Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 3 Book Study

Thinking Out Loud

 Melissa Freshwater from Mrs. Freshwater's Class & Jana from Thinking Out Loud are hosting Chapter 3 of our book study. If you choose to participate through your blog please link back to the chapter hostesses.

Establishing a Gathering Place: 
Part of D5 is establishing a gathering place in your classroom. The space above is my classroom library where we gather when I don't use anything digital. I am not one to have big anchor charts, I use them but they are digital & displayed on my Smartboard. 
When I am using my Smartboard the gathering place is at their seats. I will pull up certain anchor charts through my Smartboard or simply through them on my Elmo or Luna Projector. With the way technology is going I don't feel the need to waste the paper on an anchor chart BUT there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with doing that...I just don't have the space. 
This is the only picture I could find of my calendar area. This will be changing this upcoming school year. This will still be a gathering area but will have more D5 reference posters instead of a calendar. My calendar time will be all digital. 

Benefits to having a gathering place is to meet as a community, the children can turn & talk to each other about what we are discussing. It's always not a bad idea to have them in one spot to monitor behavior as well. I use my gathering place before and after we are in D5. If we broke stamina I usually STOP D5 instantly & then we gather together to discuss what went wrong. I also bring them together to discuss what went right & have them turn and talk to each other about what they learned that day. 

Click on the picture to grab your FREE peace themed Good-Fit bookmarks. 
This will be something that you model and practice with your students all year long. Some got it right away & others....well you know. Research shows an independent or good-fit book is one that student's can read with 99% accuracy. I used to see my struggling readers try to pick a chapter book that I knew they couldn't read & then in turn their behavior is off task. When you see this then you pull them to the side & go over their bookmark with them until they get it. This leads us right into I-PICK.


1. I choose a book 
2. Purpose-Why do I want to read it?
3. Interest-Does it interest me?
4. Comprehend-Am I understanding what I am reading?
5. Know-I know most of the words

The sisters point out that a child's purpose for reading, interest in a topic, and ability to comprehend played as large a role in finding a good-fit book as readability did.

The sisters do a phenomenal I-Pick a Good-Fit Book Lesson with their students that I totally copied. Basically to explain this concept you need to run around & get all kinds of shoes. I borrowed someone's baby shoes & brought some of my husband's shoes. You demonstrate how to pick a good-fit book by using the shoes as a visual. You go from shoe to shoe until you see that light bulb go off when you point out how my own shoe is the perfect "fit"....right? I also brought in a mountain biking magazine, a hunting magazine & Vogue or some kind of girly magazine. Then we discussed which would be a good "fit" for me. It reflected my "interest" so I would "pick" the girly magazine. 
Like I said you model & teach this method all year long and once we go shopping for books it's amazing how you see it in action. 

Setting Up Book Boxes

I was lucky enough to get a hold of 23 of these bins from Target.....after I stalked about every Target in the area & attacked a stock boy unloading them. Anything for my little nuggets :o) Each child had their own bin that they stored in the bottom of their cubbies. 
I have so many books in my class I actually got rid of a TON at the end of the year. I only have AR books in my class that they can choose from. I put all they kindergarten level books in 4 containers they can pick from until I assess them using Dibels & get their TRC levels. So basically they don't have a chance to choose the right book. I hide the chapter books until the end of the 2nd quarter. 
I've acquired such a LARGE collection of books by living at garage sales in the summer, Scholastic freebies & I get a ton of donations from parents. 
After I go over all the lessons to get them ready to shop for their books, we ONLY shop for books on Monday. Later in the year as they started taking & passing so many AR tests I allowed them to switch the book out that they passed for another one & it worked out just fine. 

If you google D5 anchor charts you will get a TON that pop up. As I said earlier, I do all mine digitally on my Smartboard as a class & then save it & refer to them often. 

This is where the stamina building comes in. I started out building our stamina during Read to Self in 3 minute increments and yes there were some days where we didn't increase by 3 minutes & broke stamina. After someone would break stamina we would regroup & discuss what went wrong & then the child or children would be held accountable. We did this for every part of D5 that I introduced. 


I use chimes that are similar to the above picture. 
I also use music wands that I purchased from a teaching conference. You can click on the pic below that will take you to a website where they can be purchased.

I really had fun with this & so did the kids. These are just some pics I had taken during the school year. Next year I will show these pics to my students. The above is the correct model of "Read to Someone". This year since it was my first year we acted it out. I would have them sprawl out, roll on the ground, scream across the room....& they giggled so hard. Since we modeled the incorrect way they had the visual of what not to do & this really does help them. 
I will show this on my Smartboard and have them show me which set of students are NOT demonstrating the correct way to sit "EEK" during "Read to Someone". 

Next Wednesday, July 4th the following bloggers will be hosting Chapter 4. 

