Monday, March 31, 2014

The Daily 5, Second Edition Book Club-Chapter 3

Chapter 3-"The 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence"

Thanks to all of you who are participating in this online book club! Whether you sent me a private message, liked the post on Facebook,  talked with me at work or are silently joining along, I thank you! 

Chapter 3 discussed the "10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence", and these steps are the foundation for anything you want your students to learn how to do independently.  

Chapter 3 opens up with a quote by Kathy Collins. It says, "When we follow these routines day after day, our students can use their energy to grow as readers and learners rather than to figure out what we expect them to do. And we, in turn, can focus our energy on teaching, not managing, our independent readers."

Wow! That quote is powerful. It sums up everything I've COME to believe along the years (through lots of trial and loads of error). 

Like Boushey and Moser, early in their teaching careers, I used to think if I show my students how to do something once, they should be independent. I can't tell you how many times, I became so frustrated thinking, "They should know this!" or "Why can't they just do one simple task?" 

Boushey and Moser explain the work of Michael Grinder. Grinder's work supports the idea that students need to have information delivered to them through various memory systems (visual, auditory and kinesthetic). When information is received through more than one of these systems, memory is improved. 

Boushey and Moser took Grinder's information, and they thought about the tasks they wanted their students to be able to do independently. Then, they did something most special educators are very familiar with, they performed a "task analysis" of each task (meaning, they worked backward from the expected behavior and broke that behavior into tiny sequenced steps that need to be taught before independence is to be expected/occur). Their task analysis includes a set of ten steps to "Teaching and Learning Independence", and these steps are what sets Daily 5 apart from other management systems.

Each of the ten steps is discussed below:

Step 1: Identify What Is to Be Taught-
Very simple, yet extremely powerful...tell your students exactly what you are going to teach. This will keep both you and your student focused. When you begin your launching lessons for Daily 5, a simple pattern is used (as suggested by Boushey and Moser). This pattern involves creating an "I-chart" (kind of like a T-chart, but "I" for "Independence"). This can be made on any surface, but it is an anchor chart (one that will be referenced throughout the year), so choose wisely (a piece of chart paper is what I prefer). The name of the Daily 5 choice to be taught is written on the top of the chart. A line is drawn across and down the chart to separate "students" and "teacher". You can make this as colorful as you want. I just use two different colors, nothing fancy! Before you look at the example below, just use it to see how to write the title and how to make the lines. You'll see (in Step #3), the list of desired behaviors is changed.
Here is one example I found:
*image found on, courtesy of

I usually have my chart paper on a large easel. As we finish an "I-Chart", I rip it off and tape it to a classroom wall where everyone can see it and it can be referred to often. 
What about other other "stuff" on the chart? Don't worry, keep reading!

Step 2: Set a Purpose and Create a Sense of Urgency-
"What's in it for me?"...That's the question most of us ask before beginning any task, isn't it? Boushey and Moser hit the nail right on the head! It's very important for people to know WHY they do things, and the same holds true for those little people we teach. They need to know why they do what they do and why what they do is important as well!  

To create a sense of "urgency", Moser and Boushey suggest writing the reasons why each of the Daily 5 activities are done. These reasons are written at the top of the chart, under the title. Students are gathered in a whole group, and they are involved in the creation of each "I-Chart", so a sense of urgency can be created an so they take ownership of it. There are many "pretty"/"cute" pre-made "I-Charts" out there, but these are meant to be created WITH your students. 

Step 3: Record Desired Behaviors on an I-Chart-
A change in this edition of the book, Moser and Boushey no longer suggest asking your students to brainstorm a list of desirable behaviors for each Daily 5 activity (for each I-Chart). As a result of having students brainstorm and make suggestions, their "launching" lessons were becoming longer and longer (something that brain research says is a "no no"). Therefore, they now list 5 desirable behaviors (listed on page 38) on the I-Chart in front of the students, and each one is explained. These behaviors are written so that students see what to do (instead of what "not" to do). 

