Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daily 5/CAFE Update

Wow!'s been quite some time since my last post.  So much for a once-a-week blog post. LOL  Thought I would let you 'see' where we're at with our Daily 5/CAFE.

 We are into Day 19 of implementing Daily 5/CAFE (following the schedule from Daily 5 for Dummies) and I am TOTALLY AMAZED at how well it is working!  Granted we have a really great group of kids this year (eager to learn and well behaved with no major behaviour kids), but I know that this structure would work with those crazy challenging classes we sometimes get.

Here's where we're at:
  • In Read to Self we have reached our goal of reading for 20 minutes.  The kids are so good at quietly getting their book boxes, finding a good spot in the room that works for them, and settling down to read, that I sometimes look around the room in awe (as do any visitors to the classroom) at the general harmony in the class.  I have one student who is struggling with his stamina (and yeah, you guessed it, he's my behaviour child).  We just keep reinforcing that sense of urgency with him.  
  • In Work on Writing we are up to 11 minutes (our goal is 20).  I was concerned that writing for such a long time would be a challenge for many of the kids, but surprisingly, they are sooo disappointed when their writing time is up! However, I have a handful of students who are struggling with not 'sharing' their writing during this time, which has slowed our stamina progress.
  • Read to Someone is a favourite with the kids.  We are up to 12 minutes.  I was a little worried that it would be quite noisy in the class with ALL the kids reading aloud at the same time, but again, surprisingly, they remember to use their "partner" voices and there is just a nice hum to the class.  Some students need reminders to remember to ask their partners to 'Check for Understanding", but overall, I am pleased with how this part of Daily 5 is going.
  • Listen to Someone is done through our daily read aloud.  We follow the read aloud structure described in Sibberson & Szymusiak's book, Day to Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop.
  • Word Work is not up and running, as we are incorporating Words their Way into this part, and it has not been addressed yet in Daily 5 for Dummies, AND, it is the one part of Daily 5 that has caused me the most anxiety(?) trying to fit it into the structure.  Bottom line...a bit of procrastination on my part. :)  I'm thinking we will start Word Work before the end of October.
We are still in the process of assessing all the kids using DRA.  I hope to be finished by next week, so that we can start our small group strategy lessons and individual conferences.  I feel that the assessments seem to be taking sooo long, but we had to do some district assessments for reading and writing that took up a chunk of the time we would have spent doing our DRA assessment.  So, I don't feel too bad.

Our class has generated a lot of interest from other teachers in our school.  I have had a number  of teachers stop by after school to ask me about Daily 5 and take pictures of our CAFE board or I-Charts.  This Friday, I am presenting a morning workshop about Daily 5/CAFE and how it is working for me, to some of those teachers.

All in all, I'm feeling really good about how this structure is working in our class.  Once we start the small group and individual conferences, I'll do another update.