Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On our way!!

As of yesterday, we've built our stamina for Read to Self to 19 minutes! We're making great choices on where to sit around the room and are working on making good choices for books in our individual book tubs. Knock on wood, there really haven't been any major issues that have come up! Slow and steady progress has definitely been the key. I've been more conscious of allowing time at the end of a session for us to reflect on how we did. Using the Sisters' "thumbs up, thumbs sideways" technique, we've thought about how we did on our quest to become better readers. I've also been asking children to share with the group what they've done to make themselves better readers during a session. I've been very impressed with ideas shared, including rereading, reading the whole time, learning new things, and more!

Our Work on Writing stamina is now up to 7 minutes, and we are now choosing our own spots around the room. Currently, if children want to use crayons or colored pencils, they need to stay at a table spot where the materials are located. I'm rethinking how I can better accomodate this part of Work on Writing! Otherwise, they grab a clipboard, pencil, and their journal... and can work anywhere around the room. Building stamina for writing has been a little trickier as it tends to be a much harder process for emerging writers! Thanks to a Twitter friend, Krista, for giving me the idea to create an anchor chart on what to do during Work on Writing time! Much like the 3 ways to read a book chart, we now have our Ways to Write chart to refer to. I'm sure we'll go back and revisit this often to add more ideas throughout the year!
Anchor chart: What to do
for Work on Writing
The next step for us is to add the choice factor. Children will be asked to choose between Read to Self and Work on Writing. Starting with just two choices seems to help my first graders at the beginning of the year! Waiting to introduce choice after all 5 Dailies have been introduced was a bit chaotic. When I saw Gail and Joan in December of 2009, they gave the idea to introduce choice earlier... and it works much better! While we're doing those sessions, we'll continue to introduce the Dailies at another time of the day when we'll have an opportunity to build our stamina with those activities.

Listen to Reading will be next on the list for us! I just found headphones for $3.99 at our local Farm & Fleet store yesterday, so I'll now be able to use my computer for another spot to Listen to Reading. Our school has a subscription to Tumblebooks, and I've already started "pre-teaching" how that site works. We've used the laptop/LCD cart to listen to stories together. I've also been able to model how to open a story, close it again, and choosing new ones off of our "Favorites" page.

I've also continued to "pre-teach" activities we'll use during Word Work time (since these tend to be noisy!) Children are now choosing between playdough and whiteboards for practicing their weekly spelling focus words. Slowly, I'll begin training them how to use magnetic letters, linking letters, and plain paper for building their words. By doing so, it makes for a much easier transition as we build our stamina for Word Work time!

Until next time...
~Komos :)


  1. My students have plastic pencil boxes that have pencils and crayons in them, which allows for easy writing in many spots around the room.

    Great idea to be pre-teaching strategies for tumblebooks (and other activities). I have been wondering how to introduce computers as part of our Daily 5 and this is a great idea. I can start to show them our Daily 5 website and use some of the resources there as mini-lessons.

    Thanks for the ideas Laura :) You rock!

  2. My students have writing binders. We use a system of coloured dividers for the writing process, but they also have a zippered pencil case in the front. It has worked great so far because very few have to go back to their desks during writing time. Mine do seem to struggle with the writing part. I am trying to strike a balance between allowing them to only draw pictures and having some words in there!


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