Monday, June 9, 2014

Daily 5 Book Study: Chapters 1 and 2

I am so excited to join some of the other Freebielicious girls for The Daily 5 Summer Book Study!! If you haven't received your copy yet, grab your book on Amazon by clicking on the image below!
I use the Daily 5 in my room; however, I have adapted it a tad to fit the needs of my schedule/my students needs.  After reading the second edition, I think I will be making a few more changes to my reading block this year!
The first chapter describes how the sisters realized that doing all 5 rounds each day was too much for our little ones!  Now, they recommend only doing 3 centers daily, two centers being Read to Self and Work on Writing, while the other center is choice.  The chapter goes on to explain how to start the daily 5 and how to set up for the daily 5.  
At the beginning of the school year, you will spend the first 20 days building a sense of community, working on behaviors, building stamina, and assessing the needs of your students.  You can do all  5 of the centers daily, with students participating in each center.  During this time, they will visit each center for a short amount of time.  You won't set a timer; however, when you see the students start to get restless, you will gather them together and move on to the next center.  As they start to build their stamina, drop a center.  Now, students will do 4 centers a day.  Continue doing this until students have long enough stamina for 3 centers daily. 
One of my favorite parts in this chapter was how the sisters described setting up the daily 5, specifically the Word Work center. You should never put activities in the Word Work center (or any center) just to keep students busy.  It should always be activities that will keep students engaged in literacy tasks and make a difference in their learning.  You also shouldn't have to constantly tidy and restock the Word Work center.  If you are, you are going to work so hard to put centers out each week that you will start to dread setting up or creating centers for the following week.
This was my goal this year when I created my Word Work packs.  
 Each month I created word work activities that my students could complete independently.  Even though I changed out the centers monthly, they were similar enough that I didn't have to reteach how to complete any of the centers...the students knew exactly what they needed to do.
I keep the centers organized by month is a big 2-gallon ziplock bag.  Next year I can just pull out the bag and my Word Work center is ready for the month!
To read more about how I set up my Word Work center click HERE or on the image below.
Chapter 2 discusses the different Steps of Independence. 
Trust and Respect: If students aren't engaged during the daily 5 centers, then you know that they need more guided practice and instructional support to build their stamina.  Trust the students to do their best! 
Community: Make sure your students feel a sense of community within the classroom.  Let them design your schedule with you, make your classroom rules together, share stories together, etc.  This will students will feel more accountable and they will begin to encourage each other. 
Choice: Let students choose what they read and what they write about.  Let students choose where they want to sit and at least one of the centers they want to participate in.  Giving them choice will also allow ownership.
Accountability: Students are accountable for choosing a comfortable spot where they will be engaged and also for their voice level. If they are not following the rules for either, then you should review the I-chart.  If it is just one individual student not following the rules then hold a conference with them. Also, hold students accountable for selecting meaningful reading/writing activities.  This way, they will be naturally motivated and engaged which is the ultimate accountability.
Brain Research: Research shows that students age is about the same amount of time that they are engaged. Which means in kindergarten, most students can fully pay attention for only 5-6 minutes.  
Transitions as Brain and Body Breaks: Each daily 5 rotation should run for the length of time that students are engaged/their stamina.  When students start to get restless, gather together and do a quick physical break like 'Simon Says'.  Some of my favorite brain breaks are Just Dance For Kids videos on YouTube or  SO fun!!!

Join us next week for Chapter 3! Also, make sure you head over to my friends' blogs to read their take on these two chapters!! I would love to hear what you think!!


  1. What a great summary, and you have so many great ideas...especially for a kindergarten classroom. Thanks for sharing!

    Kindergarten Teacher at the Wheel

  2. Such a great summary! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.

    Miss Galvin Learns

  3. hey, I just got my book, so I'm a little behind, but can anyone link up with you ladies?
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

  4. I just got the book today and plan on sitting outside relaxing and catching up! :) I love your word work centers and how you implement them each month. I plan on incorporating daily five next year and will be adding your word work to my TPT cart. ;)


  5. Yes Jessica! Join whenever and definitely link up!!!

  6. Your blog popped up on my facebook page and I'm so glad it did. I just posted yesterday about doing small groups in Kinder and looking for tips on how to make it work. I've read The Daily Five but I've never used it in Kinder. Love your post about the new version and I'll definitely be checking out some of the other teachers participating in the book talk. Thanks!