...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daily 5 ~ Chapter 3

Gathering Place

We had three "Gathering Places" last front of the Promethean Board (back of class), near the library for read-alouds (middle of class), and at the white board (front of class) for charts, etc. I think relocating the "Gathering Place" to the rear wall near the Promethean Board makes best use of space. My teamie gave me an easel with white board, so that can hold up anchor charts as well as provide white board space for mini-lessons. The Promethean Board can also be used as a white board as needed. There's a Bulletin Board next to the Promethean Board that can hold our FACE of a Reader info.

We used our Gathering Places to turn and talk quite often. One Gathering Place = more other space and less distraction since it's at the back of the class. :D

Good-Fit Books

I worked on this last year, but see areas where I will tweak my instruction to better support students in this strategy. The most important idea for me is to follow the sequence of concepts until this is routine for the children.
Setting Up Book Boxes

I find it interesting that I am to have a book box for each child ready for Day 1! I love it that Daily 5 starts the very first day of school! I wanted to ask the children to create the front and back of their cereal box and have a parent come help cover the cereal box creation with contact paper. I'm not sure that will work...maybe if I get my parent list soon enough. I'm going to try, anyway! :)

Anchor Charts

I love how anchor charts provide a point of reference for all students. Just think how easy learning the ropes will be for any new student who joins the class later in the year.

Repeated Practice

I never thought to stop the entire class because one person does not have the stamina to complete the practice. Fabulous! We modeled correct, incorrect, correct behavior last year, but didn't STOP when one person lost stamina. That person struggled all year! WOW! There's my proof! Three-minutes each and every time is awesome, as well. It fits right in with the idea of "mini-lessons."
Signal & Check-In

I'm lovin' how the signal is practiced repeatedly at first in an upbeat manner as if playing a game. Making it fun has always helped my students and I'm so glad the sisters lay everything out so easily! Using the thumbs~up, thumbs~side method for self-reflection is awesome. Can't wait to try it! I'm glad the sisters don't use thumbs-down, too. Positive and high expectaions yield postive and high results!
Correct/Incorrect Model

We modeled correct, incorrect, correct behavior last year, but I chose the students who were modeling correct behavior to model incorrect behavior. There's another idea (why didn't I think of that?) that didn't occur to me. Using the incorrect behavior and then the correct behavior to retrain the antsy student who thrives on negative attention is simply genius! I have one question~if that student must practice incorrect, correct behavior repeatedly, is there a "cut-off" where you take that student aside and allow the practice to happen during recess? I have only so much tolerance for "stuff and nonsense!" Anyone?

1. What "rings true for you" in this chapter?I love, love,  love the idea of having the student who acts out model correct/incorrect behavior. Go ahead, show off and get the laughs...but, then you must prove you can do your job correctly. No more excuses. Ha! Ha! Ha! Accountability at its very, very best! :D

2.How are your students progressing with picking appropriate books? I had children who chose books for their entire Read to Self time last year...dang! Only a couple, but still...I'm on it this year, by golly!

3. What (if anything) could help improve the processes from this chapter in your classroom? I will stick to this chapter religiously for this first year. I love every idea and can't wait to try everything! Don't get me wrong...I'm loving my summer break, but this book has me pumped up and excited like blogging got me excited last year! I said I would be organized this year, and honey, God has delivered to my hands the very book I needed to fulfill that statement. Hallelujah! He is awesome and amazing! :)

One thing that really stands out to me in this chapter(p. 42): "By seeing what's expected and what is unacceptable, they have a much clearer idea of what they are to do as well as what they should not be doing. The latter can often be more important, because it clarifies and delineates the boundaries of acceptability within the classroom. Later... (still p. 42) "We move slowly to eventually move fast. The payoff is enormous."

