Wednesday, June 27, 2012

K Daily Five - CH 3 {linky party}

Brace's a LONG one! Grab some coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy my 'ramblings' of the Daily Five! :)
1. Creating and establishing a place for brain and body breaks.
I use a carpet.  After I ring the chimes {more on that in a minute} my students clean up their area and meet me on the carpet.  Here we dive into our next 10 minute section of learning or take a brain break!
Click HERE to go to my post on brain breaks! :)

Developing the concept of "Just Right Books."
This is big.  I mean serious stuff.  'Just right books' are books that are on a child's independent reading level.  They're not too difficult that they get frustrated or have a hard time comprehending what is happening in the story and they're not too easy, where the child is not challenged.  They are at a level where the child knows most of the words but not ALL the words.  
I highly recommend using the shoe example.  I did this with my kids both years and it really stuck. I did exactly like the Sisters did in their example.  I tried on one of the kiddos shoe and brought in my husbands shoes.  I used those examples of finding a book that is on their level and then used high heels "fancy shoes" and tennis shoes in scenerios to which they would not match.  We then discussed the importance of choosing just right books and how not everyone will be reading on the same level or the same types of books.  We all have different interests and read and learn at different levels.
 There are so many ways to introduce this concept though!

Create anchor charts with students.
DO IT!  The first year I did this I really didn't put much emphasis on the anchor charts, however, this previous year I did and BOY did it make a difference.  By creating the anchor charts with them they KNOW what it says, remember its meaning, and when a student is off task I simply point to the anchor chart.  I also had my students help me in placing the anchor charts around the room where they would be able to remember.  We put the Read to Self and Buddy Read charts in our book nook area, Work on Writing in that section of our room, and the Writing chart in our writing station.  Refer to them constantly.  Use as reminders.  I like to pretend I forgot what is expected and they 'oh-so-quickly' jump at the chance to remind me of what they should be doing and what I should be doing! 
This is my '3 ways to read a book' anchor chart I created with students (I guided them into saying each of these three things :)  I do NOT laminate this and keep it each year.  I make a new one each year with each class so that they GET IT and KNOW IT! 
Short intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes.
First off, short intervals are definitely a must.  They need to practice doing the RIGHT thing! :)  Building stamina is important!  
These are my "book luggage."  $1 from the Dollar Tree and die-cut paper laminated for the "book luggage tag."  Love their durability and they're so easy to store!
       Here are some of the contents inside their book luggage: 'just right books' (I select roughly 5 books, they select 1 from our classroom library, and 1 from the school library.  We also place our decodable books inside here as we are introduced to them...we take them home and put in new ones every other week), an eyelighter (the thingy that looks like a ruler...this is used as a tool to help them stay focused and read.  It also helps those kiddos who need help tracking),  a bookmark with reading strategies on it {snagged these when I first started blogging 2 years ago...have NO clue where I got them from...if they're yours let me know!}, and magic reading glasses {Dollar Store glasses/or you can get from Michaels, with the lenses popped out} This is a simple tool that they LOVE to keep them focused the whole time.  This year they had to earn them by showing me they knew how to be a good "learner" and take responsibility for their learning {i.e.: stayed on task and focused the WHOLE time}

Calming signals and check in procedures.
I use chimes.  I love how calming they really are.  I never raise my voice {at least during the daily five...lets be honest here :) } during this time.  I keep my tone at a normal speaking voice to whisper.  Works marvelously with keeping their volume down and keeping the classroom enviornment calm and on task.  Doesn't always work but for the most part! :)   
I love having students check in.  It's their way of taking responsibility for their own actions and for the most part they are 'spot-on' honest!!!!  Checking in is simple.  I have mine "check in" as they come to the carpet.  They give me a "1" (one finger placed close to their heart) if they did a great job and were on task, a "2" if they were on task for the most part but could have done better, and a "3" if they did not do well and had a lot of trouble.  It takes me a whopping 20 seconds to get this part done! I scan have them show me (they have to make eye contact with me) and move on to the next mini-lesson and next rotation!

Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.
I enjoy this part as much as my sweet kiddos!  I do follow the examples the Sisters lay out for you in the book.  I choose students I know might be a "problem" student with staying on task and building stamina and I have THOSE students show us the "wrong" way.  They all laugh and act overly silly but THEY GET IT!  They really do.  I had a SEVERE ADHD student in my classroom this year...NO MEDS... and he was BRILLIANT in the daily five {did I use enough CAPS there?!}.  If I caught him off-task, I simply reminded him of when he did the "incorrect" way and he immediately remembered that everyone had cheered for him when he did it the "correct" way.  Of course, there will be some that were placed in your classroom by God to test your patience.  Just do quick reminders/reviews in the mornings and praise those you seeing doing a great job!  We all know this! :)

 I can not thank Tammy from Live, Love, Laugh enough for hosting this awesome linky party.  It's such a great way for us to reflect on our own teaching, learn new ways to implement and "do" things, and a great way to utilize all the resources we have at our fingers tips {all of YOU}! Even though I feel I have "mastered" the Daily Five in my first grade classroom this year will be a new year with a group of kinders.  I've never implemented the Daily Five with kindergarten and greatly appreciate the chance to reflect on what I'm already doing, see what you all are thinking, and try to challenge myself to come up with new creative ways of doing things.

Thanks for sticking around and for all your creative minds!

Don't forget to link up!


  1. GREAT post! I love your book luggage. Thank you for the ideas. Looks like I need to make another run to the Dollar Tree!

  2. The book luggage is such a cute idea. I've wanted to introduce book boxes in the fall, but like many others, have struggled with where to store them.

    Consequently, I've used the baskets you have for your luggage for math/lit centers and they stored so easily. And, with the tag, I can still put a small picture of the kids to help in fostering the independence.

    Such a cute blog :)

  3. Love the book luggage. I need to make a Target and Dollar Tree run!!
    Too cute of ideas~

  4. Thanks for sharing. I too like your luggage and your reflection on the kiddo who was caught off task. So true.

  5. Great ideas! What do you do regarding your reading glasses for your students who actually wear glasses? I had an unusual number of students with glasses last year (5 out of 23) but I would love to borrow your idea!

  6. I love your blog and just gave you an award! Check it out at

  7. Hey kiddos who had regular glasses just put their "magic reading glasses" over them. I didn't say anything to them, they just did it. I did ask them if that bothered them or if they would rather have something else and they all said "no" that they loved the reading glasses.
    Maybe you could give them a "reading cap" or "magic reading cap" (hat) to wear or something. I've never encountered that problem with students NOT wanting them or wearing them so I've never thought of it before!
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention!!

    Kelly :)


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