Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Small Groups - How is it going?

Well, if you've followed our blog for any amount of time, you know that this is our first year launching the Daily 5 and that we have combined this structure with our reading curriculum - Treasures. Kristi and I are now teaching what would have been "whole group" lessons to our small groups during the Daily 5 and we are loving it!

We've already learned a few things and made some adaptations along the way...
Check it out:

This is my small group table all set up and ready for tomorrow morning. I take my high group first thing, so I always leave a little list for them to start on while I quickly take attendance. In this case, they are re-reading our main selection (we read it together today) and working on their selection test. Then we will start on Thursday's lesson.

Folders! While I don't think all the worksheets that come with the curriculum are necessary or valuable, there are a few that I like to have students do (selection test, frequency word cloze activities, etc.). I found that I had stacks of worksheets and was having trouble remembering which group had done them and which hadn't or just remembering if we had to stop in the middle of something. I had to check my gradebook and make myself sticky notes. I had a brilliant idea - at least I think so! :-) - and made these folders today - colors match my "teams" and inside are the worksheets I think are valuable enough that I'd like to have time for this week. I also put some blank paper in there so I can take notes if I need to remember something about that particular group. Super excited about these!

This may be my favorite D5 update. Kristi and I tried the clip chart thing and it just was not working for us. We now have these posters and the kids can easily see what they are doing each round. We also took away the power to choose - I know shame on us - don't tell the Daily 5 police. It took entirely too long...and we had some "requirements" anyway. They have to do Read to Self and Work on Writing daily. Their choices were Word Work or Read to Someone and if they chose one on Monday, we made them choose the other the next day and so on and so forth. It is so much easier to have it up on the posters for them to check each morning. 

Word Work - We have spelling books with our Treasures series and handwriting books. When to fit them in? Here is our solution - again don't tell the Daily 5 police. We put 5 pages up on the board on Monday. The kiddos know that all 5 pages must be done and correct so they can do Fun Friday. Our suggestion to them is to do at least one page before moving on to Word Work activities. We also give them time throughout the day (i.e. after math).
Next week, we are going to do our Unit 1 Treasures testing. We like to have these to show at conferences. So our plan is to kick off Listen to Reading. I know the kids are going to love it!
Whew! Glad there is not really any Daily 5 police. We might be in trouble! :-) That being said, it has been great for the kids - which is what we wanted.
Have a great evening!

The talk of the new hair color (it was blonde). We had to have a little chat to avoid the later questions of "What happened to your hair?" LOL! Kids are so funny. :-)



  1. Tweaking is what teachers do best. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I don't think the D5 Police would really mind anyway...I think everyone has to make it their own:)

  3. For sure! The kids are benefiting and that is what matters. :-)


  4. I am still working on introducing things in D5. We have our 20 minutes of read to self down now (yay!) and we are almost there with writing. I just introduced read to someone last week. I decided that I'm introducing things slowly so hopefully they can have one thing almost mastered before I throw something new into the mix. I am still choosing what my students do each time, too. It may stay like this for the most part. I want to get word work started soon, and I may introduce it before listening. Hopefully the D5 police don't find me, either. haha... we are loving it though!

    First with Franklin


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