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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Daily Five

Last summer I spent a lot of time revamping the way I taught math. Thanks to Beth Newingham and her willingness to share all of her fabulous ideas, I now teach math through leveled small groups and rotating stations. The groups are flexible, meaning they may change based on the kids' strengths, needs and the concept being taught. Each day, every child has the opportunity to work in a small group with me, practice the skill independently, and play a math game to reinforce the skill learned during instruction time. It was very time consuming to find or create math games to go along with all of the concepts. (My colleagues were all very helpful in this department!) Now that the games are created and laminated, we can reuse them year after year. It was well worth the time and effort. I'm sure this year I will continue to work with my colleagues to find more games that align with the Common Core, but we are off to a good start.

Now that I am comfortable with my new method of teaching math, I figured it was time to reevaluate my literacy block. I felt I needed to figure out a way to meet with my guided reading groups more frequently, but also keep the rest of the class engaged while doing so. It's no secret that a majority of students aren't actually reading independently for the duration of their independent reading block. I needed to use my time more wisely.

How to solve this problem? Meet the "Two Sisters".


They created the Daily Five and I am jumping on that bandwagon!
The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades

The Daily Five is a series of literacy tasks (reading to self, reading with someone, writing, word work, and listening to reading) which students complete daily while the teacher meets with small groups or confers with individuals. Students are allowed to choose the order in which they want to complete the tasks each day. Yes, that means I need to relinquish control. It's a scary thought, but kids love choice. And really, they are having choice within limited parameters. Even better, they aren't lazily wasting their entire independent reading block.

My first reaction, OVERWHELMED! Where do I begin? How do I possibly fit all of that into my 90 minute literacy block. However, after reading the book and researching via Pinterest and many many teaching blogs, I took a deep breath and realized I could do this. If all goes well, after the initial month of introducing the Daily Five and practicing expected behaviors and so on, it will eventually run itself (or so I hope).

This summer I have been gathering all the resources I need to begin implementing the Daily Five in my classroom this coming fall. I've been sharing and bouncing ideas off colleagues who already use variations of the Daily Five; as well as those who will be using it for the first time. I will post more about the individual activities I've been finding/making for each task. Tonight, I will just share some of the organizational pieces I've been working on.

Since the students will be choosing their activities, I need to make a choice bulletin board for students to sign up, and for me to organize how the rotations will work. My hopes are that my 90 minute literacy block will look something like this...

15 minute mini lesson
3, 20 minute guided reading groups (rest of class doing Daily Five)
15 minute closing

I found these adorable signs on Teachers Pay Teachers for FREE!


I loved the flag background so I decided to make my own flags to continue the theme. 


I plan on using these as part of my choice board. I'm still developing the idea, but students will use clothes pins with their name on it to pin certain flags depending on which activity they are doing. I made enough color coded flags to represent each activity for three rounds. (Make sense?) There will be a set number of students allowed at each station per round.

I will be sure to post the final product in September so this makes more sense!

That's enough Daily Five talk for one night!




1 comment:

  1. Girl....we are apparently on the same path in teaching. I, too, fell in love with Beth Newingham's math workshop and have just discovered The Sisters. I am excited to follow your journey as I embark on mine as well. Goodluck!!!

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