I cannot wait to share this with my teamie! What excitement this generates for me in setting up my classroom for next year. My darling hubby has more bookshelves to make for me (due to two good friends retiring and gifting me with LOADS of their books...collected over the years). Making up book boxes based on the students' reading levels from first grade will keep me busier than I already am!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Currently, One Extra Degree~Luna Camera Giveaway!

Linking up with Farley at Oh Boy! Fourth Gade for Currently...

...and Amanda at One Extra Degree has a Luna Interactive Projection Camera giveaway going! Enter soon...she's giving it away July 3!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Daily 5~Chapter 2

Back again with the pertinent question for chapter 2 of The Daily 5...

What goals do you have for your classroom as you work to implement the principles and foundations of the Daily 5 discussed in chapter 2? Here are my thoughts and ramblings on chapter 2...


So...why is it so much easier to trust some students than others? Yes, I've had students I trust. They understand, they get it! Then there are the ones who want to goof off, disturb others, etc. You all know about that. I think "trust" challenges me to rethink my classroom jobs for sure. It seems to me that "trust" will lighten my load. You know you always have those volunteers who want to help? I always let them (yes, sometimes nervously if I already know the student...), but the challenge here is for me to show the entire class what I would do and stand back and allow the students to develop into strong students with a work ethic like mine (and I know you all have that same work ethic simply because you're doing this book study on your summer break!). I raised my son this way (and receive compliments all the time on his work ethic and go-get-'em attitude), so it shouldn't be hard to transfer that idea of supportive love to my students. :) Why didn't I think of this sooner? :*(


This one shouldn't be too heavy for me...I love allowing choice. I do like the requirement to visit each of the Daily 5 each day to maintain structure and routine. Sometimes last year I told my students they had to Read to Self first (even though I didn't incorporate all of the Daily 5), but I'm game to adjusting things. Let's just consider this a very important experiment. Just imagine how much better off our students will be at the end of this school year if all goes according to plan. I believe it will...the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. I'm feeling freer already...less headache, stress, and lack of sleep for 2012-2013! :D


Wow! We all have a class culture whether we plan one or not! Deliberately building community from the first day in order to provide accountability for effort, learning, order, and kindness is an awesome idea! Why didn't I think of that?!? My students built a good sense of community last year with all the praise and celebrations we had for one another using the Behavior Clip Chart that is so prevalent in the blogging world. Using the positive reinforcement (even to negate the negative) really worked well. Adding this aspect will definitely put the icing on the cake. I am going to love, love, love group dynamics this year! With the positive reinforcement of community, I am looking forward to observing, conferring, and teaching small groups without having to worry about whether my other students are learning anything! :)

Sense of Urgency

Creating a culture where every moment of practice and learning counts and students take ownership of their learning just feels right! I've always tried to explain why we should study something. It is probably a throw-back to my childhood when I was told, "Do it because I said so!" I have always explained things to death according to my son. ;) Once this atittude becomes a principled habit for most of the class, peer pressure will help any laggers!


This is something we discussed and worked on last year in my second grade class. My teamie mentioned how my students would work so quietly because they were so engrossed in their work. I realize now it is because they had built stamina. It got better as the year progressed. I think following all of The Daily 5 this year is going to delight me even more!

Stay Out of the Way!

I think this will not be too much of a problem. Staying out of the way while my students are working diligently will afford me time to confer, tutor, teach small group or individuals,, and finish that confounded paperwork that we are all saddled with these days. I look forward to having time to complete my job while my students complete their job, and we all go home tired, but happy that we have accomplished our chores for the day in a positive way!

Blog Hop - D5 Ch. 2 with Nicole at Teaching With Style


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily 5~Chapter 1

   I am sooo excited! I'd thought about going out to buy The Daily Five, but hadn't just yet. I saw the Daily Five Blog Hop and reminded myself I needed to go buy the book.

