Friday, April 27, 2012

Work on Writing

There are many reasons why I love the Daily 5.

Like ...
it's research based,
it builds independence and stamina,
 students work at their own level and pace,
the Sisters are the two coolest teachers ever,
and students are engaged in meaningful work.

Seriously, the list could go on and on.

Today, I wanted to share a little about the Work on Writing portion.

I hold 'Writing Workshop' at another time in the day, but for twenty minutes during any given round of the Daily 5 you might see some of my students quietly and independently writing in their journals.

Every year, this 'daily' (as I like to call the fab five - read to self, read to someone, work on writing, listening to reading, and word work) is a favorite among my students. In fact, I had to start choosing the 'dailies' for my students instead of giving them choice because everyone would only choose writing!

During Work on Writing, students are able to write in their journals on any topic of their choosing. Then, at the end of the round, they can share their stories (the kids favorite part.) When we have our mini-lessons, I'll teach them how to enhance their writing. Just some very brief little 5-7 minute lessons. All of the more difficult longer writing lessons are held during Writing Workshop time.

Work on Writing is a 'daily' that my students can start on Day One of school. At first, it is a beast to keep the kids sitting independently. But as you build their stamina and show them how to solve some troubleshooting problems that may arise, you'll notice your students lasting longer and writing better. It's pretty awesome.

Here are a few examples of one of my student's progress throughout this year:

***It has to be noted that this child is OBSESSED with whales and marine life. It is her passion. She has written about other topics, but for the most part, it's all about those whales!***

Beginning of the year:

Mid Year:


I cannot break some of my really southern kiddos of the "git" problem they have!
We have discussed this a million times!!
 I could have picked a longer piece, but this one cracks me up.

Also, I have other students who can fill pages of their journals in twenty minutes. Their stories are great, too. Typically, the girls love to write about their friends and animals.  The boys like to write about vehicles, their cool toys, or cowboy stuff.

I chose this child's work in particular because she is a struggling student.

The Daily 5 is rad!

Also, I really don't miss creating weekly centers. And the printing of center pieces. And the cutting of said center pieces. Which leads to laminating of them. Then, the cutting, again. Plus, you've got the organizing and storing of these center pieces. Oh ya, the printing of the coordinating work page to go with the center. And, last, the dreaded grading of the center work pages. Yep, don't miss that...

Anywho, if you have read some of my previous Daily 5 posts and there is a document you'd like to have but for some weird reason Scribd is asking you to pay for it, then just shoot me an e-mail and I will send you the document (for free!)

Have a great weekend!


  1. Ha- the paragraph about creating and cutting out centers, etc really resonates with me. I'll definitely have to check out the Daily 5 this summer! Glad to see your budding writer progress so much! :)

    Tales of An Elementary Teacher

  2. LOVE DAILY 5 SO MUCH!!!!!!

    I don't miss preparing centers, but I still offer thema chance to get their hands on some fun literacy centers!!! I spent years making them and I couldn't just give them I just put a few in "word work" each week! It works like a charm!! :)

  3. I plan on studying and preparing myself to start Daily 5 in my first grade classroom over the summer. I've bought the books (Daily 5 and CAFE), I've pinned lots of things, and I've got a feeling I'll be reading your Daily 5 posts repeatedly! I'm nervous about a change, but from what I've heard/read, it's a good one for my kiddos and myself.

  4. I'm not a big centers, pieces everyhwere kinda girl either. Too much prep goes into it intially and the management of it would drive me bonkers. I am a pretty streamlined teacher as well. I will say, though, if I had more time on my hands, I might purchase and put together some of the cute word work centers I see around blogland...I just don't have that kind of time right now.

    LOVE Daily 5!!!!!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  5. Great post! I love Daily 5, too! And, you're right! Less preparation- less stress! Like Rachelle, though, I still sneak in some of those Lit Center activities! Thanks for sharing!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  6. I love the Sisters, too! I especially like their website. I paid the 79.00 fee to have member access for a year and it has really been worth it. They have so many wonderful videos to watch of the Sisters and other teachers doing many of the things they talk about in their books. I am a visual learner, so I like to see someone doing it.

  7. Don't you just love to see that progress throughout the year! It really shows what you are doing is making a difference. :)