Daily 5: Chapter 2

Click on above picture to go to the Kindergarten Daily5 Linky Party: the host this week, Kindergarten Smiles.

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way? Even though I trust my students, I know that they depend on me to set those boundaries. Some years, I can be more flexible while other years less so. Some children need more guidance and modeling for social interactions in a classroom setting. One thing I do that has helped me is to observe and watch, rather than jump to conclusions. For example, if my class sounds too noisy, I will observe and deduct what is going on. If learning is taking place, I move on. If someone is off task, then that is who I will need to interact with.

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? (would love for you to share some examples!) Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room? I think I give choice to my students in different parts of the day- such as with independent practice or even with partners. When we share with our partners with Kagan’s Stand-Up, Hand-Up, Pair-Up, my students can choose their partners, unless at the end they need help finding a partner. They may pick which centers to go to, as I do not have a literacy center chart. I have had charts and more structure in previous years, but it took more work and not enough time with certain reading groups. I needed more flexibility. So I arranged it that whatever they choose they stay in that area during the duration around 15-20 minutes. Then I play a transitional song to gather for a mini lesson and then off they go to their 2nd choice for 15-20 minutes. 

Now, my students do use a chart to help themselves make good choices. Mrs. Bainbridge has so much information on her site. I took her My Weekly Check sheet and made enough +2 for students in my class. In case the direct link to her checklist does not work, or you need more information about it, here is the link to her blogpost. I glued each checklist on one side of green construction paper and a weekly book tracker on the back side. Click here for direct link to google docs for my weekly reading sheet. This is where my students keep track of a couple titles they read per day. I had these 2 sided sheets laminated, so that my students clean them at the end of the week and reuse them. I have had my set for the past 3 years now! This is a great way to help my students see the choices they have made and allows me to quickly glance and see what they are doing.

During math centers, they may pick which games and partners they would like to play with. In math, they may choose how they get to a solution- I try to pick open ended questions with various answers.  Sometimes, when we are working on writing, they may choose their topic.

I have slacked off using an agenda in my classroom. It was beneficial to have one, but lately my classes have been great at knowing our schedule… my routine charts help with that. If our schedule changes from the norm, then I post it up, mostly for me to remember the changes!

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable? Having classroom community meetings, class celebrations, and Kagan’s cooperative structures help in developing a sense of community. I'm working on a packet for the beginning of the year that addresses this. Here are 2 books that I believe to be wonderful assets in building a responsive classroom community. Click on the pictures to go to the Amazon site.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child? Based upon my observations, it seems that it is uncommon for kindergarteners to come to school with ownshership in their learning. They are most likely only 5 years old, some even 4 years old. Developmentally, they are working on independence. When they come to school, I think it is my responsibility to help them learn to take ownership for their learning. It is a process and does not happen overnight. First off, I know that I tell my students that when we make a boo-boo (mistake), it is okay, because that is meaning that we are learning. I tell my students I make boos-boos all the time and I am still learning. I also work with them to discover what their strengths are and what some possible weaknesses are. I tell them that I love to read, but I still do not know how to snap. They love to show me how well they can snap. I love it when my little ones tell me it's okay, because we're learning. We also work on metacognition, thinking about our own thinking. 

I'm thinking about one of my young boys from this past class. He was an active boy who had a difficult time focusing for more than a few minutes. He needed postive reinforcement often, as he adored attention. He was on a daily behavior plan for most of our school year. He gradually became more independent, as he took ownership in his learning. A big turning point was around spring, when he worked on his wolf book for over 2 weeks! When we met about his writing, he shared with me all the thoughts and details that went into it. I was so impressed because he used a nonfiction book that was too hard for him to read. However he used the pictures and key words to help him make his own book. This particular child took ownership in his learning... I had no part in him choosing his topic and researching it. He was given choices and this is what he wanted to do for those two weeks during my "Daily3". He wanted to write!

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? The Daily5 book has been a great influence on me for helping my students build stamina and having them set their own literacy goals. On the very first day of kindergarten, I discuss with my students on ways we can read. This is telling on what they believe and about their own metacognition. Some believe they can read and they can. Some believe they can read and they don’t seem to know where to start. This is when I introduce my Reading Buddies. The first one I share is a stuffed eagle. The “eagle eye” strategy is using pictures to figure out the words. However I scaffold it down and tell them to use the pictures to tell the story. I model for them how we use our “eagle eyes”. Then they pick a book (rebus readers) and practice telling stories and then make a switch for a new book. We do this for 5 minutes, sitting in a circle together. I sit with them and model the behavior. Mrs. Bainbridge has free reading strategy posters to use with beanie babies. They are fabulous and a great way to introduce each reading strategy to children. Deanna Jump also has a great reading packet on TPT: Guided Reading 101. What I love about her packet is that she has similar reading strategies with some quick printables to send home to parents to practice the same strategies at home. Besides reading strategies, Deanna Jump has other useful ideas in her packet. I got it near the end of last school year, and used it for segmentation and word ladders with my 10th Planet software. I plan to use more of her packet this year.

I use timers. I invested in a Kagan CD of timers. However there are free timers online. Here are a couple:


During morning meetings, my students and I set a daily goal to help make our classroom a better place. For the first day, I suggest that they try to make a friend. We discuss how we can make new friends. As our week progresses, my students and I learn what we need to do to make our classroom a better place and our daily goal may change to deal with voice level or walking in the classroom… depending on what we need to focus on. I am required to post and review our academic goals as well. Deanna Jump has a great set of common core standards posters that I use. They are kid friendly with cute pictures to go with each one. By January, my students are ready to make their own literacy goals. I meet with each student to take a running record of their reading and discuss their literacy goal. This is where I offer suggestions to my students who need help. For example, some students will choose to work on their handwriting. So I suggest the computer center where there is a program that illustrates and have them practice particular letters or I have them go to the abc center to practice. Some students choose to use a reading strategy, such as "Tryin Lion". Some students choose to work on their sight words. This is a great way to differentiate independent practice. Here’s a sheet I use to keep track of my students goals:

As we continue reading, reflect on what your biggest challenges are going to be when you implement the Daily 5. Keep in mind what changes you are going to have to make and what you are still questioning about using the Daily 5 in your class (if you are not doing so already). 

I think my biggest challenge is to find time! I hope that I am using my time wisely with my students. The other thing I am wondering about is if I will be able to implement goal setting earlier with my students this year, as I will be doing more scales and rubrics with my class. I think this will facilitate better understanding of what learning is taking place and help develop metacognition with my young children.

While I am working with my students in small groups, I wear a crown which reminds my students that I am busy with a group and do they really need to see me. It really makes them take a second to stop and think if they are having an emergency. One time, one little boy noticed something, and called out to me, "It's an emergency... look!" as he was pointing to a poor peace plant slumping down in its pot. I just had to smile at that.

I am looking forward to reading what everyone else has to say about Chapter 2. I plan on doing that tomorrow, as I am off to spend time out and about with my friends! Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  1. Love your post! The end of your post with the 'emergency' made me laugh :) I LOVE making a daily goal with my students!! I just love making goals with them. Even before reading (especially with non-fiction books) I have students think of a goal--they will usually say 'fill up the L side of our KWL chart' and sure enough they will! This goal makes them listen more intently...because THEY made the goal!! Thanks for linking up!!

    Kindergarten Smiles

  2. I LOVE your idea about creating a daily goal for how we are going to make our classroom a better place. I think it would be awesome to have a class meeting then again at the end of the day to discuss if we met our goal and if we did then maybe we could add a marble to a jar or a link to a chain and when its full, we have some kind of class celebration! How do you use this?


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