A Closer Look at Daily 5!

This week was pretty awesome for me!  I felt like a pioneer of sorts.  I am of course not going to tell you things that haven't been or aren't being done at this moment.  I am not the idea maker here, but regardless I would like to share with you exactly how my Daily 5 rotations run.  The reason I am doing this?  My old 2nd grade team is ready to move to their next step in Daily 5 and they were asking me for advice.  So I thought others would like to hear about it too.  This can get a little confusing, so I will try to be a VERY clear (at least clearer than mud).  It is so much easier than I will probably make it sound.  So here is a peek at my Daily 5 day...

My students arrive around 8 and straggle in until about 8:10.  During this time they are unpacking, turning in notes, signing up for lunch, sharpening pencils, and doing Morning Work.  Morning Work lately has been Word of the Day papers, but in the past I have had students do sentence editing or a few problems from the Mountain Math board.  I don't give them much because I want to be able to start AT 8:30 on the dot.  When they have completed their Morning Work they grab a Daily 5 Rotation Stick and choose which order they would like to do rotations in.  The only 2 rotations I have pre-determined are Listening Center (because I can only have 4 there at a time) and Meet with the Teacher.  I have included Meet with the Teacher instead of Work on Writing for now.  When I add Work on Writing I am going to take out Read to Self. Why?  I am ok with this because each student goes into Read to Self as soon as they are done making their Daily 5 choices on their sticks.  I do have a few kiddos that are still doing Morning Work at 8:30, so they don't get to go to Read to Self, but those are the ones who struggle reading by themselves anyway.

OK so it is 8:30 and my 2 aides have arrived.  I mentioned this in another post, but one is my normal classroom aide.  She is in my room for 45 minutes.  The other one is there to assist my 2 IEP kids, but she is so flexible and willing to take on an extra kiddo in her group.  My classroom aide takes my 3 kiddos that need an extra eye.

At 8:30 I have everyone transition back to their desks.  Transitions are SUPER DUPER important to practice a ton!  They need to hear your cue and move immediately.  I begin with a mini lesson.  How do I choose which mini lesson?  We just adopted Journey's and they provide a focus wall. 

I generally use only this to choose from.  I have pretty much eliminated all other use of the teacher's manual.  So at the beginning of the week I take a look at the focus wall and I decide what I am going to cover  and how many times I should do it.  So for example, yesterday our first mini lesson was on editing sentences.  So I did a QUICK blurb on editing marks and did an example on ELMO.  Then we broke out to Daily 5 Rotation #1.  I say, "Rotation #1".  They grab their sticks and look where they are going first in Daily 5.  While the other kids are doing Daily 5, I have 3 small groups going.  My classroom aide, my special education aide, and myself are all working on the same activities plus I have a 2nd activity because I am meeting with all other groups.  This particular one yesterday we were all using Farrah Shipley's AMAZING AMAZING new unit called, Fall Fun Sentence Editing Unit

Each of the adults has a large bin where I throw everything that we will need for the day.  I put 3 of Farrah's incorrect sentences, her editing marks cards, and dry erase sleeves in each bin.  In my group I gave everyone a sleeve with a sentence inside.  They had to work independently to find the mistakes.  In the other two groups they worked together to find the mistakes.  I could not believe how well they did.  They were so proud when they found everything.  I even had several of them asking to do it again!  So I had them switch sleeves and give it another go.  The excitement over these editing sentences created a buzz in my room.  They were having fun AND learning at the same time.  I LOVED it!  Honestly, it could not have been better.  You seriously need to head over to TPT right now and check it out!

Now it is about 8:55 or 9:00 and I bring the kids back together for our 2nd mini lesson.  Yesterday, I reviewed r blends and -ip family words.  This mini lesson was really quick because it was the 2nd or 3rd time we had talked about it this week.  I sent them back for Daily 5 Rotation #2.  This time I had a new group, but my aides had the same kids.  (These kiddos need constant attention).  We read the decodable reader together that comes with our series.  After we read it I had the students use highlighters to find all of the r blend words and -ip family words.  They go ga-ga over highlighters!    My group not only did the decodable readers, but the Fall Fun Sentence Editing stuff too.

9:15 my aides leave and I have the students come together for one more mini-lesson.  We were working on Main Idea and Details this week, so I used the Journey's projectable web.  We talked about our weekly story and worked together to find the Main Idea and Details of the story.  They did an incredible job!!!  I love being able to see so much growth with them so quickly!  I sent them off to 3rd rotation.  I met with my 3rd small group.  Again I worked on sentence editing and decodable readers.  My two groups that worked with my aides are now doing normal Daily 5 activities.  We work until about 9:30 ish then stop for a restroom break.

When we come back we are done with Daily 5 for now.

We start up again at 10:15 because this is when RTI begins.  I send EIGHT kids out of the room to meet with reading specialists.  That leaves 12 kids.  I don't do mini-lessons during RTI.  They go straight to 4th rotation.  I meet with my last group.  Again I am doing sentence editing and the decodable reader.  At about 10:30  I send them all to rotation #5.  I do not have a group.  I need to start progress monitoring students, so I may use this time to fit one in a day OR I can meet with individuals to reinforce something they may be having difficulty on.

I hope this gives you an idea on how my classroom looks and as always I am more than happy to answer questions.  It helps me reevaluate and make changes to better suit my students.



I'm Lovin' Daily 5! October Edition

I am so excited to link up with Becca at First Grade in Foxwell Forest!  She is hosting a monthly Daily 5 link-up on the 5th of every month.  Go check out the past two months.  You are bound to find some great tips and ideas.

