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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Routines and routines

A couple of very quick announcements first:

1) This week's Education Buzz Carnival is up over at Bellringers. Even more great posts than the last time, and we all know how great the last time was!!

2) Most excellent blogger David Wisehart has posted an interview with yours truly on his site.

Now, on to business.

About a month ago, I came across a post by My Teaching Spirit about practicing the routine for small group activities with students on the first days of school. I thought it was great, as one of my weaknesses has always been finding the time and knowing HOW to do small groups. Her methods were clear cut and gave clear student expectations, and the kids got to see the RIGHT way to do it and the WRONG way to do it.

This morning, part of our staff development was a presentation on The Daily 5. This is a program, mainly aimed towards reading, that our district is mandating for K-2. The upper grades are encouraged to give it a try.

The presenters went over how to talk with the kids and get student-generated criteria for reading to themselves, and then we had 2 faculty members act out the RIGHT way to do it, and the WRONG way to do it.


It was nearly the same from blog post to presentation this morning! So either the blogger at My Teaching Spirit has independently developed her procedure and it just happens to be exactly like the Daily 5, OR she is familiar with the Daily 5 and has adapted the procedures from reading to her math class. Either way, it's a great demonstration that these procedures can be used for just about any subject!

I am looking forward to trying them out in my own class, as my goal is to get stronger in small group instruction. I even have a horseshoe table in my room for the first time ever! I'm hoping that's the first baby step in a long series of them.


Edna Lee said...

Small group work is so important yet sooo incredibly challenging to implement. Personally, I feel it's when some of the best teaching happens though so it's worth all the effort you must put in to familiarize students with the necessary routines. Good luck to you!

Mister Teacher said...

Thank you! I agree with your opening statement. My biggest worry IS implementing it correctly!