Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Key Concepts & Routines for the Daily 5 (Chapter 3)

 This section focuses on seven key concepts, routines and materials you should include to be successful with the Daily 5.  They are:
  1. Establishing a Gathering Place
  2. Selecting "Good Fit" Books
  3. Book Boxes
  4. Anchor Charts
  5. Short Intervals of Repeated Practice
  6. Signals & Checking In
  7. Correct Modeling / Incorrect Modeling
Gathering Place
The sisters recommend an open space where the whole class can meet together on the rug - even the upper grades. Ideally, this will limit distractions, and students can easily turn to talk with each other. Coming from 6th grade at a middle school, I was initially a bit hesitant about this, but then I saw a picture posted by Jana at Thinking Out Loud that helped me envision what an upper grades space might look like.  My new room currently has no carpet, but maybe I can scrounge something up.....

Good Fit Books
Investing some time up front teaching your students how to select books that are a good fit for them is a skill that will (hopefully!) carry them through the rest of the year. I love the I PICK Strategy:
I - I Choose a Book
P - Purpose (Why do I want to read it?)
I - Interest (Does it interest me?)
C - Comprehend (Do I understand what I'm reading?)
K - Know (Do I know most of the words?)
 - Jackie from An Up Hill Journey created this cute poster.

Book Boxes
Once your students have picked out their books,  they'll need a personal & portable spot to keep them-Book Boxes! These could take a few different forms from plastic tubs or large Ziploc bags, but I think plastic magazine files will work well for my students this year. Durable and reusable is good. I just added these to my budget - crossing my fingers they arrive in time!

Anchor Charts
These are large charts posted in the room that you create with your students to reinforce the ideas and routines of the Daily 5 - and make their thinking permanent and visible in the class. Here is great example from Mrs. Maiolo's Learning Site:
I wonder if we could create these together on our Promethean Board, and I could format and fine-tune it to create and order a poster.  Wall space is pretty limited where I am.....

Short Intervals of Repeated Practice
The key here seems to be starting with just a few minutes and then building up slowly over time - adding a minute or two every day. And stopping as soon as you see one student off task.  When the time is up or that "barometer student" is off task, stop the whole class and gather back together. The idea is to never let any student practice the "wrong" way. This reminds of the phrase, "Practice does not make perfect - practice makes permanent."  I'm going to have to change my ways with this one! Normally I'd just address the student individually, but I guess then they are not practicing independence....

Signals & Check-in
You'll need a calm signal for students to stop. And then once you gather together, students will self-assess how they did with a thumbs up or thumbs sideways as you go over each criteria previously posted on your Anchor Chart. (The Sisters don't recommend thumbs down since it is negative and some students thrive on that negative attention - also it is rare that they didn't do anything correctly.)  I'm realizing that I need to get some new chimes.  Here is what I had used (Tibetan chimes), but they are really LOUD.
 Any suggestions for a quieter, softer sounding chime?

Correct Model/Incorrect Model
Another concept of the Daily 5 is having students model behaviors. First, the class discusses what the correct behavior should look like (such as Read to Self), and then you'll select a student to model that correct behavior while you mention all the items done well. This next part is what I really like....    Then select a challenging student to model the incorrect way BUT then ask that child to demonstrate to the class the correct way. That might seem counter-intuitive at first, but actually makes a lot of sense.  That child craves that negative attention - so you give them a structured and purposeful way to get it, but when they model it correctly they gain some positive attention, which hopefully they'll eventually like better. It also shows that student (and everyone else) that they CAN be successful at the task. Brilliant!

Next up - the Daily 5 in Action - Launching Read to Self!
Also - don't forget to enter my 50 Follower Giveaway! You have until this Sunday, July 29th. Good luck and "may the odds be ever in your favor"!


  1. I have never been successful at truly implementing the Daily 5 with my fifth graders. I am definitely bookmarking this post so that I can use it as a guide when I get back in the classroom. Awesome post!!

    Tales of a Fifth Grade Teacher

    1. Linda - I'd love to have your input since this is the first time I'll be attempting Daily 5. What difficulties did you find?


  2. I am new to blogging and new to 5th grade! I just found your blog and I really like it! I used to teach at a middle school, so the reading/writing lessons scare me! I'm hoping to find insight with your blog.

    1. Hi Julie! I also taught at a middle school for 7 years, so I'm a bit nervous about jumping into elementary as well. For me, Math is the scary part.....
      I'm now following your blog, so hopefully we can support each other this year!


  3. I am going to implement Daily 5 for the first time in my 5th grade class. Thanks for the suggestions. I am also new to blogging so I'm trying to get a hang of it.

    1. Hi Katrina! This will be my first time doing the Daily 5 as well so I look forward to sharing tips with each other. I'm your newest follower. :-)

  4. Nice post Corrina! I loved the compilation of key elements! I just finished a book study too and I'm a little nervous about the implementation. I'm definitely going to keep all these blogs bookmarked for reference!

    1. Thanks! I'm a bit behind posting my book study reflections, but better late than never.... Thanks again for your chimes suggestion - I'm definitely going to buy them!

  5. So...MY name is Mrs. Allen and I teach fifth grade also!!!! I am hoping that means I will have just as much success with launching the Daily 5/CAFE in my classroom this year. Thank you so much for your easy-to-follow directions. I think I can do this after reading your great blogs! I will continue to follow!
    Beth Allen

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