The Daily 5 and Guest Teacher Plans
By Joan Moser
Many teachers love Daily 5 but worry about what to do when they must be absent from the classroom. "How do you explain the structure of the Daily 5 to a guest teacher?" "Do you have guest teachers lead your guided groups?" These are just a couple of the questions we are asked repeatedly by Daily 5 users around the world.
Below we have provided at a variety of guest teacher plans. We've included our own, as well as those from two Michigan teachers, Patti Johnson and Angie Freeland. We had the joy of meeting them in Illinois and with their permission, we are sharing not only their plans for when a guest teacher is in their rooms, but this note from them as well.
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 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 substitute plans, in detail, 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 format for our weekly plans on Microsoft Excel and include on each week's plans a brief description of Daily 5 and who is available should they have questions. We have had positive responses that this system is unique, easy to follow and manages 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; the teacher is familiar with what is expected of the class and the students know that the Guest Teacher is aware of the students' expectations. With the help of a Teaching Partner, teachers can also be available for Guest Teachers to ask questions about the process. When you have a Guest teacher that is familiar with the Daily 5, you can slowly release control of your plans with individual students and they can also meet with students.
Thanks Patti and Angie for sharing your wonderful work with everyone.