First Grade Blue Skies
Please join us with your Chapter 3 blog post. DO NOT POST if you do not have a post about Chapter 3. You must include a link to the Chapter hostess somewhere in your blog post.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 2 & Memories of My Beloved Nephew

I'd first like to share a photo of my beloved nephew, Jordan Robert, who we buried yesterday. The days seemed to have rolled together this week being put through such a tragedy. I am finding comfort in knowing that Jordan is now in my brother's (his father) arms on Father's Day. Jordan was a kind & gentle soul who taught me so many things in his time on Earth. I want to be more "Jordan-like" and be strong for those around me. Being a strong person emotionally is not my thing, but I am really trying. Last Father's Day my grandfather went into a coma. The anniversary of his death was June 20th, 11 years to the DAY of my grammie's death. He started to have her come to him in his dreams & he took it upon himself to make his own arrangements a week before he died. He had 5 daughters who he didn't want to have to deal with all of that as well as the grief of losing him, he just knew it was his time. 
Unfortunately, none of us were prepared for Jordan's death & are all still in shock, to say the least. I have never in my life been to a wake & funeral & have witnessed so much love for someone. I knew what I felt for him as my nephew & how proud I was of him but I NEVER realized how many he affected in his short life. I will always cherish my memories of him & will always be thankful to his mother for the "gift from God" that she gave us. As I type, I am still in shock & it's just NOT REAL. I still feel my nephew with me. I had big plans for my little blog this summer so I will try my hardest friends to post as much as I can. As I write, tears are flowing about my nephew but it's bringing me comfort to write about the kind of person he was.

                                                 This is Jordan & his girlfriend of 9 years!
                                     My ring bearer & flower girl.

As much as I would love to continue to write about my beloved Jordie I promised I would write about Daily 5.....................................

I originally set up questions to ponder & I changed my mind about discussing each of them. I am just going to discuss the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure (trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina). 

In order for your students to do something or want to do something you assign they must trust you. In order for them to trust you, you have to instill a trust in you and what you want them to learn and practice. In order to create a positive and trusting relationship with each student trust must be established. Taking the time to build that trust in literacy is key. Our job is to provide our students with a foundation that we will build on as a community. In order to be successful it all takes time my friends, it certainly doesn't happen in a day or even a week. Without the trust of a teacher as well as the mastery of each skill we've taught, mastery of a new skill is not likely to be successful. The shift from me constantly monitoring individual group behavior to my student's monitoring their own & each other's really seemed unrealistic. As we go along in this D5 book study you will see the progression of this in action.

When I first read the part about "choice" I got goosebumps & shivers down my spine. I can be a bit of control freak OCD structured and how in the world would I let this change??? When I taught kindergarten & did my own spin on literacy centers I CHOSE what they did daily. You are going HERE and you little trouble maker will be HERE right next to me
In college, waaaaaaay back in the day, STRUCTURE....STRUCTURE....STRUCTURE...ROUTINE...ROUTINE...ROUTINE were ingrained in my educational philosophy. 
The one thing that really stood out to me in this section was PURPOSE+CHOICE=MOTIVATION....pure genius! As an adult I battle with having a choice in things. When I was young I struggled with choice. Would you rather clean your room or fill the dishwasher??? Well, neither but I was happy to have a choice. 
My students would grunt & groan this year when I had them read the boring basal reader that we had to teach. BUT, when they had the choice to read from their own book boxes they were grunts & groans. Giving our children choice is highly motivating even with our most challenging unmotivated students. 


 I think it goes without saying that belonging to a community you learn more than alone. When students are accountable for their learning in a supportive and positive community, they learn and want to learn. I have always prided myself on building a community with my students, it's not MY classroom it's OUR classroom and they believe in themselves & they believe in me. A positive community is built on trust, and when they have trust the students take ownership by having a choice in this positive community we have built TOGETHER. The experiences we share together form a community bond. Building a classroom community together provides them with a sense of ownership and accomplishment which in turn instills a sense of pride in themselves and awareness of their behaviors. We all know we have certain students that unfortunately set the example of behaviors that are not tolerated. When we rejoin as a group and discuss what exactly what went wrong, everyone learns from the experience and knows what NOT to do. When the child that breaks "stamina" is called out we all learn as a group and encourage and celebrate when we reach our next goal. 
One of the lessons I teach my students when we are discussing our community is bucket filling.  

Sense of Urgency

I have always had a sense of urgency. Maybe not for reading but for a new pair of Converse, Vans or Pumas. I always wondered how will I create a sense of urgency for learning with my students. I'll be honest, it has taken me years to create a love of reading with my students. I believe I did before D5 but I did see a difference this year, I saw the difference with my struggling readers. They wanted to read like the others, so bad it hurt. The only difference this year was that I implemented D5. As teachers we are always in such a hurry to teach the skills from week-to-week.....I admit, I'm guilty. After reading the book I thought, do I give my students a sense of urgency to learn a concept? The answer was no. After giving my student the proper mini-lesson on a concept or task that we were learning I noticed a difference in me & in them. They were finally understanding why they had to learn what I was teaching & why. They would get excited & would ask "Mrs. Dillard, are you done yet so we can practice this during D5?". Not kidding. With the choices that I provided, they were eager to go into D5, I had created a sense of urgency for them to WANT to learn, read & write. I created a daily habit for them which also provided them with the structure they so desire.