Friday, July 8, 2011

Daily Five FAQs

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.

Other tidbits...
*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! :)


  1. I really love the checklist. Thanks for sharing! I have been grappling with how I was going to keep my kids accountable, yet not giving them tons of written work. This is perfect. : )

  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas and freebie!!!

  3. Thank you so much for your explanation. I started Daily 5 last year and struggled with how to use it in conjunction with Treasures. I also love your freebie! Thanks again!!!

  4. I love your checklist! This will be my third year doing daily 5 and I always struggle with giving my 30 students choice. Not because I don't trust them or think they are capable of making good choices, but because I haven't come up with a good/fair/not time consuming way to allow them to choose without having 20 students pick RAZ-kids. Also - sometimes I want students to do a particular station more than the other stations for a few weeks to drive home a skill or concept. Do you have any suggestions?

  5. So your students only do two of the Daily Five choices per day? I feel so relieved by your schedule. I just started reading the book yesterday and I was like, "OMG, how am I going to justify taking my entire morning just for Daily Five with five rounds??"

    Magnificent Multiagers!

  6. Thank you for your explanations! I also use Treasures and was so grateful to hear how you incorporate Treasures plus actually using "real reading".

    Question--do you have a separate writing workshop? I REALLY dislike the writing component in Treasures. And writing was the part I neglected. My goal this year is to make sure that writing becomes a more focused part!

    Again thank you so much!

  7. I love the check sheet. I normally make kids a book mark which I laminate with their D5 choice and they mark it off. I also keep a list that I use to track their choices and help them select if I find that they are rarely going to a certain activity. This would be great on a SmartBoard; granted I don't have one but wishful thinking. :)

  8. Thanks for the info on how you run this, I also use Treasures and had a hard time last year fitting it all in.
    Where did you get your choice cards at? I made some today but not really loving them and like yours better!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your check in sheets. We love the accountability!
    This past school year was our first "go" with Daily Five and Cafe'. We loved doing both, and can't wait to build upon what we've already learned. We also have to incorporate our basal (Houghton Mifflin) and we do it very similar to how you do it.
    Thanks again for sharing! :-)
    -Jackie and Danielle

  10. What book do you recommend by Lori Oczkus? I'm always looking for good professional reads! Thanks!

  11. I am hoping to improve what I do with teaching phonemic awareness in the fall. Do you have any recommended resources that you use for your daily phonemic awareness activities?

  12. Thank you for the checklist! It's awesome! :)

  13. I was wondering if I could get a copy of your cards you use for the kids to sign up for thir choices in the pocket chart in the morning. I love yours!:)

  14. Are they students always only reading the leveled readers during daily 5 or can they choose books of their own choice? Also, do you use the assessments from Treasures? Last, how do you incorporate the vocabulary component of Treasures?

  15. Hi Mrs. Shepherd- they choose books of their own choice. Some of my reading groups do the leveled readers with me then they take them with them to add to their book boxes but they can still read other things too.

    I do the unit assessments for the even numbered units and the vocabulary, teaching two grade levels, is a little more difficult. I do that in my small groups, but my "higher" group don't do much with Treasures. I do a lot of extension type reading things with those kids.

    Hope that answers your questions! :)

  16. Great info! Thank you. Just linked to this post here:

  17. Christina - I am new to 2nd grade, and a new mom. The combo of the two has me at my wits end some days. I'm currently on a 2 week break and racking my brain as to how and what to change so I love teaching again...I am SO thankful you posted these templates! I've been wanting to do Daily 5, have read the book in stolen moments, but don't have the time (or the creative brain power these days) to make what I need to make it work...your templates are EXACTLY what I was looking for!!! Thank you for being so generous and posting them for free!!!

  18. You're article was just what I needed to read! And the checklist was a bonus... Thanks for sharing!

  19. I'm glad I found this. Thanks for sharing. I was wondering how to use The Daily 5 with Treasures.

  20. Wow! You had about the same year that I did with the DAILY 5 and CAFE. This was my first year implementing it into my classroom for reading and I LOVED it. We also have Treasures and I also have two spelling lists going each week in my classroom. (Not three) I had great success with 2 of my students. Allan came to my classroom reading 21 wpm and left my room reading 106 wpm with 98% accuracy. Pablo came to me with 14 words and finished the year with 88 wpm too. I LOVED the smiles of how successful they felt. I am going to implement the stamina into my math block this year also. (Reading was great last year and Math was the pits) Thanks for sharing and I am glad I found your blog.

  21. Thanks for posting this! A question: You ask your students to do Read to Self daily. You also only have two 20-minute "rounds" of small group time. If a student does small group and has to do Read to Self, that means that they don't do one of the other "four", right? If you meet with a group four days a week, then it seems that they're doing Read to Self and meeting with the teacher every day, not doing the other four. Is this the case? I have a 1/2 combo this next year and am teaching Treasures. I have an aide to help with small group reading, so students can have small group reading every day. How would you allow them to do the other four options while still meeting with the teacher and doing Read to Self daily?

  22. Christina,

    Thanks for the freebie! This up coming year will be my first year doing Daily 5. I'm nervous and scared. I had a question about your daily 5 routine. I saw the break down but does that change from day to day or do you do the same thing Monday-Friday? You're explanation was very helpful to get set up! Thanks Again

  23. Is it possible to get this in Spanish? I am willing to translate it!

  24. Do you have a board or visual check in spot? or a check in sheet that you keep on the students? so the kids don't all go to the same spot or have too many in one area?

  25. Thank you so much!!! this was so helpful! :)

  26. Hi, I love your Daily 5 Weekly Checklist!! My kinders need a visual to match up to the chart so I am hoping that you can send me the icon for the "Writing" so that I may post it in my writing center.
    Thank you!
    Gloria Gould


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...