This summer I have tasked myself with developing plans for English Language Arts. Traditionally, this area has been distinctly taught as Reading and Writing, at different times of the day, and our current Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards (say that five times fast!) are set up that way. I am very excited to see that Common Core State Standards put the two subject areas together into ELA. This works beautifully, I think, with my plan to incorporate The Daily Five into my day. If you’re not familiar with the Daily Five, it is really a structure of mini-lessons in reading, writing, and word work, alternated with choice times for students, allowing them time in the day to choose to read alone, with someone, listen to reading, work on writing, and doing word work. This structure may be a life saver for me as I will most likely have 4 – 5 fourth graders and around 15 fifth graders in my class. Yikes!
To add to the complexity that will be my classroom, our school district recently decided to abandon early out Wednesdays, which gave us two hours a week for uninterrupted planning or staff development each week. That means that while our Wednesdays will again be full days, the other four days will shorten by about fifteen minutes each. Even with the previous longer days, it was a struggle to fit in our 90 minute reading block along with 45 minutes for writing.
In theory, The Daily Five takes a chunk of the day. In fact, in a perfect world, it would take approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to work through the literacy block. As it is, I will have somewhere around an hour and 50 minutes.
So, I’m throwing a couple of questions out to the cosmos (that’s you!).
- Those of you in Florida teaching intermediate grades… Are you using the CCSS this fall, or are you still utilizing the Next Gen Standards? If you’re using Common Core, has your district given you any kind of road maps to follow?
- And to those of you using The Daily Five, if you have a more limited time each day to teach Reading and Writing, how to you adapt Daily Five to make it all fit in the time you have?
I’d appreciate any insight any of you could share with me. Right now I feel like I’m trying to plan for The Daily Common Next Generation Core Sunshine State Five. Holy cow.