Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily 5 Linky Party, Chapter 2

I'm a little late with my chapter 2 post!  My sisters and I had a fun get-away weekend, so I was playing instead of reading and thinking.

Chapter 2 is all about the Foundations of the Daily Five.  As I was reading this chapter, I didn't find anything that was really "new" or "outstanding" to me as far as reading theory or tips on how to get started with the Daily Five.  What I DID, strongly appreciate about it is the compact overview explaining why I would implement the Daily Five and why some of the procedures are important.

As I think about this, it makes me reflect on how I will communicate some of these policies and procedures to my para professionals who work with me.  When I start working with a new para-professional, I usually give them simple "homework" during pre-planning week.  I ask them to tell me what is the classroom activity or thing the love to do most with the students.  Conversely, I also ask them to tell me what is the worst job I could ask them to do throughout the day.  Then I also share with them, my own personal answers to those two questions.  It helps us to build communication with each other and gives us a little bit of knowledge about things each of us like and don't like so that we can get all of our classroom tasks done.  It also helps me to plan who will lead specific activities or groups based on my para-pros interests and strengths (when possible.)

I think I would like to use chapter 2 as a communication tool for us next year, too.  I'd like to earmark some time during pre-planning so that they can read it and know the foundation of what we will be implementing.  I can't always explain every single instructional decision that I make.  Much of it is based on what I know about children from their individualized testing, what I learn from them through observation, what I learn about them from our STAR and SM reports, what I know from previous experience, what I learned through college and training, etc. etc.

I can't always take the time to explain everything, but chapter 2 does a great job of explaining the habits we want to develop and the ways in which we can go about doing that.  I think it would go a long way into ensuring that all of our classroom staff is on the same page.  After they read chapter 2, I'd like us to have some time to discuss it and explain how it will impact our reading block time and other reading and writing times during the day.

I think this is especially important in a self-contained classroom where I rely on my para-pros to help make our classroom more effective.  They are invaluable!  I think the ides of "trusting the students, building stamina and staying out of the way" are things that we will definitely have to have conversations about.  You'll remember from my previous post about chapter 1, I am trying to figure out in my head how I (personally) will release some of the control to students.  I also have to figure out how to ensure that my para-pros can also release that control. 

It's tough.  Sometimes, I think even more so in special education classrooms because you want to support the child.  Hopefully, we'll be able to come together and re-frame our concept of what it looks like when you are supporting a child.  It doesn't have to be with constant attention and prompting (In fact, I loved the story about how the authors trained they kids to rely on their praise and attention.  Then had to go back and work on it again.)  We can support children by helping them to build their stamina and become independent readers and writers.  I'm hoping our implementation of the Daily Five will help us get there next year.


live sports said...

nice written

Kim said...

Great post. I am also a special education teacher and I am using D5 in my resource room this year. I agree that it is important for the paras to understand the concept of the program and give the students some directed independence. We do tend to over help, but there are skills our kids have that ate strengths to be built upon. I look forward to implementing it with my kids!