Daily 5 Book Study - Chapter 1 (Interactive!)

First off, wow!  Can you say eye opening?  I've only read the first chapter and I can't wait to know more!!  I'm linking up with chapter 1's hostess Brenda from Primary Inspired and am going to talk to you about what I took away from this 'introductory' chapter.  Just as a 'prerequisite', you might want to know that I'm coming from a place where I really don't know a lot about Daily 5 and its framework.  So if you're someone 'new' to this concept, I'm right there with you!  We can learn together!  Also, I'm going to be experimenting with how to incorporate the Daily 5 along with using a basal reader, teachers pushing in, incorporating scheduling, etc.  So we have a long but exciting journey ahead of us!  And off we go...

The first thing that resinated with me was a quote on page 7, ..."who found that the way teachers structure the learning environment and the way students spend t heir time influences the level of reading proficiency the students have attained by the end of the academic year."  This really struck home because it made me really reflect and think about what I do in my 90 minute reading block.  As of last year, I was doing centers (students went to one a day for the full 30 minutes) and then I had 2-3 whole group lessons (usually 2) for the remainder of the 60 minutes.  Now, my data was almost always very good so this works for me, but I'm just wondering how much MORE I could be doing if I changed my approach.  (btw- just typing that makes me anxious!!)  But research clearly shows that a 20-30 minute lesson, even for third graders is too long.

The first chapter of the book was mainly an overview of the structure and pieces of the Daily 5 model.  They made it abundantly clear that this model is extremely flexible and not to be done with rigor, but instead to be molded and used as the teacher needs.  The chapter also focused on how the Daily 5 has changed since the first edition to now.  So...  I thought (pushing up my TEACHER glasses) that it would be fun to do a VENN DIAGRAM!  Duh, compare and contrast!?  So... I've created an INTERACTIVE Venn Diagram for ALL of use to complete together (after reading the 1st chapter of the book of course).

Here's how this is going to work..

1.  Click on the Venn Diagram above. It will take you to a google doc that you should be able to edit.
2.  Read what other have already put on the google doc (1, so you can refresh your learning and 2 - so you don't repeat what others day)
3.  After reading, think of what YOU can add to the diagram.  This may mean you need to go back through the chapter and look for tidbits that others have left off.
4.  Only add 1 (to each section) of the Venn Diagram.  (This allows others a chance to add some too!)
5.  Add your name and location under what you added.  You can even color code it if you want and add your name/location to the bottom of the document (outside of the Venn Diagram).

Boom!  Blogger interaction at its best!  I can't wait to see what everyone puts on the document.  After about a week or so, I'll make the document into a pdf and add it to this blog post for others to be able to download.  **NOTE** The document may be closed - if you see a downloadable version of the interactive Venn Diagram, it will no longer be able to be edited.

The other part of the chapter that really hit me was the diagram on page 11 that shows the different correlation between student work time and teacher work time (with students) across the different structures that teachers use in the 90 minute reading block (seat work, centers, workshops, Daily 5).  I found myself in the 'centers' area showing that the student work and teacher work time was very low and that the 'busywork' period is greater.  Just another reason screaming at me that its time for a change.

Like I stated before, the great thing about Daily 5 is that it can be flexible and that its not a content but rather a framework that allows the optimal amount of time for students to be independent learners and teachers to be able to do their 'thang'!  Yes, I said 'thang'.  ;)  The chapter showed many different formats of integrating the Daily 5, 4, or even 3.  It doesn't always have to be 5!

Here are my beginning thoughts on how I'm foreseeing me using this framework.  I have to do the gradual release model (its best practice teaching so why wouldn't I, right!?)  So I'm trying to figure out how to do that, use the basal, and do the daily 5 ( or 4 or 3..).  So - I'm picturing this:

  • a 20-25 minute whole group lesson (of course there'll be some small group interaction and practice in there as well)  
  • Daily 3 (60 minutes)
    • I'll have the high of the high and the low of the low (split between 2 teachers) So I'm going to have a schedule made up of which groups I'll meet with each day.  It won't be all 4 groups each day so really sometime the students will have 3 choices from the Daily 5 and sometimes they'll have two choices - all depending on if I see them that day or not.  
  • The gradual release model will be intergraded based on the whole group lesson for the day.  For example, if I'm doing a lesson on making inferences for whole group - that lesson will include my model and beginning of the collaborative work.  Then, the Daily 3 pieces would be considered the rest of that lesson.  So I'd meet with my 'groups' for that day and continue the lesson.  So when I meet with my groups I'll be teaching 'making inferences' but based on their individual levels.  
Please note I'm being extremely transparent and honest right now so I'm open to feedback!  If you have any advice or help, I'm open to hear it!  

PLEASE comment below with your take aways from the chapter.  If you're a blogger, make sure to link up with Brenda from Primary Inspired.  Get chapter 2 read by June 25th and I'll be your hostess for that chapter.  :)  

I can't wait to hear what you learned!! 


  1. Hi Ciera! Look at you and your interactive Venn Diagram. You go girl!! Like you, I don't do all the rounds of Daily 5. There just isn't time! At the beginning of the year we do 4 rounds and at the end we do 3.

  2. Great post! I can't wait to learn more from everyone and really make this work next year! :)

  3. I love the Venn Diagram idea for everyone! I teach 1st and do the daily 5ish... this is my third year and I use what works in my classroom! I'll be following along with the book study to find a few new ideas that might work for me. My biggest learning curve was finding the patience to teach EVERY procedure and round slowly.

  4. AnonymousJune 22, 2015

    I tried adding to your venn diagram but I couldn't figure out how to add text to it.


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