Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study

Chapter 1: Introduction

In the past I have talked about Daily 5 and CAFE and how I use these books to guide my teaching during my literacy block. Now several bloggers are linking up to do a book study on Daily 5 and each chapter of the book. 

Here are my thoughts after reading chapter one.

1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it?
My first year of teaching I did not use Daily 5 and I had mass confusing in centers. I had try to differentiate each center to that groups level and had them go around with their guided reading group. It was hard to teach independence to students especially Kindergarten. So my solution and what other teachers told me to do was to give my students a lot of paper pencil busy work. Well guess what? The kids hated it and I hated it. That's not my real teaching style and I wanted my students to be engaged in their learning not just going through the motions. After my first year I stumbled upon the Daily 5 and instantly knew this was going to help me. Since using the Daily 5 my students have become more independent, love learning and our time in Daily 5, and I'm happily teaching target groups of students or assessing. Now my students love getting to choose where they want to go and what they want to do. Some of my students even beg to have more time for independent reading and I ended up making it a reward they could earn for clipping up. (2 rounds of independent reading) Volunteer parents in my room even comment on how they love that the students get a choice in what they do but are still doing all the areas of reading they need to be doing. I think it's great when others realize the impact on the student's learning as well. 

2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers? 
Before my students were doing activities that went along with the standards but didn't have any real meaning to them. Now with the Daily 5 my students are choosing books on their level that they want to read so they are engaged and focused on what they are doing. I can hear their conversations in buddy reading where they are asking questions before, during, and after reading to each other. I know that they think their word work is meaningful to them since they love to show me later what they did and take it home with them to share with their parents. I have had classes love the writing component and dislike the writing component. I know I need to fine tune this for next year and get my students more excited about writing. They do love the choice but at such a young age they have a hard time finding a topic even if I have a list. Getting started has been difficult for some students and I think I need to spend more time on guidelines for writing, topics you can writing about, and stresses the write the whole time part (1st graders LOVE to draw after only 3 sentences).

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
I think that Daily 5 gives ownership to my students learning. They feel a sense of pride in their work and getting to choose their rounds. I know I'm not just creating a good classroom atmosphere for learning but instilling in them the importance of being a life long reader at home. 

This is truly an amazing way to get students hooked on reading/writing. My reading coach saw Daily 5 and CAFE in my classroom and immediately wanted to get the rest of the school on board with it. We started slowly with my own first grade team and then expanded to anyone who was interested in K-5. She started a book study of The Daily 5 for teachers and most teachers were hooked and exclaimed they didn't know how they ever did centers before. If you are wary about trying it I suggest you read around blogs and see what others are doing-you'll be surprised at how many great teachers use this framework and make it their own.

Next week I will be discussing Chapter 2. Questions to think about while reading Chapter 2: 

1 .What goals do you have for your classroom as you work to implement the principles and foundations of the Daily 5 discussed in chapter 2? What support do you need to do this?

2. What stands out as the most significant aspects of this chapter? 
 3. How do the foundational principles of the Daily 5 structure (trust, choice, community, sense of urgency, and stamina), align with your beliefs that support your teaching strategies and the decisions that you make about student learning?

Now what should you do?

1. Well if you are not yet reading the Daily 5 go get it! Click here. It's a super easy read that I read in one day and read again each summer. Try it out!
2. If you have a blog and want to link up go to Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations and link up.
3. If you don't have a blog but want to participate just leave comments, ideas, suggestions, and questions.
4. Check back next week to read about Chapter 2. 


  1. I would love to do Daily 5 with my class. I'm loving reading all of the posts! Do you incorporate the reading series (basal) into the Daily 5 or do you do it at a different time... or use it at all?


    1. I have a reading series (Houghton Mifflin) and yes I have been implementing it into the Daily 5. I usually teach the Houghton Mifflin part (30 minutes) first and then we go into Daily 5 and then I don't have to do any of the Houghton Mifflin part because our literacy center time is up to us (teachers) to decide. Now that we are moving towards using Common Core our principal wants us to use Houghton Mifflin less because it won't match all the standards and isn't as challenging for our students. I think that the Daily 5 is a great way to meet all children needs--challenge them or help struggling readers. Hope this answers your question. If not please feel free to e-mail me! Thanks for reading!

    2. We use Houghton Mifflin at my school. I am trying to use it less as it does not always challenge the children or differentiate very well. Would love to read more posts about how you use Daily 5 and Houghton Mifflin.

    3. I just e-mailed Elisabeth a super long e-mail about using Daily 5/HM in my reading block so I'll just make a it a blog post today so you and others can read about it too. Thanks for reading!

  2. I found your blog through the Daily 5 Book Study. I have implemented parts of it, but haven't given the children the control. That's my goal for this coming year:)

    Thank for sharing.
    The Resourceful Apple

    1. I am always implemented parts of it as well because I feel you have to do what works for you as a teacher and what works with your class. But my favorite part absolutely is giving the students choice. They LOVE it and feel a sense of pride in picking their centers. You would be surprise at how quickly they know what they want to do that day. Most students do not pick in the same order either. You'll love once you let go of the control and give it to the children. Thanks for reading! :)

  3. Just stopping by to check out your answers to the questions from the first chapter. I'm moving to second grade next year after being in 3rd for fourteen years, and have decided to implement Daily 5 and CAFE. I am beyond excited! Thanks for sharing thoughts regarding Daily 5! I am hoping our grade level will get to see the 2 sister in Atlanta in August!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,

  4. Hi Jess! Thanks so much for linking up! I just pinned this post to our D5 book study pinboard :o)
    Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

  5. After using Daily 5 for 2 years, I think the keys are building stamina and choice. I've seen classrooms without those, and it just falls apart. And really, this is what makes Daily 5 different from just centers.

    1. Yes, I love the choice and building stamina parts of D5. They truly help students become independent learnings.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post. You inspired me to order both books . . . even sprung for speedy shipping :) I hope to be in on the action next week.

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    1. I'm so happy that I have inspired you to read both books. You'll find them easy to read and I'm sure you'll want to join in on the book study once you've read them.

  7. Not only were the students going through the motions, but I have felt like I was going through the motions with Guided Reading. Thank you for summing it up for me. I am anxious about implementing Daily 5/CAFE in the new school year.

  8. Not only were the students going through the motions, but I felt like I was going through the motions with Guided Reading. Thank you for summing it up for me. I am anxious to implement Daily 5/CAFE. I've had the books for almost a year. The book study is getting me even more excited.