OK, so I know I'm a little late to this party and most of you are already working on chapter 2, but I'm trying to catch up! Better late than never, right?
I was very excited when I saw that the Freebielicious Gals had decided to do this book study this summer. I've heard great things about this book so I ordered mine right away.
I am a Daily 5 girl through and through and I wouldn't teach any other way. That's why I was so encouraged when so much of Chapter 1 really sounded like Daily 5 and fit so nicely into that structure.
It is SO important to build a structured routine and build stamina in you kiddos. I pretty much follow the Daily 5 book to the letter as far as establishing routines and teaching the stations. The minute one student is off task, we come back to the carpet and discuss what happened and go back and try again. It can be so time consuming sometimes, but it is SO worth it when you have the class humming like a well oiled machine in a few weeks!
How do you get everything in?
I have a picture schedule posted in my classroom. I'm so sorry that I don't have a picture of it. Basically I just took a section of bulletin board border and put Velcro dots on it. I can hang pictures that show our schedule for the day and they can easily be switched from day to day. Then I just take a clothespin and move it from picture to picture as we move through our day. It shows the kids when we are doing mini-lessons, when we are doing Daily's, when restroom breaks are, when lunch is, etc. Once it's on that schedule for the day it is written in stone according to my kids so it forces me to stick to it! And I never ever here "Is it almost time for lunch??" because they can see exactly how many things we have to do before it's lunch time!
I also have a visual timer. It's really supposed to be for the kids, but it keeps me on track, too!
The kids can easily see how much time is left in their Daily activity and I can easily see how much time is left with my reading group. The only hard part is remembering to set it before we get started!
How do you keep the children from interrupting?
OK, I must say I was SO glad to read that she actually tells us to ignore students who are trying to talk to us when we are with a group. It feels like such a horrible thing to do! It does work though. They will eventually quit trying to engage you. I had one child last year, thought that took forever to figure it out. When I'd ignore him, he'd actually get a little closer and say, "Hello?? Mrs. Feikert?? Can you hear me?!" It was so hard not to laugh!
I have taught my kids a hand signal for when they need to go to the restroom and that made SUCH a difference. They just come up and show me crossed fingers and I can nod my head and never miss a beat with my reading group.
I had seen an idea on Pinterest that I think I'm going to try this year. I'm going to get a touch light and keep it at my reading table. When the light is on, I'm busy and can't be interrupted. Hey--I think I need one of those lights at home, too!
How do you know they are actually reading their self-selected reading?
Well, in Kindergarten they aren't always "reading." But they should be engaged in their books. I can tell that by a quick sweep of the room while they are reading. When they are reading and many of them are when they first come to kindergarten, I conference with them once a week and we read out of their book boxes. I can usually get a pretty good idea from those conferences whether or not they are reading or page turning! If I feel they aren't reading, I make a list of kids that I need to either conference with more often or touch base with after their Read to Self time each day.
And this is totally off topic, but I reached 100 followers and I'm hosting a fabulous giveaway. Head over HERE to my Five for Friday post to enter and see what's been keeping me so busy that I'm just now linking up to the book study!
OK--I'm going to go link up at Kreative in Kinder and catch up on everyone's posts from Chapter 1. Then I'm going to get busy reading Chapter 2!