   Then the green beans came in...yep, I live in the deep South where green beans "come in" and girl, do they evah! We (my hubby, my parents, my son, and a friend or two along the way) have been hard and fast at the green bean vines. We only have two rows. Yes, they are about half the length of a football field.   We picked the vines "clean" last night...or so we thought! More friends dropped by today and two little sweeties wanted to pick green beans. Can you believe there were MORE green beans already? Since last night around 9:00, folks. I have never in my life seen the green beans grow so! Well, I shouldn't be surprised...I did pray for green beans. So...what do GREEN BEANS have to do with The Daily Five? I'm glad you asked!

    My dear sweet teamie, Brenda, retired in May. She gave me loads and loads of teacher stuff. I'm talking about top of the line, quality teacher materials. So, her only request was that I call her and sell her some veggies from our garden. She lives less than 2 miles from me, so of course I take her some green beans (the first of our garden veggies to produce well so far). She insists that she will pay for them and I point-blank refuse! She meets me in the yard (I'm in my garden grungies...not gonna get outta the car, for crying out loud!)...with three books! Well, did you guess already? Yep, you is The Daily Five. Brand new, friends...never opened from the looks of it. Did I say I'm excited!?! Oh yeah! So now I'm playing catch up on the blog hop.

     I've read chapter 01 and if this blog weren't going to make me slow down and chew, I think I'd swallow this book WHOLE! That's how excited I am! I think you're getting the idea, right? ;) So, I'm joining the Blog Hop. Chapter 1 Linky can be found at Seusstastical Classroom Inspirations with Mel D.

So here are my responses...

1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literary block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it? My literacy block falls between the two ends of the spectrum. I tweaked it a bit last year after learning of the Daily Five, but not having the text in front of me held me back. I read The Book Whisperer last year and tried to incorporate her much as they would fit into a second grade classroom. I cannot WAIT to truly implement the Daily Five this year. It really struck me that the first 20 days of school are absolutely necessary for establishing routines. This year, I will practice routines that I see not in place rather than being discouraged. (c:

2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers? I really sunk into the Read to Self and Buddy Reading aspects of Daily 5 last year. I neglected the other three and my students' achievement was not as high as I'd hoped. I am sooo thrilled to have this opportunity to hone my understanding and hence, tweak my implementation of the Daily Five. Let's get ready to ROCK! :D

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom? Oh my! Having the students truly understand expectations and follow that understanding by following through with their own independent work (thus allowing me time for small group instruction and individual conferences) makes all of Daily 5 an absolute MUST for 2012-2013!

I am sooo excited!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Morning Message for Promethean or Smart Boards

Today I found a fabulous idea! I can't find it again, but I wanted to share what I did because of it. If this is your idea, please let me know because I want to give you credit...I'll send you my entire folder.

I made my own morning message boards for the entire school year. I changed the pictures so that each day of the week has a different picture and the pictures change monthly as well. I had to save it to .pdf file to keep the fonts. So...please give me some feedback. I'd like to open a TpT store, would this be something anyone would be interested in buying? Do you have an idea how much it might be worth? I did spend a few hours on it, but the user will have to make it her/his own to fit her/his needs.

I will add more to my Morning Message when the school year starts and I know what will happen daily, weekly, etc.

We have agendas and our students must copy agenda news each day. This is our form of parent contact on a daily basis. We do send newsletters on our homework (weekly contact) and a more in-depth newsletter bi-weekly or monthly.

My team sends homework on Monday and it is due the following Monday so that the parents can help the children on the weekend if they have Wednesday night church, ballgames, dance, etc. I don't know what our Exploratory class will be on Monday, I just added Compass in as an example.

Click here to download. Morning Message August 13

I'll be happy to share the entire folder with the first three to leave comments who would look over this and help me decide if it is sales worthy and how much it would be worth... Maybe users could download the are the ones I used: DJ Doodlers, Chinacat, Kristen ITC, Elizabeth Skinny, CK Handprint, McPhatty, CK Primary, and Bathing Cap. I really don't want it to be more than fill-in-the-blank for anyone who would use this because it's meant to be a time-saver. :)