Daily/Weekly 5 Whatever . . .

So, I love me some Daily 5.  I love the concept of it, the independence, the choice, the analyzing the value of each activity we ask our children to do.  And I love that it is adaptable to individual classrooms and teachers.  It gives me time to pull small groups, give assessments, or work with kids one on one.

I have my own Daily 5 hybrid that works in my classroom.  I'm going to share it with you with the full realization that if The Sisters were dead, they would roll over in their graves.

I call them stations.  They're a little bit older in third grade.  Sometimes when you use the word centers, they think PLAYTIME!  While the centers in Kindergarten are not playtime, a third grader thinks back to K, and, in their eyes, manipulatives, stamps, and playdoh equals goof off time.  We do one a day.  I already have an independent reading time and writer's workshop time, so a daily writing and independent reading time would be redundant.  I have 2 hours and 5 minutes for reading/writing/grammar/word study/independent reading/stations.  Fitting in five stations a day would mean they were about 4 minutes each. Yea right.

Anywho, here are my five stations:
1.  Reading
Buddy or independent, kids choice.

2.  Writing
Right now we're starting with the whole class journals I posted about here.  We're starting simple for now.

3.  Word Work
I have two resources I love for word work.
Both are kind of like letter brain teasers and require kids to think about letter placement and what happens when letters change places or replace other letters.  I like them a lot.  I run the Letter Links on card stock and let kids build them with the letter tabs.  I run the Word Ladders front and back and let the kids complete them with a buddy if they like.  
Click on the pictures to get a better idea.

4.  Handwriting
Yes, I know.  But the thing is, handwriting matters.  How many of our kids struggle with not just the academic side of writing put also the physical side?  If we expect kids to learn their facts so they can work quickly, the same goes for handwriting.  It also gives me a chance to say, "I know we've practiced this letter.  You can do better than this."  I give a quick glance at the end of the week.  If it's junk on a page, they take an extra copy home for homework.  

5.  Computer
I'm, again, starting off small.  Our county library system has a subscription to Tumblebooks.  Yea for free!  Tumblebooks is an awesome but expensive resource.  For my nonfiction lovers, I had a link to the Enchanted Learning picture dictionary on each computer.  They can also take an AR quiz.

Here's my Stations poster.  You knew there was going to be one.

I'd love some other ideas.  The thing about stations is that it has to be not just valuable but simple.  If it starts getting all complicated, it's no longer worth it.  I can spend massive amounts of time preparing a station that the kids are going to do for 15-20 minutes once a week OR spend that time planning awesome reading or writing lessons.  I know which one wins each time.

Got any great ideas for me?