.

It was great.  I don’t know how much Katie understood, but I think both Jonathan and Emma understood very well.  We were able to touch on ideas like fractions with the bigger number in the bottom are actually smaller, fraction math (subtraction – 1 pie minus 1/3 is 2/3, addition – 1/4 pie plus 1/4 pie makes 1/2, etc), the fact that fractions can be written different ways and mean the same amount (1/6=4/24), that to find half of a fraction you multiply the bottom number by 2, etc.  It was a lot of fun!

Our first pies – after removing 1/4, 1/8, and “1/2 of 1/4”:

1/4, 1/8, and "1/2 of 1/4"

Kathryn, enjoying her pie accumulation:

The kids, happy that mom changed her mind and said it was OK to eat their pie pieces now if they made a picture of the pie on the back of their papers:

I’d originally intended to have them wait until they could see the pie pieces all together making a whole pie (ish).  But they really wanted to try some pie.  So we compromised.  And frankly the pictures turned out better because as close as I may get, I cannot get a perfect 1/8 or 1/6 piece of tiny pie.  :)

Jonathan’s picture:

1/2 Apple, 1/6 blueberry, 1/8 cherry, 1/12 pecan (the smallest I could cut – that wasn’t in the slips but he wanted the tiniest piece possible just to try it), 1/8 lemon.  And it was a nice surprise that those together made a truly perfect, complete pie.  Then he had a 1/8 peach, both to try it and because his sisters both went over and he wanted to as well.  :)

Jonathan posing:

He wanted this to be a “Yeah!” picture.  Hence the raised hand.  I learned later that he’d smeared crumbs on his face to add to the ambiance   Lovely.

Emma’s chosen pose:

And Kathryn’s pose:

Then she wanted a picture with her “completed pie” (plus some) and her paper.

Then a close up of the front of Jonathan’s paper:

And the back:

When Jonathan asked to draw his pie I realized that mixing the thirds and fourths would make that challenging.  So all I could think of was to divide the picture into the common denominator and give him a key at the top so he’d know how many “pieces” to color in.

When I took pictures of Jonathan’s, Emma wanted me to take pictures of hers too:

Hers was easier to work with.  :)  And she was the first to draw a picture of a pie on her paper, as well as the two fractions on either side.  Very nicely decorated.

Then she wanted to take a picture of me.  I obliged.  She declared it beautiful.  :)  Sweet girl.

Katie got tired of the fraction talk and started decorating her picture.  Katie surprised me though – she knows how to draw many numbers now!  I had no idea.

She loves coloring and drawing.  It’s become one of her favorite past times .  And she’s pretty good at it!

She did everything except the pie names, column lines, and fractions.  She even did the column numbers at the top.


And there you go – our pie game night.  And it was a blast!  :)

2 Responses to “Thanksgiving Break and the Pie Games”

  1. What a good teacher you are! And the children seem eager to play the game.


  2. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving, and so educational! I am impressed with how fun you made the fractions!

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