Sunday, April 27, 2014

The New Daily Five: Chapter 4

What do you need to begin the Daily 5?

You may be wondering what items you would need in order to implement The Daily 5 in your classroom.  Chapter 4 lists the "must-haves."

Really Good Stuff

The Quiet Signal

During The Daily 5, there are several opportunities to check-in with your students.  At these check-in points, students will need to meet back at the gathering place.  A familiar signal for quieting students is an important element of The Daily 5.  You may want to choose wind chimes as suggested by Boushey and Moser. A rain stick or a music box may work as well.

The Sisters suggest the "Above-Pause-Whisper" method.  Use an above signal, pause until you have students' attention, and then whisper the directions.  

Chart Rack or Interactive Whiteboard

A chart stand or an interactive white board will be needed in order to create I-Charts.  These anchor charts will be displayed and referred to often, so consider which method will be most effective for you.

Personally, I prefer the physical charts over the digital ones.  I like to be able to direct students to the chart stand and have them read over a chart.  This is a little more difficult if you have to access them from a digital file.  

Tools, Not Toys

You may want to gather some tools (like joke books, I Spy Books, or fun reading manipulatives) to put into a bin to support the children who have difficulty building stamina.  Another great idea is to tape off work space areas so that children can see the boundaries of the area, thus preventing them from wandering around the classroom during an independent work time.  I've used the boundary idea with students and it was very effective. 

Steps to Literacy

Book Boxes

Students need to have access to books for independent reading time. The Sisters suggest that students have their own browsing boxes where they can store "just right" books.  Primary classrooms should have at least 700 titles with a good mix of fiction and non-fiction.

A Gathering Place and Focus Lessons 

You will need to create a space for large group instruction.  In this space, students will meet for mini-lessons and check-ins.  You may want this spot to be located near your interactive white board; you might want to keep your chart stand there as well. This is area is where your class anchor charts will be created.

Meeting in a large group instruction area has advantages: close proximity, fewer distractions, and the opportunity for partner discussions.  

Our principal was sweet enough to purchase carpets for all the primary classrooms.  I love the grouping possibilities they provide.  Students can meet with a partner who is seated in a square beside them or with a partner of an assigned color. Students can also sit on an alphabet letter around the outside edge. 


During the lessons,  I-Charts are created and displayed as a reference for students use access as needed.  A chart stand can be used to store the charts.  Some teachers prefer to use a Smart board and save the charts digitally.  

Classroom Design 

Does your classroom provide comfortable, cozy spots to promote reading?  You may want to consider adding a few bean bag chairs, rocking chairs, or carpeted areas with study pillows.  Some specialty items that teachers have used and students love - a reading tent, claw-foot bath tub, blow up pool, or large tractor tire with pillows inside.

Do you have a special spot where students can cuddle up with their books?  Please share your book nook idea in the comments.  The hop on over to That First Grade Blog for Jen's thoughts on the book.  :)

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