Daily 5 is one of my favorite times of our school day, and I know my students feel the exact same way! The reason they love it so much is that it gives them freedom of choice, which most kids love! I like to do Daily 5 in the mornings when my students are more relaxed and ready to learn. I always set aside at least 75 minutes per day for Daily 5.
Here’s how our weekly/daily schedule plays out:
9:20-9:45 Introduce new spelling words
9:45-10:00 Mini Lesson to Whole Group (Each week, I do a mini lesson on a new reading comprehension skill)
10:00-10:20 Rotation 1
10:20-10:40 Rotation 2
Tuesday through Friday-
9:20-9:40 Rotation 1
9:40-10:00 Rotation 2
10:00-10:20 Rotation 3
10:20-10:40 Rotation 4 (Either do another guided reading group, or visit students working independently for conferencing)
How I Announce Centers Each Day:
I use this reading rotation poster that is posted on my reading bulletin board. As you can see the chart on the left of the two pictures below, I have all of my students’ names on clothes pins. I have students grouped based on their guided reading groups, which is the group they stay with through each rotation. At the beginning of Daily 5, I rotate my students’ clips and announce out loud which center each group starts at. I set a timer for 20 minutes and then move clips and then call out each groups’ center. I like having the flexibility each day and each rotation to choose which group I want to see for guided reading, as well as have the ability to choose which group I want at certain centers. If a student forgets or doesn’t hear me announce their group, they can simply come look at the chart.
See how I rotate students in this short video clip:
What I do During Guided Reading Groups:
I usually have 5 different guided reading groups. I group my students in homogeneous groups based on their reading levels. Every time I reassess my students’ reading levels, I will make new groups. I don’t meet with all groups every day, but see each group 3 or 4 times per week. I try to meet with my lowest group 4-5 times per week.
When I meet with my students during guided reading groups, I do one of two things. We either are doing comprehension worksheets based off of the mini lesson for that week or we are reading a book together as a group. In our guided reading group, I may have the focus on something that I know that particular group needs to work on (such as fluency, vocabulary, inferencing, etc.) or we are looking for ways to apply that particular reading comprehension skill. Another thing I like to use while reading guided reading books is to use these before, during, after reading question cards.
What The Other Students Are Doing:
You may be wondering, are your students REALLY independent enough to do their own centers while you run guided reading groups? Well, yes… but they weren’t right away. The first month of school, we practice, practice, practice!!! I do teach second grade, which is when their independence and attention span really begins to grow. While I am doing guided reading groups, other students are in one of the following stations: writing center, word work center, listen to reading, reading on iPads, read to self, or read to someone. (Yes… My Daily 5 should be called “Daily 7” since I have 7 centers. However, I only get through 2 rotations on Mondays and 4 rotations the other days).
Work on Writing:
I have a writing center set up in my classroom all year long as a place for students to go during ‘work on writing’ station. On the bulletin board, I have examples of each type of writing they can choose from. I also have a tray of lined paper, a tray of writing tools (and story starters), our class notebooks, highlighters, pens, and pencils. You can find these writing center activities here. Students also like to choose a writing prompt from these 100 writing prompts.
One of the things set out for students apart from the writing center activities is our class notebooks (which has since gotten a facelift!)
Here’s a look at a student using the writing center!
As you probably can relate, students often ask how to spell something while writing! I LOVE these Writing Folders, which have 500 high frequency words and commonly used words. This really helps students write independently, which keeps them from interrupting me during guided reading groups.
Take a peek at our writing folders:
Work on Word Work:
Another center is “work on word work”. Students practice their spelling words for that week using a practice method of their choice. I have tons of options for them, such as letter tiles, dry erase boards, mini chalkboards, etc. But, I also give them template paper that they can practice writing their words in a FUN way. This is called “Word Work“, which includes 20 different ways to practice spelling. I used to keep several laminated copies of each type of word work practice in a binder, but the students had a hard time opening and closing the binder and putting them back in the correct place. Since then, I now have the laminated sheets in a file bin and organize them with divider tabs. (MUCH BETTER!!) Students use the visa-vis markers on these laminated sheets and use a damp paper towel to wipe them off when they are finished!
Read to Self
The next center is “read to self”. In the beginning of the year, we discuss how to find a “just right” book, which is what they should be reading during this silent, independent read to self time. Sometimes I just let students read without an activity, other times, I assign a question they must answer in their Daily 5 notebooks. I also like letting them choose a question from these 100 reading response questions.
Read to Someone
At times, I assign a group to “read to someone”. They must choose someone in their group to read to. In the beginning of the year, I show them just how to take turns and how to read to someone!
Listening to Reading
I have a listening center in my classroom that I like to play audio cds on for the kids and have the book that they can follow along.
Reading on iPad
What kid does not like working on an iPad?! We have 5 in our classroom, so it works great for a center! Their favorite apps to be on for reading is Epic! and Raz Kids. (Worth buying the subscription!)
Well, that’s a peek into my Daily 5, in my case, Daily 7! (Not that we get to 7 stations in one day!) I hope you enjoyed this quick glance! I’d love to hear from you with how you do your reading block! Feel free to ask questions!