If you work with younger students, you may want to break this lesson up into two days so they are most engaged. If you teach older students, they should be able to finish the chart in one session. You know your students, so use your knowledge of them them to guide what you do.

Step #4: Model Most-Desirable Behaviors-
This is where the fun begins! Desired behaviors are modeled by students, and this allows students to see, hear and feel what these behaviors. Have individual students model what these behaviors look like. When the modeling is complete, engage all students in a discussion on what they saw the student doing. Go through each of the desired behaviors to guide your discussion. Finish up with asking students if the particular student who did the modeling will become a better reader (or writer) if he/she continues to do those things during that Daily 5 choice. You will always hear a cheerful, "Yes!".

Step #5: Model Least-Desirable Behaviors, Then Most-Desirable Behaviors Again-
The fun continues...
The next step is asking a student to model the "incorrect" way to model those behaviors. A suggestion made by Boushey and Moser is to invite a student to do this who may be one who may have difficulty exhibiting the desired behaviors. Of course, that student will think it's fun, but it allows for the shaping of his/her behaviors.

As the student is surely making everyone laugh, while exhibiting undesired behaviors, call students attention to the I-Chart. Go through each of the listed desired behaviors and ask if that student is doing the right thing. Students love this part, and they are so engaged. 

When that modeling is done, students are reminded that those behaviors will never lead to someone becoming a better reader and writer. Following this discussion, that same student is asked to now model the desirable behaviors. As this modeling is taking place, the list of desired behaviors (listed on the I-Chart) is once again referenced. After that, students are asked (once again), if they will become better readers and writers if they do what they are supposed to (the desired behaviors).

This may seem redundant, and a time waster, but believe me, it is extremely important to take the time and do this slowly and correctly when you have the freedom of time at the beginning of the year. If any of these steps are rushed, you will kick yourself later!!! Believe me, I've been there (more times than I am willing to admit)!

Step #6-Place Students Around the Room-
It is during this step when students learn how to pick "smart" spots to independently work around the room. When choosing where to sit, students need to ask themselves, "Is this a place where I can be most successful?" 

The use of book boxes is suggested while practicing because this will limit the amount of movement in your room (as students have their books right next to them). Those students who have short stamina, make sure they are the last ones to choose a spot since they will be working for the shortest amount of time. Those students who have built their stamina (or are more mature) should be the first students called to find their smart spots. 

Since "Read to Self" is the first Daily 5 choice taught and practiced, you want to make sure you have either boxes (as suggested above) or bags of books ready to go ahead of time. I spend my first week of school introducing their book boxes, and I fill them up myself until they've been taught how to choose "just-right" books. 

Step #7:Practice and Build Stamina and Step #8: Stay Out of the Way-
It is important to note that all students are different, and therefore will build stamina at difference paces. A stamina chart is shown on page 46 to keep track of your students' stamina. I found one on Smart Exchange that I use to keep track of my students' stamina. It is motivating for students to see how their stamina grows. 

When every student begins practicing, stay out of they way (as suggested above). Stamina has waned when someone stops displaying the desirable behaviors (as listed on the chart). It will be hard to stay out of their way, but you have to. You want you students to learn how to work independently so you can successfully meet with small groups and individuals, don't you? 

I sit at the reading table during their practice, and I totally ignore any raised hands. I don't call any students or groups during the launching phase because all students need to learn these routines that lead to independence. 

My students know that unless they are sick, bleeding or having to use the bathroom (and we use sign language for that), they cannot bother me. It may sound harsh to an outsider, but when it comes down to it, I ask myself what I want the students to do. I want them to become independent so I can work with a student or students.

Step #9: Use a Quiet Signal to Bring Students Back to the Gathering Place-
Stamina will break down rather quickly at the beginning of the year, especially with younger students. You'll know when this happens because students will get "antsy" and when you observe "undesirable" behaviors. When this happens, use a quiet signal (that has been introduced and taught first) to call the students back to the gathering place for a check-in. This will take more time to do at the beginning of the year because students are learning these routines. 

