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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Employing the daily 5 Strategies

Teachers I respect and admire prompted me to read the daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser ("the sisters").  Finally, I picked up the book today and started reading.  It's filled with amazing ideas and classroom structures for teaching literacy.  It's a book that speaks to me because it's evident that the authors have extensive classroom experience, respect for educators and a desire to see every child learn to read and write with interest, enthusiasm and skill.  the daily 5 also speaks to me because it focuses on the details related to instruction--the specifics that can make or break a lesson, day or year.

Like Ruth Charney's book, Teaching Children to Care, the sisters provide a 5-week structure at the back of the book for employing the daily 5, and similar to so many teachers I've listened to or read about, I'll personalize their approach to meet my students' needs, interests and curriculum standards.  I plan to use the book to guide the launch of my reading and writing workshop blocks beginning on the first day of school.  I will blog as I move along with this approach sharing the way I employ their strategies.

For now, I'm focused on the preparation for the launch.
  1. Establishing a Gathering Place
  2. Finding Optimal Book Bags or Boxes.
  3. Classroom Library Organization.
  4. Creating Spaces for Anchor Charts.
  5. Establishing Signals and Check-Ins.
  6. Creating a Welcoming Classroom Environment with Inviting Places to Read and Write.
And then, I'll focus on initial lessons.
  1. Teaching the structure and function of all that's listed above.
  2. Teaching expectations by utilizing the "Ten Steps to Improve Muscle Memory" p. 37
  3. Launching the daily 5 using the suggested "gradual release." p. 119
I know that many, many teachers are utilizing the daily 5 structure and strategies in their classrooms.  Don't hesitate to send tips, thoughts, and encouraging comments as I embark on this new educational journey.