Chapter 3 will be hosted by Melissa from Mrs. Freshwater’s Class Blog. I included the image came from her site because it’s so colorful! Make sure to click on her link to gather her teacher made goodies!  After announcing Mel’s family’s tragedy yesterday, I read today that she managed to post her comments about Ch. 2 and included her nephew as a tribute to his life. Click above to read her post, if you don’t follow her directly.

I’m going back to the Q & A Style that I used in Chapter 1 because it helped me stay concise  and to the point. I have a tendency to babble and go on and on, so this way I am sure to make it less boring for you.

Now here are this week’s framing questions:

1. What “rings true for you” in this chapter?

This chapter was filled with many of the same things I’m already doing in my class as far as routines go. I have our morning meetings where I debrief  the students on home learning, or other announcements, but not an official gathering place. I have a nice library available at all times for my students, but due to my constant classroom moving (yes, I do move classrooms within one school year) I only bring books that I have pre-selected according to the season, or holiday within a particular month, e.g., African-American History Month. But even if I had more books available that allowed for choice and a good fit, I’m worried that the students will change books before finishing the ones in their boxes. Someone on another blog suggested to have a schedule where the students could trade with other kids but only on specific days. I liked that suggestion and I think I can work on establishing my own rules about trading and setting up boxes for them.

I recently started using anchor charts with my students and I’ve seen the difference it makes. I had plenty of store bought posters that were colorful and quite pretty, but nothing can impact a brain like an anchor chart created with the students and their own ideas. Now relating to muscle memory, in the past I’ve had to re-teach routines when my class seems to need a reminder.  Nothing is truer than that mentioned regarding Michael Grinder’s research about storing memory in the different memory systems of our brains.. With D5 however, it’s going to take explicit modeling and practicing to ensure the functionality of the literacy block, so I will plan the first few weeks accordingly. I already my signal and check in system established, but I think I like the chimes idea better, so I’ll be shopping for those soon! I do have a huge garden gong, but that would rattle my nerves… 😀

2. How are your students progressing with picking appropriate books?

Since I haven’t done D5 yet, I can only say that I haven’t been particularly happy in how my students utilize my library. Some students pick a book because of the cover or pictures, but find that they’re too easy or too hard for them. I accept responsibility for not having the books labeled by lexile levels, so I’ll do that this summer. However, my biggest pet peeve is the ones that get a book, sit down only to stand up when they notice a buddy at the library. Obviously, it wasn’t necessarily a “bad fit” situation, it was more of an opportunity for them to talk to a buddy or just get up and goof off. So I need to really work on selecting appropriate titles, collect several copies of the same books and make better use of both my school and public libraries.

3. What (if anything) could help improve the processes from this chapter in your classroom?

I think I answered this question in the answers given above. I certainly need to make myself some anchor chart cheat-cheats to make sure that as we create them together, I’m sure to  include the specific tasks that they (students) must learn in order for D5 to work effectively.

Well that’s it for now folks! I’m going to go blog hopping again and see what other teachers are saying about Ch. 3. I admit that I’m a bit ruffled that my blog with WordPress is keeping me from adding a Linky to have other blogs listed on my page, but for now this one is FREE! If you want to join at any time just click on the above bloggers’ links and hook up that way!

Until Chapter 4,

Mrs. P