Monday, January 21, 2013

The Daily 5

As a teacher, you know when something is working and when something isn't.  Right now, Reader's Workshop is just not working right in my classroom.  I love Reader's Workshop.  It is my favorite time of the day.  I love reading aloud and teaching a mini-lesson, I love working with kids in small groups and I love hearing about what they are reading when we re-group.  However, the independent reading portion just isn't working for my students right now, so I knew I needed a change.

That's when The Daily 5 came to my mind.  I read the book by "the sisters" way back when we started Reader's Workshop in our district.  It seemed like a great idea but not something that I was ready to tackle yet.  
I also thought, way back when, that I needed to follow every program step-by-step and to the T.   As a more seasoned teacher, I realize that that is sooo not true.  I need to adopt programs to best help my students.

I think that my students could greatly benefit from a modified version of The Daily 5 this year.  Here are a few of my ideas that I plan to start with this week.

I plan to have three rotations during my Reading block.  I know that letting students choose their station is a large part of The Daily 5, but I created a schedule for my students to follow, at least in the beginning.

During each rotation, I will be meeting with a group of students.  The other students will be at a variety of stations.  Some groups (especially my stronger readers) will stay at the same station for more than one rotation.

1. Read to Self
Students will be able to choose a spot in the room to read independently from their own book bags.

2. Read to Self (Fun Spots)
In my classroom, I have a few "fun" chairs for the students to sit in.  I know that I, personally, love to read all curled up with a pillow.  I have bean bag chairs, pillow chairs, and a beach chair.  At this station, the students will also be reading independently from their own book bags.

3. Read to Someone
My students love to read with a partner so they will be able to read and discuss books with someone from their group.

4. Listen to Reading
A big part of becoming a better reader is to listen to others read.  I have many, many books on CD from my Scholastic book order.  I am in the process of acquiring portable CD players so that students can choose a spot in the room to listen to reading.  I also have an iPod with a few books on it.  We also have a few books on tape, but the tape players are about 50 years old, so I may get rid of that part.  We have two larger CD players, but I moved the listening center table to use somewhere else in the room, so I haven't figured out where I am going to set those up!

5. Technology
We use Study Island at our school to track student's progress and to help them with concepts in reading and math.  I have 6 computers in my classroom now (woohoo!), but it can still be a challenge to get the students on their to practice when there is so much else going on during the day!  I plan to have each group go on Study Island once a week.

6. Read with a Teacher
The last station is to meet with the teacher.  This will also hold me more accountable to meet with each group.  I created the schedule to revolve around my students who are struggling the most, but with the flexibility to meet with each group throughout the week.

This is definitely going to be a work in progress for me.  I have been doing a lot of research of other blogs to help me.  Here is my Pinterest board of Daily 5 ideas that I have slowly began gathering items on:


  1. I love the Daily 5! Good luck! :) I think giving them rotations at the beginning is ok. I given my students a modified choice so they still have some ownership! Have fun!! You and your kids will love it!

    Smiles from 2nd Grade

  2. I love the Daily Five too! I've modified it to make it work for my group, and it still works! You have to do what you know your kids can handle. It'll be great, and you'll be so happy that you're doing it! This is my 3rd year doing it, and it's a big success. You'll LOVE it!! Good luck and enjoy!
    Sister Teachers

  3. I love the Daily 5, which is more like the Daily 4 in my classroom. With a basal reader and a not so hot schedule this year, it's hard to make time for it, but I try as often as possible. Love how involved my kiddos get with it!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  4. This is my third year to be doing the Daily 5 in my classroom. I have tweaked it just a bit too and I do use a scheduled rotation chart. I'm not against choices, but we just don't have the time to sit and ask each student where they want to go. As it is, I have trouble getting everything done each day. Plus, I have an inclusion classroom. Some of my students need a highly structured classroom. I think you will like the Daily 5 as you tailor it to fit your student's needs.

  5. I completely agree with Corina! I have done the "choice" aspect but find that it takes A LOT of time. Plus, with kids being pulled for different things (O.T., resource room, speech), I find it hard to get done what I need done. I feel that within the circuit, they have many choices.

    Read to self-which book(s) to read
    Read to someone-which book(s) to read, or fluency passage, or partner reading (2 reader) book, or comprehension check
    Listen to reading-I do this on the computer with about 10 websites, so the kids have tons of choices
    Write about reading-which book to write about
    Word Work-which activity to practice their personal spelling words (although I do sometimes have an everyone activity)

    I feel that you have to do what best fits the needs of you, and your class:)

    What do you think of Study Island? I just heard of it today (but not much about it) while at professional development. My kids go on for reading/grammar and math.

    -Beach Teacher
    Primary Classrooms are Oceans of Fun

  6. You'll love Daily 5. I tweak it and you may find that you'll do that too. One size doesn't fit all. If you ever want to chat about how it's going or bounce ideas off one another let me know!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  7. Good luck! I started a (very structured) version of the Daily 5 this year. I am excited to read more about how you decide to implement it in your classroom. My kiddos LOVE it and it's going well for me but I definitely don't structure it exactly how the Sisters describe in their book...I think it's more about what works for your students.

    Kindergarten Kel

  8. One of the best things about the Daily 5 is that you can make it your own so that it works for your setting and circumstances. I look forward to reading more about your implementation this year!

  9. I tried it and it didn't really work for me and my class. They really could never get their stamina up enough to be able to read independently for an extended amount of time. I still do have a listening center and a word work center, but I took out the others and added reading games (like word work but more of a game format), reading book from our classroom library, reading books at their levels, and then computers. It seems to really work for my kids. Tomorrow I am adding book boxes to help them with fluency. Hope it goes well!!!
    Teaching in the Valley

  10. I'm using D5 for the first time this year. I love it, but I too have had to adapt it to work for my little darlin's.

    Learning With Susie Q

  11. LOVE the Daily 5. This is my first year using it and (after some small changes) I'll never turn back. Love it :)


    Sparkly, Quirky Lifebox

    The Quirky Apple

  12. I would love to see a picture of the chart you are using to track who goes where each day.

    Grade 2 Happenings

  13. I would love your ideas on the best way you have found to give them their rotations. Do you have a pocket chart? Paper? Anything that you found that works well?

    I am currently letting them pick which rotation they go to and it is taking up WAY too much time! It get's my frizzle in a frazzle, if you know what I mean!

    The Frizz

    The Frizz in First Grade

  14. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Daily 5! This is my 3rd year using it and I would never do anything else. It definitely is something that you can fit to your teaching style and your kids. Stamina building may seem like it takes a lot of time but it is so worth it! The kids are so proud of themselves and it really does help train their bodies and minds. I used to use a checklist/contract where they would check off what they did and such but as the Sisters said I realized that they didn't really need it and it was taking up too much time. I've become a master at writing their choices on my clipboard and I can easily scan and see when I need to remind them to make a variety of choices. We sadly only have time for about 3 rounds a day and my student know that they MUST do Read to Self.

    I hope you enjoy it as you figure out how to make it work for you!


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