Friday, July 11, 2014

Daily 5 Book Study {Chapter 9} - The Final Chapter!

I'm pretty sure most of you combined Chapters 8 and 9 last week, but I decided that I wanted to separate the two. I wanted to do my due diligence with Chapter 8 since math is definitely my weaker skill (especially after not teaching it at all this past year)!

So I'm back on this lovely (and hot) Friday to discuss the final Chapter, Chapter 9. 

Okay seriously, I know this is off topic but it's been uncharacteristically hot here. Not that I'm complaining, I love me some sunshine. I just wanted to acknowledge how bizarre this is. Of course because I said that, I'll spook it and it will be back to typical Oregon weather in no time. I'm sorry universe, please let the sun stay!

The final Chapter in Daily 5 was called Returning to Our Core Beliefs. This chapter focused on the core beliefs of the sister's and of Daily 5 in general.

The sister's state their core beliefs as:


It also addresses how to deal with situations that arise in the classroom that may threaten to derail all of your hard Daily 5 work!

Barometer Children 
I was a little confused by this term in the beginning, but now I get it! Barometer students are those off-task students that tend to throw off the balance of the classroom and dictate how things run. One of the things that I constantly remind myself is that all students are capable of great things and that our job as educators is to set high expectations for our students. This instills a sense of trust in our students and lets them know that we believe in them. 

Some students just need extra help and support to help them meet expectations! The sisters outline 4 levels of support for these kinds of students.

1. Reflection - It is so easy for us to blame the trouble on the student, but it is important to take time to reflect on what you did. Did you rush the 10-steps to Independece? I know I'm super guilty of that. Did you respond to or engage with the undesired behavior? Are you speaking respectfully and positively? Does the student have good-fit books? What is most important here is being honest with ourselves.

2. Extra Support - The sisters suggest having students practice during recess. I question this because students see losing recess as a punishment and I don't like the idea of "punishing" students just because they need extra support. Is that just me? How do you feel about this?

3. In-Class Modifications - There are a lot of tips/tricks outlined here for in-class modifications. Some examples are marking off special office areas, providing tactile manipulatives for students to take mini brain breaks during Daily 5 and providing timers for students to be in charge of their reading and breaks. I will definitely refer back to these strategies this upcoming year.

4. Gradual Release of In-Class Modifications - Here is where you ween children off of using these supports. A great way to do this is by providing quick check ins between conferences/guided reading. I have 2 concerns with this. 1). Wouldn't that be interacting with them when they are supposed to be independent? 2). The sisters mention having this check in be on the way to your next group or conference. I don't move for that. Students come to me at the start of the Daily 5 block and then we switch after each mini-lesson. 

Guest Teachers
Have Daily 5 outlined in your lesson plans for guest teachers to ensure Daily 5 goes smoothly. The great thing that I have found is that the structure and routine is so engrained that the students don't even need any direction! They are so independent and help the guest teacher! 

New Students
Now I have to be honest, I am the worst when it comes to new students. And by that I mean, I don't take it as an opportunity to revisit expectations. Like the book states, getting a new student is rattling and I definitely fall victim to that feeling. In the future I will take that opportunity because we can always use a good review!

I also really really liked the idea of a Daily 5 helper! I might even use a barometer student for this position to give them confidence and allow them to be the "expert" on what it should look like and sound like!

The vest is such a cute touch! I will definitely be on the look out for a vest for my Daily 5 helper, so if you know where to get one let me know!

I thought it was interesting that the sisters mentioned how teaching is one of the only professions where people have an idea of what it should look like. Everyone went to school. It can be hard for parents to adjust to a new way of learning. It is important to fill them in (like Craig David). Anyone? No?

Help parents understand what their child is doing at school! A letter the first week of school or at back to school night would do the trick! 

The biggest takeaways I had from The Daily 5: 2nd Edition is that students will rise to our high expectations if we set them and trust them to do so! Change comes slowly, we have to be patient and provide appropriate supports along the way! And for my finally takeaway I leave you with this…

"Independence is synonymous with accountability."
 - Maragaret Mooney


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