Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily 5 thoughts and a bloggy get together

First things first, Natalie from Teachery Tidbits is coming to my hometown to visit. (I live in a touristy area so it isn't all that strange.)
We are planning a lunch get together on July 5th at 12 at Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg. We would love it if you would join us. I know that a Thursday isn't the normal day for a get together but when you live in a tourist town the weekend is a little crazy. The restaurant is a local favorite and there is parking. Parking can be an issue in this town I love. There is also talk of later in the month having a Dollywood day. So look for information about that if you can't make it on July 5th. Please let me know if you plan to come. So I can alert the restaurant of how many people will be there. If you don't hear from me for a week or so it's because I'm MIA on my honeymoon. I don't plan on getting on any blogs while I'm on my honeymoon so starting Saturday I will probably not be around. You can also let Natalie know if you plan on coming. You don't have to have a blog. Blog stalkers are welcome.
So there are several Daily 5 book studies going on right now. I was having trouble deciding whether to join in on the Kindergarten one or the first grade one. I think I've decided to go with first grade since that's the grade I'll be in next year. Switching back and forth can give you a little identity crisis. So here are my answers to the questions posed by Mel D at Seusstastic Classroom.
 1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it
This past year, I tried out some of the Daily 5 after Christmas.I had spend the first semester of school teaching my students to use literacy centers. We had developed routines that worked for the first time since I started teaching almost 8 years ago. So trying to figure out how to both was way too difficult. By the end of the year, my literacy centers became more like the structure of Daily 5. I had a listen to reading, word work, writing, read to someone center. I also had a computer center and an ipod center. This really worked well for me. I think one of things that really helped this finally come together for me was reading Debbie Diller and Daily 5 and finally getting that what I hadn't been doing all these years was the modeling piece. I finally understood that it took a lot of modeling to get the behaviors that I wanted. So I guess that my classroom is a mixture of the two classrooms. I did find myself scrambling trying to get centers together but I tried to make them more about reading and writing and less about producing something.
2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers? 
I try to give my students lots of practice with reading and writing. I probably focus more on the reading piece than the writing piece. After reading most of Daily 5 and the Book Whisperer, I really challenged myself to have my student read more. Writing is a different story. But that's a goal for this upcoming year.
3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
The biggest challenge for me is letting students have more of a choice or control over what they are doing. I have a hard time letting go of the control piece and I don't always trust my students to make the right choice. But I need to work on that. I need to work on giving up some of the control and allow the students more choice. I try to give them some choices in their center that they were at. They can choose their books they read. They can choose the books they listen to. But that's probably as far as it goes. 

I guess I'm still trying to make sense of all this myself and where I see my classroom next year. I'm leaning right now towards a mix of literacy centers and daily 5. But maybe it's my desire to have control that is keeping me from going full force for Daily 5. I'm looking forward to continuing on in this study to hopefully wrap my  brain around it all.
Looking forward to the next chapter. If you want to join the fun, check out Mel D's blog.


  1. I like what the Sisters say: Purpose + choice = motivation. That doesn't mean that handing over control will alway result in the best choices in every situation for every kid, but for the most part, it really is beneficial. The modeling and taking it nice and slow is very important. It does take time to make change and mess around with new ideas. It's okay to keep mulling it over. :)

  2. Oh, I so wish I could meet up in Gatlinburg but we have plans around the 4th. We love Dollywood! We use to go Dollywood almost every year when our boys were young. Hope y'all have an awesome visit!
    I actually was coming over from the Daily 5 book study. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on chapter one. I'm moving to second grade next year after being in 3rd for fourteen years, and have decided to implement Daily 5 and CAFE. I am beyond excited!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,

  3. Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning my literacy-based house center to a fellow blogger!
    -Leslie @KindergartenWorks

  4. Hi! I found your blog thanks to Kinder Kraziness and I am your newest follower. You are invited to visit me at: Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos.

    ~ Lisa

  5. Kerri,
    It's Beth from Thinking of Teaching. Could you add your email address to the book study schedule so I can email all of the co-hosts with updates?

  6. HI!! I just found your blog and I am so happy I did. I am your newest follower. I would love to have you stop by mine sometime.


  7. Ohh, I am in Tennessee! Maybe I can plan a little vacay to see you on July 5th....i am your newest follower!
    :) Dana
    Stop by & enter my giveaway @ Fun in 1st Grade

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  9. Keri! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your honeymoon! How fun :-) I've transferred within my district here to a brand new school opening up in August! I'm wanting to take pictures and blog about my journey just getting in the building. The school is not done yet an school starts Aug 1st! I'm sure it will be a whirlwind classroom set up and first week of school. Check up on my blog closer to back to school time to see what I've posted :-)

  10. Thanks so much for linking up! I am your newest follower ;o) I pinned your post to our D5 Book Study.
    Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

  11. great point on modeling--you just inspired me to make that one of my goals this year!