When we follow routines day after day, our students, can use their energy to grow as readers and learners rather than to figure out what we expect them to do. And we in turn, can focus our energy on teaching, not managing, our independent learners.
I loved this chapter in the book The Daily 5. This chapter focused on the routines and concepts that are taught for The Daily 5 to be successful.
Establish a Gathering Place
I'm sure as teachers, most of us already have a gathering place inside our classroom. This is the place where we can be a bit more intimate in our teaching with our students, because the students are usually gathered in a smaller area, rather than spread out in the room in their desks. I thought it was interesting that "the sisters" think that regardless of age, we should always have a gathering place. Having the gathering place gives the students the opportunity to turn and talk with each other much easier as well.
I've never tried to use good-fit books with my students, so this will be a first for me. In the past with my centers, I have become very frustrated at how many of my students spend most of their time at the classroom library "shopping" for books and also visiting at the classroom library as well. Teaching students how to pick good-fit books will hopefully end this occurrence. I'm sure most of you have seen the "IPICK" posters that are floating all around Pinterest and the blog world. Teaching the students to pick their books with IPICK in mind and referring to it often is definitely something I am going to try.
Setting Up Book Boxes
This is the part of this chapter that I'm not sure about. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea that students have easy access to their good-fit books, but what I get concerned about is the storage of all those book boxes. My room is so limited in any area for me to put 20+ boxes for the students to have easy access to. Do you mind if I ask, where do you put your boxes at and what boxes do you use?
I am in the habit of making anchor charts, but after reading this chapter, I reflected on how well do I use the anchor charts after I make them, and unfortunately, I have not been very good about referring to the anchor charts over and over, as The Daily 5 refers to doing. It makes a lot more sense to continually refer to the charts, once they are up in the classroom. I liked how "the sisters" discussed pointing to the anchor chart while it is being referred to as well.
Short Intervals of Repeated Practice
I've talked about this part of the D5 in my last two book study posts. Having the students practice each part of the routines and slowly building their stamina for each routine, I think is the key to the success of this program. In the past, I would quickly go over my expectations, model, and have the students model as well. We'd practice this for a week or two and then I'd expect perfection. Practicing repeatedly in short intervals, makes a lot more sense to me because the students are developing their memory muscles. The students will really understand, what it is supposed to "look like and sound like" during our D5 time.
Signals and Check-In
I have always used signals in my classroom. I like to use Attention Getters like I say "Goodness Gracious" and the students respond, "Great Balls of Fire!" During my guided reading, I have always used a bell to make our transitions from group to group. What I haven't been in the habit of is checking in with the students after I ring the bell, etc. We usually just knew what that meant and we moved on to the next activity, center, or whatever. I love the idea that we use this check-in time for the students to reflect on their work and their behavior.
I've always modeled both correctly and incorrectly what I expect my students to do when I have introduced new procedures to them. What I didn't realize was how important it is to let a more challenging student to do the incorrect modeling, have a discussion about it, then let that same student model it correctly. Since most of the time it is our most challenging students who have a harder time doing what they are supposed to be doing, having this student model both ways could be a very powerful learning opportunity.
Hop on over to Thinking Out Loud and Mrs. Freshwater's Class as they are both hosting this chapter this week.