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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Debbie Diller Still Rocks!


I have spent the past 2 days at one of Debbie's conferences. She comes here every summer. I went a few years back, but wanted to get her take on the new math workstation book she published last year. She was also supposed to talk about adding rigor to workstations--you know I love rigor!!!!! :)

I know many people have jumped on the Daily 5 bandwagon in lieu of stations, and I've read the books and I can see how it could be effective, especially in primary/intermediate grades. But I struggle with how to effectively implement it in early childhood. Last year for example, I had one student out of 25 who started the year being able to read any words at all. Only about 40% of them knew their letters and sounds. I know they can do "read to self" and "read with a partner" by retelling, picture walks, etc. But I just find being able to move around to various workstations, getting that practice in all areas of reading, is a much more effective use of time in our class. 

I learned some new tips and got reminded of some things I knew I should be doing, but somehow there just aren't enough hours in a day. One of my favorite math activities was having a pic of someone the kids relate to like *sigh* Justin Beiber and having them count colored  unifix cubes for vowels and consonants. So Justin Beiber would equal 5 red and 7 blue-how many letters altogether--to practice math facts.

I love her spunk. She was even talking to the administrators in the room like she says she did when she was in the classroom--everything has be what's best for the students. If your administrators tell you to have your stations set up the 1st week-tell them to come do it for you-they'll see that's just not an effective plan. If you are required to use a basal reader, that's fine, but supplement with literature and poetry and all the things you know are important for your kiddos.

Even though it was how I spent my first official days of summer vacation (take that people who say we teach for our summers off!)--I was glad I attended. I'm inspired now to get organized!



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6 comments :

  1. This is a great post, I too struggled with how to implement daily 5 with kiddos who don't read yet. I did some adjusting amd made things work for me. I teach Pre-K and had 14 students last year. I started off by showing them ,repeatedly, how to do each "station" as a whole group. We would all read to self at the same time starting with 2 minutes and building to 15. When reading groups came around in January the class was all set to move through each area quietly and knew what was expected of them. I love daily 5 for pre-k with some adjustments and I also think Debbie Dilleer is awesome, wish she came to my city!
    Thanks,
    Christine
    www.thecrazypre-kclassroom.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment Christine. I'm so glad you make it work for you-sounds like you are creating really successful readers! :)

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  2. I absolutely LOVE Debbie Diller! I wish I could go to one of her conferences! I tried the Daily 5 & it simply did not work with my population of students. No one comes into my classroom reading, knowing letters, or even colors & shapes. Most have not had ANY lap reading time until they have gotten read to by me. They enter my door at about a 3 year old level, so I have found that work stations work great for me & my students. I just love how I can give them activities that are developmentally appropriate & help them make up for lost time! Thanks for this post! Sorry my comment is so long winded! ;)

    ~Jen
    Jen's Kinder Kids

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    1. Thanks for commenting! It's sad isn't it. I gave a set of the Pigeon books to a friend's 4-year old at his birthday party (because my students just love them). And he made a face when he opened them and just threw them aside. My friend explained-we don't really read with him, he likes movies, not books. :0 I have so many fond memories of my mom reading to us-it just surprises me kids today don't get that experience at all. (I ended up long-winded too! :)

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  3. I love that Justin Bieber idea! And now I'm your newest follower!

    Joell (who can't believe she used "love" and "Justin Bieber" in the same sentence!
    Totally Terrific Teaching

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  4. I'm so jealous! I love Debbie Diller! I purchased her math stations book earlier in the summer and have been working to get it ready to implement when we go back in a few weeks.

    I'm loving your blog! I'm headed to your archives now to learn more about rigor especially in writing. I don't feel like I do a good job teaching writing.

    ✪Crystal✪
    Strive to Sparkle

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