- While I love the idea of students choosing what they work on, I don't like the idea of me teaching one type of lesson and students practicing something different directly after the lesson.
- I like the idea of minilessons, but there's the practice issue again...I tend to lean toward the "I do, We do, Y'all do, You do" lesson structure. If students are choosing what to do, they may not be practicing the strategy or skill I've just taught. Furthermore, I'm not able to walk around and work the ones who need the extra help because I'm with a small group.
- This is not really about Daily 5, but I don't believe that every student needs to receive their instruction in a small group setting. Aren't 80% of students supposed to "get it" in your Tier 1 instruction? So why have I killed myself in the past teaching small groups to 100% of the students? I could be way off base here, but I truly believe that the small group time should be used to pull strategy groups for the students who need them.
- I really like having Read to Self at a separate time. The atmosphere in my room is more calm and peaceful and more conducive to concentration. I've found that my small group instruction is a distraction for the ones who may have chosen read to self during that round. For me, I've found that conferring one on one with the students during this time is highly beneficial (maybe more than a small group). It also gives me a set time to actually conduct the conferences. (Check out this post about using Google Forms for keeping up with the conference records).
- With small chunks of whole group instruction spread throughout the LA block there isn't time to incorporate the "fun" activities...vocabulary headbands, those beach ball story structure games, carousel strategies for answering or responding to questions, etc...
So, it is with a sad but hopeful heart that I am jumping off my beloved Daily 5 band wagon. I still love it! I still believe in the power of student choice and will incorporate that in other ways. I still think it is FABULOUS for lower grades that have much more time for LA each day. And of course, I'll take many, many of the Sisters' ideas and still use them (CAFE, strategy groups, 10 steps to teaching independence, etc...).
But from now on, I'll stick with a modified Four Blocks framework, (done my own way of course). Stay tuned to see exactly what I tried this year and how I'll structure my LA block for next year.