Where did she go???

Sunday, November 27, 2011
I know I should take a trip to the thinking desk and think about why I have been such a bad blogger. But honestly, I know all the reasons why. The biggest reason is that I want this blog to helpful and positive and those are two words that have been SUPER far away from my vocabulary lately. See this year has been the MOST challenging yet. I am working with a WONDERFUL teammate across the hall and we are doing some of the most wonderful things but positive and helpful have been hard adjectives to be this year.

I have been using the following things for too long as reason why we can even attempt certain things, so for the last time EVER here are my excuses:

  1. Of 20 children 11 of them turned 5 in May, June and July. 
  2. They are so desperately behind!! Only a handful came to school being able to pick out their name, and of that handful only a few can WRITE their name
  3. I have 3 MAJOR behavior problems- read children who are violently attacking others, themselves and are a major disturbance to the class
Did you see that last one? Ever been that adjective? Well I still am overwhelmed but I spent some time over hte break to see how far we have come... and it's been a long way baby!!  I can't do anything about when birthday's fall or the behavior of a child when they enter school but I do know how to get them moving forward, even if it seems like we are stuck in park! So while I am feeling better about where we have come from I am still overwhelmed and could use some help... so I am appealing to the blogging world to offer your best advice!!

I am preparing to start the Daily 5 with my kids. We are going to work over the next 3-4 weeks (until Christmas break) on read to self. It might sound long, but these kids are going to need this baby steps and when they blow me away, we will add read to someone ;) Now we have been working on whisper voice and what that looks like while I pull one or two back to my table. With the young age has some a lot of squabbles that I am not used to having so we have been working on "school manners". Think how you listen, how you ask for something, how you sit next to someone with out disturbing them, etc. So we are starting to get a quite voice (#1 whisper voice- we have a school wide system). So here is what I need help with... I need advice on what materials to have in the kids book boxes, they know only a handful of letters and maybe 3-4 sight words. I don't have a TON of extra time on my hands because I am working on my masters. Suggestions... battle scars you want to share... or how about things you learned while starting Daily 5??


  1. I recommend familiar books like Brown Bear or song books. I have accumulated a bunch of board books and we use those a lot, too (they usually have very simple text). Read a bunch of the little books and give them out each day. I let mine trade one book with a friend at the end of each RTS session at the beginning of the year. Then I let them reread their books from reading group. We also put in some of the easy paper books that we make (printed off from the internet). I also coach them to reread if they finish before time is up (we talk about how rereading makes you a better reader). Good luck! I love Daily 5!

  2. At least you youngest 11 were summer birthdays, my youngest 11 turned 5 in Sept, Oct and November. I can't wait until they phase in 5 by Sept 1 to enter kinder... Good luck with daily 5!

  3. I hear you! I don't have as many young or low ones, but I was also "blessed" with three MAJOR kiddos, too. The kind that no teacher should have to have more than one of. Fortunately, the mom of one pulled him out to go to Montessori K (I was bummed that I felt we were "giving up" but relieved to pull some of the weight off of my shoulders). So I have two MAJOR behavior issue kids, 15 boys and 6 girls (NOT a good ratio) and a class with very little self-control. Let me tell you, when I'm in there, it is Mrs. Smith's boot camp. When I have a sub, it is HORRID. My kids can handle about 10 minutes of read to self. Maybe a little bit more. I have them work up minute by minute to what they can do. Our anchor chart says: -Whisper voice or NO voice. -No chatting. -Sit like a reader. -Read the whole time. We started at two minutes and they earned a reward at 5 minutes and 10 minutes. Still haven't made it to 15.... We'll get there sister! Oh and if you want any advice about how I've been dealing with my behavior kiddos, email me at madeline.smith@gmail.com


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