Sunday, January 27, 2013

Our Daily 5 updates.

Wow, I’m terrible at keeping up with this blog.  Sorry friends.  It seems that writing posts has fallen to the bottom of my priority list, but I tell myself that that’s okay.  After all, actually teaching my kiddies is what I should put first, right?  

Anyway, we’ve had bunches going on lately.  Like most of you, we will be celebrating the 100th day of school soon (February 6th), and Valentine’s Day not long after.  One year, thanks to snow days, those two events fell on the same day.  OHMY was that an exhausting one.  I think we’re safe from that this year!  I'm excited to share our celebration pictures soon!

What I’d really like to share is a Daily 5 update.  This is the first year I’ve done the Daily 5 in my classroom, and I can’t imagine life without it.  It really is so much more relaxed than my past experience with centers, AND the kids are doing much more authentic reading and writing!  We look forward to our three rounds each day.

We’ve recently added two super fun things into our Daily 5 time.  First, I have started allowing 2 kids to work at the Smart Board on ABC Ya.  This is one of my favorite websites for educational games and activities.  During Daily 5, it qualifies as word work, and it's definitely a favorite right now!  (Below, A and A are using magnet letters.)  I was worried that having this going on would distract others in the classroom, but so far it hasn’t been a problem.

 Another new Daily 5 addition is our WhisperPhones!  Our principal purchased these for all classes after a recent literacy workshop we attended.  They’re fantastic!  The kids totally get into them during Read to Self.  (If you don’t have the funds to purchase the fancy kind, homemade whisper phones can be made from PVC pipe for cheap!)

Finally, here’s our biggest update:  Last week, the kids had their very first day of total choice!  They were absolutely pumped!  I made a very big deal of this occasion, telling them how responsible students must be to have total choice.  A small part of me was nervous about giving up control (until now, we've all done the same Daily at the same time), but I'm pretty happy with how it is going.  My rule is that they must Read to Self at least one round each day, but otherwise, they are free to choose between Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, and Listen to Reading.

We use both of these amazing checklists (mine on top, theirs on bottom) to organize our rounds:

(I downloaded both of these freebies from TpT at the beginning of the year but was unable to find their links now!  It one is your product, please help me credit it)!

They love it. I love it. Hooray for Daily 5!!

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