Friday, September 16, 2011

Making the 5 MY OWN!

Now I know lots of you are doing the Daily 5 in your classroom.  I dabbled in it a bit last year and loved it.  This year I wanted to make it my own!  We have a difficult time in our building implementing structured frameworks into our day because our classroom schedule is set for us.  We have to find a way to make everything fit into a preset day.

I struggled at first because I knew that I wanted to teach mini lessons in all areas and then find a way for my students to work on skills from our mini lessons.  I started out with a pocket chart and the students signed up for five centers.  Independent Reading, Word Study, Buddy Reading, Writing Station, and Listening to Reading.  Now this was all great but I still was not getting the connections from the mini lessons to the work in centers by my students. Yeah, they were going to centers and working but not connecting.

I then decided that my class needed to have more of a visual of what they were to be focusing on in the centers.  Not just the centers...they needed a goal.  So I started adding icons to the pocket chart and called them Our Daily 5 Goals.  The icons changed each week depending on what skills we were working on.

     Students then were given post its to jot down ideas and connections related to our mini lessons.  I decided I wanted the students to have a go to place to get the post its so I attached them to the side of each workstation in my table groups. 
Workstation:)
I then encouraged the class to grab a post it after making their Daily 5 choice.  This helped a ton because when the students made connections they then came up after The 5 and added their post its to our chart.  Perfection...I am a visual learner and I loved heading up front to talk with my students about what they did in The 5 and I could quickly grab the post its and use them to get our conversation and sharing going.  


You can see some buddy reading above.  I also really want all of those cozy nooks with chairs and couches but I just don't have the room.  One thing I did was started purchasing mini stools and pillows for the students.  They are happy as can be.  No need for large furniture to take up space.  
This photo is from my Listening to Reading Center.  I also use www.tumblebooks.com for this center. 

So I thought I was done but my darn pocket chart was getting too full so I decided to make my pocket chart only for our Daily 5 Goals.  That meant I needed to find another place for my students to sign up.  Of course I mean my SMARTboard!  If you don't have one...no worries!  You can just use your computer screen.  I created a simple Smartboard page with sign in pieces.  It works beautifully!

Our Daily 5 Goals!

This is my Goal Pocket Chart for The 5.  Notice I added the pattern for spelling for Word Study and also a post it is in the Writing Stations telling what a student worked on. They just slide their post it where it fits in the centers.  Here is a video of me introducing out writing center.


I am really happy with the way things are running now.  I teach my mini lesson on accuracy or fluency first and off they go to practice and then we regroup to go over our post its.  I teach my comprehension mini lesson and then off they go to practice.  During both rotations I am able to easily get to 2 reading groups or accuracy groups.  I have never been able to do that without rushing.  Now it is a breeze.  I then use other short blocks of time during our day to get our other Daily 5 choices in.  If you are struggling with your schedule and really want the Daily 5 to fit let me know and I would love to share more!
KEEP 5'in it!