Hey everyone! It's Lisa from Always an Adventure in Kindergarten!
As we are all thinking about heading back (or some of you poor souls are back already <gasp>), I know many of you are thinking about taking the Daily 5 plunge. All I can say is DO IT! You won't be sorry!
I first heard of Daily 5 probably about 5 years ago. I was then a Title Reading teacher that went from class to class to work with struggling readers. I instantly fell in love with Daily 5 because it gave me so much more flexibility in my intervention time than I had when the teacher had students in traditional literacy centers. Last year, I returned to a classroom teaching Kindergarten and was SO excited to try my hand at implementing Daily 5 myself. I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. I really feel like I truly implemented Daily 5 with validity. We did all 5 Daily rotations each day. The kids chose the order in which they did each Daily. I did mini-lessons in between. I wouldn't have it any other way! I could go on and on, but I think I'll just hit the highlights with this "Why I Daily 5" list!
1. It creates a very routine and procedure driven classroom
We spend a tremendous amount of time at the beginning of the year learning procedures and building stamina. These skills then carry over into all other activities in our classroom. My math centers run smoother because of the procedures and routines learned during Daily 5. Heck, I think even the drinking fountain line runs smoother because they have more stamina! Ha! By about November, my Daily 5 time ran like clockwork-WITH KINDERGARTENERS! Yes, people, they CAN do it!
2. It allows kids to work on their own level
This is the biggy for me, especially with kindergarteners. Last year, I had students come in that couldn't identify any letters or write their name and I had a few that were already reading at a first grade level. With Daily 5, this isn't even an issue. They each fill their book box with books that meet their needs and interests. They get to write as little or as much as they can during Work on Writing. During Listen to Reading, I could set them up with apps or websites that allowed them to work on their level. I could go on and on!
3. It gives me flexibility with my small groups
I love that I can pull a group over to my table, work with them and see that Johnny needs a little bit more work on a certain skill. I could send the rest of the group back to their Dailys and keep Johnny for a few extra minutes. By not having "meet the teacher" as one of the rotations, everyone always had an activity to work on. Yes, they may miss part of it or all of it that day because they were with me, but because they didn't move through the Dailys in the same order each day, they weren't missing the same thing over and over. (does that even make sense?!) I was OK with the fact that Jonny missed Work on Writing today because I knew that he wouldn't miss it tomorrow-get it?! My intervention teachers that come into my classroom would agree wholeheartedly with this, too. They can spend extra time with one or two students without having to find activities for the rest of the group to work on.
4. It builds independence and confidence
I'm not sure I even need to elaborate on this one! By building up their stamina so that they can work quietly for 20 minutes, we are creating more independent workers. By allowing them to always work at their level, they are much more successful and therefore more confident in themselves.
Like I said, I could go on and on! And, no, I'm not a paid spokesperson for Daily 5! Although I could be! I just love it THAT much!
If you haven't read the book, you still have time before school starts. It's a really quick read. You can also check out the website for Daily 5. There's lots of great stuff over there!
Thanks for hanging with me! I'll see you next month on the 27th, when I'll already have the first week back under my belt! If you think you might miss me by then, you can always head over to Always an Adventure in Kindergarten and see me there!