This is my first year teaching as well. So I am going to do things based on the way I was taught and my personal experiences, then revamp as I go. I student taught in kindergarten as well as preschool and first grade.
I will be doing daily 5 as well. If you have not read the book by the sisters, I highly recommend it. It is a management system for literacy which includes read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on writing, and word work. I believe in the system and have seen it work in many other classrooms. The key to making it all work is model, model, model. I am planning about a maximum of about 20 minutes of work time for each one, I think that will be the longest they will be able to go, but it may increase as the year goes on. After I model, I will give them practice time each day and I will not start guided reading until the students are able to be successful on their own for at least 15 minutes. As for my groups, until I have my schedule from the principal and the students in my classroom I cannot figure out groups. You may have a large class of readers, non-readers, or they may be really spread out. I will group students after I test them and figure out what skills they need to work on.
I have always used responsive classroom and truly believe in students being intrinsically motivated. I think singing also is a great way to get their attention. Here is a website with a variety of songs and chants for transitions that I use, http://www.hummingbirded.com/music.html#tran
It also helps to create many breaks between things. For example, during a math lesson, you may do some teaching on the floor, then do some table work, then have them pick a spot to work in the room. The less time they stay in one area and getting up to move around helps, but it does take more time.
The school I am at does not do themes. When I student taught, I spent more time creating things based on the theme of the week and trying to find activities to fit the theme. Being my first year, I want to focus on creating fun and meaningful activities to support the students instead of being tied down by a theme. This is just my opinion, but you end up spending a lot of time creating cutesy things to go with the theme.
I hope this helps, good luck this year!