How I Spice Up Daily 5

It's that time of the year when your students are getting SPRING fever and it's not too long until they get SUMMER fever {but who isn't, right?}!  You might need to spice things up during your literacy block. :)  Aside from going over your anchor charts again and reviewing your expectations, I like to add a few "ooohhhs and ahhhhhs" to my Daily 5.  {You have GOT to read Daily 5 from The Sisters, if you haven't} We call them the bells and whistles and I ONLY bring them out when I'm in dire need.  I haven't pulled these out quite yet, but it's coming in due time. 
*PLEASE NOTE: each of these items come with a lengthy explanation on how to use them properly. You must teach the expectations for each item BEFORE you set them free to use them. :)

To spice things up in Daily 5’s Read to Self, I let my students pick a stuffed animal to read with.  The animal must stay in their lap or sit next to them and they are not allowed to play with it.

I bought these glasses at the Dollar Store and I just popped out the lenses. They LOVE to wear these to read with because they are MAGICAL!

These are whisper phones.  They LOVE these.  A middle school student made them for our school as an Eagle Scout project.  You can also purchase some here.  I make sure to teach my students how to hold the phone so it doesn’t touch their mouth and I give them tips on how to do it without hurting their ears. I also have them quickly wipe them down when they are finished.

Witch fingers. I mean… who doesn’t love for their finger to look like a witch? They love tracking their words (and never picking their nose with it)!

Each day, my students can pick from one of these activities:

I also like to add “Weekly Activities”. This is an activity that changes every week.  This week we are “scrambling” our spelling words.  This activity comes from my 123 Spell with Me pack.  Each week, it changes.

For Read to Someone, I like to give my students their Word Helper bookmarks to help when doing “coaching or time”.  You can find the bookmarks here. I just laminate them and keep them in a bin. When the students pick their partner for Read to Someone, one of their partners can grab a bookmark.  As they are reading, they can help one another by telling them what word helper to use when they come to a tricky word. They love pretending to be the teacher.

My students absolutely love writing letters to one another.  All I have to do is put writing stationary in the Work on Writing file and they are good to go! You can download lots of writing paper {here}.

Click {here} for the writing stationery {clipart from}

Also, if you don’t do journaling for bell work, then it would be a great thing to spice up your Work on Writing by making them some fun journals!  My students love to see what their cover will look like this month. It’s also great because you can differentiate how many lines are on each page.

My students will love this one and they are always on task. BUT, it is just nice to change it up a bit.  So, what I did was buy a bunch of headphone splitters so that they can listen to the same book at the same time. They love laughing together, singing together, and just sharing a good book together.  I only have about 3 students per book though.

Another great tool to spice up Listen to Reading is an iPad. I use the app Epic (can also do on a computer).  It is FREE for educators and has tons of options! Many books are read to the student so you can use it for listen to reading.

I also use Brainpop Jr. app (also available on a computer) for Listen to Reading.  The great thing about this app is that it has the subtitles at the bottom of each educational video! It's just like reading a book!  If you don't have a subscription, your students can get the free video of the week.

Need to spice up your guided reading lessons?
Perfect for kinder and 1st grade! But don't go...I have one for 2nd and 3rd (see bottom of post)

Here's 2nd Grade's:

Here's 3rd Grade's:


Ashante said...

These ideas are really great. I've actually just started to change up their centers a bit because spring fever is starting to happen so this really helps. Thanks for sharing!!

First Grade Buddies said...

We love the "magical" glasses! So cute! Thanks for sharing!

:) Tamra and Sarah
First Grade Buddies

Jessica Lawler said...

I LOVE the sunglasses idea - too cute! I've heard so many great things about the Daily 5 - but I teach 5th grade and don't know how I could fit it into my already-jam-packed schedule. Thoughts?

Joy in the Journey

Runde's Room said...

I JUST bought that splitter about two hours ago. Can't wait to bring it into school next week - it will be perfect for my struggling readers during our guided reading time - they will be able to "read" the same novel as one of the other groups, and take part in discussions outside of class. And the other groups will be so jealous that they get to use my ipad. ;)

Runde's Room

Erica Bohrer said...

I love how you spice up Daily Five!

I also love your computer/IPad recommendations. I must check them out!

Julie said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I use the witch fingers during some of my reading groups and they LOVE them! I'll have to try the "magic glasses" though!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing these ideas! My students are in desperate need of changing these up! Perfect timing.


Ms. Richards's Musings

Love to Learn said...

Love all these ideas, thanks for sharing!

Love to Learn

Kiki said...

Yay for bells and whistles! I had to bring out the stuffed animals about a month ago, and looking forward to adding your apps to our ipad workstation. Thank you for the ideas and reminding me to review those anchor charts about expectations during Literacy time. :)

Susie Q said...

Love these ideas, Rachelle. Daily 5 around our classroom is definitely in need of some spicing up. Can't wait to try these!

Learning With Susie Q

Jannis said...

Great ideas! I use two different apps for my listen to reading station: Reading Rainbow and Storia. My kids love both! I like Reading Rainbow because there are so many books to choose from. It does cost money, but I asked my PTO to sponsor our class and we can actually use it on multiple iPads. I like Storia because I can use my points to order books, plus they give a free book each month. I will definitely be checking out your recommendations! :)


Jessica said...

Such cool ideas!! I especially like the bookmarks that encourage partners to help each other solve tricky words. The magical glasses are neat too.

The Learning Metamorphosis

Fluttering Through First Grade said...

Love the ideas! It's those lil tricks that get them motivated to read when they are tired of the same 'ole.

We also 'heart' Cara's bookmarks!

~Christy & Tammy
Fluttering Through First Grade

Unknown said...

Can you tell me what is in each of your tubs for word work? I can't read them from the picture.

Do you assign students their rotations? Do you ring a bell when it is time to move or do they just move on when they are finished with the task?

My First Love said...

I do a modified Daily 5, with Read to Self being a separate time when the whole class does it together. I use that time to confer with individual students. I do guided reading during my actual Daily 5 time. My kids are getting very antsy during Read to Self. I love your "spice it up" ideas for that component. I am setting this up for next week!

Rachelle said...

I do my guided reading time during daily 5!

Rachelle said...

Hi there! The framework is the Daily 5 and it explains it all! The students decide where they want to go. If you click on the daily 5 label in our sidebar, you can read more about my word work!

Miss DeCarbo said...

I LOVE the headphone splitting device! What a great idea. :) Thank you so much! Headed off to Amazon. :)

Sugar and Spice

Miss 27 said...

Oh, my is this post timely! My class loves Daily 5 but it is time to spice things up a bit to keep focus. I found small alphabet stamps at Walmart in the scrapbook section. Each letter is only about 1/4" big and one set was 98¢. The kids love using them during Work on Words.

Katie Knight said...

This is a great post, and reminds me we do need to freshen up and liven up old routines!

Tammy said...

Great Idea! Thanks for sharing them. I am going to use a few of these when we get back from Spring Break which is Monday.
Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

Anonymous said...

This is my first year of implementing Daily 5. I had some training but it didn't address everything I needed to know about management. Thanks to you for closing the gaps for me!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! I'll definitely use these in my 4th grade classroom next year as we do Daily 5 also. Follow my blog tiny

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