Some quiet signal suggestions include a train whistle, chimes, a bell, a wand or anything else you can find (more discussion on this later in the book).

Step #10: Conduct a Group Check-In; Ask, "How Did It Go?"
Reference the I-Chart when students are gathered for a check-in. As students look at the list of desired behaviors for that Daily 5 choice, they self-reflect and "grade" themselves based on how they did during the round of practice. You school may already use a uniform grading system that you can easily implement with this check-in, or you can use a "thumbs-up" or "thumb to the side" method. Review each desired behavior, and students rate/grade themselves. 

You may want to ask your students to create a goal for themselves for the next round (or it may even be a class goal). How you do this is up to you.  

After the check-in, decide if your students have the stamina to practice for another round. On a typical day (in the beginning), 3-4 practice sessions occur. These can occur throughout the day, not just during the literacy block. This is, of course, determined by you and your students' stamina. 

My Final Thoughts:
I've found that these 10 Steps that lead to independence can (and should) be used anytime you want your students to become independent at something. I changed up my math stations this year, and at first, I just assumed they would know how to be independent because they've been doing the Daily 5 for so many months. Um....big mistake!!!! After some reflecting, I realized that I "assumed" they would be independent during math stations, but I never actually went through these 10 Steps. Needless to say, I learned my lesson (yet again), and my students are now working independently during math station time. 

Be sure to comment (and/or link up if you have a blog) to let me know what you think of the Ten Steps, or how you use them in your classroom! If linking up, please use the two images from the top of this post.


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Daily 5, Second Edition Book Club, Chapter 2

Thanks to all of you who have read the previous week's post! I've had some great conversations with colleagues. Wendy (from Read With Me ABC) and Gwen (from Learning with Mrs. Brinnlinked up great posts as well. I am thrilled to continue this online book club, meet new people, gain new perspectives and continue on my journey of Daily 5 learning and implementation! So, here we go into Week #2!

Our Core Beliefs: The Foundations of the Daily 5

In this chapter, six of the seven core beliefs are discussed (the seventh is discussed in Chapter 3). These core beliefs are the foundation for The Daily 5. Below is a summary of these first six core beliefs.

Trust and Respect:
Do you respect and trust your students? Think about it? Do you really respect and trust ALL of your students? What about "those" students? You know, the ones whose actions (or inactions) make you want to pull your hair out? What do you do with them? Do you respect and trust them?

According to Boushey and Moser, the Daily 5 works when we trust ALL of our students. This does not mean we just walk into our classrooms and all of a sudden have trust in all students. What this means, however, is that trust can be built as a result of explicitly teaching and practicing expected behaviors that are gradually developed and self-monitored by students over time (how to do this is discussed at great length in Chapter 3).

We also have to know that, although we may have taught students  (and practiced) how to be independent learners, there will always be a few who do not have the stamina to sustain independence. It is up to us to continue to work with these students in order to help them build their stamina that ultimately leads to independence. It is our responsibility to not give up on students who are not as independent as others. These students should not be thought of as mischievous. Instead, they just need more practice, support and time to become more independent. Sometimes, we have to take it day by day, giving more support to some students than others. Instead of giving up when you "think" some of your students will never get to the level of independence you'd like, take a step back and reflect. What type of support do they need? What can you do to help these students achieve a greater level of independence?

Sometimes, it's as easy as privately checking in with them to see what their plan is for Daily 5. Or, you can bring those few children back with you for an early check-in. But, what you can't do (if you want the Daily 5 to be successful in your classroom) is give up on these children. All children deserve your best! 


