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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Daily 5 vs Work Stations vs Workshop Approach

It is time for a New Year's resolution--decide which way to go--and get on with it!

  • The approach began with Workshop Approach and I really felt I was going in the right direction. I followed a great and brilliant teacher on ProTeacher who wrote as if she was sitting next to me and guiding me. If you haven't read Once Upon a Reading Workshop and you are wanting to be truly inspired, visit ProTeacher.
But...then she became a Mommy and has left the classroom. My inspiration vanished. Left.

  • Our district had a fantastic coordinator who came from a nearby state and held summer workshops. I attended every summer. We learned about Reading With Meaning, Growing Readers, The Units of Study for Primary Writers and others. Each summer we focused on a book. One week. Great inspirations.
But...then she retired and left our district. My inspiration vanished. Left.

  • Enter The Daily 5. I kept hearing about The Sisters. Purchased the book on my own. I then was able to join a study group in my district. We watched videos and talked and discussed and brain stormed and tried to implement portions of the idea.
But...I was too schooled on the Workshop approach=mini-lesson and independent work and small groups and etc.  I have tried to implement portions of the Daily 5/Workshop. I still can't seem to give my kids the freedom to choose an activity AFTER I just held a mini-lesson. I WANT them to work with the skills we have just touched on. I WANT them to utilize the information and practice and learn RIGHT THEN.

I feel as if I am swimming in a sea of ideas but not really doing what I feel totally comfortable with. I need to once and for all maybe choose which will work with my theories and beliefs and just go with it.

I have a student teacher starting soon--January! I need to appear show that I do have a path to teaching my first grade babies.

  • And then..there are all the wonderful ideas I gain from the Blog world and purchase from TPT. I print those wonderful work stations, laminate with my Scotch laminator, prepare them and them in baskets-----only to MAYBE have one or two groups get to the activities during the week.
OK--Please give me some ideas/help. I am going with a $10 gift card to Target for a random helper! I am ready to purchase your wisdom.  What works for you? Which approach works into your schedule?


  1. Teaching is all about balance, and finding what works for you and your class. Don't feel "boxed in" to strictly adhere to any one program, but sift through the materials, keeping only the elements that work for your students. Best of luck to you as you make these choices!!

  2. I, like you, have used the workstations and seemed to have a good understanding on where I was taking my kiddos. I, like you, jumped on the Daily 5 bandwagon. I like Daily 5 for the fact that the children are reading what they want to read. I like work on writing and letting them choose what to write. I don't do listen to reading anymore because I had a student steal an iPod, not once, but twice (both times her parents returned it). I still have reading groups, so I do not do read to someone because mine little ones can't handle it. As we approach the half-way mark, I am not happy with their work in word work and would like to have more of a workstation there.

    I have decided that maybe do a little of both. I will still do read to self from Daily 5 because my kiddos love it....but I will be revamping some of the other Daily 5 stations and making workstations.

    Good luck in whatever you decide!

  3. Wow, your post describes me to a "T". I have also found many wonderful ideas from blogs, tried implementing the Daily 5 and am doing the Reading Workshop approach in my classroom, and just recently decided that we need a to work on writing more in the coming new year. I also have a student teacher starting in January. My new schedule is as follows and I have implemented the last three days and it has worked well. We begin the day with a writing mini-lesson 30minutes, then Reading workshop for 30-45 minutes, 15 minutes of Word Study and 30 minutes of centers or Daily 5 time.

  4. Like you I have done a little of everything! Lol! I have always been happy with workstations until we went up to 24 Kindergarteners - it is no longer working for me. I have done a combination this year. We do "Read to self" when they first arrive in the morning. They read and have a notebook that they can write in. While I'm doing small groups they 1st do a seatwork paper that reinforces the skill that is being taught. If they finish before small group time is over they may get out their book/notebook & read or write. I also have 5 computers that I have on & they may choose to go to the computer. In the afternoon I have a free choice literacy centers time . They may choose any center they wish ( I have the same type of centers that I use to do in Literacy centers). My class is higher this year then they have ever been!