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.