Thursday, June 14, 2012

Will Daily 5 Work for Me (Us)?

I'm going to admit some things - just get them right out there in the open - so maybe you will be able to understand my comments during this book study...(visit Mel at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations to join us)

  1. I'm a Daily 5 skeptic...I have my doubts about how this program could work for me (us - since Kristi and I share pretty much the same teaching style and philosophies). Confession - I even got the book through interlibrary loan in case it isn't for me! Why am I doing the study then? I really do want to learn about it because I know a lot of people love it and I want to do what is best for kids!
  2. I do not have "center time." I use center type activities, but in a different way. They are what I call "choices" after work is completed.
  3. I believe there will always be students who refuse to apply themselves during an unsupervised activity. In other words, they won't be working hard, staring off into space, playing with an eraser, etc. And I'm a bit of a control freak not to let that bother me.
  4. Don't misunderstand, my classroom management is very good. Remember I learned from the best (Kristi, the Superteacher). I do not have students coming up to me and interrupting me. I am able to say, "I need these four students to come with me," and work with them in a small group w/o interruption or I can call students back to my desk for one-on-one writing conferences or fluency testing, etc.
  5. We use a basal reading program - and I like it! Not sure how that could be worked into the Daily 5. If you use a basal and are doing Daily 5, please comment!
  6. I'm finding out that we are truly blessed in our school. We are a Title I school and have highly-qualified teachers available to us for group time...meaning I'm able to have reading groups everyday for 30 minutes. I divide all my kids by skill level and assign them a group teacher (me or one of the lovely Title teachers) and provide the lesson plans for them. I rotate the groups weekly or every two weeks so that I get to see all the groups as well. The Title teachers are very good about communicating how each student is doing, etc. as well. It seems from reading Chapter 1 that Daily 5 is a structure to help teachers meet with students in small groups or one-on-one when they don't have the help that we do.
Okay, on to the book study questions and then I have some for you all too!

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?
As stated above, I have not done centers during my literacy block and I use a basal program so my literacy block did not look like either example. Ha ha! I am guilty of giving what many call "busy work" (worksheets), but not in abundance. I do see the value in more meaningful word work and reading practice and that part of Daily 5 appeals to me.
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?
This is where I can see I need improvement. My kids do need to have more time just for reading! Right now, I begin the day reviewing the sight words and vocabulary words. Then we have a story of some kind (either me reading to them or us all popcorn reading together - then they read it to a buddy) followed by a grammar lesson. I do a separate writer's workshop at a different time.
3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
Time for reading is the biggest! Less "busy work" which appeals to me. I was already whittling down my worksheets at the end of this year. Don't get me wrong, I think worksheets have a place in the classroom just like everything else, I just think there could be a balance with more meaningful activities.
  
My turn...
  1. How could this program be used with a basal reading program?
  2. How would it look different considering I already have the reading groups w/ students all participating in groups at that time?
I'm sure I will have more questions as I go along but those are my biggies right now. Those of you already using Daily 5, please share your thoughts and ideas.

Thanks,
Crystal

Go to Chapter Two


19 comments:

  1. Kristi,

    I applaud your honesty! I use a basal program as well and question so many things. I have read Daily 5 in the past and have implemented the things I love. I like the "focus lessons" (see chart page 14) as the kids are better able to focus in short bursts. I pull these lessons from the basal. My reading groups also use the leveled readers and decodable books from the series. I have my students rotate through literacy centers where they are reading and writing every day. It will be changing a bit this year as we will still use the basal, but are implementing the Common Core as well. Hope this helps.

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. I was thinking that the "focus lessons" would come from the basal and if I do implement the Daily 5 (in addition to our reading groups already in place), I could do much of the basal work in smaller groups which would be helpful to the kiddos. I'm still thinking on it...We use Treasures and are implementing Common Core next year as well.

      Crystal

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  2. It's brave of you to take this book on and push yourself to maybe think outside of what's worked and been comfortable for you already. I've been doing Daily 5 for about 6 years. I've learned, as with most things that I do in my room, that it needs to be modified to fit my way of doing things. I'm pretty sure the Sisters would appreciate that teachers use their professional judgment when implementing Daily 5. My Daily 5 replace centers. First off, I felt like centers took a whole lot of work on my part. In my experience, Daily 5 takes hardly any teacher time. Make sure there are books, writing materials, some word work materials, and you're pretty much set. It's so simple in that regard. Secondly, for me, centers felt like stuff about reading and stuff about writing. Daily 5 is real reading and real writing for sustained periods of time. I also like the choice factor. (purpose + choice = motivation) Anyway, I'm just sharing some of my favorite aspects of Daily 5. Don't feel pressured. It does take time to wrap our heads around different ways of doing things. I know that's true for me.

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. I do see how Daily 5 is "real reading and real reading for sustained periods of time" like you said. That is what is appealing to me. I would just have to work some things out with my style I think.

      Crystal

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    2. That's very understandable. Using professional judgment is what the Sisters would want you to do in order to make it work with your style. I've done the same. In fact, like I said, I've been doing it for about 6 years and the way I do it today doesn't look like the way I did it the first year. We just continue to modify and adjust, don't we? Good luck!

