Creating a Routine With Daily Starters
Each Grade 3–5 Daily Starter includes four categories of questions and trivia: Language Arts, Math, Fun Fact, and Teachable Moment. The Language Arts and Math questions repeat overarching themes week to week. The themes for both subjects are listed below with suggestions for discussing the answers. The Fun Facts and Teachable Moments, one of each for every weekday, are seasonal, and provide information about most major holidays throughout the school year.
Once you find a routine that works for you and your students, continue the routine established during Week 1 for each week of Daily Starters.
- Grammar: Students are introduced to a grammatical term and asked to identify it in a sample sentence or write an example that employs the term. Make sure you review the vocabulary terms included in the question as needed.
- Usage and Mechanics: Students may be asked to complete sentence fragments, correct errors in sentences, or identify word and sentence parts in a sample sentence. Make sure you review the vocabulary terms included in the question as needed.
- Word Parts: Students are asked to recognize prefixes, suffixes, and roots in words and determine their meanings. Research finds that students who know the meaning of word parts, such as affixes, can effectively double or triple their vocabularies.
- Word Study: These activities focus on easily confused words that lead to many common spelling or usage errors.
- Word Play: Use these Daily Starters to have fun with words by exploring multiple meanings, idioms, metaphors, similes, and anagrams. Look for multiple meaning words throughout the day.
- Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Students are asked to apply a variety of operations to solve math problems. They may also be asked to illustrate their work.
- Numbers and Operations in Base 10: Students will be asked to identify the value of an underlined digit. Review place value as needed. For more practice, ask students to identify the values of other digits in the same given numbers.
- Measurement and Data: As students solve these number facts and word problems, they will need to think carefully about the measurement systems used the question. They may be asked to estimate the answer or to round up or down. Review vocabulary as needed.
- Fractions and Geometry: Students will be asked to identify shapes, solve fraction problems, or identify fractional parts in a displayed shape. Review fractional parts of a whole to help students solve the problems. After students have solved the given question, asked them to divide the shape further and name the new fractional parts.
- Word Problems: The word problems cover a variety of operations and Word problems, wherever they appear in Daily Starters, help tie math skills to real-life. Follow up by having students create real-world examples of the word problems, such as applying actual prices, dates, or times.
Introducing Daily Starters Fun Facts and Teachable Moments
Have volunteers read the Fun Facts and Teachable Moments aloud. Talk about each one. Encourage students to think of questions about the topic. Have them record interesting questions about the topics. Keep the question lists as sources for independent project ideas.
- Word Study Word Wall. Have student illustrate homophones and confusable words. Display them on a bulletin board for students to refer to when they are writing.
- Did You Know? Make bulletin board display of Fun Fact and Teachable Moment tidbits. Have students find additional facts/details and write them sticky notes to attach to the Daily Starter Fun Facts and Teachable Moments bulletin board. Collect them in a class book.
- Fun Fact and Teachable Moment Cloze. Expand the Fun Facts or Teachable Moments to make a cloze reading comprehension activity. Leave the first sentence intact. Then replace each fifth or seventh word with a write-on line. Have students work in pairs or groups of three to fill in the missing words.
- All Sorts of Facts. Write Fun Facts or Teachable Moments on index cards. After a few weeks, have students sort the facts by topic.
- Fact Games. Use the Fun Facts or Teachable Moments for Jeopardy, Concentration, or Charades.