Tuesday, August 19, 2014

3..2..1...Blast Off

The first three weeks of school, don't count on me cooking dinner and plan on lots of laundry piling up.  Let's face it, it's just that time of year.  It's go time at school and a lot of other things just get put on the back burner.  
What has been getting done?  Well, we are totally into our Daily Five launch.  We basted off on the first day of school and haven't looked back.
Lots of mini lessons and modeling sessions and starts and stops have marked our days.  I made plans of how I would pace the launch and those plans went out the door after day one.  But that is OK, we are making progress.  Even though we are not quite following the pace of the launch plans laid out in the 2nd edition of The Daily Five.

On the first day I had all of the book boxes packed and ready to go for Read to Self.  I modeled three ways to read a book.  We discussed our I chart and expectations.  Students then modeled the correct way to do Read to Self and I modeled the incorrect way to read to self.  The students told me all the things I did wrong (you know they loved doing that).
After our mini lessons, we Read to Self three whole minutes.  We've gained steadily since then and are now up to 11 minutes.  To be honest, not everyone is perfect every time.  But I'm really happy with our accomplishment.

After a couple of days, I started model writing on chart paper at my easel.  The writing was very simple, one to two sentences.  I modeled what to do if you are writing and do not know how spell a word (sound it out the best you can and then underline it).  I modeled this same lesson for three days.  We also discussed our Work on Writing I chart.  After all the modeling and discussing, my young authors finally got their hands on their journals.
With our Work on Writing time I'm trying out a little something new this year.  Instead of composition books, I'm making monthly journals.  Students will keep their journals in their writing binders.  Eventually, the binders will contain lots of topics and ideas for students to draw upon as they write.  Each month students will turn in their monthly journals and get a new one.  I plan on putting all of them in their end of the year portfolios.  

We started Read to Someone at the beginning of our second week of launch.  I was really unsure of how it would go.  Read to Someone can be awesome, but it can also be a disaster when students decide to socialize or not cooperate with each other.
After going over our Read to Someone I chart, my TA and I did some modeling of poor Read to Someone behavior.  Again, the kids loved pointing out all of our mistakes.  Then two of my girls that came from a Daily Five Kindergarten class, modeled perfectly the correct way to Read to Someone.
We talked about how to pick books and share books with a partner.  I also addressed how to decide which partner reads first (make a deal or every body's favorite, rock paper scissors).
On a side note, I assigned partners for the launch and they do not change.  I also placed students in their special spots around the room.  At this point taking those choices away allows us to focus on the core behaviors for successful reading with a partner.
We are now up to seven minutes on Read to Someone.

Word Work and Listen to Reading will come later this week.  I usually do not spend much time launching these components of The Daily Five.  Mainly, I take time explaining how to use the materials and technology.
Although we are not formally working on Listen to Reading, my firsties have been able to listen to lots of read alouds during these past couple of weeks.  Read alouds are my number one favorite thing to do, especially at the beginning of the year when you need to keep everything moving along.
Below is a picture of some of the books we've read so far this year.  They are mainly related to back to
school, class rules, and The Daily Five topics.

By the end of this week we will wrap up our launch and I'll be really glad when it is over.  But I have no doubt that the time we put in now will pay off all year long.
Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you shared your experiences with The Daily 5. I'm hoping to launch Read to Self next week. I used bits and pieces last year and I'm really hoping to follow The Daily 5 more closely this year. I'm just a little bit anxious about getting started, but I'm excited about getting started! Your post was very helpful and reassuring. Glad things are going well!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade