Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Checking In on My Daily 5

If this were a perfect world, I would have nothing interfering with my teaching schedule and could do reading and math all day long without having to worry about anything else.  But I live in a world of state standards and county expectations- so that's all there is to it.  I am making do the best I can though with a foundation of Daily 5-ish choices.

I have one mini-lesson, four reading groups to meet with each day, and nooooooooo transition time.  So it gets a little hairy, and mostly feels like a circus act on a daily basis.  But the world still spins, so must I continue on.

Turns out, I had to make more of a Daily 3 choice chart.  I just grouped items into similar pairs, and ideally, they would choose at least one thing from each category, but I haven't even forced them into that yet.

So I have their student number on the side, and then I put their names in the next column,  In the third column I have which meeting times they are with me or out of the room at ESOL or what not, this helps me know not to call on them for their choice.  To date, we have this process down to under a minute and a half.  I do not wait for them to say "ummmmmm....." I skip them immediately if they do.  That had trained them to know ahead of time what they are choosing.  I just write 1's in their choices for the first rotations, 2's for second and so on.  BkFx is my listening to reading station.  All my CD players went belly up, so they have been watching  and reading along with stories on Book Flix.  I only have five computers though, so there is a limit to who can pick this station at any given meeting time.  And going to the library is the choice I paired with it.  I'm only allowed to send three kids at a time- so I make sure I review the sheet  from the day before and give every student a chance to go over a two day period.

One nice thing about keeping the sheet is that I can see patterns in what the kids are choosing, and have a record of their work.

We also made a couple of different i-charts for two of their Daily 5 choices, they keep them in their book baskets for reference.

Again, both were generated with student input.  They decided on the language, and the rules.  It helped them own it.

Daily 5, overall, has freed me up while I meet with small groups for guided reading.  A time when I do not want to be disturbed.  Thus far, it is by far the best management tool I've ever used.

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