11 June 2014

The Daily 5 Second Edition - Chapters 1 and 2

I LOVE Daily 5! I just finished my 3rd year using it, and honestly, I look back to that first year teaching when I wasn't, and cringe.

I read the first edition a few summers ago, and loved every second of it. It was a super easy read, and I felt like I was in this imaginary land of teaching and learning that I didn't want to leave. As I was reading, I found myself thinking things like, "I don't think you know the type of school I work in, and the kids I work with." And yet at the same time, was like, "What do I have to lose?"

So with that I jumped in head first, and I've never looked back. Although, The 2 Sisters, did write a 2nd edition to the book, which caught my eye. For the past couple of months (heck, it just came out this year, so maybe it hasn't even been that long), I kept wondering how much could possibly be different or new, or even interesting? But, there was something about it, that I needed to see. Curiosity kill the cat, ya know?

Anyway, last weekend, I wandered in to a Barnes & Noble, and went straight to their "Teacher Reading" section. I'm sure it's not called that, but you know what I mean. They had ONE.COPY. I snatched it, went to one of the tables in the Starbucks area, and just began browsing. Immediately, I went to the appendices, and LOVED what I saw. I'm not going to lie, I may have started to take pictures. And then, I realized how stupid that was, and I bought the book. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you can grab your own here.

Which brings me to The Daily 5 Second Edition Book Study! I posted the below picture on my Instagram (are you following me? - @truelifeimateacher)
And I had quite a few people ask me to share what I thought! One sweet lady (Mary @ Sharing Kindergarten) said there was a book study happening! I'm a little late to the party, but I'm hoping to still join in the fun!

I thought I'd start by sharing a comparison of the Table of Contents pages. I'm very visual, and this certainly helps me start to see how the two compare. 

It's in this chapter that the new to D5 and the veterans get "hooked." The 2 Sisters provide lots of great reading material just in this first chapter! As teachers, we are constantly reflecting on what went well, what didn't go so well, and what we'd change, sometimes just to see how the results change. The 2 Sisters are no different. They discuss that they want D5 to be more "accessible" and I think they've succeeded in doing just that.

They discuss the progression of their own learning in literacy instruction, as well as D5. I think for me, some of the adjustments that I made in my own classroom to make D5 work, The 2 Sisters also made! Who has time for 5 full rounds of D5 a day, anyway??? 

In just this first chapter alone, I had a better understanding of D5. In the spirit of total transparency, the first book left me confused. Obviously, not confused enough to not be able to implement, but confused enough that I always felt like I was just sort of taking a stab in the dark at how *exactly* to implement. 

Of course they gave two very different pictures of their literacy block (pre-daily 5, and post-daily 5 implementation), which always makes me want to stand and shout, "YES! That's what I want!!!" It was this same picture that got me hooked on the very first book, and while I think I recognize a similarity in the story, it was in no way exactly the same. Then they share what changed from the early days of literacy instruction to instruction with D5, along with how their management has changed. I always like to see where I find myself on their chart, because there's always room to grow.

If you're on the fence about D5, just check out the section in chapter one "What Sets the Daily 5 Apart?" It really is a beautiful thing. I can't possibly share here exactly what, because I'd be copying their words right from the book! It's that good!

It's probably in the next part "An Overview of the Daily 5" where I gained a better understanding of it myself. Chalk it up to lots of visuals, or perhaps, the 2 Sisters recognizing that it needed to be a bit clearer, which I think they did. It's also where they share that they no longer do 5 rounds of D5 each day, but instead just 3 (HALLELUJAH - I no longer feel inadequate), once it's fully up and running!

In addition, they share more about how CAFE fits in to D5. Which by the way, is another fantastic read. Grab it here.
Chapter 2 is exactly what the title suggests. While I don't think The 2 Sisters actually say it, without these D5 will just not work. It's a little scary sometimes to really hand over the reigns to your students, but it is ultimately, what makes D5 so effective.

Trust and Respect - For me, trusting my students to make "choices" was what was hardest, and sometimes, it's at the point in the year when I have to trust that my students will make the best choice for them that is still the hardest, even though, I already know they will. I had to retrain my brain to have my teacher self take the back seat. However, this is also what make D5 so spectacular - students feel the trust and respect teachers have for them, and they work together to make meaningful learning experiences throughout the year.

Community - Building a community of learners is something my class and I work on each and every year. A lot. Like every.single.day. It starts on the first day of school, when I share that we are a family, and we are going to have good times, happy times, not so good times, and some sad times throughout the year. But the most important thing, is that we have each other, and no matter what happens, we're in it together! It's a powerful thing, and it's probably why we all end up crying messes on the last day of school.

Choice - There it is folks. It's not as scary as it sounds, although, it can be pretty scary. However, this is what has completely transformed my classroom, and I love it! The Sisters say it best, "When we have some say in the matter, we are much more motivated to complete the task." I think of this in terms of meetings or professional developments in which I get to choose a session that most interests me. I'm much more motivated when I get to choose, than when someone tells me to do something, and my students are certainly no different.

Accountability - The choice is really what helps create the accountability. That and students are taught explicitly what each choice looks and sounds like. I don't have to check worksheets because I know my students are doing what they're supposed to be doing. When I'm teaching students about Daily 5, we talk about making choices and being accountable so that we can be betters readers and writers. And, I'll often ask, "Is this helping you become a better reader/writer/scientist/friend/mathematician/_______."

Brain Research - In a nutshell - shorter, purposeful direct instruction is far better than longer, general instruction. As a second grade teacher my direct instruction should last no longer than 7-8 minutes. Yikes! I'm still working on this one.

Transitions as Brain and Body Breaks - Essentially, the 2 sisters realized that while the workshop model what great for a short mini-lesson, the long work session needed to be split up into smaller segments so that students had an opportunity to stretch and reset their brains. I use Koo Koo Kanga Roo (Dinosaur Stomp is a favorite) brain breaks with my 2nd graders and they go wild for them! They're only 2-3 minutes long, are free on youtube, and get my kids up and moving!

Wowza! That was lengthy, but D5 is something I'm so passionate about, because I know first hand the difference it can make in a classroom. I'm excited to participate in the rest of the book study. You can check out other posts from teachers who've read the book and implement or are planning on implementing by checking them out here.

I'll see you on Friday for Chapter 3!

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