Thursday, August 2, 2012

Making Daily 5 work for me

I’m not sure if the Daily 5 book study is still going or not… I haven’t seen any posts recently. But Chapter 7 is all about trouble shooting and it really made me think about how/if I could make this work in my classroom. I came to the conclusion that I CAN make it work, but with some adjustments. Here are my problems with doing Daily 5 the way it is presented in the book:

1. The Book says to do 5 30-minute rotations. . . That’s an hour and a half! I only have an hour for rotations.

2. The book says to pull kids while they are working on other parts of Daily 5. I have four groups that I need to see for 15 minutes each, no exceptions.

3. The book says the kids can have free reign over deciding what to do when, and where to do it. I know, from 6 years in the same neighborhood, that these kids can’t handle that. Some choice yes, but they need structure.

4.  My students are expected to use the computers. Our district actually monitors student usage of the computers to make sure they are getting a good amount of time on them.

So here’s how I’m going to make it work for me, because I do really like the components of Daily 5 and I think it really simplifies things down from having so many centers all over the room. I will continue to do four rotations during my hour block. You can see by my board from last year here how I do that – One rotation is always reading group with me and the others were centers around the room.

I am going to simply combine my other centers into the daily 5 like this:

So each day my students will meet with me, rotate to either read to self/read to someone, rotate to either word work/writing center, and rotate to either listen to reading/computers. For read to self and read to someone I will let them choose where to work. However, computers will always be at the computers, word work at the word work center, work on writing at the writing center, listen to reading at the listening center. This way they still get to choose where to sit during one of their rotations, but I don’t have to deal with the entire class choosing (and fighting over) where to sit. The literacy games I have made in my various units will provide lots of choice at the word work center.

So on any given day my work board might look like this:
 Let me explain it a little... the kids are in four groups based on level. Red, yellow, green and blue. Each letter within the group stands for a kid. Normally the index cards have their name and picture. A and B are always partners, C and D are always partners. So Kid A in the red group will go with his partner B to reading group with me, then read to self, then listen to reading, then word work. He'll do this for two days, then I'll swap them so that he goes where C and D went - first to me, then to read to someone, then to computer, then to work on writing. 

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes once we get it started in a few weeks.

In other news, I’ve added alphabet posters for all my themes, and added an adorable cowboy western theme.

How about you? Are you using Daily 5? Will you make any changes?


  1. I think it totally is about what works for you and the kids.

    I am going to split the daily 5 into reading stations in the morning (read to self, someone, listening, teacher) and language arts centers in the afternoon (writing, word work, computer and teacher). This will give me 4 rotations each time, but I get all the daily 5's in:) Good luck!

    The Resourceful Apple

  2. I love how you have your Daily 5 board set up! I am sending my coworker in your directions. She has a country/western theme & I know she would love all of your goodies!! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. @Mrs. Wathen
    I'm curious, if you do reading stations in the moring, and language arts centers in the afternoon, when do you have time for everything else? Math, Writing, Science, Social Studies....?

  4. I am working on a similar chart. I have to add extra centers to mine though. Last year I had 24 students and have to plan for that many this year. I too am required to meet with each reading group for a minimum of 15 minutes each day and still have to incorporate 70 minutes of math and 45 minutes of science/ss. It is a challenge.

  5. I am still wondering whether to do Debbie Dillers rotation or Daily 5. Right now we are doing 4 rotations, which are very simple, which gives me time to go over procedures. (i just started this week:) Last year I attempted to do Daily 5, however, I found it overwhelming for my young class.

    How is this going for you?

  6. I love this! Do you have any documents for your board that you created?