Saturday, July 21, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study Chapter 6

We're getting close to the end of our Daily 5 Book Study!  I've been enjoying the pace:  one chapter a week. 

There is so much information in each chapter, I appreciate taking in only one chapter at a time, and giving it time to process before I dig into more! The chapters are short, and I could have probably read several chapters in a day, but this Book Study has forced me to slow down and take one at a time.

Chapter 6 is about the last 2 of the "five":  Work on Writing and Word Work.

I have had extensive training in Writer's Workshop.  My school district goes way back to the days of Donald Graves and his work at the University of New Hampshire with the Writing Process way back in the early 1980s.  Teachers in my district were mentored by Donald Graves, and children in my district were lucky to have him model lessons in classrooms.  

Fast forward 30 years.  Now one of his mentees, Mary Ellen Giacobbe is training teachers in Writer's Workshop.  She has come to our school for all day trainings.  My students have been blessed by having Mrs. Giacobbe model writing lessons with them.  This woman is absolutely amazing!  She truly enjoys working with the children, and inspires them to want to be the best writers they can be.  Besides being in awe of her knowledge of children and Writer's Workshop, her book is one of the best I've found in the area of teaching writing.

Last year, my district was blessed by another mentor in Writing Workshop:  Ralph Fletcher.  He worked mostly with the upper grades, since Mary Ellen Giacobbe had already worked mostly with the primary grades, but he is truly a fascinating person, and it was an inspiring experience to work with him.

As you can see, my district is very much committed to the Writing Process for children.  I can see that my assigned writing time can be a part of my Daily 5, but I'm not so sure I'll be able to separate it as a Daily 5 choice for the children.  I will, however, commit to launching Work on Writing as detailed in the Daily 5 book, with some variations based on my Writing Process background.

Although I've never done Daily 5 before, I've most certainly had my students work on word work independently as well as with partners.  I do include work work as part of my guided reading, which is a great opportunity to introduce new materials and procedures which will later be used as independent word work.  By the time you get to the fifth step of the Daily 5, introducing Word Work to the children, they are quite familiar with the process, the I charts, what it looks like, what it doesn't look like, and building stamina.  Hopefully this step will be the easiest because of all the hard work that came ahead of this.

I've been enjoying reading about the Daily 5 and relating it to my own classroom.  Be sure to check out what these other teachers have had to say about the Daily 5!

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