Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study - Chapter 2

Welcome back to our book study!

Here are my thoughts on Chapter 2, from "Management" to "Principled Habits" of The Daily Fivehosted by Mel from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations. I used Mel's questions to guide my reading below.

1. What goals do you have for your classroom as you work to implement the principles and foundations of the Daily 5 discussed in Chapter 2? What support do you need to do this?
As I reflect on what has been successful in my classroom (after 1½ years of implementation in a first grade classroom), I realize that my students progressed in the areas of “choice” and “stamina,” while I became better prepared to “stay out of the way” during their D5 choice time. The principles that I need to continue to work on are building D5 “community”, “trust”, and their “sense of urgency.” When I had an off-task student, I could almost guarantee that they would make eye contact with me at some point and I could signal redirection with a “look”, but I would have liked their partner/ table mates to correct their behavior instead. I also noted that some students were not chosen as read-to-someone partners due to their less-than-desirable behaviors. Though I did require my students to say “yes” anytime they were asked to be someone’s partner. How did you handle this in your classroom?

2. What stands out as the most significant aspects of this chapter?
For me, the important parts of this chapter are the ones that I still need more support with. As the sisters gave an example about “trust” and the students taking restroom/ water breaks – I still do not allow my students to go individually (unless it is an emergency, of course); we all take hourly breaks as a group. What do you do? It just seems as soon as I let a small group go by themselves, they start playing at the water fountain or running down the hall. My stomach turns at the thought of another teacher having to correct my students because I wasn’t “watching them.” You all know how the gossip train works. What advice, tips, and suggestions do you have for improving “community,” “trust,” and/ or “sense of urgency?”

3. How do the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure (trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina), align with your beliefs that support your teaching strategies and the decisions that you make about student learning?

I agree that these principles set the foundation for my students’ literacy practices. What I wasn’t prepared for was that I was able to use these same principles to guide other areas of content instruction. For example, my students know how to partner read social studies and science textbooks. They know how to choose “good-fit” books when selecting books from the math basket (during independent math practice). They use their knowledge of building stamina to practice playing a math game several times (versus playing one time and saying “we’re done” or getting up to make another choice).

If you want more ideas, stop by Nicole's blog for the 2nd / 3rd grade book study. She has a great stamina chart freebie for you :)

I would love to hear your comments, feedback, or questions. I'm glad you stopped by!

Join me next Wednesday, June 27th, at Mrs. Freshwater's Class for Chapter 3.


  1. For the groups, is there a way, at least at the start, to make a list where readers work through different partners in an order? So you take out the asking for a while and get rid of that worry for the students. Not only is the one who gets off task aware but if enough time goes by...there are probably little groans or body expressions even when they say "yes".

    This way that child gets to work with everyone...and maybe just model model, model how to support a disruptive child?

    I think it's awesome your students know how to choose good fit books. I think that is going to be a challenge :)

    1. Hi, Terri. What a great suggestion! I had not thought to partner them up (especially at first), but I like the idea of them getting the opportunity to work with everyone else in the class. Who better to model for those few off-task kiddos but their own peers during their literacy choice?!

      My students always had too many books (if possible) in their book boxes last year. It was lovely to hear them partner reading knowing they could read all the words because they picked books that were on their level. I hope this year's class does just as well :)

      I appreciate your comments! Thanks for coming by!