Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Daily 5, 2nd Edition - Initial Thinking

The Daily 5, Second Edition by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser is a book based on the same global ideas and thinking as the first edition but it’s a brand new book!  The second edition of The Daily 5 is filled with details and new thinking.  It’s truly a gift to readers because Gail and Joan have observed, tried new things, and reflected on the implementation of their workshop model. 

The biggest feature I love about this second edition is the explicit language Gail and Joan use to show the readers what is new in this text.  They often refer to what they use to think and now they have made these changes.  This is why anyone would buy a second edition.  Every time I read about these changes, I found myself agreeing and thinking this makes so much sense.

I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve really enjoyed reading and thinking about in this new edition. 

1.  Early on in the text Gail and Joan have the reader thinking about the progression of their work and the work within your classroom.  They do a great job helping the reader think about seat work, centers, workshops, and Daily 5.

2.  As a primary teacher of kindergarten students I was relieved to learn we might use just three rounds of a Daily 5 format, each day.

3.  Another interesting thought to ponder, is watching and observing the students and their stamina to know when to switch Daily 5 work sessions.  Each work session doesn’t have to be from the same number of minutes each time.

4.  Mini lessons need to be mini and Gail and Joan have done some great thinking about brain functions and student’s attention span.

5.  Gail and Joan have spent time rethinking how to foster independence using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic avenues.  When introducing any classroom routine or workshop component, they confirm it takes more time.  It’s so important for us to remember the reasons  why things take time and they share those with us.

6.  10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence

7. Some reorganization in the order in which the Daily 5 components are introduced.

8.  The how, why, and importance of student choice!

9.  The fine balance and no need to rush for complete student choice right from the start.

10.  The foundation lesson series for launching the Daily 5 for the first 15 days.

I’m excited and thrilled to share I’m participating in the The Daily 5 Stenhouse blog tour next week.  I’ve had the opportunity to read the book, take notes, reflect and then ask questions of Gail and Joan to share with you.  They will stop by next Tuesday, May 6th to answer my questions and I know you will find nuggets of goodness in their answers.  Not only, do we get to visit with Gail and Joan but Stenhouse is giving away a free copy of The Daily 5, Second Edition to one blog reader who leaves a comment during their visit.

You will want to follow my colleagues participating in the Stenhouse blog tour.

May 5: Laura at Ruminate and Invigorate 
May 7: Matt at Reading by Example
May 8: Katherine at Read, Write, and Reflect
May 9: Roundup on the Stenhouse blog.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

#If Not For Franki

I'm not sure Franki knew I was stalking her so many years ago.  I was trying to be very undercover about it.  I didn't keep any written records so this is all from memory and the year went not noted.  I had switched school districts I was teaching in and looking for some professional development while getting additional hours beyond my masters degree for salary advancement.  I attend a Literacy Connection meeting and realized I might have been the only person from my district there.  I sat at a table near Franki and Max Brand.  Yes, I was undercover stalking him too.  I lingered a bit when the group started forming small study groups.  I really wanted to be in a study group with Franki and Max.  Her friend in need radar must have been on and somehow I got invited to join their study group!  This is the beginning of my journey with our kind, warm hearted Franki.

#ifnotforfranki - I may not have kept going to the Literacy Connection on my own.  For several years I went in hopes of connecting with her and Max.  It worked and I am a better teacher from my yearly learning with this wonderful group of local professionals.

#ifnotforfranki - I wouldn't be writing for Choice Literacy.  At the Literacy Connection one year, I had written a piece that she said, "this could be an article."  My reply, "no way!"  Franki's reply, "I will email it to Brenda Power and then she will be in contact with you."  My work and friends via the Choice Literacy uplifted me professionally and personally.  They continue to do so today and I'm honored to call them all my friends.

#ifnotforfranki - I didn't have an anxiety attack when Choice Literacy came to do some video taping in my room.  She made it sound very easy and of course talked up how much fun it would be.  

#ifnotforfranki - I wouldn't have transitioned from teaching K to 3rd without reading her professional writing on reading and guiding everything I did back then.

#ifnotforfranki - somewhere along the way I made a twitter account and joined the fun.

#ifnotforfranki - somewhere along the way when I transitioned back to K, I created this blog.

#ifnotforfranki - I may not have fallen in love with the NCTE conference.

I could pinch myself daily.  I feel blessed and fortunate to have met a mentor of mine in person and talk with her as a colleague and a friend.  I told Franki once she was an infection.  Her spirit, inspiration, and motivation is contagious.  Except with this infection we don't need any antibiotics we just need to touch base with Franki again when we start to feel a bit out of kilter.  She is bound to agree with you or help push your thinking to get you back on track and/or rising to the next hurdle on your journey.  

Thank you Franki.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reading Globally

Have you ever found yourself looking for books to help expand your student's view of the world?  Have you ever found yourself looking for books to help your student's develop respect for differences among cultures?  Then, Reading Globally, K-8 Connecting Students to the World Through Literature by Barbara A. Lahman, Evelyn B. Freeman, and Patricia L. Scharer is the book you need.  This book is filled with wise advice for using children's literature in various curriculum areas.  

Global literature is needed for children to develop their natural curiosity and show them opportunities they could have.  Global literature is needed to help student's think about others and accept differences.  Global literature is needed to help children experience right and wrong, exploring equality issues.  Social, economic, environmental, world health, national security, and immigration are all areas global literature can foster thinking and compassion for.

Global literature is defined as, "books that are international either by topic or origin of publication or author.  This is different than multicultural literature where "books that portray parallel cultures within the United States."  Global literature has two goals; students need to see themselves in realistic  life experiences and know there are life experiences different than their own.  

As we think about our busy days at school, the thought of adding one more category of books to try and fit in and use can be overwhelming.  That is why Chapter 2, Literary Theme Studies and an Integrated Curriculum is an important chapter to read.  The next few chapters give examples and book titles for using global literature in language arts, social studies, science and mathematics, and the arts.  The book ends discussing questions teachers have raised as they try to embrace using global literature.  The first step in using global literature is to find a book that you can replace representing life different than that found in your classroom.  

I do have to warn you between the text and the resources of books listed on the CD in the back, your book shopping cart might be bursting at the seams.  I'm excited to share global literature will be a new label and category of books I will be sharing with you.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD?

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD? by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Pak is a beautiful nonfiction picture book.  The warm earthtone hues are soft and inviting.  I seriously wanted to know more about this book because of the illustrations.  Kenard Pak used watercolors and digital media tools to create natural images to accompany the text.  

In the background of this story, the reader will follow a boy and a girl as they walk and play outside.  The boy and girl encounter numerous birds flying overhead and often observe an action they make as they fly, along with their sound.  However, they notice the nesting bird doesn't make a sound.  The nesting bird is a robin and sits for a very long time until a special event takes place.  I love how the message of patience and quiet brings good things.  

The end of the book as an interesting way to present information.  The last two pages are a question and answer format titled, A Word with the Bird.  I can see my students asking these same questions and having the answers written back with the voice of the robin is an interesting format for reader engagement.  This format might also be a format for sharing nonfiction learning.  HAVE YOU HJARD THE NESTING BIRD? would be a good book for a unit on backyard life science.  

Thank you Alyson for hosting Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday.  I've been stalking since the new year, sharing nonfiction on Wednesday, and thought I should link up becoming an active participant.  I got a bit sidetracked with my Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March, it feels good to be back.