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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daily 5: Work on Writing & Reading Comprehension, plus a Giveaway!

Longest title ever? 

Maybe :) , but I have a lot to say today!!!!

I have been implementing my own version of Daily 5 in my classroom for a good two years now.  Last year it was a lot harder with our schedule, so I am extra excited about using it again this year.

As I said before I use a modified version of Daily 5 {and honestly, who doesn’t}.  In the past that meant that I did not do Work on Writing.  I didn’t much see the point if I did Writer’s Workshop on a {semi} regular basis.
But I’m going to be honest: I was not getting to writing nearly as much as I wanted too and not nearly as much as I needed to.  My kids just weren’t writing the way I wanted them to by certain points in the year.

I decided that this year they just need to write {and write and write}!  Yes, I will still do WW, and hopefully a lot more of it because our schedule is a MILLION times better this year, but still I want opportunities for them to write on the days I won’t get to WW.
Here’s how I plan on doing it {with a little help from my friends}!

First, you need to read my friend Tracy’s recent post on D5: Work on Writing {but finish reading here too, okay???}.

list pages

{These are FREE by the way!}

I will be using her list resources, and I love her writing prompts idea.  I have a book at school of writing prompts and I’m going to go pick it up so I can get started on typing them up. 

I also need to get to IKEA pronto {maybe I can talk my hubby into a whole new kitchen while we’re there :)}

I also have a FANTASTIC resource from Lori over at “Teaching with Love and Laughter”.  She is just the sweetest and has such amazing products for K-2. {Not to mention she has a pretty sweet giveaway going on right now too!}

I will be using her “Topics to Write About” Resource.

{Click the picture to grab it from TpT}

I actually got the idea to use the topic cards as border around my writing bulletin board so that’s the plan for when I get into my room, but they would also be darling on a key ring or in a binder.  What I love is that you can display certain cards at certain times to keep it fresh and keep your students interested.

Write On! Hello Writing: Fun Sheets for "Working on Writin

To give my little authors guidance and support with their writing, I’ll be using Jen Jones’ “Hello Writing” sheets.  I love them because she uses word banks and illustrations to guide young writers as they write independently.  Scoop them up by clicking that pitiful thumbnail above {sorry I couldn’t grab a better picture…but they are SO WORTH checking out! Click the picture above!!!}

My students will also be writing on seasonal paper that I recently uploaded to my little shop.  What I love about this “stationary” is that there are no prompts or titles on top, so they can use the paper for whatever topic they choose: maybe a narrative, or a fiction story about a haunted house, or a friendly letter to another classmate?  

I also made each monthly set with different handwriting lines to accommodate my students’ handwriting as it progresses through the year.

Monthly Stationary Cover
{Click the picture to grab it rom TpT}

{{My monthly stationary was actually a “flash freebie” on Facebook a few days ago…make sure you’ve liked me so you don’t miss out in the future!}}

That about sums up how I plan on implementing Work On Writing this year.  Stay tuned for pictures…believe me, I’m probably more excited than you are to see how my set-up turns out!

Speaking of Daily 5, there’s another product that I use over and over again when I meet with my small groups: my Common Core Reading Comprehension Passages.  I assign them as homework to some of my higher-leveled kiddos, but I often use them in small groups with my below-level loves.

They’re perfect for practicing open ended questions and supporting your answer with text from the passages.  My kids were SUPER STARS with this by the end of the year last year!!!
Back to School Comprehension Cover

I just put up a mini-edition of Back to School Passages.  My Back to School Edition has 8 passages {as opposed to 12 or 13 like my other editions}.  I did a Back to School Edition because I had too many ideas for stories to include them all in my Fall Edition {coming soon!}

If you haven’t tried my passages out yet, the mini-edition would be a great way to get your feet wet, so to speak! 

I have also decided to bundle all my passages together!!!!  If you don’t own more than one version but you think you might like too, I strongly suggest buying the bundled version now.  The price will go up as I add to the bundle {Fall and Winter Holidays Edition coming soon with plans for a non-fiction edition too}, so you’ll save a ton now and update your file as new passages are released.

Bundled Comprehension Cover
{Click the picture to grab it from TpT}

Now for the fun stuff!!!  I will give away your choice of my Monthly Stationary or Back to School Reading Comprehension.  All you have to do is comment below and tell me when you go back to school! {Me, not till after Labor Day!!!!} Don’t forget to leave your email!!!

Favorite Graphic

And be sure to come back tomorrow and link-up for my “Favorite Things” Linky! Tomorrow’s topic is “Feels Like Home”.  Share all your favorites for your home {designs,  decorative items, furniture, dream homes, whatever!}

And here’s the schedule for the rest of summer:

Favorite Things Linky Schedule

See you tomorrow!



  1. I go back August 12th for a week of Common Core training. The students come back on August 21st...way too soon!

  2. I love the idea of using Lori's topic cards as a border! Brilliant!!!!

    I hadn't seen Jen's Hello Writing set...very excited!

    Already downloaded Tracy's list pages and we'll use them in our Writers' Notebooks. They are the perfect size and super adorable!!!

    FAB post, Halle! :)
    Growing Firsties

  3. My first day with students is Aug. 9th! It sure is sneaking up on me! This is my first year teaching 2nd grade and I would love your Back to School Reading Comprehension Set! I love your blog!!

  4. August 15 with no kids, Aug. 21 with kids

  5. Love all the work on Writing ideas! Thanks!

  6. The kids go back to school on August 26th. We go back the week before! :(

  7. I go back on August 16th, kiddos return on August 26th.

  8. I would love your reading comprehension pack! I got back to work on August 26 with no kids... And the kids come back the day after Labor Day this will be my first year teaching third grade!


