Read to Self (Daily 5) and Physical Therapy

I’ve been in physical therapy twice over the years–once when my knees were hurting, and once when my back was hurting (turned out to be a kidney stone–who knew?)  The first time, I learned the exercises, fixed my knees for the most part, and went on my merry way.  The 2nd time, I learned that I’d been doing the exercises for my knees wrong.  See, the trick for physical therapy is to do the exercises in slow motion.  Count to 10 on the way up—slowwwwly–count to ten while holding—-slowwwwly—and count to 10 on the way down—slowwwwly.  Getting my exercises done in 5 min. was better than nothing, but just barely.  The back pain resolved itself a week later, I stopped therapy, but changed my knee exercises to reflect what I’d learned about the slow motion.  What a difference!  I rarely have problems now.

Teaching the areas of Daily 5 is a lot like physical therapy.  We are so pressured for time, that we try to be very efficient with how we teach.  When teaching these procedures, however, slowing things down tremendously produces the greatest benefits.  Every time I’ve rushed through the process, I pay for it the rest of the year.  Kids are off task, don’t show the stamina they show in other areas, and don’t acquire the learning they really need. Sometimes I’ve even gone slower than what the Sisters recommend, because I have a class who struggles with stamina.

Things I want to work on with Read to Self this year:

  • Actually placing students around the room.  This is where I missed the chance to model, with thinking aloud, how to choose a bubble space that eliminates distractions.
  • Reviewing expectations more frequently.  At the end of the year, I’m always shocked when someone leaves a round to come interrupt my group.  I think if I were having them review the round by showing thumbs and review each area’s expectations every week, it would keep the focus on learning better.
  • Being more intentional with recognizing the picture walks, inferring, and checking for understanding can come from reading the pictures, and that every time we do a retell, it is one of the 3 ways to read a book.
  • Create more class-written books to be available for students.  This fits common core requirements, and provides a great choice for my lower readers.

For more on Chapter 4 of Daily 5, check out Tattling to the Teacher, First Grade Blue Skies, and Tales From Outside the Classroom.  This is a blog hop, too!



4 responses to this post.

  1. You are right- it is so important to model and check in. This will be my first year doing the Daily5 so I might go overboard on this! Can’t wait to see how everything works out 🙂 Good luck to you too and thanks for linking up!



  2. What a great way of explaining teaching the process. It makes a lot of sense. I would never have thought of modeling the reading placement. I liked that – seems easy enough but effective.
    I posted some implementation questions on my blog and I’d love to hear your thoughts as someone who has already used the D5.


  3. LOVE your analogy! It’s perfect! I agree that it is important to revisit even the earliest lessons throughout the year to keep your foundation strong.


  4. Loved your analogy! I always try to give directions too fast–yet if they know how to do it, then the rest of the day is so much better!


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