Saturday, 18 February 2012

Daily 5: the importance of modeling - week 1

I am lucky enough to be teaching in a very different classroom environment, it is a studio with students ranging from Year 4 to Year 8 and at NZC(New Zealand Curriculum) Levels ranging from 1 to 4. I also have two others teachers (we prefer Learning Advisors) with who I share guardianship and teaching responsibilities for all the students, and after experiencing co-operative teaching (more in a future blog) I already would hate to go back to single cell.

We decided as a school to use the Daily 5 to structure our literacy programme, for us one of the major advantages is that it is building independent learners who will weave their own learning pathway and allow us the time to guide individuals and really personalise their learning journey.

This week we started with Reading-to-Self, we split the students into two stage groups and two of us took each group. I found that the Daily 5 book is so detailed and explicit in how to structure and take lessons that as a teacher (and learner) I felt confident with the scaffolding provided. After each session we all discussed how things went and started to move students between the groups, as naturally some students where progressing faster than others. However the biggest joy of my week was seeing my students scattered around the studio, reading intently engrossed in their books. Moments like this are what make me love my job, and I am getting it every day now!

My biggest next step learning has been the importance of modelling, especially the correct / incorrect behaviours. I was working with a small group of our younger and lower stage boys who had been struggling to build stamina. They are easily distracted (some special learning needs here too) but I found the more modelling I gave, especially the incorrect / correct student modelling was very powerful, they are now up to 10 minutes of Reading-to-Self. Later in the week I was working with the higher stage group who had started on Working on Writing. The previous teacher had them up to 5 minutes and when I took them on Friday it all fell apart. Some students weren't ready with equipment, couldn't decide what to write, sitting to close to others, chatting . . . I was getting a bit frustrated. We managed 3 minutes (some are ready for longer and we are considering splitting them off into a new group) but mostly it was a mess. When I sat thinking about it during morning tea I realised I had completely forgotten to do any student correct / incorrect modelling, and it clicked. If they haven't experience what correct and incorrect looks like, sounds like and feels like, well then no surprise they fell into old habits. So my next step for next week in LOTS of modelling, and I'll let you know how that goes.

Some essential web Daily 5 resources are:

Do you have any advise or Daily 5 ideas to share?

Photo by alexandria.ann.