Friday, July 3, 2015

Daily 5 Book Study - Chapters 2 and 3

This week I have a little catching up to do so I am going to combine my post about The Daily 5 chapters 2 and 3.

Chapter 2 outlines the core beliefs of The Daily 5.  Chapter 3 focuses on the seventh belief, 10 Steps to Independence.  



Here are my major "take aways" from each section:

Trust & Respect
In order for meaningful learning to occur the teacher must first build trust and respect in the classroom.  Taking time to build this is the foundation upon which all the elements of The Daily 5 are built.

Community
Take the time to develop a healthy, safe, and fun classroom community.  A sense of community empowers students to hold each other accountable.

Choice
Providing students with choice is not only motivating but allows students to take ownership and responsibility for their learning.

Accountability
Teach students to be accountable for their learning and meaningfully independent.

Brain Research
The Daily 5 is firmly grounded in solid brain research.  I love the graph on page 31 that displays how the amount of time a student reads daily influences achievement.

It is amazing how an extra 10 minutes of reading per day can increase the amount of words students encounter by over 1 million words per year.  Yes, one million!  Crazy!

Transitions as Brain & Body Breaks
The Daily 5 consists of a short focus lesson followed by short work sessions that are split up with short bursts of movement and instruction.  By providing students with necessary breaks you reduce the amount of distracting behaviors that often pop up during longer work sessions.

10 Steps to Independence
Chapter 3 focuses on the seventh belief, the 10 Steps to Teaching & Learning Independence. 


By taking the time to explicitly teach, model, practice, and reflect on student independence, students will begin to build their stamina and establish the desired default Daily 5 behaviors.  This frees up the teacher to teach!

What beliefs and principals influence your teaching?

How do you teach independence?

Check out Adventures of Room 129, to learn more about chapter 2 and The Crazy School Teacher's blog to learn more about chapter 3.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Before Summer Book Exchange

Would you like to motivate students to read over the summer?

Do you hope to share a love of books?

How do you help students beat the summer slide?

Try a book exchange!


A few weeks before summer begins I send a letter home asking students and families to donate lightly used, age appropriate, books and magazines to our class book exchange.

I raid our classroom library for well loved books, or extra copies that we no longer need to add to the pile of donations.  I use bonus points to purchase new Scholastic Reading Club dollar deals.

Once we have collected enough books, I spread them out on all the desks and tables around the classroom.


I purchase summer beach bags from the Dollar Tree for each student to use.  As they selected "new" books students stored them in their bags.


I have students line up and move around the desks and tables clockwise and in order.  In the beginning, students select one book per rotation.  This prevents any pushing or shoving and helps make sure that everyone gets an equal chance to select the books they like.


By the end or our book exchange student bags are overflowing with great summer reads.


This is the second year that I have held a book exchange and students loved it!


How do you encourage students to read over the summer?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Daily 5 Book Study - Chapter 1

It has been a while since I last read, The Daily 5, by the 3 Sisters, and there is a new edition out.  I borrowed an old copy from a teacher friend to scan as a refresher while I waited for the new edition to arrive in the mail compliments of the fast and furious Amazon Prime 2-day shipping!  It should arrive just in the nick of time for me to participate with some other fabulous bloggers in a little summer book study.

This week, Primary Inspired is hosting the book study with a focus on Chapter 1:  How Daily 5 Has Evolved.

What is the Daily 5 you ask?

The Daily 5 is a framework for structuring literacy time so students develop lifelong habits of reading, writing, and working independently.

Students work though activities such as:

- Reading to Self
- Reading with a Partner
- Writing about Reading
- Listening to Reading
- Word Work and Spelling

These activities are completed independently by students providing the teacher with time to confer with individuals or to pull small groups for reading instruction.

The second edition of The Daily 5 places an emphasis on flexibility.  This is not a one size fits all program.  Students do not have to move through all 5 rounds of the Daily 5 in one day.  You are the teacher, and you know what works best for your individual students, so do what you know is best.

While reading chapter 1 I immediately think of how we integrated Engage NY's ELA Modules into our ELA block this year.  

