Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daily 5 MATH

So I have been using the Daily 5 math structure for about 2 years.  When I first heard about it through a pro-teacher forum, I was instantly drawn in.  Unfortunately, The Sisters had not come out with a book about this so I just played around with the idea at first.  Last year I implemented the Daily 3 Math, which I kind of made up with the help of some pro-teacher ideas.  They 3 came into play like this; Math by Myself, Math with a Buddy, and Math with a Teacher.  This definitely worked, but I was still missing something.  I was telling the kids which session they had to do and it just felt like I was taking the choice, that The Sisters talk so much about, away from the kids.  This year there has been a little more information from The Sisters about the Daily 5 Math so I decided to plunge right in and give it a go.  I have to say, I couldn't be more happy with the results.

So here is how I have it structured.  There are 5 different categories for the Daily 5 Math; Number Games, Fact Games, Paper and Pencil, Strategy Games, and Math Tools.  Each category is important in itself.  Here is a picture of my Daily 5 Math Board.

If you really want to learn more about this, I suggest going to  They have some great videos explaining the importance of each category.  So just like Daily 5, during Daily 5 Math the children are able to choose which category they would like to go to.  Alot of the activities are games so once a child picks a game, I ask the class if anyone would like to play with them.  If there are no volunteers (which there rarely is), I will pick a name from my pile.  I had all my game boards backed and laminated and all my materials labeled so the kids knew just what to get.  After a couple of months of learning all the new games and getting into routine, the kids were as independent in the Daily 5 Math as they were in the Daily 5.  This gave me the room to pull and work with kids who were struggling and/or work on challenging my high flyers.  This structure worked great except for the organization of materials.  I didn't have a great system where the kids could find their game boards easily and it took a long time for them to get started.  This is why I decided to revamp the Daily 5 Math.   So here was my plan.  I was going to make each child a Math Game Binder.  Each child would have every game board (color coded by category), a dry erase crayon (best invention ever), 2 dice, a piece of felt for an eraser and a game piece.  These were the basic manipulatives I thought they needed. If they needed others they of course could go and get these.  Take a look at how they turned out.

 Blue is Number games, pink is Fact games, orange is Strategy games.  Some of these games I created, but a majority of these games I downloaded from a great website called  Shari Sloan graciously has shared some great games that are perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Some of the games I adapted from the Everyday Math Series that my district uses.  Other games I found on the internet and adapted them to fit my learners.  I will be posting and sharing some of my games in my next post, so stay tuned.  Lastly, here is what my math area looks like in my room.  I love my new organization.  This keeps the kids on task for a longer period of time with less distractions.  If you have any questions about this please comment and I will gladly reply!

-Miss Zakar


  1. Sara, I found your link on the Fairy Dust Teaching blog. I love Daily 5 reading, where do I find more info on Daily 5 math?

  2. They havent written a book yet. I think it is on their agenda.. but there is some information on their website. Thanks for reading.

  3. I like your ideas. I was thinking of doing something similar. Here's my ideas for Daily Five Math:
    1. Partner Games - Games, Flash Cards
    2. Independent Math - Today's Number, Math Task Cards, Accelerated Math
    3. Computers - Math Facts in a Flash computer game, online math games
    4. Math Journals - Story Problems, Math Vocabulary & Definitions
    5. Guided Math w/Teacher - Small group remediation or enrichment

    These are just a few ideas, I was thinking of as I attempted to correlate Daily 5 Math with the reading Daily 5.
    Thanks for reading!

  4. Oops! One correction, Math Facts in a Flash, is a computerized program, but it is not a game. It allows students to practice their math facts in short timed intervals for accuracy.
    sorry for the error!

  5. Hi,
    You are amazing! This is all so helpful and very practical. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. This is very helpful as I begin to think about starting Math Daily 5. A couple of questions...
    1. Do you have parent volunteers in during this time?
    2. What does your notebook work look like? Are they copying vocabulary?
    3. I am just beginning to look at the info on Daily Math, but I'm guessing you are working towards independence for these activities too.
    4. How often do you change the choices under each category.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. I clicked on the link for "kidscount" and there were only links to buy stuff... Is there another one or did you buy some software?

  8. I may be over looking this, but do you have a strategy board like the Daily Five literacy does?

  9. Hi Sara, I am trying to revamp how I teach math this year and was totally set on doing a math workshop based on Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations book. Have you read it? Briefly - it's partnerships work for 20 minutes at one work station each day while the teacher pulls a small group. (There is a 5 minute mini-lesson before the workshop to explain/introduce new stations/review...). Then the teacher would go into a whole group lesson of "new math" (my school uses Everyday Math so I'd be teaching from that). At the end students have independent practice time in their math journals. I am curious to know the pros/cons of each set up. I use Daily 5 and CAFE in reading though, and have just loved how that has worked out. How do the mini-lessons work? Is that where you teach new concepts? If so, do you teach more than one concept a day? Also, what are strategy games? I teach 2nd grade...where would something like geometry or measurement fit in? Sorry for the long comment and all the questions - your post just really got me thinking!! Those binders look amazing - you are incredible for taking the time to do that!!


