Another Look at the Daily Five and Math

How does that saying go? If you’re not green and growing, you’re rip and rotten. One of the key components of the Daily Five – teaching learners to be independent – is not only appealing, but imperative. After some false starts last year (based on my reading of both the D5 and Cafe books), I attended a Daily Five workshop. And the whole thing is becoming less muddled.

Typically, my students don’t do well with a million and one different teaching models thrown at them. We already have a Launch-Explore-Summary model in place for our mathematics instruction. There is a great need for small group/individualized math conferencing and intervention, particularly this year when we transition from the Massachusetts 2004/2009 Frameworks to the Massachusetts version of the Common Core Curriculum. There will be gaps, that is certain.

To address both the transition to a new curriculum and my students’ need for consistency, I have decided to make a go at implementing a Daily Five model during mathematics instruction. What are the five areas going to be? Well, here’s what my current thinking is:

  • Exploration activities based on the launched mini lesson (a “must” do)
  • Strategy Activities. Through the use of games and other constructive activities, students will address computational and conceptual gaps.
  • Problem Solving. All of my students, but particularly second language learners need practice in the structure of problem solving situations. This will be a weekly assignment with time built into our schedule for students to discuss how they solved the problem (rigor! perseverance!)
  • Basic Fact Games/Practice
  • Technology Tool (a chance to use the accompanying programs for our math program OR the interventions found in the Galileo program).
I’ll need a minimum of 85 minutes; 90-100 would be better. That means getting back to class and started on our mathematics work right after recess. Hopefully the stamina-building and direct instruction in expectations for independence will give us greater success. On paper it looks do-able, in reality – I am hoping so.
Planning out the block comes next.  Suggestions welcome.