I have a very talkative class of 21 students. They always want to tell me stories at the most inconvenient times. I love hearing about their lives and I love that they feel comfortable sharing so much with me. However, it drives me absolutely crazy!!! We even have "sharing time" where we sit in a circle and everyone has about 30 seconds to share something with the rest of the class, hoping that they will get their stories out then. Almost any time we transition or line up I am surrounded by children wanting to tell me stories. For example, when they come in from a special I will have them go sit on the carpet. I usually have about 6 kids around me asking me questions or wanting to tell me a story about something. In the time that it takes for me to listen to them or tell them to "remember and tell me later" I have completely lost the other children, who came in the room prepared and ready for the next activity. This happens constantly all day long. They will also raise their hands in the middle of instruction and tell me things like "my pants have zippers on the sides" or "I'm going to Natalie's birthday party later," which sparks even more off-topic conversation. I have talked to them over and over again about when it is appropriate to tell me stories. It's to the point where I ask them, "Is it an emergency?" before calling on them. I feel bad because I want to hear what they have to say about the things we are learning about, but I often have to tell them "no questions" because the off-topic conversation takes us SO off-topic. Today a girl even cried because she wanted to tell me about her pumpkins but I told her to remember and tell me later at free choice time. I know this is typical kindergarten behavior, but it's driving me crazy!!! I feel mean constantly cutting them off and telling them to tell me later, and I'm afraid they will eventually think I don't care. Does anyone have any suggestions?