Saturday, March 07, 2009


Fourth graders are at an age when baby teeth fall out as readily as bolts and parts off a 1970 Chevrolet Vega. I make sure my fourth grade students get their baby teeth home safely so they can put them under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy by placing them in a tissue, then stapling the tissue inside a large piece of folded over construction paper, thus making it hard to lose.

This year I have had an exceptional class in many ways, and certainly their statistics on losing teeth is one of the best I have ever seen. They lead their grade level (4th) in the greatest average of lost teeth per student (1.24), the smallest tooth (3 mm), the most in one day (3), the most in one week (5), and the most in one year (31, still counting, and it's only March!!). One boy lost two teeth in one day, one girl lost half of a tooth one day and the other half three days later, another kid swallowed his tooth, another gave it up while in the planetarium, and another said, "Mr. W., my tooth is loose," and then proceeded to have me get a good close-up look at it while she simultaneously pulled it out and completely grossed out her squeamish teacher.

I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, those baby teeth don't qualify as an accomplishment, but I'll put my class of Baby Teeth Losers up against any class in the country. Their reading and math levels aren't too shabby either.

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