Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

Daily 5 Book Study- Chapter 4

on July 5, 2015

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  Once again, I’m working my way through Primarily Inspired’s book study on The Daily 5.  Chapter 4 is being hosted by Pop into Primary with Mrs. Palmer and Ride Away with Mrs. Ridgway.  It’s all about what tools are needed to help make Daily 5 a success.  So let’s take a look.

The first things the Sisters suggest is a quiet signal.  They specifically said chimes as that’s worked for them.  But really as long as it’s a signal that is different from the regular, working noise that’s going on in the classroom and isn’t too startling, you could probably pick whatever you want.  Now let’s say your kiddos are having one of those days where the signal is not effectively getting their attention.  We’ve all been there!  Michael Grinder suggested an approach called, “Above, Pause, Whisper.”  Your signal should be a sound that can go above the classroom noise or just be different.  Give the signal, then pause.  Don’t do anything.  This should make the kiddos stand up and take notice.  Then whisper instructions.  Whispering requires the students to keep their noise levels down and really focus on what you have to say.  I’m trying to think of a good quiet signal for me.  I’ve used my classroom iPad- specifically the alarm clock.  The kiddos knew that when it went off, it was time to move on.  Something to consider again…Hmmm…

The next important item needed is chart paper or interactive whiteboard.  You decide, but you will use these to help record the I-charts at the launching of each Daily 5 choice.  I stands for independence.  These charts need to be permanently displayed so that they can be referred to throughout the year.  You pick what works best for you.  You can even use a piece of paper under a document camera.  🙂

The next suggestion is geared towards those “barometer” kiddos.  You know…those kiddos that set the tone for how the day is going to go.  They are generally the ones that will have the least amount of stamina to get through a round of Daily 5.  The important thing is to have tools ready to go to help make them successful.  But it’s important to point out, these are tools, not toys.  The Sisters suggested items such as sixty-second, ninety-second, and two-minute sand timers, small sandwich bags full of manipulatives such as pattern blocks and Legos, stopwatches, and alternative reading materials.  Also, we need to think about where these kiddos will work.  Having a few clearly defined spaces will help them stay in their areas as well as find a good workspace.  Break out the masking tape!

Book boxes are an essential part of Daily 5.  You need one for each student.  It can be anything from actual book/magazine boxes to cereal boxes covered in contact paper to large ziplock bags. You do what’s best for you and your space. The important thing is that students need to have a set of books just for them to read. While you have to initially pick them out, eventually the kiddos will select what books go in their boxes.

Now this is when the Sisters talked about classroom libraries and how they should have a wide range of books.  They talked about Allington and Cunningham (2007) suggested that primary classroom libraries have about 700 to 750 book titles and upper grades have about 400 titles.  Hello!  My eyeballs just about came out of my head!  Especially when the Sisters say their goal is 1000!!  YIKES!!  Now I’m not saying that because it’s crazy.  I know that I want a lot of books in my classroom library.  I don’t have very many at all in regards to what they are suggesting.  But to look at actual suggested numbers…well…it’s a little overwhelming.  But there are lots of different ways to get ahold of these books.  One thing I plan on doing is heading to my local used book store and seeing if they have any boxes of books they are looking to get rid of real cheap.  They sometimes have way more than they can sell.  Worth a shot!

Okay back to the list of needed items- you need a gathering place and focus lessons.  This gathering place needs to be big enough for all your kiddos to join you on the floor.  You need teaching materials/supplies to be able to conduct your short (around 10 minutes max) lesson.  The kiddos will come to know that after each round of D5, they go back to this place.  This place will let you be in the middle of all their conversations on what they are learning as well as help keep them focused.

Next up, I-charts.  Remember, these are what you will write out your expectations of each D5 choice.  One chart for each choice.  Post these around the room.  Easy enough!

Classroom design was the next thing.  Because you are going to do whole group lessons on the floor, the rest of the room is for independent work.  The Sisters suggested having different types of work spaces- low tables for floor work, tables with chairs, floor space with cushions, arm chairs, etc.  The design should be streamlined and inviting for all students to get work comfortably.  I don’t have much choice in what furniture is in my room.  I will have a desk for every student.  But I do plan to be very flexible as to where students work.  If one does well on the floor, that’s fine.  If one needs to be at a desk near the board, I can work with that.  If I had a say, I would have only tables.  Ah to dream a dream…

Now eventually, the kiddos will get to pick where they work.  But to start, you tell them where to go, telling them a different spot each time.  Now I know you’re asking, “When will I know it’s time to let the kiddos choose?”  The Sisters say when the kiddos tell us if a spot we put them in is good or not.  They claim that they will give good responses to this as long as we continue to discuss the importance of good work being done in areas most comfortable to them.  Sounds easy enough!

Well that’s it!  Go click on our hosts above to see what they have to say as well as link up with others.  Do you use Daily 5 already?  Do you do something for book boxes?  What about your quiet signal?  Please share below!

Happy Teaching!

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