Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Daily 5, Second Edition Book Club-Chapter 1

Thanks for stopping by to join in on The Daily 5, Second Edition weekly book club. I am so excited to host this weekly online book club on one of my all-time favorite teaching books! I was so thrilled there is a second edition, and I’m excited to dive deep into it with you. This first week’s post will be the longest because I want to introduce myself and give some background on WHY I chose this book to study.

So, let’s get started!
Some Background Info on Me
I'm currently in my 13th year of teaching 1st grade, and I’ve been a teacher for a total of 17 years (pre-k and full-day K too). I’m married to a middle school teacher, have three little boys and an old cat! Blogging and reading professional research (in articles or in books) help me to stay current in my profession. I am passionate about staying current in education and talking with other teachers about all things teaching-related! This is my 2nd time hosting a book club on The Daily 5. The first one was a few summers ago, and it was a real book club (not online). This time around, my life is a bit busier, so I thought an online book club would be a better option. 

So, WHY The Daily 5?
During the summer of 2006, I was working on plans for the upcoming school year. When I went to to find a few new books, I saw The Daily 5  (by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) was a book that was recommended for me. I clicked on the book's description to find out more, and I was intrigued! Let's just say, the hook that got me was the fact that I may never have to laminate and cut out another stupid holiday-related center game again!!! So, of course, I immediately ordered the book and the rest is history! This book has literally changed (and continues to challenge/change) the way I teach! So, let's take a look into Chapter 1, shall we?

Chapter 1: That Was Then, This is Now: How the Daily 5 and CAFE Have Evolved.
This chapter starts off with a quote from the amazing Regie Routman. It states, "The typical teacher has children doing a lot of 'stuff'. How is what I am having children do creating readers and writers?" (page 1). Wow! That's powerful...think about that for a moment! Do you ever think about what you are having your children do? 

Differences in This Edition:
The "Sisters" explain, in this chapter, the differences in the first version and this current version of the book. One of the most significant changes is the fact that they do not do ALL five rounds of Daily 5 every day. I always wondered how to fit all those rounds in! There is also differentiation between using Daily 5 with younger and older learners. The suggested order of sequence of when Daily 5 activities should be introduced has also changed. After introducing Read to Self, Work on Writing (not Read to Someone) is the second one to be introduced. In addition, Math Daily 3 (their structure for the math block) is also included in this edition (yeah).

Does This Sound Familiar?
The "Sisters" explain how their teaching has evolved over the years. Every time I read this, I am reminded of how my teaching used to be as well. I'm still not where I want to be, but things are definitely better now. They explain how their teaching used to basal-driven, their students worked quietly on all sorts of "busy work", both at their desks and at one of many centers, during the reading block. At the end of the day, they were exhausted from "putting out fires" during this time. In addition, they found themselves dreading the time they needed to spend in order to check every piece of paper their students completed during this time. Oh, my, this hit home the first time I read this!!!

That Was Then, This is Now!
Boushey and Moser explain, that through extensive research and work with many of the top reading "gurus", they started to really learn what children need to be doing in order to become better readers and writers. While working with Margaret Mooney,  they learned that students should be engaged in "simple" acts of reading, rereading, reading to others, responding to reading and writing. Like most teachers I know, they thought this sounded too simple. It does, but it IS what students need to do to become better readers. There is so much quality research to back this up! And, in the end, it is common sense. For example, if someone wants to become a better runner, that person has to practice running. Well, the same holds true in our classrooms. If we want students to become better readers and writers, they have to practice actual reading and writing (NOT activities ABOUT reading and writing). 

I loved the chart that explicitly showed how their teaching (and management) of students has evolved throughout the years, and I thought the "Learning Line" chart was a great snapshot of why Daily 5 is effective. 

So, How Does This All Work?
First of all, I have to remind you that if you do not yet have the Daily 5 structure up and running in your classroom, you can begin tomorrow. You DO NOT have to wait until next school year. When I took the Daily 5/CAFE grad class last year (in January), I started the Daily 5 over in my first grade classroom. It was fine. So, don't be scared! You can do it....tomorrow! 