It's never too late to start turning your classroom into a community of learners. I know my colleagues and I spend a great deal of time, at the beginning of the year, building a true learning community. Throughout the year, we use daily "proactive" circle meetings (as part of Restorative Practices that we are all a part of) to build and maintain community. When you have a strong classroom community, students begin to self-monitor themselves as well as help to maintain community among others. When Daily 5 check-ins, Read-to-Someone and other work among students during other Daily 5s occur, this helps to maintain and grow a healthy classroom community of learners. It's not unlikely to hear a more advance reader asking a less advanced reader if he/she would like "Coaching or Time?". It's also not unlikely to hear writers complimenting and helping each other. I smile every time I look around the room and see these little miracles taking place. 

There is a lot of current research that says choice is motivating and beneficial to students. This, after all, is the cornerstone of Daily 5, according to Boushey and Moser. Choice is not something that is just given to students. They have to earn it, after much instruction and practice. On page 26, Boushey and Moser illustrate their "Learning Line". This shows their progression of their literacy block development throughout the years. They've gone from having their students do seat work, centers, workshops and finally Daily 5. Their trust, choice and respect of their students has increased as they've moved through this progression. 

I know what you are thinking..."I'm not ready to give up control". This was the hardest core belief for me to embrace!!! For years, I said I was "doing the Daily 5", only to design and use elaborate planning boards where I displayed the students choices. I felt that, as long as they were going to a variety of Daily 5 activities, they would be happy (and things would be orderly). I had such a hard time giving up control of where they went/what they did. I always thought things would get out of control, and I am a little OCD find comfort in control. I think we all do. When I took the Daily 5/CAFE grad class last year, one of our assignments was to give up control. So I did, and you know what??? I never looked back, AND my students and I are still alive! My students LOVE getting a choice of what Daily 5 to do. Even though they have to do Read to Self and Writing each day, they still get to choose the order in which they do them. And, they also get to choose that third Daily 5. My best advice to you is to just.....LET GO and GIVE YOUR STUDENTS A CHOICE!!!
Just more keeping up with planning boards!!! That, alone, is motivation!

No, this does not mean giving your students a "learning center" contract. This also does not mean checking off the activities your students complete throughout the week. This does mean, however, that both you and your students need to be held accountable for what goes on during The Daily 5. We, as teachers, are accountable to explicitly teach our students exactly what we want them to do during this time (all 5 Daily activities). This means, we need to teach them what each looks like, sounds like and feels like to do each of these five tasks.  It is also our responsibility to hold brief meetings with students when we notice a break-down in independence or routines. During these meetings, problems are addressed and expectations reviewed and practiced. Sometimes this is done with a student, a small group or the whole class.

Students are held accountable for choosing where they sit during each of the Daily 5 activities, the level of noise that occurs, selecting meaningful writing topics and just-right books to read and sustaining engagement in each activity.

Brain Research:
According to what various researchers in the field of brain research has found, the time a child will pay attention to direct instruction is related to that child's chronological age. So, if I do the math correctly, a typical first grader can pay attention for an average of 6-7 minutes. WHOA!

Upon first hearing this information, Boushey and Moser did not buy it. They, like most of us, took pride in their teaching. They couldn't understand how some researcher could say how long their students could pay attention, especially a researcher who didn't even know them (or how engaging their lessons were). Well, they decided to prove the research wrong. Boushey and Moser decided to video record their whole group literacy lessons each day. As they reviewed the recordings, they were very much focused on the content of their lessons/reflections on their teachings. 

When they decided to turn on the volume to focus more on the children, they found that, after about 7-8 minutes (they taught 4th grade), they were beginning to observe several students exhibiting off-task behaviors. They were believers from that moment on!

During a conference where Regie Routman spoke, Boushey and Moser learned about the 80/20 concept. In the past, it was common for direct instruction to take up about 80% of the time, with student practice taking up the other 20%. But, in an effort to be more effective, Routman suggests switching to 20% direct instruction and 80% student practice with the concepts taught. 

I laughed when I read about the "spray and pray" method of teaching. That is when you "spray" students with a lesson because the teacher manual tells you to. Then, you "pray" that it sinks in. Oh my, have I been there! 

Also discussed under this core belief, is the importance of practice. As I discussed in the previous chapter, if you want to get better at anything, you need to practice. The same holds true with reading and writing. Students need lots of time to practice, with timely/focused "coaching" on what they need. 

