I am joining in on Jen's, from That First Grade Blog, book club. The new edition of Daily 5 is the book of choice. I have bought it a few weeks ago, and have not started reading it yet. It has been a bit busy around here... hence my not posting. It is my last day of spring break, and I did want to post something... so here I am. :0) (Okay, I have now read it!)
What should you know about me?
I have implemented Daily 5 in my kindergarten classroom for the past 6 years. I am not a true Daily 5 follower, as I have made modifications each year to meet my classroom needs. Each year, I do something different depending on what is going on. Currently, this year has been a challenge since my district has mandated Reading Street as its series to follow during our literacy block.
How did I hear about Daily 5?
I first heard about Daily 5 when I moved down from teaching first grade to kindergarten (about 7 years ago). My good friend, Krissy, and first grade team leader, got the whole entire first grade team on board to follow Daily 5. She wrote a grant for all first grade classrooms at our school to have ipods as a listening center. She certainly peeked my interest, and I borrowed her book (the first edition) and couldn't put it down. It was easy reading. I had my hesitations about it, but was able to see how first grade embraced and loved it.
What experiences have I had implementing Daily 5?
When I first started Daily 5, I called it Daily 3. I focused on Read to Self, Listening to Reading, and Word Work. My kinders had choices of which one they wanted to go to. Now, I implement all components, though not on a daily basis. Read to Self, Word Work, and Writing Workshop are my main components. Sometimes, we get to Read to Someone and Listen to Reading. This is the first year that I have focused less on Listen to Reading and more on Partner Reading (Read to Someone). My students still have choice, but we are all doing the same activity at the same time. Over two years ago, I went to Kim Adsit's "Differentiated Instruction for the Little Guy" and learned how she organized her groups of students. I have 4 areas named after some owls I have made and hung in my classroom. Each area has a space that has materials for all components of Daily 5 and my Math Stations. Each group of students rotate through the different areas visiting one per day, making choices in that area. I have done it this way for two years, and it has worked for my classes.
Does what my class do, during literacy block, resemble the before or after description of the sisters' classrooms?
My class resembles the "after" description of the sisters' classrooms. However, it is still a work in progress. I still have to give student reminders or go over routines. I am looking forward to see if there are some tips in helping me teach my students how to self monitor themselves more. A couple of weeks ago, 2 kindergarten teachers from another school came to visit my class to see how I implemented Daily 5 with Reading Street. They were full of positivity, and my kinders made them feel welcomed. One comment made from one of the teachers was where were my misbehaving students. I have them, but they take their reading seriously and enjoy learning through the Daily 5 structure. My kinders also love to show others how they do things in their classroom.
What is one thing I read in Chapter 1 that I think is worth remembering?
"...Daily 5 is not a prescriptive program to be followed blindly, the same way each day, week, month, and year. Instead, we as educators need to respond and react to the diverse needs of our own students." I remember when Daily 5 first came out, and I did not follow it to the T. I was criticized and told I was not following Daily 5. Okay, I was not, but I used elements from it to make it work for me and my class. This really hits home this year as my district mandated that we had to follow Reading Street with fidelity the first 12 weeks of school. I implemented Daily 5, but with resources I already had. Reading Street did not give me tools to do this. I also use cooperative learning structures for group activities, and Reading Street does not encourage this. At least, not in the teacher manual of daily teacher talk. I know this from trying to follow it, but also knowing that one resource is not the best. I am one who uses different resources to teach my students.
What is one change I am ready to make in my classroom?
As I read and find more about Daily 5, I will modify and adjust to my students. I am still working on making my math structure better in my classroom. It used to work well, then I had to use the GoMath series. For the past three years, I keep adjusting and modifying my math structure to include the GoMath series in a way that helps my students. Looking forward to getting more ideas from others about how they are able to combine using a series with Daily 3 for math.
2 summers ago, I joined another book club about Daily 5. Just go to my side bar and click on Daily 5 to find links to those previous posts and other resources. Thanks Jen for giving me that incentive to start reading my new book!