We had three "Gathering Places" last year...in 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
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! :)
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.
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!
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!