I am following the Daily 5 Book Study that is hosted by Mel at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations, this week. I plan to implement Daily 5 in my first grade class this year.
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?
While I meet with a small Guided Reading group, other students are "engaged" in Literacy Stations. There's a Word Work Station, Sight-Word Station, Writing Station, Reading/Listening Station, Grammar Station, Pocket Chart Station, and Miscellaneous Station. These stations have activities that the students need to practice or activities that are related to the current unit or focus skills.
I wish I could say that it's more like the second scenario, but the students are not as independent and accountable as I would like for them to be. During a major observation, I had to stop working with my Guided Reading Group to help a couple of students who insisted the CD player was broken. They actually didn't plug in the jack completely. My student helper must have been nervous, because she couldn't find the problem either. To the observer, I'm sure it looked like, the students had never used the Listening Station before.
By helping students build STAMINA in the beginning, they will become more independent. Setting aside time for "Check-in", the students will be accountable for their learning.
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?
Although the activities in the stations are meaningful, the students were not provided with enough modeling of appropriate behavior. Stamina was not built, to create quality readers. My students grew in reading, but they were not the quality readers that I hoped to create. Every year, my goal is to create better writers. I am anxious to begin using Daily 5 to reach my goal.
The Daily 5 structure seems to be more manageable. By modeling appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and providing visuals, students will know the expectations.
Before school starts for the 2012-13 school year, our district will have an Educator Conference. I have signed up for the Daily 5 session, in hopes of gaining more insight.