I have been doing a VERY personalized version of the Daily 4 (we aren't really set up for listening to reading right now). I do Read to Self, Read to Buddy, Write to Self, and Word Work every day, but we all do our own work at the same time. It is differentiated, but at the same time. I want to move toward kids making choices about how they learn best and how long they can do each activity. I started to move towards that independence today. I haven't worried about losing control, more about how to make sure the kids know how to do what they need first etc. I have to remember that it's my first year and I need to watch and be flexible and adjust as needed.
My non-fiction unit is going really well. I use this book for my mini-lessons.
I use a lot of Kids National Geographic books and magazines.
I am teaching features of non-fiction and helping them decide what topics interest them by listing their top 5 topics and then narrowing it down. They are learning about Dash Facts--essentially note taking. Click here for a freebie that really worked well...Dash Fact note taking. I will continue to update with what I am using and how it is working.