Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Year of Conversion; Letting Go and Embracing

For the past five years, I have lived and breathed the daily five workshop model in my kindergarten literacy block.  I have promoted the love of reading amongst my kinders, modeled routine, encouraged choice, and supported my students at their level.  Were ALL of my students growing in reading to the exact level I wanted them to?  No.  But, did I feel comfortable and confident in the workshop I was using? Yes.  In the spring last year when our literacy committee presented our new curriculum; the Lucy Calkin's Workshop Model.  I was excited to grow as a literacy teacher, but nervous to hear that I would be letting go of the structure that I had put so much time into and that had become near and dear to my heart!

5 Things I've Realized:

1. LET IT GO!!! ~But how do you let go of familiarity, routine, and something you like?  This has been something that I have had to learn to do this year.  While I may not be convinced or partial yet to one over the other, I have found piece in letting go for the time being.

2. Don't create your own combination workshop model.  As teachers we are so used to modifying, creating, and modifying some more in every lesson we teach.  I have learned that in order to do the Lucy Calkin's method justice, I can not modify the structure and hold on to pieces I liked from Daily Five.  Again.......Let It Go!!! I've realized I need to have this frame of mind at least for the first year and then I can re-evaluate.  Plus who has time to juggle multiple components from multiple workshops.  Certainly not me or at least not in an effective manner.

3.  Be open minded.  Maybe all these years I have been setting limitations on my kinders with only building there reading stamina to 10-12 minutes, because that is how much time I had for each rotation.  To my surprise, 5 year olds CAN read for 20-30 minutes!  With that being said.....they MUST have 10-15 books at their disposable as well as other materials like poems, alphabet cards, and sight word practice.  Most of these materials need to be at their level as well as high interest level pieces....tricky I know!

4.  Partnerships can really expand your students as learners.  The discussions and dialogue my young students have done this year during turn and talks and reading partnerships have been impressive and enlightening.  

5.  There is just not enough time in the day!  Fit in a solid word study, mini lesson, independent reading, mid workshop teaching, partner reading, shared time, shared reading, and interactive reading.  Sure piece of cake.....can I just teach reading, throw in some writing, and some socialization and call it a day??!!😜

Any of you out there that have been living Lucy Calkin's units of study model especially at the early elementary level, I welcome any suggestions that you may have!  5 Things that I question are to come next!