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Tweaking Daily 5 to Make it Work for Me... Teacher's Week - Organizing for Instruction

Hello Friends,

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and thought that I would link it to Organizing for Instruction this week on Blog Hoppin!  Also, I added an idea for how I organize my crayons. I just added this, so if you would like to read it, click HERE

 

 Before I begin, I want to preface this by saying that I LOVE Daily 5 and admire every teacher who can make it work just as the book explains. One of my co-teachers followed Daily 5 to the letter last year and she absolutely loved it and plans to follow it exactly again this year. I, though, love creating centers for my students and didn't want to completely eliminate them from my literacy time. And I truly love Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Stations method, so I wanted to keep parts of that, too.

So, this is how I do it.......

I begin the year by teaching the elements of Daily 5  just as the book explains. All the words of wisdom for implementation are contained within the book.  So if you haven't read it, get a copy and read it! It is excellent! We practice READ TO SELF, READ TO A PARTNER, WORD WORK, and LISTEN TO A STORY. One element that I delay is WORK ON WRITING because I feel it is important to teach this skill correctly before adding it into a rotation. I add WORK ON WRITING as a rotation later in the year.

When introducing WORD WORK, all my kiddos do the same center. We discuss center rules such as how to clean up, how to share, how to use quiet voices, what to do if you don't understand the directions, etc. After the initial rules have been explained, I set the timer for 10 minutes and my kiddos practice the center. That is all we do the first
day. The next day, they all do a different center for 10 minutes. This continues for 4 days with my kiddos doing a different center each day. The next week, I use the same centers, but introduce rotation. I set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, they move to a different center. We do this until every group has rotated through all 4 centers.

After my kiddos have a good idea how to rotate, it is time to introduce the Daily 5 rotation chart. My kiddos are always confused that the chart is called Daily FIVE because on my rotation chart, there are only 4 numbers.  I tell them it is because there are FIVE choices to choose from, but they only do 4 of them a day. I was confused by that myself when I was learning Daily 5! Kids have 5 choices, but do not do all them in one day!


The yellow boxes are covering up the names of my kiddos, but you can still get the idea of how it looks! I teach my kiddos that they look for the strip that is ABOVE their name. I used to just number the rotations from the top, but my kinders had trouble understanding how to drag their finger from the top down, so I added numbers in every row which seemed to help their understanding.The kid's names are attached to a black strip with Velcro. Attaching them with Velcro makes it easy for me to change names around.  My kiddos stay with the same group all week; if I make group changes, it is on Monday and they stay with this group until Thursday. Because the names are attached to the black strip, it makes it easy to move them from one rotation to another. I move the entire group from row to row every morning until they have completed every rotation. There are pros and cons to keeping kids together for every rotation. I have tried many ways to group my kids and this way works the best for me. The beauty of our profession is the fact that we are allowed to create structure that works for our group of kiddos as well as something that works for the teacher. Trial and error is a part of what we do!

When I begin rotations, I do NOT add TEACHER TIME. My kiddos must learn how to rotate correctly before I start pulling them back to me. Once I feel they are ready for TEACHER TIME, I make sure that they are working confidently and independently before I bring them back to me. The picture above shows how rotations look after every element has been introduced and practiced.

Okay...... this is how I vary the Daily 5 routine.......

My kids do FOUR Word Work centers a week. Each center is color coded; red, blue, yellow, green. When my kiddos look at their rotations for the day, they look for the apple color on their WORD WORK card. This apple shows them which Word Work tub, they are to do that day. My kiddos rotate with the same group each day. True Daily Five teachers allow their children to make their own choices, but as I said, this is where I varied the structure. When they are not doing WORD WORK, they are doing another Daily 5 element. Within each WORD WORK rotation, there are choices that the kids can do if they are an early finisher OR sometimes I just put in Word Work choices that they choose from during this rotation such as magnet letters, play dough sight words, and sight word "Boom". Regardless of what is put into each WORD WORK center, my kiddos do ONE Word Work center a day which means that they do four Word Work center weekly.  I use many of Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Station ideas in my Word Work centers.

Here are some close up views of how the strips look. You can see that each WORD WORK rotation has a different colored apple on it. If you would like a copy of these rotation strips, click HERE. Please note that I am not including the Daily 5 images by themselves. You can find the small choice cards here at KinderTastic.




