Friday, July 24, 2015

Daily 5 - Chap. 8

I was very curious about Chapter 8 in The Daily 5: Second Edition by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. I have known about Daily 5 for Literacy since the first book came out, but Math Daily 3 was all new, so I was excited to read this chapter to see what it was about.

I loved the statement that The Sisters shared from Van de Walle and Lovin. Math..."is about providing tasks and activities that engage students in the mathematics they are expected to learn." Its not about specific content. In this chapter The Sisters also talk about how many math books do not provide the kind of mathematics problem solving and activities that result in deeper understanding of math concepts. I could not agree more.  I have not used a math book in the last two years.  We have a math series that we can use as a resource, but the work pages were way too easy for my higher students and did not meet the language needs for my ELL students. I have abandoned it in favor of hands-on lessons that allow the students to use lots of manipulatives to solve problems and aide their thinking.

The Sisters use the gradual release of responsibility method in Math Daily 3 just like in Daily 5. I, too, use this method, but I will admit mine is usually within one whole group lesson and not broken up like in Math Daily 3. The Sisters suggest introducing a new concept whole group, then a round of Daily Math, then regroup and review the concept further, then another round of Daily Math, and then a brief independent work time on the concept followed by a third round of Daily Math. I struggle with this set-up a little bit for Kinders.  I would fear that my struggling students would feel disjointed with this layout. I worry that their little brains would have a hard time switching gears that many times in a short period. I could see this layout working better in the second semester of Kindergarten than in the first. So many of my students are learning how to be a student that I am not sure they would be able to handle it. Even with I-charts and frequent review, in May I still had students unable to work independently in math centers. I need to ponder this more.

Presently, I do one round of Math Centers a day. I have 10 centers that last for two weeks. The 10 centers are focused on skills the students already know and the 10 are differentiated into three levels. I am not sure that Daily Math 3 had enough differentiation built into it. Differentiation is an expectation my district has so that each student has their needs met at their level. Letting students choose their own partners in Math with Someone, as suggested in the book, is an area where differentiation would be difficult. Students who are working on identifying numbers 1-10 would have difficulty playing the same games as students working on identifying numbers 50-100. The above level students would be great models for the lower students, but the above level students would not not be challenged. 

These are pictures of Math Centers in action in my room. I use a variety of activities that I have found on TPT as well as open-ended activities. When I counted up the centers between the three parts in Math Daily 3, the total was 8 - so my 10 is not that far off. My organization and layout is just different.

A center from A Differentiated Kindergarten on TPT.

A center from Tara West on TPT.
Patterning cards I found on the internet.

Bear patterning cards from Scholastic.

Addition center created using dominoes and sandpaper numbers.

Another center from A Differentiated Kindergarten.

A ten-frame center from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.

Open-ended center with peg boards - excuse my finger.. 

Open-ended center with transportation manipulatives.

I wish The Sisters had put some Kinder specific suggestions in this chapter like in many of the Literacy Chapters. I found myself asking "How would this work in Kinder?" a lot. How does Math Writing look in Kindergarten? How do students write about Math when they cannot write words yet? How would I design this portion of the Math Daily 3 to meet the needs of non-readers and writers? I find myself wanting visuals and examples. I know my Kinders could draw pictures to show their thinking - but what are they looking at or using in order to do this?

As you can see, this chapter raised a lot of questions for me. It has made me think of my classroom, my teaching, and my students - which is great. It's when our thinking is challenged that we grow and learn. Even as teachers our learning is never done. What works one year may not work for the students the following year. Teachers have to learn to adapt each year to the new group of students. I have a lot of thinking to do!

1 comment:

  1. I was left wanting more from this chapter. I'm hoping The Sisters write a book dedicated to Math Daily 3!I think we all could use more ideas for each grade level and maybe more of a focus. I do like that it gives my students choice and independence so I can work with students who really need the help, but I might have to limit the choices based on student needs. I'm glad I wasn't the only one feeling this way about this chapter! I love your cars and am thinking I need to go back to Target's Dollar Spot and pick some up for activities!