The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The Things Students Say (and Do)

There used to be a television show hosted by Bill Cosby called Kids Say The Darnedest Things. I never watched it, but I know the general idea. Students say and do things that are sometimes just so… weird!

Not that that is a bad thing! No, not at all! It is one of the reasons I love teaching fourth grade: fourth graders are weird, but they don’t really care! They say and do things because they are realising more about the world around them and they are making connections they never made before.

Sometimes they say or do something that makes me laugh and then I have to go back and try to explain why, although funny, it probably isn’t the most appropriate thing in school. Other times they say something that just leaves me speechless.

Here are a few snippets from this year:

[While reading Because of Winn-Dixie and talking about the main character’s parents, who separated, among other things, because the mother was an alcoholic]
Student A: What is an alcoholic?
Me: An alcoholic is someone who has an addiction to alcoholic beverages.
Student A: What is alcohol?
Student B: You know, drinks like beer or whiskey.
Student A: Oh! I think my mom is an alcoholic. She drinks a lot of beer.
Me: …
[I then changed the subject.]

[A student has started wearing handmade paper bowties taped to his t-shirts each day.]
Student: Hey, Mr. Valencic, I see you are wearing a bowtie! Do you like mine?
Me: Yep! But you still don’t get a prize unless you wear one you tied yourself.
Student: That’s okay. Do you know who else wears bowties?
Me: I know a lot of people who do; who are you talking about?
Student: Dr. Owen! He always wears them! [Dr. Owen is our superintendent. And yes, he almost always wears a bowtie. There’s a cool story as to why that you should ask him about if you see him.]

[When I am done talking to a student, I usually wave my hand and tell them to “go away.” This is always done with a smile. Today I was talking to a student about her math work.]
Student: Did I do these correctly?
Me: Well, you got the first part, but now you need to simplify the improper fractions and turn them into mixed numbers.
Student: But that’s harder!
Me: Yep! Do you need help?
Student: No, I can do it! [smiles] Now go away. [she accompanies this with a dismissive wave of her hand]

Can you tell we are definitely in the fourth quarter now? What are things you see your children/students doing that fall in these categories? Do they surprise you? Make you laugh? Share in the comments below!


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