Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Daily 5, Chapter 7

I spent yesterday making airport runs.  It was a drop off for Jason who is visiting family in Italy for a couple of weeks and a pick up for my mom who returned from traveling around the Baltic States for a few weeks.  And what have I been doing for the summer?  Thinking about school!  I’m also thinking it’s time for a trip abroad some time soon too, but that will have to be another post.  This Daily 5 deal has got my wheels spinning.  Chapter 7, the final chapter, packaged up all the components nicely and gave some answers to common questions.

Some key points that I want to remember (since my book got to go to Italy with Jason I’m just going off my notes here, hopefully I remember correctly)...

  • To ensure success with Daily 5 right off the bat, it’s important to spend the time teaching the kids how to participate in each component and what the expectations are.  In addition, the procedures MUST be modeled and practiced numerous times.  The authors included a recommended plan for introducing each part at the beginning of the school year.  It takes about a month if going by their plan.  That length of time initially gave me pause, as we start our instruction IMMEDIATELY when the year starts.  However, I’m going to do my best to fit it in and make it work.  If the kids aren’t independent with the D5 it will not be successful. 
  • After the first month of introducing and practicing, students are given total choice in how they complete their Daily 5.  Again, that caused a panicked moment, but as I thought about it more it sounds great.  No more rotation charts.  Less for the teacher to worry about.  The authors talk about TRUST.  If the kids are well prepared on what they have to do, they can be trusted to do it.  Only after someone shows you they are struggling do you step in and address his/her challenge.
  • After each portion of the D5, the teacher pulls the students back to the carpet for some type of instruction before sending them back out for the next part of independent time.  The authors recommend a “check in” before each component.  Each student thinks about what they wish to do next and the teacher asks them to share.  After sharing, the teacher asks them to close their eyes and visualize themselves doing their chosen part correctly.  Then students are dismissed by component in order to avoid a stampede. 
  • If a degree of teacher control for certain students is unavoidable some ideas were offered on how to go about it without being too invasive in the D5 process.  One of those ways is arranging the room by component.  Having set places to go can eliminate disruption for those kids having trouble choosing an appropriate place to work.  Another option is a set schedule made by the teacher.  I’m hoping to avoid that one if possible, but it may be necessary for some kids who aren’t yet able to handle the independence.
  • My favorite part of this book was about work product.  Again, coming from a very heavy test-prep environment, skill practice seatwork has been a mainstay in my classroom for years.  Sometimes that practice has been effective, but a lot of time it ends up just being busy work.  I really liked the concept of “practice + independence = accountability”.  Basically, if the kids are doing the D5 correctly, there isn’t a need for a whole lot of worksheet practice which is music to  my ears.  This is my philosophy when I’m in GLAD mode, so it will be such a relief to have that spill over into the core part of my language arts time. Yay!

The authors kind of addressed using the D5 with English Language Learners (ELLs).  But I didn’t feel they addressed my biggest concern.  Working with ELLs is all about expectations.  If expectations are dumbed down, then those kids won’t meet standards.  I think this program will work remarkably with all kids regardless of ELL level.  One question I have that wasn’t addressed is about the transiency rate that many of our large ELL population schools have.  Since I’ve been teaching I’ve had anywhere from 5 to 12 students come and go from my classroom each year.  Something as procedure based and stamina based as the D5 will make transiency difficult.  Has anyone come up with tricks for integrating new students quickly and easily into the D5?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

So as summer break is winding down, I’ve got a few things I need to wrap my mind around before implementation – daily schedule (fitting it all in), how to organize my library (in my new classroom) so it’s accessible to both my students and to me, getting books on tape put onto CDs or mp3 players, and setting up the stations for each component.  It’s a lot to think about especially when friends and family are off gallivanting around Europe, but it’s the first time in a few years that I’ve been excited about my language arts instruction.  The authors’ next book TheCafe Book is sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the Sisters suggest assessing within the Daily 5 classroom.

