I'm linking up with Mel D. at Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations and Nicole at Teaching With Style for the Daily 5 Book study for grades 1-3. I had never heard of D5 until I began blogging (last December.) I noticed that everyone (well almost) was talking and blogging about it. So, I started to do some research. What made sense to me is all five activities that students do during D5 are all actually literacy based. I was basically doing that already with my own 16+ (the + is early bird finishers' centers) every single week. Then after all my 24 students did 16+ centers each week, I had to grade them all, right? Yes, right! I'm a teacher!! I can't give an independent assignment without grading it and holding students accountable, can I? Needless to say, I spent a ton of time doing this.
So when I heard there was a book study on this book, I ordered the book and got on board. Here are a few questions from Chapter 1...
1. 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?
The sisters totally had me pegged! We begin our centers and the students know they aren't supposed to bother me while I'm working with a group at Guided Reading (GR), and sure enough 9 times out of 10 there is a little darlin' standing there asking me for something during that time. Also, during centers is my most challenging time of the day as far as keeping students on task. They are everywhere, and I find myself not concentrating on the book we're reading in GR, and instead focusing on the poor behavior I'm observing. The difference with D5 and what I've done, is the consistent weeks of training in the procedures of D5. Also, having the students practice stamina daily was so eye-opening for me. In the past, I would only practice our centers' procedures for about 2 weeks, maybe less, if I thought they had it down. Now that I'm going to first grade in 2012-2013, I know that will definitely NOT be sufficient time for the little darlin's. I'm totally going to follow the sisters' outlined schedule and see if it changes things during my literacy block.
2. 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?
Now I must admit, most of my centers each week were all literacy based, but I know now, after reading the book, that the centers I had available for my students were not creating quality readers and writers. The way I have been doing my centers created much choice and independence for the students, but were they really doing quality work? So many times, I felt I had to return centers for not being done appropriately or without any quality. It's so frustrating too, to spend that much time on the centers both creating, doing, and grading them, that the students wouldn't do their very best on them. They always seem to be in such a rush to be the first one done -- that just drives me crazy!! With D5, the students will get the reading, listening, writing, and word work done that needs to be done with a quality outcome every day. I'm so excited about that, I can hardly wait to begin!!
3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
Like I stated in my answer to question #1, having the students practice all the procedures for a longer length of time, and building stamina sets D5 apart from what I've been doing. Also, I love the idea of the charts of what the students are doing and what the teacher is doing and referring back to them daily during the procedures' practicing. I definitely haven't done that in the past, and I already have my chart paper ready to go!
If you've ever had any classroom management issues during your GR/Centers time, I can totally recommend this book for you to read.
Also, this study is part of a blog hop. Click on anyone's blog below and see what they have to say about Chapter 1.