During the past few weeks we have been introduced to a new way of thinking about Literacy in the classroom, The Daily 5. We, as in the children, and us, the teachers. We are lucky enough to have a wonderful educator at our beck and call, Sue, who is modelling, teaching, mentoring and encouraging all of us to change our thinking and do things differently. We are experiencing success and lots of it, and it’s only week 3! Part of the change, for me anyway, is to take a step back from “teaching” and just watch.
While watching, I take notes, tally behaviours and get a feel for where my students need help. I don’t jump in, I try not to glare at disruptions and I try not to ‘fix’ their problems with suggestions of what they could read. This is hard, I’m a teacher, I want to teach, it’s what I do! At first, I felt like I was wasting time, I should be conferencing, guiding, teaching! But, I persisted. I watched. I tallied. I found patterns. I got to know my kids.
I have watched some of my students fall deeply into another world; Ancient China, Nazi Germany, a swamp, of all places and not want to come back to reality. These are our bookworms, the kids we don’t worry about, they get it, they have it, that love of reading. I have watched some of my students flick pages, swap books, walk around, distract others, look out the windows with no engagement. These kids will do anything to get out of reading, they just don’t enjoy it. Talking to my colleagues, they can relate, they were these kids. I was the bookworm. They needed to be hooked. Some of my kids, particularly my grade 6 boys need to find purpose and find something they really love, something they really WANT to read. For my flickers and fakers, this is the problem. They just can’t find that book that hooks!
I’m hooked! On observation. It will become part of my teaching and assessment. Thanks Sue, for making me take note, so to speak.