Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daily 5 Choices

Oh we go!! This year is my second go around with implementing Daily 5 and Cafe from  the Two Sisters.  The first time I tried it (two years ago) it was going rather smoothly and then just fell apart on me. =(

I attribute this to two things. First, I had an extremely challenging class in regards to behavior and academic struggles.  This was just not the year to implement a  new idea for me. I needed to stick with what I knew which happened to be Debbie Diller based literacy centers.

Secondly, I think I was trying to implement each aspect of Daily 5 and Cafe just as the sisters described them in their books and videos. I was also trying to push everything too soon early in the year.  

It took me a while to realize that this was a framework I could tweak and make my own to fit my needs.   So fast forward two years later and my second attempt at implementing my version of this incredible approach.

I decided before school even began that I would be introducing each aspect of Daily 5 / Cafe very S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I started at the beginning of the year with introducing our daily 5 choices (we still call them ABC centers in our room.)  While my students have been working on two rounds of choices I've been working with students on testing and RTI activities.  I've worked with some small guided reading groups but have kept the kids grouped within the same levels and really haven't approached them as "strategy groups" just yet as the Sisters recommend.  Just this week we began discussing our reading "goals" and strategies to help us achieve these goals.

Now I realize that my easel approach pictured above to introducing the goals is just not as attractive as what the Sisters show on their videos on their website.

I even hesitated about posting it. I think we all try to put our best work on our blogs, but I do have a strategy of my own for introducing them in such a manner.

Once all of the goals are discussed and worked with for a while I do plan on creating a Cafe board just as the Sisters describe.  For now we are working with this portable version that I can take off the easel and carry with me as I move  around the room working with students during individual conferences.  I'm finding if I have my folders right in front of them as we read/conference together it helps them to focus and remember the strategies we discussed during our whole group lessons.

You can see that we are just now in the very early stages of beginning Cafe.  For now I'm tweaking my approach each day.  I'll be posting more as we dive deeper into this approach.

We do happen to be enjoying our Daily 5 choices a lot though!! This part of the program is working out very well for me!! I try to add a new activity or material to most of the choice areas each week but I'm not finding it to be as time consuming as planning traditional literacy centers.  I usually leave out previous materials/activities for early finishers and many of the kids enjoy being able to revisit their favorite activities once more.  In my room we actually have 6 Daily choices. I combined and transformed some of my traditional literacy centers to meet the needs of my version of Daily 5.  For now we average two rotations of "ABC Centers" (Daily 5-6 choices.)  Here are our current choices:
Word Work  and Name Work

ABC work


Read to Self

Read to Someone ( I use my old big book-chart center for this choice)

Listen to Reading (listening center/computer reading activities)

Take a peek below at some of our new activities available this week:

For our ABC work choice this week we've began using our cookie letters! This week the kids are working on an ABC order activity.

For word work this week we actually have a few choices available.  The above paper can be used with letter stamps or the students can just write the words.

We are also working with letter magnets and Nn picture vocabulary cards.  I asked the kids to attempt to spell the names of the pictures with our letter magnets.

You can see that one of my little friends spelled "nine" incorrectly.  Another student working with this choice caught the mistake and reminded him to check the back of the card for the correct spelling.

Viola! We now have a winner!!

As part of our word work choices I also include working with names.  They work on these choices in our post office center. However, during ABC centers they only work on the name activities and are not writing mail (we save that for traditional centers.)

For working with names the students can use various materials as a reference for spelling the names correctly.  We have name cards, a name tree and our newest address book that we are using for our message writing in the post office.

For the read to someone choice this week my kids can choose from any of our previously read big books and a pocket chart activity using more of our Nn word cards and popcorn word cards.  

I'm not quite ready to begin working with strategy groups....but it's getting closer!! For now when I'm not assessing I've been working with students who need extra help with letters, sounds and popcorn word fluency.  

My groups this week have loved our letter flip C/V/C word maker.  We reviewed letter sounds first and then focused on words with /n/ in the beginning and ending position.

One of my groups that needs to improve their fluency with popcorn words absolutely LOVED getting to write the popcorn words I dictated on my filing cabinet with dry erase markers! They looked at me like I was crazy and then jumped "write" in! I've done this for years and as long as you erase fairly soon it doesn't stain the cabinet. 

Now as I'm getting closer to working my with strategy groups we are really spending lots of time reviewing our procedures.  For those barometer kids that just have a hard time working calmly or quietly I'm attempting an idea I saw on Pinterest recently.

I believe I'm going to have to work on my version of this but it did word fairly well with a couple of my challenges today.  I had them watch until the majority of the glitter settled to the bottom of the jar and then they could go back to their work.  It really did seem to have a calming effect on them!

So.....I'd love to hear about how implementing Daily 5/Cafe is going for you in your Kindergarten room! Please share!
                                                                                       Mrs. M 


  1. Nice blog to reading thanks for sharing such useful information this is very helpful for students who learn online and want Assignment Solutions Online.And keep continue to sharing useful information for us.

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  3. This is a brilliant inspiring blog post Daily 5 Choices .You put actually very supportive knowledge I am pretty much happy with your brilliant work. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next blog post.

  4. I'm so glad that you left a comment on my blog so I could find your posts about The Daily Five. You have really helped me!


  5. This is my second year teaching (first year in Kindergarten) and I want to implement this next year! I am busy researching and this helped me out a TON! I loved your idea of keeping the ABC center as a choice! Thank you!

    1. I'm so happy this helped you! For me keeping the ABC center as a choice has worked out very well. Even at this late date in the school year I have many kiddos that still need this. Good luck with getting started with this next year! I'm sure you'll love it!


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