- A Gathering Place : We have a gathering place in my classroom. It's just the carpet area in front of my promethean board. I use to have a rug but it got kind of gross. I'd love to have one of those rugs where they each have a square of color to sit on. (Maybe I'll work on a Donor's choose for one of those.) Currently I just put a piece of tape on the carpet and they know that's there spot. We have our morning meeting here and any whole group learning takes place there. I also do a lot of my small group phonics instruction in this spot too.
- Good fit/Appropriate books: Last year I introduced some of the Daily 5 concepts to my classroom. The first being the Read to Self component. I never got around to do the official good fit book lesson. We talked about different places we could get ideas for books. I partnered with my librarian at school and she gathered AR books for the kids that were our lowest levels. I also used our leveled readers that are part of our reading series. They were great because I knew my kids could read these leveled readers. I probably had too much control over this than I should have. I hope to do the shoe lesson for the good fit books. I think it's a great lesson. I also downloaded an i pick chart from the Teacher's Cauldron that I plan on using. (Well unless, I decided to make one of my own since I've changed my theme of my classroom. ) I loved the idea of including this in your newsletter so parents know how to help kids pick out good fit books. I definitely plan on doing that and think I might talk about it with parents at open house night. We have an open house about 2 to 3 weeks after school starts. I plan on revamping my classroom library this summer. (It's almost July and I haven't even thought about starting this project.) I would like for my books to be more accessible for the students. I asked parents about sending in books and I got some decent ones from a couple of parents but I don't think I was as proactive about it as I could have been. I plan on checking out our public library as well for checking out some books to use. In the past, I've always had baskets of books on the kids' tables from day one. I've found some of their favorite books to look at are board books that have colors, numbers, vocabulary. The Target dollar spot usually has these this time of year. These are especially good for ELL students because they work on vocabulary.
- Book boxes: Last year I used ziplock bags for the first half of the semester, but they started to tear real easily and bigger picture books didn't fit well. I found some bags at the Dollar spot at Target and started collecting those. Then I found some Dollar Tree. The Target ones didn't hold up well at all while the Dollar Tree ones were still going strong at the end of the year. I thought about asking other teachers in the school and parents about donating tote bags they don't use anymore. I have my students keep their book bags under their backpacks on the hook. I saw this pin on pinterest where they used a coat rack to store the bags. I'm on the hunt for a cheap coat rack.
- Anchor Charts: I have a love/hate relationship with anchor charts. I love all the cute ones I see on Pinterest and blogs but I just don't have the room to put them up in my classroom. I understand their importance for creating meaning. I currently make a lot of my charts on my promethean board and we review them as needed that way. I love the cute ones but I'm not that great of an artist so it works out for me to type them up on the computer. Maybe I'll do a little better this year with this piece.
- Signal/check in: I don't have a great signal for stopping my students. I try turning off the lights but then I'm across the room reading with kids. So I think I'm going to investigate some chimes. I found some wooden chimes when cleaning out my things recently. So maybe I'll figure something out with them. I love this quote from the book " One of our goals is to help children become self reflective about their behaviors and learning." The check in piece is so important for this quote to be true. I think I made some improvement last year about checking in with my students and I hope to better next year. They truly understood last year, why were working on reading and building our stamina. It cracked me up because they loved using the word stamina. I really liked the Sisters idea to use thumbs up and thumbs to the side to check in with students.
- Model correct and incorrect: This part of this chapter changed how I was doing a lot of things. I realized that I was not modeling enough in any area in the classroom. I love the idea of modeling the correct way and the incorrect way. Although some of my students had a hard time with understanding what I meant when I wanted them to do the wrong thing. The other piece of this that I think is so important is the building muscle memory the correct way. I had never really thought about kids' muscle memory getting use to doing things incorrectly. I had 2 students that really struggled with read to self and doing it correctly. I stopped the class every time those students were off task at first. But then the rest of the students were doing so well, it was hard to stop the whole class for 2 students. I chose a spot for one of the students to sit at and that helped him. I also just had private conversations with those students. There were some language issues that were going on as well. But as they all got on track and we had met our goal of 15 minutes of stamina, I did stop the whole class if someone was off track. I think it helped.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Daily 5 chapter 3
So I'm skipping chapter 2 of the Daily 5 book study since I was on my honeymoon while that was going on and I don't feel like going backwards. I'm linking up with Mrs. Freshwater's Class to share my thoughts on chapter 3. Check her blog out to see what others had to say.
So on to my thoughts on the chapter: