Who Owns the Learning? Daily 5 Chronicles

Daily 5 is a literacy framework that instills behaviors of independence, creates a classroom of highly engaged readers, writers, and learners, and provides teachers with the time and structure to meet diverse student needs. Because it holds no curricular content, it can be used to meet any school, district, state, or national standards.  ~The Daily Cafe

This week I asked myself, “Is the Daily 5 literacy framework allowing my students to achieve the ultimate goal?” Are they a classroom of highly engaged readers, writers and learners? Do they truly own their learning? As my Grade 2s completed their  literacy block this past Wednesday morning and headed off to their next class, I remained in the empty classroom long enough to browse through my phone and look at some photos I had recently added. Were they just photos of compliant students doing what was asked of them, or did I have a classroom of students who now own their learning? Let’s examine four components of the Daily 5 and the photos which I believe captured my students owning their learning.

Work on Writing 

I will confess, if I did not take a few minutes to quickly walk around the room and ask questions, I might have deleted these photos, not truly understanding the evidence I possessed in my photo album. In the photos below, both students were working on their writing, yet neither student was getting their inspiration from a class list of topics. One was very eager to complete a biography on a famous basketball player, Kawhi Leonard and another student was busy completing a narrative on a special family event. Yet a third student, who sadly will be leaving us in a few weeks, took this opportunity to write an account of her experience here in Canada for the past two years. Who owns the learning? They do!




Word Work

My students understand the importance of expanding their vocabulary. The photo below captures a student wanting to learn more and being self-motivated to do so. The student chose to spend our literacy block  reading chapter 2 of our novel study “My Father’s Dragon”, stopping to jot down words she is unfamiliar with. I know I am hoping to see these vocabulary words added to our live dictionary on Flipgrid. The group photo below is evidence of two things; an example of Win Win, and a group of students who chose to play the competitive level of Osmo words. Before the Osmo spelling game could begin, however, the students had to resolve a conflict, brainstorming a solution where everyone wins.


Who owns the learning? They do!



Read to Self/Read to Someone

Finally, as all these wonderful things were taking place in my classroom, I had the opportunity to do some one-on-one conferencing with some students. Where were the others you ask? They took this opportunity to make a quick trip to the library to add to their book bins. They were using the Star Reading program to help them choose a “Just Right” book. This last photo in my post needs no words to describe what is taking place. But three words come to mind, highly engaged readers.



Providing Evidence of Sharing and Amplifying Learning. One Teacher’s Journey

This blog post will provide evidence of sharing and amplified learning. This is the lens I chose to focus on as I entered a grade 3 math lesson. Whenever documenting takes place, in order for it to be useful, a plan needs to be put into place. Why am I documenting? What is my documentation focus? These are just a few of the things I needed to reflect on before I began. The lesson was introduced and the sharing happened. The following video provides evidence of a grade 3 student sharing some of her strategies to solve the first problem introduced.

As I walked around to the different groups, I came upon  a pair  where the sharing of ideas were clearly one-sided. Below a student is sharing his/her strategy and the other student appears to be listening. Fifteen minutes later, there was still no evidence of an exchange of ideas. This is just the first step in my documentation of this pair, Will there be growth?

As the student who was doing the sole sharing left to participate in a Gallery Walk, I witnessed the other student add to their work. He shared. But I believe his partner never benefited from this missed opportunity. Further documentation was needed to have concrete evidence that sharing eventually took place. My documenting journey continues.

I then witnessed a guest blogger capturing a student sharing various math strategies he used to solve the problem he was working on. This guest blogger is amplifying the learning that is taking place in this classroom. Once he posts it on his blog  and the commenting begins, there will be untapped possibilities to extend the learning.

What do I take away from this valuable experience? Documenting is a very mindful exercise. It is not just an opportunity to take a series of photos or videos. Ask yourself; “What do these photos and videos really capture?” Was this the best way to make the learning visible? How can I best store them for future use? What can I do differently next time in order to use my documentation to enhance classroom learning? I am excited to add new layers to the documentation process!