This chapter, for me, is getting about letting go of control & letting my kiddos take responsibility for their own actions. Up until now, the work has been more independent—easier to manage. At this point, we will be at a make it or break it stage. For my firsties, working cooperatively is always more “exciting.” Even if they are on task, they tend to get a little more “active.” In comes the daily 5. With practice, I feel like this task will help my students grow into independent and more self-sufficient readers!
The first step the talk about is introducing the concept. A routine that has become familiar by now, the I-chart. The difference in this skill is that the students should have at least 6 days of being introduced to this skill. Day 1 is all about the EEKK!! I love that they relate this to a story about spiders—something most kids can relate to. It’s teaching how to sit with your partner during this time….Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee….EEKK! Another part of this section is what it sounds like to read with a partner. Students get to try a shouting voice & see just how successful that would be in this situation; epic fail. Then they practice their whisper voices to realize that noise level is the only way to make this a success in a classroom of 20 + kids.
Next, they talk about holding both partners accountable for this reading time. In the past, this is definitely what I’ve struggled with in my classroom. If it’s not “their turn” to read; my students are pretty much uninterested. Getting away from that “all about me” attitude; both partners have a job! One is the reader; the other gets to summarize what was read at the end of each page. This is definitely going to take a lot of practice and modeling. The idea of both partners being engaged and accountable with make all of that worth it!!
Now comes the different ways they can choose to read. Day 2, introduce the “I Read, U Read” method. Pretty straight forward; they take turns reading. And then another way to read: Read 2 different books. This is a foreign concept to me; as I’ve always thought that would be too much information for them to process. . Another mantra, “I keep my book closed. When you finish, I check for understanding.” Again, rules & accountability for both partners. Now my favorite part: choice. The students get to choose how they want to read. Of course, now more stamina building practice.
Day 3 brings into play conflict. Something 6-7 year olds are not experts in yet; conflict resolution. It is up to us to teach them methods to resolve problems independently without name-calling, getting physical, etc. “Let’s Make a Deal.” “You pick a book, I pick a book. We read yours first, then we read mine.” “See, we made a deal.” Sounds simple, but this is definitely a behavior that needs to be practiced.
|graphic from http://www.dots-n-spots.com|
EEEkkk….Day 4 is what really makes me nervous. Up until now, I’ve chosen spots for the partners. Using my spidey-teacher-sense; I’d have placed them around the room in proximity to me, based on the behaviors I expect to see. Now *gasp* I teach them how to choose their own spots. Another step in being responsible and independent; they choose a spot they can be successful in.
Day 5 is all about choosing a partner. More independence. They need to learn the correct way to communicate effectively they need a partner. The biggest hurdle I can foresee, is them understanding this is not a popularity contest & they don’t need to be with their best friend. My favorite, the only acceptable answer when someone asks to be your partner is “Sure, thank you.”
Finally, Day 6: being a coach. Teaching them how to not just blurt out a word if their partner is stuck. Teaching them use the word attack strategies we’ve practiced in class to help coach their partner. It gives specific examples on what they should ask. Do you need a coach or do you need time?
The last part of this chapter is on Listening to Reading. This is already engaging for most students; so I think all the practice we’re going to need with this strategy is appropriate vs. inappropriate behaviors in the listening station. There are so many options for this nowadays with technology. The old tried & true CD player, tons of computer sites that offer read alouds, and mp3 players that have stories pre-loaded. Possibilities are truly endless.
This was a looooooong, but useful chapter. Lots of good information. I really enjoyed how each behavior was outlined and expectations are clear. Like always, practice, lots and lots of practice.