Sunday, September 15, 2013

Daily 5 Launch & Lakeshore Learning at Home

I never thought we were going to reach our 15 minute stamina....EVER! I did not start Daily 5 until the second week of school. I am teaching high ability first graders this year & I let them choose their books on the first day.
 I am going to be honest..... I let them loose in the library before I knew their reading level. I don't always like to look at their previous reading levels, I want to find out their ability on my own. I was pleasantly surprised how excited they were to choose books. My classroom library is huge & they are in love. I never thought I'd have to say "Are you active listening when your nose is in a book?" Seriously....I have to say that several times a day.
 I showed them how our library is organized by level. I am HUGE on pushing AR & all of my books are AR books in the library. If they are not, they don't make the cut.

 I had to make sure they only were taking 5-7 books. I do allow them to keep a chapter book or any book they want in their desk...this is a first for me. We go book shopping ONLY on Mondays. The only exception is if they take an AR test on a book in their bin, they are allowed to trade it out for a new book. It works out perfect.

I was very excited to see how much they love books & reading. They would read all day long if I let them! What a great problem to have, huh? Well.....after the first day of reading without technically doing any Daily 5 lessons...the honeymoon was OVER. I cried. They fooled me and then got all comfortable in our classroom. Happens every year...sigh. the second week of school we were officially building our stamina. Here is our stamina timer on the smartboard for our first day. We lasted under 2 minutes...uh-oh. 
Me: "Class, lets put our book bins away & come meet as a group."
So then we go over what Read to Self was supposed to look like.

 I pulled the above graph up on our smartboard. We fill in 3 minutes. I show them where we need to be to move onto Read to Someone....GASP!
 Here is the anchor chart I use as well. I don't always leave our stamina timer displayed if they are obsessively looking at it. I will leave this anchor chart up as a reminder. As I am observing & looking very busy, I am also passing out stamina necklaces to two girls & two boys. They have to be showing perfect stamina or a big improvement in order to receive a necklace. First of all, they love getting these necklaces. It makes them feel so special. They also get a perfect stamina slip attached to their agenda & a BIG FUZZY. 

We were up to about 10 minutes in this picture and then I was pulled out for two days to TRC test. I just love being pulled out of my classroom to test right when we are on our way...said no teacher EVER. Anyway, as you can guess, we were back to square one & had to start over. This time our first goal was 6 minutes & we slowly increased our time each day.
We also needed to separate around the room a little more. The reading buddies were put away after I witnessed Pete the Cat fly passed me while in Read to Self. 

I let them choose their spot & sit where they were comfortable. I brought in some more pillows & allowed more options to spread out & we were on our way to 15 minutes again.

I made an executive decision to limit only 8 students in our classroom library. They just can't control the talking long enough. This is a VERY TALKATIVE class but we are working very hard on this. In turn, this is an incentive to finish their morning work quickly to get in the library. After I purchased more pillows, refilled our bean bags, it was on. One of my students that worked turtle slow was all of a sudden the first one finished! Whatever it takes. He has to have the cushy pillow. 

Of course I did a really fun I-Pick lesson. Let's just say one of my little nuggets was not happy wearing my Toms & they were cute too! Needless to say, I wore his shoes...on my big toe & he wore mine. They giggled, fell off their chairs because it was so hysterical...really I'm not kidding.


Just as a reminder to choose "Just Right" books, I whipped up these bookmarks for them. They are in black & white & I just printed them on NEON paper & then laminated them. Click on the picture above to grab this freebie. Follow me while you are there....I will be updating most of my Daily 5 freebies.

Lakeshore Learning, my favorite teacher store, is now carrying a new line of products! They have created these incredible products you can find here for learning at home. PERFECTION!  

I decided to try this out in my 2nd grade math class. They are perfect for a math station or for early finishers. The selection was hard to make but as always, Lakeshore never disappoints me.

CLICK HERE for a 20% off coupon from Lakeshore Learning. It does expire on 10/31/13. Click on the picture below to grab your own Math Tic-Tac-Toe.



  1. Hi Mel,

    Your coupon code link has some extra characters and is not working properly...I just deleted everything prior to the second http section and that worked! ;)

  2. Love the stamina building reinforcement ideas! Thanks for sharing :)!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  3. Hi Mel, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Where did you get the stamina timer that is on your Smartboard?

  5. Beyond jealous of your huge library! Someday my library will be that big! I'm also super impressed that your kids are at 15 minutes! We're only at 6. YIKES. We'll get there!
    Rowdy in First Grade

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  8. What an excited bunch of readers Mel! Love the little recognition badges!
    Kindergarten Lifestyle

  9. Holy cow-you rock girl! Love all their lil faces as they are so engaged in their books-you can't fake that (or you can but they'd all have to be really good actors!). Thank you for letting us crawl inside your brain and see how it all works. This is fabulous!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

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