Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Daily Five: Focus on Small Groups

Happy summer everyone!  Mine is winding down and I am getting ready to present at our school system's annual reading and math conference.  I will be sharing about The Daily Five.  My presentation focuses on the recommendations made by authors Gail Boushey and Joan Moser in their book The Daily Five.

However, I have had to make a few adjustments to some of these recommendations so that this literacy structure can work in my classroom.  I think the mark of a good program is that there is some room for flexibility and personal touches.  From my experience, The Daily Five does offer that flexibility.

If you are launching The Daily Five, I have created a set of mini books to support student learning of procedures.  These mini books mirror the language I use on my I charts.  I plan to use them as I introduce each component of The Daily Five or use them as review (if and when students need a refresher on expectations).  If you are interested, click on one of the pics to find out more information.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions let me know.
Have a great week!


  1. Amber,
    I love this information about your changes. It is good to see that changes can be made. Sometimes people get so "by the book" they forget to take the best from what they know works and try it out. I love the books that you made, too! Thank you for sharing and good luck presenting! You'll do fabulous! (fabulously?) You know what I mean... :)
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

  2. Thanks for sharing Amber! There is so much good information here! A couple of quick questions: you said that you tried to keep you groups to 4 kids or less...do you have a small class (under 20 kids?) If so I am very jealous!!! Or do you have 2 word work stations (in different parts of the room) and each station only has 4 kids at them? Also, roughly how long do you make your centers? I know it varies on day but just curious for a rough estimate! :)

    Thanks so much for sharing all of this great information...I like the idea of giving kids the choice within the center but rotating kids in a more traditional way! :) PS good luck on your presentation-you will do great!

    Learning to the Core

    1. Great questions.
      Let me just say, yes I'm usually under 20 students in my class. So, it is easy for me to do 5 groups of 4. 4 is a great number, but groups of up to 6 can certainly work. I think keeping the groups even is important. Although, this past year I had and odd number of students. In that case I really tried to group very cooperative students together (still leveled) or sometimes I would ask for a volunteer to switch groups during Read to Someone to even out the number.
      Next year I am actually going to try to incorporate a second word work rotation (just like you mentioned in your question). The first word work rotation will be one with manipulatives (magnet letters, wikki stix, etc.) so students can practice the spelling words for the week. The second word work rotation will be one with literacy centers (primarily review skills). We'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'll post about it after seeing how this change goes.
      As far as timing, each one of my rotations are not 30 minutes (like the book recommends). They are usually 15-20 minutes, plus whatever time it takes for 2-3 mini lessons each day. I absolutely do not have time to do five 30 minute rotations and mini lessons.
      I hope I answered your questions.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. These are adorable :) Thanks for sharing! I second Amanda's question, too.
    The Sweetest Thing
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  4. I love how others are making Daily 5 work for them. I don't follow it exactly, but do use it with my kinders. I am loving your little books. Such a great idea! I added them to my wish list- thanks!


  5. Those little books are a great idea! Good luck presenting. We know you'll do great. You're colleagues are lucky to have you for support and direction. ;)