Boushey and Moser describe their evolution as teachers with honesty and that is probably what hooked me in the first chapter. Knowing that these "experts" admit that they made mistakes in their early years is very comforting and I respect them for being so open. Teachers SHOULD admit that they make mistakes. We are learners too and mistakes are there to help us learn. We always need to seek improvement.
In Chapter One the authors describe their ideal classroom. I agree with their ideas - teachers do need to avoid "busywork" and instill a love of learning in children so that they are "self-winding". Personally, I feel that child-led classrooms (with careful teacher guidance of course) and play based learning is the best way for children to learn. So already this book is suiting me well!
I'm going to be honest here too ... my class runs beautifully most of the time but there are still a few challenging students whom I need to cater for better:
- the pre-readers
- the ESL students
- the students who rush through the easiest job instead of extending themselves
- the students who has additional needs such a working memory difficulty or attention issues
My classroom schedule right now has 9am-10.50am for the English block. I also have one afternoon a week which I dedicate to Literature response (eg. drama, painting, craft).
9.00 - 9.15 Attendance' explain the day; 5 rostered students bring a book from home for Show and Tell.
9.15-9.35 Letters and Sounds (handwriting and phonics based on Spalding)
9.40 - 10.40 Literacy Time (Daily 5) (I have a support teacher come and work with 2 groups during this time and I work with 2 groups). The children do 3 x20 minute rotations - children choose their jobs however some of them I choose for them, such as Computer Turn or Teacher Turn. I've modeled how to do each station and talked regularly about what we are doing - I use the WALT, WILF, TIB framework for discussions.
- WALT - We Are Learning Today
- WILF - What I'm Looking For
- TIB - This Is Because
I want the children to understand that we are doing everything for a reason. When I catch a child off-task I ask them: "What are you doing right now to help you become a better reader?" This reinforces my message and hopefully links with the sense of urgency that Boushey and Mosey talk about.
10.40-10.50 is Sharing time. Children can read a book to the class that they have been practicing, share some writing or a drawing from a book. Most children BEG to be part of this and I think it increases accountability. Not everyone shares but I am encouraging the shy ones to stand with a friend.
I am looking forward to reading more of the Daily 5 to make my teaching more efficient and effective.
Hope you are all having a lovely day!