Thursday, June 12, 2014

Daily Five 2nd Edition Book Study!

I'm joining the conversation (late!) about the just published Daily Five 2nd Edition by "The Two Sisters", Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.
I am a second career teacher.  I went through an alternative certification program, but felt ill equipped when I entered the classroom.  (I know, who doesn't!)  My first year of teaching, I was given an ELA basal and a TE and told "TEACH".  How do you think my first year went?  Yes, I know, it was not pretty!!  I had done several things in my life, including working with Jr. High and Sr. High kids in a variety of settings, but teaching first grade IS the hardest thing that I have EVER done in my life!  But, I am stubborn, and I was committed to becoming an excellent first grade teacher.  I read and researched (primarily on my own) during that first year.  The first edition of the Daily Five was a turning point in my teaching.  It was not like anything that I had read in my alternative certification program.  I had not really built up a network of colleagues to learn from and an organized professional learning community was non-existent!  (Thankfully, that has changed.)  Reading this book gave me some tools to create a productive learning environment in my classroom.
I soon discovered that other first year teachers on my campus had discovered the book.  It was great to process my learning with some of my colleagues who were also attempting to implement the model.  My second year in the classroom, I attempted to fully implement the Daily Five structure.  We also adopted a new ELA program that lent itself to the implementation of the D5.  By my third year, I was implementing the Daily CAFE, also by "The Two Sisters".  The Daily CAFE gives guidance to small group and teacher conference work with students while students participate in independent daily five literacy rotations.
The original book and its philosophy has been a huge influence on my work in the classroom.
The first chapter speaks to the history of the work these ladies have done in their classrooms, and an overview of the Daily 5.

"The Daily 5 is designed to teach children to build their stamina and independence in each of the Daily 5 tasks so they can fully engage in meaningful, authentic reading and writing  for an extended period of time.  The Daily 5 is steeped in choice, which increases motivation and student intellectual engagement." (Daily Five Second Edition, p. 11)

Chapter one also talks a little bit about how the D5 has changed for them since first implementation.  One of the important parts of implementing D5 is the manner in which it is introduced to students.  It is so important to launch D5 in a way that gradually builds stamina in reading and writing tasks and at the same time teaches routines that instil habits that allow for independent work.  In the second edition, the order and time that each element is introduced is slightly different.  I have always alowed more flexibility in the way I introduce both D5 and CAFE in my classroom.  I don't see how the second edition will change that.  If anything I believe that the flexibility that is built into the second edition probably more closely follows how teachers out there are using the framework anyway,   

Finally,  chapter one gives a brief overview of how D5 and CAFE work together.  This was helpful to me because it made me re-think how I use the two resources together.

Chapter two introduces the "core beliefs" behind the Daily 5 structure.
To ensure that true learning happens, there should be a trusting relationship that goes both ways between teacher and students.  
Choice is key in the implementation of D5.  Choice allows students to take ownership in their learning.
Students are no longer only accountable to the teacher but are accountable for their own learning. 
Based on brain research, the time spent on teacher-led lessons is shortened and a students' time spent engaged in practice is increased.
The second edition puts a focus on brain breaks and transitions.  This edition also shortens and breaks ups longer work sessions.  As a first grade teacher, I was already shortening and re-arranging the initial structure of D5 to accommodate the squirminess that  comes with this age level.  With the advent of GoNoodle and other resources, there are lots of ideas out there to break up traditional learning time.

Check back every Friday for another look at the Daily 5, Second Edition.  


Check  out The First Grade Blue Skies blog for more commentary from other great teachers on this new publication.
You may purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here:




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