Well... I think I've been in denial. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to admit it. But it's happening, and I can't continue to ignore it. Out of the corner of my eye today as I met with a small group, I watched my "teams" of word work kids playing. Not just one group of two. At least three. It's not the first day this has happened.
We've revisited Word Work and have reflected on why we should be working the whole time. We've talked to each other about how distracting it is when others are loud during our Daily 5 time.
So, for now... I'm going back to solo Word Work. I'm happy we gave it a whirl. I still believe learning can (and should) be built on collaboration. However, I'm going to go back to my original Daily 5 beliefs in that this time of our day is a time for individuals to practice their reading and writing. In the limited time we have, I have to be confident that my first graders are focused and on task as they work.
There will still be opportunities for partner work (in Listen to Reading and Read to Someone,) but for me, Word Work is going back to a solo journey. In time, I may rethink this and revisit how to make it work again. I'm reminding myself that this is not a failure but a learning opportunity!