We spent the first hour of our ELA block working through a module lesson.  The second hour was spent on reading centers and guided reading.  We did not complete all 5 rounds of the Daily 5.  There was simply not enough time.  What was important is that students were actively involved in reading, writing, and working independently during the second half of our ELA block which provided me with valuable teacher time to work with small groups on individual needs.


I will admit, during my first few years of teaching I had students complete a lot of "busy" work during reading centers.  I had them creating book reports, completing projects, playing games, and doing all kinds of "cute" things?  Did they learn?  Yes!  Was there a lot of prep work?  Yes!  Did it waste a lot of time?  Yes!  Was it really worth it?  No!  Not when you can get a bigger bang for your buck using a structure like Daily 5.  Hey, you live you learn!

Have you tried Daily 5 in your classroom?  If you have, I'd love to hear how it works in your classroom?

Check back soon!  I will be posting about my thoughts on chapter 2.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sensory Bin for Monday Made It

Over the weekend, Natalie and I gathered supplies to create our first sensory bin of the summer.  I plan on making a few of these over our vacation together.  Sensory bins serve has a great tactile tool for toddlers and primary students to explore and develop basic life skills, fine motor skills, language, and more.


I snagged a storage bin from Walmart, a few bags of beans, sand box toys, little plastic dinosaurs, measuring cups and spoons from the Dollar Tree.


Natalie had a ball practicing digging, scooping, and pouring while we talked about burying and locating the rainbow assortment of dinosaur friends..


The whole bin was created for around $10.


Check out all the other Monday Made It's at Tara's blog, Fourth Grade Frolics.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

ATB Challenge - Week 10

Welcome back blogging buddies for week 10 of our ATB Challenge!  Sorry for the delay in posting!


Here is your Week 10 Challenge: 



If you have made it through all 10 weeks of the ATB challenge it is finally time to treat yourself.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear, "Treat Yourself," is ice cream, pizza, candy, dessert.

However, you don't have to treat yourself with food.

You can treat yourself with free time, a nice walk, a bubble bath, additional reading time to read something of YOUR choice, a car wash, a pedicure, a stay in your pajama day, etc....


Reward yourself when you accomplish your goals, cross of items on your to-do list, and when you simply need a break.


So, how do you plan to treat yourself this week?

Check out all 10 challenges here.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Five for Friday - Big News and Updates

Wow, it is hard to believe that our school year is coming to an end!  Summer vacation is just around the corner and I have a few major announcements to share.  Take a peak at my crazy, insane, whirlwind of a week as I link up with h Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!



We have continued to work through Engage NY's ELA Module 3A Unit 3.  This unit focuses on writing an editorial about which simple machine is the most helpful.  Students worked with small groups to further research a simple machine of their choice.  

They created a poster outlining evidence that supported their statement.  


Then they completed a graphic organizer in preparation for writing their editorial.




My fourth grade class visited the fifth grader's Wax Museum in the gymnasium.  


The fifth graders selected a sports hero to research and then shared their new knowledge with us.  This aligned nicely with their ELA Module learning.



Ok, now for some BIG news!

My husband and I have listed our house for sale.


If you know anyone looking for a cute, move-in ready ranch, with multiple updates in Auburn, NY, send them our way!

Check out our listing here.


Now, for the reason we are moving....

more BIG news....

I will be teaching fourth grade next school year, 

but 

in a NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT 

closer to Syracuse, NY.


Words can not even begin to describe how happy I am.  After lots of research, I am sure this district is the perfect fit for me and my family.

If the stars align, we are hoping to move over the summer so that we will live in the town in which I teach before the new school year begins.


Thank goodness the weekend is finally here so that I can spend my weekend with my precious Mini-Me!!!


Natalie and I will be hitting up some playgrounds and walking to the park in between prepping and cleaning for our first open house.

 What have you been up to this week?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hallway Graffiti

Walking through the halls of our intermediate school you will notice many examples of student artwork.  One of my favorites this year looks a bit like graffiti, but is it?










I think these are super cute.  Congrats to our little artists!  What is hanging in your school hallways?