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A Tale of Two Cities.

Two of my fifth graders were looking at a map of the United States and discussing the different states and cities.

One of the boys said, "How come there are two Washingtons?"

The second boy replied, "There's a Washington, D.C., and a Washington, A.C."

Rebecca Hadley-Schlosser Honolulu, Hawaii

One of our kindergarten teachers was walking to the lunchroom with her students. One of her little girls asked her, "Do you work?"

The teacher smiled and said, "Yes."

The little girl looked up at her and asked, "Where?"

Michelle Brown Lynn Haven, Florida

One day I took the students in my English For Speakers of Other Languages class to the school media center. I told the small class to take a table by the window. The boys then went in the other direction from the window.

The next thing I heard was, "Where do you want us to put it? There isn't much room over there."

Four of my charming seventh graders were ready to lift the table near the door and take it to the window. Such good listening and cooperation!

Margaret Golibersuch Columbia, Maryland

Some of my fourth graders who failed a map test were retaking the exam during recess.

I noticed one girl, who was retaking the test, seemed to be getting some help from her neighbor who had passed. I came over and told him not to give her the answers.

He looked at me, aghast, and said, "But, Ms. Brown, I wasn't giving her the right answers. That would have been cheating."

Jenny Brown Oak Harbor, Washington

One of my all-time favorite questions was when an elementary student asked me, "Which version of Tom Sawyer is best? The one by Samuel Clemens or the one by Mark Twain?"

Sandra L. Doggett Ijamsville, Maryland

The gap between the generations became very evident the other day when I brought an old Jackson Browne album to play for my students during a poetry lesson.

As I took out the album and put it on my old stereo, a student said, "Mrs. Wangberg, that's the biggest CD I've ever seen!"

Lynn Wangberg Minneapolis, Minnesota

I presented a class of mentally handicapped students with a series of problems to see if they could come up with solutions.

I told them that the previous evening, I sat down to eat dinner, but a fly kept buzzing by my head and landing on my food.

I asked one little guy what I should do. Very matter of factly, he said, "Buy a frog."

Nancy Schlup Newton, Kansas

We were discussing new vocabulary words in my fifth grade class. The new word was "prosperity." I asked the children what things a person might have if they had prosperity. The usual answers followed: mansions, yachts, and fancy cars.

Emily raised her hand. Her answer was "Hopefully, me!"

Kathy Bottone Brick, New Jersey

My class was lined up at the door ready to go home. While waiting for the bell to ring, I told them we needed to relax and calm down. One way to do that, I said, was to take some deep breaths.

I led them by saying "inhale" and then "exhale."

We had done this about three times when, from the middle of the line, Jonathon said, "In-Heaven, ex-Heaven!"

I guess our Texas accent caused him to misunderstand what I was saying.

Pat Bitner Big Lake, Texas

My third grade class was working on proper nouns. They were asked to write down the name of a river. One student wrote Mrs. Sippy.

Tina Schneider Baltic, South Dakota

During an art history lesson with my second graders, I wrote on the chalkboard an artist's name, and her birth and death years (1844-1926).

As I started to discuss her paintings, one student waved his hand wildly in the air and asked, "If she's dead, why do you have her phone number on the board?"

Heidi Hamer Geneseo, Illinois

During a recent "100th Day of School" celebration, one child asked, "What do we get on the 3,000th day of school?"

Without skipping a beat, my class comedian replied. "A job!"

Kimberley Kelly Corn, Oklahoma

In the writing portion of our Reading Recovery lesson, I referred many times to the silent `e' at the end of the word. After a few examples of this, a student innocently asked, "Why can only teachers hear the silent letters?"

Linda Kuhaupt Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Math 101

I often ask students a "brain teaser" before they leave the media center. One day, as a second grade class was leaving, I asked, "How many feet in a yard?"

A delightful child eagerly raised his hand and said, "Actually, Mrs. Irwin, it depends on how many people are standing in it,"

Sandy Irwin Minneapolis, Minnesota

One of my highly gifted preschoolers was being evaluated by the school psychologist.

The psychologist asked, "If you had 12 bananas and you gave half of them away, how many would you have left?"

This child planted his chin on his hand and said, "Actually you would have the same number. They would just be shorter."

Nancy Lee Schaefer Anchorage, Alaska

A first grader asked me how old was (I was 60 at the time). I asked her how old she thought I was. She said 14.

I explained that 14-year-olds were just starting high school.

"Oh," she said, "then you must be 70."

John Wright Hadley, Massachusetts

My fourth grade students' jaws dropped as Romeo and Juliet kissed during a school assembly. Later, one student said, "They must have smooched 21 times because they rehearsed for three weeks." One boy said, "No, it was 21 plus four because they gave the play four times this week!"

Lora Krouse Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Publication:NEA Today
Date:May 1, 1999
Previous Article:The 1999 NEA Representative Assembly.
Next Article:And Yet They Smile.

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