Sunday, March 30, 2014

Daily 5 Second Edition- Chapter 2

http://thatfirstgradeblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-daily-5-second-edition-book-club_24.html

Jen over at That First Grade Blog wrote up a great summary of Chapter 2 of the second edition of Daily 5. Chapter 2 goes into details about the core beliefs. These beliefs are trust and respect, community, choice, accountability, brain research, transitions as brain and body breaks, and 10 steps to Independence. The last core belief, 10 steps to independence, is given a whole chapter- Chapter 3. Instead of repeating what Jen wrote up, and saving me some time, I decided to just focus on community, choice, and transitions as brain and body breaks. Click the above icon to visit Jen and read more about the core beliefs of Daily 5.

At the beginning of the year, I focus on building community to get my little kinders to become a "family". I use morning and afternoon meetings. My morning meetings follow a combination of Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline and Roxanne Kriete's Morning Meeting. After our morning routine and Read to Self time, we start our day with a morning meeting.
  •  First, my kinders stand in a large circle at our meeting area. 
  • Next, I play a community building song that has my kinders doing actions together. Some of students' favorite songs are by Dr. Jean (Hello Friend or Ride That Pony). 
  • Then, we sit in a large circle and pass a morning greeting around. 
  • Last, we discuss our goal for the day to help our classroom become a better place. 
  • After that, we move on to our morning message and word work goal. 
In the afternoon, I have my students group together for the last part of the day. This is a time to focus on the positives of our day. We share what we are proud of or how someone filled our bucket. This way my students can go home and hopefully share some of their successes of the day. Success mapping is a way to help build optimistic attitudes. According to brain research, optimism can be taught, and students who have optimistic attitudes are more likely to be better problem solvers than those with pessimistic attitudes. We end our day with a fun brain break song (usually a Just Dance Kids video on youtube).

In addition to my classroom meetings, I use Kagan cooperative learning strategies to build classroom community. Sometimes, we have a meeting during the day to discuss any problems and ways to solve them.

Choice is such a deterrent to behavioral problems. I remember sitting in one of my early childhood classes, and Dr. Becky Bailey was telling us that giving children choices would help with those who wanted power. I applied this technique one night watching my nephew. This three year old cutie did not want to go to bed. Instead of arguing, I told him he was going to go to bed, but he had a choice in how he went: piggyback ride or horseback ride. He choose piggyback (tired me out with him on my back). He went to bed without any issues. The next night, he looked forward to trying the horseback ride to bed. In class, I have had children who do not want to draw or write. So I gave them choices depending on their needs. Sometimes it is the writing materials (markers or crayons) or place (carpet or small table). I apply this to the Daily 5, in a way that works for me and my kindergarteners. My students choose their books to read during Daily 5. They choose from one of the 3-4 word work choices at their assigned area.

Transitions seem to go smoothly as I use music to signal clean up time. I use my ipod with pre-made categories to help with transitions. Dr. Jean has some clean up songs that my students sing along as they put away materials. After word work, I like to use my whiteboard and overhead to display HeidiSongs singing and moving to a sight word song. My students know that they must clean up before joining, so they get right on task and join as soon as they can. They love to sing and dance!

Check out my previous D5 posts for some freebies. Have a great week!














Sunday, March 23, 2014

Daily 5 New Edition Book Club- Chapter 1

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!)

http://thatfirstgradeblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-daily-5-second-edition-book-club.html

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!