This week we are back over at Live, Love, Laugh discussing Chapter 3!
1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.
I have always left a large carpeted area in my room to be used as our gathering place. I have now been in 4 different classrooms since starting Daily 5, so my space seems to rarely stay the same from year to year. However, it is typically at the front of the room where the SmartBoard/Promethean is. I also have an easel with makers and chart paper. I think that even if I taught intermediate grades, I would still have them gather together on the rug. I don't have a fun name for our gathering space, I always call it the rug or the carpet! Maybe I should think of something clever!
2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books.
I do the shoe lesson like the Sisters describe in their book. I think it works well and helps the kids see how different shoes/books are good for some people, and not for others. However, the concept of 'good fit' books is so difficult for young kids to grasp. I find I am constantly coming back to reteach it throughout the year. I absolutely LOVE the video by Mrs. Saccoccio's class singing the IPICK song! I always show this to my kids and they love singing along! It helps them to learn the IPICK acronym and I can refer to it when helping them pick 'good fit' books!
There are also a few picture books that I've seen on Pinterest that I would love to get to help! Here are just a couple I've seen:
3. Create anchor charts with students.
Creating anchor charts is so important! We create one for each of the dailies! I make them pretty much the way the Sisters make them, in a sort of 'I-chart' form. We have a discussion and I guide them in deciding what should go on each one. I will keep the current anchor chart on the easel for easy reference, and eventually hang them up in the room for reference. I know I have seen cutsie pre-made anchor charts out there in blogland, however my opinion is that is is super important to make them WITH the kids!
If wall space is short, then one thing I have done is to take a picture of each anchor chart and then print them off for each child to keep in their book box for easy reference. Sometimes this is better anyway because then they can pull it out rather than having to look around the room, or get up if they can't see from their spot. One year I even made them on the SmartBoard. This way they could be up large for everyone to see when we were building stamina, but I could print smaller ones off when we were finished!
4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes.
We keep track of our stamina using a graph. In the picture above, I used a graph for each of the dailies (this was the year I looped with my class, so stamina was built really fast, don't expect your graphs to look like these lol!). However, in the past couple years I have moved to just using one graph.
I have used several different options for book boxes over the years. I started out using shoe boxes, but those turned out not to be big enough. The white Ikea magazine boxes came next.
These were cheap, and the kids liked decorating them, but they barely held up all year. I had to tape them back together many times in the second half of the year. I did like that they could take them home at the end of the year and (hopefully) use them over the summer! Two years ago I purchased baskets from the Dollar Tree that I have been using ever since.
On the first day of school, I usually do not have anything in the book boxes. It is important to me that the kids understand what goes in there, and that they are involved in putting things in there in order to create a sense of ownership. I start out by having them pick just a few books of their own choosing to keep in the book box, but usually do not do this until several days into the D5 launching process.
5. Calm Signals and check in procedures.
I have an apple bell that I use for my signal. I love the fact that I do not have to say a word, just simply ring the bell and the kids (eventually) learn to automatically begin cleaning up and rejoining me on the rug. In fact, they get so attuned to the sound of the bell, that if I ever accidentally bump it or knock it over at another part of the day, they all immediately look up as to see if they should clean up! :-)
I use a check in form, similar to the one the Sisters use. I keep track of the students' choices each day. This allows me to see if someone is choosing the same thing over and over, or avoiding one of the choices all together.
6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.
Modeling the correct and incorrect ways of doing something is super powerful! I had never though of doing such a thing before reading the Daily 5. However, it truly does help! Plus the kids love being the model! I love how it gives those special little lovelies (you know who I mean!) the chance to be the center of attention, but also has them practicing the correct way as well!