How I Manage Daily 5!

One of my favorite parts of the day is our Daily 5 time-seriously, what did I ever do before I read the Daily 5 book! I would literally spend HOURS and HOURS and HOURS getting centers ready each week, and to be honest, it was more of a busy work time for my kids so I could pull my reading groups. No fun for anyone involved!

I've been doing Daily 5 in my classroom for the last couple of years and still feel like I'm trying to figure out what works best for me and my class each year. Since starting this "program" I have only had time to have 3 rotations each day- wouldn't it be wonderful to have more hours in the day!? When I taught 1st grade I decided where my kids went each day. I just didn't feel comfortable giving them the responsibility of deciding where they were going to go each rotation. But, when I moved up to 2nd grade I decided to give it a try. The class that I did this with was AMAZING, so that definitely helped-BUT, it truly is amazing how resonsible kids can be when they have clear expectations and are given some choice!

In order to let my students choose where they went, I knew that I needed to come up with a creative way to manage each rotation. I saw something like this on Pinterest, and made it work in my own classroom. I've used this for the last 2 years and absolutely LOVE it! Super fast, easy and the best part-CHEAP!

I used pizza pans from the dollar store and hot glued them to the wall. Each "station" has a separate pizza pan that is labeled with all of the Daily 5 stations. I keep all of my students' names on the rectangular cookie sheet at the end of the pizza pans. I just typed up their names and used small magnets to stick them on (I suggest laminating their names first!). At the beginning of Daily 5, my students simply move their names from the cookie sheet to the pizza pan that they wish to go to first! We definitely didn't just jump right into this, there was A LOT of practice and modeling involved! In order to transition smoothly, my students simply move their names from one pan to another. We set up expectations at the very beginning with how many students can attend each station at a time, and I've honestly never had any major issues! We only have 3 computers in my classroom, so they know that only 3 students can attend "Listen to Reading" at a time. After we have completed all 3 rotations, they move their names back to the cookie sheet- EASY!

I do have my students complete a "Check Chart" after each day so that they can keep track of where they are going each day. In our classroom, they MUST go to "Read to Self" each day, but it doesn't matter what rotation they do this in. The check chart really helps with making sure that they don't go to "Word Work" or "Listen to Reading" every single day- I really recommend it! I wish that I could take credit for this, but I downloaded this FREEBIE off Teachers Pay Teachers and it works great! I laminated all of them, and my students just keep it in their Daily 5 Folders. They use dry erase markers to mark off where they go each day-definitely helps limit the number of copies! 

So, that's it! Even though it does take a little while to set this up at the beginning of the year, I think it's totally worth it! I'm not spending HOURS making any copies, and my students absolutely LOVE having the choice in what they are doing! 

How do you manage Daily 5 in your classroom???

Happy Teaching,

Folk Tales, Fables, Fairy Tales, OH MY!

This probably has to be one of my MOST favorite units of the school year for reading! I absolutely LOVE getting to read all of these amazing stories to my kids! And, I also love how engaged they become in different versions of the stories!

This year, we started this unit with fables- well come to find out, we definitely should've started with folk tales considering fables and fairy tales are types of folk tales. Isn't that the best part about teaching though- now I know for next year and can change my lesson plans!

We made anchor charts to go over the three different genres and discussed what my kids already knew about each of them. Then, we got right into Fantastic Fables! Each day we read a different fable and recounted or retold the details of the story! I made a large graphic organizer (out of butcher paper) that we used each day to record the details. I really enjoyed listenting and reading the lessons and morals my students came up with for each fable! Their little minds are amazing!! {Completely forgot to take a picture, so sad!}

After we finished up fables, we moved right into Fabulous Folk Tales! We compared the differences between folk tales and fables and then started a new graphic organizer! I really enjoyed the stories I picked up for teaching folk tales. We started with Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock retold by Eric Kimmel and retold the details of the story. If you have never read the Anansi books, you are missing out! These are really fun folk tales and the kids really seem to enjoy them! Then, we moved into Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears byVerna Aardema (another great folk tale!). This one really allows the students to see that folk tales discuss legends! It's a fun story that describes why pesky mosquitoes actually buzz in our ears! Then, we started reading various versions of Stone Soup! These are the three different versions I read with each of my students. (Click on each picture for the link to view each book!)


Each day after we read the story, my students filled out a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the stories. For these stories I didn't write on the large graphic organizer, I really wanted to see their personal thoughts and details of the story! With all of these unplanned days of {SNOW DAYS} I didn't get to make Stone Soup with my kids-has anybody done that???? I'd LOVE to do it next year!

After finishing up folk tales, we moved right into Fairy Tales! Now, this is my absolute {favorite}. Maybe it's the little girl in me, but who can resist Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After! This one took a few weeks to complete because we were having so much fun and there are a TON of fairy tale books! Since we spent so much time on Fairy Tales, this part of the blog is going to have to be continued... Otherwise this would turn into a whole book! 

Have you done any fun activities in your classrooms for folk tales, fables and fairy tales?
I'd LOVE to hear!

Happy Teaching,