Friday, September 20, 2013

So it's been a while and Lovin' the Daily Five

So let's just pretend that I haven't blogged in a really long time.  ;) That I've showed you my classroom tour and all our back to school fun.  K? I promise those things will come soon and you'll see why below.

New standards, new evaluation system, new assessment systems to learn/proctor, graduate school and Girls on the Run have taken up a lot of my time lately.  I *think* that I might be able to come up for air for a little bit now.

The school year is going really well! I feel so, so, so blessed to teach language arts to two awesome sets of kiddos.  It's been great being able to readjust mid day and try things again in the afternoon. :) I also share my kiddos with one of the sweetest and kindest people I've ever met.  So needless to say, I've really been loving being departmentalized.

This year, I finally implemented the Daily Five.  I've had the book for years and finally decided it was now or never.  My students and I have been loving it.  I've gotten a couple of questions about how the Daily Five works in my fourth grade classroom on my Instagram and thought I would share what has been working for me! Even though there are lots of great blog posts out their about the Daily Five and so many resources, I can't stress enough how important it is to actually read the book! I read lots of blog and looked a lots of websites this summer but nothing helped me like reading the book!

Like my rotation chart? I got it from Lori of Teaching with Love and Laughter! I love it! You can download it here

The stations that have been working well for me have been read to self, word work, and work on writing.  I plan on blogging more about what my kiddos do during these rotations soon. 

We've tried and tried read to someone but it hasn't quite clicked.  Many couldn't quite grasp it wasn't a time to socialize and our stamina building days never went well.  Plus after about three weeks of whole group lessons, they needed to be super short and to the point, while worked on building our stamina, my kiddos were more than ready to get things started! I hope to try it again now that we've started.  I'm hoping now that they've seen Daily Five in action, they'll be a little more cooperative!

I don't have all the materials for listen to reading, so if/when that is phased in this year, it will be later.  The awesome thing about the Daily Five is you can easily adapt it to fit the needs of your kiddos! 

Most days, we do three rotations.  I have four guided reading groups.  I meet with each group at least twice a week.  Between my two classes, I have eight groups.  I use this little notebook to write down things I didn't finish with each group so I'm not starting each group by saying, "Okay, what did we do last time?"  Not, like I've done that before. :) 

I use a mixture of our district formative assessments, classroom performance, and MAP testing data to make my groups.  I keep generic resources I need for most groups in my Teacher Time tub.  I keep handouts, task cards, stir sticks (reading pointers), extra pencils, games, and hand outs that I use with most of my groups in here.  Specific materials for each group, I keep in a basket on a book shelf behind my guided reading table.

This was our first full week of Daily Five rotations and the kiddos and I loved it! Here's a little peek at what we did!

Inferring from fiction and non fiction is big in the common core for fourth grade, so one day this week, I used a portion of Creekside Teacher Tales' Find Us Forever Homes Pack for part of our small group time.  My kiddos LOVED this activity, and I'm glad we only found one sweet doggy a home this week so I can reuse this activity a few times this year! :) 

We also worked on identifying different types of Text Structures.  We read a magazine article from our Treasures book and decided how the text was organized/structured.  We used Rachel's free Informational Text Structure Handout to help us out. 

We also worked on analyzing characters in literature.  We focused on using text based evidence in our descriptions. To do this, one day we read a part of our weekly story, The Raft, and wrote descriptions about the main character, Nicky.  With some groups that required some additional instruction, I used Rachel's character traits task cards.

The character traits hand out came from the fabulous Beth Newingham.

Also, we've slowing been learning our fluency stations routines and procedures.  So far, we've mastered our fry phrase games, poetry, and roll, read, and repeat from Christiana Bainbridge's Fourth Hundred Fry Phrase Intervention Pack

 The point of view cards are from One Extra Degree. :)

Well, I'm off to dig into the huge stack of reading that I have for my class! :) Happy Friday!



  1. Wow! You have been so busy :) Thanks for links to some great resources! I can't wait so snag some of these for my groups.

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  2. This is a great post! So many great ideas here!

    I see "Esperanza Rising" in your book pile. I love that book! Elijah is really good too. Hope you enjoy them!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. I want to start by saying that your blog looks great! My name is Martin and I'm a teacher from Canada. I just started a new website called Resources4teaching where educators can buy and sell lessons and educational resources. We are new and are looking for people to join and put up their materials for sale on our website. We are having an iPad draw for the first 100 Vendors who join and upload at least 1 lesson /resource for sale on our website. There are absolutely no fees to join and you earn royalties of 70%. You can visit us at:
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  4. Great post, filled with lots of helpful tips for teachers! So glad you are enjoying my Daily 5 Goodies!

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