This chapter is titled "From 'Management' to 'Principled Habits': Foundations of the Daily Five."
Let's have a brief look at these Foundations:
Kids can't (or wont) learn unless they feel safe. Early in my teaching career a lovely older teacher whom I adore made the comment that her Preppies need to know that she likes them before they start to learn. Now that I have a 6 year old of my very own I see how she needs to feel confident with my love that she can have a try, get it wrong, and still be loved. It's the same in the classroom. The students need to know that if they attempt something new that I wont be mad and it's okay to make a mistake.
On the flip side, we need to trust the students. We need to know that they will make the right choices and do their best. Of course, this trust gives them confidence. What a wonderful win/win scenario!
Children need to have structures, routines and support. However, they are also individual little people with personalities, preferences and diverse needs. So there needs to be a certain amount of choice in the classroom to keep them motivated and engaged.
I remember reading about the Matthew's Effect - that struggling readers read less and good readers read more and thus the gap between the two gets wider and wider. We need to be ensuring that the struggling readers have lots of opportunities to practice their skills at their own level. They need lots of extra encouragement and support.
It is so important that a classroom is a caring community. One reason I can think of is that children who feel safe are more likely to attempt new skills and behaviours. In my classroom I do a lot of social skills teaching and encourage positive words and actions. I have a lot of discussions with my students about kindness. Circle Time is a daily event in my classroom. These little 6 year olds have so much to learn. It's not about me pouring information into their heads - it's about them feeling confident enough to use their talents to find out for themselves!
SENSE OF URGENCY
I like this idea. It's about giving the child the reasons for learning and expecting them to do it. It's about making the most of every moment. It's about empowering the child by putting them in control of their attitude towards work and making their own future. So in the Daily 5, each child knows the purpose of each task. They know why they are doing it. They know how that task is making them a better reader.
Here are some anchor charts I worked on with my class to develop a sense of urgency:
This is something my class needs to continue to work on. A lot of the children can read alone in silence now. However, it's the independent readers who are best at this and as we know already, these are not the readers who need the most practice! (Refer back to the Matthew's Effect). I still have those children who get up every two minutes to change a book or get a drink or whatever! So, I will use utilise their "Sense of Community" and start timing and graphing our class stamina.
STAY OUT OF THE WAY
Oh this idea is an absolute gem! Micromanaging the kids, too much praise and redirection just makes them reliant on you! This is not what we want - we want independent learners!
Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! :)