I receive so many questions about how to implement the Daily 5 Framework in the classroom. (The Daily 5 Framework is a wonderful way to structure a literacy block in the classroom created by the Sisters, Joan Moser and Gail Boushay.) I’m a big fan of this approach. As I have developed it over the past seven years I have seen so much more true, differentiated learning happening in my classroom. I want you to see it in action!
In the video above, I welcome you to my Work on Writing station. The first thing you will notice is the post-it hanging above the work area. It always includes a “must-do,” and a “can do.” My students visit this station daily and they understand that the “must-do” is just that—a required task. It doesn’t change every single day. There are usually two “must-do” activities each week, and I try to focus them on subjects we are not exploring in our classroom curriculum. Students love the variety in topics and the surprise of seeing a new one in my basket! If you would like my Must Do and Can Do Posters, CLICK THE IMAGE below to download them for FREE!
There are different types of “must-do” activities my students collect in their dedicated Work on Writing journals:
- Shape-Its. Check out those fun, colorful cut-outs for journaling! The shaped images of the writing space are part of the writing prompt. From cheerful school buses in September to spooky bats at Halloween and Fire Safety tips, students fill the multi-page booklets with writing, math, puzzles, and more. Students can take the booklets home, too. I make sure the students have a natural connection to the shapes—the Christmas booklets are only distributed to children who celebrate Christmas, for instance—and some topics, like Martin Luther King, Jr., required students to do some research. When complete, the booklets are taped into their Work on Writing journals.
- Writing Tab-Its. As we work on nonfiction writing, I use different types of prompts to get creative juices flowing and to help show clear communication in sequence. Fun, accessible topics like “How to Make Hot Chocolate” and “How to Brush Your Teeth” let students feel like experts while they practice. Another favorite is animal-focused Tab-Its. My science curriculum doesn’t have an animal-focused unit and you know how kids love anything to do with animals! I choose an animal, select several books the students can use for research, and set up a Tab-It. Students draw diagrams and write facts after researching their animal. I have a bunch of animal themed Tab-Its at the bottom of this post.
- Close Reading Tab-Its. I have also created specialized Tab-Its for close reading during Guided Reading books. These are a little bit more rigorous and help to reinforce reading comprehension and research skills. Using topics like “Polar Animals” or “Martin Luther King, Jr.”, I create tab-its with questions about dates and facts, opportunities for drawing, and research and writing prompts. I make sure to fill my book basket at the Work on Writing station with on-topic nonfiction books the children can use for research while they work!
- Sight Word Sleuth Tab-Its. If one of my students is struggling with their sight words, I whip out these booklets to help them get up to speed. My detective-themed Tab-Its help students practice sight words during the Word Work station (so students can still take part in the Work on Writing activities with their peers).
- Writing Throughout the Year Tab-Its. I have 25 different tab-its focused on seasonal or holiday writing prompts. Making words, word finds and writing prompts connect with experiences the students are having right now. Students know they can always find them in the same black basket in the Work on Writing station.
- Flip-Flap Books. I don’t teach dinosaurs anymore, but students are still obsessed with them—and if I’m honest, I must admit that I am, too! Toward the end of the year, I always pull out a dinosaur flip-flap book and haul out all of my dinosaur models and books so students can research a particular dinosaur. They love it as much as I do!
When a student has completed the “must-do” they can move on to the “can do.”
- Class journals. I have several different class journals, and each one has a different writing prompt on the front cover. Each child can choose a journal and write a page inspired by that prompt. The children love these because they can also read what their friends have written about the same topics! I found them on TPT and they are terrific.
- Can-Do Bulletin Board. Check out the bright, bold bulletin board I purchased from Mel D. at Suesstastic! It’s filled with all sorts of writing activities, from composing a letter to writing a newspaper to doing a buddy story, and children can choose one that appeals to them!
So now you know how I set up my Work on Writing Station! To get you started organizing your own, I have included a whole bunch of resources in my Work on Writing Mega-Bundle!