In Figure 2.2, on page 31, there is a very graphic explanation that shows how time spent reading increases students achievement. We need to take this knowledge and apply it to our classrooms/teaching. We must increase our students' reading time (with "just-right" books) each day, while keeping our focus lessons brief.

Transitions as Brain and Body Breaks:
Prior to developing and using the Daily 5/CAFE model for literacy instruction, Moser and Boushey used a workshop model (like many of us currently use). However, they did notice, that after an extended length of work time, their students needed a change of pace. Their students would get up to get drinks, ask to use the bathroom, etc. After reflecting on this, they realized that if they broke up the long work sessions into shorter sessions with movement and short lessons in between, that would provide students with the movement they needed.

The Daily 5 is made up of 2-5 different workshops in a day. Each workshop is called a "round", and it runs for the amount of time students have stamina in order to work independently. The length of time for each round varies, according to students' stamina. At the beginning of the school year (and with younger students), until stamina is lengthened, there may be 5 rounds in a literacy block. With older students, or once stamina is lengthened, there may only be 2 rounds (but they are longer). When students clean up their materials and walk to the large group area for a "check-in", that provided the change of pace and movement students' brains and bodies need. These breaks are also the perfect time to teach a short, focused mini-lesson before moving to the next round. 

According to Boushey and Moser, there are many benefits for transitions during Daily 5. These include a physical break from a work session, kinesthetic movement that brains and bodies need before continuing to work, a brain break to allow for refocusing and a natural time to provide another short mini-lesson. 

Are you concerned about all this movement that is about to take place in your classroom? Are you thinking of noise and kids running wild and your children being transformed into little monsters?
Well, rest assured, these transitions can and will work. But, you need to teach your children how to make these transitions. We do this by following the 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence (as described in Chapter 3).

So, What Now?
Now that you've read Chapter 2 and you've read my post, what are you thinking about? Comment on any (or all) of the following: 
1. What are 3 big ideas you took away from this chapter?
2. Do you use a workshop approach, or have you started to try the Daily 5 approach to your literacy block and instruction?
3. What transitions do you already use with success in your class?
4. Have you had any success so far with Daily 5?
5. Are you ready to offer your children choice? If you've already started, what are your thoughts and experiences? If you are not ready, what are you afraid of?
6. What are your other "burning questions"?

Freebies and Resources:
Click Here for a bunch of brain break ideas you can use anytime throughout your day.

Click Here to visit The Daily CAFE (the official Daily 5 and CAFE site).

Click Here for some transition ideas from the amazing Dr. Jean. These can be used throughout the day.

Looking Ahead:
Next week, I'll summarize and discuss the main points in Chapter 3 (The 10 Steps to Teaching and Learning Independence).

Comment or Link up!  Blogging continues to be an ongoing journey for me, as I constantly learn new ideas and techniques. Last week, I tried a link up option for the first time. Thanks to Wendy and Gwen for linking up. I didn't see those cute blog thumbnails on their link ups, so I did some more research and learned that I actually had to choose that option (you live, you learn). So, I did for this week. Please leave a comment or link up (if you have your own blog). If linking up, please use the image from the top of my blog somewhere in your post.

Thanks for joining!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Daily 5, Second Edition Book Club-Chapter 1

Thanks for stopping by to join in on The Daily 5, Second Edition weekly book club. I am so excited to host this weekly online book club on one of my all-time favorite teaching books! I was so thrilled there is a second edition, and I’m excited to dive deep into it with you. This first week’s post will be the longest because I want to introduce myself and give some background on WHY I chose this book to study.

So, let’s get started!
Some Background Info on Me
I'm currently in my 13th year of teaching 1st grade, and I’ve been a teacher for a total of 17 years (pre-k and full-day K too). I’m married to a middle school teacher, have three little boys and an old cat! Blogging and reading professional research (in articles or in books) help me to stay current in my profession. I am passionate about staying current in education and talking with other teachers about all things teaching-related! This is my 2nd time hosting a book club on The Daily 5. The first one was a few summers ago, and it was a real book club (not online). This time around, my life is a bit busier, so I thought an online book club would be a better option. 

So, WHY The Daily 5?
During the summer of 2006, I was working on plans for the upcoming school year. When I went to to find a few new books, I saw The Daily 5  (by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) was a book that was recommended for me. I clicked on the book's description to find out more, and I was intrigued! Let's just say, the hook that got me was the fact that I may never have to laminate and cut out another stupid holiday-related center game again!!! So, of course, I immediately ordered the book and the rest is history! This book has literally changed (and continues to challenge/change) the way I teach! So, let's take a look into Chapter 1, shall we?

Chapter 1: That Was Then, This is Now: How the Daily 5 and CAFE Have Evolved.
This chapter starts off with a quote from the amazing Regie Routman. It states, "The typical teacher has children doing a lot of 'stuff'. How is what I am having children do creating readers and writers?" (page 1). Wow! That's powerful...think about that for a moment! Do you ever think about what you are having your children do? 

Differences in This Edition:
The "Sisters" explain, in this chapter, the differences in the first version and this current version of the book. One of the most significant changes is the fact that they do not do ALL five rounds of Daily 5 every day. I always wondered how to fit all those rounds in! There is also differentiation between using Daily 5 with younger and older learners. The suggested order of sequence of when Daily 5 activities should be introduced has also changed. After introducing Read to Self, Work on Writing (not Read to Someone) is the second one to be introduced. In addition, Math Daily 3 (their structure for the math block) is also included in this edition (yeah).

Does This Sound Familiar?
The "Sisters" explain how their teaching has evolved over the years. Every time I read this, I am reminded of how my teaching used to be as well. I'm still not where I want to be, but things are definitely better now. They explain how their teaching used to basal-driven, their students worked quietly on all sorts of "busy work", both at their desks and at one of many centers, during the reading block. At the end of the day, they were exhausted from "putting out fires" during this time. In addition, they found themselves dreading the time they needed to spend in order to check every piece of paper their students completed during this time. Oh, my, this hit home the first time I read this!!!

That Was Then, This is Now!
Boushey and Moser explain, that through extensive research and work with many of the top reading "gurus", they started to really learn what children need to be doing in order to become better readers and writers. While working with Margaret Mooney,  they learned that students should be engaged in "simple" acts of reading, rereading, reading to others, responding to reading and writing. Like most teachers I know, they thought this sounded too simple. It does, but it IS what students need to do to become better readers. There is so much quality research to back this up! And, in the end, it is common sense. For example, if someone wants to become a better runner, that person has to practice running. Well, the same holds true in our classrooms. If we want students to become better readers and writers, they have to practice actual reading and writing (NOT activities ABOUT reading and writing). 

I loved the chart that explicitly showed how their teaching (and management) of students has evolved throughout the years, and I thought the "Learning Line" chart was a great snapshot of why Daily 5 is effective. 

So, How Does This All Work?
First of all, I have to remind you that if you do not yet have the Daily 5 structure up and running in your classroom, you can begin tomorrow. You DO NOT have to wait until next school year. When I took the Daily 5/CAFE grad class last year (in January), I started the Daily 5 over in my first grade classroom. It was fine. So, don't be scared! You can do it....tomorrow! 

The chart that displays the five rounds of Daily 5, with CAFE focus lessons between each one, is what your literacy block may look like in the beginning of the year (after all of the Daily 5 choices have been taught). The charts on the next few pages show what a typical literacy block will look like about 8-12 weeks into the school year. 

There are also two non-negotiables that I think are important to mention. Each day, it is suggested that students must do Read to Self and Work on Writing. Students do enjoy choosing the order they complete these in, and they also get to choose a different Daily 5 activity for their other round. If time permits, students can choose from the other choices as well. 

