Saturday, May 10, 2014

Daily 5 - Work on Writing

Heyo! It's Andrew from Mr. First Grade! I wasn't able to post last month, as my life was becoming overrun by Sweeney Todd rehearsals! We've done 8 performances so far, and we've got one more today and one more tomorrow afternoon. It's definitely going to be very bittersweet when it's all over... I'll have some semblance of a life back, but I'm going to miss the show dearly! Anyways, I wanted to take a second to share a little more about my journey into the land of the Daily 5!

I read the Daily 5 book over the summer and knew that it sounded like something that would work for me. I am fortunate enough to still have an aide in my classroom for all of language arts, who runs her own reading group, which mostly focuses on phonics and writing skills. (I know, right?! Don't hate me).

I generally followed the routine outlined in the back of the book in terms of pacing, and it worked very well for me! When it came to work on writing, I knew that I wanted to have something more than just journaling available for my firsties. I slowly introduced various activities they can do during this time. I use Lori Rosenberg's I Can Write A...Writing Menu, which I highly recommend if you're setting up a writing center! It's filled with gazillions of options for your kiddos to write. At first, I only introduced: letter, postcard, how-to, list, sticker story, and scribble story, which is a huge hit. However... If I read one more scribble story where they turn the scribble into a roller coaster or a mountain, I'll scream. As the year went on, I gradually introduced new options for them to choose, and phase out ones that have been out for a while.

Anywho, here's what my Work on Writing station has shaped up to be. I got the cart from Big Lots on sale for $25 well spent. Basically, I made a drawer for each option they can choose. They know they can choose ONE of these during each Work On Writing, then they must journal. Some choose to only journal, which makes my heart smile.

I decided that the top drawer was going to be their spot to turn in finished writing. There's also a mailbox (which I forgot to take a picture of) that they can mail letters and postcards to friends in the room. In order to turn in work, the students must highlight their name on their paper, mostly because some of the worksheets don't have spaces for names, so they always forget to squeeze it in.

Here's a peek at my writing focus board. Sorry for the terrible not-so-great quality... My iPhone 5 went swimming last summer and I've been surviving on an old iPhone 4 from ebay that has a terrible not-as-great camera. The posters about what they can write all came in the writing menu pack. I also plopped up a few of my "I Can" Statements for things we're focusing on in writer's workshop.

I also put our anchor chart that we created about things to write about. The pencil about what do writers write came from The Teacher Wife.

Do you Daily 5? How has it worked for you? I'd be anxious to see how others have it up and running... I hope to bring you posts about how I run the other stations in my room in the next few months!

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  1. Hi Andrew, I love your posts and I have to admit that the Daily 5 is awesome. It's all about stamina even for us teachers. Building it up and making it come together takes time but it is time well spent. I LOVE your blog and I follow you via my feed and bloglovin. I am now the proud owner of Lori's product and I also use Mel D's product that is so awesome "Ultimate Writing Station" that is fabulous. Hope school is about out for you and I am looking forward to summer
    Deb at Fabulously First.

  2. Andrew - I love the idea of the writing cart!! Definitely want to implement something like that next year with my 2nd graders!

    Table Talk with C & C
    The Collaboration Connection

  3. What a great post! I love all the options you give kids for writing!