Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daily Five and Burning Questions....

I think I should start this post by explaining that I am one of those people who is NEVER satisfied.  No matter how much experience or even success I have with something, I can never get rid of that nagging feeling that I could have done it better.  The Daily 5 is one of those things. I've been teaching using the Daily 5 in one form or another for the past 2 1/2 years and can you believe I've done it a little bit different each of those years!!!

The first year I started in January and I pretty much followed the book exactly! The second year I taught half day kindergarten.  Because I was so limited on time I rotated the kids through the choices.  It was more like centers because they didn't have as much choice, but it was still pretty effective and I spent so much more time teaching rather than preparing cute centers. 

This last year I went back to full day kindergarten.  I chose to use the rotation board because I had so much success with it in half day.  It worked pretty good but I did notice some behavior problems.

I recently purchased the second edition of the book and I pretty much read it in two days!  Got to LOVE summer!  After reading this version of the book I have made some decisions but I've also been left with some questions and I'm not sure what others do.

1. I am definitely going back to having the students make their own choices.  
2. I plan to follow daily five structure much more than I had in the past two years.
3. I will create more specific and effective I charts (in the past I consolidated the charts into one which worked well, but I didn't display it and I think that was a mistake). 

Burning Questions: 
1. Do you still do guided reading groups?
2. Do the kids take the books home or keep them at school?
3. Do you provide a table spot for each child? 
4. Do you provide a separate writer's workshop?

I'm having a difficult time giving up my guided reading groups.  I've always managed to keep them with my Daily 5, but is there a better way?  My kids often get confused between their Daily 5 book baggies and their home reading book. It's not a serious issue though. I have a hard time giving up table spots for all.  My tables have under table storage for their supplies, which helps with organization.  I think table points are a great motivator, and I think it's important for them to have their own special space.  However, my classroom is TINY!  As far as writing is concerned, I think I could make this work by going back to my star student books or morning message as additional writing time, but will it give them enough practice?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!


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