About Me

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 3

Hi y'all!
I hope your summer is going great! Mine is! I'm spending a lot of time with my boys which is AWESOME most of the time! I really have a great thing going because they all go to school/mother's day out twice a week, so I have 2 days a week that I can work on my projects, relax, see my friends. Ok. I'll be honest. I have not really worked on any projects yet. But I've bought fabric. And I've done the projects....Mentally. In my head, they're already done. I shouldn't tell you that I complained on facebook the other day that I thought Pinterest was mean for making me think I could do these cutsey things. I am not cutsey. But I pretend.
Anyhoo...I digress...
On to the Daily 5, Chapter 3!
I am joining the blog hop with Mrs. Freshwater's Class and Thinking Out Loud. Head on over to their blogs and link up!

Thinking Out Loud

This chapter was great because we're starting to get into the how to of the routine and expectations. I'm not going to write about each topic as many of the rest of you have already done because you've already done that. And I've not done Daily 5 yet. So I'm going to share the parts of the chapter that really spoke to me.
1. Good Fit Books- Oh my goodness! This idea makes so much sense. Can I just say, duh?! I  get so irritated with myself when I hear something like this and I realize I hadn't already thought of it myself. Ha! But really, of course a child is capable of selecting and reading a book of their own choice if I help them figure out how. And there is the motivation factor that is always so hard to find, in my humble opinion. Kids want to read the books they want to read. It's that simple. Not just kids. Everyone. I saw my principal the other day (love her) and I told her I was joining in this book study and no one had to ask me to read the chapters. I'm just doing it. When I'm supposed to. Not 10 minutes before a meeting. And she said, "Yeah, isn't it amazing when you can choose the book yourself?" Exactly.

2. Short Intervals of Repeated Practice-I LOVE that the sisters said, "...if a child, even one, goes off-task during the practice time, the signal should be given to stop and gather students back together to review how it went. We never want children to continue with the off-task behavior because that means they are practicing the wrong way and training their muscle memories incorrectly." Because the whole time, I was thinking of Max. You know Max. I've mentioned him before and everyone has a Max. I kept wondering what I would do with Max because he was one that would need to practice stamina. And for the sisters to point out that that child did the best he could at that time. I have to give him that practice with stamina so that he could be as successful as the others.

So, that's it! There were other great ideas, but these two thoughts were the most important in my mind. I hope you keep reading as I will. I even just got the Cafe Book, even though I know nothing about it.
I'll leave you with a couple of questions...I would love to hear your answers in my comments...
1. Those of you who have done Daily 5 before, will I really be able to teach all the Max's out there to do this correctly?
2. Do you have a love/hate with Pinterest?
3. How's your summer so far?!

Talk to you soon!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 2

Hey there! I am back, ready to post about Chapter 2 in the Daily 5 book. I've actually tried to post a couple of other times...has blogger been acting crazy for you? It is seriously about to make me crazy!!!

Anyhoo...I am loving the book so far. Everything I've read just makes sense. I am linking up with a couple of blogs. Why don't you join me?!?!

Kindergarten Smiles
Some things to think about while reading this chapter:

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way? I do trust most of my students most of the time but I recognize that I can't trust all of them all of the time and that's mostly my fault. I want to get started so quickly at the beginning of the year that I don't spend long enough training and guiding them. I'm hoping for help from this book. I do think I'll be able to stay out of their way. But what about those kids. You know the ones. Like my Max from last year. Doesn't follow rules anywhere else in his life so why would he follow them at school? Will I be able to reach him?

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? (would love for you to share some examples!) Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room? I feel like I give them some choice within certain boundaries. I let them read books of their choice during independent reading time. I let them write their own stories during writers workshop. Also let them solve math problems using their own strategies but these are all within my timeline. I don't know if that is enough choice for what the sisters are talking about here.

