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!



  1. Can you clarify for me how the paint sticks work for choosing centers? I need a new way for my 3rd graders to manage where they go when :-) Thanks!

  2. Sure! Currently I keep them in a bucket. In the morning they grab a random stick from the bucket. They move the tags in any order they want. The tag that is on the top is for 1st rotation, second on is for 2nd rotation, and so on. I am considering giving each student their own to keep because there is sometimes confusion where they put Meet with the Teacher. If they had their own that circle would never have to move. I am also thinking about taking Read to Self out of the ones they choose and putting Work on Writing in instead because they all go directly to Read to Self after morning work. Does that clear things up a little?

  3. They put their stick back in the bucket at the end of the day.

  4. Yes!!! Couple more questions - How do you prevent too many kids from going to the same rotation and/or making sure that there are an even number for Read to Someone? I like the idea of having assigned paint sticks so they know when they are in group!

    1. I don't care how many kids are doing the same thing. The only one I monitor is Listening, but the other areas just work out fine. Word work is mostly independent work, so there are usually a few sitting at their desks or somewhere on the floor with a clip board. I did tell them if they are playing a game they are only allowed to have 4 players. Read to someone has been difficult at times. I think I am going to designate a meeting spot for them to go when they have Read to someone. If there are 3 people at the meeting spot then they can read together. There has been a few occasions where there was only one kid and either someone volunteered to read with them OR they do read to self. I love these questions! Please let me know if you need anything else.

  5. Hi Stacey!
    I am so glad you linked up with Becca! This is such a great way to see how teachers are using Daily 5 in so many great ways! I really like how cute your book boxes turned out! LOVE the bright colors and patterns! Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

    1. Thank you! I am really glad I linked up too. I have learned a lot from the others who did as well. I couldn't be happier with the way my book boxes turned out. Before I did them the boxes were constantly falling apart. It was such a pain. My family always said duct tape fixes everything and it did!


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