June 13, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study: Chapter 1

I am linking up with Tammy over at Live, Love Laugh for the daily 5 book study and my fist ever linky party!! I have previously read the book but then was moved into a math/science position and never used it. This year, I am so excited to be heading to kindergarten (after teaching 3rd for the last 8 years) and I plan to use the Daily 5 model for my ELA and Math block!!! I can't wait to read all the fabulous ideas other kindergarten teachers have. Everything is new to me and I am more than a bit nervous. Now, onto the guiding questions.

1. How do I teach new behaviors?
Well, all my answers will be from a third grade perspective, as that is the only perspective I have. Just like everyone else said, I model, model, model. We make anchor charts together and refer back to them as needed. I have students model correct and incorrect behavior and we discuss. As a third grade teacher, I think I moved too quickly with behaviors and routines. Assuming that they should "know" all the expectations by third grade after a few weeks of practicing. That was not a correct assumption in third and I know for sure I need to get my act together for kindergarten as it will be a year-long process. 

2. How do I teach expectations?
We talk about expectations. I let them know my expectations over and over and over again and I reward those meeting or exceeding the expectations by clipping up on the clip chart, making a comment for the whole class to hear, sending in an encouraging note to be read over the announcements, or even calling/writing home. Of course this is not every time, and I use verbal praise/clipping up the most often. I really, really want to work towards a non extrinsic model where students learn to do things and want to do things because they are the "right" thing to do.   

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
I really have gone away from using whole class rewards although my campus has a lot of low socio-economic students many of whom, because of the level of poverty, exhibit ADD/ADHD like behaviors. So, I may rethink this, especially early in the year. Maybe I could start with whole class rewards and reduce the frequency in which they are awarded as the year goes on? For individual students, I used a clip chart in third grade - not sure if it will be coming with me to kinder. 

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
Last year I started using pieces of whole brain teaching. I loved it and the students did too. I plan to learn more about it this summer through the staff development on their website. To answer this question though, I would say most of them time I try to find someone exhibiting the desired behavior and praise them for that. If that does not change the undesired behavior, I have the student clip down and we talk about it through  series of questions I learned at Capturing Kids Hearts. If that doesn't work, they clip down again and miss some time from recess. During that time, they practice reciting the rule (from whole brain teaching) that they were breaking. So, for example, if Johnny kept talking when I was teaching, he would practice saying, "rule number 2, raise your hand for permission to speak" a few times during recess. We would then have a mini conference. 

5. Whose classroom is it?
Like everyone else, I struggle with this one. I so badly want it to be OUR classroom and I have grown in this area but my default response is, it is MY classroom.

6. Locus of control?
Clipping up and down, positive notes home, stickers. I work so hard to make the rewards be internal but maybe they are just too young? Maybe they need external rewards still. I will continue to try to find a balance here and explicitly teach children to monitor their feelings. "How did you feel when you did _____ when I wasn't even watching?" I bet that made you feel proud of yourself. Isn't that such a good feeling? 

7. Where are supplies stored?
Every student had a cubby with their pencil box and basic supplies. Bigger supplies or things they need for Daily 5 will be kept on shelves at eye level. I really want them to have access to everything they need so I can be free to teach. As long as expectations have been set, I think the kids are perfectly capable of getting what they need to complete their work. I also plan to have pictures on the board like this showing what supplies they will need for each component.

After thinking about these questions and my responses, I have LOTS to decide on before my sweet kinders show up at the door in August. I better get myself together. 

As you can see, I am very new to this blogging world. If you could leave some comments and follow my blog, that would be amazing! Thanks for stopping by~~

Now head on over to Tammy's blog to see all the other fabulous blogger's thoughts on the subject 


  1. Hi Heather- I would have never known you were new to blogging. I am also new to the blogging world and am feeling extremely overwhelmed by how little I know and can do at this point. I am so envious of all the awesome blogs I see and hope one day to be able to reach that level. However- all that to say- your blog is adorable!!! Did you design it yourself? I am trying to figure out how to link up to the study and put Tammy's button on my blog as a direct link- right now I just have her URL linked. Any help you could give me on this would be greatly appreciated. I am also participating in the D5 Book Study and will be posting my responses later today. I will definitely follow your blog!!

  2. Heather, I appreciated your thoughtful comments on positive practice as a consequence. You mentioned Whole Brain and I definitely want to learn more of these techniques to incorporate in my class next year after I wrap my head around D5! I handle supplies the same way that you do. Your comment about explicitly teaching children to monitor their feelings was a reminder that I need frequently. I want my kids to focus on that internal reward, but out of habit I find myself saying "I like the way... or I'm so proud of ... and then adding you should be proud of yourself." I take the control back. I think I'm going to post some reminders around the room for myself at the first of the year. Wonder if the parents that visit and my few Kinders who can really read would think I'm totally crazy? I would love to hear the series of questions that you mentioned or have a link to that.


  3. Donna, thank you for taking the time to comment. I too fall back onto "I like the way" because it is so ingrained in all staff and teacher development. I love your idea about posting reminders, I think I will do that too!! If parents think your crazy, you can explain your reasoning and then they will know that their child has an amazing, caring teacher!! The Capturing Kids Heart training has you use a serious of 4 questions when ever students are making poor choices. 1. Excuse me ____, What are you doing? 2. Why are you doing _____? 3. What are you suppose to be doing? 4. What are you going to do now?

    Good luck to you!

  4. Heather,

    I learned how to say "I like the way _____ is _____" in college. When I started using Conscious Discipline I moved away from that to noticing instead of judging. WOW! It has been one of the most powerful changes ever. Here is the link if you want to check out my post:


    Heather's Heart

  5. Heather, thanks for taking the time to comment. I am headed over to your blog now!

  6. Ok I LOVE LOVE LOVE the name of you blog :0)
    And welcome to kinder - it is an unbelievable grade.... I look forward to sharing how we will make D5 work in our classrooms!

    Kindergarten Lifestyle

  7. Jeannie, thanks so much for the title love and for welcoming me to kinder. I could not be any more excited. When my principal told me she would allow me to change grades, I was like a kid in a candy store... soaking up as much K information as I could and walking around with a goofy smile on my face! I love your blog too, I have been stalking it for quite some time!

  8. I'm new to blogging too. As in two folowers and I am one of them new. :) I hope this linky with The D5 will help me get off my feet. :) Good luck with yours!

  9. First, welcome to the blog world! Second, welcome back to Kindergarten...YAY!! Thanks for linking up. I look forward to reading your posts.
    Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

  10. Just became your newest follower. Love your blog!

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine