Monday, April 21, 2014

The Daily 5 Online Book Club, Chapter 6 (Foundation Lessons)

Chapter 6: Foundation Lessons-
Like all chapters in this book, Chapter 6 opens up with another great quote. It reads, "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." -Socrates

Wow, this is so true in many areas of my life. I'm sure you can closely relate too. 

As mentioned in the previous chapter, foundation lessons are used in the first few days (and also whenever needed) of teaching Daily 5 activities. In those first few days, students' stamina is not yet built up, and routines are just beginning to be taught. You will have gaps of time that will eventually be filled with literacy routines (Daily 5). Before any Daily 5 activity is to be taught, there are a number of foundation lessons that need to be taught (these work very well to fill those gaps of time). All of the foundation lessons follow the Ten Steps to Independence (as discussed in earlier posts).

For each of the Daily 5 activities, there is a set of recommended foundation lessons (discussed in this chapter and also in the appendix. Chapter 5 shines a spotlight on one (or more) of each of the recommended foundation lessons for each of the five activities. 

Read-to-Self Foundation Lessons (more in Appendix B):
The foundation lesson for "Choose a Successful Spot" is highlighted in this chapter. In the beginning, the teacher chooses students' spots for Read-to-Self. But, since students need to learn how to do this for themselves, they need to be taught how. 

Make an anchor chart with students, writing their ideas for what needs to be considered when picking a spot to sit in. Once the chart is finished, stagger the start (instead of having all students find their place at the same time). Don't forget to ring your chimes at the end of the round.

Work-on-Writing Foundation Lessons (more in Appendix C)
The foundation lesson for "Setting Up a Notebook" and "Choosing What to Write About" are the ones discussed at length in this chapter. 

Setting Up a Notebook:
It is highly recommended (and I strongly agree) that plain old composition books or spiral notebooks are used for Work-on-Writing. The pages don't come out (especially with the comp books), they are cheap (or free if your district/school has them already) and sturdy. In the past, I've used all kinds of things (including a number of "cute" stationary), and all it causes is a headache! Now, from time to time, adding some seasonal stationary is o.k. (IMHO). 

Choose What to Write About:
How many times have your students written about the same thing (mommy, daddy, who they are friends with, how everything is "nice" or "good"). Or, on the other hand, how many times have your students just sat there, wasting time, as they tried to think of something to write about? 

Boushey and Moser suggest teaching students how to write down ideas for their writing (right in their notebooks). I use monthly "writing prompt menus". These are introduced to the students at the beginning of the year (and they learn how to use them). Then, at the beginning of each month, new ones are introduced/read. My first graders use these daily, and they have been very successful. They really enjoy sharing what they wrote at our check-ins. You can find them right here
(FREE just until Tuesday). Please DON'T say you got these for free in my comments. That will get other customers upset. 

Read-to-Someone Foundation Lessons (more in Appendix D):
EEKK: This means "elbow, elbow, knee, knee". This lesson teaches students how they are expected to sit when reading with someone. I have found it does need to be repeated every few weeks.

Voice Level: According to Michael Grinder, the loudest voice in the room sets the noise level for the entire class (as written on page 93). Model a quiet, calm voice. Your students will do the same. They do need to be taught what type of voices are expected during this time. I limit the number of pairs who are reading-to-someone to 2 or 3 (depending on the students). That has helped with noise level.

Check for Understanding:
This skill is introduced on the first day of school, through read alouds, and it is reviewed throughout the year. Students need to be explicitly taught how to listen to their partner, how to read to a partner and how to check for understanding. As suggested in this chapter, I made check marks for my students. I made these oversized checkmarks out of red craft foam. On them, I wrote "Who?" and "What?" with a black sharpie. This serves as a reminder for how to check for understanding. 

How Partners Read:
Students have a number of choices when reading to someone. 
Same Book:
*I Read, You Read
*Choral Read
Different Books:
*I Read, You Read

How to Get Started:
Can you believe young children (or any age children for that matter) have to be taught how to get along, what to read and how to decide who gets to read first? 
Students need to be taught the following:
*Good manners (how to ask a partner to read)
*Let's Make a Deal (settling on what book to read first by making a deal)
*Rock, Paper, Scissors (winner gets to choose what book gets red first, who reads first, how book is read)
*Youngest First (youngest goes first, decides what it to be read/how it is to be read)
*ABC Order: Whose name begins with the letter closest to "A"? That person calls the shots. 

Coaching or Time?
Students need to be taught what to do if their partner gets stuck on a word (or words). This lesson is explained in detail on pages 97-98. I found helpful bookmarks (for FREE) here: Bookmarks

How to Choose a Partner:
During the first few days, the teacher chooses partnerships, but eventually (like with everything) students need to be able to do this independently. So, they need to be taught how to choose a partner. This is discussed at great length on pages 98-100. I've found this procedure to be highly effective. When my students do not have a partner, they simply read to themselves until a partner becomes available. I found it helpful to remind students who chose Read-to-Someone before each round begins. That way, if a student who did choose RS is busy with something, other students who also chose RS knows this and can read-to-self until that student become available.

Listen-to-Reading Foundation Lessons (more in Appendix E):
Set Up and Clean Up the Technology:
I teach my students how to set up our notebook computers (we have 4) in the morning. Then, when they are assigned the "Student of the Week", this is part of their responsibilities. They simply unplug each from their chargers, place them on our small table, open them up, turn them on, and find the website to be used. I LOVE Storia ebooks by Scholastic!
In any case, students need to be taught how to set up and clean up whatever technology you choose to use for this Listening.

Other foundation lessons include "Listen and Follow Along" and "Manage Fairness and Equitable Use" (see pages 101-102).

Word-Work Foundation Lessons (see Appendix F for more info):
Again, students need to be taught your expectations for set up and clean up of materials used. They also need to be taught what materials are available, their intended use and the words to be used (whether you want them to use sight words or spelling words, a specifically assigned list, etc.). They also need to be taught how to choose materials wisely and how to choose a successful spot to work in.

Wow! That was a lot of info, but I hope I jazzed it up a little with that those freebies (bookmark and writing prompt menu). The bookmark wasn't made by me, but I think it's useful. 

I don't have a link-up option this week, but feel free to leave a comment! I'd love to hear about any foundation lessons you think should be added, or how Daily 5 is working for you. If you have any ?'s, please ask!

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