Saturday, July 7, 2012

Teaching The Daily 5...Technically The Daily 3...in the Middle Grades

Every year upon the arrival of test scores in June I am faced with a question..."What will you do differently?" While the year past has brought with it many successes, just as my students are a work in progress-so am I. 

Despite this being my 15th year, I can tell you that I have never taught a school year the same as the last.  There is always learning that I acquire, a novel that must be incorporated, a strategy that I can't wait utilize, or a new approach to facilitating instruction in my classroom.  After the in-services, research, and book studies this summer, I am off to the 2012-2013 school year with a whole new "Bag of Tricks."

I will be implementing The Daily 5 this year after FINALLY reading this insightful reading resource.  Fifteen years in and I realize how much modeling, both correct/incorrect, I haven't done and what a valuable tool this is for students.  I will implement the Read to Self, Read to Someone, Writing, and Word Work with my students this year in a way that makes my students take more ownership over their learning.  There is so much to be said for "choices and student independence to enhance learning." 

Here are some ways I will be applying "The Daily 3" in my 6th grade classroom:

My students will have Read to Self, Read to Somone, and Writing everyday.  Our word work will be incorporated into our morning starter with my Word of the Day strategy.  With 100 minutes of instructional time, I am still working out the kinks of planning how this time will work best.  I would love to hear any tips that have worked in other middles grades classrooms. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Word-of-the-Day-CCSS-Word-Work-for-Middle-School-267045
Word Work

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Journal-of-the-Week-for-Middle-Grades-to-Middle-School-863995
Journal of the Week-writing resource
Book Boxes-a local pizza company is donating PIZZA BOXES to us-thanks to my friend, Maria for checking in at LaRosas.  I was baffled at how I would be able to fill and store 75 book boxes for each of my 6th grade readers and have room for them to enter the classroom... This seemed to be the most practical.  Upon beginning the year, students will have 3-8 books and a writing journal awaiting their arrival.

Gathering Place-I wil have a carpeted area in the front of my classroom where we will meet each day, decide where we will begin our "Daily 3", and reconvene to discuss our work.  One favorite place to find affordable rugs is IKEA-I will be headed there to grab a perfect rug to seat 20-25 6th grade students. 

I-Charts/Anchor Charts-I already utilize a system like this.  I have a clothesline hanging across my windows in my classroom where we place our learning models or examples.  I will just implement the different language used for the charts on Day 1 of the school year.  Having these learning charts posted and visible gives the students specific reminders all times of the day to enhance and promote "muscle memory."

Correct/Incorrect Modeling-While I felt in the past that I did a solid job modeling what I wanted students to be able to do in specific learning situations, upon reading this resource, I did not come close to showing students both the correct way and incorrect way of doing exactly what I needed them to do.  Building stamina is HUGE and I realize what an important component that is for my students to meet the expectations of learning successfully.  In fact, I can not wait to allow students the chance to "incorrectly model" the way things are not to be done during Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Writing.  6th graders love the chance to entertain their peers!

I-PICK/Good Fit Books-This is an area that I have found I have never done an effective job assisting my students.  I have taught them strategies, but never the most effective that allow them to select books that they are content to read and complete all while holding their interest the entire duration of the novel.  Considering this acronym and showing students exactly why they are working to find these books is an invaluable tool.  To eliminate students wandering around the room, hanging around the classroom library bookshelves chatting, and having them focused during Read To Self will make my time working with small groups and individual students much more productive.

I-I choose/select at the book
P-I have a PURPOSE for why I am reading this book
I-I am INTERESTED in this topic/text
C-I can COMPREHEND what I am reading
K-I KNOW most of the words

What are you going to start with today?- I LOVE the idea of giving my students ownership over what order they will be working and learning.  They will get in all of the learning, but choice is HUGE.  While I know I have taken class polls at times giving students the chance to select tasks, this is such a useful strategy to help students be more excited about their learning.

While these are only a few tidbits from The Daily 5 resource, these are strategies and tools I know I can implement on Day 1 of the school year to make a an immediate and positive impact on the learners in my classroom.   Let the focused hardwork begin!

