Friday, July 12, 2013

Schedule Spotlight: Daily 5

I am so excited to join up with Kelli from Castles and Crayons for her Schedule Spotlight Series. What a great idea to walk through our day one section at a time and give specifics of what we do during that time. This week's section is Daily 5.

***As a disclaimer, I did Daily 5 in first grade, and this year, I'm moving down to kindergarten. If anyone has tips for doing Daily 5 with kindergarten or knows of great resources/blog posts about this, please let me know!***

This was my first year using Daily 5 and I'm hooked! I loved the mini-lessons to launch each component and the emphasis put on building students' stamina. We spent a lot of time on these at the beginning of the year, and it was worth every second! When we finally starting going to stations, they ran much smoother than past years.

I tweaked daily 5 a little from what the 2 Sisters suggested. First I have more than 5 stations. In addition to the normal 5, I also used a puzzle station, computer station, puppet station, and phonics station. This keeps my groups a little smaller which is important to me (3-4 kids per station). Also, I wasn't brave enough to give students free choice to pick their station. Maybe one day, but for now, I have students in mixed ability groups rotating to each station.

Our routine: We did daily 5 first thing in the morning. After reviewing morning work and all of the other morning housekeeping, we came to the carpet for a mini-lesson from our reading curriculum. This was usually a read aloud, a lesson, and maybe a quick activity. Before we started our first round of stations, I called my guided reading group to the back table. The students in that group would get their bag of books (we used giant zip lock bags to keep their books) and "warm up" by reading to themselves or reading with someone else in the group. This warm-up time was a great activity for my group to do while I was sending everyone else to their station.

To help my students be accountable for their station work, we used "station folders." Student had a checklist where they wrote the date that they went to each station. This helped me keep track if a student was absent or out of the room during stations. Any work students produced during stations went in their folder and they turned in the entire folder after going to all stations. Incentive: We had one round of free stations. Students who had completed all station work to the best of their ability got to choose the station they went to; students who were not finished had time to complete their assignments. Interestingly, the very first time we did this, I had over half the class not finish their work. The next time, after seeing that they missed free stations, only a few students didn't finish. Funny how students rise to do what's expected of them.

After one round of stations, we came back to the carpet, did a quick check-in for each station, and then did a phonics review. This was when we would play a sight word game, listen to a letter sound song, or review phonics flashcards. Nothing big. Then we went to rotation 2, came back to the carpet for a quick check-in, and then did our phonics mini-lesson for the day.

The pretty much sums up our Daily 5. I'm not going to go into my guided reading groups because this post is already getting WAY long! I can't wait to read other people's ideas!

(BTW, YES this is my 3rd post for the day. YES I will be seeking blogging addiction help. YES I am going away from the computer for the rest of the day now)   =)


  1. We love your blog! We hope you will stop by and visit our blog to enter a chance to win a $5 Target Gift Card.

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  2. Hi Amanda!
    Thank you so much for linking up this week!
    I love the idea of Daily Five first thing in the morning!
    I never did Daily Five in K, but I know the K teachers at our school decided to not Work on Writing as a choice until January.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    Kelli :)
    Castles and Crayons