Monday, April 4, 2011

First Grade vs. Fourth Grade: A Tooth Story

This story is based on a conversation between, well, first grade teachers and fourth grade teachers, thus the title (I’m very clever that way, aren’t I?).  However, the author…that’d be me, has taken some liberties. 

First Grade Classroom

Student:  Teacher, I lost a tooth.

Teacher:  Oh, my goodness!  Class, look!  Susie lost a tooth.  Come on up here, Susie, let’s check that out.  Wow!  Okay, now we need to put you on our “Who Lost  a Tooth?” board.  Let’s see, if there were four kids who lost a tooth in December and now Susie has lost one, how many do we have now?  Yes, that’s right, five.  Okay, boys and girls, now, is five odd or even?  Good, odd.  Wow, you guys are so smart!  Now put on your thinking caps for this one:  How many total teeth have we lost this year.  (Fingers come out, eyes roll to the back of heads, etc., as the children try to add up all the numbers.)   That’s right, Sam, we have lost a total of 25 teeth.  Wow, let’s give Sam a round of applause!  Okay, now let’s tally 25.  Ooohhh, and who knows how to make 25 using money?  Great, that’s right, we could use 5 nickels.  Who has another way?  Fantastic, one quarter.   You guys are awesome!  Okay,  now Susie, hop on up to the office and show Ms. Mary your lost tooth.  (Susie skips gleefully down the hallway.  While she is gone, every student now exclaims that he/she has wiggly teeth and proceeds to try and show the teacher.  It’s a fingers-in-the-mouth fest like none other.  Susie returns proudly displaying her nifty little tooth box - or tooth coffin - as we teachers call them.  The class oohs and ahhs over Susie’s box and then proceeds to share stories of the boxes they have received.)   

(This could literally go on and on, but let’s just say a good 15 minutes was just spent on Susie’s tooth.)

Fourth Grade Classroom

Student:  Teacher, I lost a tooth.

Teacher:  Huh?

Student:  Teacher, I lost a tooth.

Teacher:  I heard you the first time.  I’m just wondering why you’re telling me.  It’s not like you’ve never lost a tooth before.  Stick it in a baggie and get back to work. 

(This exchange was probably 15 seconds, max.)

Later, during lunch…

First grade teacher glances at the clock (while grading papers in her classroom during lunch) and notices that her lunch “hour” is almost up.  She rushes into the lounge, grabs her lunch, and mutters, “Oh my goodness, no matter how hard I work, I just can’t seem to catch up.  We are so behind!”  Fourth grade teacher feigns sympathy but when the door closes says, “What’s with those primary teachers?  They are always rushing around complaining they can’t get anything done.  They have the same amount of hours in a day as we do.  What, exactly, do they do all day long?”

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