Check out what you need to begin The Daily 5:
1. Quiet Signal
The 2 sisters mention using chimes for your quiet signal. Whatever you choose, save your voice, and find something that makes a unique sound in comparison to the quiet hum of student voices. You want something that will stand out and grasp student attention quickly.
After you use your signal it is important to pause for a moment. Don't hit the chime again, don't talk, don't move....just wait for students to recognize that you need their attention.
Once you have gained all students' attention, give the directions in a quiet voice to force students to focus and really listen to what you are trying to say.
2. Chart Paper to Display
Although I have a Smart Board in my classroom I still love to use chart paper. It is fun to write on and can be displayed throughout the classroom for all to see. Chart paper can be used for your i-Charts and as a reference for students throughout the school year.
3. Tools, Not Toys
Do you have students who are easily distracted and need a little more support? Gather some tools, not toys, for them to use.
These tools could be stop watches, timers, whisper phones, manipulatives, highlighting tape, post-its, or even a special carpet square or "office" set up throughout the classroom to help them stay in one place.
4. Book Boxes & a Well Stocked Classroom Library
To me, this is by far the most important item needed for The Daily 5. Teachers should provide students with book bins to hold the books that they are currently reading, as well as a well stocked library.
I purchased my book bins from Really Good Stuff 7 years ago and they are still in great shape. It is one of the best investments that I have made.
My classroom library consists of over 2,000 books. Each year it grows bigger. I collect books from garage sales, book sales, donations, Scholastic, and Donors Choose. I also love to bring in books from the school and public libraries so that there are always new selections for students to browse.
5. Gathering Place
I've noticed that in teaching upper elementary this is the one part of the classroom that many teachers ignore. Teaching while students sit on the carpet is often considered very "primary." However, it is a key component to my teaching. I love to set up the classroom so that it looks roomy and so that we have a huge sport for students to sit and gather in front of the Smart Board. Transitioning to our gathering spot provides students with a quick movement break. Sitting knee to knee with our peers encourages easy communication during think-pair-shares. The close proximity to me provides me with easy access to assess students thinking and to move around and contribute to their discussions. Plus, there are very little distractions on the carpet. No papers, crayons, and scissors to mess with, no chairs to lean back in, and no desks to wiggle.
Creating these simple anchor charts and permanently displaying the charts of collective class learning is valuable when teaching students the routines for The Daily 5. An i-Chart is simply a t-chart. On one side you record what students are suppose to be doing during a specific rotation of the Daily 5 and the other side is what the teacher is suppose to be doing.
7. Effective Classroom Design
I like to organize my classroom with students desks in groups to maximize peer to peer communication and collaboration. Clustering desks in this manner also maximizes the rest of the space within the classroom.
You can also provide alternative places for students to sit such as on pillows, bean bags, couches, carpet squares, lowered tables to kneel next to, and standing room next to cleared counters.
What else do you use for The Daily 5?