Finally, I have just reviewed chapter 2! I have some great ideas from blog stalking and thinking about third grade. *Please note that this post is only my opinion and how I implement Daily 5. These ideas are not endorsed by the the authors of Daily 5 or their publisher, Stenhouse.
***Update – Freebies at the end!!!
When setting up the structure for D5, the authors list the following as the core foundations:
- Trusting Students
- Providing Choice
- A Nurturing Community
- Creating a Sense of Urgency
- Building Stamina
- Staying Out of Students’ Way
These ideas were such a revelation for me! They made me realize how much work I was doing, that the students should be doing!
Trusting Students and Choice goes hand in hand for me. I have to be honest and say that I provide limited choice in my classroom. First, I found that students wasted so much time in making choices, that they used up learning time. Second, when I asked students whether they liked to have open choice or fewer choices to choose from, after experiencing centers both ways, the kids said they liked to have just a few choices. Finally, given the really high expectations, as much as I would like to give more choice, the kids really need to use the full time to practice and complete specific skill tasks to make progress.
I have a set schedule fro D5. During this time, I usually have multiple support teachers pushing into the classroom or pulling individuals or small groups. It just gets crazy if I can’t keep track of everyone, where they are, and what they are doing. I know some will disagree with me on this.
With in my D5 choices, I have choices. For example, there are 4-6 choices for listening activities, 3 choices for word work, at least 2 choices for writing. I’ll share more on that later. This is my center board. At this point in the year, I had five rotations because I had five reading groups. Each group was a color and the timer was set for 15-20 minutes. We would pause for a mini-lesson after 2 or 3 centers, depending on our schedule.
I like this system and think I will continue to use it in 3rd grade. Whenever a student returned to the classroom, or an adult came in, everyone knew what was happening and where kids were. I also printed this out on a poster for subs.
Creating a Sense of Urgency – This is so key!!! I can say this because it just did not happen this year. I have used D5 with 3 previous classes who were SO into the whole system. This year it just did not happen. I tried everything I could think of to create motivation. Seriously! I used Classroom DoJo and it was great for the kids, but parents complained and a few kids were super sensitive. I do plan on using it next year and standing my ground. I’m not sure what else to say about this. It was just one of those years.
Building Stamina – Again, hugely critical! I compare this to how the kids work on running more quickly in PE. This really makes a connection with the kids. We also kept a graph going. I would re-introduce it every once and a while when we needed a reminder. I plan to use these posters next year too. Mel at Suesstastic has a great idea for making necklaces to reward students who are building stamina! Such a great idea! Check it out!
I also love her idea for putting up a timer on the promethean. I did that, but never labeled it. I think that would really focus the students on your purpose. I’m planning to do this next year!
Staying Out of Students’ Way – This is so tough, but really important. I am big on building independence. My 1st two years, I had an A-MAZ-ING classroom para and she really supported this and had a great instinct with kids and fostering independence. Last year, I was on my own (for the 1st time is 1st!!!) and it went well – the kids were even more indpenendent because there was only one adult. This year, I had a tougher time. I had a challenging time helping my para support my philosophy in this and it made the whole process so difficult. It can be hard from some adults to see that even young children can, and should, have some level of independence. There is a fine line between support and enabling. Unfortunately, this was not clear until several of my students were in tears on the end of the year assessments, because they could not have help. They had immediate answers and support during their independent work time, while I was doing guided reading groups, all year. It was sad that it took that for the adults working in the room to see what a disservice was done. Anyway – off my soapbox now! This is the same reason that it can be really difficult to have parent helpers in during D5 – which I never did. I am thinking of creating a poster and some sort of hand out for adults – kind of like a classroom constitution for D5 so that everyone can support the expectations.
*** Update! Freebies!!! I created printable to make a classroom Constitution for “Daily Centers” and a Voice level chart. My building uses a 3, 2, 1, 0 system for voice level, so I made on like that. I was inspired by Mel at Suesstastic! Click on the images to grab your freebies!
Link up with the book study here: