Previously I have taught Years 4-6 and this year with Year 1-4s has been quite a learning curve. I was ready for the move and have found the first few weeks insightful and I am beginning to understand now the development of the full child - mainly the social and the fundamental skills. Now it is time for us all to dive fully into the reading programme. I have taught some very low readers before and have been fortunate enough to have worked with and guided by some great RTLBs and literacy experts. My background in linguistics and affiliation with the Canterbury Literacy association has led me to put my hand up to work with the very emergent readers in our habitat. It's a challenge I'm really looking forward to.
I had heard a lot about Daily 5, but had not read the book or followed the programme. I knew a colleague had tried it before, so I asked to borrow her book. She was more than happy to oblige, however gave it to me with a warning. She said something along the lines of, "I'm sure much of it you're doing already without even noticing. This is very prescriptive - it's worth a read, but I don't think it's necessary to follow it completely."
She was absolutely right - especially for the environment we are working in where flexibility plays a big part in our day.
The Daily 5 principles are: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work.
How might this work for me? I envisage some stations set up each week, based on the 5 principles. Each day children have to complete at least three. They have to complete each one at least once over the week. Self-direction is key to engagement, so I believe the children should be given some choice. They could be given a sheet at the beginning of each week with the names on it. Each activity has some smiley faces beside it. Every time a child completes that activity, they colour in a smily face. As long as they are spending some time on each of the key literacy principles through quality activities, I'm a happy teacher.
Ideas for stations
Read to Self
Read to Someone
poem on stage
Listen to reading
other online stories (two for week)
music with words
Work on Writing
letter formation hair gel bags
creating words from letters
self-planning (prior to workshop)
sight words games
letter/sound of the week activities
Will this be a reality? I will only know after spending some time with the learners.