I just finished re-reading Daily 5 chapter 3 and can honestly say that this chapter made an impact on me the first time I read the book! As I was reading it again I could see methods/ideas that I tried before and YES they did work! I even continued many of these things when I decided to go back to traditional literacy centers and they worked with those as well. When I posted about chapter one I wrote about myself trying to implement the Daily 5 two years ago. I had a very challenging class and it was just too much for me to take on that year. However, chapter 3 suggestions work very well for traditional literacy centers as well as for the Daily 5.
This week Mrs. Freshwater's Class blog is hosting the Daily 5 book study. Go check her site out if you haven't already and see what everyone else has to say about this week's chapter.
Okay...so here are some things from chapter 3 that have worked out great for me:
Establishing a Gathering Place
I love this idea! Years ago when I had a HUGE room I had a kitchen center, a reading center with a claw foot bathtub and a "living" room center we used for our gathering space. It seemed like each year the kiddos called it that on their own without me introducing it as such. It was very homey and inviting. Once I moved to a smaller room it took me a while to establish these different areas. I think I finally have it now though. I know I've read (or saw it on their website...I can't remember) that the sisters suggest to keep math gathering spaces separate from literacy gathering spaces. It's taken me some adjusting but now that I'm used to it I LOVE this approach. In the picture above you can see my reading center that the kids call the "stage." The materials/shelving gets rearranged from time to time but you get the general idea.
In this picture which was taken at the very end of the day (and end of the school year) so it's a bit of a mess...you can see our gathering space next to the stage. In between the two blue chairs in the corner I have my teaching easel. We didn't have a special name for the space this year. I would love to return to calling it the "living or family" room again though. On the other side of the room we have our calendar wall and another carpet space area for math meetings. My tables are scattered throughout the room in various centers. Although I am known for moving my room around A LOT, this general arrangement has worked out great for me.
Good Fit Books
This concept has helped me so much with assisting children in finding books for their familiar reading book boxes! In chapter three the sisters use a shoe as an example. For some reason I seem to use pants! It seems as if each new school year I have kiddos coming in with new school clothes that are just a wee bit too big. Soooo...we discuss that when you go shopping that you wouldn't want to shop for pants that are too small and not be able to be buttoned. You also wouldn't want your pants to be too big or they may fall off! You want pants that are just right. The kids always seem to get a kick out of this analogy and refer to it throughout the school year!
Here is a picture from last year with our book boxes and book tubs. I do have plans for re-designing this space for next year but the concept will remain the same. My white tubs are numbered 1-10 and the children use these tubs to "shop" for books for their own book boxes. Each child is able to begin with book tub number one at the beginning of the year. As I hold reading conferences with the kiddos we discuss together if we think the child is ready to move on to the next book tub. The upright book bins and colored tubs have thematic books in them that I allow the kids to check out and take home to read. We also use these for book studies on specific topics. I love when I watch the kids during "read to someone" time and they begin discussing whether or not they have a book that is too hard or just right! Another exciting time for them is when they realize a book is just too easy and it's time to return it to the tub it came from! It just wouldn't be as powerful if I were the one telling them the book was too easy/hard.
Like many of you I love anchor charts!! I use anchor charts to introduce just about every expected behavior or activity in my room. I really like the sisters' concept of the "I" chart! When using the "I" charts the children can really grasp onto what they should be doing and what the teacher will be doing. I do keep most of these up at the beginning of the year. As the year continues I stack them near my easel and pull them out when we need to review a behavior or activity.
Checking In and Short Intervals of Related Practice
This is so hard for me but it does work if implemented correctly!! I just have to remember to s-l-o-w down with my kiddos at the beginning of the year and not rush them. By allowing the short periods of practice they are not overwhelmed and will have moments of success. I've noticed that when I push it and try to do to much too soon it always backfires and I have to begin again.
I love the check in method described in this chapter! Having the kiddos give a thumbs up or a sideways thumb is so positive in comparison to a thumbs down. This gives a great message that we all are working to do better each time!
Correct Model / Incorrect Model
By having the children model the different activities in the Daily 5 it gives everyone a chance to shine! I try to let different students model each day until everyone has had a chance. I've even observed students who would typically be acting out during Daily 5 volunteer to model the correct way to participate!
I am really enjoying reading what everyone else has to say about this book so far! So many great reflections and ideas. I can't wait to get started with this again next Fall!