My class is loving Daily Five! They are becoming voracious readers. We started a book challenge in November and we read 167 books as a class. Our goal is 700 by the end of the year. They are recording their titles and genres on their sheets (see my Book Whisperer post). I bought a giant thermometer at the Dollar Tree and plan to mark the amount of books that we read each month. The children have a visual of how we are doing as a class. I am also participating and have been making the time to read daily. (I usually save my novels for the beach)
I have been conferring with each child once a week. I downloaded an app called "Confer" and love it. The free version allows you to keep data for 10 children so I bought the full app. It is much better than using sticky notes or carrying around my fat binder. The children get excited when I sit down with my Ipad and confer with them about their reading. The app allows you to group students in many ways including levels, teaching points and strengths.
The children started writing letters to me each week about the books they are reading. I was apprehensive about having to write 22 letters each week but I now look forward to reading their reflections about the books they are reading. I have learned so much about my students' reading and writing through this process. I have several children share their letters during the week to model for the others. I did a lesson last week on "I wonder" questions and had my students collect their questions on a bookmark and use them in their letters.
I was very set in my ways and jumped into Daily Five at the beginning of the year. If you are sitting on the fence...take a chance! I have no regrets and I have never seen such enthusiasm about reading. I want my children to become life-long readers and I know that I am making a difference!
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