Monday, September 16, 2013

How I do Reading and Daily 5

Well, look at me......bloggin' 2 days in a row.  Woot Woot!!!!

As I was getting ready for the day yesterday, it occurred to me (as I know it has already occurred to many of you) that if I post what I'm doing BEFORE I do it (instead of after- like I usually do), then you may be able to use/do some of the same things........DUH!!  Why haven't I done this before.  

So, in light of this new is a peak at my week in reading and Daily 5.....

As mentioned yesterday, we use Journey's as our basal.  We read a story a week (this week, we are on Lesson 3, Destiny's Gift) and do different activities with it throughout the week.  Here is how I break it down:

Mondays- we listen to it on CD (because sometimes it's just fun to hear someone else's voice) while the kids follow along in their student books.  Then we discuss/I teach the vocabulary and target skills.  This coming week, the target skills happen to be character traits and antonyms.  With Journey's, there are 100 different things they want you to teach in a week.  I focus on a target skill in reading (character traits) and one in grammer/writing/language arts (antonyms).  We will eventually hit them all, so only doing 2 a week gives me time to really focus on the 2 main target skills.

Since today is the day I introduce character traits, I will use the wonderfully amazing and perfect product from Nicole Shelby over at Teaching with Blonde Ambition.  If you haven't started using her interactive journals yet, I highly suggest you jump on that bandwagon and ride it 'til the cows come home.  I have the one for 3rd grade reading and language arts.  She has made them for both subjects for 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  They. rock. my. WORLD!!!!
She has a section in this notebook dedicated to characters and we did this today.  Amazing.

Tuesdays- I read the story to the kiddos as they follow along in their student books.  I stop along the way and model my thinking as I read.  They just listen.  After we read, we discuss the vocabulary again.  We use them in a sentence.  We practice.  We also review what an antonym is.  I will give them a word, they give me the antonym.  This is a quick review (they will have work in their word work stations on Monday and Tuesday that dive a little deeper into antonyms).  Then, I ask them the discussion questions and we talk about the story.  The very nature of these questions are a review of character traits, so this fits right in.  I ask the question, give them 30 seconds to talk it over, then each table shares with the class.  There is always a sense of urgency in room 14.  We've got lots to do, and not enough time to do it :)  

Wednesdays- They read the book themselves, with their tables.  The team captain starts them off by reading a page, then they go in a circle, each person reading a page.  I like this arrangement because it promotes fluency.  By this time in the week, they have heard the story twice, from fluent readers and have an idea on how the flow of the story goes.  I give them 10-12 minutes to read the story.  If they get done before all the groups are finished, then they review the vocabulary as a group.  We then have a small review over antonyms.  What are they?  They give me examples.....this is short.  Then, as a whole group, we do a "go-chart" together.

A "go-chart" is something that many of you have seen before and probably use.  It's the "triangle, square, circle" chart.  Our 4th graders used it last year, consistently, and their scores were OUTSTANDING on our state assessments, so we really wanted to create a consistency between the STAAR (our state test) grades in using this "go-chart".  Here is what it looks like. 
The one we use in class is much prettier.....I made this one in 5 seconds so you could get the idea.
In the triangle, we put the characters on the left, the setting on the right, and the problem on the bottom line of the triangle. 
*this week, we will take a little more time on characters to discuss, again, more about character traits

In the square, we put the summary, the Beginning, Middle, and End.

In the circle, we put the solution to the problem.

We do this whole group, every Wednesday, for every story we read.  For the first 6 weeks, I will do this with them.  After that, I will expect them to do this on their own during this time. 

Thursdays- They read in pairs.  I pair them up very purposefully.  I never put two struggling readers together.  This is a good time for my struggling readers to hear, yet again, a fluent reader.  Then, after they finish, we all come together to discuss the story for a final time before we test tomorrow.  We will review the target skills (character traits and antonyms) and discuss the vocabulary one more time.  By this time in the week, they should know the story backwards and forwards.

