Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daily 5, Chapter 6

D5

This week’s Chapter 5 book study is hosted by Jenn and Deb.  Although I’m still enjoying this book and the authors’ philosophy very much, this was the first chapter (the writing part) that I couldn’t see fitting, as described, right into place in my classroom. 

Writing is the fourth component in the Daily 5.  As with the other independent time, teachers should introduce the writing component with direct instruction, modeling, practice, and more modeling.  Gradually students build up their writing stamina much like they do with their reading stamina.  We’re hoping to increase the students enjoyment of writing during this time.  They are given the chance to write about what THEY want to write about.  For some students, this will be so much fun.  For others though, it will be a challenge because they are so used to teachers telling them what to write about.  Focus lessons are important, especially to those students who will struggle, to introduce skills that they will need for their independent writing.  This component reminds me of Lucy Calkins’ Writers Workshop. 

And this is where my apprehension comes in…we have a district writing program that takes up most if not all of our allotted writing time.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good program and the kids do well with it, but it is more prescriptive and there isn’t much choice because we are preparing for district and state writing tests.  As much as I would enjoy implementing writers workshop and allow all this choice, I’m really struggling with how to fit all of it in and/or allow for both programs to co-exist.   

Luckily, I think I’ve talked my work husband and 2nd grade teammate into delving into the Daily 5 as well.  He and I have been discussing the components this summer, and I think we’ve come up with a plan for the writing component by just tweaking it a bit.  We aren’t going to be able to do the all the conferencing and editing and rewriting with the Daily 5 writing because we have to do that with our own writing program, but we’ve decided that our kids should STILL be able to write for enjoyment during the Daily 5 time.  Students will have notebooks/journals that they keep in their book boxes.  When it’s their writing time, they can write in their notebooks.  We plan on still using the focus lessons (hopefully linking them to our district program) and Author’s Chair, maybe a 2 or 3 each day for a chance to talk about writing.  The kids, however, won’t be required to take their independent writing to publishing.  I think we can manage to do both if we just trim a bit off the D5 piece.  If you are already using the program, I’d love to hear your thoughts on our adjustments.  Or please share how you’ve managed to fit it in.

The fifth and final component is word work.  This one is probably the most engaging of the five.  The word work component is how students can practice their spelling and vocabulary using various methods – pencil/paper tasks, magnetic letters, wiki sticks, chalk/whiteboards, flash cards, etc.  Most of us have used word work in centers but in the Daily 5 the practice is done every day which is so valuable.  Second grade has several vocabulary skills (synonyms/antonyms, compound words, multiple meaning words, prefixes/suffixes, etc) that are important for vocab development AND are heavily tested.  Previously, we’ve used 
“seatwork time” as practice of these skills.  In order to make the Daily 5 fit in our day, I think that seatwork time will be (happily) eliminated.  Those skills will need to be addressed somewhere else though, so it is imperative that our word work time includes not only spelling and sight words, but also our vocabulary skills. 

Teachers introduce and practice this piece like the previous four.  However, modeling is taken a step further as this part my have materials that will need to be taken out, cleaned up, and put away correctly. 

I’ve spent the last couple of days in my new classroom unpacking boxes.  Even though it’s a chaotic mess right now, while unpacking my language arts boxes today I found so many materials that would be great for word work.  It was fun to set up the materials in the cupboards with the understanding that they were for Daily 5. 

If you’re participating in the book study and have posted about it, be sure to add it to the blog hop.  Here’s the linky thingy…

11 comments:

  1. I think that you and your BFF have hit upon a good compromise for Work on Writing. One journal entry that I have my kids work on every Monday is writing about their weekend. Most kids are able to do this well. Also, I LOVE Lucy Calkins!!! She is awesome!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog also:) I'm following you by email!!

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    1. Thanks Anne! I'm glad to hear that it might be doable as an adjustment. Writers Workshop is something I really wish we had time for, but it's not something I've been able to manage thus far. This adapted version might help me get my feet wet with it.

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  2. Yikes! So much to teach and never enough time. I love Writer's Workshop...but I am not quite sure what I will do in 1st this year. I have been re-reading the Lucy Calkins books this summer.

    Good luck!

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  3. Very early in the morning so I'll not try to extend myself too much. Oh Kayzies then.

    This is from memory. When I was learning to write -as distinct from enjoying it. That didn't occur until I started my blog.- the problem I had was that my mind was telling a story fasted than I could get it down. So I was permanently frustrated.
    I don't know if there has been a sea change in the methods, where writing is presented to kids as a abstract Art. Kids aren't stupid, they know that it is easier quicker and far more accurate to say something out loud that it is ever for them to write it. And little utilitarians that they are, they will baulk at deploying effort at what they see as hooey.
    You see I get the carrot with reading. There you can pull in all their greed for information on things that tickle their fancies. And even with maths, greed again can be used, albeit differently. But writing, I really don't see you've anything in your arsenal other than compulsion.

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    1. Yep! I'm a district trainer for our writing program so my colleagues and administrators think that I love teaching writing. The fact is it's HARD and not very much fun to teach a lot of the time - kind of like pulling teeth. Actually, my favorite part is when we write together - the kids tell me what to write and I write it on the smartboard. They have such good ideas that include higher level skills like voice, but they rarely write with that detail on their own. I do believe the workshop approach does create writers out of more kids than our writing program does because it's not as formula driven, but it happens slowly/ developmentally over time, which isn't really accepted in my district.

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    2. PS - You're such a trooper to thoughtfully comment on these boring teacher posts. :)

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    3. I tend to the notion that if you've written it, it behooves me to address it as honestly as I can.
      Of course it would help if I did an edit that I could see before I hit publish.

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    4. Well, it was early in the morning. ;).

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  4. I never got independent writing time. I would have loved that.

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    1. I love that you'd have loved having independent writing time. I always have a few that want to write and put forth the effort into their work. The others? It's more of a race for who gets finished first. That's for assignments, but we'll see how free time will go. Maybe I'll get a few more on board.

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