Mini Lessons for Daily 5...Taylor Heidinger
When doing the Daily 5, there is not always a lot of time for mini-lessons. So, what skills do we need to teach and how do we teach them to make the most of our time?
Although my background is more science based, I chose to teach language arts to help me become a well-rounded elementary teacher. The school I completed my practicum at had a school-wide initiative to implement the Daily 5 during language arts. While planning, I struggled to find material for mini lessons and writer’s workshop because of the limited amount of class time. I noticed that some teachers at my school were also struggling with teaching the reading and writing mini lessons. This realization made me decide that it would be a good idea to go through the language arts curriculum and find skills that students would need to develop in order to experience growth and become more confident in their abilities.
The first part of my project required me to go through the language arts curriculum from Grade 1-6 and make generalizations about the outcomes. After I made generalizations, I grouped like skills together and placed them under categories on the website that I created. Once I decided on the layout of my project, I started collecting resources from many sources. While I did not try all of the resources in my class, I did have my students try some of the activities and I gathered feedback from them. As I collected resources and materials, I placed them on the website and included a short description with a link to the original source. I had originally wanted to create mini lessons in a typical lesson plan format but after a discussion with my mentor and administrator, I decided to simply provide the resources for teachers to use in a way that works best for them.
This project has been embraced by all staff at my placement school. This is the first year at the school that the Dally 5 has been required; the previous years have been optional for teachers. This project is something that I plan to keep adding to since I will be starting my first year of teaching in the near future. I know that teachers do not always have the time to search for resources, especially during the school year, and I am very thankful for the time that I was able to devote to my searches. I have learned that while there are plenty of resources out there, they are not all of equal quality, and it can take more time than one would think to find a resource to suit a specific purpose.
Taylor’s degree is in General Science (math, geography, physics) and Math Education, with a minor in Social Studies Education. For her PSIII, She taught Grade 4 language arts, social, and art.