Thursday, February 14, 2013

Show and Tell Tuesday: Daily 5 Fun!

I am happy to be linking up with Sunny Days in Second Grade's Show and Tell Thursday Tuesday.  :-)
When I saw that this week's theme was literacy centers/Daily 5, I was excited/nervous to join the party.  I just started trying the Daily 5 in my classroom this year and still have a lot of kinks to work out and ideas to try.  However, I am LOVING it so far and feel confident enough to share some of what is working.

I will start off with something I want to work on and then build to what I is really going well.

Here what I am using for a workboard right now.  This is something I want to make cuter and more functional in the future, but it surprisingly working pretty well for me and the kiddos for now.

Basically, I have a reading groups poster that I use to start kids off on their first center.  I am still a bit nervous about letting them choose their first activity.  Visions of a stampede to the listening center fill my mind.  I shudder at the thought of tangled headphones and fighting children.

Anyways, the other icons are my old center ones from last year, but they work for the Daily 5 too.  I just put up the 5 icons and tell the kids to be sure to visit each center.  The arrows point down from Listen to Reading, Read to Self, and Read to Someone to a Reading Journal because my kids have to either do a record sheet or a journal entry after each of those activities.

I plan to fix up better icons for next year, if not for later this year.  I also plan to have the kids start using this checklist from Surfing Through Second Grade next week to help them keep track of what centers they have visited each day.

Now, onto my actual centers.  Read to Self and Read to Someone are pretty straight forward.  With Read to Self, I taught the students to book shop for I PICK books.  I found a cute poster from Our Cool School.

For Read to Someone, I introduced buddy reading pretty early in the year and gave the kids plenty of practice.  At first, I assigned partners, but then, as they got better at it, I let them start to choose different buddies, so they could transition from center to center better if their buddy was busy.  Here are a few of the anchor charts I used to teach buddy reading:
Free from One Extra Degree
The kids raise 2 finger to show they need a partner.
 As it says in the official Daily 5 book, I taught my students that the only response to the question, "Will you be my buddy?" is "Sure, thank you."  I was nervous that my kids would have trouble with this and the whole, your buddy does not have to be your best friend thing, but they have done amazingly well.  It is actually really cute to see/hear them ask each other.  I love hearing, "Sure, thank you," and then seeing the kids run walk off to read.

One last note on buddy reading, I made sure to have a discussion about the pros of reading with buddies who are higher, lower, or on the same level as we are.  The kids had some good ideas about how they could teach each other or learn new words etc.

Here are some pictures of my successful buddy readers.

Now, Listen to Reading.  This is another area, I need to tweak a bit e.g. tangled headphone, not enough books and CDs etc..  However, I have found some things that work already.

Right now, I have the kids primarily using the computer.  Our local library has a subscription to Tumble Books, which we can access at school.  I just set up the page and choose to have the books listed in order by reading level, and then I let the kids choose what to read.  Right now, I have it set up to be only nonfiction books because that is our current reading unit.

In order to accommodate more than one student at the center, I borrowed a Belkin headphone splitter from my incredibly generous and amazing former-mentor.  Before that, I was just letting the kids control the volume without headphones.  Bad idea.  Enough said.
For listening response sheets, I recommend, Erica Bohrer's Listening Response Logs.  They are only $2.50 and are totally great.

Here are my kiddos listening to reading.

Work on Writing is my most low maintenance center.  Right now, I am mostly just having the kids work on their Writing Workshop stories.  However, I have started to add some seasonal writing activities for things like Chinese New Year and Day 100 (coming up).  I like how this will help me touch on more holidays etc., while allowing the kids to be more creative.

Last, but certainly not least, Word Work.  Let me just say that I LOVE Word Work.  Word Work is WONDERFUL, WONDEROUS, and WONDERIFIC.  I'm inventing new words!  How's that for some word work?

Anyhoo, here is how I have it set up.

I have several desks and my supply table right next to my word wall, so the kids can refer to it when doing word work.  I also gave each kid a differentiated personal word wall handout to keep in their Word Work Notebooks.  That way, I can be sure that the kids are practicing the words they really need to learn.  I don't want a notebook full of "the, the, the, the, the, the..."  :-)

For my low kids, I wrote only a few key words on their word walls and will add more as they master the current ones.  However, for my higher kids, I am going to let them choose what words they need to put on their word walls.  My goal is for them to learn to notice which words they have trouble with and to take ownership of practicing them.

Here is a free personal word wall page from ESL Printables.  I have one with lines, but cannot find it on the internet.

Here comes the meat of my Word Work supplies.  Besides the desks, I have a set of three drawers and a supply caddy for materials.  Inside the caddy I have colored pencils and task cards.  I got these INCREDIBLE task cards from Mrs. Mabe.  Her $5 pack includes 44 task cards and various recording sheets!  The ideas are awesome and range from standard pyramid writing and rainbow writing, to drawing a picture with your words, playing games, and all kinds of other things.  Right now, I only have a few cards out, but as the kids have proven to me that they can work hard and do the tasks correctly, I have been adding more.  The kids love that they get to choose different, colorful, fun ways to write their words, especially my three super-artistic boys.

Inside the drawers, there are a variety of materials including games, stamps, magnets, flash cards etc.

Here are my amazing firsties working hard on Word Work. 

Wow, this post has gotten long, so I better wrap it up.  Before, I peace out, I want to say that even though I am new to it, the Daily 5 has changed my teaching, my classroom environment, and my literacy centers for the better!

As I have said throughout this post, when I started the Daily 5, I was not sure how the kids would do with all the choice involved.  I tend to want to control and manage everything, and was afraid to give them so much independence, especially since I have a lot of rowdy, distracted kids this year.  However, each day since I started the full Daily 5 rotation, my kids have proved to me that they can not only handle the choosing, but thrive in doing so.  I seriously almost cried the other day when I looked around my room and saw how the kids were working so quietly and responsibly.  It is so wonderful to realize that they are having a great time learning and practicing important skills.  I can only imagine how awesome it is going to be to start the Daily 5 from day 1 next year!

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