Chapter 3 What's the Difference?: Key Materials, Concepts, and Routines for Launching the Daily Five
This chapter is perfect right now because I am working on getting my routines and materials ready for the upcoming school year. Elementary is going to require a lot more than 7th grade math did - and I am gearing up for it!
Establishing a Gathering Place
In this chapter, the Sisters describe the gathering place as "an open space large enough for the whole class to come together and sit on the floor" (p. 28).
This was actually one of the things that I really missed from my student teaching days! I loved the morning meetings we used to have, and I never could quite get that going in middle school because my room was so small and crammed with 37 students - there was no space! With that in mind when I set up my classroom this year I know that I need:
- A large enough to accommodate us all.
- Be comfortable.
- Have a place for creating anchor charts. I need to check out the school and see if I will have an easel of some sort, or if I need to buy one.
|Ignore the dog fur :)|
When I was student teaching, my lead teacher had a little stool that her father had made for her that she sat on. It was the perfect height - just a bit above the students, but not really looking down on them. I found this fabulous one at Wal-Mart of all places! It even has a storage space inside of it. I'm thinking of getting a few more for my students.
We have all been there - watching a child struggle aimlessly in the library as the dreaded - "two minute warning" is called and they frantically grab at anything and often end up with a book that they either do not enjoy or that is just not the right fit.
In this chapter, the authors introduce a model called I PICK. Which stands for:
I choose a book
Purpose - Why do I want to read it?
Interest - Does it interest me?
Comprehend - Am I understanding what I am reading?
Know - I know most of the words
The Sisters use shoes as an analogy for picking a book that fits them - I am planning a Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians lesson that I think will fit well with this instead. The district I am moving to has been using The Daily 5 for several years now, and I think the students will all have heard this analogy already. I will post my lesson as I develop it if you would like to use it.
Setting Up Book Boxes
Now that the students have found good fit books, they need a place to store them. I am still undecided about what to do for this. When I was student teaching, each student had a drawer from one of those plastic sterilite drawers.
They kept their books, notebooks, pencils, sticky notes, and anything else they might need inside and grabbed their box when it was time to go.
I haven't decided if I want to go with this route (which would probably take up little space) or the traditional magazine holders.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
I love making anchor charts with students - they give them a great reminder of what they have already learned. I have a small laser pointer (the cheap ones that they sell for under $3 at Wal-Mart near the register) that I use to point to a particular chart when I am working with a struggling student. This reminds them to use these charts when they are stuck.
Short Intervals of Repeated Practice and Signals and Check-In
I believe that students need to practice, practice, practice! The Sisters believe this as well and provide a ten step process for improving muscle memory.
One thing that I would like to improve on this year is the check-in. I think it will hold the students more accountable for their independent work if they have to report back to the group how they spent their time, what they learned, what they struggled with, what strategies they used.
What has worked well for you?