Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Daily 5 Rotations

I was a HUGE fan of traditional literacy centers for years. I still think they are wonderful but have really grown to LOVE the Daily 5 this past couple of years.  I've implemented this approach very slowly each year adding new bits and pieces of the approach as my particular classroom needs would allow. 
The only real problem I kept running in to was just HOW to get the Daily 5 / CAFE up and running at the beginning of the school year.
For a couple of years I found myself introducing the components very slowly  by lots of practice and "I" anchor charts. That was good and I didn't overwhelm my kids, however I needed to keep them busy while I was working with groups. So as a result I would end up rotating kids through literacy centers until I was ready to begin letting them make their own choices about their daily literacy activities. 
For me the result was always the same...."ok" engagment levels and kids fussing becuase they really wanted to work on another activity when I assigned them someplace else.  As soon as I was comfortable to begin letting them make choices this always improved.
Don't ask me WHY I didn't just jump in at the beginning of the year with the program. I really don't have an answer other than I was just becoming familiar with Daily 5/CAFE and was working at my comfort level. 
However this year is a MUCH different story! This year Daily 5 has just worked for me from the very beginning. I really didn't introduce anything differently ....I just jumped right on in and my kids are benefitting from this.  Yay!
So now we are in the midst of week 5 of Kindergarten.  The whirlwind known as the beginning of the year is settling and we are becoming quite engaged in our literacy choices.  I'm even beginning to be able to work with strategy groups and individual readers. So exciting!!
Today I'm sharing our Daily 5 and Cafe board. I'm also including some of our literacy choices that we are able to choose from this week.  At this time I'm able to have three large group lessons and two rounds of Daily 5. I'm hoping to add another round of Daily 5 when we get a little quicker at clean up and choice making. 
Enjoy....I hope you find something useful! =)
Our Daily 5 Board
Inside the frames on our board I write what some of the choices are. For instance with "read to someone" they can choose to read to each other from their book tubs or the apple charts and apple big books located in our group area. 
Our CAFE Board
We are obviously just getting started with this. So far several stategies have been introduced.  We have spent a lot of time discussing popcorn words and using our picture clues. Below is one of our books we can choose for "Read to Self" which allows the reader to focus on these two strategies.
Letter Work   Word Work    Name Work
Located near our word wall/name wall is our light table where the kids can paint their popcorn words.

In this same general area is our table with playdoh letter stampers for stamping popcorn words.
I like to include name work as part of our word work choices.  This week the kids can find their name card and add a self portrait to it to go on our name tree. They are also able to practice spelling their name with letter magnets. 
Reading to Someone / Reading to Myself / Listening to Reading
As mentioned above we have several apple charts and big books for "reading to someone."  My former "charts and big book center" from my literacy center days has worked out great as an option when working on "read to someone." On our stage (not pictured) we have a reading area where the kids can work on "read to myself" and an additional  CD player is also located here for "listen to reading."
Working on Writing

Although the picture is blurry you can get the general idea. For now my beginning writers are using our thematic word books and word lists located in our writing center to help them finish a page for a class book.  "I  am a ___________ apple."

More ....Working on Writing / Read to Myself
In our science center we have a real sunflower!! We are working on writing by drawing/writing our observations of the sunflower and I have several sunflower books for them to use for "reading to myself" once they are finished with their observations. 
For now a quick scan of the room allows me to check off what choices the children make in order to ensure that they are getting to everything (weekly for now and hopefully daily soon.)  We also have a partner reading time during the day (using our familiar book tubs) and an additional writing time. 
For now I'm feeling good about how Daily 5 is working in my room. I would love to hear how it is working for some of you that are trying it as well!  Have a great week!!


  1. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed reading this post and I will go back and read your earlier D5 posts too. I am the only kinder teacher at my school using D5 and I love it but I miss having colleagues to bounce ideas off of. We are 46 days in and I have all five rotations rolling with choice but my conferences are taking longer than I'd like. It takes a while to discuss and ask questions with one and then guide another through tracking and building those word attack strategies. Do you mind if I much time does D5 take for you? Right now, I am at about 2 1/2 hours. I love that I can lift my head at 2pm and the kids are plugged in and engaged but I'd love to have things move a bit quicker. Thanks again for your finding a fellow D5-er. :)

  2. It looks so huge! I really want to see it! Thank you for sharing this information!Is it difficult to do this board for rewarded essays ? How many time did it take? I hope children will like it.


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