Daily Five-Chapter 2

Just a little background here...last year I taught at a brand new school in our district and I was the only 1st grade teacher.  It was very lonely!  We have grown up this year to include three first grade classrooms and my new team members are totally on board with Daily Five.  Yay!  I am so excited about this.

Now a few thoughts on the chapter!

Trust:  I laughed when the sisters referred to a new driver in the house.  My oldest just got her license and it was scary for sure.  Now she drives all over town on her own without me giving it a second thought (o.k., I still worry a bit!).  I know that I DO NOT trust my students enough in my classroom.  Call me a mother hen but I always feel the need to keep steering them in the direction I feel will lead them to success.  This will be something I have to work on for sure.

Choice:  I've always been big on choice (with books) and have already had conversations with a few colleagues about this.  Allowing them to choose their activities throughout the day is letting go of a lot of control in the classroom.  This goes back to trust!  I have always used Writer's Workshop in my room, so this will look a lot different in my room under this model.

Community:  I highlighted this quote, "Each new group of children will fashion their own unique community based on the schema they bring to the classroom and the experiences they have during the year."  Creating community in the classroom is vital to a smooth running classroom.  I feel that the Daily Five model only will strengthen that community building process.

Sense of Urgency:  Why?  I had a little boy in my room last year that would ask that question a lot.  It was a silly joke between the 2 of us eventually that always ended with, "Because I am the teacher!"---I would never say this to just any student!  We have really focused on posting and referring to objectives in our district over the past few years.  I feel like I really just got the hang of it this year and it really does make a difference when you take the time to tell students why you are doing something.  Our walk through evaluations from our principal include her asking a few students in our room what they are doing and why they are doing it. This is going to be awesome!  The FIRST time she walked through with these questions one of my boys told her he was working on math but he already knew how to do it so he didn't know why he had to do it again.  So embarrassing!  "So I can be better at math" would have sounded so much better!

Stamina:  I used this "buzz" word in my classroom this year because I had heard it so often in my blog hopping.  I understood the concept on the surface, however it did not spread throughout my classroom with all readers.  I still had a few boys that really didn't enjoy reading that busied themselves with other things while others were reading and a couple of girls that would rather spend their time shopping at the library instead of focusing on the 5 books they already had in their book bins.  And don't even get me started with the frustration I felt when students would spend 30 seconds with a book and then sign up to test on the computer for AR.  I love the slow start to building stamina in the classroom which allows the students to focus and the teacher too!! 

Stay Out of the Way:  Who me?  I already admitted to being a mother hen so you probably already know my thoughts here.  Yes I need to get out of the way!  I have been moving into my classroom (we moved into a beautiful new school) and have really been thinking about what set up best suits the Daily Five.  I spread my library out so that students aren't so squished when they look for new books and I also got rid of my huge horseshoe table and replaced it with a quaint little round table with the hopes that this will be my "get out of the way" spot right from the beginning!  I know when conferring with students I will be going to them but having a little table that I can sit with 3 or 4 students at a time seemed like a good fit.  I hope it is and I don't regret giving away my horseshoe!

I already can't wait to see next weeks posts!  This has been a great way to share the book!  Thanks to everyone that is participating and if you want to link up too go to Primary Graffiti!

Thanks! ~Heather

Daily Five Book Study

I jumped right into summer reading with the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser and I couldn't be more excited about a change in my classroom!  I have taught Kinder and 5th and I just finished my 1st year in 1st!  I loved every minute of it!  After teaching a new grade level for a year I am ready to step it up!
I was comforted by Gail and Joan's words that they too were challenged as new teachers.  I OFTEN feel like I could do more and question my practices on a daily basis!  I think that I am headed in the right direction and it looks like the Daily Five is just what I need to bring it all together. 
A few things I loved from the 1st chapter: (reading on my Kindle so I'm not sure how to find the page number!)
I loved the bulleted items that distinguish the Daily Five from other management models.  Especially that it allows three to five focus lessons and more INTENTIONAL teaching.  This is a great point!  I already use Writer's Workshop in my room and have enjoyed much success using this model.  I love it because the focus for the day really hits home for the kids.  I can imagine (in my summertime rose colored glasses) that having the same type of focus during a literacy block will be so beneficial for students.  

A question a colleague asked me today was, "What about AR?"  (Ugh!  I am NOT a huge AR fan!)  So I will be looking into how I can incorporate a "testing time" into a different part of our school day and not interrupt that precious reading time!