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It is refreshing to read the work of great theorist and find that what they write about is in alignment with my belief system and philosophy of teaching. Currently, I am reading the The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser ("The Sisters"). I am looking forward to implementing the Daily Five in my second grade classroom this year. What I love is that I will not be reinventing my teaching style. Instead, I will be fine-tuning a process that I am already familiar with. I wanted to read this book last summer when several blogging buddies participated in a book study, but I had accepted a position as the Academic Dean of Students and needed to put my focus on other areas of study. Now that I've decided to go back into the classroom, I am looking forward to implementing the strategies and procedures that are discussed in this book.
As I read, I decided to share my thoughts and ideas on my blog. I know that there are several teachers who are either interested in the Daily Five or already implementing it in their classrooms. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
Today I am discussing Chapter One. Here are some key points, concepts or ideas that resonated with me as I read....
- "We began to look more closely at how we were structuring the learning environment, developing a new plan for how students would spend their time working independently while we met with small groups or conferred with individual students." (page 9)
- "We wanted to change the atmosphere in our classroom and our own roles, from trying to "manage" students, rushing around the room putting out fires, to creating routines and procedures that fostered independent literacy behaviors that were ingrained to the points of being habits." (page 9)
- "What are the rest of my kids doing while I'm trying to teach this small group of children?" (page 10)
- Read to yourself
- Read to someone
- Work on writing
- Listen to reading
- Spelling/ word work
In the past, my centers were more diverse and changed sometimes week to week. I do see how a lot of my centers and center ideas will fit into "work on writing" and "spelling/word work". I am also in the process of writing a Donors Choose mini grant for iPod Shuffles to add to my listening center. The sisters stated that, "...children should spend a minimum of one and a half hours a day reading in school. Instructional time is in addition to these ninety minutes." Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that three of the center rotations be dedicated to independent reading and/or reading with a partner to make sure that students are getting their 90 minutes of reading in.
- "The Daily Five is a student-driven management structure designed to fully engage students in reading and writing." (page 12)
Over time your literacy block should be: student driven, have high student engagement, provide students with meaningful reading and writing activities, provide authentic opportunities for reading and writing, promote reading for the majority of the time. (page 12)
- The following components distinguishes the Daily Five from other management models:
- Rely on the teaching on independence
- Manage the entire literacy block
- Allow for three to five focus lessons and mow intentional teaching
- Provide students substantial time to read and write
- Allow for the integration reading and writing
- Incorporate a variety of clearly defined instructional routines that accelerate learning
- Build stamina to ensure longer periods of time students successfully read and write
- Articulate student behaviors that culminate in highly engaged learners
- Teach students to understand and monitor their literacy goals (page 13)
- The first weeks of school are dedicated to launching the Daily Five and instilling literacy habits that allow for independent work with little or no teacher supervision. (page 13) <<< this is something I am looking forward to and cannot wait to get to chapter 4 in the text where The Sisters discuss the Daily Five "in action".
So that was chapter 1. If you found this information interesting and/or helpful, check back on Monday for Chapter 2.
I am also in the process of writing an informative post on differentiating instruction. This is something I am very passionate about (and I can say I am good with differentiating instruction for my students). I am debating on when this post should go live....should I drill through The Daily Five book and finish posting my book notes before posing on a new topic? Or, share a variety of topics over the next couple of weeks. Summer is so short and I have a lot of information to share, resources to create and two more books that I am reading! What are your thoughts?
If you are interested in reading along, visit amazon to get your copy today.