Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study Chapter 2

This chapter outlines that foundations of the Daily 5. Since I love lists, here is a list of the important foundational highlights.
 1. trust
2. choice
3. community
4. sense of urgency
5. stamina
6. stay out of the way

 I first tried the Daily 5 (straight up) a few years ago. I'm not sure why, but I felt a lot of pressure to make it work like the Sisters are able to magically make it work. Then I decided...yoohoo...hello Kimberly...what do the very best teachers you know do? Oh yeah, they take the best parts of things and make make them work in a way that fits each specific group of students. Now, I am happy to report that I still use the Daily Five (but I've Kimberlyized it to fit my students each year). I do love the Daily Five and recommend it to others whenever I'm asked for recommendations. At the same time, I think it is important to give yourself permission to be the expert on what works for your students in your own classroom.  

Hmmmm...not a strength of mine. I feel like I make a huge effort each year to encourage the children to trust me as their teacher. I really want my students to feel like they can take risks, make predictions, guess, try new things and explore. According to the sisters, "trusting children is the underpinning of what makes the Daily Five work". Let me just say...oy vey. Can I disagree with the sisters? Yes, I can. I disagree. There, I said it. I do believe that with enough time spent to put the Daily Five into motion, MOST children are able to work independently. Saying that I completely trust all of my students to work independently would not be honest. I'll talk more about that during Chapter 7 (which I'm hosting).  

Another confession...I do not let my students choose the order in which they'll participate in Daily 5 type activities. That is what the sisters recommend. I actually have 8 rotations each week, which we call Literacy Centers (5 of those are Daily 5 and then I have 3 other rotations each week). I introduce the Daily 5 components to literacy center time first. I do build choices into each center the students visit. For example, the students might listen to one story at Listening to Reading (but they may choose which way to respond to the story). 

  I think building a sense of community among students in the classroom is extremely important. The sisters say they spend at least 20 days building community. I often feel pressured by the weight of the curriculum and do less community building than I should. I do a lot, but I'd like to do more. I made this planning sheet to help me keep track and stay organized in terms of community building next year.


  Several of the community building activities I do are in my Activity Pack for Back to School.

I will also be doing a linky party in July about books that teachers use to build community in their classrooms. Start thinking about your favorite community building books now, so you can link up in July or just stop back to visit to check out the list.  

Sense of Urgency
I love that developing a sense of urgency is such a big part of the Daily Five. Kids feel empowered when they know why they are doing something. As a result, they are more motivated learners.  

My heart felt happy this year when my son, who is in Kindergarten, announced that his class was building stamina during read to self! I seriously had tears in my eyes at the dinner table. My husband gave me the "now what are you crying about look". My little guy is doing the Daily Five! I already loved his teacher (my daughter had her a couple years ago) and now I love her even more!

Stay Out of the Way
This part is easy for me when things are going well and hard for me when things are not going well. When I host chapter 7, I will share how I change things up when things are not going so well. It is a technique that allows me to still stay "out of the way", but helps keep the kids on track.

I'm linking this post to Nicole's post from Teaching With Style.  She is hosting this chapter of our Book Study.  I can't wait to read all of the other posts about Chapter 2!  Next week, please visit Mrs. Freshwater's Class and Thinking Out Loud for Chapter 3!

That's all folks...this girl is headin' out to get some exercise.


  1. I love your post! This is my 2nd year to incorporate Daily 5. Last year, I used it for my small group time. Half of my class went to PE and the other half worked on Daily 5 stations, while I had a few working with me on small group reading (this is usually only about 30 minutes), but this year, I am leaning more into putting it into my literacy block....but I am a little bit of a control nerd! So..., giving up time during my literacy block is a little nerve racking to me! Do you use Daily 5 during your literacy block time or during a separate station time?
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  2. Kimberly,

    I LOVE this post. If you read mine for chapter one, you know I'm a little skeptical of how this is all going to work! However, I see a lot of positives to the Daily 5 structure and am leaning toward finding a way to make it work for me and my students. Knowing you have been using it and made adjustments makes me feel better!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  3. I have been skeptical about having only 5 choices in my literacy center as well. I have always had 8 centers so there was more choice. I plan to start with those 5 and see how it goes. I am looking forward to your posts on the next few chapters:)

    Surfin' Through Second

  4. THANK YOU for your HONESTY! I, too, have incorporated the Daily 5 into my Literacy Stations, but always feel gilty about not doing it the "right"way.

    Choice and trust are definately my weaknesses. I want to be more open this summer to see where it goes. Perhaps choice with a chart for accountability?

    Looking forward to Chater 7 with you!
    The Resourceful Apple

  5. Cute blog!! We nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. Come to our blog and check it out! :)

  6. It was refreshing to hear of others making this "their own." The full D5 system just doesn't fit my style, but it is oh-so inspirational to read about the ways you can morph it to match your needs. Thank you so much for posting this. I can't wait to read more from you :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

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  8. Would anyone like to give specific examples on HOW they took the Daily Five and modified it? I'm considering trying it out this year. Just curious. I've not been so worried about the choice/trust...I've been more concerned about the management specifics. Do they rotate? If not, How do they all keep from going to word work at the same time? Do they do all five every day? If so, for how long? These are the questions that have been keeping me up at night.

  9. I've awarded you with the One Lovely Blog Award and the Versatile Blogger award! Stop by to pick them up!
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  10. Great post! I totally agree--we always need to tweek things--just to make it our own. The Daily 5 should be seen as a guideline. I'm one of your newest followers--i would love to have you come and visit.

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