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable? First of all, I'm going to try and make my room look really cute! That's important right?!?! I'm so excited about my blue and green colors this year. I am working on a few projects that I will share later on this summer. But hopefully, if I train the kids well and set up all of their expectations, I won't have to do too much accountability checking. I think they'll chech each other for me.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child? Abso-stinkin-lutely!!! Writer's workshop has taught me that you always get your student's best when they know why they're doing something and that it belongs to them. I tell my kids from the beginning of the year that if they really want to learn to read, they will, if they practice and use their strategies, just like all the athletes out there. The only way to get better is to practice and I can't do it for you. They may grumble at first but once they see it working with themselves or their peers they get on board quickly!

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? ... Stamina is really a new idea for me. Of course the kids are able to do more and for longer at the end of the year than at the beginning, but I've never taught that or talked about it. I'm excited to learn more about this!!

PhotobucketWhat do you think? Take a minute and leave a comment! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

iPad Printing and Woo Pig!

First of all, I printed from my iPad today. It was quite magical. I screamed a little bit because I was so excited and I had to shush myself because my twins were napping. Don't mess with the nap. But I was so happy! I can't tell you how many times I've said, "I love my iPad but i sure wish it could print." I didn't realize my iPad could print but it was just my stupid printer that couldn't print from my iPad. So, I fixed that problem. I bought a new printer much to my husbands dismay but my stupid printer, one that is only like a year old, has never worked well and I refuse to fight with it anymore. I'm over it! So, now, thanks to my new hp photo jet, we are friends. I hope I can continue telling you how wonderful my new friend hp is! And my excitement for the day, Woooooooooooo! Pig! Soooooooie! Or WPS for short! My beloved Arkansas Razorbacks won their first game today in the college world series! So proud of those guys! I've got to incorporate my love of the hogs in my blog soon. I'm looking for a good designer....any suggestions? I've done the free blog templates, but I want cute buttons and stuff, too. Can you tell how demanding I am? In the mean time...GHG, y'all!! (Go Hogs Go, of course) :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Daily 5

Hello there!
Sorry about being MIA but I have had to take a vacation!!! I know. Don't you feel sorry for me?! We had to go to Florida and we left the day after there was a blogger meet up in Florida! Oh well, I was on the gulf side anyway! Anyhoo...I am linking up to join this awesome book study that several teachers from blogs are doing!
Have you read the Daily 5? The Daily FiveI am just beginning. I've had the book for over a year but now I'm finally digging in! To begin, you need to get the book. Then read Chapter 1 and go to Mel D's blog.

Here are a few framing questions to ponder about Chapter One:

1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it?

My classroom probably is a combination of the two. I KNOW my stations/centers need work, but I feel like the small group instruction goes very well so I've had the internal debate for years about how I feel about their independent work at stations. A few years, I made them keep journals and they never went well because I never followed through or kept up with them. It was just too much. Now I have felt like, I know time could be better spent in their stations, but since small group instruction goes pretty well and they meet with a teacher everyday, I kind of don't care am not able to follow up with their independent work. :) I hope using D5 will prove to me that those other kids should be using their time a little more wisely. Don't get me wrong, I think their stations went well (they were reading, writing, listening to books on cd, etc.) but I think the work could be more purposeful and driven by their instructional level.

2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers?

Like I said, the small group guided reading instruction has been going well and my students always seem to feel much better about their own reading abilities by the time they are done with first grade. I also have used writer's workshop in my room for years and for the most part, they love writing their stories, sharing and publishing them.  But I also had a really good class last year. I'm expecting next year's group to be a little more....challenging.

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?

Having only read Chapter one, I'm not completely sure yet, but it sounds very different from my current classroom. My students have always gone to stations and they did not have a choice what station they had to do, I made that decision for them. I put my students in groups based on their ability & reading levels. I am excited to continue learning to see how to implement the D5!

Okay, so now you need to link up at Mel D's blog, leave me a comment, and read chapter 2.  Here are your guiding questions for next week as you read chapter 2...

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?

2. What stands out as the most significant aspects of this chapter?

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?