You crazy other teachers! There are still two months of vacation left... but you are all thinking about school already! (I'm guilty too... just thought that was a fun way to begin the post!)
I have gotten lots of e-mails this summer about Daily Five and CAFE and how I do them in my classroom. Again... thanks for wanting to peek into my brain!
At first I thought I'd explain more on my site, but I am so long winded and just can't be concise and I don't want to freak out any parents who might get lost in my rambling when they view my site... so, this blog post (which may possibly be the longest blog post in the history of blog posts) is designated to all things Daily Five/CAFE. I'll do my best to answer all the questions I've gotten, share my thoughts, and address any additional questions if you leave any in the comments.
Ok. First... please don't try to do Daily Five or CAFE without reading the books by The Sisters. Second, please know that neither one of them are a "program", but are both management tools for how you are probably already teaching guided reading.
This is how it looks in my classroom:
A 10-15 minute mini-lesson on phonics. I do whatever the 2nd grade spelling pattern in Treasures is for the week and whatever that particular phonics connection is, we learn that "hunk and chunk" from The Phonics Dance. We review all of our hunks and chunks daily (except for Thursday when they do a tactile spelling activity for the 1st mini lesson) and we practice reading and de-coding words that contain our hunks and chunks. We also do a phonemic awareness activity each day. I try to do it at morning meeting, but sometimes we do it here too.
A 20 minute "round" where kids are doing their Daily Five choices and I am conferring with individual students or small groups. This is where I use the leveled readers and *rarely* the Practice Book O that goes with Treasures. I teach tailored reading skills during this time to groups or individual students.
A 10-15 minute mini-lesson on comprehension. This is whatever the weekly comprehension skill is in Treasures. This is lots of modeling, student practicing, sometimes a game, and always always always involves me reading aloud to my students. Because I teach two grade-levels, I do the 1st grade comprehension skill for the beginning of the week and then we practice a 2nd skill or strategy for the last half of the week most of the time.
A 20 minute "round" just like before.
A 10-15 minute mini-lesson on whatever the grammar skill from Treasures is for the week. Again, because I teach 2 grade levels and I have to try and keep each grade level on the same topic as the other 1st and 2nd grade classrooms, I do the grammar skill from both Treasures books at this time. We usually always do a direct lesson on Monday, shared writing on Tuesday, and then a game or Brainpopjr for the other days. I also teach grammar A LOT during our morning meeting time because we write the "news of the day" each day together.
I think that covers most stuff.
*We have hand movements to go along with most of our comprehension strategies- some I created and others I've seen online or at conferences, so whenever we talk about comprehension or accuracy, we have some sort of kinesthetic movement to help us remember the strategy. Lori Oczkus has a wonderful comprehension book that can help you out with this.
*No, I don't use many of the workbooks for Treasures. This is for a variety of reasons- one, if my kids are doing 30 minutes of workbook pages a day, I'm not doing a 90-minute literacy block and two, I run three different spelling lists in my room that are differentiated so I can't rationalize using the spelling books since some kids aren't doing those grade level words.
*I love using Daily Five. It has helped my students understand why reading is important and how to value a good book. My students complain if they walk in and don't see the "Daily Five" card on our schedule... they LOVE having choices and being able to just enjoy a book without always having to "do" something with their reading.
I will leave you with the biggest reason I love Daily Five... my students are independently engrossed in reading activities for a minimum of 60-minutes every single day. That's 5 hours of reading a week... so, after an entire school year, that's almost 200 hours. Now, my shining example of how I know Daily Five works comes down to two things:
1.) My students' error rates on their DIEBLS tests at the end of the school year have been (except for a very few) 0-1% error rate.
2.) The first year I did Daily Five I had a student who came to be significantly below grade-level. He had been retained in first grade, so he came to me having done first grade twice. On the fall DIBELS test, he read 8 words correct in one minute... at the winter benchmark test, he read 30... and at the end of the year, he read 88 words correct in one minute. EIGHTY EIGHT!!!!! The desired amount is 90 for second graders. And I cried. And I cried. And I cried. And he cried! But, I know that engrossing that child in literacy for the amount of time that he was is the sole reason he was able to succeed. How did he get better at reading? By a crazy amount of practice. I will never go back to how I taught reading before. Ever. Making kids aware of why we read and engaging them in conversation about how we understand reading is so meaningful! It's so cool to hear kids talking about where they made an inference or the need to go back and re-read because they understand that they don't understand! It's so powerful and exciting!
I get so excited just thinking about reading and how it all works... if you made it through my Daily Five/CAFE book... I commend you! Help yourself to the Daily Five download as my thank you for your patience with my long-windedness! As always, let me know if you love it with a comment! :)
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