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 www.thedailycafe.com. 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 www.kidscount1234.com. 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!