I leave you with this cute "rap" I found on You Tube:







20 comments:

  1. I am jealous of your 100 minutes of class time! I only get 52 minutes for each class. Any suggestions on how to work in the Daily 5 would be appreciated:)

    Pizza boxes! What a great idea. I also love your clothes line idea.

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  2. Wow, 52 minutes!? You have your work cut out for you! My plan was to work my way up to 20 minute increments of time for each-Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Writing. I wanted to allow for at least 40 minutes of instructional time based on my students' needs. Do you teach on an interdisciplinary team where science or social studies could try to incorporate one of the components? Just a thought. I have an amazing teammate that is always trying to incorporate reading into her instruction-this could be a saving grace for you. Let me know what you end up coming up with and I will keep you posted on how my schedule turns out!

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  3. I just came across your site. I am a 6th grade LA teacher also trying to figure how to incorporate Daily 5 (3) in to my class this coming school year as well. I need to do some more research on it, though. I look forward to your ideas :)

    Justin Greene
    http://inthegreeneroom.blogspot.com/

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  4. Justin,
    Thanks for checking out my blog. There are a whole lot of us who are tackling The Daily 5 for the first time. I can't wait to hear all of the things that you will be putting in place with your students. Keep me posted on your successes and not so successes! I will check out your site for tidbits as well! Happy rest of summer!

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  5. Hey lady-laughing (in a good way!) that I found your blog on a search for 6th grade resources, when I'm a building away from you. In the middle of Daily 5 book as we speak & following the book study on another blog. Would love to sit down with you & collaborate if you've got some time-hope you're having a great summer!

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    1. Ms. Sarah,
      I would love to meet up before the start of school to collaborate. I will be up at school here and there, so let me know a good day-I am happy to head over to your building. It will be so nice to have the chance to coordinate some of these great resources with what we already have in place. Just let me know! See you soon!

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  6. Mrs. Beers,
    I am so excited I found your blog, because like you, I teach language arts!
    The birthday treats are awesome. Our school is thinking about outlawing candy/sweets for birthdays and this is a healthy substitute that is fun!
    I am contemplating doing the Daily Five this year, so I will be checking back regularly to hear your tips.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Brenda
    http://mrsrayburnsroom.blogspot.com/

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    1. Brenda,
      Thanks so much! We middle grades teachers need to stick together! I checked out your blog today...looks great. I will be back for your ideas as well! Good luck with the start of your school year.

      Erin

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  7. How do you assess your students for their read to self time? Meaning ...giving a reading grade? Do you use AR scores points etc?

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    1. Melissa,
      I do not "give a grade" for read to self. Two of the areas that my 6th graders are evaluated on our district report card are: on their ability to choose materials based on what they like, what they know, and what is recommended as far as books are concerned; as well as reading books for many purposes. When I conference with them, I just note what they are reading so that I can encourage them to not only read what they enjoy, but also branch out with some direction on my part. In addition, I need to know that they are able to self-select books based on their preferences.

      My grades come from the work that is done based on my direct instruction. For example-this week our focus has been on fact/opinion and cause/effect. We have read a variety of passages and texts that enhance their understanding of this concept. In addition, at the end of the week we have the students assess on the concept. Our weekly fluency passage also focuses on the learning target, so I get a great idea of whether students grasped the concept taught throughout the week through both of these assessment tools.

      Due to the fact that I am consistently assesing my students understanding of what they are reading, I leave them alone and do not "assess" their read to self time. I want them to be excited to discuss and share their books. I know others may look at it very differently, however. Thanks for your questions-let me know how you are handling read to self.

      -Erin

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  8. Mrs. Beers,

    I just came across your blog, as I found out that I will be using the Daily 3 next year. I'm just wondering how it's been going, what resources you've used, and any other recommendations you'd have for an 8th grade LA teacher. I have roughly 75 minutes, so I think time shouldn't be too big of an issue, though it's not nearly as nice as your 100! Any input would be really helpful - thanks for the blog, as I've never heard of Daily 3, and it gave me a good foundation to start on!

