Thanks for all the great Daily Five questions! This post is dedicated to answering the questions that were left in my comments following my initial Daily Five blog entry.
*"Also - sometimes I want students to do a particular station more than the other stations for a few weeks to drive home a skill or concept. Do you have any suggestions?"
*I just tell students "You must pick ____ today" or when I do my oral role-call before dismissing my students to a round, I will remind them that they have not visited ____ yet this week and request that they make an immediate change to whatever they are doing. I have found that my kids are pretty responsible in choosing their rounds, but when they forget, I just give them a gentle reminder.
*"So your students only do two of the Daily Five choices per day?"
*My students do three rounds a day. One of them has to be "Read to Self" so, essentially, they have two choices to make each day. I also put cards in for when they meet with me, so if a student meets with me, they truly only get one choice because they have to choose "Read to Self" on one of the two rounds they are not scheduled with me.
*"Question--do you have a separate writing workshop? "
*Yes. I have always had a separate writing time. Last year I implemented writing workshop for the first time and did really well at first! Then I had trouble letting go of my control over what they write about. So, I took back my "workshop" time and made it a more controlled situation for them as far as what they needed to be working on. BUT... writing at Daily Five time is completely student choice driven. This gives them a time to experiment with different forms of writing and express anything they would like. My kids LOVE choosing "Work on Writing" at Daily Five because they are free to just be writers. I am working on my control issues with writing and hope to do better being consistent with the workshop approach this coming year! :)
*Where did you get your choice cards at?"
*I made them using the "Reading Kids" graphics set from Thistle Girl Designs. We have a set of literacy station activity cards for sale at The Teaching Oasis that includes cards you can use for Daily Five as well as many other possible classroom centers or workstations.
Mrs. Stevens, obviously a shopper after my own heart, asked...
*"What book do you recommend by Lori Oczkus?"
*I love her book Interactive Think-Aloud Lessons and also get lots of comprehension activities from The Reading Puzzle: Comprehension. I have a comprehension binder at school where I store lessons and ideas according to comprehension big idea. I hope to make it in to my classroom tomorrow and, if I do, I'll take pictures of it and show how it's organized. It has been incredibly helpful to have the binder full of ready-to-go lessons and teaching tips.
I think that's it! Thanks for the great questions! It is very humbling to know that so many people care about what I have to say about the matter! :) You can see pictures of my Daily Five things on my classroom website on my Daily Five page. I have a few on my CAFE page also.