June 27, 2012

Daily 5: Chapter 3

I am linking up again with Tammy over at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten for my reflections of chapter 3 in The Daily 5.
Tammy gave us things to think about while reading chapter 3:

1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.  I have always just called out meeting spot "the carpet." Original, I know. Feel free to use it if you must. LOL! I had never thought about calling it something else.... hmm. Maybe home base? I will work on that!

 2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books.  I have been doing lots of thinking about this. I like the shoe example from the book and I think that is a good jumping off spot. I think I would even leave some shoes at school as a visual or take pictures of the kids wearing ill fitting and good fitting shoes to add to our anchor chart. I also love the Goldilocks idea from Tammy. It makes perfect sense and most students will already be familiar with the concept that she had to find something that was "just right" for her. Again, understanding that the way Poppa Bear liked it was not the right way for her. I see us having a LOT of discussion around making choices that are right for us and not just because our best friend is doing it. I found this band-aid story on Pinterest (shocker) and the lesson on differentiation  lends itself to this discussion as well. By the way, how cute is her blog? Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is, to me, at the very beginning of the year, I think this is more about doing what is best for you and your learning rather than finding the perfect book. The conversation needs to become about just right books but I don't think they will be ready for it first thing. I want to focus more on why we read and ways to read. Letting the kids be excited about picture reading and books in general. I would hate to discourage a hesitant reader by making them choose a different book because they've read this one too many times! 

3. Create anchor charts with students: When I first started teaching I bought all the cute charts from the teacher store. Guess what? The kids never referred to them - duh!. So, yes, we make all our anchor charts together and I post them where they can be seen by everyone. I leave them up as long as I can or as long as the information is relevant. I do not store them from year to year. In fact, this year I had so many kids who wanted to bring them home (to play school), that I had a drawing and sent them home the last week of school. I feel it is important to keep referring to the charts and even add to them as needed. I sure wish I could draw though.. some examples I have seen are amazing. Mine are pretty boring looking :(  I also adore the idea of taking a picture of each chart and keeping them in a binder to refer back to as needed. I could see doing this with the chart paper poems we work on each week. So students would be able to reread them whenever they'd like too! 

4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes. I am going to use a timer and a graph paper (extra math practice??) to keep track of our stamina. I have seen a lot of people post that they hate stopping for one or two off task children. I agree and it is so frustrating. Especially if you feel that student just can't help it! However, I am a big sports person and I believe the expression, "you are only as strong as your weakest link." So, with that mindset, I see why it makes sense to stop even for just one student. 

As far as book boxes go, I am in trouble! As you know, I have been teaching third grade so none of my books are appropriate. We do have a pretty amazing public library, school library and a guided reading library at my school. I guess I will be raiding those!! 

I hate to spend the money, but I think I am going to buy some book boxes from Really Good Stuff or the Container Store. I love to craft but the idea of making 20 + book boxes doesn't sound fun!

5. Calm Signals and check in procedures I use class/yes and the chime. Class/yes works really well for whole group but I don't think I will want to be saying it loud enough to get everyone's attention while they are all over the room. Plus, if they are tuning out other talking during the rotation, like the sound of my group or the people buddy reading, they may not hear the "class" and I still won't have their attention. I think the chime works because it is just a sound that cuts through everything else. I think I will follow it up with "hands and eyes" to make sure everyone has stopped and is giving me their full attention! I also like the way whole brain uses counting to transition back to the carpet. - hey, that's another things we can graph!

6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors. 
Um, I kind of hate the idea of practicing wrong. Whenever I have tried this, the kids act SO goofy that it is not very helpful. I think I like the idea of looks like/sounds like charts better. Also, having conversations like, "what should we do if Johnny is talking to you while you are doing read to self?" I also love the idea of taking pictures of the kids modeling the "right" way and posting them around the room as mini anchor charts. 

 I had a teacher from a different school tell me about Class Dojo. 
I may use this as a management tool during the whole day. I like that you have the option to show only the positive points awarded or points lost. I currently use a clip chart so I think this works in a similar way. You can reward (move up/give points) for desired behavior. I still would prefer to teach kids to act a certain way because it is the right thing to do, but students this young seem to need something extrinsic. I will continue to work towards intrinsic management though! I also love this site because it is built in behavior data for RTI! 

If you made it to the bottom of this LONG post, go get yourself something yummy to eat!!


  1. loved your post! so glad i found you through the D5 book study. i am your newest follower. i like the dojo idea. maybe i could work some yoga moves into each day at the dojo for a mind/body break! i look forward to following your posts. stop by my blog at www.kindgergartencafeteria.blogspot.com and say hello!
    Carole Dawn

  2. Class Dojo is so cool!! I can't believe it is so easy to use. It will even send out behavior reports to parentss?! Amazing! I am going to tell everyone about it at my school. Thanks for sharing!