I am so excited to have finally linked up for the Daily 5. I’ve been using components of D5 for 3 years now. Two of these years were in first grade and 1 in KDG.
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?
I somewhat trust my KDG’ers. There are certain centers that I’ve used over the last few years that I know are good for my kids. The students learn them, they are accountable and if they become too routine, I can switch to another favorite. This has helped me so much with “word work.” However, I find myself hovering sometimes. As I am prepping to call a group…I’ll find myself distracted and hover. At each group, I have a very reliable captain. Even, some of less reliable/organized kids get a chance to be captain. Some of them simply needed this leadership role to WANT to learn. I try to get over my trust issues by modeling new centers for my students. We model & practice read to self. My kids have taken this and run with it. I’m constantly amazed by the simplicity of this task…and how trust worthy they are. This is probably the one aspect I do not need to hover around…
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
Along the same lines as trust, I find it hard to give my kids choices. We’ll vote on activities to do, if we have free time at the end of the day. (Free time = Ms. Leonard’s brain hurts). At the end of the year this year, we were consumed with practicing for graduation…mostly because it was my first one. I didn’t know how the little ones would respond…so we practiced every day. Closer to the big day when we had finished our reading/math curriculum, for the last 20-30 minutes of the day, we would vote on fun games for free time. However, when we did our centers…I chose for the kids. I told them where we were going and when. How do you guys keep up with giving the kids choices and holding them accountable? Otherwise, my kids made sure to hold me accountable to our schedule. Everyday we discussed the upcoming events. I would usually write it all down on a white board/note pad for the kids to see. As we completed activities, the kids would come up and cross off what we had done.
How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
I think that it is important for the students to get to know each other first. As with the beginning of the year, we all get new kids. They learn each other’s habits even faster than we’re able to. My kids sit at tables (as opposed to desks) they’re able to (forced to) deal with each other on a daily basis. I’ve found so far, that having mixed ability groups creates more community. I’ll look for a healthy mix of students who are capable of different things. Each child has something to add to the mix.
Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
There are times when I found this very difficult. This year I had an interesting mix of students. Most of my kids had prek. Even the ones who did not learned very quickly. For that, I feel blessed. On the other hand, I had many kids who had emotional problems/disturbances. These students needed different things from me. Some needed constant coddling…whereas others needed a smidge of encouragement…and they could be on their way working. Some of my more challenging students, I had to refer to counseling. They would refuse to work without constant grown-up attention. The one child, is a very bright child. She needed CONSTANT reassurance from a stable adult. Once she felt loved and safe…she would work. Unfortunately, once this happened, the other students were done and we needed to move on.
Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals?
I was so proud of my KDG’ers stamina this year! We started with 1 minute and quickly built from there. The students were easily able to go from 1 to 4 minutes. We practiced 1 minute for about 2 days. By the 3rd day…the kids had the procedures down pat. To encourage the kids, everyday I would make a big deal about posting our “minutes.” After each successful read to self time…we would cross out the old time and add the new one. My kids felt such an enormous amount of pride.
Throughout this book study, I really hope to learn better management (trust) techniques. It's hard for me to relinquish the control. Two things that I've found that worked for me...my kids relate to our D5 Read to Self chart. We made it together...and the kids followed it to a T.
This chart was from my last year in 1st grade. I did not get any good pictures of my KDG Read to Self chart. The KDG chart was a lot shorter...but just as poignant!
Any words of wisdom on the trust/choice issues? How are you able to ensure that the kids will behave while making their choices? How do you ensure they will make the right choices for them? My only idea so far is just to have them turn in an accountability notebook that would have their weekly rotation listed...with the work they completed.
I've linked up on Kindergarten Smiles Page!