Apparently I am just not going to be one of those regular bloggers. Especially during the school year! Last year I had said that I really wanted to keep up on my blogging... this year, I'm not even going to make that promise! However, it does feel good to be back in here sharing my thoughts with other teachers!
Today I am linking up for a book study. Yes, it is my first official day of summer vacation and I am already thinking/planning/preparing for next school year. But that is just the way we teacher are, isn't that right?!
Not that long ago I came across this book:
I honestly don't even remember where I first saw the title, but I jotted it down, and looked it up on Amazon. It sounded good, so I added it to my Wish List. Amazon had no reviews of the book and so I was having a hard time deciding if it would be worthwhile. I Googled the title, and came across a blog post by Beth at Thinking of Teaching! She was hosting a book study on this very book. I ordered it on the spot and am now ready to link up with Chapter 1!
Let me start by saying that I love how there is space in the margins of this book! I read books like this with a highlighter and pen in hand, so having a little space to jot down ideas was fabulous!
So a little background: I LOVE Daily 5. I have been doing D5 in my classroom for about 7 years now. Reading the Daily 5 revolutionized my teaching. Before reading it, I felt a little like Lisa Donohue in her confessions at the beginning. I really didn't know what I was doing and wasn't sure how to fix it. Daily 5 gave me the framework to really fix my literacy block and do some serious differentiating. So I was a little hesitant to dive into a book that may change my Daily 5 views. However, I will admit that over the last 2 years I've started to feel like I could be doing more with my literacy block. Like Lisa discusses, there are so many new things piled onto our teaching plates all the time, finding ways to fit it all in can be challenging! Beth links to Linda Donohue's own blog where she has a post about Daily 5 and 100 Minutes... I will definitely be looking at that while I read this book! I'm excited for something new to complement what I'm already doing!
I really liked how Lisa Donohue talks about adding dimension to familiar routines. This is where I feel Daily 5 can sometimes get us in a rut. I like the idea of having a structure, but adding layers to it in order to facilitate more and more learning! The way she breaks the literacy block into 3 chunks of time makes perfect sense to me, but also throws me a little because it seems that there is more whole group time than I have now. With my D5 structure, I typically teach 2 or 3 whole group mini-lessons and the majority of the block is spent in small group and independent activities. I'm curious to keep reading and see what this might look.
In addition to the restructuring I mentioned above, I'm really curious to learn how the AWARD time functions. I wrote some questions in my margin about stamina building and accountability during this time. I'm hoping that she gets into the real 'nuts and bolts' of how to achieve what was described in the 100 Minutes in Action part.
In short, I'm really intrigued and excited to keep reading and learning!