The structure of this type of literacy center rotation has cut my planning time in half; maybe even more! I plan 4 centers weekly. I prepare them on Monday morning and they do not change the whole week. Sometimes I will keep one WORD WORK rotation the same from week to week. Some WORD WORK rotations match our theme and some are just fun. The beauty of this type of rotation besides freeing me up from planning so many centers is that my kiddos are still benefiting from the Daily 5 elements and developing a joy of reading in many different ways while still practicing critical kindergarten Word Work skills on a daily basis.


The WORD WORK centers might look like this:

RED - beginning sound match
BLUE - search the room/uppercase and lowercase letter match
YELLOW - roll an apple letter match
GREEN - find the letters; font search and match

 I always make sure that there is a generic activity or two within each WORD WORK tub so that early finishers have something to do before the time to rotate is up!

And just in case you are wondering what we do on Fridays........ I do whole group literacy instruction on Fridays. I may introduce new a skill, a new letter, a new reading game, a shared reading/writing experience...... I like doing this on Friday rather than on Monday because my kiddos are ready for a change on Friday and the skill that they learned on Friday can usually be found in a WORD WORK center the following week.

So.... that is how I tweaked Daily 5 to make it work for me! I am very aware that this is not the pure version of Daily 5, but I feel that my students are able to glean the benefits of this beautiful program while allowing me to feel comfortable in the process!

Click the button below to take you to Blog Hoppin to read about some amazing ideas from teachers sharing their organizational tips!

Until next time!

Blessings,
Cindy

24 comments:

  1. I would love a copy of your packet as I am about to embark on setting up various centers in my classroom including literacy which is so vital.

    I follow you on Bloglovin and FB.

    Thanks in advance

    Your loyal follower
    Roxanne
    foxysexyroxy10@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Roxanne for your comment! Let me know if you need any help setting up your centers! I love centers and especially now that D5 is a vital part of them!

      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  2. I am starting daily 5 this year! Would love this! I follow you on facebook! :)alex_lindsey@hotmail.com

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  3. I like learning about others' modifications to Daily 5. Thanks for sharing! Fb fan christy at pietrzaks dot com

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  4. I think that your students are going to love this.

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  5. Love this! Follow on Facebook also!

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  6. Thanks for the detailed explanation! I'm a facebook and blog follower.

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  7. Thanks for this post! I, too, have modified Daily 5 for my class, as I can not give up "guiding" my students - controlled choice?

    I follow you on both Bloglovin and FB

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    Replies
    1. Controlled choice is something that works for me! :)
      Have a great year and thank you for your comment!

      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  8. I'm starting Daily 5 this year. :)
    Thanks for the info.
    Lois
    loisl@psdschools.org

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  9. I'm always looking for ways to make the Daily 5 run smoother in Kindergarten! Thanks!

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  10. I'm always trying to figure out how to start and use centers in my classroom. this helped a lot! with some research and practice, hopefully I am able to introduce them this year.

    i've been following your blog for over a year and follow on FB too!

    thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

    --Kristin (kristinknny@yahoo.com)

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome, Kristin! I do not profess to be an expert, but I do enjoy sharing what I do! Hope your school year gets off to a great start!

      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  11. I follow both! Thank you for sharing your Daily 5 ideas!

    cheriemae@gmail.com

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  12. I would love a copy! I appreciated your post as I too don't like I give up control.

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  13. Thank you so much for this post! I am going to tr Daily 5 this year in my classroom. I wold love to win!!

    Cheers,
    rmdirk@aol.com

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  14. So glad to read your post - I also do a Daily 5/centre rotations combo with my Prep (Kindergarten equivalent in Queensland) class so was excited to read some of your ideas. Thanks!

    Lauren
    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beauty of our profession is that we can tweak things to make them work for our students! I love reading how other teachers do that!

      Thank you, Lauren for your comment!

      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  15. This looks great! I follow your blog and FB pages.
    lraines78@gmail.com

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  16. I love following your blog. I too teach Kindergarten in a Catholic School. I've been reading "The Daily 5" and thinking that it would need to be "tweaked" to fit in with my classroom routines, requirements, and principal expectations. Thank you for your ideas!

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    Replies
    1. If you have not read the D5 book, I highly recommend that you do! It is an excellent program! As I said,I use the basic structure; just changed it a bit to suit the needs of my students. Good luck in setting it up in your classroom!

      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  17. I too use the Daily 5 tweaked to meet my needs in a Catholic School. Thanks for the great post! amulder@charter.net

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  18. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! They mean so very, very much to me!!

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  19. I am in love with the way you structured your word work! Planning four activities a week is so manageable. Thanks for explaining everything so clearly!

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