The chart that displays the five rounds of Daily 5, with CAFE focus lessons between each one, is what your literacy block may look like in the beginning of the year (after all of the Daily 5 choices have been taught). The charts on the next few pages show what a typical literacy block will look like about 8-12 weeks into the school year. 

There are also two non-negotiables that I think are important to mention. Each day, it is suggested that students must do Read to Self and Work on Writing. Students do enjoy choosing the order they complete these in, and they also get to choose a different Daily 5 activity for their other round. If time permits, students can choose from the other choices as well. 

What About CAFE?
CAFE is the title of Boushey and Moser's book that complements The Daily 5 (both editions). If you are familiar with CAFE, you know it includes focused strategies for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary. These lessons take place in whole group sessions and small group/individual sessions. CAFE holds the content for what skills/strategies should be taught within the framework of The Daily Five. When the students are working on Daily Five activities, the teacher is also incorporating these strategies in small reading reading groups or individual conferences. I suggest you go to The Daily CAFE site to learn more about this. Or, better yet, buy the book. The "Sisters" created the CAFE. 

The beauty of The Daily 5 framework is that each section of your literacy block can stand alone. With all sorts of schedules that we have, we don't all have a two-hour uninterrupted literacy block. Each section consists of a focused literacy lesson, followed by a round of Daily 5. You can easily do a section, then go to a special (or lunch, etc.), come back and do another section. I think that's genius! I love the flexibility this framework offers.

So, What Now?
Please answer the following questions (either in a comment or link up your blog-directions are below):
*By the way, this is my FIRST time having a linking up option, so please link up if you have a blog. If I have one link-up, I will be thrilled :)!

1. What should we know about you?

2. How did you hear about The Daily 5?

3. What experience do you have with implementing The Daily 5? If you are not currently implementing it, do you plan to try this year?

4. Does what you have your students do, during your literacy block, resemble the "before" or "after" description of Boushey and Moser's classrooms?

5. What is one thing you read about, in Chapter 1, that you think is most worth remembering?

6. What is one change you are ready to make in your teaching?

Fun Stuff:
As a thanks to you for joining this book club, check out the helpful websites and FREEBIE I linked up for you.

*The Daily CAFE (the "official" website for Daily 5 and CAFE)

*Daily 5 and CAFE video (see it in action) 
There are a lot more videos you can check out on youtube!
*Daily 5 Posters and Editable Charts (FREE on TPT)-created by Sister Teachers East Coast

(everything offered that is Daily 5 or CAFE related needs to be FREE) 
You can find many more FREE products like this on TPT too!

Either leave a comment, or link up if you have your own blog! 
If linking up, please put "Daily 5 Book Club- Chapter 1" in your blog title, and use the 1st image from the top of my post somewhere in your post. Thanks!!!

Get Ready for Next Week: Read Chapter 2!

Clipart by Thistlegirl Designs, border by Jen Jones at Hello Literacy


  1. What a thorough post! Love Daily 5 and Cafe! I'm happy to participate in your book club. :)

  2. Just saw this through Wendy's post. I have this book for the past couple weeks, and need to read it. I don't know if I will get to post this time around! Looking forward in joining your book club and learning more about Daily 5!


  3. I can't wait to read through everyone's posts each week to learn more about Daily 5! I LOVE Daily 5 and love that there is a new book (I NEED to get it) Thanks for sharing!:)

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

    1. Kimberly Ann,
      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, you NEED to get the new book. I read through it twice, and now I'm really reading it. That's why I started this book club (and to get others' perspectives on it). The next post is ready to go at midnight tonight, and it will be open for comments/link-ups all week. So, check back!
      That First Grade Blog

  4. What a thorough post! I can't wait to dig into the new version....using Daily 5 in the classroom has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Couldn't love it a bit more! 7 more days of school, then I can dive into projects to make next year even better, including reading this new book! Thanks for sharing...=)

  5. I love using the daily five in my classroom and cant wait to tweek it and read the the new version! Thanks for a great blog to get us thinking!