What? Really? Day 6 is over already? Only... 174 more to go:) Ha! This is a true statement but I am hopeful to have a great school year. I spent A LOT of time this summer really trying to get my brain wrapped around how I wanted to run my classroom. When I was teaching Title I, I didn't have to worry much about discipline and routines because I had small groups of students and it was only for a half hour a day. It just wasn't as necessary as it is when you have a classroom, with the same kids, all... day... long...
I am so glad that I researched to find what might work for me in the classroom. Our rules and routines are MOSTLY in place. The kids are adapting to their classroom jobs better than I could have hoped for. All is well!
Of course, rules and routines are important but more importantly is that I want to teach these kiddos to the best of my ability. In particular, I have really big plans (co-teaching with my neighbor teacher during Centers/Daily 5 and Guided Reading). AND... writing workshop. I love writing workshop and I hope to make my kiddos feel like real authors and feel confident in their writing this year.
So, here it is! Day 1 for me of Daily 5/Center introduction. I KNOW (in the back of my head somewhere), how important it is to teach very specifically about my expectations for the kids during this time. I am going to take this slow and easy with lots and lots of practice to ensure that I will have a successful year! (Can you tell I am making sure that my brain knows this very well?)
Today I introduced Read to Self...
Here is what I did.
We gathered in our story pit to meet.
I (very enthusiastically) asked the kids? "How do we all become better readers?"
They all thought they knew... I heard: "sound out the words", "look at the pictures", and "read with a good voice". (My heart did go pitter-pat just a little bit because at least they remembered some of the strategies they learned in kindergarten).
But no one really knew the answer...
We have to READ- we have to practice a lot. That is what I shared with them. The looks on their faces were priceless. Maybe an "AH-HA" moment???
So, our discussion began about how we read to ourselves.
I asked them: "What are two ways we can read books?"
I think "Joe" answered the question telling me something about his cat...
We went on..
They knew we could read books by reading the words. That was easy... Knowing that we can read books by looking at the pictures if the words are too hard, took a little prodding...
I demonstrated reading a book by only using the pictures. I chose to read Russell the Sheep, but you could use any book with detailed pictures.
After I modeled how we read books in two different ways, we talked about the importance of knowing what to do during Read to Self time.
I used the I chart the "The 2 Sisters" use in the Daily 5 book. I have not created any of my own materials for Daily 5 because there are TONS on TpT. (Just so you know, any Daily 5 products on TpT SHOULD be free because of copyright). Here is a link to the I charts that I printed. These were created by Sue McDonald. Simple but effective:)
On the left, we brainstormed what Read to Self "looks like". I'm not sure how it happened, but all of THEIR ideas ended up just the same as The 2 Sisters... boy, I must have a super smart class...
So, we wrote...
1. Read quietly.
2. Read the whole time.
3. Stay in one spot.
4. Get started right away.
5. Work on stamina.
On the right, we wrote...
1. Reading with other students.
2. Working with groups.
Two students very carefully modeled this perfect behavior for us. They quietly got their browsing boxes, found a spot on the floor, and began reading quietly right away. And slowly, table by table, we all got to join in on the fun. We practiced for the 3 minutes- The 2 Sisters suggest to start with 3 minutes at the very beginning.
They were so engaged, they didn't even know I was there!
It was right at the 3 minute mark when "Joe" jumps up and says (very loudly)- "I'm done!"
So, we were all done. The 2 Sisters suggest that you start with small amounts of time to build stamina. The kids need to be practicing it correctly. Once a student if off task, then it is time to stop and try again the next day.
*Also note: The 2 Sisters also say to make sure that you are not walking around the room telling them how great they are doing or helping them in way because that is exactly what you are NOT going to be doing when you are working with small groups. They will get used to you commenting and then will need that security. That is what they say- so that is what I am doing:)
We came back to the story pit and went back through our I chart. We did AWESOME- and tomorrow we can try 4 minutes! I hope "Joe" can keep his eyes on his book for an extra minute:)
And so- this was our first day of the Daily 5. It was a good day... I hope it continues!
Here are some other great Daily 5 resources that I have found so far (all free).
These are only a few- seriously! If you are implementing Daily 5, you need to stop by TpT.
One more thing while you are here... I made a cute little sign to take pictures of the kids with at Open House. You can download it for free and use anytime... first day?? first week?? Whenever you find time, right??
(I made signs for K-4:)