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  3. I'm visiting via the Daily 5 book study. I applaud your honesty, as well!!! It's hard to put yourself out there like that. I'm moving to second grade next year after being in 3rd for fourteen years, and have decided to implement Daily 5 and CAFE. I am beyond excited! Good luck! I'm your newest follower!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,
    Rebecca

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    1. Yeah, Rebecca! Thanks for following! I am also trying to get my hands on the CAFE book. I saw this cute bulletin board on Pinterest where the teacher had changed the CAFE order to FACE and is using the slogan... The Face of a Reader. Not sure if this will post the link or just the text....

      http://pinterest.com/pin/29977153740182394/

      Good luck in 2nd!

      Crystal

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  4. Thanks for linking up to the D5 book study! I"m your newest follower & I've pinned your post to our D5 Book Study pinboard.
    Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

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  5. Thanks, Mel! Looking forward to learning along the way!

    Crystal

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  6. I received Title help in my classroom this year, as well as a Special Ed EA. The title teacher had her student groups and her own lessons. I worked my pull-out groups around her groups. I started with a focus lesson, and tried to make choices start around her timing. So if she would be releasing kids in a few minutes, the choice time lasted a minute or two longer. If she would need kids in a few min., I had them read to self while they waited. The EA would work with a small group on whatever skill I needed her to work on, so I just looked at it as having a 2nd me. I use the basal in my mini-lessons, my small groups, and this year, will use the spelling words as my word work lists. I'm looking forward to see what you decide about the D5!

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    1. Thanks for the tips on how this could work with my Title help and how to use the basal with lessons and word work. Great ideas!

      Crystal

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  7. Great post you two. I am a little behind in the game as my books are still somewhere on a UPS truck, but I am loving reading up on all of your thoughts. I too give worksheets and I value them, but I have been cuttin' down on these in recent years and trying to find much more hands-on tasks that reach a broader spectrum (i.e. writing, word work, etc). I am excited to read more about this process, share ideas, and figure out how to work all of this into my own classroom next year. Hopefully, my books will arrive sooner rather than later and I will be in business next week :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

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    1. Hi Kelley! I hope you get your books soon. Also, just visited your blog. Too cool to find out that I have some of your dad's CDs!

      Crystal

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    2. So cool . . . thanks Crystal :)

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  8. I started Daily 5 in March with my first graders. We have a basal and our district expects us to be "true to the core". We have a 90 minute reading block and a 30 minute intervention/extension time for a total of 120 minutes. Here's what it looked like in my room before Daily 5:
    30-40 minute whole group instruction (including students reading the weekly story and completing a comprehension activity)
    80-90 minutes of small group instruction and "stations". Each of my stations had 3 activities connected to the weekly story, decodables, phonics skills, spelling words, or grammar skills. I pulled small leveled groups during this time. For a few weeks, 30 minutes at the end of this block was used for leveled intervention - we divided kids up and they switched classrooms based on their level

    After I started Daily 5, it looked more like this:
    10 minute mini lesson and review of D5 expectations
    15 minutes at assigned station (yes, I assigned the groups. I had too many behavior problems to let them pick their own.)
    10 minute mini lesson and review of D5 expectations
    15 minutes at assigned station
    10 minute mini lesson and review of D5 expectations
    15 minutes at assigned station
    10 minute mini lesson and review of D5 expectations
    15 minutes at assigned station
    20 minutes whole group wrap up and reading of weekly story

    I divided my students into 4 leveled reading groups. They had to skip a D5 station to see me for their group. I rotated the order that they went to the stations each day so they wouldn't miss the same station every day for small reading group. I used the components of the basal to teach my mini lessons. I used the words and skills from the basal for the kids to do activities at the D5 stations. At Listen to Reading, they listened to our weekly story first and completed a retell. They could then listen to previous basal stories. I only did Read to Someone on Thursdays and Fridays during the whole group time where we read the weekly story. Since my Work on Writing station was located near my library, I let the first group to go to that station each day "Shop for Books" before starting their writing.

    My students absolutely LOVED Read to Self. I allowed it to be a "When I'm Done" activity at other parts of the day.

    I hope I was able to answer some of your questions. :)

    Jessica
    My Different Worlds

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me details, Jessica. I'm becoming more and more convinced that I can make this work!

      Crystal

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  9. Crystal! I too am a skeptic! I can't see how it will all fit together as beautifully as described in pgs. 4-6. I too use the a basal, and I like it, but it's not aligned to Common Core, so we are adopting a new one next year which just adds to my skepticism. Let's see how we can be open to new ideas, I certainly welcome new insights.
    Cessy

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    1. Hi Cessy. Do you know what program you are adopting? We use Treasures. I'm thinking the focus lessons would come from my basal...not sure yet. Still thinking! Thanks for stopping by, looking forward to hearing your ideas too.

      Crystal

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  10. Three years later and I'm really benefitting from reading the comments to your post! Thank you for posting! Yay for blog archives and Google searches! :-P

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