Daily 5 Book Study: Chapter 1


If you've been following me for awhile, then you know how much I love The Sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  I saw them present two years ago for The Daily 5 and last year for The CAFE Book.  I've visited two different schools in my area who have adopted The Daily 5 and CAFE school-wide and have led workshops at my school to introduce my colleagues to it.  I am passionate about spreading the wisdom of The Sisters!

The first thing my principal did last year for interested staff was buy a copy of the book for each of us.  He also bought a subscription to www.thedailycafe.com.  It's spendy at $69 for a year per person, but it seriously has been so great.  They have lesson plans for each of the CAFE strategies, parent letters, videos that show how to teach whole group lessons, small group lessons, and even coaching sessions with teachers.  There are professional articles and research, ideas for organizing your classroom, and even a new forums section.  If you want to see what it's all about, subscribe to their weekly newsletter, called Tip of the Week.  It has links that are free to the public and you can browse the titles of links for members only.  I got by for a whole year with just the free newsletter before I took the plunge and bought a subscription.

Another way I get support for Daily 5 is by joining the Yahoo Group.   It's a great community of teachers who use the Daily 5 and CAFE in their classrooms.  If you have a question, go ahead and post it to the group.  People are great about responding quickly.  It has been really helpful!  I get the posts to my email, which is nice, because sometimes someone else's question is information I needed as well, but just hadn't thought to ask the question myself.

Pinterest is another resources to find ideas for the Daily 5.  I have a board called Teaching - Daily 5/CAFE ideas.  There are 182 pins and counting!  The other bloggers in this book study and I also have a collaborative board, started by Mel D of Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations.  Make sure to follow us there, too!

The last resource I have to share with you is ProTeacher.  This site has been around for years and has great information about all things teaching.  Last summer I found an invaluable resource: Daily 5 for Dummies.  It sounds bad, but really it is a user-friendly lesson plan for implementing the Daily 5 in your classroom.  I used it at the beginning of last year and it really helped me plan how I was going to introduce each concept and gave a really nice pacing guide.  I recommend checking it out!

On to the book....

Chapter 1 opens up with a quote from Regie Routman (another educational guru I adore):
"The typical teacher has children doing a lot of "stuff".  How is what I am having children do creating readers and writers?"
Me, Regie, and my friend Pat at a conference this spring
The premise of the Daily 5 is that children are engaged in authentic reading activities while they are not meeting with the teacher.  The Daily 5 has nothing to do with what you do as a teacher (whether you teach guided reading, a scripted program, focus groups, literature circles, one on one conferring, etc); it has everything to do with what your students are doing.  The first page of the chapter, The Sisters say, "All of these items [things children did during literacy time], and many more, were used to keep children busy while we attempted, none too successfully, to work with a few small groups and individuals.... For the hundredth time we asked ourselves did those things just keep our kids busy, or were they engaged in literacy tasks that will make a difference in their literate lives?" (page 4).   

Richard Allington is another educator who has long asked that question.  In the article Reducing the Risk: Integrated Language Arts in Restructured Elementary Schools, he gives some good reason for putting more books in the hands of children:
"The work that children do in school does matter. There is probably no better measure of what children learn than an analysis of the kinds of tasks they are given.  If we fill their days with an array of assignments that require them primarily to locate and remember discrete bits of information, abstract rules, and isolated skills, we should not be surprised to find they experience difficulty when asked to complete work that would require evaluating, summarizing, contrasting, discussing, composing, enacting, or responding."
When I read that quote, I immediately thought of the Daily 5: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work.  It doesn't say Cross Word Puzzles, Word Finds, Workbooks, or Matching Centers.  Children need to be practicing real reading in order to get better at real reading.  It makes sense, right?

I love Figure 1-1 Management: How We Have Evolved.  I can definitely relate to how I felt as a new teacher, not aware that students couldn't do something after the very first time I asked them.  One of the most powerful quotes for me was, "We wanted to change the atmosphere in our classroom and our own roles, from trying to 'manage' students, rushing around the room putting out fires, to creating routines and procedures that fostered independent literacy behaviors that were ingrained to the point of being habits," (page 9).  Isn't that what we all want?

