I have spent the last few days reading the first three chapters of The Daily 5 book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. I downloaded it to my NOOK last summer, but never got around to actually reading it let alone implementing it. I had good intentions, of course, but there were two brand new initiatives that started last year at our school. The first was the Common Core, and we had to completely revamp everything we had done before. I am a big fan of the Common Core, but I will be the first to admit that it takes a lot of work to implement it. My school was one of the pilot schools for our district, so we were lucky enough to get a bit of a head start. The second initiative we did last year was having our early childhood program be validated through the State Department of Education. Both initiatives are continuing into this coming school year, but I feel a little better with one year under my belt! In just a few weeks, I will be attending a state conference on the validation program, and I will be sure to share more as it gets closer! For now, back to the Daily 5!
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I know that there are many, many educators out there have already established using the Daily 5 in their classrooms, but if you haven't heard of it yet I strongly suggest reading the book. I started it with the hopes of finding a way to effectively manage small independent groups in my classroom. I have heard that this is a great method to help establish an environment to foster independent learning. Today while enjoying breakfast at my local diner, I finished the third chapter of the book. I've been taking notes as I'm reading, and when I got home I went back through them. The authors of this book have spent a lot of time researching what makes good readers, and how to foster a lifelong love of reading. The first topic in my notes was the importance of finding 'good-fit' books. The authors state that choosing good-fit books is one of the most important things to do in order to become a better reader. They also state that a good-fit book is a book that students can read with 99% accuracy, and it is our job to help them choose books that are a good fit for them. We need to help them determine their purpose for reading, their interest in the topic, their ability to comprehend, as well as their ability to read most of the words. They created an acronym to help students remember the steps to choose a good-fit book, I PICK. It stands for 'I choose a good book', 'Purpose - WHY do I want to read it?', 'Interest - Does it interest me?', 'Comprehend - Am I understanding what I am reading?', and 'Know - Do I know most of the words?' This acronym should be used every time a student choose a book, whether they're at the school library or a bookstore. (I fully intend on including our Media Specialist in this process, so that my students can use this when choosing their weekly library book. I just haven't TOLD my Media Specialist this yet!!) The authors of the book stress the importance of having an anchor chart that is posted in the room and stays up all year long, which should show the I PICK acronym. They also have a really cute lesson idea for introducing the acronym, involving shoes. I fully intend to try my own version of that lesson when school starts, and I will share how it goes!! I spent the rest of today working on an anchor chart that I could post in my classroom for my littles to refer to all year long. I came up with an idea that is 'some assembly required', so when I get back to school I'll have to put it together. Once I do that I'll post pictures of my finished product. I created a set of posters, and each letter of the acronym is represented on one page. My goal is to connect each page with a set of metal binder rings, so that the poster hangs vertically on my wall. I will be able to refer to this chart throughout the year. I also intend to teach my little a kinesthetic movement to match each letter of the acronym. I learned from reading the Daily 5 that a memory stored in the kinesthetic system of the brain evokes the longest memory. So I'm gonna teach them how to use their bodies to form each letter, YMCA-style! Since we'll be using this all year long, I also have plans to teach them the sign language letters and how to work together to lie on the rug and form the letters. I'll post some pics of my kiddos doing this kinesthetic activity.
SHEW!!! That was definitely my longest post yet! If you stayed with me through my rambling, you deserve a FREEBIE!!! I would love to share with you the set of posters I created for the I PICK acronym. I hope that you can use them in your classroom, and if you do please let me know what you think of them!!
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