All About Daily 5
Now that we have begun our Reader’s Workshop routine, I would like to share with you more about “The Daily Five.” The purpose of this letter is to fill you in on what the Daily Five is all about, so you don’t have to nod your head while wondering what in the world your child is referring to. The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster the children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5 component. We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community. I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction. Your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read,
Your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand, and are interested in, which they will read during the Daily 5. They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accomplished by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.
Please think of our classroom as you visit garage sales or clean your own child’s bookcase. It is my goal to make our classroom library as appealing as your favorite bookstore for browsing.
Daily 5 Components
Read to Self
The best way to become a better reader is by practicing each day, with books the students choose and are a "Good Fit".
Read to Someone
Partner reading allows for more time to practice strategies, helping to build fluency, check for understanding, hear their own voice and time to share in this learning community.
Work on Writing
Just like reading, the best way to become a better writer is by practicing writing each day.
Expanded vocabulary and correct spelling allow for more fluent reading and writing thus speeding up the ability to comprehend what is read and get thinking down on paper.
Listen to Reading
Hearing good examples of literature and fluent reading expands your vocabulary, builds stamina and helps you become a better reader.
I PICK "Good Fit Books"
The students are taught from day one about choosing and selecting books that are just right for their reading level. They are called "Good Fit Books".
- I pick a book
- Purpose (What's my purpose for choosing this book? )
- Interest (Does this book interest me?)
- Comprehend (Can I comprehend what I'm reading?)
- Know (Do I know most of the words?)
Three Ways to Read a Book
- Read the pictures
- Read the words
- Retell the story
Check for Understanding
This is a comprehension strategy that teaches children to stop frequently and check, or monitor, if they understand what they are reading.
Often as beginning readers, children are so aware of reading accurately that they forget to take time and think about what they are reading, checking to see if they understand the text. Advanced readers can develop the habit of reading through the text without monitoring if they were aware of Checking for Understanding as beginning readers.
This vital strategy is not only one of the first we introduce, but is also one we model frequently throughout the year.
When students are Reading to Someone, their job is listening and retelling what their partner just read. Then they switch, the other student reads and this time they "check for understanding".
Many parents are amazed to hear their child speak about building "stamina". It's not a typical word you hear second graders say! When we begin teaching The Daily 5 parts, the first time we model, instruct, and demonstrate how to do this skill, the students start on their own for 3 minutes. Every day we add one minute, eventually building their stamina to 30 minutes. Some days we may only get to do 20-30 minutes depending on special activities, assemblies, or holiday events. The students "build stamina" for each of the Daily 5 parts.
What's the teacher doing during Daily 5?
Explicit modeling, practice, reflecting and refining takes place during the launching phase, preparing the foundation for a year of meaningful content and instruction tailored to meet the unique needs of each child. After weeks and months of modeling, practicing, and building stamina for each Daily 5 part, the students become very independent and are on "automatic pilot".They know these routines, they look forward to them each day. In fact, they are disappointed if we don't get to all five if there is something special in our day. This automaticity allows the teacher to work with students one on one, in Skills Groups, or Guided Reading. The teacher can give assessments such as DRA's (Developmental Reading Assessment), or DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) tests. Teachers can confer with students individually to discuss how they are developing as readers and writers and discuss their goals.