I teach in an extremely poor and violent urban neighborhood. Most of my students are raised by single mothers, many of whom are younger than me (I am in my mid twenties). Most of my students are African American, but I have a few Latino students. I am very pleased to say that most of my class is extremely bright and hardworking. They know about 35 sight words so far (we've been in school since the beginning of August, so we've had an extra month) and many are doing addition and subtraction already. It is very exciting and I am very proud of what they have accomplished. BUT, and here is where I need some opinions, the class is very, VERY loud. When I do small groups, my students shout their answers in excitement. When they do their work, they TALK TALK TALK, but when I look at their writing, they are doing the assignment exactly as I requested and can explain their thought process. Since all the noise comes from excitement about learning, I don't really have a problem with it. I know that being loud is more acceptable in certain cultures than in others and I feel my classroom reflects my students' culture. Here is my question: Is this a bad thing? Are my standards too low? Does a quiet classroom mean for more efficiency and more learning? Or does it matter as long as they are learning?