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    1. Bobbie,
      Thanks so much for checking in! I have to say that I am NO expert in the Daily 3, I really just took what I knew I could make work with my students and went with it. I have to say that with the state testing and transitioning to common core-there is a tremendous amount of guided reading instruction in my classroom. The I-Pick books are a hit and my students have read more self-selected books than ever. The Read to Someone is done through progress monitoring. I utilize 6-minute solutions so they are doing repeated readings with a partner all week for 1 minute at a time and then reading to me on Fridays. It is a passage I have chosen for them at their ability level to improve fluency. It was the only way I could really make this work with them at this level.

      Writing has been through picture prompts as well as written prompts that students respond to. We write on Tuesdays and Thursdays during an intervention/enrichment time. Students are given 25 minutes for their responses. I have noticed huge improvement in their writing as well. I respond to them in their journals and it has been a fascinating way to get to know them even better. It is amazing to me what they will share! Writing instruction does occur, but I their journals are not scrutinized for spelling, but I do want correct punctuation, grammar, and capitalization.

      I also have to incorporate spelling into the mix, so that takes up 10-15 minutes a day. I have done Boggle Boards on the weeks when we only havea 4-day week to mix it up for them a bit.

      My advice would be to do the things that give you the "Biggest Bang for your Buck" with your students. Writing, guided reading, read to someone, and work work are essential with my kiddos. Good luck and keep me posted on how things are going!
      -Erin

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  9. Mrs. Beers,

    I found your site this morning, and I'm thrilled to say the least! I will be teaching sixth grade LA. I'm a first year teacher...YIKES!!
    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. I will have 90 to 100 minutes of classtime, which I'm excited about, but I've never had so much time in a single class before, and was wondering about picking your brain for how you lay out your lessons for the period....if that makes any sense. : )

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    1. The school year turned out much different, I have to share! The Daily three-word work, read to self/read to someone/listen to reading, and writing were truly incorporated each day. I begin Monday-Friday class with word work-it takes minimal time and it is a perfect starter for class at 10-15 minutes. This included our Reading Street word lists, BOGGLE, and other prefix/suffix/root work I felt was essential. We then moved to our reading. In my district, we have weekly assessments that need to be given and it is determined if students then require intervention or enrichment with that skill. Ultimately, I needed to utilize work in novels and Reading Street passages to complete this. Reading work utilized about 75 minutes of instructional time daily. While that leaves a measly 10 minutes or so for writing a day, I worked to incorporate that on Wednesdays with the Photo of the Day prompt as well as extended response work with reading. Tuesdays and Thursdays were our intervention and enrichment days and the enrichment crew focused on writing prompts. Students were given choices once the plans were laid out for the class period, but it was tricky to say the least. I certainly struggled to implement the way the "sisters" share, for sure.

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  10. Mrs. Beers,

    I'm so happy to have found your site! I'm also a 6th grade Language Arts teacher. I've recently purchased and been reading The Daily Five book. I also purchased and skimmed the CAFE book.

    Do you use the CAFE board in your class? (I'm still debating over if I can and how I can use it.)

    I would definitely like to implement the Daily 3, but am concerned about my actual lessons getting so chopped up as per the Sister's recommendation. I understand that the smaller portions of the Daily 3 activities will be easier for the kids to follow, but I feel nervous about my lessons(that also involve student practice and notes) will be broken apart. (To help explain my anxiety, I teach basic skills and resource Language Arts classes. These kids need stability.) If you have any suggestions on how I could tweak the layout, I'm all ears!

    Actually, any information at all you have on utilizing the Daily 3 would be so very helpful to me.

    Thank you!!

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    1. Thanks so much for checking in. I have responded to a few others and will share that same info with you. This was not an easy task, I will say, but I incorporated the things that I thought were most essential for my students.

