Monday, July 9, 2012

Painting... and Some Questions For You!

First of all... I know it has been forever since I've written on my blog. I am going to try to be more faithful to it, and hopefully when school start I will have a routine in order.

So... I have been in my classroom... painting. I had a nasty bookshelf that I wanted to bring to life. Here it is with the first coat. You can see the original blue color has dings and scratches and just needs a little life.

Sadly... painting is a whole lot harder than I imagined it to be.  I don't do it often enough, and every time I do it I think it's going to be this magical, fun event.  Yea.... no!  This book shelf needed like 3 coats of paint.  Here is the final last result.  I still have some more paint so I am going to do one more coat.

Like I said I think one more coat will make it look better.  The back panel is made from plywood so the paint does not get into all the groves very easily.  I'm not too worried about this because my book baskets will cover it up.  The next shelf was only $5 at the Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity).  I was so excited!  It was really gross and needed to be cleaned up.  I washed it down, took some of the hardware off and have plans to make a bench cushion for the top. (Like something I saw on Pinterest!)  I love the color, and will post pictures when it's all set up!

Okay, so here are my Questions for you!

1. I am currently reading the Daily 5 and I am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a fifth grade classroom. I am looking for comments and resources from anyone who uses Daily 5/Cafe in the upper grades. 

2. In the Daily 5 book, it mentions getting away from having a desk. Has anyone gotten rid of their desk? I am seriously considering it.  I imagine all the space... and then I sit at my desk and look at all the little things on my desk. What do you do with all those things? Let me know if you've gotten rid of your desk, what do you use instead?


  1. I use my kidney shaped table instead of my desk. I must admit that it can get a bit cluttered, but I'm not good at organization either. I've used those plastic organizational things & plastic containers to help me organize. I do prefer it that way to alleviate the crowdedness of my classroom.
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. Have you been following the book study for Daily 5 on There may be some answers for you there. I don't use a regular desk anymore. I do have a computer desk use it to control all of my tech things like a tablet and document camera. My teacher things go in storage drawers and bins. Many fit under the edge of a bable. To hide clutter, maybe a table skirt. Lots of ideas on Clutterfree blog. Organization is the key to keeping things manageable.

    1. Marcia -
      Thank you for the great resource. I've been reading for the last hour! Thanks so much!

  3. Got rid of my desk last year and LOVE it! You can read about it on my blog. Go for it!
    2B Honey Bunch
    Honey Bunch Blog Design

  4. I've used bits and pieces Daily 5 for the past four years in upper grades (4th and 5th) and they love it. I have never had a problem getting kids to buy in. The upcoming year will be even easier because I use the Olympics to help me launch building stamina and training our bodies. They totally get into that. Michael Phelps was our classroom hero last time. I also got rid of my desk a couple of years ago (although I admit it has made it's way back with my new school) and substituted with a rolling computer cart and a few of those Sterilte drawer things you can buy from Walmart. It worked out pretty well and I did love having the extra space. In fact, I might just throw mine out again this year. Honestly, I just pile stuff on top of it each day and am then forced to clean it off before I go home. Let us know how it goes and welcome back to blogging!

    The Teaching Thief

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  6. I used The Daily Five with my fifth graders last year. I think empowering kiddos in the 5th grade to make choices is one of the best things about D5. They loved the level of independence it allowed them.

    We didn't always have a full rotation of 5. For read to self, they did their independent reading we did this EVERY day. I think reading The Book Whisperer also help solidify the importance of this time.

    We also worked on writing EVERY day. Each quarter we had an overall writing objective (district mandated). When they weren't working on that piece they would chose what to work on. My kids even delved into writing in different formats (my personal favorite: Twitter feed).

    For read to someone, we teamed up with second graders. Fifth graders benefited by being role models, second graders benefitted by hearing fluent reading and being able to practice fluent reading.

    Listen to reading I usually said was covered in my read aloud. However, my basal reading series (which I rarely use) had some good audio versions of the stories, so when they fit a social studies or science theme, I would have the students listen to those.

    Word work was the most difficult for me to wrap my mind around for 5th graders. I hate to admit it, but we used a lot of this time to play word games like Scrabble, Obscurity, and Scrabble Flash. I felt like my kids used the time wisely, but I am hoping to improve it this year.

    I definitely suggest Daily 5 format to any teacher!

    Also, I am getting rid of my desk once and for all this year. The last three years my desk has been a MAJOR junk collector! I get tired of seeing it, and I hate the fact that it serves no purpose! I will be using a kidney table for sure!

  7. I am getting rid of teacher's desk this year and I already love my room so much more! I have a U-shaped table that I will use and I made a teacher's toolbox (they are all over blogs and Pinterest!) that will hold a lo of my stuff. I think I'll love not having a desk!