Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hello Nerd!

So recently, one of my real life colleagues found my blog. At first I was worried until I realized which colleague it is and then I knew my secret was safe! The fabulous Mrs. A, over at Wild World of Teaching, is new to blogging but she is amazing. We have recently discovered that we are like peas in a pod in terms of our teaching philosophy. What's sad about that is, she will most likely end up teaching 1st grade instead of the 2/3 split she is currently assigned (we just don't have the numbers to justify a split in those grades). I'm really sad about that, especially now that I realize our philosophies are so similar. Again, she's new to the blogging world, but check her out. It'll be worth it, I promise!

After our reading training yesterday I was all fired up about Reading Street. They piloted two programs and I prayed this was the one they would pick. I am NOT a fan of scripted curriculum AT ALL but this one is really, really good. I can't believe I am about to admit my massive nerdiness here but I couldn't sleep last night despite being beyond exhausted so I spread out my Reading Street manuals on my bed and armed myself with a notepad and pencil and started thinking about how I could work this program.

I have wanted to do Daily 5 for a long time and have never had the guts to just DO IT ALREADY. And I want to...but now that same ole anxiety creeps in and I feel overwhelmed. There is SO MUCH to Reading Street that I don't know how I would break it down to use Daily 5. I thought about having Monday be a whole group day since much of the RS stuff is teacher-led the first day and then doing groups Tuesday-Friday with 3 rounds. BUT then I thought "how would I teach the story twice if I can't see all of my groups every day?!" and "some of the station activities are REALLY useful -- how will I ever use them?!"

So yeah. That panicky part of myself that makes me anxious and tells me that I just can't do it....has reared it's ugly head. It honestly seems like it would be SO.MUCH.EASIER. to just follow the program as aligned....but then another part of me says that even if I follow the suggested outline, there is still no way to get with every group every day because you need at least 20 minutes per group and I am just not going to have that kind of time.

It's irritating. I am a HUGE planner and I like feeling like I know what I am doing. I just don't know how to incorporate Reading Street with Daily 5. I know a lot of people do it and do it successfully. But I am feeling kind of lost since these are both new programs for me. I do have a Daily 5 training I am going to in August and I plan to ask them how to incorporate both because I do love the idea.

I'd love to hear how you successfully use Reading Street with Daily 5 if you have both (or other similar basal programs that emphasize small groups). I know I CAN do it (and tell that stupid little voice in my head to take a hike) but it feels like a daunting task and I'm not sure how to start.



  1. We use Treasures which is basically the same thing as Reading Street (I piloted both) and love using it with the Daily 5. I'll try to get my schedule and info on how I merge the 2 up on my blog. I think the key is keeping in mind that it is a resource.

    I've had people from my district stumble upon my little piece of world wide real estate, but my blog is much more obvious as to who I am in real life.

    ❤Jodi from...
    ★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
    Helping Teachers Get Organized

  2. We don't use Reading Street, but my principal recommended reading The Daily 5 this summer and we are going to do a book talk in the fall--I am wondering the same thing about how to incorrate it with Treasures because our principal is very by the book and we already have mandates to use the scripted program for 90 minutes (not as long in Half day Kinder). I love TD5 and even in Kinder I want to promote the kids choosing what they want to read, but I dont know how to fit it in.

    Funny about being discovered-- I totally keep my blog a secret from my colleagues except for one who also started her own blog.

  3. I will be trying to incorporate Daily 5 with Treasures (very similar to Reading Street) this year. This is our second year of having Treasure in our district, and my first with trying Daily 5.

    I know from last year's experience that I CANNOT meet with 5 groups in a morning... I CAN do 3 - 4. So we'll be having "Daily 3 or 4" in our classroom! :) I am working creating a choice/tracking sheet for my kids so that they can hit all the Daily 5 activities (read to self, listen to reading, etc.) multiple times during the week.

    I will go post my (proposed) schedule on my teacher blog so you can look, and maybe it will help. Check it out here: (general link to blog, as haven't created schedule post yet, sorry).

    BTW, I've been following you from my personal Google account for a long time, but I'm going to switch the "follow" to come from my teacher blog. Love reading you, keep up the great thinking and sharing!

  4. I haven't used Reading Street, but I can empathize with your anxiety. Your doing the right thing by studying ahead and thinking how you can use the curriculum most effectively. I've found that no matter how good the curriculum is the success depends on your second by second adjustments taking into consideration what the students bring to the lesson. Your concern and hard work assure that your going to do an excellent job when your students finally show up.

    Keep up the great work!

    William Smith

  5. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hey Sunny!
    I've been meaning to sit down and write a post about the Daily 5 all summer long. Hopefully soon. I use Scott-Foresman & The Daily 5 and I LOVE IT. The daily 5 isn't content, it's just your management system. So, here is a breakdown of my rotations:
    1. Mini lesson from Reading Street- Question of the day & Phonemic awareness activity
    2. Rotation 1
    3. Mini lesson- Grammar (or whatever the next page is in the teacher's manual)
    4. Rotation....
    Mini-lesson from reading street....
    and so on!

    I also throw in reading strategy mini-lessons from The Cafe Book (also by the sisters). Hope this helps a little. Send me questions if you want! :)

    You will love it and your kids will love it! I am the ONLY one at my whole school who does The Daily 5 so I feel your pain about starting the program. However, at EVERY conference, it's like I'm in some secret "daily 5 club" when I get to talking to other teachers that do the program. It's amazing- it will change your teaching!
    +Teaching Happily Ever After
    ~Creative Teaching with a Technology Twist~

  6. I've been wanting to tell you I love your crate seats. I wish my kids were small enough to make that work. SO cute and functional!

  7. Hi Sunny! I stumbled upon your blog. I love finding other 5th grade teachers! I actually wrote a blog post about this topic yesterday, and it might help! I think the key with Daily 5 is to make it work for your own class! It is amazing, and I know you would love it!

  8. Sunny,
    It stuns me to read your posts because it is like I wrote it myself. I too have been busy trying to plan for next year. Its a bit difficult though not knowing what I will be teaching. I have been working on my class website. I will post it on my blog later. Check it out and let me know what you think. BTW thanks for the kudos:)
    Mrs. A