Monday, June 10, 2013

Relearning Good Reading Practices

Instead of free lunch we received these freebies during Daily 5.

I truly feel like I've been living in the dark. A little over a month ago I went to a local reading meeting where a teacher did a short presentation on Daily 5. I had never heard of it but I liked what a I heard so I came home and started a little investigating and found the information that the "Two Sisters" would be presenting in Rochester two weeks later. It took some work but a colleague and I attended the two day workshop. It was two days of sit and get but the time flew by. They were excellent presenters, each taking turns to share ideas, research, visuals, and stories. At the beginning when they asked where people were from and people started calling out Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont as well as other states and five providences from Canada I knew I had missed out on something but was so excited to be learning from the experts. 

Saturday was all about Daily 5 and Sunday covered CAFE. I've been teaching for 30 years so I've been through Whole Language as well as Four Blocks with Fountas and Pinnell. My first year as a reading teacher was the year the sets of books were put away and replaced with a basal series. I was so happy that I was out of the classroom. I was also very pleased that I did not have to use the basal with my students. However, I feel like I really flounder and need a direction. I think the Daily 5 and CAFE model are going to improve my instruction next year. 

Gail and Joan shared research with us and I have begun to read some of those articles. What do struggling readers need to improve? Of course, they need to be reading! Duh! Trust me, I'm embarrassed to admit this but, my students have not been doing a lot of reading when they've been with me. Things will be different next year. I feel like learning about Daily 5 and CAFE have brought me back to my roots and what I know about good teaching. I refuse to get sucked into the test prep frenzy next year. I know better.

For the first time in a long time I'm excited about next year! Stay tuned for updates. I plan on using this blog as a place to track my progress and learning as I tweak this structure and make it my own for my reading students. 

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