I am joining up with Mel D. from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations and Nicole from Teaching with Style to share some thoughts about the Daily 5! I have used the Daily 5 in my classroom the last two years. The first year was more of a shift...from literacy stations to the D5 stations. This past year, I focused on setting the procedures and utilizing the D5 strategies in my whole group teaching as well as my small group time. This year, I will continue on my road with the Daily 5 by incorporating conferences (something that I wasn't able to do as much of in the last couple of year). I am a Daily 5 work in progress..... and I am loving it!!
Melissa suggested a few guiding questions to help in our discussion. If you think of something that you would like to ask me, leave me a comment! It will make for an awesome collaborative discussion!
Alright, here I go:
On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it?
When I began teaching, work stations were in full swing. I went to several workshops (make and takes were my fave) and bring all my goodies to my classroom. The kiddos loved the stations and for the most part enjoyed their time with the stations that I created. There was always some type of small assignment that they would turn into the bucket and that I would diligently look over and place stickers and stamps on to encourage them to continue to work hard.
Sounds ok,right? My students were learning and I was able to meet with my students for small group. Perfect....right?
Well, what I found was that although they were engaged and well behaved, the stations that I had didn't allow for them to spend ALL of their time working on an activity that would foster reading and writing. I had a social studies, science, and math stations included in my reading rotation. This was taking away precious time from reading and writing!!
So, then I replaced all my stations with literacy stations. One step in the right direction! But then I realized that I was having students rotate through so many fabulous stations that it was hectic and I really didn't have all the defined space that I would have liked for each station (I would venture to say that I probably could have used the whole primary hall for all the stations that I had!)
I had to regroup. This wasn't working. Then I found the Daily 5 (key Heavenly music here)!
To answer the question, I was lost in stations and paperwork. I have slowly rolled out the Daily 5 with my classes the last two years and am closer every year to having the dream D5 classroom.
My biggest advice would be....take it slow and incorporate a little at a time because it can be overwhelming.
The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers?
Everything that the students engage in is directly related to reading and writing and is a direct reflection of what is taught in class. My stations were always driven by the curriculum and still is but in a very clear and direct way. The students know the expectations when engaging with text and have a better understanding of how each of the D5 station directly effect what they are learning in class and in small group. They must know the importance of what they are doing and how it ties back everyday learning. D5 allows for my students to be more focused and in turn allows me to clearly target the skills that will make them better readers.
What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
The Daily 5 is set apart from all the rest because of the structure and care that goes into making the connection between what the students are doing independently and how those skills translate into success in reading and writing during class and small group time. I was able to get my students to think more critically about reading on their own and with this structure was able to start literacy circles (oh, yes, second graders in literacy circles, woohoo!!) because they experienced more direct and engaged independent literacy time that was incorporated into my small and whole group lessons.
I hope this has been helpful and I will continue to join in on the fun and write about my experience with the Daily 5 and include a few freebies along the way.....stay tuned!