"Okay, friends, it's time for us to have our reading-to-self time." Mrs. Taylor looked excited.
I slumped in my seat.
"Remember that you need to find a spot away from everyone else and stay focused on your book until my timer goes off. Don't talk. This is our time to build our reading stamina. Everyone get your book box and find a spot, please."
My feet shuffled to the shelf at the front of the room and I slid my book box out slowly. I spotted a place on the rug near the smart board and plopped down.
"Let's do a really good job. Pick up your book and focus. You're not done until Mrs. Taylor says you're done. You may begin reading."
At first I stayed glued to my book, exactly the way Mrs. Taylor wanted us to. But my eyes wouldn't obey. I looked around the room. Jill was sitting not too far from me. I hadn't even taken the time to tell her how much I liked her shirt today. I really needed to do that. We're supposed to use kind words.
I scooted a bit in Jill's direction and then stared at my book. When it seemed like no one had noticed, I moved a little closer. "Psssst, Jill."
Jill looked at me over the top of her book. Her eyes got big.
"I forgot to tell you ..."
Jill cut me off with a "Shhh." She shook her head.
"No, see, I didn't get to tell you that I like your shirt today. It's such a nice color."
"Chloe," Mrs. Taylor called my name in a loud whisper.
I sat up straight and looked her way.
"What are our rules for reading-to-self time?"
"Oh, Mrs. Taylor, I just can't!"
"Yes you can. We don't say, I can't. We keep on trying." Mrs. Taylor stood. "But I'm afraid you broke a rule and will need to move your name clip down on our behavior chart."
I slowly stood up and walked to the chart, keeping my head down the whole time. My eyes felt watery, and my lower lip quivered.
"Now return to your spot and focus on your book for the rest of the time. I know you can do it." Mrs. Taylor smiled, winked, and sat back down at her desk.
This time I sat facing the wall and my back to Jill and everyone else. No one understood. My mouth couldn't keep from talking for very long. Momma had said that talking would surely be my demise. I never understood what she meant. I've always wondered if it is some bad sickness that causes me to have to talk or else I'll explode.
But I do know one thing. I've got to say some kinds words quickly if I want to get my name moved back up. Momma will not be happy with me if my folder says I got moved down today.
Chloe was having a hard time following the rules. Are there rules you find hard to follow? What are they?
Mrs. Taylor told Chloe not to say, I can't. She suggested that Chloe keep on trying. What ideas could you give Chloe to help her remember to follow the rules?
Are there times that you say, I can't? Why do you think that Mrs. Taylor says that they shouldn't say, I can't?