Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Moments of Randomness and I WON SOMETHING!!

OK first off I am SUPER excited because I won a set of Hot Dots with the Hot Dots pen from the Back 2 School party over at Teaching Heart Mom! I'm so excited about this. I was really hoping to win this for my daughter and I can't wait to give it to her to use in her 1st grade classroom!! She will be so excited and I know she will come up with all sorts of ways to use this!

The one thing I LOVE most about being a teacher is that every year we get a chance to start all over again and make things even better than the year before. On that note, I have been working on how I am going to implement everything I want to implement this year, mostly how I am going to implement Daily 5 along with everything I have garnered from The Book Whisperer and still get in some of the class novels I want to do. I like the idea of shared reading that the author presents as an alternative to novel units and I think I will try to implement shared reading of the novels during our whole group reading time, and instead of worksheets and "novel units" we will do things like flow maps of the story, or bubble maps of character traits things of that nature. 

As for my reading block, I am super excited that the kids I am getting next year ALL had Daily 5 last year even though we only have like 3 teachers at my school who use this format. My friend, Danielle, from Sister Teachers is a 3rd grade teacher at my school and she is an avid user of Daily 5, so at the end of last year her and I approached our principal and asked him if we could basically conduct some action research next year and asked him to loop her entire class into my room and he agreed! So I will be getting Danielle's entire class and they will get their 2nd year in a row of Daily 5. I can't wait to see how much more they grow in reading with the combination of D5 for a 2nd year along with the added strategies from The Book Whisperer. 

One thing I am going to tweak with my Daily 5 is the Work on Writing component. Last year I thought it would be a good chance for my kids to practice what they have been learning in our writing instruction but that's not what happened. Work on Writing became a source of frustration for me because I found that last year with just free choice writing I was constantly reminding my students that they were supposed to be writing not just drawing pictures. I felt like they were not really working on writing soooo... I am going to change it to "Writing About Reading" and the kids can use this time to work in their reading notebooks to complete book responses and make recommendations. I think that with this structure they will stay on task more. 

Also last year I did not require Read to Self as a must do each day, this year that will be different - it will be a MUST DO every day. They will get to choose if they want to do it in Round 1 or Round 2 but it will be done every day. 

I created some Daily 5 posters (below) to go with my theme this year. I think I will make a bulletin board with my check in poster in the center and these posters around it. 


Daily 5


  1. Congrats on winning!!! You'll love Danielle's kiddos, especially (E.O.)... she was in my class way back when! I like the blog makeover too! ;-) -Jackie-

  2. Thanks Jackie! I am super excited about getting Danielle's kiddos, when my class went in to work with them on writing at the end of the year they were so great!

  3. I'm excited too Cindy!! I know those kiddos are in great hands with you. :) I can't wait to read the Book Whisperer! It sounds like an awesome book. I also like your idea about writing about reading. I had the same problems you had with keeping the kids writing instead of drawing pictures. I told them that the only time they could draw a picture was on Fridays. That seemed to work lol. I'm torn as to what to do next year. Maybe I'll try what your doing. I was also thinking that I might just need to spend more time modeling what good writers do, when I introduce Work on Writing. Ahhh...decisions.