Thanks to Kimberly and Corinna for hosting this week’s book study. 

Here’s the linky thingy


  1. WoW you are a good friend to brave LAX in July! We head to SFO tomorrow night but it is not nearly as difficult as LAX.

    I hope your book has a wonderful trip! I brought all my summer classroom reading back to school- no work allowed down under!
    Happy Wednesday!

    1. Luckily the airport was fairly mellow so the trips weren't too bad.
      I hope you have a wonderful trip, and yes I'm living vicariously through my book. :)

  2. Airports might become a bit pleasanter if they banned private cars and opened the place to taxi's only. Half the damn stress is finding a parking place.

    You've gone into the technical details and I cannot follow, not really. But I'll turn it over and give you a response tomorrow morning.

    1. Under perpetual construction I don't think lax will ever be pleasant. Of all the airports I've been to it is the worst. Parking? You've got to take out a mortgage to park here, so instead we just pull up alongside the terminal and shove the traveler out the door with their luggage while the airport police yells about taking too long to unload. :)

  3. Roll em out at the curb. Yep, Pumpkin, that's what we do to our brood and we never, ever, pick them up at baggage claim. We make them hike upstairs to departures.

  4. Nope, nada. It seems you are on about choreography and set design here and since I've no datum point to reference from I can't really envisage the moves.
    What I am remembering from a salty echo is the class I went to here where there was four years in the one room being directed by one teacher. 40 kids-ish, so 10 per class. With lots of self or kid managed time. It seemed more kid controlled that teacher managed even thinking back on it now. But I expect we were steered far more than I remember or was aware. Think the school on the Little House on the Prairie and you'll be near it.

    1. Oh that is small. We've got that many kids in one class these days. I think classroom management and behavior are far better if the kids have some semblance of control, or like you said, think they are in control. If we do it right, they feel in control but that stems from being trained really well so they are able to work independently. It's a lot of work getting there, but once there it makes the rest of the year so much easier.
      Where was that school, Ireland or the UK? Is it still like that?

    2. Ireland.
      But I think you are missing what I'm saying. 40 kids in one room, split into 4 classes with 1 (one)teacher.

      On the training thing. Kids with brothers or sisters older than themselves had been prepped. So had the basics controls down. They themselves had half the job done. But I think people forget that humans are a social animal and therefore are relatively biddable. Where management is more guidance than trammeling.

      Have a decko at this if you've the time

    3. Yes, I was mistaken...4 grade levels one teacher, egads!

      Well that link was something wasn't it. It took me a minute to digest it needs its own book study. :) What is this website? Are the authors just independent scholars? It's a bit depressing that they seem to hit the nail on the head and we can't even get a discussion about it going over here.
      There is so much to say in response, and yet they covered it. All I can do is agree.

    4. They are a new think tank with access to VERY deep pockets.
      I'm having a hard time figuring if they are right or left wing.
      Nearest I can figure at the moment they are Green. But that's a very broad church.

    5. It sounds like it leans towards the left, but I would imagine most from those countries with gun death rates far lower than ours would essentially say the same thing regardless of their leanings.

  5. Hi, Kimberly. I also liked the part where "The Sisters" recommend that we have our students "visualize" their literacy choice and dismiss the whole group area by component...makes so much sense, but I missed that during my first read :) Sounds like you have a great plan in place for the new school year!

    Treasures for Teaching

    1. Thanks Monica. I don't know how great it is, but at least there is a plan of sorts. Your posts have been extremely helpful by sharing how it works in the real world.

  6. Lots of great ideas and insight! As far asthe ELL kids, while the kids are engaged in their Daily 5 components, I pull the new child for a quick mini-lesson and them have them practice the 3 minute read to self with me. I continue to do an abbreviated mini lesson a day for about a week or so until they "get" it. I also partner them up for the first week so they understand the other components. Hope this helps)