Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily Five Book Study - Chapter 1

Welcome, Friends, to the 1st grade Daily 5 book study/ blog hop that Mel from Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations is hosting.
This will be my 3rd year of implementation of the Daily 5, but I'm always looking for ways to make it better for my students. Here are my thoughts on Chapter 1 (using Mel's guiding questions):

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?

Before using the Daily 5 (D5), my classroom looked like the first scenario. I spent a lot of my time redirecting my students while they worked in “centers”, all the while looking over the shoulders of my students that I was supposed to be teaching in small groups. I picked what group would work on what activity. I was too scared to give up control and let them choose what they wanted to work on. I thought I needed to have some kind of product (busy work) to send home or show what they worked on that day. It was loud and my students did not have accountability to me, themselves, or each other.

Now, in the two years since implementing the D5, my students freely choose what literacy activity they will work on. They stay on task, not because I am watching them, but because they have built their stamina by practicing and watching peer models. They are more engaged because they get to choose their literacy activity versus getting told what to work on that day. They know the expectations, and are held accountable to themselves and their peers. I know their choice is meaningful practice so I don’t need to “grade” some worksheet to show what they worked on that day. What’s best of all, our literacy routine does not change when I have a sub, because my students know what to do :)

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? 
I’ll focus on the reading aspect. My students learn the different ways to read a book. It helps engage them by having them look at the pictures and text carefully. They learn how to build stamina. Building stamina is important because they have time to practice good reading habits and strategies. They learn how to be a good reading partner by asking questions or making comments on what they just read. They learn how to go “book shopping” for good-fit books. My students become strong, confident readers by the end of the year because they have practiced all year.

3. What sets the Daily 5 structure apart from what you are doing in your classroom?
The structure helps remind me that I can’t expect to teach something once and have all my students respond accordingly. Every time we get a new student, (which was very often last year), we refer back to our “I Can” anchor charts. I was able to pair up an ‘old’ student with a ‘new’ one to quickly teach the D5 model. My students would refer to pictures of themselves doing each of the literacy tasks correctly (which they were very proud of, btw). It is not a new idea or technique, it is a management system that is based on modeling-practice-support-feedback. And it works.
Next week, Mel D. will also be discussing Chapter 2 on her blog. 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?

Here's a book study bookmark that Nicole from Teaching with Style put together. Nicole is hosting the same book study/ blog hop for grades 2-3.
How can you join in?
  • If you have a blog, link up below and post a blog about Chapter 1 by answering the questions above & anything else you'd like to add. 
  • If you do not have a blog, please leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments below. 
  • Check back a week from today for Chapter 2. 


  1. Hello, Monica! I'm visiting via the Daily 5 book study. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on chapter one. 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!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,

    1. Hi, Rebecca! This book study collaboration is great :) I am going to try to implement CAFE this year, too.

      I'm glad you stopped by,

  2. Hey Monica! Great post! I am a new follower...sorry I thought I was already. Do you mind adding a link to my blog??? Thanks so much!
    Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

    1. Mel, thanks again for hosting our book study :)

  3. Lovin' the idea of an I CAN anchor chart . . . I need to work more of these into my routine this year. My books are on order and I will be jumpin' in the mix next week. I'll be back to read your thoughts!!

    Kelley "Followin' You" Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    1. Hey, Kelley...welcome to the club! I am also waiting on some books for a couple of other book studies that I am participating me CRAZY!! So glad you stopped by!! :)