I attended the sister's Daily 5 Kindergarten workshop yesterday in Tacoma, WA. I have read the book and given the Daily 5 structure my best girl scout try for three years now. Anyway, I have yet to achieve the level of independence that I want...no doubt due to my missing the mark on some part of the ten steps to independence that the sisters preach about. So I figured it was time to "hear" it and listen to it explained to help me out. I enjoyed the workshop very much...not sure how much more I gleaned from it than I had from the book, but left feeling reassured that "I can do this!" Here are my goals...
1. Do not rush it! Take time to build plenty of stamina and do not add multiple choices at once until kinders show they "have" independent behavior for each one...the big I!
2. Model, Model, Model! Do not leave out the step of having a child model the "wrong" behavior and the immediate "oh my it's killing me...pleeeassse show everyone the right way now!" This is important for that particular student who is going to have trouble...gets the attention bit out of the way in a structured format and then helps build muscle memory for the desired behavior.
3. Whole group focus lessons must be only 5 minutes long!!!!!!! Sooooo, not easy....but sooooo important to keep their attention and not waste instruction when they are not absorbing anything you say anyway.
4. Small group lessons can also be shorter and followed by touching base with individual students for the remainder of the round.
5. Rounds will be shorter initially...if stamina is breaking down, time is up! Pull them back together for the next focus lesson.
6. Book boxes: I used boxes the first year, gallon ziplock bags the second year, and nothing last year. I'm going back to boxes, though I will invest in sturdier ones this time. Without boxes, there is no guarantee that the kids are reading good fit books and it takes them too long to pick books and get reading. Also, a good idea for "book shopping/browsing" time is to let them choose this once a week during one round of daily 5. They are less rushed and they are not all trying to look at the same time.
7. Danny books....I'll be look for these and starting to add them to my book collection. They can be purchased at http://maryruthbooks.com/
8. Along with my I-charts and posting a few photos of kids working on each daily 5 choice...I had a fun thought about creating a class book with a page for a picture of each child. I would make a book for each choice and use I-chart statements on each page with a photo of each kinder..."Shhh. See John read. He is in one spot. Shhh. See Mary read. She looks at the book. Shhh. See Matt read. He reads the whole time." What do you think?
9. Include Work on Bathroom Stamina on the I-Chart.
10. Teach the whole alphabet from the beginning...highest success for students who know all their letters and sounds by the end of October! I will go heavy on ZooPhonics (3-5 times a day) and give them the whole ReadWell chant from the beginning. Down with the letter of the week!
11. I will rethink my routine design and seating...and remember to include plenty of cozy choices for readers and writers.
12. Word work has no content...Keep it Simple! Practice letters/sounds and sight words in different mediums.
That's it for now. I will be rereading the CAFE book next and rethinking that piece. It was definitely good to re-motivate myself and remind myself why the daily 5 structure is worth struggling to achieve. How do you Daily 5?