Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 2 Book Study

I am just going to discuss the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure: trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina. This week I'm linking up again with   Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations and Teaching with Style

One of the major keys to implementing Daily 5 in your classroom is trust. Your students have to trust you and you have to trust them to make it work. I trust that most of my students will work independently. This does not happen all the time and you do have to re-model or even discipline sometimes to get students to cooperate in independent learning. The students have to trust you to be able to read out loud and read their writing. This comes with being a have to make students feel comfortable and in a trusting safe environment before they open up. That's why starting Daily 5 at the beginning of the year is helpful. 

As I have stated before choice is one of my favorite aspects of Daily 5. You have to trust your students to make to make choices but when they do its enlightening. I have my students rotate 5 times. Most of the time I pull them for guided reading/strategy focus/independent reading/assessments during 1 of the 5 rotations. I pick each group first and then those students get their book boxes and sit at the guided reading horseshoe table waiting for me while the other students make their choices. The students remaining on the floor make their choices. They know that they will make 4 choices that day and have to decide what they want to do first. Some students pick their least favorite activity to do first while others always pick their favorite activity. No one complains because they know they will get to pick that choice again if it wasn't available the first time. For each Daily 5 I have a limit of the number of students so I don't go crazy and the students have enough materials/supplies. For listening there are 6 spots because I have 4 computers and one listening station where 2 students can fit. Writing I limit to 4 students so each student can have access to the paper, supplies, pillow, and notebooks. For read to someone I like to have 4 students so the classroom doesn't get too loud (this is the loudest activity in my room because my kids love to choral read in normal voices lol). Word work and read to self are unlimited amount of students because their are plenty of activities and supplies for word work and all you need for read to self is your book box. Depending on my class I usually start to let my students choose their center in October. If my class was not yet meeting their stamina goal I would wait until they did and then start to let them choose. 

It is such an important task to create community in any classroom setting. I strongly think this can make or break a class at the beginning of the year. Community is something I start working with my kids on day one. Beginning of the school year activities, get to know you activities, sharing writing, and choosing great read alouds are all ways to build community in your classroom. When students are working together towards a common goal (such as building stamina for Daily 5) they are building community. The 2 Sisters suggest you take 20 minutes to build community in your classroom each day. This may seem like a lot but I bet you're already doing it. Think about it. In my class morning message/morning meeting as well as our afternoon read aloud and closing meeting is building community in the classroom. This only takes 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon. If you don't do this you may want to try in next year.

Students doing the Daily 5 are more motivated to start right away and work the whole time. I have seen students who will tell me on their way when we are cleaning up from a rotation and sitting down to make our choice that they already know what they want to do because they "need to finish a story in writing" or "have to finish that chapter in their book". This is exciting to know that your students are thinking about and are ready to move on because they feel a sense of urgency in completing the Daily 5. 

Building stamina is the key do doing Daily 5. Students need to build stamina to be able to complete each Daily 5. Start off slow like the 2 Sisters suggest and work your way up. Celebrate each time your class reaches a little farther and make sure you model what went well and what they could do better on. Once the students have built their stamina to 20/30 minutes and can maintain this then you may start to let them choose the order of the Daily 5. 

Hope this helps all of your teachers who are beginning to learn and study about the Daily 5. If you have any questions at all please feel free to ask! 

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