Monday, February 18, 2013

Teacher Tip Tuesday: The Daily Five Update

Finally, after much anticipation, I present you with my Daily Five Post!

You may remember my call for help with the Daily Five a few weeks ago!  

I am so grateful for this blog-world because many of you heard my cry of help and came to the rescue.  

I had created this fancy-pants Word Work Tic Tac Toe and thought I had taught my students how to use it.

We spent a few weeks learning the new word work recording sheets that were can be found here. (I love these, even though the management system I had created to use them didn't love me back!)

Needless to say, it didn't go well.

I used the pocket chart (which I am not a fan of....I'd rather give students the choice and keep everybody happy and engaged!) and told students where to go.  Most students could handle read to self, partner reading, and work on writing.  But BOY OH BOY when we went to Word Work it was like we had never.been.there.before.
I'm blaming it on the teacher.
(Shhh..don't tell her that!)

So when the reading specialist who pulls 4 of my kiddos needed to change when she pulled them to the time I pull my reading small groups, I opted to REDO my entire schedule in hopes of breaking old habits starting fresh.

Here's my new schedule! I absolutely love it!  We have our Daily Five rotation at the end of the day (as oppose to right before lunch).  It's the last thing we do and we can't wait to do it! 

I also re-organized my word work center to help with the anxiety of it all.
I placed all the materials and paper on the same shelf.  The paper (which is actually not in the photo) is sorted in over sized envelopes and placed in the turquoise tub.  I placed an example of each choice in a clear slip and taped it to the front of the envelope.  Now there are no questions about how to do the work.

Here is a close up of my materials for word work. 
My students LOVE using pens and old cell phones.
Call me maybe?

After doing some research, I created a handout for my students to keep up with which Daily Five they had been to each day. 
(Really, it was for my peace of mind!  I needed to know they were doing their work each day!)

If you make it to the end of this post, you can get it for free!

Here's how it works: 

My students move about the Daily Five progression at their own pace independently.  When they finish a center, they go color that center in on their chart for that day.

Ex: If it is Monday, and I just finished Read with a Partner, I would color in that picture and words on my Check in Sheet.  Let's say I want to go to Word Work next.  After I have spelled all the words that my little brain can handle, I walk back to my desk and color in the Word Work box.  At the end of the entire reading block, I look to see which center I didn't have time for (we usually have time for three at most) and I write that center in on the "tomorrow" box.  I will start at this center the next day.(This ensures that students are rotating through all five center choices)

Does this make sense?

It has been a learning experience for all of us.

I really wanted to experiment try to teach my students how to rotate at their own pace- paying attention to their stamina as they learn.  I thought this was the year to do it since I only have ten.

Here's what we've learned and fixed since last week.

My students loved the free choice.
However, they were getting upset when someone would steal their computer.

Let me explain.

I pull small groups during this time.  If I were to call a student who was at the computer, that would open up a computer.  Another student might switch to the computer during our guided reading group time.  When we were finished at the back table, my student would have to pick another center that was NOT the computer!  Can't you just hear the unjustice? 
"I was there first!
"That's my computer!" 
Unfair, right?

After about the second day of seeing my students get upset, we had a family meeting.  I explained the problem and asked for suggestions.

Here's what they came up with:
The number system.

We decided to use our Lunch Count Numbers during the Daily Five Rotations to "hold our spot".

I made these little banners for each of the numbers to fit on.

Now, when a student is called to my back table, no other student can take over their center because they can't put their number on the spot! 

It gives me a better picture of who is where around the room, as well.

It also ensures that only a certain number of students go to that center at a time.

Only one student at each Ipod, please!

It's okay to work with a partner during Work on Writing time.

Although we have had to make some adjustments, we love the choice it brings. 
 My students are more engaged because they are taking ownership of their learning!  
Don't get me wrong, it's still a work in progress, but I'd like to think the Sisters would be proud of us.

Thanks for making it to the end. 

Here's a Freebie of the Check in Sheet I use with my students.  

 Click either picture to get it at my TPT store!
Thank you Liz from Polka Dot Firsties for cluing me in on how to make my picture bigger!  
I did it this time!

What'd ya think?  
Are you willing to give this a try?


  1. I do my Daily 5 at the end of the day too! It gives them all something to look forward to!

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten

  2. I've tried to incorporate Daily 5 this year. It has been a learning experience. I have a lot to learn to make it fully successful!

    Adventures in First with Mrs. Key

  3. I read The Daily 5 and the Cafe Book last year and I just can't figure out how to work it into my schedule and how to manage it! Let me know how this works for you :) maybe i'll be brave too!

  4. Great tips! I'm bookmarking this for next year!