What About CAFE?
CAFE is the title of Boushey and Moser's book that complements The Daily 5 (both editions). If you are familiar with CAFE, you know it includes focused strategies for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary. These lessons take place in whole group sessions and small group/individual sessions. CAFE holds the content for what skills/strategies should be taught within the framework of The Daily Five. When the students are working on Daily Five activities, the teacher is also incorporating these strategies in small reading reading groups or individual conferences. I suggest you go to The Daily CAFE site to learn more about this. Or, better yet, buy the book. The "Sisters" created the CAFE. 

The beauty of The Daily 5 framework is that each section of your literacy block can stand alone. With all sorts of schedules that we have, we don't all have a two-hour uninterrupted literacy block. Each section consists of a focused literacy lesson, followed by a round of Daily 5. You can easily do a section, then go to a special (or lunch, etc.), come back and do another section. I think that's genius! I love the flexibility this framework offers.

So, What Now?
Please answer the following questions (either in a comment or link up your blog-directions are below):
*By the way, this is my FIRST time having a linking up option, so please link up if you have a blog. If I have one link-up, I will be thrilled :)!

1. What should we know about you?

2. How did you hear about The Daily 5?

3. What experience do you have with implementing The Daily 5? If you are not currently implementing it, do you plan to try this year?

4. Does what you have your students do, during your literacy block, resemble the "before" or "after" description of Boushey and Moser's classrooms?

5. What is one thing you read about, in Chapter 1, that you think is most worth remembering?

6. What is one change you are ready to make in your teaching?

Fun Stuff:
As a thanks to you for joining this book club, check out the helpful websites and FREEBIE I linked up for you.

*The Daily CAFE (the "official" website for Daily 5 and CAFE)

*Daily 5 and CAFE video (see it in action) 
There are a lot more videos you can check out on youtube!
*Daily 5 Posters and Editable Charts (FREE on TPT)-created by Sister Teachers East Coast

(everything offered that is Daily 5 or CAFE related needs to be FREE) 
You can find many more FREE products like this on TPT too!

Either leave a comment, or link up if you have your own blog! 
If linking up, please put "Daily 5 Book Club- Chapter 1" in your blog title, and use the 1st image from the top of my post somewhere in your post. Thanks!!!

Get Ready for Next Week: Read Chapter 2!

Clipart by Thistlegirl Designs, border by Jen Jones at Hello Literacy

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mentor Monday Linky-Analyzing Characters

This week, my friend Wendy, from Read With Me ABC, is guest blogging for Emily at The Reading Tutor/OG. Analyzing characters is the topic, and this is one that very timely for me since my first graders are currently working on this. 

We just created a chart in my first grade classroom that describes how readers analyze character traits. The "outside" traits are the ones we can see with our eyes. The "inside" traits are the ones we have to infer through a character's actions and dialogue. When discussing both "inside" and "outside" character traits with my students, they said that they like finding evidence for the "inside" traits because they have to do more thinking. They are so smart! 

Tomorrow, we will continue our analysis of Horton from both "Horton Hatches the Egg" and "Horton Hears a Who" as we gather evidence from each text to analyze his character traits. 

Aside from Horton, here are two of my favorite characters that I believe every primary teacher needs to become familiar with:

Scaredy Squirrel is a very anxious and very lovable character from the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt. He is scared about EVERYTHING, and he rarely leaves his tree for fear of the unknown. My colleague, Lisa, introduced this, as the series below, to me. Your students will LOVE Scaredy Squirrel and will connect with him!

Chester is another character in a series also by Melanie Watt. He is mischievous and full of himself, but so funny! He and Melanie Watt actually go against each other in these books. Your students will be fascinated with his antics!

I am so thankful to my colleague, Lisa, for introducing me to these two amazing characters! 

I can't wait to learn about other great characters. Don't forget to link up using the link at the beginning of this post. 

In one week, I will be hosting an online book club for "The Daily Five", Second Edition. Don't forget to order your copy today, and check back next Monday. I'm excited!