Sunday, September 30, 2012

Daily 5...

What is it? And why do I use it?

I have been using the Daily 5 model to teach reading for around 5 years. When I first started (after being fortunate enough to attend a day long workshop with the two sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, who created it) I followed it to the letter. Bought the book. Joined the website. Joined Yahoo groups just for Daily 5. Wore the t-shirt. Used the pompoms. You get the idea. 

But, as the years have passed, I have kept what I loved, thrown out the rest and added in a bunch of my own methods and techniques for teaching reading. I was already using teaching methods that were successful for teaching reading. I didn't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. It works for me and it has worked with the classes I have taught.

The aspect from the Daily 5 that I have loved from the very start is the way that they train the kids to be independent and build stamina. I have talked a bit about this before (remember my "teaching routines can be mind numbingly boring " post?) and, just like every other routine, getting the kids to meet expectations and criteria in Daily 5 is a slow but oh, so necessary step in the learning process.

We start by creating an anchor chart with expectations and criteria for Read to Self. The one below is one I found on pinterest (there are A LOT of teachers out there using Daily 5!!) and is pretty much what ours looks like (just prettier!)

Pinned Image

Then we practice meeting the criteria. I have a student come up and demonstrate doing meeting all of the criteria correctly. Then (and this is key) I pick a student to come up and show us doing it wrong. Well, you can bet I have a lot of volunteers for this one! They all want the chance to not do what I want them to do!!!!

The Sisters say to pick the child in the class that you expect to have the hardest time following the criteria. I call that student up and they read to self all wrong - books are upside down, they wiggle around, they talk to everyone, they stand up, etc etc etc. THEN I immediately ask the same student to show the class meeting the criteria correctly. And, whamo!, just like that each and every child in the class (including the one demonstrating) knows that this child (who usually has trouble during group activities - talks, distracts others etc) CAN read to self properly. Everyone can do it. This is very powerful stuff.

Then all the kids go off to practice read to self and build their reading muscles! I make sure that everyone has chosen a good spot where they can be successful and then the timer starts. On day 1 this year we got to 30 seconds before someone in the room did not meet the criteria. This means that they either talked to someone, stood up and moved, stopped reading etc.

The second (and I mean the very second) that someone stops following the criteria I stop the entire class. We put our book boxes away, come back to the carpet and start all over again. Review the criteria. Have someone demo it properly. Have someone else demo doing it wrong and then properly. Choosing our spots again. Starting the timer. Stopping again the second someone stops meeting the criteria. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

We have been working on this for a week and a half or so and have now gotten to 5 minutes of independent, on task reading to self. I mentioned it in my Friday Favourites this past Friday. If you read that you might not have realized how much of an accomplishment getting to 5 minutes was! We had to practice read to self for about 3 hours to get to that 5 minutes!

This week I am hopeful that we will get to 10 minutes. I might be expecting too much but I am getting so impatient! I really want to be able to start working with individual children so that I can begin doing reading assessments and helping them to grow as readers. But I know, know that I have to keep it slow and steady and we will get there. Eventually.

Of course, once we are at 10 minutes with read to self, we will then continue to build time until we get to 20 minutes. And, then we will start practicing word work or partner reading the same way we started read to self. Model, model, model, try, model again, try again ad nauseum until it becomes second nature.

This goes on for each of the Daily 5 areas (I actually don't do all five - I like to do writing as a separate lesson) that we learn. I am thinking I need to come up with some other name for what I do than Daily 5 since, with the exception of the method of training kids to be independent workers, I am really not up to date on what the Sisters are doing in Daily 5 these days. I will have to think of a new acronym for my reading program. Any ideas?

Ms. Hughes

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