Friday, August 23, 2013

Daily5/CAFE - Handling Student Choice

Have I told you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Daily 5! After 18 years of teaching I am always pleasantly surprised when I come across something 'new' that just makes my teaching that much better/satisfying.

As I'm getting ready to head into school next week...yup! I'm one of, what seems are, only a handful of bloggers that are still on summer break...I'm reviewing the structure that's in place for Daily 5 in the class and seeing if anything needs 'tweaking'.  Know what?....there isn't much.  My teaching partner and I always reflect, in amazement, at how WELL this structure worked in our class last year! Uh-mazing!!

The biggest change that will happen with Daily 5 is actually the assessment part (CAFE), as we are moving towards using the online CC Pensieve that the Sister's have created.  My partner and I already use the online Jupiter Gradebook.  When you share a classroom, having access to your student data becomes crucial...especially during report card time.  It just made sense for us to move from a paper pensieve to an online pensieve.  We both have iPads, which we will use when conferring with students.

Last year, our biggest challenge was how to handle student choice during each round of Daily 5.  It took a bit to come up with a system that was equitable (to the students) and didn't take a chunk of time.  Here's what we did and plan to continue to do in Year 2:

  • Students gather at the carpet for each round of Daily 5 (we do three each day)
  • After a short mini lesson (Reading Comprehension, Reading Strategy, or Writing) I would pick a name using student popsicle sticks)
  • Students would then declare what their choice was (read to self, read to someone, word work, or writing) and where they would sit (and with what special: ie. director's chair, cube, MacGilla Gorilla, pillows...)
  • As students made their choice, they would quietly go and start whichever activity they had chosen while I recorded their choice on the Daily 5 Check In Sheet
  • Read to Someone's (limit of 6 students each round) stayed behind and chose a card with a symbol on it...they would read with whoever had their matching symbol.  We implemented this as a way to ensure that students weren't always reading with a BFF!
This system worked pretty well and it will be interesting to see how it will work with our new group of kids (although we have half of last year's kids returning).

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