Our Daily 5 book study is moving right along! I am so excited to read Part II as the sisters go through setting up each part of the Daily 5. **Please note that the following is only my opinion and thoughts on how I implement D5 in my classroom. These thoughts and ideas are not endorsed by the 2 sisters or their publisher Stenhouse.
I enjoyed reading Chapter 3 as it reminded me of the great importance of classroom routines. The Sisters emphasized that these daily routines should be practiced all throughout the year! Many times as teachers, we model something for the students and then forget to practice the skill over and over again. In the coming school year, I want to take setting up classroom routines a bit slower and practice them so much they become habits.
The gathering place is an important part of any elementary classroom. It aids students in transitions between activities and provides a place for class meetings, mini-lessons, and whole group time. Below is a photograph of my classroom last year. In my gathering place I have a teacher chair, small chair for students, large rug, and easel.
Choosing Just-Right Books
Helping my students choose just-right books is something I want to work on this coming school year. I want to complete the “shoe” lesson that the sisters mention in their book. I also want to take my time going over the I PICK chart and explain this in more detail to the parents of my students. I want to give my students ample time to practice this skill so that they are always reading just-right books!
My students always know their independent reading level. I have a coconut tree in my classroom and the coconuts are labeled A-J. The students have a “secret” monkey that moves up the coconut tree during the year. My students often refer to the coconut tree to check their reading level and to see how close they are to meeting their reading standard. For students reading below grade level, this is a great visual for their parents to understand where their child is reading in regards to the grade level expectations.
Previously, I have organized my classroom books by theme. This summer I have been working to organize my books by level (A-Z) so that it will make it much easier for my students to choose a just-right book.
I love the idea of having Anchor Charts up all year for the students to refer to! This is an area that I need to work on… When I set up my classroom later this summer I want to make sure I leave lots of space for Anchor Charts! I am definitely going to write the students name by his/her idea. I can see how this would provide motivation for all students to participate in the creation of the Anchor Chart.
For my transition times, I use a bell. I ring the bell to a familiar tune so the students are sure to recognize it. I like the idea of using something a bit softer, such as a chime. Maybe I’ll shop around for something different!
Check-In and Modeling
A part that stuck out for me in this chapter was when the sisters discussed “check-in and model.” I check-in and model for the students all of the time, however, I’ve never thought to have students who have behavior problems to be the first models. It makes perfect sense that you would give them the attention they are seeking right up front. This is definitely a tip that I want to implement with my students next year. (Although, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed for NO behavior problems!)
Be sure to leave a comment on how you implement these ideas from Chapter 3 in your classroom and link up below!