Q and A

Here’s some more fun responses from BrainQuest questions this week. Some are just funny wrong answers, but at other times we go into this zone of ridiculousness. This happens after a lot of wrong answers in a row, or when I get frustrated that they can’t answer something I know they know because I freaking taught it to them. Then it’s all just chaos.

Q: True or false: Abraham Lincoln was the second president

A: The Civil War

Q: What do we call organisms that eat only plants?

A: Vegans

Q: Who wrote the book A Christmas Carol?

A: Michael Buble

A #2: John Lennon

(Clarifier that the Christmas Carol is question is a book, not an actual Christmas carol)

A #3: J.K. Rowling

Q: Portuguese, Danes, and Spaniards are from what continent?

A: Mexico

A #2: France

(Clarification about the difference between a country and continent, with reminder that we did this last year)

A #3: New Hampshire

(Clarification about the difference between a state and a continent, and slightly angry reminder that we did this last year, yes we did, I know you did this because I was also your third grade teacher, and no you weren’t absent on the day we did it because it was part of a month long unit)

A #4: Asia

At this point I yelled “Yes!” on the basis that it actually was a continent


Ballroom Dancing is a Bi-Partisan Activity

At the end of the day today, I was asking the kids questions from BrainQuest. One was “What are the two main political parties in the U.S.?”

One of my wiggliest and most impulsive kids shot a hand up into the air, and made the universal “ooh! ooh!” sound that means oh man, I KNOW this!

So I called on him.

“Ballroom dancing!” He yelled.

Then immediately followed with “Wait, what was the question?”

Tacos > School

At the end of the day, I was walking a line of kids to their bus. The last one in line happened to be one of mine.

Before he got on, he turned his big blue eyes on me, got a thoughtful expression, and said, “School just isn’t my thing.”

Then he leaned in closer.

“What is my thing?” He said, before I could even ask.

He leaned in even closer.

“Tacos. It’s tacos.”

Then he got on the bus.


My students have an interesting view of reality. Mainly that it’s subject to their own perspective.

Yesterday we learned about prime numbers. Today we reviewed the concept. The number 13 came up as an example. We identified 13 and 1 as the only factors. So it’s a prime, right?


“10+3” one kid said, in the tone of voice of someone pointing out an irrefutable fact to someone who they pity slightly. “That’s addition. Remember, we’re talking about multiplication!” Then I reviewed the concept again.

“5+5+3!” A different child said excitedly. “Three numbers, more than two, so it’s NOT prime!”  “Nope. Still addition.”

Ok, maybe those kids just don’t get the concept.

One of my very strong math students raised his hands. “How do we KNOW there aren’t other factors?” He asked. “Because… math!” I spluttered. “I don’t know.” He said. “There could be more, and we just don’t know!” How do you argue with that logic?

At the same time, we’re doing a unit on fiction in language arts. Realistic fiction. Emphasis on REALISTIC. The rule I use is, if it could happen in real life, it’s realistic fiction.

Enter, the following conversations.

“There could be dragons, though! If there were dinosaurs, couldn’t there be dragons?”

“My dog barks, and when he barks it’s like he’s communicating, and that’s like talking, so dogs can talk. My talking dog story is realistic fiction.”

My favorite was this-

“You can’t prove that I don’t have magic powers.”

“Do you?” I asked him.

“I don’t know if i have magic powers!” And he threw his hands up.

Honestly, I don’t mind living in a world where there are as yet undiscovered numbers waiting to be found, along with dragons and latent magical powers.