Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Daily Five Crisis....Help!

When I first drafted this post topic I was going to show you a new, fancy, fantastic, super-duper way to organize your word work supplies.

Since, I have tried and tried and tried to make it work.  But it has not.  It turns out to be too complicated for my little firsties.

Here's what I tried:  (learn from my mistakes!)

1. I gave every student a Spelling Tic Tac Toe Menu of 9 different word work activities.  I spent 2 whole weeks teaching my students each of the different ways to practice their spelling or sight words.  I thought that choice would provide a meaningful learning experience.  As it turns out, some of my students could not read the words on the Tic Tac Toe...which made it really hard to pick one.  Once they decided which way to practice their words, they had to find the matching materials, which as it turns out, you also have to read in order to find.  You see, we are practicing reading, but we are not all there yet.  Fingers crossed.  Finally, ten minutes later, after you had asked three of your friends where your paper was and they didn't know so you had to ask your teacher who was trying to teach a small group and gave you much grief about interrupting her precious teaching time, anyways about ten minutes later when you finally have your materials and paper supplies at your desk THEN you have to actually REMEMBER how to complete the work.  Oh. My. Heavens.  "What do I DO?"

I spend most of last week asking myself quietly, "What was I thinking?"

Here's how I organized all of the recording sheets.  The materials, manipulatives, and toys learning tools were on a shelf across the room nearby.  

It was a brilliant idea in my head.

You live and you learn, right?

So this week, I made a pocket chart with who is going where and did NOT give them a Tic Tac Toe menu.  I said, "Just pick whatever word work choice you'd like."

 I am back at the drawing board trying to figure out something simple and meaningful for my student to use.

I've seen some teachers have a "Word Work of the Day" basket.  I'm contemplating this.

I'm wondering how to incorporate normal, every day spelling and sight word practice along with cute teacher pay teacher products I find holiday, phonics, and grammar skills/games.

What does your word work center look like?

ALSO, my other Daily Five Crisis of sorts is this:  I had my students trained well on the D5 procedures.  We had it D.O.W.N.  We were even onto choosing ourselves without the teacher's help.  This was all before the unexpected occurred right before Christmas break and I gained 10 more students.  Fast forward 8 weeks later and MASS CHAOS has ensued.  My students have forgotten the basic steps of getting started quickly and cleaning up quietly.  I am planning on backtracking next week.    Okay, onto the crisis because I promised you a crisis:
How do you get your students started quickly?  

Do you tell them where to go via a pocket chart?  Or do you let them pick? If so, how do you keep track of it all?  I'd love to know your tips and tricks as I work out the kinks of mine!

I'd love for you to leave a comment, email me, or send me a link to your blog post!


  1. I am interested in seeing what others say about this. I have decided to start doing the daily 5 next year. My only concern is that in the fall I will have a student teacher. Not sure if I should start the daily 5 this year so I know what to expect or if I should just wait. I didn't know with having a student teacher. What do you think?

    Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten

    1. I think it would be just fine to start the Daily Five with a student teacher! I love it, it is so simple! I can't imagine doing anything else!

  2. I have been doing the Daily 5 for years in my classroom. I have always had a chart to tell the students where to go because some kids have to leave the room for Title 1 and some go for enrichment. So besides seeing me daily, they see another teacher. I train until the end of September. Sometimes it takes a little less, sometimes a little more. I always retrain after Christmas. We spend a week retraining. I ring a chime for them to switch. Most days it works very smoothly, however, there are always THOSE days! Those days when there is a full moon, early out, party, etc. So, my suggestion would be to retrain! I hope this helps!

  3. I am Title I now, but when I had a classroom, I was always very explicit about where my students had to go. This may seem odd...but I always had bags of books on tape as an option if they finished early. Many of my students are not read to at home, so I was trying to make up this in any way I could. They really liked that extra activity.

    BTW...we have had 15 new students this year! It is really hard when they come mid year!

    curious firsties