Whew! I started to think about all of the things I wanted to share about Daily 5 today, then I got a call that I have a new student and the student was there to meet me. What a day!
Our Daily 5 success was amazing and much reassuring after the rough couple weeks I have had! We had 4 dailies up and running: Read to Self, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing. I usually only have time for 3 dailies a day with 1 additional time being guided reading, but I wanted to get everyone up and going in all four centers that I typically use. Yes, I said centers. My D5 is a hybrid between Debbie Diller style centers and Daily 5. Sometimes I give students controlled choice, but usually I rotate group and have choices within the dailies. I need the consistency and control to also run guided reading. When I have done both choice and non-choice, students actually say they like the routine better. I alternate through the year as appropriate.
For listening, I have introduced and reviewed the use of BookFlix, a subscription site, for students to use. Most are familiar from exposure in kindergarten, but have not used it independently. Thank goodness I have a paraprofessional to help out with trouble shooting the earphones, log-on, and volume issues. This week they were just listening, but I hope to add a response. I also introduce the use of MP3s for listening later in the year.
For work on words, I gave the students a class list to practice building and writing g names. I have 6 buckets with 2-3 activities in each bucket. This week I had white boards, letter beads, magnets, rainbow pencils and letter stencils. It is funny how each class seems to have their preferences. This group LOVES the whiteboards where last year’s class went for the rainbow pencils and stencils. I change things up about every one or two weeks. And (whoo hoo) I don’t have any allergies that would prevent me from using play dough! I bought stampers 2 years ago and have yet to use them!
For read to self, students have 2 library books and 5 “just right” leveled books at their independent level. I had them use “reading spots” which are mini rugs I scored at Target last year, thanks to a blogger. They are perfect to provide some boundaries.
We also did journals in work on writing. We have done a few entries up to this point, so many students were adding to old pictures or writing. They are pretty happy to work in their journals. We also watch electricians use a truck with a basket on it to lift up a huge street lamp on the edge of our newly finished playground. They were fascinated and we must have watched for about 10 minutes. The poor men doing it must have felt all the eyes on them, but hey we were having recess after all.
All-in-all, everything went very well. I had a chance to listen to almost everyone read, which I have been dying to do. After every center, I had the kids put their things away and stood behind their chairs to give me a thumbs up check in like The sisters do. I don’t do the full blown check in. I also used chimes to signal it was time to switch. Oh, my groups were just their table groups for this run. So pleased!
I also sent home book bags for the first time! In my building, we send home a guided reading book every night from our group that day. I started the routine today by having students choose a book from their book basket, put their name on their bag (baggie with a zipper), and write the title in their log. I send a lengthy letter about the routine and how it will look in the coming weeks to the parents. I really try to answer every anticipated question because it drives me crazy when I get a million calls about how a book is too easy or too hard. I explain that it is a process of getting to know their child as a reader and that sometimes books are not a perfect match and that is okay. I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow. I don’t think about it until I have already left.
The log contains all sorts of guidance for reading at home, sight words, and spelling strategies. The log lasts the entire year and has everything parents need for homework – such a life saver! I am hoping to shape it up and maybe offer it on TPT!
Overall, it is the first day I have really felt like myself and like the day went really well! Here’s to many more!!!