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.