Friday, June 22, 2012!

Summer always leaves me more time for exercising, which is great! I've been biking, walking, running, and registered for a 5K Color Run!! I am super excited! I think it'll be a great experience for my 9 (almost 10) year old---and something fun we can do together!! 

I've been telling my son that I really have to prepare for this 5K. I'm not a distance runner, and it doesn't come easy for me for a variety of reasons. Don't worry, I'll spare you my violin and pity party. But really, I'm not even at a 10 minute mile right it's time to practice, practice, practice. 

Tonight, we rode our bikes 4 miles. I wanted him to see how far the 5K will be. I figure if I keep practicing 4 miles, the 5K will seem easier. Anyway....yesterday I did a 4 mile practice RUN by myself (and it was brutal!)...tonight, the same loop on my bike felt so easy! 

I love biking, and it comes easy for me. I could ride a pretty good distance before it feels un-enjoyable, too hard, etc.

As I'm parking my bike in he garage after my ride, it occurred to me that biking vs. running for me is like reading for some of the children we teach. For the natural readers, it comes easy & it's enjoyable for a long period of time----like biking for me. For others, it may not be as natural, as enjoyable, and may not last long----like me on a run! 

You can see where this is going, and can probably infer that I've been reading this: 

So how does it all tie in---biking, running, and the Daily 5? Well....I'm reading this book and CAFE and liking what I read. It makes sense. I think the program may need to be tweaked for Jr. Kdg or Kdg., but overall---the gist of implementing A LOT of reading and writing time during the school day has won me over. I like the format, and the ways of building STAMINA! 

In the past, I've begun building my students' stamina from day 1 in preparation for literacy/math stations Debbie Diller style. Starting with 5 minute table rotations and working our way up to 7 minutes, then 10---and being in the full swing of stations throughout the room/hallway. Baby steps.

Daily 5 may be a new structure---but you essentially build stamina the same way. Little by little---starting with just 1 minute! In my case this summer---starting with just one mile! (I used to have a friend who had me running around our local lake (about 7 miles!)---don't think that I don't regret quitting that every time I get out there for a run these days! UGH! Back to baby steps. 

Just think...if I had kept up with running or even walking that distance, I would not be back to square one. I'd be comfortable going a longer distance---I'd have the stamina. So it makes sense that we start our students out reading to self just 1 minute, adding a minute each day if they can handle it, until the desired amount of time is accomplished. The children who are not natural readers, not easily drawn to reading to themselves, do not have a lot of confidence etc., need to be taught all the strategies, techniques, and given the tools & PRACTICE TIME to accomplish their goals (and your goals for them!). 

Don't be mistaken---I have always known that it takes time, effort, and practice to be a good reader. This is not news to me! But as a person that has always had it easy in the the area of ELA, and as a person that enjoys reading, writing, and cares about grammar, mechanics, and everything in between---it's easy to get removed from understanding how difficult and possibly unenjoyable it can be for some students. 

I'm going to spend my summer practicing to be a better runner, building my stamina (and hopefully maintain an exercise routine for good this time)...and spend my school year remembering that grumbles & moans that may escape from some students during ELA activities are just some students who aren't used to running the distance----YET! 

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