Figure 1-4 The Daily Five Literacy Block gives us an example of how you would structure your lessons between whole group, small group, and independent work.  Here is another version of that from another district in Oregon.
via the North Clackamas School District
When you think about your classroom, is yours more like the first scenario in the chapter, the second, or somewhere in the middle?  Do you want to spend more time in meaningful conversations with students about reading and less time trying to get students to follow directions?

Grab my little freebie and start thinking about the habits you are ready to let go of as you join our journey through The Daily 5!  Link up your blog with thoughts about the Daily 5, or comment below and tell me your ideas!  I'll be back next Wednesday, June 20th, with Chapter 2!

Make sure to head on over to Mel D's blog to see her thoughts about chapter 1, as well!

Don't forget to stop by the Kindergarten Book Study
And also the Upper Elementary Book Study
We Read, We Blog, We Teach

15 comments

  1. Regie is my all-time favorite literacy guru. I quote her all the time on my blog. (I saw her at a conference years ago, but I didn't get a picture!) I love Daily 5 for the very reasons you've mentioned. Real reading and real writing instead of stuff about reading and writing. Yea!

    www.foreverin1st.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read Writing Essentials about 5 years ago, but just heard her speak this year. I absolutely love her! She has so much wisdom to pass on to others, but is also so humble and makes other teachers feel like they are going a great job! I would see her again in a heartbeat!

      Delete
  2. Great insights Nicole! Thank you for all of these resources, I will be checking them out!

    Aloha,
    Corinna
    Surfin' Through Second

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome! Like I said, I love The Sisters! :)

      Delete
  3. I am thoroughly intrigued...I love Daily 5/Cafe and work in North Clackamas...didn't even know the above document existed:-)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way!! We are practically neighbors! I'm in David Douglas :)

      Delete
    2. Fun! I student taught at Cherry Park and went to DDHS my junior year of high school. (Centennial for elementary, middle, and the rest of high school)

      Laurie
      Chickadee Jubilee

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much for sharing your insight on the Daily 5 plus the resources you provided. I just signed up for Pro Teacher...wow! I'm looking forward to following your blog...not only for the Daily 5 book study, but for other ideas as well.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't ProTeacher awesome?? So glad you are along for the journey! :)

      Delete
  5. I love the Daily 5 and CAFE! I used this structure a year ago at the end of Kindergarten and throughout teaching this year in Second Grade. I even had one of my substitute teachers comment on how well my students worked independently- she felt like she didn't even need to be there! There are great videos and ideas on their website, if you are really going to go for it; especially the parent letters and organizational tips! Well worth the money, if you ask me! Thanks for setting up this book study- I am rereading the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your tips - I agree the parent letters are great! And isn't it awesome they are translating so much stuff into Spanish? That will be really helpful for my diverse school!

      Delete
  6. You are a D5 PRO . . . so glad I found you. I just joined in the discussion fun and posted my response today (it took 4-EVA for my books to arrive). Changing things up frightens me a bit and I cannot wait to read more of your wise thoughts and posts!!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi!
    I am a 3rd grade teacher and will be teaching 2nd grade for the very first time this upcoming Sept. I am really hyped about this Daily 5 (I might have misread, but I don't think I'm familiar with it)! But does the daily 5 relate in any way to the Common Core? I would also like to know the authors name so that I can purchase the Daily 5 book.

    Thanks!
    Angela Montrose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angela!

      The Daily 5 is a system for what your class does while you meet with small groups (whether you do guided reading, individual conferences, lead book clubs, etc.). You can certainly give the kids common core related tasks for Word Work (make a word work center around standard L.2.1b, for example). You can also have them do common core related writing activities in the Work on Writing station if you want. The beauty of Daily 5 is that you have control over what the kids are doing, but they are working on meaningful activities instead of just paper/pencil worksheets. And once you get it all set up, the kids are independent so you can work with groups.

      The books is written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. You can find the book on Amazon here. Good luck!

      Delete
  8. This post is very useful for us. Because we have a lot of
    tips and tricks from this post. Thank you for this amazing post share. I many
    tips about job circular as well. If you want to know more about a career sites, please visit our website.
    www.bd-career.com

    ReplyDelete

Back to Top