Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Math Daily 5

After our Daily 5 Twitter chat on October 21 around the topic of Daily 5 Math, the excitement was just too much for me to handle. Yes, I was excited about math after reading and blogging about Kassia O. Wedekind's wonderful book Math Exchanges. Yes, I was excited when the weekly letter from Gail and Joan arrived in my inbox that day and was all about Math Daily 5. But two specific things made that excitement explode into action!

First, one of the sisters made a surprise appearance on that night's chat! I was surprised, excited, shocked, thrilled, nervous, excited... oh, and did I mention excited? I love that they know about our weekly chats, but it made it even better to actually hear them chime in and reply to people's questions and comments about Daily 5 Math.

Second, my Twitter friend Louise (@qldteacher) shares my "jump right in" mentality. And she jumped in to Daily 5 Math. What was I to do?! :)

Here is our very first Math Daily 5 anchor chart! We started with Math by Myself, as it is very similar to Read to Self and Work on Writing. The first day, we all did number writing on our whiteboards. We talked about what to do if you run out of room (remember the last number you wrote, erase, and keep going.) The second day went well, too!

Today, we added Dice Roll and Tally, which is a game from our Everyday Math curriculum. Again, we used whiteboards, socks, and markers for this game. Each time you roll the die, you make a tally mark by whichever number the die landed on. Again, we talked about what to do if we ran out of space (erase the tallies and start over again.) These open-ended, never-ending games are great to use so that you don't have the "I'm done" issue! ;)

We also added a literacy component today in Math books. We can also choose to relax in the Cozy Corner and read from the "Math books" basket.

Building stamina seems to be coming rather quickly, as we've already had so much practice with our Literacy Daily 5! Granted, Daily 5 math will be a little louder as the "tools" tend to be louder. (Tip, wooden blocks can be drawn on with permanent marker to make dice... and are way quieter than traditional dice!)

So that's it! I've jumped in! My next step (tomorrow) is to pull one small group to work on number sense and math exchanges. I'd love to hear about how Daily 5 Math and small group math instruction is working for you!

~Komos :)


  1. This sounds wonderful Laura! I am really tempted to start this year as well but am not sure how to structure it for 4th graders. Hoping to explore it more. Thanks for taking the lead and being my inspiration!

  2. I also "jumped in" to start Daily 5 math last week. Since I was doing math rotations up till that point and we do Daily 5 in the a.m., it was a rather smooth transition. The kids LOVE the choices that they can make! I am reading Math Exchanges right now. I would love to hear about your small group Math Exchange activity! Thanks for your post.

  3. Make dice quieter by making dice plates. Cut a circle of felt to fit the inner part of a heavy duty paper plate and VOILA! quieter and more controlled dice tossing! And I am a hopper, too! I haven't hopped into math daily 5 yet but I will because that's just the way I am...like you!
    2B Honey Bunch

    1. I glue felt into small plastic baskets. It works great to keep the dice contained and to keep the noise down!

  4. I just love hearing how you approach things. We use our Origo program games and Xtra Math on the computers as a fact practice choice. These games require dice too. You can buy foam blocks to use as dice.....much quieter and they come in great colors. Just another option for you. Good luck with you Math Daily journey.

  5. Good for you for jumping right in. Sometimes that's just what we have to do. :) I, too, am playing with Math Daily 5...I've tweaked it for my third graders, but I can say that I love teaching math in a workshop environment. Have fun!


  6. Thanks for the suggestions and feedback! Your comments inspire me to continue to share my thoughts and reflections on this journey. :)

  7. We use Saxon math at our school. It's the spiraling program and we're held pretty tightly to a pacing schedule. I love the idea of Daily 5 math...any suggestions?

  8. Hi I have jumped into d5 math too. I began last year at semester. I have 5 different areas students rotate through. There are 5-6 different activities in the areas of fact games , strategy games and measurement and geometry games. The other two areas are math journals and math boxes which promote number sense and are required by our district.

  9. I have stumbled onto this blog in my search for inspiration...I am excited to follow this thread. I am going to be new to third grade this next year, I will be departmentalized (math, science and ss) AND I am going to a new district without a pacing plan. I am a little nervous. I have done D5/CAFE in 1st grade. I really need to get more info on D5 math for 3rd...I think I might try a version of D5 on my own with Science as well. Here's to jumping in!

  10. I tried to start a math workshop model at the end of this year. I didn't use the daily 5 model, but similar. I found I kept running out of time. We only have 1 hour for math. Has anyone else had this problem?

  11. Hi! I have no idea how to start using the daily 5 in my room. Can you give me some ideas of where to tart ? I have year 1s.
    Thanks :)

  12. Hi, I have no idea where to begin with the Math Daily 5. I know I want to try and get it going in my 5th grade classroom this school year. It has been several years since I taught Math so I am very nervous. I usually teach Science and this year I have them both. Can you please tell me where to begin? I was trying to find the book for Math Daily 5 so I could purchase it, read it and put it to use.

  13. Do you have the items that go under the headings for Daily 5 Math/Cafe? I would love anything that you can share.


  14. I am also looking forward to getting math daily five going in our first grade classroom. Like The literacy Daily Five, we have created I charts together on the following areas-math by myself, math with a partner, math technology, math writing,

  15. I teach a short whole group lesson, less than 30 minutes, that is district required, and then do something very much like the Math Daily 5. First kids do flashcard practice in their math journals & then I have 3 different shelves of math activities. Each activity is stored in a crate or basket from dollar tree with directions, materials, and objectives. Each child knows which math shelves they can choose activities from. Some are in pairs and some are for individuals. Math technology is also a choice. After every activity, they write notes and reflections on what they did and learned. While they work, I pull flexible skill groups for mini lessons and interventions, for about 60 more minutes. It works great!
    One of the keys to my math fact practice is that each child has an individualized baggie with their cards. Once a month, I pull them one at a time and any fact they know in 3 seconds or less goes in the "fact monster". (It's a mini trash can from dollar tree.) They love when they they can feed the "fact monster". Once a week, I pull kids for written timed tests on their levels in small groups. This way, all my kids can see progress.
    Our district has even created a math continuum to track kids individual math progress through all areas, so I can check of mastery & move on to the next level for interventions or enrichment as needed for each child.