Let’s Toss All the Balls in the Air

Last week, we created our last I-Chart; the one for Listen to Reading. So now we have all the components of the Daily Five in place. It’s an exciting yet frightening time .It has not always been smooth sailing. I find I have to keep pinching myself as a reminder that one of the most important parts of the Daily Five is that the responsibility for our classroom environment, for developing independent learners, is for me to give up control. Kind of a challenge for an obsessive, compulsive control-freak.

This week I’m identifying some of my barometer kids – I have 3 – those kids who have difficulty maintaining stamina and who need to build their independence with smaller steps. Each of these children have difficulty throughout the day with attending/listening; their hands are always in motion (I’ve never seen a third grader disassemble a pencil sharpener before!). This is going to be a challenge.

Now with all the components in place, it is a matter of logistics -though  my students concept of time is somewhat off reality. What some students feel is about 20 minutes – the time I would ideally like them to spend Reading to Self each day – falls somewhat short; the students like to move through all five choices. We are working through the intermediate Daily Five structure and some days there isn’t enough time to complete 5 activities.

What is gratifying is to have students choose to read, choose to write. There is a subtle change in attitude that makes all the hard work we have been doing to build independence worthwhile.  There is a lot of work we have to do yet, but the Daily Five is making a positive difference in transferring the responsibility for learning to my students.