What an honor and joy to have Gail and Joan stop by today to answer some questions for us 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, today. I wanted Gail and Joan's visit to be our focus, so I have shared my own insights and reflections earlier this week.
You can find my initial thinking after reading The Daily 5, last Tuesday.
1. First off, I would like to thank you for writing a second edition with more details and explanations about the Daily 5. I anticipated having to read and search for new information and changes from the first version and I didn’t. You constantly note how something was in the first edition and how it looks now with time and further thinking. What prompted you to use this writing style? It is very helpful for the reader to see changes and reflect while reading.
Thanks Mandy! When we were asked to write the second edition, we knew we wanted to improve the whole book, not just add our new learning. So for us that meant a total reorganization of the book, keeping what was still current and adding the new portions. Since we reorganized the book, we were very aware of pointing out what was new as the information was presented in a different order. We are so delighted that you found it helpful!
2. You have definitely made a correlation between brain research and the length of various Daily 5 components. I’m now watching my students for the body cues and distractions and find myself saying, “wrap it up. You’re losing some of them.” The biggest hurdle I find is keeping the mini lesson, mini because my students have wonderful and important thoughts to share. How do you keep things concise while honoring the thinking of students?
We completely hear what you are saying with this one! Even though students have so many wonderful things to say and share, we keep this time in mind when looking at our whole lesson. When one person is talking, the likelihood of the rest of the class being focused and getting a lot out of the individual sharing is not highly correlated. Therefore, knowing how important it is to have students get their voice in the room and share their thinking, we do a lot of Purposeful Talk. Spencer Kagan was one of the people where we learned about this. If you want to learn more about Kagan’s work check out his site and listen to this podcast of Dr. Kagan explaining Total Engagement.
Purposeful talk is the process of having students find their sharing partner, do a high five or hand shake with them, then have the teacher guide the sharing by indicating who should talk first. (ex: the person whose head is closest to the ceiling, the person with the longer hair, etc.) This allows both parties to have equal air time and helps move their learning and thinking from their short term memory, where we can keep only 4 or 5 ideas at a time, to their long term memory.
3. Would you agree your changes in the Daily 5 structure have a goal to help teacher’s and student’s work smarter and quicker together? It appears that way with all the little tips you give for launching each component. For example, writing the desirable behaviors on an I-chart ahead of time instead of brainstorming them with the teacher.
We have learned so much more about the brain through brain research since our first edition was written; this edition reflects the research more through those tips you talk about. By focusing on exactly what we want the children to know, and filling it out on the chart for them and in front of them, rather than have them volunteer their ideas as we used to, it speeds up the process so the students will likely have better retention as well as allows us to move away from having to reteach when someone calls out the wrong behavior to go on the I-Chart. We start by writing 2 behaviors to the chart and then continue to add the remaining 5. You can see this chart of 2 behaviors on page 39 of the book along with all 5 listed on page 43.
4. At one point, you mention as students make new Daily 5 choices they are stating their individual goal and strategies. How long does this take? Is it possible to have kdg. and first grade students state individual goals and strategies, quickly? Does this help focus the work the students are doing on their own?
Our work with Michael Grinder taught us that when children do a verbal check-in they are more likely to stay engaged and focus on the strategy stated. However, with our youngest students, we do not expect them to do a verbal check-in that includes their goal until they are ready. That means a different time for each child. Some of our youngest students are ready for that soon, others it may be mid-year.
Teaching children to check-in verbally is an investment of time at the beginning of the year but well worth it! We have tried more check-in systems than we can count, yet we always return to the verbal check-in for the reasons above and because it is the most concise way to get our fingers on the pulse of our students.
This video shows Gail and Heather as students learn to check-in with their Daily 5 choice as well as their reading or writing goal. http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/1475.cfm
5. Do you ever have students respond to what they are reading or listening too? Retelling stories using props is important for kindergarten students, where does this or could it fit within the Daily 5 structures?
Responding to literature can be a natural progression for students who are listening to reading. We often provide time for retelling stories using props, reader’s theater, or even partner responding, in particular for our youngest learners, during the last focus lesson of The Daily 5. Time is spent each day, in particular with early learners, playing with language through poems, songs and chants. All of these type of learning activities allow for the verbal development for young children, creating strong phonemic awareness and is a vital part of learning to be a reader.
Check out this video where Trish Prentice and her students share their love of reading through song!
Mandy we appreciate you inviting us to chat with you and your followers about The Daily 5. Thank you Gail and Joan for answering my questions and sharing additional links with us to ponder. Readers, thank you for stopping by and 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.