SO. I did it. I let them go. We ran Daily 5 in its entirety today... Overall, I couldn't be happier for our first go!
Here's what went down. I did NOT run reading groups today. I wanted to be available to assist with transitions and with Listen To Reading (since we have had very little practice with that). I decided to call each stop a "Round," so my kids know what they need to do for "Round 1" or "Round 2" etc... Now, let me explain a little. When I say they KNOW what they need to do, what I mean is the schedule would say something like this...
Round 1 - Meet with Mr. V
Round 2 - Daily 5 Choice
Round 3 - Daily 5 Choice
Round 4 - Meet with Aide
Round 5 - Daily 5 Choice
Today, like I said, I did NOT meet with them. I have an extra card that says "Daily 5 Choice" that I put in front of each "Meet with Mr. V" card. I highly recommend this. It was SO nice to be able to worry about where they were going, and not about the kids at my table. I will run groups tomorrow, so the kids will just get one less choice. They've got a checklist to make sure they hit all 5 choices on a regular basis, but they know they won't get all 5 every day.
I was SO impressed with their choices. Of course they were excited about the CD player and RAZ Kids on the computer, but I had kids that wanted to go to Work On Writing FIRST, and that made my heart smile... They're also getting VERY good at choosing partners for Read To Someone. I went around the room and asked the kids where they were going for each round. "Billy, where ya going? Read To Someone? Who are you going to read with? Ok cool!" type of thing... They were picking people they knew they would be quiet with, and they were picking people well above or below their own reading level. It's great to see my higher kids be such wonderful teachers for my lower readers... Here's 2 of my little angels who read quietly the entire time and didn't bother a soul. Ignore the dirty guinea pig cage.
I also LOVED this scribble story. My kids know that I'm tired of reading scribble stories that have been turned into roller coasters or mountains. This little guy took his scribble and turned it into a monster! It took him a bit of time to decide what it was going to be, so he didn't quite get to finish writing. They all have "Work On Writing" folders that they keep in their desk, so next time they can finish old writing.
Are you venturing into Daily 5 land? Have you set your kids free yet? OMG, it's wonderful... Love how it holds the kids (and myself) accountable for so many aspects of literacy, AND that it was WAY less prep than traditional centers!!