Search for:

Silent Sustained Reading

Silent Sustained Reading is supposed to be silent, and everyone in the classroom, including the teacher, is supposed to be reading his or her book of choice. Patrick is struggling with the concept.

Me: Patrick, please be quiet.

Patrick: Yes, Miss.

Me [several minutes later]: Patrick — please be quiet!

Patrick: Yes, Miss.

Me [several minutes later]: Patrick! Please be quiet!

Patrick: Yes, Miss.

Me [several minutes later]: Patrick!

Patrick: Yes, Miss?

Me: What part of “please be quiet” don’t you understand?

Patrick [grinning]: Well, I’ve always had trouble with Q-U’s.

Me [shaking my head]: Well, then I guess this is your lucky day. [I picked up a dictionary and dropped it on his desk] Pick ten Q-U words for your spelling test next Friday.

Patrick: Oh, no Miss. Never mind. [holds the dictionary out toward me] I’m fine with Q.

Me [smiling, hand extended as though I’m really going to take the dictionary]: I see. You want me to pick ten for you?

Patrick [jerks dictionary back to his chest]: No Miss! I’ll pick.

Me: Have the list on my desk in ten minutes.

Silence for about three minutes, then Patrick starts talking again.

Me: Patrick, have you brought me that list of twenty words yet?

Several snickers echo through the classroom, but Patrick remains very, very quiet.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. i would love to be a fly in your classroom, it sound like major fun…poor Patrick, he had too push it so far..he will learn i hope.

  2. Patrick’s mother is a teacher. I have known him since he entered first grade. His mother put him in my class on purpose. She figured the other teachers would kill him — or her — and she knew I already had his “number.”

  3. LOL! 5th graders are so EASY to intimidate! Sheeeeesh… try that with a Junior! LOL! Ummmm… Quilly… you’ve ummm… been TAGGED! Over at my blog! Awwwwwwwww… don’t look at me like that! I chose you cuz I KNOW you’ll do it justice!

  4. Our little Freddie is in grade five, and during his open house last week, Freddie’s teacher told his mom that he can sometimes be too “social”. But I remember my daughter’s teacher telling ME that about her as well.

    Freddie just grins his big toothy grin.

    I’ll have to tell him about Patrick. Too funny.



  5. Patrick…i fell yer pain, dude.

    I have my own “sociable” guy. Mom recently sent home boxes of memories with me when I visited her and in one was a bunch of report cards…my kids took great pleasure in pointing out that the teacher always wrote…”finishes work quickly and then begins talking” “too sociable” “cindra needs to work on being quiet in class”


  6. Cindra Jo, are you sure those weren’t my report cards? They sure sound like mine.

    I spent most of my 5th grade year at the back of the room by myself. There was nothing to talk to back there but the coats and the boots. They were boring and smelled funky.

  7. I guess that’s what they call double jeopardy. The exponential punishment thing. So did he actually do it? perhaps we should make some kind of game out of writing a story using Patrick’s twenty Q words. Now that would be a challenge– Hey, but don’t quietly quit this query quivering and quaking my queen, quickly quote a quip from some quarterly and quell any qualities of quizzical quackery that keeps you in a quandary, Quilly.

    Hey not bad for improv, though.

  8. Tom — You mean something like:
    My quest for quaint quality quills was quashed by the quietly quizzical query,
    “Queen Quilldancer could you quit?”

  9. Oh, Patrick, the humiliation! Bwahahahahahahaha. That’ll teach him never to take on anybody armed with more sophisticated weaponry!

  10. I hate to admit, but I kind of like Patrick.

    My verifier is “ktelaxwd” I bet I can’t type it, but I like it too.

  11. I went to school with a kid like that, unfortunately, it was always me getting caught telling him to “shut up!”. How do you think of these punishments? I would have been a terrible teacher, all the kids think faster than me.

  12. Glad you weren’t my teacher i found it very hard to keep quiet, in class i’d of forever been doing spelling tests. Guess it wouldn’t of been a bad thing as i am a terrible speller!

Comments are closed.