Fridays- They read the text one last time, independently.  I give them about 10 minutes.  Then, they have a test over comprehension, vocabulary and antonyms.......20 question total.

**Daily 5**

The rotations that I have for Daily 5 are: Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Teacher (book club), Word Work and Listen to Reading.
This was a {freebie} from Second Grade Discoveries.  Click on the pic and it'll take ya right to her store!
Read to Self- My kiddos have a book box with their number on it and "good fit" books just for them.  
I got the book box labels for $1 on TpT.  Just click on the pic!
They have 2 chapter books, a picture book, and one book from our school library.  Our reading curriculum, Journey's, has vocabulary readers that come with each lesson.  I have the kiddos keep a vocabulary reader in their book box so that they can see the vocabulary, in context, in another story.   

Work on Writing- Right now, this station is for "reading response" type of writing.  We work on writing summaries, problem/solution, cause/effect, etc.  I am using my Writer's Workshop time right now to go over the basics of writing (periods, capitals, spacing, etc.) so we aren't writing stories just yet.  When I do finally get my Writer's Workshop up and going, my "Work on Writing" station will be an extension of Writer's Workshop.  Did that make any sense?!?!?!?

Read with Teacher- This is where my kiddos come to me and we do book club .  I posted about that yesterday. 

Word Work- Here is where my kiddos work on spelling/vocabulary/and whatever else I need them working on :)  This week.....they will work on antonyms over at this station.  On Monday and Tuesday, we will work on antonyms.  I have a few recording sheets where they have to look at a picture and give me the antonym to the picture.  They will have to write sentences using the antonyms of the images that I give them.  Any practice with that skill will be in this station. 

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, we always do our spelling sentences.  I am a HUGE believer in the power of handwriting.  I won't get on my soapbox, but I will just tell you that there is TONS and TONS of research about what handwriting does to the brain.  Our kids need to be writing, using their spelling words, if we have any hope of them remembering them, and using them later.  I realize it sounds old school, and not so "cutesy", but it's proven to work.  And my kids are rockin' those spelling tests!!!

On Fridays, I don't do Daily 5, because we are assessing and doing our "Poem of the Week".

Listen to Reading-  I am such a fan of this station (and not just because it takes no prep time from me.....although that does sweeten the deal a bit). 

Kids need to hear fluent readers.  They need to hear the structure of the English language and what good reading sounds like.  I always have 2-3, sometimes more, ESL kiddos in my classroom and this station moves mountains!!  Just hearing the language does so much for their vocabulary and their acquisition of the English language.

My kids listen to Scholastic BookFlix or TumbleBooks during this station.  It's simply books on the computer.  They follow along on the screen, seeing the words as the narrator reads and they listen with headphones.  Easy peasy!

Whew.....that was a long one, but I hope it helps :)

Keep livin' the dream,


  1. Hi I really like how you use your basal reader. The students have so many opportunities to read the text. Do you also let the students bring the basal reader home to read or do homework? Thanks in advance

  2. Hi Mandi, My school has Reading Street and we have a story of the week also. Our weekly test does not test them on the story of the week, though. Does yours? I like how your kiddos read the story so many ways. I wish our weekly test was a comp test on the story of the week.

  3. How much time do you have to get all of that done each day?! We have the same story of the week and this upcoming year I want to start Daily 5! We only have 90 minutes! Help!

  4. I am currently trying to figure out a time schedule for my Daily 5...could you post what your schedule looks like as far as how much time you spend on each? Thank you!

  5. Hello! I love how you utilize your ELA block. I too am trying to figure out how to fit ALL of this teaching into my ELA block. I feel very overwhelmed, but I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel after coming across your blog posts - thank you! We do reading street at our school and daily 5, cafe, and DSA. I am trying to figure out the best way to schedule and fit all of this in each day!!! If you wouldn't mind sharing your schedule as to how you work with the basal reader and daily 5 each day, I would be so grateful!
    Thank You! Caitlin