I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I read the first chapter in one sitting. Sometimes, instructional books can be overwhelming and it takes me a few sittings just to sift through everything. I think it helped that I could relate to the picture they are painting.
The sisters start out explaining how they began and I think I was shaking my head yes, yes, yes the whole time I read it. If feel like they were describing my classroom. It’s center time with students working in their groups working on some type of activity or worksheet. Me the teacher is with my small group. Most of the students are on task and if the principle walked in all would look great. Unless, they stayed for more than 5 minutes then those fews students loose focus. One of my reading buddies end up in the air, a kiddo forgot the directions, or of course the tech isn’t working. It seems that there are always interruptions and I never stay with my small group as much as I would like. Things like Class Dojo help me with behaviors because I can give away points from my desk. It is still an interruption but smaller than if I had to walk over and redirect the kiddo. There are tons of cute ideas out there to help with these interruptions but they take time and always seem to fizzle out. They explain a scenario very close to what I depicted.
The good news is as they continue they stress creating routines that become second nature to the kiddos. More good news you don’t need to think of those routines on your own. I looked at their chart on how they evolved and put a star where I stand. Funny enough I was at their 10 years later column in most areas and this will be my 10th year teaching. The now section just made me say, “Yes please!” or “I am almost there!”
They have done all the research to make sure we are not giving kiddos a task that is just busy work. While all of those centers are cute who has the time to grade all of that and to make it all. Why are we making them if research is showing they aren’t helping? This is where the Daily 5 comes from. These are the researched based tasks that are proven to help students learn.
Talking about Daily 5 and putting it into use takes time and they really stress that in this chapter. It’s a process to build independence and stamina. Which are very important as they head into state testing. In this book they tell us how doing all of the Daily 5 in one day may not be realistic because as students gain stamina you don’t want them to stop in the middle of their task.
They moved into an overview of the process and being the visual person that I am I broke it into a guideline of basic steps. I like to think of it as a do not continue if this sounds like too much. Everything will be explained in more detail in other chapters.
- Start with Read to Self and it’s okay if it’s only 2-3 minutes at a time
- Once they have built stamina take a few weeks to introduce the other 4
- Start with 5, 15 minute rounds of Daily 5 with 7-10 minute breaks for whole group *it’s okay to switch sooner if you feel they are getting antsy*
- Around 8-12 weeks you will notice you can’t get through all of the rounds, Drop one and make the rounds longer
- Drop another as you see you are interrupting their stamina
- Decide if your kiddos have the stamina to do 2 or 3 rounds a day. *More stamina less rounds*
*It is okay to do rounds throughout the day not just in one chunk of time.*
It’s a lot to take in for a first chapter and they also dip into their CAFE but I think at this time baby steps. It is time to check the schedule and see if this is even a possibility, if only I had mine. I’ll continue reading because even if it’s not going to work time wise I think the structure and repetition for the students will be beneficial.
On a side note: Have you ever put a tab where you want to end and just crush once you get there? It’s like a little celebration.