This year has been crazy busy for me.  Starting in a new grade level is more stressful than I ever envisioned it being.  We are making it and I have to say our favorite part of the day is Daily 5.  My kiddos are seriously at their best when we do D5.  They actually ask, "are we going to do rotations today?"  I love it!!!

I thought I would start by giving you a little run down on how I run things.  I think it is a little different than the 2 Sisters write about in their book, but it is basically the same.

I always start V-E-R-Y slowly!! It is always so hard to go back to square one of Daily 5 after the end of the previous school year when Daily 5 pretty much would run itself without me being there.  My principal was so impressed when he came in to do my evaluation last year.  He kept gushing about how engaged they were and how smooth our transitions were.  I walked out of his office a little taller that day!

Anyway, I start with Read to Self and I-Pick Good Fit books.  Each of my students has a book box where they keep 5 good fit books for the week.  My book boxes recently had a makeover.  I am absolutely in LOVE! Take a look...

Didn't they turn out so stinking cute!!!! You can see the "before" in the background. Yuck!

So, we do the whole anchor chart about expectations, I have a student practice incorrectly, and the they demonstrate the correct way.  Finally I assign them spots and send them on their way.  I could NOT believe the things I was seeing our first few days of practicing.  They were doing everything BUT reading.  I was so disappointed, but I trudged on.  We FINALLY made it to 15 minutes after about 2-3 weeks.  I let a few things slide behavior wise because let's face it if I didn't we would never have moved on.

I got these adorable FREE anchor charts from Faith Wheeler

Next, I introduced Read to Someone.  I follow the same steps as Read to Self.  My kids ADORE reading to someone.  They would do it all day if I let them.  Read to Someone was like night and day to Read to Self.  They were all engaged, sitting EEKK, and no fighting.  I couldn't believe it!  After a week or two of doing both I was dying to move on and so were they.

I introduced Listening Center next.  This one was easy for us.  I only have a CD player, so my only rules really are to keep the volume where I set it and they aren't allowed to touch, and only 4 kids are allowed there at a time.  I will tell you more about how I manage that in a minute.  They are HUGE fans of Pete the Cat!  If you haven't heard of these books you seriously need to head over to Amazon right now and check them out.  I usually use my points from Scholastic to buy the book and CD.

So I was starting to get real antsy in my pantsy, so I quickly introduced Word Work.  Whenever I start Word Work the volume in my room increases dramatically.  It makes me sad and it is really something I need to work on.  I am sure it is because I have games in Word Work, such as Bang!  using high frequency words or our 100 Kindergarten Sight Words.  They love it and actually are playing, but I can't handle the noise.  Sooooo, I took it away!  I found a ton of great resources for quieter Word Work activities such as "Write It, Build It" and "Rainbow Words" on TPT.  They love those too because they get to use markers!

Currently my last D5 rotation is Meet with Teacher.  I am waiting to introduce Work on Writing until they become a little stronger writers.

I am very fortunate to have 2 other adults in my room during my 90 minute reading block, so I am able to get a ton more accomplished.  Here is a break down of Daily 5 for me.

8:30- Mini Lesson (usually 10 minutes TOPS)
8:40-8:55 Rotation #1 (I have divided my kiddos into groups.  One aide takes our IEP kids + one more (3).  My other aide takes my behavior kiddos (3).  I take the rest throughout the rotations.  I have bins ready for my aides in the morning with the activities I need them to do during the small group rotations.  I do all of these activities with each of my groups.)
8:55-9:05- Mini Lesson
9:05-9:20 Rotation #2 (my aides leave the room after the 2nd rotation)
9:20-9:30 Mini Lesson
9:30-9:45 Rotation #3

Bathroom Break
9:50-10:15 Writing

10:15-10:45 RTI
I do 2 more rotations during RTI.  My kiddos are pretty low, so I have EIGHT kiddos leave the room to have more intense intervention.  That leaves 12 kids in my room.  Needless to say my room is very quiet.  I do not do mini lessons during this time, but I do meet with small groups.

So that is how I do it and I have to say it runs so smoothly!  There is so much movement that my kids are not realizing they are learning and we don't have too many behavior issues.  Have I mentioned I LOVE Daily 5?!

Earlier I had mentioned I would tell you how I manage only having 4 people at my Listening Center at a time.  Last year I had signs with each center on it.  They would use clothespins with their name on it to choose where they would go for the day, so essentially it was a Weekly 5.  This year I knew I needed a change.  I had my wonderful hubby pick up a class set of paint sticks from Home Depot.  I created tags with a center on them.  I laminated them then attached velcro to each circle.   I attached the other side of the velcro to the paint stick.  The students pick a stick everyday to sign up for Daily 5.  The only circle they can't move is Listening Center.  I also labeled the Listening Center circle with a number that corresponds to the rotation in case they do get moved.  This has really worked for me.  I think when I made the next set I will purchase a STRONG velcro because we have misplaced a few tags.  Isn't it funny how things disappear into thin air in a classroom!

Grab the tag FREEBIE here!

Now that I have talked your head off about Daily 5 I think I have covered everything for now.  Wait.... I do have something I am dying to share!  I created an awesome grammar resource and uploaded it on TPT today!  It is called Fall Fun with Nouns and Adjectives.  It includes a noun sort and I have... Who has game.  I can't wait to try it with my students this week!  Come check it out please!

I would love to answer any questions you have or hear any suggestions that have worked for you!  Be sure to check out the other link-ups too!


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