It was April, and Mrs. DePalma had her work cut out for her. There she was, a new teacher, facing 24 innocent, fresh-faced first-graders seated on child-size maple chairs in classroom 1A. Her task: to shape these eager little pupils into actors and actresses in time for the spring play three weeks away. She tucked a stray strand of hair back into the bun on her head, adjusted her cat-eye glasses and got to work. She selected a seasonally appropriate song for her proteges: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head. It was a No.1 hit the year before, although none of her students were aware of that fact. All we knew was we had to quickly learn the music and make some oversize signs for this show that was sure to bring down the house.