"Okay, Class. Time for reading to self. We're all trying to get fifteen minutes of reading. Some of you are doing really well. Others just need to keep trying." Mrs. Taylor looked at me and winked.
I took a big breath and blew it out.
"What's the matter, Chloe?" Brayden said.
"Fifteen minutes is ... forever."
"Naw. Just do like me. Really concentrate on your book." Brayden opened his book and stared at it.
We all found a spot and started to read.
When I felt like my eyes started to look around and my mouth began to open, I stuck my book up higher in front of my face. I mashed my lips together real hard. Don't talk. Don't talk.
Finally the timer went off.
"I made it!"
Brayden patted my back. "Good job."
Later we worked more on coins. Mrs. Taylor gave us a paper with all kinds of coins on it. The directions said to color each one a different color.
I started with the pennies, coloring them yellow.
"I think it's weird that the dime is smaller than the penny. The dime is ten cents and the penny is only one cent," Angela said.
" I know what you mean. Seems like the coin makers were trying to trick us."
"Momma, do you want to know how you can remember how to spell arithmetic?"
"Mrs. Taylor taught us this sentence: A rat in the house might eat the ice cream. Did you get it?"
"If you take the first letter of each word, it spells arithmetic."
"Oh, I see."
"Do you want to hear a joke?"
"One guy asked his waiter: 'What is this fly doing in my soup?' The waiter said, 'I believe he's swimming.' Isn't that funny?"
Momma chuckled. "Yep."
"I've got another one. Why did the gum cross the road?"
"Um, I don't know."
"It was stuck to the chicken's foot." I laughed. "Here's a good one. Why do hummingbirds hum?"
"Let me see."
"Because they don't know the words. That's a good one too, right?"
"Yes, that's a good one."
"Let me find another one."
"Sweetie, why don't you put the joke book away for a little while. How about you set the table?"
"Okay, Momma. I'll read you some more later."
"Where did the joke book come from?"
"Oh, I found it at Mrs. Brooks' house. She let me borrow it."
"How nice." Momma smiled a little smile and nodded. Her voice didn't quite match her words.
Chloe tries very hard to be quiet and keep reading for fifteen minutes. What is something you have had to try very hard to do? What did you have to do to accomplish it?
Why do you think Momma's voice didn't quite match her words when she said how nice about the joke book? Explain.