Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Daily Five Book Study: Key Materials, Concepts, and Routines for Launching the Daily Five

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Welcome to chapter 3 of The Daily Five. Read past posts here: 

So I made the decision to plow through this book and finish it before posting my article on differentiating instruction. I actually think this book review is a great segue into what why I wrote and would like to share about differentiation anyway.

As I review chapter 3 of the Daily Five can I just say that if you are finding these posts informative, helpful or interesting you definitely need to buy the book! There is so much information, so many "gems" or "nuggets of information". I can share what resonates with me but the whole book is full of great information!!

Chapter 3 opens with a meaningful quote, "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." ((bravo!!)) GREAT QUOTE. And so perfect for explaining a major component of my philosophy of teaching. I am a systems and routines person. When students know what to expect, when they know where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing, they have a greater opportunity to find success. AND, they are easily held accountable for their actions. AND, teachers can continue to raise the bar, setting high expectations, and students can work at their academic pace to meet and exceed those expectations!

So how do you do this? As stated in the D5 text, these seeds are planted on the first day of school. You do it by:

  • Establishing a gathering place for brain and body breaks 
  • Developing the concept of "good-fit" books through a series of lessons
  • Creating anchor charts with students for referencing behaviors 
  • Short, repeated intervals of independent practice
  • Calm signals and check-in procedures
  • Using the correct model/incorrect model approach fro demonstrating appropriate behavior 
Establishing a Gathering place
  • "A gathering place is an open space large enough for the whole class to come together and sit on the floor."  
All of your resources are readily available at this meeting place; including your teaching charts, poem/song charts, whiteboard or area to write/ model, projector  and anything else you need to teach your short lesson. I already do this in my classroom. I also use this space for community meeting (a component of a responsive classroom) and for read alouds. I love having the students gather on the rug, it makes for easy conversation and easy redirection. When I taught third grade I did a poem a week on the rug (in our community area) that focused on phonics skills, vocabulary, parts of speech and figurative language. I also did a daily message. I know that I will go back to this concept in second grade. My brain is still figuring out how to make this all part of one fluid literacy block...when I finalize that concept I will definitely share it here on my blog.

Good-fit Books

  • "One of the most important things to do to become a better reader is to read good-fit books." 
This is definitely a section you have to read on your own to get the nuggets that they share in this book. A good-fit book is a book that is interesting, serves the correct purpose, can be understood, and can be easily decoded by the reader. There are five ways to choose a good book, The Sisters used an acronym:
  1. choose a book
  2. P urpose- why do I want to read it? 
  3. I interest- Does it interest me?
  4. C omprehend- Am I understanding what I am reading? 
  5. K now- I know most of the words.
Click here for a free I PICK bookmark that you can use with your students (especially if you are a using my Super Kid themed classroom : ) 
  • The Sisters did a great lesson on introducing a good-fit book using several pairs of shoes. I will definitely do this on the first day of school. I would suggest reading the book to get the total scoop. They talked about this concept on several pages and I feel like the specifics should come from a direct read. The gist of it was teaching kids to choose a book that fit their needs (like how you choose shoes to fit the occasion). It is an interactive way to engage students and it is really drives home the need to importance of choosing a "good-fit" book.
Setting Up Book Boxes

I have one word.....cha-ching! Students need the opportunity to book shop or choose from a wide variety of children's literature.

I definitely need to tap into my resources for purchasing more picture books that are appropriate for those students reading on a k-2 reading level! I will be spending more money on books this year than on anything else. I will continue to add some of my favorite books to my Amazon Book Store and I will also continue to write book reviews. (Coming soon: Officer Buckle and Gloria <<<<< I will be using this as one of my first day of school read alouds).  

I usually refer to anchor charts as learning charts. "These are large charts created based on what children have to say (page 35). They are great for archiving mini lessons and can be used as a visual reference. One thing that The Sisters highlighted that really resonated with me was that, "students can remember where they were sitting at the time the charts were created, thus constructing memories, schema, background knowledge, and background experiences that become the multidimensional layers each one uses to create meaning and understanding in his or her educational life." They also stated that they refer to the anchor charts as I-Charts (the I is for independence). Conversations with the students can be documented on an I-Chart and used as a reference later.

Short Interval of Repeated Practice

This is probably the heartbeat of the D5. Students need time to practice strategies for reading and it is important that they practice good habits when practicing the strategies. The Sisters highlighted that when you set short intervals, it is best for students to give it their all for that short amount of time rather than go for a longer period and be somewhat distracted, tired, or not as focused. This is because they could start to fall into bad habits and we don't want them to practice doing things wrong. They say for the younger kids, start at three minutes, let them go (get out of the way), work on building stamina and as they show independence increase the interval. Again, very informative section. They also discussed muscle memory and how it impacts student learning. They shared ways to improve it. I found this very interesting.

  • Ten Steps to Improve Muscle Memory
    1. Identify what is to be taught.
    2. Set a purpose and a sense of urgency.
    3. Brainstorm behaviors desired on an I-chart. 
    4. Model most desirable behaviors. 
    5. Incorrect model: least-desirable behaviors, then model most- desirable behaviors. 
    6. Everyone practice and build stamina (3 minutes).
    7. Teacher stays out of the way.
    8. Quiet signal- come back to group. 
    9. Group check-in--"How do you do?"
    10. Repeat 1 through 9. 
Signal and Check In

Teaching students how to share their progress is important. It helps the teacher get a quick sense of the status of the class. After working independently, asking the students to share their level of effort promotes reflection and accountability.

Correct Model/ Incorrect Model

To be honest, I've always modeled what I wanted the students to do but I never modeled what I didn't want them to do. This is a perfect way to break bad habits and "set them straight". This is a moment where teachers can highlight typical behaviors, discuss why they don't work and create an experience that teachers and students can refer to again later...."Remember when we discussed...". The Sisters stated, "The beginning of the year is all about establishing routines, defining expectations, practicing behaviors, and building stamina with children within the Daily5 framework, and it takes lots of discipline on the children's part as well as the teacher's."

This concludes part one of The Daily Five. Part II of the book discusses The Daily Five in Action. I have my pen, highlighter, post-its, and flags all ready to go and for chapter 4. Check back tomorrow because I plan on posting my notes ASAP! I need to finish this book this week so that I can dive into The Cafe Book and get my binder together!! 

Do you do D5? If so, what does it look like in your classroom? Do you have a photo or a link you would like to share? If you do not do the D5 (yet), what questions do you have about getting started? Join in on the discussion, leave your comment below: ) 

Here are the links I shared in the content above : 

Buy The Daily Five: Shop on Amazon
Buy The Cafe Book: Shop on Amazon
Children's Books: Shop Amazon

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