Daily 5–more thoughts

As I’m reading the blog posts on the second chapter of the Daily 5 book, I’m seeing a couple of common threads.  “Trust–wow–great concept; hard to do.”  The more I get into this method of teaching, the more I find kids are capable of taking over their own instruction.  I have a huge list of jobs that are assigned and rotated weekly.  Lighting manager–opens and closes blinds, turns on all lamp banks.  Homework manager–puts a checkmark in marker on every completed homework paper and leads the class in grading them together.  Reward manager–moves all clips to green and manages the motivational piece. Equipment manager–manages playground equipment and ensures that manipulatives are put away when we finish with them.  Math Meeting leader and helper–one runs the math meeting, the other helps with the management (choosing kids to call on, handing materials over, checking answers) Radio helper–makes sure our grade level’s radio is with a duty teacher and put away  And then there are the typical jobs–line leader, caboose, messenger, librarian, botanist & biologist (plant waterer and pet feeder).  Some posted about modeling how homework agendas are checked, and then turning that over as a classroom job–brilliant!  I want to put someone in charge of organizing the Word Work area this year.

Those kids who will not work without you probably will continue to be that way, until you show them that you trust them to do it on their own.  Sometimes I will still have a behavior problem choose a bubble space near me, they will come in at recess to practice, I have them model the desirable behaviors more often…but when you trust them, they will do the best they can.

Another common thread:  “If I give them choice, won’t they just run wild?”  This isn’t free reign–it’s a choice among 5 choices, with structure.  I may only get to 3 rounds in one day.  I use a coded checklist to record where they’ve been.  The kids know that before they can start over on the Daily 5, they have to finish all 5 choices.  I think that pocket chart with cards showing where they’ve been will help this.  So if the child had Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, and Word Work on Monday, they have to finish with Work on Writing and Read to Self the next day before they can repeat a choice.  The year before, with 3 rounds a day, I tried that they could choose Read to Self, Work on Writing, and their choice of the other 3 every day.  I wasn’t happy with rounds being left out, so I changed it.  I started off with allowing them to share Word Work materials and found that didn’t work, so I changed it.  I used to allow them to draw during Work on Writing, but wasn’t happy with the lack of writing, so now they can only draw on Fridays.  They can only read good fit books at school.  Sometimes they are able to read with the partner of their choice, and sometimes they’re stuck with someone else.  They have to finish their word lists in order.  They have to come to my table when it’s their turn.

Their choices, however, are still huge…what good fit book out of 10 in my bag do I want to read?  What good fit books do I want to choose during book shopping?  What round will I do first?  What word work material will I use?  What listening area will I choose?  What book will I listen to when I get there?  Where will I sit?  Will I use a pillow or an island (blanket) or other seat?  Assigning spelling assignments, choosing partners so they won’t get in trouble, assigning seats during choice time, choosing books for their choice time, rotating choices by schedule, limiting how many are in each area,…those take from that realm of choice.

I’m looking for more ways to have the kids take over their class this year.  I’m a major control freak, but the more I step away and offer structured choices, the better they learn.

To read more about the book studies, try Teaching With Style  and Lory’s Page.


3 responses to this post.

  1. I love al your jobs! I had a Lights Manager, but they were in charge of turning off and on the overhead lights, not the lamps. Genius! I also love your idea of using a pocket chart so students have a visual reminder of what choices they have done. This will be great as I move down to kinder next year. Thanks for linking up!


  2. Your insights on this are really helpful! I think the book has such great ideas, but as teachers we need examples and practice. I am working on a checklist right now that will help the kids structure themselves during this time and let me know what they have completed.


  3. I had to laugh on your last line about being a control freak! That’s me! I can’t help it, but I better if I want to implement D5. Thanks for the questions at the end to ponder upon…I have similar questions.


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