1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?
Trust is definitely built at the beginning of the year in my room. It is not an automatic thing, but rather a two way street. It is my job to guide my students' actions and teach them the basic expectations, and it is also my students' responsibility to take this trust seriously and show me that I can continue to release more and more to them. Daily 5 has really allowed me to work on releasing responsibility and trust to my students, even in kindergarten!
2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?
I do have the schedule posted in my room, and the kids often refer to it. In fact, if I ever forget to change it, one of the first kids in the door will be sure to remind me! I do often go over the schedule in the morning, but can't say that I always do. The schedule usually is fairly set, however I do try to give the students choice within the schedule when possible and appropriate. Daily 5 is the part of the day where they have the most choice.
3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
As I mentioned in my previous post, we make a class set of promises to each other rather than a list of rules to be followed. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year building community and helping the students learn how important it is that we all work together. I have very high expectations for my students, and do everything I can to foster an environment where they can meet those expectations. The students are able to completely internalize this community feeling, and it helps them to hold each other accountable because it is truly important to them all.
4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
I feel this is a little bit easier in kindergarten than in older grades because the majority of kindergartners inherently want to please their teacher! However, instilling ownership in their learning is still important! I really make a big deal about how important school is, and how much FUN learning is! In my experience, most kinder kids are so excited about learning how to read and write that they do not usually need a ton of motivation! Granted, this is not always the case with every kid! One thing I try to always do is to explain why we are doing something. I want the kids to know that we are doing something in order to learn, or become better readers, etc. and not simply doing it 'because my teacher told me to'!
5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals?
Since I have done Daily 5 for five years now, I will give a little advice here. I build the stamina pretty much exactly how they say to in the book. In kindergarten, they may only make it 30 seconds the first day, but with continued practice, they can have just as much stamina as 1st or 2nd graders! I do time them, but not usually with a timer because I don't want it to feel stressful and I want them focusing on the reading and not the timer. Plus, I don't want the timer beeping when I start and stop it! I just look at the clock and keep track that way. I also use a graph and we keep track of our stamina each day. This is a big motivator for the kids, and a great visual reminder as well! I know there are lots of graphs out there (just Google 'Daily 5 Stamina graphs'). I personally only use one graph, rather than one for each of the Dailies.