      The school year turned out much different, I have to share! The Daily three-word work, read to self/read to someone/listen to reading, and writing were truly incorporated each day. I begin Monday-Friday class with word work-it takes minimal time and it is a perfect starter for class at 10-15 minutes. This included our Reading Street word lists, BOGGLE, and other prefix/suffix/root work I felt was essential. We then moved to our reading. In my district, we have weekly assessments that need to be given and it is determined if students then require intervention or enrichment with that skill. Ultimately, I needed to utilize work in novels and Reading Street passages to complete this. Reading work utilized about 75 minutes of instructional time daily. While that leaves a measley 10 minutes or so for writing a day, I worked to incorporate that on Wednesdays with the Photo of the Day prompt as well as extended response work with reading. Tuesdays and Thursdays were our intervention and enrichment days and the enrichment crew focused on writing prompts. Students were given choices once the plans were laid out for the class period, but it was tricky to say the least.

      I did not have a CAFE board as I had no room. I more or less mandated what the students had to accomplish in the class period and then with reminders had them move at their own pace.

      I also had ability grouped students. My higher level classes could complete more work independently, while I worked with small groups to make sure concepts were being grasped. My limited group worked in reading groups for the majority of each class in order to stay focused and on task.

      I will post a copy of my lesson plans and also add in time frames to help out even more.

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  11. Hi, Mrs. Beers! Thank you for all of your helpful info on the Daily 5! I teach 7th grade and my district is asking us to begin implementing the Daily 5/CAFE next year (although it will most likely be the Daily 2-3 based on time constraints) and, although I love the concept, I am not sure how I will swing it. I have 6 very diverse 7th grade language arts classes (1 ELL, 2 Inclusion, 2 Title One, and 1 Accelerated/Gifted) and my periods are only 47 minutes long. With a caseload of 150 students, I am very worried I will not have enough books to work with, as my classroom library is very lacking. We do have a school library, but students do not have nearly enough access to it. We will also be using The Write Tools as our mandated writing program, but I think that will just fit in with the Work on Writing component of the Daily 5. Based on your experience, how can I make the Daily 5 work with such limited time and resources? I have already applied for a couple grants for books (finger crossed!). Thank you!

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    1. Wow, you have quite a schedule! I would work to implement the Daily 3. Here is what I did:

      The Daily three-word work, read to self/read to someone/listen to reading, and writing were truly incorporated each day. I begin Monday-Friday class with word work-it takes minimal time and it is a perfect starter for class at 10-15 minutes. This included our Reading Street word lists, BOGGLE, and other prefix/suffix/root work I felt was essential. We then moved to our reading. In my district, we have weekly assessments that need to be given and it is determined if students then require intervention or enrichment with that skill. Ultimately, I needed to utilize work in novels and Reading Street passages to complete this. Reading work utilized about 75 minutes of instructional time daily. I would pair students based on ability level-advanced and accelerated could work independently or partner up, and I would work with the limited/basic group to make sure the skill was being grasped. While that leaves a measly 10 minutes or so for writing a day, I worked to incorporate that on Wednesdays with the Photo of the Day prompt as well as extended response work with reading. Tuesdays and Thursdays were our intervention and enrichment days and the enrichment crew focused on writing prompts. Students were given choices once the plans were laid out for the class period, but it was tricky to say the least.

      As far as books, our library was closed by November due to our library aide needing to be moved to an administrative assistant position. That was tricky. Our public library has a teacher collection where you submit info based on your classes and each month they send books. A collection can be up to 150 books, so that is how I tweaked the students not being able to utilize our library. The books were not allowed to leave the class, which was hard to at home reading, but at least they were reading in the classroom. Keep me posted on how things go!

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  12. Dear Mrs. Beer,

    I'm a Dutsch teacher, who started the daily 5 last year in the 2th grade, which was a huge succes. And we were only doing it 4 x 30 minutes every week. In august we'll expand to the other grades: 1th to 6th. ( In Holland primary school teaches childeren 4-12 years).

    Good luck with the daily 5,

    Henny

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  13. Hi Mrs. Beer!!

    Could you please explain in more depth exactly what the Boggle, reading street words and prefix/suffix/root work? I am new to teaching a split gr 7/8 language arts class this year and I'm stressing a bit about word work. I am very comfortable with the Daily 5 in elementary school and have taught it successfully for many years in the grades 2-4. Any word work help would be greatly appreciated!

    Also, do you modify the café strategies for the upper grades?

    Cheers!
    Julie

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