  9. Thanks so much for the awesome shout out! I love all the products you showcased today. And I agree with Lisa! Using the writing topics cards as border is a great idea!
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  10. August

  11. I am trying hard not to think about going back to school, yet here you are, forcing me to do it! Teachers report August 16. Students the following Wednesday.

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  12. Halle...great post! Thanks for the shout-out! And you're right, that is a pitiful thumbnail, can I email you a better one? Your are so right about tweaking Daily 5. We all do it! To me, Daily 5 is just a "brand name" for what's better known as something we all do under a different name, "balanced literacy".

  13. Hi ya,
    Florida girl speaking here - teachers officially begin August 12 (kiddos August 19). However the work has already began, both in and out of the classroom. I used Daily Five last year for the first time. The kiddos were amazing with their proficiency of independence. Enjoy the summer you have left.

  14. We start the Wed. after Labor Day. I've had a difficult time shutting off my school brain all summer, though.
    Stories by Storie

  15. I don't start until Aug. 20. I really want my students to write more this year, too. Thanks for the suggestions.

  16. I don't have my own classroom yet, but the schools around me go back August 6th, which means that's when I'll be starting to substitute! :) Thanks for the chance!

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  17. I go back Aug. 12, kids come Aug. 15. We got out June 4.

  18. Hi Halle! Like you, I don't go back to school until after Labor Day! :) I have just "Liked" this post on Bloglovin' because I'm LOVING your ideas!! I am changing grades this year - 5th to 2/3 - and I'm going to use The Daily 5 in my class for the first time. I have been a 5th grade teacher for 13 years, so heading into primary is a little scary for me. The ideas you've posted are such a great start! Thank you!

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

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  20. I go back to school Sept. 3rd...I LOVE your reading comprehension passages.

  21. Teachers go back on August 13 and our kiddos start on the 15th! It is coming way too fast! I would love your seasonal writing papers. Thanks so much!

  22. We go back on August 21st! I would love the monthly writing paper!

  23. We go back on August 19th! Lucky you don't have to go back til after Labor Day!

  24. I'm so glad you have a better schedule this year! I'm liking mine so far too, although I'm going to be teaching social studies and science and I'm a litttttle afraid of the science. I need those monthly writing papers...I'm always looking for writing paper!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  25. We go back August 19th. I love your site. I can't decide, but I think I would have the most use of the comprehension unit as it's so difficult to find good material for 2nd-3rd graders to work on comprehension. Thanks for your giveaway.

  26. I go back Sept. 3rd the kids come the 4th. But, I do have a training I'm going to mid Aug.

  27. I go back on August 13th with students returning on the 19th.

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  28. Teachers go back August 12th and students the following week. We were just told that we will be paid to work 2 nine hour days during planning week (with extra pay!) This excites me because, honestly, how many of us work that long during planning week anyway? =)

    Emily @ Second Grade Silliness

  29. The first teacher workday for me is August 19th and the students come August 26th. Since I'm a new teacher though, I'll have training to go to the whole week before the official teacher workdays start.


  30. I go back in two weeks. Yikes! I'm so glad I read your post before I did my writing bulletin board. Great idea about the topic card border! :)

  31. Not til September 3rd. We didn't get out until June 27th so summer feels like it's flying by!!!

  32. We go back on August 14. So glad to see the back to school comprehension pack! I love your other packs :) Lindsey -

  33. This is a great resource! I'm like you and didn't really use Work on Writing for the Daily Five. With introducing all the others areas, I just run out of time. Love all the links to the different products - it's great to know what other people used that helped. I go back to work August 1st and kids come back on August 12th.

  34. Seriously? You rock! Your BTS pack looks awesome! We go back August 22. Thx!!!


  35. My back to school day depends on if I get the job I interviewed for yesterday. If I get that job, I go back July 29th. If I don't, I have till right after Labor Day.
    andrea . m . lee84

  36. The kids come back on August 5th...Meet the Teacher is on August 1st!! I can't believe it's coming up so soon already!


  37. Officially, teachers return on August 19th and our student first day is August 21st. Of course, I will need to go in before that to actually set up my room, but...

    We are using a new writing curriculum this year. It will be interesting to see the changes, since we have not received any books or PD yet.

    I keep adding your comprehension packets to my TPT wish list. :)

    apyle2 AT gmail DOT com

  38. I love your reading comprehension passages. Our first day with kids is September 4th.

    Heather Haugen

  39. August 14th without kids, August 19th with kids

  40. My first day with kids is August 26! My first year teaching second grade and I can't wait!! I'm trying to gather as many resources as possible to help make the transition smooth! I'm so excited!

  41. LUV reading your blog each day! Always motivating and full of great ideas. Teacher's first day Aug.1, Students return Aug. 8.

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  43. I live in Michigan - students begin Sept. 3!

  44. Halle,

    I SO needed to read this post! We do not do Writer's Workshop at my school -- sadly.. because of time and my Work on Writing time needs some structure. I love all of these resources and will be checking them out now!! Thanks for all the tips! I LOVE the idea of using writing ideas as a border-- fabulous!

    That's So Second Grade!

  45. Hello. I'm your newest follower - I love your blog ideas and design - very creative and colorful. I'd love to win one of your resources. Me, I go back to school the Tuesday after Labor Day; the kids come on Thursday. I don't want to know the exact date just yet - I'm still loving that vacation feeling.
    susan k.

  46. This will be my 3rd year using a modified Daily 5, too, and I love it. Thanks for the tips on all the great products!

    mrscockrellsblog AT gmail DOT com


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