A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“My birthstone is a coffee bean” (3/23)
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Entry from April 16, 2016
“Make the little things count. Teach midgets math”

"Make the little things count. Teach midgets math” is a jocular line that has been printed on many GIFs. The line—without “midgets”—is from the 19th century. “Makes little things count—The teacher of the smallest class in arithmetic” was cited in 1892. This joke was printed in many newspapers in January 1893:

School Inspector—“Your primary class does very well in arithmetic, Miss Belcher—especially in addition.”
Teacher—“Yes, sir. It is when you hear them in addition that you realize how little things count up.”


“Make little things count. Teach arithmetic to dwarfs” was cited in a 1991 book. “Make little things count, teach math to midgets” was cited on Twitter on September 14, 2009.


7 April 1892, Lebanon (IN) Pioneer, pg. 5, col. 4:
Makes little things count—The teacher of the smallest class in arithmetic.— Washington Star.

12 January 1893, Warren Republican (Williamsport, IN), pg. 4, col. 5:
School Inspector—“Your primary class does very well in arithmetic, Miss Belcher—especially in addition.” Teacher—“Yes, sir. It is when you hear them in addition that you realize how little things count up.”

Chronicling America
5 November 1898, Neihart (MT) Herald, pg. 3, col. 6:
A young lady says she makes little things count. She teaches arithmetic in primary school.

16 June 1908, Hartford (CT) , pg. 4, col. 1:
“I believe in making the little things count,” remarked the kindergarten teacher, as she called up the class in arithmetic.—Philadelphia Record.

4 June 1936, Philadelphia (PA) Tribune, pg. 8, col. 8:
A kindergarten teacher has to know how to make the little things count.

14 August 1959, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “Today’s Chuckle,” pg. 1, col. 4:
A kindergarten teacher is a smart girl who knows how to make little things count.

Google Books
More Florida Lore Not Found in History Books
By Vernon Lamme
Boynton Beach, FL: Star Publishing Company
1978
Pg. 62:
Kindergarten teacher — the one who makes the little things count.

Google Books
How Do You Lift a Walrus with One Hand?:
More Profound Answers to Preposterous Questions

By Louis Phillips
New York, NY: Viking Kestrel
1988
Pg. 10:
I am trying to improve my philosophy of life, and I have been told that the best way to be happy is to make little things count. How can I make little things count? The best way to make little things count is to teach arithmetic to first-graders.

Google Books
The Complete Speaker’s Handbook
By Bob Monkhouse
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble
1991
Pg. 171:
Make little things count. Teach arithmetic to dwarfs.

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Puns of the Weak 09/20/02
Stan Kegel
9/20/02
(...)
A kindergarten teacher needs to know how to make the little things count. (Very Punny)

Twitter
Andrew Sayer
‏@andrewsayer
Make little things count;
Teach arithmetic to dwarves.
5:14 AM - 8 Jan 2009

Twitter
jonathanwinter
‏@jonathanwinter
Make little things count, teach math to midgets
9:25 AM - 14 Sep 2009

Google Groups: neworleans.general
Seen on Facebook
Willielmus de Noers
9/17/09
Make the little things count.  Teach math to midgets.

Twitter
I ain’t shit
‏@mikeuptoppro
make little things count, teach math to midgets
1:04 PM - 15 Feb 2010

Twitter
9GAG
‏@9GAGfeeds
I’m busy teaching math to a class of Midgets tonite. Bcuz it’s important to make the Little Things count.  http://bit.ly/atjeER
12:00 AM - 19 Mar 2010

Google Books
Roadmap into a Twisted Mind
By Bruno Gagnon
Victoria, BC: Friesen Press
2014
Pg. 124:
Make the little things count. Teach midgets math!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, April 16, 2016 • Permalink