Guest Teacher Plans with Daily 5
By Joan Moser
Many teachers love using Daily 5, but they worry about what to do when they have to be absent from the classroom. How do you explain the structure of the Daily 5 to a guest teacher? Do you ask guest teachers to lead your guided groups? These are just a couple of the questions we are asked frequently by Daily 5 users around the world.
Below we are providing a variety of plans for use when a guest teacher is in your classroom. We’ve included our own, as well as those from two Michigan teachers, Patti Johnson and Angie Freeland, whom we had the joy of meeting at our workshop in Illinois. With their permission, we are also sharing this note from them:
Finding Daily 5 has helped us completely change the environment of our classrooms. Students are able to work independently on reading and writing activities while we work with small groups and individual students. Our focus has shifted from doing a lot of prep work, designed to keep the other students busy, to spending time with students and gathering pertinent information that will guide our teaching.
Daily 5 has also eased the burden of having to leave our classrooms. In the past, it took a lot of time to write out detailed substitute plans so that the day was filled with plenty to do and ran smoothly. Now we do not write separate plans for guest teachers. We have created a template for our weekly plans in Microsoft Excel. On each week’s plans, we include a brief description of Daily 5 and the name of the person available if students have questions. We have received positive feedback that this system is unique, easy to follow, and helps us manage the class very well.
With Daily 5, the class practically runs itself. We encourage guest teachers to review I-charts with students for two reasons: (1) the teacher is familiar with what is expected of the class, and (2) the students know that the guest teacher is aware of the students’ expectations. With the help of a teaching partner, regular teachers can also be available for guest teachers who might have questions about the process. When you have a guest teacher who is familiar with the Daily 5, you can slowly give up control of your plans with individual students and the guest teachers can meet with your students too.
Thanks, Patti and Angie, for sharing your wonderful work with everyone.