  10. Hey! I teach 1st grade, and I just stumbled on your blog while looking for Daily 5 Math ideas. This will be my third year doing Daily 5 Reading, and am wanting to start Daily 5 Math. I am having a hard time finding lesson plans on how to introduce the concept to my classroom. Do you mind sharing your launching plans with me? :) If you're willing, my email address is Ellen (no space) Justice at gmail dot com. Thank you!!

  11. Hi Sara,
    I just found out I will be teaching a K/1 and there are so few resources out there for this unique combination. Just this morning I was thinking of doing a daily 5 for math and happened to come across your blog. I would love to pick your brain! My email is Thank you Sara!

  12. Where did you get the cute little bags that hold the manipulatives? Also, I was wondering if you would mind sharing the games that you have created yourself. Or do you have them posted in a TPT store? I found several on Shari Sloan's site, but I am so making these notebooks!
    What a fantastic idea (says your newest follower!)

  13. I'm a dip! My teacher brain is firing off faster than I can type or print files! If you're interested in sharing your creations, my email is I have two blogs myself and perhaps I could return the favor to you sometime! Come check them out!

  14. I just saw this pinned on Pinterest! Wow! I love the concept of Daily 5 in Math!!! Thanks, Sara, for sharing!

  15. Sara, Thank you for posting about Daily 5 Math! I teach 1-3 BD Self contained and most of my students are behind in math. The Daily 5 Reading has done wonders for my classroom and I have been playing with my math block trying to make it work in this format. We are just on a "Daily 3" right now but I am sure we can work up to more. Again thanks so much for sharing!

  16. I just found this site when searching for Daily 5 math. It is amazing. I am also having a very hard time finding a way to introduce this to my class. If you would not mind sharing your launching plan like a previous person asked I would greatly appreciate it. My email address is I currently am using Debbie Diller's math stations ideas and I want to incorporate some of her concepts into the daily 5. I think my students would like to have more of a choice. I teach k, 1, and 2 grade math so organization is a must. Thank you very much for any info you can send my way.

  17. I am using the Daily 5 literacy at the moment and I cannot believe the progress and enjoyment coming from the children. When i stumbled across the Daily 5 Maths I was excited! I cannot wait to get stuck into it next year to complete my program! Thanks for sharing your ideas. Keep them coming, we can all share from each other! Cheers, Jodie

  18. I have become very intrigued with the Daily 5 in Literacy and Math, and im eager to start both. If anyone has ANY information (launching plans, templates, documents, ANYTHING) that they would like to share, I'M ALL EARS! Thanks in advance! My e-mail is

  19. OK! This is awesome. I have just begun the Daily 5 for reading and am so excited about the learning my students are doing. I am excitd to try and implement the Daily 5 math. I have a few questions that maybe some of you could help with. How long of a block do you give for Daily 5 math? Is it typically around 30 minutes? Also my district has a math series we use with worksheets that need to be completed. How do you fit those in?

    Thanks for any help you can give!

  20. I am so anxious to implement the math daily 5 in my room! I currently use daily 5 and cafe. How do you teach the concepts for math or fit in any necessary curriculum? How much time do you give?

  21. I love the binders! Perfect for the homeschooling setting. Summer project!

  22. I am so excited about your binders. I think the students may like to take them home occasionally and play their games with their families. I would also love a copy of your launching plan and pictures of your Math board if you wouldn't mind sharing. Thank you so much for the awesome ideas!! My email is

  23. This is a VERY helpful blog post!! I don't know much about Daily 5 Math but this gave me such a great place to start. Please continue to post any new ideas and let us know how it is going!

    -Kate @ The Wise Owl

  24. free ged practice test printable test online you have to be aware that you are not just learning about the possible content of the actual examination you will take. You are also studying how to take exams, specifically how to deal with the form of questions that you will have to face when the time comes.

  25. I love the idea of individual Math games binders! It is always a struggle to get Math materials in a calm and quiet manner and this would be great! My kiddos have class numbers so that I can use a lot of materials over and over again, yet still have them identified with an individual student. I could totally number the binders and reuse them every year! Brilliant! Thanks!

  26. I am moving to a new school district and am excited to start Daily 5 for literacy and math. This will be my first year to use both, but I have used Debbie Diller's Literacy model for 10 years. I will be in first grade and if you are willing to share your launching ideas, I would love to hear them. My email is or you can find my blog at

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